How often do you shoot?

Guns, ammo, and more! What do you shoot, and why?
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How often do you shoot?

Postby JW » July 5th, 2009, 10:23 am

I may be the odd man out here. When I bought my Benelli. I tried a few chokes and shot sizes to get what I thought was the ideal pattern out of it. I just used the factory beads (no scope yet) and got it patterned pretty darn good. After that, I never shot at a target again. Only pulled the trigger on birds. I guess I should check it when I purchase a new box of shells, but I continue to use the same shot and I have no scope to worry about.
What are y'all doing? Are you checking the pattern every season? Is there anyone out there like me who knows the pattern there shotgun is producing and trusts in that?
Let me hear some thoughts.

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RE: How often do you shoot?

Postby nhtrkybstr » July 5th, 2009, 10:33 am


Good question!

I shoot with a scope, so I take it out and shoot a few rounds out of her before the season starts to make sure that it's on.

You can't kill'em sittin' on the couch!

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mark hay
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RE: How often do you shoot?

Postby mark hay » July 5th, 2009, 11:08 am

In the past I would test pattern every spring before season . I have found what the gun likes and trust it . Also I now go by ALLABOUTSHOOTING's advice and give it a DEEP cleaning . As for how it shot this past season,,,I didn't get to shoot . I did manage to push the safety off once .

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RE: How often do you shoot?

Postby allaboutshooting » July 5th, 2009, 3:37 pm

Hey Jason,

I suspect that you're not the "odd man out" when it comes to most turkey hunters. I receive many inquiries each month about various chokes, shotshells, etc. from readers that visit my site. Most, once they find something they like, do not shoot at a lot of paper. It's only when they aren't satisfied with what they are shooting that they shoot a number of targets.

There is what amounts to a pretty small group of NWTF style still target shooters, who shoot at various sites around the country. A few are proflific with posts and have also posted pictures of targets and discussed their patterns with different chokes and shotshells. Most just shoot in competiton, for the enjoyment and challenge of the shoots, and you don't really hear much from them unless you're at a shoot.

There is also a group of shooters who shoot year round at paper targets, trying to improve their patterns. In the last couple of years,  a small group of shooters have emerged who load their own turkey shells and are constantly experimenting with different types and sizes of shot. It's very interesting to follow their progress in load development. Some of these discoveries may lead to better turkey loads in the years to come.

One concern that I have is that expectations have been set, at times, to unreasonable levels. What is necessary to kill a turkey, bears very little resemblence to some of the targets that I see posted and discussed. All that's really needed is a good even pattern at whatever distance you plan to shoot, plus maybe a little further for insurance, in case you misjudge the distance.

So, I'd say that you are in the majority of turkey hunters. You've found a combo that works and use it to kill turkeys. That's really what it's all about!

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

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RE: How often do you shoot?

Postby wisturkeyhunter » July 5th, 2009, 4:26 pm

I shoot my shotgun with a turkey load and the turkey choke a few times throughout the year when I get the itchin to try it but its really not needed I know how it shoots. I do shoot several hundred if not a thousand shells through the gun each year though cause I hunt everything cept deer and bear with the same 870 and a ton of clay shooting.
Theres young school and theres old school.
I'm still in school.

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RE: How often do you shoot?

Postby NMblackgold » July 5th, 2009, 4:55 pm

Turkeys deserve the respect of a clean kill just as much as any other big game species.  But for some reason, turkey hunters (compared to deer, pronhorn, elk, etc. hunters) have a "out of the closet, good to go" mentaliity with their shotgun.  The same hunter (s), will spend hours, even days, shooting boxes of ammo in preparation for their whitetail or western big game hunt.  99% of the turkey hunters I know fall into this catagory.  The bottom line is turkey hunting, like deer and pronghorn hunting, required "precision shooting" skills.  This is not a dove or pheasant hunt where one pellet in the wing sends them reeling.  I practice a lot with my shotgun, 3 times a week starting in January up until the end of the season.  An autopsy on the Merriam gobbler I shot this year revealed two broken wings and was littered with pellets just under the skin from a "drive by" probably 3 weeks earlier in the season.  It was thin and in ill health, there is no excuse for this in my mind.... 
From what I have read in this forum, it seems most of you would fall into my 1%.....keep it up and good post JW.

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RE: How often do you shoot?

Postby CB on the run » July 6th, 2009, 3:41 am

I shoot a red dot and check it every season. Plus I like to experiment with new chokes/shells when available.


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Cut N Run
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RE: How often do you shoot?

Postby Cut N Run » July 6th, 2009, 7:39 am

I take the turkey guns out to the range every time I take the deer rifles & vice versa. Probably 6 times a year.  I don't shoot as many shotgun rounds in the Fall or Winter, but just enough to make sure they hit where they are supposed to be. I shoot 6 or 7 boxes of shells besides what I hunt with.
I have a couple of old metal real estate sign frames that I replaced the sign with plywood to back the target.  After a while, I get some back lighting on those turkey targets from the plywood getting shot out.  I also practice shooting from my turkey hunting chair and not the bench like I shoot my rifle from.
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RE: How often do you shoot?

Postby Bobbyparks » July 6th, 2009, 7:58 am

Because I don't have a readily available place to shoot and because I maintain a simple set up which includes fiber otpic sights and same choke and shot etc, I don't always get a chance to fire rounds before a hunt.

If I had a scope or red dot type of system I'd shoot it off and on all year as traveling and etc I'd be afraid on bumping it off.
I do check the adjustment screws and if something were to show any movement then I'd be shooting.

If I changed ammo or chokes, I'd shoot.

Because I normally shoot several birds each season that flop, I stay confident the gun is on. If I miss I usually know it's something I 've done wrong.

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RE: How often do you shoot?

Postby hoosierhunter » July 6th, 2009, 8:55 am

I shoot a red dot and have one time missed because it got bumped during travel, so I now keep the firearm in an aluminum case for travel. Once it is set, it is good to go. I check it early every spring with a few rounds, deep clean it, and trust it. Once fired I deep clean it again, cause I've found out , thanks to Clark, that it makes a considerable difference. I go through the same process in the fall.


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