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Discussion Starter #1
How many of You have ever patterned your Gun's barrels or it's loads ?.

The reason I ask this is perhaps more for others information concerning shot patterning .

Some years back I got a group of fellow trap and Sporting clay shooters together for a pattern test . I set test paper at 25 yd. & 40 Yd. drew a 108mm center circle with a 30 inch total circle . Within that 30 inch I drew a 90mm Midi lower left quadrant and a mini upper right quadrant .

We used standard #7.5 and #8 AA ,Remington premier , Federal Premium handicap .

Now I'm not going to even attempt to recall every shot or pattern ,as I will tell you it was EDUCATING to say the least .

I do recall holes in patterns some as large as 16" and using standard velocity loads patterned the best in MOST shotguns but Not all , including My own SKB . Which had a consistent 7-10" hole upper right quadrant top barrel until I used a faster 1275-1300 fps and that went away but screwed up the lower barrel pattern .

I remember there were #9 of us and we literally blew through #150 sheets and there was as good a shotgun representation as you could have asked for . Winchesters,101 even a model 21, Beretta's Krieghoff SKB Browning .

IF you haven't patterned YOUR shotgun may I suggest YOU do .
It will inherently show where your pattern is weakest and if it hits center !??

You might just be surprised I know I was and I'd been shooting a number of years before embarking on that eye opening journey :eek:
 

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The only thing I've done is to check POA vs. POI.
Perhaps when I retire and have the time I will get into it more. Right now, I don't have the time to jump into that rabbit hole.
 

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I did a few years back, got a big surprise for sure. Tried reloads, new shells, different mfg. My main gun patterned 8 shot the best, no mater what shell I used. I also found out Winchester Universals sucked on the pattern board.:eek:
 

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I've patterned most of my guns at some point over the years and never had one that gave me surprising results. My skeet guns I always patterned at 25 yards. Mainly checking for POI and density...like most people. Tighter choked I patterned at 40. I just patterned some 00 buck loads I was testing (8 pellet 12 gauge - 1 oz) and at 25 yards got 100% in a 24 in square paper (5 shots). A couple of the crimps were awful too. Here is a photo of my worst and best. Results on the pattern board did not seem to matter, but I did not use separate papers for each shell.

Edited: I did have a 20 gauge tube set that I never shot well, but my Browning Citori Featherlight I shot pretty crappy too. I don't know if I ever patterned them. I think I had a mental problem with 20 gauge in competition.
 

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I've patterned only 2 of my shotguns, a 20 Gauge and a .410 bore. Mostly it was for POI, though.

Every time I think about patterning I think about something I heard the California State Trapshooting Champion say when asked if he'd patterned his new Ljutic shotgun.

He said "I just did. I shot 200 Handicap birds."
 

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I used to count holes in paper; now I check the pattern on a grease-laden steel plate at the club; it still only gives you an approximation as a shotgun pattern is not 2 dimensional but a 3 dimensional inverted parabolic cone and not every pellet hits the steel (or the target) at the same time
 

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I’ve patterned several guns but not so much the pattern but the point of impact. That is an eye opener for sure. Chokes are not necessarily what they are supposed to be.
 

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You will most likely consider me a heretic, but I’ve given up on pattern testing. My problem is the consistently inconsistent patterns that are produced from shell to shell. It gives one a nice idea of what might happen in the next shell, but it might not as well. I’ve shifted to be more concerned about where the gun is putting the shot. I want the gun to shoot where I look. I don’t shoot for a mechanical point of impact, but rather where the shot impacts on mounting the gun keeping the target in focus. I’ve learned that shot on the target, no matter how poorly dispersed, bring it down or breaks it.
 

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You will most likely consider me a heretic, but I've given up on pattern testing. My problem is the consistently inconsistent patterns that are produced from shell to shell. It gives one a nice idea of what might happen in the next shell, but it might not as well. I've shifted to be more concerned about where the gun is putting the shot. I want the gun to shoot where I look. I don't shoot for a mechanical point of impact, but rather where the shot impacts on mounting the gun keeping the target in focus. I've learned that shot on the target, no matter how poorly dispersed, bring it down or breaks it.
Actually I tend to agree with you. The load makes a difference as well as the choke. In my experience buffered, copper plated, (pricey), loads hold pattern better than Wal-mart budget loads. But, As long as the gun fits me and Hitting where it should, I'm happy. If you are on the bird you'll get him. Ideally, I'd like to have the correct choke but So many times I've had a modified or I/ C gun and a pheasant flushes 50 yds out. Takes me a good 5-10 yards to get on him and he still drops.
 

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I used to count holes in paper; now I check the pattern on a grease-laden steel plate at the club; it still only gives you an approximation as a shotgun pattern is not 2 dimensional but a 3 dimensional inverted parabolic cone and not every pellet hits the steel (or the target) at the same time
Field and Stream did some testing back in 2013 and using slo-mo cameras and timing devices they showed that a shot string could be anywhere from 6-15 feet long. There is a YouTube film out there showing one string that was timed at .01+ seconds between the first shot hitting a target and the last shot hitting it.
 

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I know this will not show up very big...but this is 4 shells of 00 buck shot at a 24" square target. All pellets hit at 25 yards. Winchester 1200 with a fixed Modified choke.

Any would kill a pig at that distance which is why they were loaded. 8 pellets gave me some inconsistent crimps, so I am going to change to 7 which will take it down to 7/8 ounce. I also had a little bit of a bulge or two with the 8 pellet loads so that will also be a plus. I am using my regular wads and keeping these loads to ~1200 FPS which is much less than factory buckshot loads. This is my first foray into loading these so flying a little bit by the seat of my pants. Going to a lighter payload, I might have to adjust my powder charge...but only up by a little.
 

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I keep a 22 Mag. with 40 gr. hollow points in the garage which I have dispatched a couple of medium sized pigs at about 60-75 yds. (one shot to the eye does the trick). I usually take the 12 gauge down to the one of my goat pens with me when I am working in the barn which is why I am loading these 00 buck loads. My BIL helped himself to all of my factory 00 loads and quite a few of my #4 buck loads. After killing a few, they tend not to hang around here much anymore. They are pretty smart and stay away if they feel threatened. I have another goat pen that has a lot of wild onion and garlic that they can't seem to stay away from in the spring...so I want to stay ready.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
As many of you have realized POA isn't necessarily POI . Granted shotgun patterning isn't like grouping 600 meter .223 in a cloverleaf ,it's more complicated as using a shotgun ISN'T stationary but rather should be a fluid smooth swinging , trailing following passing pulling the trigger on the target . An thankfully we have multiple projectiles in which to hit our target .
Different shells generally produce different results , however your gun's pattern with respect to POA & POI should be fairly consistent and " IF it's Not " investigate WHY it's not .
Depending upon which gun and it's chokes , that one is using and for what purpose is also important . I personally have never found and ALL IN ONE GUN . Some are better than others some cost more but aren't necessarily better ,other than perhaps looking .
Bottom line there is NO simple answer and IF one really wants too know patterning is PARAMOUNT .

I went back and checked some of My data on older loads , that I had great success with while shooting competitively ( in an unlimited open competition ) NO sanction competition . I did change the powder charge and eventually the wad I had originally chosen . Stock shells are just that ,sure you can change brands but strict competition doesn't allow reloads . So and here I'm " Assuming " , most if not all of us reload . So KNOWING what we're reloading is helpful and just because the book manual says this ,doesn't mean it's the best or works in every case .

I'm the kind of person who disassembles measures checks and reassembles ,sort of a reverse engineering type . An I don't see that changing not at My age :D
 

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I am 79 and do not do metric. Original post here gives one circle in metric and another in inches. Why do that ? I am not going to go through the effort of looking up the equivalent in inches, so just pass by the entire. I take the time to write as I would guess I am not the only one. We are in America, stick to what is commonly used if you want to communicate and be understood by the majority of us on this site. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I am 79 and do not do metric. Original post here gives one circle in metric and another in inches. Why do that ? I am not going to go through the effort of looking up the equivalent in inches, so just pass by the entire. I take the time to write as I would guess I am not the only one. We are in America, stick to what is commonly used if you want to communicate and be understood by the majority of us on this site. Thank you.
Mr. Valdina : I DON'T manufacture clay birds nor did I set their standard sizes .
As the clay birds You and everyone else shoots are International and are Metric like it or not the Europeans set the standards .
I'm happy to inform You however , that Doves Quail Ducks Pheasants Geese and all other upland game birds are NOT metric , so HIT the Mark :D
 
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