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Input from Neil Winston and others please

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by poe/IL, Nov 10, 2008.

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  1. poe/IL

    poe/IL TS Member

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    Neil. I'll address this to you but hopefully I'll get a lot of responses. I've been patterning my gun some. Also doing my brother in laws gun and a friends at the same time. It takes a lot of time to do this as you know. Our tests aren't conclusive by any stretch of the imagination but I'm wondering about pellets inside a 30" circle versus shot string.

    When I shoot Winchester AA 128's 1145 FPS 1 1/8th oz loads it puts up a beautiful pattern on paper. In fact Winchester blew the competition away. The competition being Remington and Federal. At the time I bought the Winchesters I couldn't find any locally that were 1200 FPS like the Remington's and the Federals were so I took what they had and also got a box of Remington's in the 1145 FPS too. No Federal 1145's in stock. I've been driving 80 miles one way to buy shells. I think I'll be reloading before long LOL.

    Anyway. Here are some of my results: Winchester 1145 FPS 1 1/8 load. 3 shots each load. 376 pellets in a 30" circle, 372 and 369. Very consistent I'd say and great coverage. No oberfell. No clay full or one clay full. Lots of clay edge.

    Federal 1200 FPS, 1 1/8th oz load. 360, 345 and 334.

    Remington STS 1200 FPS, 1 1/8th oz load. 380 (I think is a fluke) 337 and 324.

    Remington STS 1145 FPS, 1 1/8th oz load. 314, 303 and 289. I don't think I'll be trying those in competition.

    OK now you see what I'm seeing on flat paper. When I go to the range on Wed. night for practice I shoot all four loads. 1 box each. To tell the truth I'm having much better luck with the Federals and so are my brother in law and my buddy. My question is.... Is this because of shot string? Is there anyway I can take a picture of my shot string? I tried it on my 4.2 megapixel camera but with no success. One time from behind I thought I could see it but it may have been the cloud of the clay bursting.

    I really want to shoot the Winchesters because of all the pellets its putting in the 30" circle but if your missing clays that is a deterrent.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks, Brian
     
  2. Jawhawker

    Jawhawker TS Member

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    Brian, here's my spin. When I start playing with a new gun I will take it and find usually three different loads which print a desired pattern. Usually five of each. Then where it counts they have to prove themselves on the firing line with breaking targets.

    First did you count the number of pellets in each load? I would do atleast three shells each and divide. Second, did you pattern all the shells at the same time under same conditions? To me there can't be enough shot string difference to matter between your two loads. Now it is possible that they shoot to a different POI and its enough that it is making the difference in scores. I would more readily accept this latter possibility if only one gun and not two. You have a slight variance in speed but again not enough that it should make a significant difference in scoring.

    My suggestion is take both guns and pattern 10 shots with each of the two loads for each gun and compare again. Do atleast five.

    Reality is if the Federals break more targets regardless of what they print on paper, use them.LOL
     
  3. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    Pointing the gun in the right place will do a lot more for you than all this marvelous highflown technical witchcraft.

    If you want to see the shot string go some place where they have at least 6-7 thousand watts of metal halide lighting on each field and observe. You will see the shot cloud. It looks more like a sausage shape than a string. Kind of a fat sausage at that.

    You need to stand behind and slightly to one side of the shooter, with the lights behind and above you. We see it all the time at our club.

    HM
     
  4. Gary Waalkes

    Gary Waalkes Well-Known Member

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    I almost wish I could help here. It sounds like such a great experiment. I was reading my old Lyman book last nite (for other reasons) and found myself interested in some of the pattern data presented. But I am sober now and realize there is a lot of work and as you found out - no return on investment. Serious and focused practice will raise your average. Patterning will increase your knowledge of shotgun and shotshell performance but I don't think it will have much effect on your average. First you have to shoot straight. PS - Just as a data point to your belief that Win has a better pattern than Rem, Harlan and Kay (and a number of other All Americans) do pretty good with Remington shells.
     
  5. mette56

    mette56 Well-Known Member

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    Wow Brian,

    Too much information! I don't believe that paper shooting tells one anything about performance on a MOVING target. Only point of impact. I can probably be proven incorrect on that statement, but my experience in 45 years of shooting trap is to test different shells and reloads in your gun under actual shooting conditions. Remember, that shot is out there. The target is moving, not still like a pattern board. If you are comparing the same amount of shot with any load...the shot is out there whether it is all out front or in a shot string, depending upon the choke constriction. I break more targets with a .040 constriction than with anything else less than that, regardless of the yardage.

    You made the same point by stating that Winchesters pattern better on paper, but you do better with Federals. Paper shooting does not relate to moving a target, except for defining POI....IMO.

    I realize the above is controversial but that's been my experience. And, for me, NOTHING performs like a Federal...paper or plastic, new shell or reload.

    Good luck,

    milt
     
  6. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Brian, before I guess, I need to know a couple of things. The first is the measured distance you did this patterning from. You did do them all from the same measured distance, right? You see, there's something seriously wrong with the STS pellet counts. There's no way they should be so far from the others. There's no chance they are 7 1/2's is there?

    Pheasantmaster is right. To make any sense of patterning at all you have to know - I'll repeat that _ have to know how many pellets are in the shells to start with.

    How far away are you shooting those targets? Really, if those are 40-yard patterns, they all still should at least work OK right out to the 27, though tighter would be better, particularly the Remingtons.

    It's not shot string. Shot string only makes things worse and for trap won't amount to a hill of beans anyway.

    I've been sitting on an old article by the expert on all this, Ed Lowry, and hoping I'd get time to put it up. The short version is, however, that shot string is not a factor.

    Neil
     
  7. poe/IL

    poe/IL TS Member

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    More information.

    pheasantmaster: No I didn't count the pellets. These are factory loads. I'm presuming that all the shells had close to 461 pellets in them. Although I do not know the pellet count I can pretty much assure you that all the pellets were #8's. I got approximately a handful of shot out of the target when I brought it home and without an exact measurement they appeared to be the same size.

    Since you guys count pellets in factory loads haven’t you come up with a formula that gives what each factory uses for tolerances? Seems like that wouldn’t be that hard to do? I don’t make it a habit of tearing into factory loads. Guess I haven’t advanced that far yet. Is this a customary practice?

    Yes I did pattern each round under the same conditions on the same day.

    Let me clarify one thing. All three guns we used had full chokes. All three guns performed pretty much the same under the exact same conditions with the exact same shells. All the shells came out of the same boxes. Everyone brought one box of shells and then I picked up the extra box we used. All the Winchester’s were AA loads. All the Remington’s were STS. The Federals were Gold Medals. The Remington STS 1145’s performed the same in all three guns. Is it possible it was a bad box of shells? I’m not sure I want to buy another one to experiment with. All the Winchesters performed best overall in all three guns. I'm anxious to try the Winchester 1200 FPS now. There are a bunch of guys that reload at my club. They know what shells I use. Believe me. I have nothing against Remington. I just shoot and it doesn't make a bit of difference to me what shell I use as long as it does the job. Anyway the reloaders always ask me for my AA hulls and my Federal hulls. No one has ever ask me for my STS hulls. I've read where STS hulls are some of the best for reloading to and that really surprised me. That said. I've noticed on days my wife and I go to the club to practice by ourselves that my STS hulls will be missing out of the hull containers. Sometimes by the very next day. Seems that someone that is not shooting trap makes it a point to go check the containers the day after we shoot and collect hulls. They must like the Remington STS's.

    EE. I’m sure you are correct but if you count the other two guns there are a minimum of 9 rounds being fired of each load. Probably still not enough but it’s a start. I plan to do more but mostly now to find my POI. This experiment was done to see if there was a major difference in patterns between MFG shot shells. Not a true test but it was all we had time for. Nine rounds each and three chokes, plus taking a picture of each target and changing each target takes time. We spent nearly one whole afternoon doing this test.

    halfmile I’d love to do that sometime but I don’t know of anyplace like that around here. In fact my club is the only club around this area shooting under the lights. Possibly if I went to Indianapolis I could see that? Thanks for the info though. Sounds neat.

    Gary Waalkes you mentioned about Remington STS being used by some of the top shooters in the country. I did not post this information to get into a argument with anyone over brand types. I posted actual findings on my gun and my gun alone even though I do state that the other two guns reported similar findings. This is not a question of brands. It is a question of pattern versus shot string. I was trying to make sense of the nearly perfect pattern I get on paper from the Winchester’s versus the better shooting I get from the Federals. The better shooting could be just me. I’m new to this game. I have a lot to learn and a long ways to go to reach my goals. Last week I shot my first 24 out of 25. I’ve been shooting a month and a half. I basically shoot two nights a week. Wednesdays and Saturday’s. I have missed a couple of those nights due to prior commitments. I’m having fun and don’t want to get too technical but this whole deal fascinates me. I’m already starting to look at new guns. Nothing real expensive YET but you never know *smile.

    mette56 I think you make a very good point about POI. I’m working on that to believe it or not LOL.

    Neil Winston All targets were shot at 40 yards. I really do not believe that there was any difference in any of the shot size. As stated above I recovered nearly a handful of shot from the target when I got home. All the shot appeared to be the same size. I was not measured though so I can’t say that as a fact. Why the Remington’s put out the numbers they did I have no idea? You did notice that the one Remington shell put out the best number of all right? 380 pellets in the 30” circle. I kind of questioned that one. Maybe it was right and the other two shots I took were the flukes? I don’t know. I’ll have to check the numbers on the other two guns maybe to determine that. I altered nothing. I let Shotgun Insight count the pellets first. Then I take the POA from the shotgun insight program and measure from the center point on my target to where shotgun insight says the center point is and draw a 30-inch circle and count each target by hand. Shotgun Insight is amazing IMO. Normally it will not be off more than maybe 5 pellets and that is usually the photographer’s error. Or when I proof read the pellet marks I might miss a few or forget to delete a few.

    OK. I hear you on the shot string Neil. Thanks. I get so confused. I read all the articles on this site daily and I see there is a big controversy about shot string and patterns. I’m in way over my head on both subjects but I know you write about it a lot and I respect your opinion. Heck I respect everyone on here. Ya’ll have been shooting much longer than I have. I was a hunter not a trap shooter. I’m a convert now because of health. I love every second of it and I am making some headway. I don’t expect to compete except hopefully someday I’ll be able to keep up with the other members of my club. My goal at the present is 25 of 25 LOL. Last week I did go 24 of 25 but that was pure LUCK.

    Brian
     
  8. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Brian- You are getting some information and that is good. Patterns are quite variable. If you repeated your test using three more targets, you could get different results. If you shot 10 patterns of each shell, it is very probable that the differences you saw with three patterns would disappear.

    You can get a lot of information from patterns. Patterns will show some very bad loads, but if you are looking for the best loads, it becomes more difficult. It is easy to recognize bad loads on paper but picking out the best is hard.

    Ignore shot string as a relevant factor. If you want to convince yourself that shot string is not important get a calculator and convert target speed at 35 yards (35 MPH) to ft/sec. Assume shot speed at that distance has fallen to 1000 ft/sec (very close) and that the shot string is 10 feet (too long but an easy number to work with). You can quickly see how much time is required for a 10 foot string to pass by a single point. To go deeper, you need your old trig book and look at the maximum angle you would shoot a bird and then figure out how far the bird would move as the shot string passes the bird.

    You will find that on a perfectly centered White Flyer bird, the first shot might hit the I in White Flyer and the last shot might hit the Y in the trade name on the target.

    When I buy new shells, the most important factor is which hulls I want to reload. All of the major brands shoot well. I will make an exception to this general statement with Federal paper shells. But these shells are great because of nostalgia, not performance.

    Pat Ireland
     
  9. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    Shotshell patterns are like snowflakes, you'll never see two alike patterning at 40 yards in your lifetime. The best to hope for is a more or less even distribution of pellets in the 30 inch circle in the center mass.

    To know the exact numbers of pellets you have to preform surgery. New premium trap loads will have higher antimony hard shot and weigh 1-1/8th ounce, or very close. Shot that us reloaders buy and load through our machines may not be as hard or sized the same either. We read here all the time about a guy saying he loads a 1-1/16th ounce load like it's purposely loaded that way. That's just the way a loader loads by volume using hard shot, period. Compare that to a factory load and you lose pellets at the start.

    It's best to forget about the shotstring myth and trap targets, read Pat's post again.

    Back in the late 60s,early 70s, Remington attempted to build two exact matching 870 barrels for pattern testing. Both barrels measured exactly the same, as near as possible, and both barrels shot different types of patterns with identical loads! There's more to a shotshell pattern than shells alone, barrel harmonics and internal smoothness also play a major role. One more point on internal measurements that can and will disrupt a pattern if not concentric and that's the forcing cone. A sloppy job there can totally destroy the best patterning gun you ever saw! There a lot more to good 30 inch patterns at 40 yards than shell choices. Hap
     
  10. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Brian, you've answered all my questions. I opened a couple of STS 8's from different lots and the pellet count was close enough to 460 as to make no difference. I usually get about 480 from Federal, the same for AA's.

    I've tested a lot of factory loads and never found much difference, pattern-percent wise. A dozen pellets here or there (corrected for initial count) has always covered them all in my experience. Here's what I got with a test of Remingtons, whose 7 1/2's averaged over 75% at 40 yards and that's just fine, about all you can count on:

    [​IMG]

    I use Shotgun-Insight too and find it correct within a very few pellets; if I zoom in (upper left) to the max and hand check, I seldom correct more than a pellet here, maybe erase one the program has taken to be a pellet but really was my aiming mark.

    I think you have, especially since the other guns produced similar results, strong evidence of some bad shells, even though they would be the first I've seen. Shoot one of the others.

    By the way, you are doing just great; you now know more about patterns and patterning than 95+% of the contributors here. It _is_ a lot of work; I don't think anyone who hasn't done it has any idea what's involved, what it costs, how long it takes. But without the work you've done you could have found yourself behind an eightball and never known why. That's why we do it, isn't it?

    Thank you for your work and for sharing your very, very interesting data.

    Neil
     
  11. biff

    biff Active Member

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    Not an expert on this and can only surmise on a couple of points.

    I have found a difference when shooting off a sand bag or off my shoulder my POI is different. Seeing the beads the same both ways with the same aim impact point, I have been told it is because my mount will cause this. I know you were shooting to count pellets in a 30" circle and not for POI.

    The other thing no one has mentioned is trigger timing and lock time which isn't important when shooting at a stationary circle compared to a moving target. I wonder if the Federals had a hotter primer which may have affected a quicker lock time and therefore gave better results on actual targets. Maybe this is why some shooters shoot Federals as they feel they hit targets better; Harlan or Kaye could shoot any shell no matter the brand with great results!

    There are alot of shooters who never pattern their gun not ever check the POI, some have told me they don't want to know this; the results is all that matters to them!

    Biff
     
  12. poe/IL

    poe/IL TS Member

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    Pat Ireland Thank you for the visual on shot string. As I suspected there could not be very much time laps from the time the first pellet hit until the last but I could not picture it in my mind. Your example of the White Flyer clay made it very simple for me. Thank you. Great info.

    You talk about reloading. If you have time I’d like to know why you reload? Cheaper? You can make your own loads to fit your gun/style of shooting?. I’m curious as to your reasons for reloading. I reloaded shells many years ago for hunting. Back then it was much cheaper but I hear prices today aren’t nearly as good for the reloader as they used to be? I am interested in pursuing the reloading again as I live in a very sparsely populated area and have to drive 80 to 160 miles round trip to get shells. I feel sure it would pay me to buy a reloader. I don’t shoot all that much. I shoot maybe 200 shells per week. Locally those 200 shells would cost me $60. If I drive the 80 to 160 miles I can get them for around $40 plus the gas money it took to get me there and back. They do not always have the shells I’m looking for even after the long drives. Not a bargain anyway you slice it. Do you think it would pay for me to reload? Is saving a few $$$ reason enough to get a reloader? I know the initial cost of the reloader, hulls, primers, powder, wads and shot is not cheap. Can you put a cost per box on your reloading? I’m just being curious. Thought I’d do a little math to see how long it would take me to pay for it all. I also like the idea that I’d be able to try many different loads that I probably won’t try now without doing my own reloading.

    Hap MecTweaks LOL. I don’t know if I want to go there on the forcing cone. I brought that up in here one time and got my head handed to me on a platter. *grin. You and think the same on it though. It still seems to me like it would make a difference in your pattern. Its something I still might do with my old gun but I think I’ll wait until my new Benelli comes in before I try that..

    Neil Winston Geeze Neil I don’t know quite what to say. You have so much info I’m in awe. Thanks for the chart. I am not sure about my knowledge on patterns LOL. My father always patterned his guns and I guess it just stuck. If it was good enough for him it was good enough for me. Seemed like back in those days. The 1940’s thru the 1980’s shells were a lot different and patterning a shell probably meant more than it does today?

    Another question for you. What do you consider the most important information your Shotgun-Insight program gives you? I’ve started looking closely at the 75% shot diameter. Seems like that figure would be real important to a pattern? Any thoughts?

    biff I found the same thing when shooting from a bench. Seemed to me my aiming point was different.

    Your way further along in your shooting than I am. I’m not into timing as of yet. When I first started I tried a timing thing for a couple of rounds and possibly concentrated to much on the timing and not the pointing LOL I’d sat back for two sessions and watched 2 other squads fire. I surmised it took about 1 ½ to 2 seconds for each shooter to get on target and fire so I tried firing after counting one thousand one, one thousand two. I did hit some targets but it didn’t seem to work like I hoped so I kind of tossed that to the side. I have no idea about the primers on Federal shells. That is still way over my head. It’s been 30+ years since I’ve done any reloading.

    I totally agree with you on Harlan or Kaye.

    Thanks to all of you guys for your great info. It’s a great help to me a complete novice. Your all a great bunch of guys and I really appreciate all your help.

    Brian
     
  13. mercedesman1981

    mercedesman1981 TS Member

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    Hi Brian,

    In my opinion, competitive shooting requires paying attention to detail and it looks like you are off to a great start. I also go down this path with new guns. My last one patterned 4 to 6 inches to the left at 37 yards and was discovered by pattern testing. Neil, Pat, ZZT and others were helpful in trying to figure out why and as it turned out, it was the gun. I don't know how bad it was, I sent it back to the manufacturer and received a replacement. Keep up the good work.

    Mike

    PS, I managed to hit 25 straight on the 20yd line during competition, but it wasn't easy with a gun that shoots that far off. Now I'm in the process of pattern and POI testing the replacement.
     
  14. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Brian- I shoot a lot of new shells and a lot of reloads. One reason I reload is because I started reloading in 1964 and it is a habit. I also reload to save a little money. I can put premium components into a reload a little cheaper than I can buy discount shells. Discount shells do not always have premium components. Another reason I reload is to produce exactly the shell I want to shoot. I reload because I have a 2000 PW hydraulic press, a very large number of new AA hulls and a lot of components. I have to do something with these things. Reloading is supposed to be relaxing and fun. I sometimes am not sure about this. I am sure that reloading is a habit I have and I have no intention of quitting.

    Pat Ireland
     
  15. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    poe/IL, I certainly can't say for sure one way or the other which works best in the forcing cone debates. I do know first hand that one reamed improperly, left unpolished, can lead to a BAD pattern both on stationary targets and clay targets!

    I reload shotshells because I have as much if not more confidence in mine than new shells. SDs are better in quality reloads which leads to more trust in shell choices. I also reload quality ammo for my center fire rifles which I can't buy that's best suited for my rifles in addition. I do really enjoy reloading! Hap
     
  16. Jawhawker

    Jawhawker TS Member

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    poe/IL, if you do get around to opening some of those shells, would you describe the powder in the STS and also the lot number?
     
  17. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    . . . and I reload, primarily for the first shot in doubles, because I can load lighter (1 Oz., 1140 FPS) than I can buy. AA's are a close second to my own; all the rest give me more speed than I need or want. That, and like Pat, I've got garbage bag after garbage bag of one-fired empties stacked in the corner of a shed and need the room to store pattern papers I'll never look at again.

    If you follow a standard guide and use quality components, you will make shells that are a match for about anything you can buy for singles, and - this is interesting but unimportant - that are probably closer to the speed you expect than that box of "factories" on the shelf there.

    Brian, I've exchanged emails with Andrew Jones about that 75% figure and while he's enthusiastic about it, I don't get much from it. In essence, It's just the reciprocal of pattern percentage for a particular shell. That is, as PE goes up, the 75% figure goes down. That's all can do with it.

    Andrew, you have to understand, made the program for skeet and SC shooters (who, I'm afraid, have never taken is as seriously as they should - maybe because, in GB at least, it carries considerable bad news along with the good. As well, of course, as dynamiting the pet theories you hear every day at every gun club.) Anyway, he patterns closer than we and (almost) all the pellets get on the paper somewhere and the calculations for 75% make more sense. We are missing quite a few pellets and the correlation between that figure and anything I can understand is either lower or low, take your pick.

    What I get the most out of is the pellet counts and the probabilities of a single pellet hit. Especially the latter, because that's where potentially winning scores are found - or lost.

    Neil
     
  18. poe/IL

    poe/IL TS Member

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    Thank you all for the great input... You keep me on my toes and thinking all the time about how I can improve my scores, shells, gun and my patterns. I guess it all goes hand and hand to some extent.

    Thanks again, Brian
     
  19. ZELMO1

    ZELMO1 TS Member

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    Find a load that works on paper and try it on targets. If it does not break targets consistently, try the next one. I found a lot of AA and STS/Nitro's at Walmart at $45 to $50 a case. I patterned them out and they all shot well on paper. They break targets too.. I then tried my 1 oz 8 1/2 reloads. They were ok on paper. I went out and tried them on the range. They crushed 16 yd targets. Paper isn't the end all. I will shoot the AA's and STS/ Nitro's at registered shoots. But in the championship, I shoot my reloads. They work. That is the bottom line. Good luck, Al
     
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