Next time there is 1/2" hail raining down try patterning those high speed 7/8 oz loads...
As funny as that may sound I have a permanant pattern board club just to see if there is any noticeable differance in differant weather conditions in pattern.
Just because I wonder,
My grandfather and grandmother shot 1-1/4oz of 4s @1200fps from Thier 16 gauges in the cheasapeake bay in late 30s 40s and 50s before they moved west. Which he assured me was plenty to kill black ducks in the backbay. And cans from sink boxes.
If you take 1/16oz of 3s and raise the velocity to 1730 you get a really close recreation of that lod 1-1/4 #4 lead load. Pellet count wise as well as downrange energy. I taylor make the round to pattern well from 25yd to 50 yd.
I found with the 3.5" 1-1/2oz loads along time ago that getting a steel load to throw a decent pattern from 25 to 60 yards wasn't going to be accomplished by one single choke, nether was 1-3/8oz nor 1-1/4 oz, I'm seriously not changing chokes during the day, so I choose to limit shots into the 25-30 yard to 50 yard window.
I have shot the same blind on the family club for 27 years i have tried so many loads and chokes.
Over the years I've come to the conclusion the simplifying guns, gear, and ammo is best.1-1/16oz of #3s covers me for decoys to 50yards I sneak in a 55yard shot here and there. Closeing Saturday was a perfect example I took to pintails about the 35 yard range a widgeon at about 40 yards 3 greenwings at in the 20 to 25 yard range, and a redhead in the 50 to 55 yard range, which is really pushing the yardage on the way I have the combination set up. It's a bit tight a 25yard and maybe a little open at 55.
I do not need a round that shoots to 65yd. If your 1-1/4 oz of 2s does great for you. In my situation it is unnecessary, I can get more rounds per lb of shot with what I need anymore is just a waste.
Where I do find 1-1/4 oz 2s very handy is when the N/W wind blows in Los Banos. When we have a sustained wind of 35-40mph and gusts to 50-55 mph I currently use 1-1/4 oz of 2s at 1615fps. I don't use them for distance but rather, an upgrade in shot size for wind deflection, windy days at our place is a pick and choose day, shot are usually in the 35 yard range usually on the deck, I am testing this summer and rsi load of 1-1/8oz 2s @1635 fps as I realize pellet count is not an issue on windy days as I don't take small ducks in this situation 1-1/8oz 2s is probably enough we will see what the pattern board says.
Ps I have 2 gunny sacks full of the wooden decoys they used!