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Re: shotgun pattern question [Re: CGPAUL] #14174667 10/03/19
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Mule Deer Offline
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CGPAUL,

Yep, and unless required to for an article I don't count pellet holes in paper.

My normal patterning routine is to shot several rounds at dirt hillsides to see whether the gun hits where I point it. Have encountered some over the years that don't, including some doubles where one barrel shoots to a different place as the other. This has occurred in both SxS's and over-unders--and one of the times I didn't do a "dirt" pattern, the shotgun had me talking to myself.

At the time I was working on my book SHOTGUNS FOR WINGSHOOTING (published in 1999 by Krause) so was shooting a LOT, especially Sporting Clays at a local course, in order to test different different things. Was in a hurry to shoot some clays, so didn't impact-pattern a new O/U 28-gauge that had just show up. A few stations into the round the gun had me talking to myself, and not happily. Sometimes it wouldpuff targets, and other times they weren't even touched--on very similar shots.

Patterned the damn thing afterward, and as I recall the top barrel hit right where I pointed, but the bottom barrel shot basically a full pattern high. Thought at first it might have been a bad choke tube, but it shot the same way with all three tubes that came with the gun--which was NOT a bargain-basement brand.

I may also shoot a few patterns on paper with a specific load, but instead of counting every one, I look at the holes to see how evenly they're spaced--and if the pattern's dense enough to kill the kind of birds I'm hoping to shoot.


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Re: shotgun pattern question [Re: Mule Deer] #14174845 10/03/19
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CGPAUL Offline
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Egad, my friend did the pellet count thing, percentage and all, then cut a life sized flying grouse images to place in the pattern holes!
Be it rifles or shotguns, you can get a little loony.

Re: shotgun pattern question [Re: vapodog] #14174969 10/03/19
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IndyCA35 Offline
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Most of this patterning stuff is "high voodoo" and equally useful.

As MD pointed out, what you need to do is see if the shot hits where you're looking. If I get a new shotgun, I do this at about 10 yards.

To adjust point of impact, you need to adjust the "back sight," which is your eye. So you should have an adjustable comb.

As for degree of choke, use Skeet of IC for upland game or within 35 yards and Modified for everything after that, including 16-yard trap. Only waterfowl, turkeys, and handicap trap require more choke.

There is a lot of Voodoo about the brand and shape of chokes. The only thing that matters is the ID of the choke compared with the ID of the shotgun barrel (which, as MD noted, is deliberately made to different dimensions by trhe manufacturers). So I use the chokes that come with the gun.

Counting holes? Fuggedaboudit!


"If my friend Donald Trump ever decided to sacrifice his billionaire lifestyle to become President, he would be a force for ultimate justice that Democrats and Republicans alike would celebrate." John F. Kennedy, Jr. [George Magazine, June, 1999]
Re: shotgun pattern question [Re: vapodog] #14175550 10/03/19
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Mule Deer Offline
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Should also note that I (like some others on this thread) have experimented considerably with breaking clays at ranges FAR beyond 40 yards, especially on Sporting Clays ranges. It is indeed possible to break targets consistently at 50+ yards with a variety of chokes and loads--but breaking clays is not dropping live birds.


“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] #14175723 10/03/19
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Nostalgiafan Offline
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The responses thus far have expanded my knowledge, thinking and perspective on this topic. Very worthwhile.

IC-A

Re: shotgun pattern question [Re: Mule Deer] #14175762 10/03/19
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battue Offline
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Originally Posted by Mule Deer
Should also note that I (like some others on this thread) have experimented considerably with breaking clays at ranges FAR beyond 40 yards, especially on Sporting Clays ranges. It is indeed possible to break targets consistently at 50+ yards with a variety of chokes and loads--but breaking clays is not dropping live birds.


That is solid truth and in reality I prefer Birds not be beyond 30 yards max, but again, choke concerns me little.

Last edited by battue; 10/04/19.

laissez les bons temps rouler
Re: shotgun pattern question [Re: vapodog] #14178514 10/05/19
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Orion2000 Offline
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AGREE: every shotgun / choke / shot shell combination is unique unto itself. Long story short, this spring I spent several afternoons patterning various loads and chokes at 31 yards out of my LH SBE. What an eye opener. Finally settled on a new combination that puts as many pellets in a 24" circle at 31 yards as old cartridge had in the shell casing. AND the pattern is relatively centered with no obvious holes or gaps in the pattern. Looking forward to January in the duck blind !


"A lie doesn't become truth; wrong doesn't become right; evil doesn't become good, just because it's accepted by the majority." - Rick Warren
Re: shotgun pattern question [Re: battue] #14201556 10/14/19
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jstevens Offline
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I'm a competitive shotgunner also. Of course, your example only covers the gamut from IC to Mod, which only covers about 10 yards of difference in range. After saying that, there's not as much difference as people think, as a rule, the difference in pattern diameter between a M and F is somewhere in the 3-4 inches range. The difference in pattern percentage is the density in the center for the most part. I'm not sure any of that makes a huge difference for hunters, if you're shooting upland game at a max of 40 yards, most under 25, just shoot IC, you won't cripple game that you don't center.

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