Patterning your shotgun

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allaboutshooting
 
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RE: Patterning your shotgun

Postby allaboutshooting » April 17th, 2008, 6:14 pm

I'd really like to compliment everyone who responded to this post. There were several different points of view, all expressed very well, with respect shown to all. That's what makes this such a great place to visit. We can discuss an issue, differ at times but still remember what this sport is all about.

Thanks,
Clark
"If he's out of range, it just means that he has another day and so do you."

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DeanoZ
 
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RE: Patterning your shotgun

Postby DeanoZ » February 20th, 2011, 4:00 am

Recycled this post because I found the comments very interesting.  Admittedly I'm one of those guys who will never be satisfied with "Just good enough" when it comes to just about anything.  Patterning a shotgun is no exception and I like to know that if I made an investment in good equipment, that it is performing optimally and as advertised.  I have no problem dropping a few $$$ on some ammo and chokes if it helps build confidence in my equipment.  I'm also of the opinion, as Clark mentioned, that mfg's will change their formulas and equipment is prone to bumps and failures over time.  So its good to get out there and throw a few shells down range just to verify POI and ensure your still getting the best pattern out of your equipment.

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Hawgnman
 
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RE: Patterning your shotgun

Postby Hawgnman » February 20th, 2011, 4:54 pm

Using a tighter choke does not mean a tighter pattern especially if you change for lead to heavier than lead shot.

Changing to a different shell manufacturer will change the pattern slightly in most cases, but more than desired in some.

Patterning each year is not necessary if you aren't changing anything. I still like the confidence I get from firing 2 or 3 shells pre-dseason.


My nephew is totally different. He got a new shotgun for Christmas. I tried several times to get him to pattern the gun. He bought a new choke and ammo. We went turkey hunting opening day. His first shot killed his first turkey, a jake.
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mmyarger
 
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RE: Patterning your shotgun

Postby mmyarger » March 6th, 2011, 7:09 pm

I've felt the same way as donutdavid before. However, this year I am taking out a single shot twelve gauge. So I've decided to try and pay a little closer attention to my pattern. Not sure where to start. I was thinking about looking at some Nitros. Heard alot of good about them. Any thoughts?

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shaman
 
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RE: Patterning your shotgun

Postby shaman » March 7th, 2011, 12:37 am

There have been a lot of good ideas thrown up here.  

[ul][*]You don't HAVE to go out every year with three new chokes, and three boxes each of three $20+ a box ammo to see which is best.  [/ul][ul][*]The tightest choke doesn't guarantee the best bird, or any bird.[/ul]
Let me introduce a third:  most of the hoopla over choking and tight patterns may be completely unnecessary, at least for some.  I'm not going to hijack this thread trying to explain, in detail but basically it comes down to:

a)  I have missed more birds because I had too tight of a choke, and the birds were too close than I have had it the other way (choke to open and the birds to far)
b)  Most of the birds I've shot (not all, but most) have been taken within range that I could have done easily with a 2 3/4" full choke trap gun.
c) Most guys who go to all this trouble to pattern their guns to extreme ranges still only get birds at normal ranges.  In one thread on a Kentucky forum a bunch of guys who were talking about the benefits of Nitro loads ($5+ a round) were still only shooting gobs inside 40 yards.

To add to the discussion this year, Pinetag threw up some numbers the other day that he got from his state wildlife biologist in Virginia:


from Food for thought
The mean kill shot was 29yds and the avg. miss was 37yds.


That kind of goes with what I was saying.

Just for instance, I found that 80% of my shots were inside 14 yards.  Now, I'm not saying everyone dump their  turkey rig and go out and replace it with a 20 GA.  No.  What I'm saying is:

1)  Extreme turkey guns are for extreme hunting situations.  Most people probably don't need them
2)  If your choke is rigged for an extreme distance, it is not going to perform as well at close range.
3)  Look at your terrain, your hunting habits, etc. before you go to the extreme.  In my case, unless I'm hunting a field edge, I can only see 20-30 yards-- let alone shoot it.
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SpurHuntinHillbilly
 
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RE: Patterning your shotgun

Postby SpurHuntinHillbilly » March 7th, 2011, 1:26 am

I agree. Taking a few shots before opening day ensures that your gun hasn't been bumped (especially if you have a red dot or scope) and it mentally affirms that sight picture that you are used to. It also gets me pumped because I know that the season is right around the corner! For me I have been shooting/turkey hunting the same gun (Mossberg's) for over 25 years. And I know, you're right. What is the big deal? I remember shooting my first bird with my Winchester Ranger 12Ga and all that gun has is a factory full choke and I used to run those old Remington 4X6's thru it. I chalk the whole thing up to being a guy. We are always wanting to have the best of everything. For example (New Truck) well it has to have the 33" tires, after market exhaust and all the goodies! I suspect the same thing for our turkey guns. All of my birds I have shot have been taken at 40 and under. Most guns you buy today with the intention of turkey hunting come with a pretty sweet X-Full choke. My 835 tactical came with the X-Factor X-Full and I can knock down birds all day with it. But what did I do? I went out and put a XXX Full Comp-N-Choke on it! For my gun it delivers a devastating pattern at 40-50 yards. Do I need it, no. Is it cool to know and have the capability to ruin Tom's day at that distance, Heck yeah! Once again, chalking it up to just being a guy.

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allaboutshooting
 
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RE: Patterning your shotgun

Postby allaboutshooting » March 7th, 2011, 3:23 am

I'd encourage anyone and in fact everyone to take a few minutes and take a look at the equipment they intend to use for the turkey season. It's always a good idea to check our guns, give the bore a good "deep cleaning" http://www.allaboutshooting.com/article_info.php?articles_id=282 and go to the range with our favorite shotshell, choke and some "big paper" at least 3 feet by 3 feet and put a shot or two down range.

As has been said, it builds our confidence just to see where and how that gun prints and it helps us remember exactly where we need to aim to make that clean kill.

I like to shoot at 20 yards just to see what kind of pattern I have and then at 40 yards to see what happens to that pattern. A properly designed choke won't throw a baseball sized pattern at 20 and will still allow you to cleanly kill a bird at 40. http://www.allaboutshooting.com/article_info.php?articles_id=367

All my best to all of you in the upcoming season.

Thanks,
Clark
"If he's out of range, it just means that he has another day and so do you."

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DeanoZ
 
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RE: Patterning your shotgun

Postby DeanoZ » March 7th, 2011, 4:16 pm

I like to shoot at 20 yards just to see what kind of pattern I have and then at 40 yards to see what happens to that pattern. A properly designed choke won't throw a baseball sized pattern at 20 and will still allow you to cleanly kill a bird at 40.


Agreed...and I did just that and quickly realized those HTL and Extended rg shells pattern great at 40 plus, but at 20 yrds I was getting softball sized patterns...almost too tight.  And the tried and true lead shells had the best combination of density at 20-40 yrds.  I'm going to experiment some more with a few more shell/choke combos, but that is the trend I'm seeing.

jarheadturkeyhunter
 
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RE: Patterning your shotgun

Postby jarheadturkeyhunter » March 7th, 2011, 5:43 pm

ORIGINAL: donutdavid

I find the whole argument of patterning your shotgun difficult to believe. It's an industry within the turkey hunting industry.
The more choke, the more pellets within the target. What's the big deal of shooting over and over with different loads and different chokes until you get it just right? Get what right?
This is not rocket science.
Anybody have a different opinion?
Donut




you are correct sir its not rocket science but i feel we as resposnible hunters have to have a trukey gun choke load combo that you know performs well and what range it performs well enough to cleanly and quickly dispatch a truly majestic bird theres no worse feeling in the world than losing a game animal to your own poor performance and lack of preperation at least to me theres not me anyways but i also hunt public land bird and they tend to hang up its out of range for my hunting partner hey uses 2 3/4 shells factory full chokes but his set up is dead on for 30-35 yards but that not for me i dont have a lot of time to hunt so if i get a shot i want to be able to make it if my gun doesnt pattern well at 45-50 theres no way its going in the woods with me but im the same way with my deer rifle well almost any weapon i own and heck ill take any excuse i can get to go to farm and shoot it beats watching tv at the house and having almost anything hunting realted to do when seasons are closed are what keeps me sane but to each his own good luck and good hunting this spring BTW kicks chokes make an average turkey gun into an outstanding long range performer but follow there guide for shot size and restriction save time and money learned the hard myself good luck and good huntingnthhis spring gobble gobble
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CB on the run
 
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RE: Patterning your shotgun

Postby CB on the run » March 8th, 2011, 2:25 am

ORIGINAL: donutdavid

I find the whole argument of patterning your shotgun difficult to believe. It's an industry within the turkey hunting industry.
The more choke, the more pellets within the target. What's the big deal of shooting over and over with different loads and different chokes until you get it just right? Get what right?
This is not rocket science.
Anybody have a different opinion?
Donut

  Would you take your bore sighted rifle to the deer woods without shooting it?  It might not be rocket science but many avid turkey hunters want to know what the rig(gun/choke/shell) will or won't do at 40.  I has alittle to do with ethics.  Every year I hear stories on how someone had a bird coming in only to sqeeze the trigger and roll the bird.  When I ask how their gun patterns, they usually shrug their shoulders.  We had a guy(bragged the night before about who he hunted with-hunting celeb) in camp several years ago.  Next morning he loading his gun with steel T's.  Not only illegal where we were but no clue how the patterned.  He said "turkey are about the size of a goose, aren't they?"  Anyone burning ammo at the range, becoming more famaliar with their guns and supporting our sport that many would like to take away is OKAY in my book.
 
CB

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