dewey wrote:Those are some very impressive patterns at 40 yards. For those of you out there with more experience how do you determine your maximum range?
Number of pellets in 3" circle?
Number of pellets in 10" circle?
Energy and pellets and X yards?
Thanks for posting the results Bryan. I am looking forward to shooting these over Easter weekend.
I determine my max range by the number of hits in a turkeys vitals. The vitals being the brain and vertebrae on a turkey. I have a target that I print up of a life size turkey skull & vertebrae. I tape the skull target to big paper so I can see my whole pattern. You can get the target over at GSN in the shooting section here... http://www.grandslamnetwork.com/turkey-target-download/
I like to see 3 or 4 hits in the vitals as my minimum and back off 5 yards from my intended max range to eliminate range estimation errors. Weather, such as temp and wind can affect patterns. Most test their choke/load combos in nice weather and hunt in whatever. Wind probably has a greater affect on patterns but when you are at the edge of your range than a little bit of a worse pattern can mean a difference.
The 10 inch circle at 40 yards is nice as a standard to compare with other guys as to what they are getting, but that's as far as that goes for me. What you will see at max range, most likely, is a pattern larger than 10 inches. I sort of imagine that skull & vertebrae in different places in the pattern to see where that pattern's effectiveness ends. Then I now have a killing dia of that pattern.
If you want to get scientific, and I do, you can draw a circle around that killing dia (with pencil & string) and see how even the pattern is. Divide that up into 4ths and you can count the evenness of the pattern. If you look at kygobbler's patterns you will see on his LB #5 at 40yds there is a quadrant with only 14 hits, this would bother me. The LB #6 is much more even pattern and I would go with that.
Pellet energy must also be considered, especially with lead. I want the ability to kill a turkey at 40 yards. I need my pattern to be lethal to a min of 45 yards to include my 5 yard cushion. Any 4, 5 or 6 lead pellet shot about 1300 fps will be lethal to 45 yards and in fact I think 50 yards. Beyond that and you need to drop the 6 shot. However if you really want to shoot at 45 and beyond I would suggest HTL.
When I go to test a choke/shell combo I start out at 40 yards (my max range). When I get a combo that I think will work at 40 yard, I increase the range at 5 yard increments until I see where the pattern falls apart. When I have a combo I want to hunt with I like to see what the pattern does at shorter than 40 yard ranges. I just like to see how small the dia of the killing pattern is at short range. While I shoot these shorter ranges I am sighting in my gun/choke/load combo. I also shoot 2 times before each season to make sure everything is still good to go as I have sights on my gun.
THEN...after all that I buy as many of those shells as I can because I figure the manufacturer is gonna muck up the shell with different components or whatever. They just love to do that for some reason.