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Calling Neil Winston

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by 4th. down, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. 4th. down

    4th. down Active Member

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    Neil, in your research, have you ever tested or compared various powders pertaining to their patterning effect with one another?

    The reason I ask is first, I'm curious if you have, and second, a renowned sports writer/commentator and shotgun enthusiast says it doesn't make any difference. I don't remember if Andrew Jones addressed this or not - would you comment please?
     
  2. JACK

    JACK Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

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    4th. Neil shoots on weekends.
     
  3. R.Kipling

    R.Kipling Well-Known Member

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    I am certainly no Winston, but in my misspent early shotgun days I did a lot of testing and patterning. I even spent the big bucks on Ohler testing equipment. After years of exhaustive 'research', I came away with very few superlatives.

    What I did notice is that all my guns and barrels had a mind of their own. They would pattern differently, and react to different powders, wads and chokes to some obviously different result. Not enough to make a difference in the real world, but to the cosmically convinced, or anal retentive enough to formulate a preference. I also went to the expense of Cryo'ing some barrels and chokes.

    I settled on Green Dot for my own tighter-pattern delusions. I insist on magnum shot when the chips are down, and realized that speed kills, on both ends. But, it doesn't make a worthwhile difference in patterns (at normal shell speeds).

    After my eyes recovered from counting pellet holes, I realized that there is no substituent for tight chokes and good focused practice. There are just too many variables to make general component conclusions. Kind of like trying to write your name with raindrops.

    As they say, your results may vary. If you find that a powder/wad/choke works exponentially better for you, be happy that you have. Odds are good that it won't become a worldwide shotgun panacea.

    IMHO,
    Kip
     
  4. 4th. down

    4th. down Active Member

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    "there is no substituent for tight chokes and good focused practice."

    Kip, kinda my experiences and also settled on Green Dot.
     
  5. Bob Schultz

    Bob Schultz Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

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    I too was once a patterning addict. All sorts of powder/wad/velocity combinations. After intensive psychotherapy, I settled on the ubiquitous Green Dot - magnum shot loads at 1240 fps for caps and Solo 1000 - magnum shot loads at 1180fps for singles and doubles.

    These closely resemble the factory shells I shoot and both pattern well in my guns. I have recently been playing with 1oz. 7 1/2 loads for doubles, both shots. 1280fps! Won 3 trophies at our state shoot with them.

    Patterns still mystify me...but the shrink says the nightmares of counting endless holes in white paper will subside eventually...

    Bob Schultz
     
  6. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    It makes sense to focus on factors that matter a lot more than powder, like seeing the targets properly, being smooth, and and pointing the gun properly. Just pick a proven powder that's available and invest your time and thought on things that pay higher dividends.

    -Gary
     
  7. johnpe

    johnpe Member

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    Back in the mid-1970's I did a pattern test with five of my full choke trap barrels and, according to the published data of the time, as close to the same loads as possible except for the powder. Yes, as stated above, each barrel kind of did their own thing, but each increased in pattern density with the slower burning propellants. I used Red Dot, Green Dot, and Unique. The same batch of once fired hulls (RXP), same shot at 1 1/8 ounce, same primer, and same wad. On average for the five barrels, Green Dot beat Red Dot by 4.4 percent and Unique beat Red Dot by 7 percent. Following that up, I used the results to load one ounce of the same shot to the same velocity. I did change the wad. This load put more shot in the 30 inch circle than the 1 1/8 ounce load tested above. It wasn't much higher and probably wasn't significant, but it did show that with testing you can load and use one ounce of shot at trap without a sacrifice in targets broken.

    Johnpe
     
  8. CalamitySJ

    CalamitySJ Member

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    Off topic, but Neil shot a 100x100 in doubles today. Apparently his shells were loaded perfectly!

    Calamity
     
  9. johnpe

    johnpe Member

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    RickN. Yes, the one ounce load patterned significantly higher as a percentage than the 1 1/8 ounce load. To put the same or slightly greater number of pellets in the same 30 inch circle, it had to beat out the extra 1/8 ounce of shot. I used that load to break my first 100 straight at Pikes Peak GC in Colorado Springs and I don't think I left a piece of any target larger than a quarter - or it sure did seem that way.

    Johnpe
     
  10. R.Kipling

    R.Kipling Well-Known Member

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    Bob,

    If my New Year's resolution fails me, I will be calling you for the name of your shrink. lol

    I have had some 1 ounce patterns that put more pellets on the paper than 1&1/8, but only a few. I've taken to shooting a lot of 7/8 ounce because I started reloading for my grandson's.

    They are both grown up now, but we still shoot the lighter loads for most everything within 35 yards. Saving the hot and heavy for long shots. Though, sometimes I think the oldest boy would shoot 2 ounces if he could find them.

    Shooting has become much more fun when they are around.

    Kip
     
  11. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Calamity, you are right, my shells were loaded with the self-same powder I gave you and Coach in the glass mason jar labeled "TBPITW".

    To keep cost down, I started with a half-bucket of Red Dot and in early versions just added some Green Dot to "promote increased central pellet density" and a couple of handfuls of PB to nudge the recoil from Red Dot's "jab" toward PB's "shove."

    But as you remember from the days when you used to be willing to shoot with me, I carefully clean the interior of my barrels between 25's - Oh how I remember that! . . . You shouting that I should get to the line, me calmly replying in my best TS.com voice that I paid for the targets and intended to "shoot them at my own pace, as is my right."

    In the cleaning I noticed several unburned flakes - "unacceptably dirty powder" I'd read about here raising it's head - so added some Clays which cleared that up right away, of course. It is the cleanest burning powder; everyone knows that.

    And I could tell, as any 100x100 doubles shooter can, that the pattern centers were now a little too hot (probably too much Green Dot) and I was dangerously and pointlessly depopulating my outer pattern-peripheries just as I had so often read in shotgun magazines. So Extra-lite got poured in. You remember Extra-Lite.... Both Don Z and now HMB crown it as the producing "the most even patterns possible" and I must say - though I only shot one pattern on water - it seems they are right. I was nearing the sweet spot, that was clear.

    A little powder from Federal Papers that had gotten wet and burst provided the aroma I was after; some Longshot just in case I gave up trapshooting and had to resort to "games" and didn't want to be caught short with an un-competitive powder, and that's where development is paused, other than giving jars of it mostly to inexperienced reloaders for evaluation. They all say it does exactly as I recounted above. They agree that TBPITW - "The Best Powder in the World" is no exaggeration.

    I have read all that stuff here about trying to collar and leash the big dogs but there is no chance of any of that working unless the ATA addresses their access to special powders - and I think I've but glazed the tip of the iceberg. I know for a fact that just a few flakes of fabulously expensive and restricted-distribution super-powders are raising their singles to 200's and their handicaps by three or more birds, day in and day out. The EC pretends to be blind to all this and seldom even answers my letters to them about it probably because they want to be elected All-Americans once they leave office.

    4th.down, I think if you just listen to the guys at the club, as I do, you can pick a powder which will do exactly what you want. though I warn you that mixing powders is too dangerous for non-specialists and so YOU SHOULD NOT DO IT.

    Neil
     
  12. JACK

    JACK Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

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    TS.com at its best.
     
  13. CalamitySJ

    CalamitySJ Member

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    Again, thanks for the powder, Neil. I used your very specific instructions to reload the gems I used to shoot my 100 straight on Saturday, then gave Coach the same for his 100 straight today. It's like magic! And like you've asked, I've put the jar in a hermetically sealed container and locked it in the safe, along with my 1st edition comic books.

    It was a super weekend and always good to see you. Happy reloading!

    Calamity
     
  14. Avaldes

    Avaldes Well-Known Member

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    Now if you had only used International Clays instead of Clays, you would have shot 100 from the 27 as well:)
     
  15. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Aaron, that's a typical rookie-mistake - seizing on one favorable aspect of a powder's performance and assuming that everything else about it is OK.

    Yes, International Clays is a great handicap powder - just read the tests in Shotgun Sports! - but you have to remember I'm looking for the "ultimate" , the enemy of the "very good." A couple of tumblers of International Clays moved the high-energy part of the shot-cloud forward, as you no doubt have read, but it's effect of shortening the shot string was anything but desirable. I like to balance a powder so I can be a bit on the "pro-side" of the bird most of the time and count on the shot-string to shatter the clay if I overdo it a bit, and I could tell from my reading of target breaks that the extended pellet-train I need to support my shooting style (at handicap) could no longer be trusted to do its job. It was clear that I was behind almost everything, particularly right-handers. So I picked out the offending IC flakes (no easy task, believe me!) and performance bounced right back.

    It was an easy mistake for you to make; don't feel bad. Just do some more reading, some more talking at the club; you’ll get the hang of it.

    Yours in Sport,

    Neil
     
  16. Bob Schultz

    Bob Schultz Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

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    Now you see why I needed therapy! Neil, you are priceless. Haven't had a good laugh like your posts provided all week. Congrats on the 100 in the twin bird race.

    Bob Schultz
     
  17. BigM-Perazzi

    BigM-Perazzi Well-Known Member

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    I'd prefer Neil told us what Bourbon is best.....

    congrats on the 100x100 doubles...

    I've shot many 100's of doubles, just never broke very many of them! Ha!
     
  18. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    Nice shoot'n Neil. :)

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  19. The Literalist

    The Literalist Well-Known Member

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    Lordie, S., that was one of the best of 2013.

    M.
     
  20. Avaldes

    Avaldes Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for straightening me out Neil.

    Humbly,

    -Aaron