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shotgun pattern question #14167458 09/30/19
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vapodog Offline OP
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I've been of the opinion that all shotguns produce a 40" diameter circle with a cylinder bore at 40 yards.....the difference is the density of pellets in the circle

Further the same exists with all shotguns using a full choke...same diameter circle at the same distance....although the circle and distance may no longer be 40" and 40 yards but they will all be the same.

I now am not sure about this....can someone straighten me out? Links to support your data will be very helpful
Thanks
Vapo

Last edited by vapodog; 09/30/19.
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Re: shotgun pattern question [Re: vapodog] #14167490 09/30/19
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A typical cylinder bore will produce a pattern 40" across at rather less than 40 yards. More like 25 yards, and that can vary according to how the guns bored and the load. For example, a gun fired with fibre wads and no shot collar will tend to throw a wider pattern than one using a buffered load in a plastic wad with shot collar. You can even make "spreader" loads - and used to be able to buy them - to shoot a wider pattern.

A tighter choke will tend to throw a pattern of a smaller diameter at a given distance than a more open choke, all else being equal.

Re: shotgun pattern question [Re: vapodog] #14167870 10/01/19
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Sitka deer Offline
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Every barrel/load is a combination unto itself.and must be verified IMO&E.


Mark Begich, Joaquin Jackson, and Heller resistance... Three huge reasons to worry about the NRA.
Re: shotgun pattern question [Re: vapodog] #14167873 10/01/19
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Every barrel/load is a combination unto itself.and must be verified IMO&E.


Mark Begich, Joaquin Jackson, and Heller resistance... Three huge reasons to worry about the NRA.
Re: shotgun pattern question [Re: vapodog] #14171834 10/02/19
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Tejano Offline
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I think the OP may be thinking that because you draw the standard 40" circle for all choke constrictions that they are all shooting 40" patterns. If this were true you could use a cylinder choke for everything out to 60 yds. Obviously this is not the case.


"When you disarm the people, you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred." Niccolo Machiavelli
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Re: shotgun pattern question [Re: vapodog] #14171851 10/02/19
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gnoahhh Offline
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Fired at 40 yards, the percentage of shot load contained within a 30" circle that encompasses the densest part of the pattern is how choke is determined.

It entails a lot of counting of BB holes. smile

A full choke gun will throw around a 40" size pattern at 40 yards, but that's total pattern width. To determine the degree of choke, ie: 70%, 80%, etc,, you do the above. Obviously more open chokes produce a larger spread at 40 yards with an attendant lesser percentage in the 30" circle.

Last edited by gnoahhh; 10/02/19.

"You can lead a man to logic, but you cannot make him think." Joe Harz
Re: shotgun pattern question [Re: vapodog] #14172643 10/02/19
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Mule Deer Offline
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vapodog,

Percentage of shot in a 40" circle at ANY range varies considerably with gauge, shot hardness, wads, velocity, forcing cone length, etc. etc. I have patterned the same barrel with various lead-shot loads and gotten results that vary over 20%.

Also "choke" is NOT standardized around the world, and is actually more dependent on the difference between the bore diameter (which also varies considerably) and the choke. Not to mention the length and shape of the choke taper.

Plus, most shotgunners don't shoot enough patterns to come up with an average for that load and particular barrel/choke--or analyze how even the pattern is across its width.


“Montana seems to me to be what a small boy would think Texas is like from hearing Texans.”
John Steinbeck
Re: shotgun pattern question [Re: vapodog] #14173772 10/03/19
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DigitalDan Offline
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Somewhat in parallel with MD's comments, I've found that field testing is more relevant than expecting a given choke to perform in a particular fashion based on conventional wisdom. Legend from the past suggested that a somewhat more open choke would shoot buckshot in a tighter group for example. Perhaps, but I have a 12 ga that patterns 00 buck so tight with the FC barrel it's absurd, and a 20 ga that dotes on the modified for a good dense pattern of buck. I have also found that shorter shot columns and lower velocity will tighten up shot patterns very well for a given choke. An example is 7/8th oz loads of #8 & 9 from a Beretta O/U 12 using an IC choke. It is remarkably effective on clays and quail, 24/7, and at longer range than I would have imagined when I first began loading such things.

Another oddity is the referenced FC barrel for the 12 (Win Mod 50) shoots Forster slugs so well it is bizarre. My longest shot on a critter was about 125 yards. Second longest was 85 yards, measured, and in both cases I hit precisely where I wanted to. No flopping after the fact, just a lot of blood.

The message is forget the theory. Verify, verify, verify....


I am..........disturbed.

Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass. -Twain


Re: shotgun pattern question [Re: vapodog] #14173867 10/03/19
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CGPAUL Offline
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You opened quite a can of worms, IME. I own many rifles, but only one shotgun. A mod. 101 choked IC and Mod. my wife bought for me 44 years ago. The gun has done everything I`ve asked it to do...and it shoots exactly where I`m looking. In other words it fits me, and it shoots straight. I learned this, as MD always says, years ago when developing loads for pheasant, and grouse. A 4`x4` cardboard was set at 25 yrds with a aiming spot marked in the center. A friend and I shot many various hand loads from 12 guages at these 4x4`s. Mostly 1 1/8 oz. 7 1/2 or 8`s for grouse and woodcock here and 1 1/4 oz 4`s and 5`s for pheasant. One thing we noticed off the bat was the 4`s and 5`s shot a tighter pattern at 25 yrds than did the 7 1/2`s and 8`s out of the same choke, in my gun, the IC. The other thing we noticed was my patterns were always centered, his gun threw the patterns about 1 1/2 foot lower than his POA. Consistently. Up to that point, we`d thought all shotguns shot straight...wrong. My friend was having problems hitting birds, not because of pattern density, but because of where the majority of it was going.
If it be 25 or 40 yards, make sure your patterns are centered.

Re: shotgun pattern question [Re: CGPAUL] #14173980 10/03/19
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battue Offline
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CGPAUL, thanks for the above.

After watching millions-around 1500 yesterday to add on to the total-targets broken, one comes to some conclusions re chokes. Targets from in you face, to out there 70 and 80 yards away, and broken with all the chokes from cylinder to extra full. Targets showing face and others nothing but edge. Shot at with about every available manufactured shell we have here and reloads. However, one of the most interesting facts would be many of them were shot at by individuals that very rarely will change chokes. Out of 5 people-all who have been shooting for decades-shooting 3 different models of Beretta,1 Krieghoff and 1 Blaser shotguns-yesterday, not one choke was changed on a course that had all the yardages and presentations covered. Chokes were from IC/IC, Mod/Mod, IC/LM, IC/Mod and one I'm not sure of. Some were shooting new shells and some reloads. Others ended up shooting their reloads and anothers new. One, was using some very old and rusted reloads. I've been shooting the relatively new to here Aguilla shotshells and they got passed around to other shooters for various reasons. "Here, try this." "I need and extra shell." and someone would flip them one. Shot was probably all 7.5' and 8's. One guy said I may have some 6's in this collection of reloads. Who knows?

Some times a shooter would center punch one of the variety of targets and get a center punch break. Other times they would may get a chip or miss. Next guy, with a different shell would do the same. One may bum a shell from another with the same results. One may have been shot at with an IC and later a Mod.

At the end of this practice day, on targets from close to perhaps 60 yards, quartering to crossing, fast to medium speed, to barely moving. 99+% of those missed would have been from shooter error and not because of chokes. If your guns POA and POI are in tune, fuss over chokes if you want, but your misses will almost entirely be on you and not choke.

Addition: Something changes when one goes from paper to air and choke has little to do with it. Now if all impacts occurred at the same relative distance as occurs with trap, skeet and live Birds, then an argument can be made for a specific choke. However, when one takes them as they come, not so much.

Last edited by battue; 10/03/19.

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Bravo

Re: shotgun pattern question [Re: vapodog] #14174066 10/03/19
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battue Offline
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Originally Posted by vapodog
I've been of the opinion that all shotguns produce a 40" diameter circle with a cylinder bore at 40 yards.....the difference is the density of pellets in the circle


Vapo


Ideally, the difference is the center core density from constriction to constriction.

Sometime in the past, someone decided on a 40inch circle, which seems to have been a good choice. Most outside of 40inches would be fliers, regardless of choke, that would not be consistently effective.


Last edited by battue; 10/03/19.

laissez les bons temps rouler
Re: shotgun pattern question [Re: vapodog] #14174304 10/03/19
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Mule Deer Offline
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As a follow-up to my first post, many shotgunners (especially hunters) apparently think chokes marked with a certain designation are all exactly the same constriction--and they are not.

I've owned a shotgun barrel measuring gauge for over 20 years, which allows me to measure not only chokes but interior barrel diameters. In 12-gauge alone (which might be expected to be the most consistent) I've measured bores varying from .720 to .743 inch in diameter, when the supposed industry standard is around .730.

Have also measured the inside diameter of 12-gauge chokes, whether screw-in or fixed, marked in various designations:

Improved cylinder: .715 to .720
Modified: .702 to .707
Full: .682 to .697

Throw all those variations together and it's obvious that the actual amout of choke contriction, compared to the bore, can vary enormously. Which is exactly why we don't really know the amount of constriction just by measuring the interior diameter of the muzzle.


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Re: shotgun pattern question [Re: battue] #14174345 10/03/19
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gnoahhh Offline
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Originally Posted by battue

At the end of this practice day, on targets from close to perhaps 60 yards, quartering to crossing, fast to medium speed, to barely moving. 99+% of those missed would have been from shooter error and not because of chokes. If your guns POA and POI are in tune, fuss over chokes if you want, but your misses will almost entirely be on you and not choke.




Sage observation, that.

A local shotgun smith would insist on fine tuning a gunner's stance/technique and gun fit (which is a whole 'nother topic- relatively well fitting is ok IMO, after that p-r-a-c-t-i-c-e) before he would consent to cutting steel.

I used to fret a lot over chokes, and 20+ years ago I was one of those guys who was spinning choke tubes at nearly every SC station. Then, like so many other aspects of the shooting games, with old(er) age came wisdom. Sort of. Maybe.


"You can lead a man to logic, but you cannot make him think." Joe Harz
Re: shotgun pattern question [Re: Tejano] #14174375 10/03/19
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battue Offline
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Originally Posted by Tejano
I think the OP may be thinking that because you draw the standard 40" circle for all choke constrictions that they are all shooting 40" patterns. If this were true you could use a cylinder choke for everything out to 60 yds. Obviously this is not the case.


Actually that pretty much is the case at the 40 yards the op referred. Difference being center core vs fringe, tight vs open.

On clays, I’ve seen some shoot threads at 60 in long bird contests, when choke like here was being debated. I wouldn’t be quick to bet against them with me using full. They point better.


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Re: shotgun pattern question [Re: vapodog] #14174453 10/03/19
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keith Online Content
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What ever you are shooting, keep the plastic out of your barrel for the best patterns.

Re: shotgun pattern question [Re: keith] #14174473 10/03/19
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battue Offline
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Originally Posted by keith
What ever you are shooting, keep the plastic out of your barrel for the best patterns.


How many shots until plastic is a pattern issue?


laissez les bons temps rouler
Re: shotgun pattern question [Re: Mule Deer] #14174501 10/03/19
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Dirtfarmer Online Content
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Originally Posted by Mule Deer
vapodog,

Percentage of shot in a 40" circle at ANY range varies considerably with gauge, shot hardness, wads, velocity, forcing cone length, etc. etc. I have patterned the same barrel with various lead-shot loads and gotten results that vary over 20%.

Also "choke" is NOT standardized around the world, and is actually more dependent on the difference between the bore diameter (which also varies considerably) and the choke. Not to mention the length and shape of the choke taper.

Plus, most shotgunners don't shoot enough patterns to come up with an average for that load and particular barrel/choke--or analyze how even the pattern is across its width.

Well stated.

I learned that high brass #9's in an IC 12 ga. will shoot a wider pattern than std. velocity loads with larger shot. That #9 load is great for quail.

Now, I do like my 28's for shooting quail.

There are so many variables with choke, shot size and charge, velocity, gauge, etc.

One size does NOT fit all, for sure. You gotta pattern specific combos to really know what's happening.

DF

Re: shotgun pattern question [Re: vapodog] #14174602 10/03/19
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I don't agonize much over choke/pattern density etc. There are too many variables and, to paraphrase MD, most shotgunners don't do enough "scientific" testing to come up with accurate results. I use a choke tube or fixed choke barrel that should be right for the job in question, head to the clays or 5-stand course with appropriate loads for same and shoot a round. Judging by how the easy targets are smashed and overall, how I'm doing on near and far targets, I can get a really good idea of how it will work for me in the field. It's a lot more fun than all this scientific BS of shooting paper, circles, counting holes....and way good enough for this business of slinging a bunch of lead shot at moving targets. If I had to make a living breaking clay targets or if my days were 48 hours long, I might feel different.



Mathew 22: 37-39

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Re: shotgun pattern question [Re: Mule Deer] #14174610 10/03/19
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CGPAUL Offline
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MD, patterning shotguns with different loads, hopefully to learn something, is brutal business, at least I think so. Your statement about so few doing so is correct, if judged by the group of guys I know that shot skeet.They never did it.

Re: shotgun pattern question [Re: vapodog] #14174664 10/03/19
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gnoahhh Offline
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When you get right down to it, all this stuff is still more of an art than a science.


"You can lead a man to logic, but you cannot make him think." Joe Harz
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