A reader is concerned ...

Q: I own a 15-acre plot of land on which I grow barley. The land is bounded on two sides by public roads. In the interests of safety, can you please provide advice as to the considered maximum range of a 20-bore shotgun using No6 and No5 shot? Can I undertake crop protection safely using a 20-bore shotgun, or would gas guns be the preferred option, despite them not proving to 
be effective and being potentially annoying to neighbours? Just how 
far do shotgun pellets travel?

A: Shotgun pellet travel can be calculated using Journee’s Formula, which says that if pellet diameter in inches is multiplied by 2,200 then the sum is the theoretical distance of shot travel in yards. 
For example:

  • UK No6 shot: 0.10in diameter 
x 2,200 = 220 yards.
  • UK No5 shot: 0.11in diameter 
x 2,200 = 242 yards.

In reality, shot travel depends on a variety of factors, including the angle at which the gun is fired — about 29° is optimal — wind speed and direction, initial velocity temperature and ballistic air density. A computer model for shot travel suggests that the Journee distance might be enhanced by about 33 per cent in the case of a powerful following wind.

Falling shot may make a noise but it is not dangerous. Be sensible where you shoot, put your back to the road 
if possible and shoot into the air.

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