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Patterning a Shotgun
Small Game hunting related discussion
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slimjim
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 7:25 pm    Post subject: Patterning a Shotgun Reply with quote

After reading a shooting article about shotgun chokes, I decided to pattern my 20 and 12 gauge shotguns. I got a roll of 36" wide paper from HomeDepot and made a frame out of two 2by4s and a 1/2 plywood header to hold the paper. Clip the paper top and bottom, shoot, cut at the bottom, then pull the roll-up, clip, and shoot again.

Boy, did a learn a lot. The full and modified chokes in my 20g Mossberg pump had 75% of the shot below center. IC was nicely centered but to spread-out with holes to shoot a dove outside of 20 yards. My newly aquired 12g Mossberg semi-auto patterned much better. Modified worked nicely with inexpensive Estate 7 1/2s and 8s. With full-choke, the 8s were all above center but the 7 1/2 patterned was nice and centered. The IC patterns were centered but with many holes - not something I would want to hunt with. Retested with Winchester AA 8s and the IC was well distributed and spread across 36" at 25 yards. The Win AAs have higher quality shot and it showed.


Anyone else done this?

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Elvis
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 8:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Patterning a Shotgun Reply with quote

now my good man..try same thing at 25yards and you maybe surprised...I PERSONALLY BELIEVE you need to pattern at the range where MAJORITY of your shots should be expected to be taken..a great 40 yard pattern means diddly squat if you shoot at 20 and vise versa.
try putting a higher bead on mossy as that will drop POA/ lift POI....a small brass screw in our std bayonet light fittings and electrical joiners is the same thread/size as any shottie Ive tried it on..cheap cheerfull and you decide what height you need.

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Suzanne
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 8:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Patterning a Shotgun Reply with quote

See that's why I never could shoot a shotgun, I never patterned it. I'll have to try that cause I have no idea where it goes. Wish there was some dove hunting close by....



Suz

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Elvis
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 8:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Patterning a Shotgun Reply with quote

Bakails are classic for shooting way high..you got to get face right down on the comb for a aimed shot like at sitting bunny or you will go over the top of its ears.puddles of water or piece of wood on lake give some idea but you cant beat a big bit of paper or cardboard.

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Patterning a Shotgun Reply with quote

Elvis, I should have been clearer. I did pattern at 25 yards which seemed to be the majority of the dove shots I took. at that range, the full 36" width of paper was needed for IC patterns.

I'd have to lower the front bead or maybe place a smaller one on it to raise the pattern. I may look into your suggestion a bit more. But I think for now I'll but the 16" barrel on it and use it for home defense while the 12g becomes my hunting shotgun - its so smooth.

Oh, I patterned some foster slugs also. The first ones I tried were Win and they were about 8 inches high at 10:30 - not good for my 3 gun. The Remington standard and reduce recoil were touching each other about 2 inches high. Not bad for just a large shotgun front bead. I need medium choke for pattern so will likely buy a modified choke that extends outside the barrel so I don't flare the end of it shooting slugs through it.

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Elvis
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Patterning a Shotgun Reply with quote

hmm my bad Embarassed Embarassed Embarassed right you are lower bead means higher pattern...so used to trying to drop a pattern. you could add pad of closecell foam bedroll to buttstock to raise your aim???
see if you can find a heavier load of shot and try it for pattern. Ive taken pigeons with everything up to steel #2s
lead #5 or #6 make it really easy so a .12ga 35grm load of steel #4s should be just as good.

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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:41 am    Post subject: Re: Patterning a Shotgun Reply with quote

The way I shoot a shotgun the pattern makes little difference ... Laughing

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Aloysius
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 2:29 am    Post subject: Re: Patterning a Shotgun Reply with quote

SJ, that's the only way you could learn something about your shotgun. And let me make it more difficult: the smaller the shot-size, the better it listens to the choke. The lower the velocity the tighter the pattern (and velocity increases with barrellength!). And there is the form of the wad and the amount of shot. The less shot can touch the walls of your barrel, the less will be disformed (dented etc.) so the more potential to do a long distance shot. And then you could add a filler (like baking powder) to fill up the holes between the shot, so it will retain it's roundness better (don't add baking powder without decreasing the load!).
So you have to do all these tests with all your barrels and all your shotshells and all your chokes at the different distances you think to use them...
welcome in the nasty world of smoothbores, where 1 + 1 could be a lot more or a lot less than 2 Smile

Did I mention that all your research with lead shot will be completely obsolete the moment you start using steel shot?
when the going gets tough...
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gelandangan
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:44 am    Post subject: Re: Patterning a Shotgun Reply with quote

Ok I got a lot to do yet.. Scratch
I own a shotgun but never actually hunt with it Embarassed

so.. um, do you pattern all different loads?
eg, 00, Sg, BB etc?
or just one would do?

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Aloysius
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:10 am    Post subject: Re: Patterning a Shotgun Reply with quote

Geland, never reloaded them with blackpowder? It would fit in your whisperer things...
And reloading with BP can even be done without equipment: you remove the spend primer with a nail, push a new primer in place, add the same volume BP as shot and in between you put an overpowderchart and 2 or 3 pieces of toiletpaper (fresh, I never tried used Smile ) and you seal it with a chart or crimp it. (the Lee-load-all is cheap and makes everything a lot faster and easier)

And you can test all kinds of wads afterwards: punched newspaper, plastic wads you recover from the clay-birth range, ...
just 1 remark: don't shoot when you're surrounded with all kinds of dry stuff that could start a fire as the toiletpaper is rather tricky in such environment...
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slimjim
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:46 am    Post subject: Re: Patterning a Shotgun Reply with quote

Elvis wrote:
Ive taken pigeons with everything up to steel #2s

I think a #2 would wipe out the breast of the Morning Doves we hunt.

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:51 am    Post subject: Re: Patterning a Shotgun Reply with quote

gelandangan wrote:
so.. um, do you pattern all different loads?
or just one would do?

you have to do all different loads because the react differently as I found out.

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:55 am    Post subject: Re: Patterning a Shotgun Reply with quote

Aloysius wrote:
welcome in the nasty world of smoothbores, where 1 + 1 could be a lot more or a lot less than 2

Thanks for the tips, Aloys

Aloysius wrote:
The lower the velocity the tighter the pattern (and velocity increases with barrellength!).

When I chrony'd slugs in my 16" and 24" barrels, the velocity difference was only 40 fps. In a rifle, it might be 5x that. I thought the longer barrel on a shotgun provided a better sight radius and swing.

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Tremblay
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:59 am    Post subject: Re: Patterning a Shotgun Reply with quote

Pumpkinslinger wrote:
The way I shoot a shotgun the pattern makes little difference ... Laughing

I'm with you , some time it works and some times don't !

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