Over the years we, as turkey hunters, have done an excellent job of getting out and patterning our guns at various ranges, normally at a maximum of 40 yards, to make sure we can cleanly and ethically kill a bird with one shot.
We have pretty much adopted the 10" circle to use as an area for comparison of one choke/load to another. Many of us also like to see a good "fringe" pattern of 14", 15" or even 20" around that 10" core pattern. We want to make sure that if we move or the turkey moves, we'll still have enough pellets in the right place to make the kill cleanly.
There are always many discussions about what the number of hits should be in that 10" circle. Many of us have some number that we consider to acceptable and many of us also consider the "quality" of the pattern and not just the "quantity" of the hits.
Over the past few years, I've established a standard for evaluation patterns to count the gaps in the pattern. I like to use a 1 1/2" circle to find the gaps. I move that circle around in the pattern to try to find any place that it will fit without touching holes made by the shot.
Since no pattern is perfect, I expect to see a few of those 1 1/2" circles, maybe even 5 or 6 of them. I do not consider any pattern that has gaps of 2" or more any place in them to be acceptable however, regardless of the number of hits within that circle.
I also only consider patterns shot at real-life turkey hunting temperatures to be helpful to me, since patterns shot in higher temperatures will be much more dense and have higher numbers.
In our part of the world, in both the spring and fall, that usually means that we hunt in temperatures that are in the 40s at most. When I pattern guns in those temperatures, I know how real hunting patterns will look.
With the seemingly ever increasing cost of shotshells, it appears that we should get as much meaningful information from each shell that we shoot as possible.
"If he's out of range, it just means that he has another day and so do you."