Patterning your shotgun

Guns, ammo, and more! What do you shoot, and why?
donutdavid
 
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Joined: April 8th, 2008, 6:36 am

Patterning your shotgun

Postby donutdavid » April 8th, 2008, 6:40 am

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

Longhunter7
 
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Joined: April 8th, 2008, 1:24 pm

RE: Patterning your shotgun

Postby Longhunter7 » April 8th, 2008, 1:39 pm

Donutdavid,

There are many factors that can have an influence on the pattern your shotgun shoots. Lead vs. "Heavier then lead shot", choke constriction, 3 inch vs. 3 1/2, the manufacturer of shotshells you choose, etc.

Get out there and try different loads and chokes to find out what your gun likes! It isn't rocket science but it pays to spend the time on the range, before the hunt. [8|]
Longhunter7

Northern Illinois

NWTF Member

doublegobble
 
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Joined: April 9th, 2008, 2:24 am

RE: Patterning your shotgun

Postby doublegobble » April 9th, 2008, 2:45 am

I somewhat agree with donut. I shoot an 870 with a rem turkey choke tube, Its the only tube I've ever bought. I've patterened it with 5 shots about 12 yrs ago and never did again. Most of the birds I've shot were between 30 and 40 yrds. away. Maybe I just got lucky and picked the right combo for my gun, although I've used different shot and shells about every year.

pap
 
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Joined: April 8th, 2008, 11:19 am

RE: Patterning your shotgun

Postby pap » April 11th, 2008, 10:34 am

I shoot a mossberg 500 with a red dot sight. I pattern it every spring it's a confidence builder as much as any thing. altho I have had shells that shoot well one year and not so well the next.

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allaboutshooting
 
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Location: Southern Illinois, U.S.A.

RE: Patterning your shotgun

Postby allaboutshooting » April 12th, 2008, 7:59 pm

I agree that patterning has become "the" sport for some shooters. They spend much more time shooting at paper than at turkeys and that's okay if that's what they enjoy. It's kind of like shooting clay birds or steel targets. Just one more excuse to get out and shoot.

It has become important however, even for folks who only want to shoot turkeys to vist the range occasionally. Any time you buy a new box of shotshells, it's advisable to pattern at least a couple. Manufacturers change their "recipe" pretty often these days and that can really change your POI and/or the density of your pattern.

My only concern with all the "hole punching" is that some folks may have unreasonable expectations of how their gun should shoot and be disappointed if it doesn't shoot as well as the guns they read about.
A good even pattern is really all that's necessary to kill a turkey, not 200 pellets in 10" at 40 yards.

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

tnstrutseeker
 
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Joined: April 13th, 2008, 10:12 am

RE: Patterning your shotgun

Postby tnstrutseeker » April 13th, 2008, 10:22 am

I agree that initial patterning is important.  It took three chokes and four types of shells for me to find what I was looking for.  But, I expect a lot more than some folks do.  Each combination would have been considered deadly out to about 35-40 yards, but just as in reloading --- "I bet I can do this and get it tighter." 

The patterning crowd uses it pretty much as a sales tactic/bragging rights/barbershop gossip kind of thing.  "Well, my gun will...." ... "you think that is good, mine wil..."  After initial patterning, a couple of shots each year just to make sure nothing got knocked out of what over the summer/winter is not a bad idea, but to spend 40 bucks a year on ammo just to punch paper with pellets is not necessary. 

If it is your thing, I totally support you in it, it's just not for me.

RB

Sooner44
 
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Joined: April 14th, 2008, 4:54 pm

RE: Patterning your shotgun

Postby Sooner44 » April 14th, 2008, 5:06 pm

I agree that too much discussion around the perfect - ultimate pattern exist on all these boards. When I was a kid, we just grabbed the guns, loaded them up and went hunting, we did fine.

I patterned my new SG once and decided on a load that works fine to 40 yards. I don't plan on patterning it again. Before I go out in the woods, I'll set a coke can on a fence post at 40 yards, shoot, if I knock it off, all is well in my mind.

outdoorsmen
 
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Joined: April 15th, 2008, 1:16 pm

RE: Patterning your shotgun

Postby outdoorsmen » April 15th, 2008, 1:29 pm

different strokes for different folks.  some people may be happy if their deer gun keeps the bullets in a paper plate size group, me, i'm not happy unless i'm cutting holes in my targets.  therefore i push what i can from my guns.  i like to do the best i can, there is no "good enough" for me.  just a personality trait for me, i'm never sastisfied. so i like to get tight patterns with my turkey gun.  yes it has burned me a few times at 15yds but i also know that i can switch chokes and open it up and still know how it preforms based on all my previous testing.
any this is all done way ahead of time, not the day before opener.

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Cut N Run
 
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Location: central North Carolina

RE: Patterning your shotgun

Postby Cut N Run » April 15th, 2008, 2:53 pm

No more than a couple boxes of shells costs it is worth it to find out exactly what your gun shoots best for the situation you are going to hunt.  I hunt tight cover and get close shots, so I don't need something that is going to hold a tight pattern a long ways out...until this year.  Some of the property was selective cut for timber and now we have open spaces that you can see hundreds of yards across. I will be changing some of my tactics and will carry a spare choke at all times according to where I hunt. I will also know what each one will do from time spent at the range.
 
Jim
 
 
Luck Counts, good or bad

Sooner44
 
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RE: Patterning your shotgun

Postby Sooner44 » April 15th, 2008, 4:19 pm

ORIGINAL: outdoorsmen

different strokes for different folks.  some people may be happy if their deer gun keeps the bullets in a paper plate size group, me, i'm not happy unless i'm cutting holes in my targets.  therefore i push what i can from my guns.  i like to do the best i can, there is no "good enough" for me.  just a personality trait for me, i'm never sastisfied. so i like to get tight patterns with my turkey gun.  yes it has burned me a few times at 15yds but i also know that i can switch chokes and open it up and still know how it preforms based on all my previous testing.
any this is all done way ahead of time, not the day before opener.

 
Now, my bolt action deer rifles are a different breed all together. There is only one projectile in a rifle and I also feel the need to sight in my large game rifles, along with all center fire rifles. I totally agree with you on this.
If I'm not shooting clover leafs at 150 yards, I'm not happy.
 
A scatter gun on the other hand can have up to 450 projectiles in the load. While patterning SG's in the past, I found very little POI change when shooting the same load, same choke with a clean bore. Therefore, I feel that once I find the choke and load that gives me what I want from 15 - 40 yards, I really don't need to keep patterning the same set-up over & over. All I need to do is verify my POA / POI has not changed.
Now, If I was one of those that changed chokes and loads often, then I can see more testing and patterning for all those different combinations, but for me, a nice pattern from 15 to 40/45 is obtained and I'll stick with that same load and choke. (maybe [;)])
 
 

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