Limited Patterning

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RE: Limited Patterning

Postby Big10Inch » May 2nd, 2011, 5:12 am

Hi Ky and Air leak. I agree with your comments completely, I am just trying to get the best bang for the buck. If you review my previous post in this thread, you will see the yardage of my kills (14-26 yards) and that proves your point.

I must admit that I have gotten a little caught up in the shooting paper thing and I could see myself doing more of it in the off-season. I am not trying to create a 60 yard gun, just a relaible 40 yard performer and I find the dynamics of shooting interesting (hunter geek I guess).

That being said, I just got back from my opening week of our hunt which was highlighted by 30 mph winds, rain and snow. The only tom I saw was about 300 yards out and I don't know of any gun/tube combo that would have helped there (howitzer maybe?)

Thanks for the input.


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RE: Limited Patterning

Postby MrCritterKiller » May 2nd, 2011, 4:10 pm

A couple of thoughts spring to mind:

1. It's not just pellet count, but pellet patterning. Is the distribution good, or are there turkey head/spine-sized gaps in the pattern?

2. Pattern so we know the point of impact.

Through my learn-to-hunt work, I see HORRIBLE patterns at 30 yards that are more likely to cause cripples because they're high/low, left/right or just so porous as to be ineffective.

3. Beginners and even experienced turkey hunters misjudge distance; big toms look closer than they are. Having a few extra yards of pattern provides a measure of insurance.

4. I've killed toms at 11 feet. I've also killed 10 toms between 40 and 50 yards (and had zero cripples) because I pattern like crazy.

Try runnings some #7 Federal Heavyweight Mag Shok through your SSX choke. Plenty of energy at 40 yards, and my 20 gauge puts 164 pellets in a 12" circle at 38 yards. See video:

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RE: Limited Patterning

Postby Big10Inch » May 4th, 2011, 3:45 pm

Hi MrCritter:

I just got back from tweaking the sights on my Auto5 and I couldn't help myself; I shot a few more with the 870. I am not using the Quaker Boy targets so I cannot give you a count on the vitals, but the patterns with the Auto 5 are uniform, consistent with no holes. All of the technical specs for both of my guns are at the top of this thread.

Auto 5 Results:
Choke Tube: Gobble Stopper Range: 40 yards
Hits: 139, 142 and 110
Hevi 13 #6s, 2 3/4"

Model 870™ Express® Shurshot™ Synthetic Turkey Results:
Choke Tube: Indian Creek 0.665 Stainless Steel
Range: 40 yards
Hits: 109 and 82
Hevi 13 #6s, 3" Finally found some!

Choke Tube: SSX
Range: 40 yards
Hits: 136 and 144
Hevi 13 #6s, 3"

The SSX patterns were consistent with no holes (thanks Clark). The Indian Creek apparently does not perform well with my 870.

Re. 2. I moved the 10" circle to the most dense part of the pattern. Is that what you mean by POI?
Also, we can't use 7s in Ontario unfortunately. Now I hope that I get to shoot at something with feathers on it on Saturday!

Thanks for your input.

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RE: Limited Patterning

Postby DeanoZ » May 5th, 2011, 3:18 am

Interesting results Big 10.  One thing I wanted to mention earlier is your barrel length may have a little to do with your numbers and the denseness of your pattern.  I think Clark had mentioned it before in another article but the optimal barrel length is somewhere between 23"-26".  Now I'm not telling you to go out and get another barrel, because with that SSX those birds are dead out to 40 yards.  Just wanted to provide that perspective.  My 870 seems to like the .665 Indian Creek and the Win XX Mag 3" 2oz #6 and the Hevi-13 too...difference between my setup and yours is I have a 28" barrel on mine.  I do plan to try the SSX post season and see if I can get my numbers higher.  My personal take is a bit different from the others here, I don't see this as getting carried away, but more about understanding the limitations and effectiveness of your setup.  If you understand how it performs and under what conditions you have optimal performance you'll have more confidence in your equipment and in how and when you engage your target. My 2 cents FWIW.

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RE: Limited Patterning

Postby retranger » May 5th, 2011, 4:06 am

I am not a gun expert but before I purchased my Mossberg 935 I did some research with the different gun manufactures and the info I got from all of them is that barrel length didn't have anything to do with the pattern. The pattern is determined by the choke you use. I have a 22" barrel and good pattern to 40 yards. ?????
What works for me may not work for you and what works today may not work tomorrow
Doug <- <- ~<- <- <- ~ <-

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RE: Limited Patterning

Postby Big10Inch » May 5th, 2011, 7:04 am

Deanoz, I think that we are on the same page. I am not an expert in the science of shooting and what I have learned has been through years of duck hunting experience and recently, forums like these. I never owned a short barrelled shot gun before, but I was aware before I bought the 870, there may be limitations. The 870 is my girlfriends and she likes the fact that it is compact, so some range/density may have been sacraficed for her comfort but when she's happy, then I'm happy. (A Thermacell helps too!)
Through patterning my guns this year, I have learned that:
-my girlfriend's 870 does not like the Indian Creek choke tube,
-both guns prefer the Hevi 13 6s,
-both guns perform well out to 40 yards (dense and uniform patterns),
-respectfully, I must disagree with you retranger, but based on my recent shooting experience, my A5 with a 28" barrel shooting 2 3/4 " shells performs the same as the 870 with a 20" barrel using 3" shells and
-I enjoy everything about turkey hunting, including patterning the guns.
Now if I can only get a tom to within 40 yards...

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RE: Limited Patterning

Postby Cut N Run » May 6th, 2011, 10:13 am

Big10Inch, It sounds like you have things figured out and just need some birds to shoot at. Clark helped steer me to a more efficient & better shooting shotgun too.

I found that the same load/ choke combination performed best out of my gun as well and it is a different make from yours. I hope you get a good gobbler in easy range and get to put that thick pattern to some real field use. Good luck.

Luck Counts, good or bad


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