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Light loads and Patterns- What happens? (Winston)

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Neil Winston, Jan 2, 2010.

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  1. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    The lite-load frenzy of a year ago here has largely calmed down, with full-boat shooters apparently willing to let others use one ounce and less unmolested, and the latter reciprocating by shutting down their megaphones and turning off the blood-red fonts telling others what they should do.

    Not so with our favorite magazines, however. Writers there know a rich and easily-mined vein when they see one, and having sold lead futures short, are trying to make it happen.

    When you want to scrawl something on the subject of reduced shot charges you are faced with an early choice. You could go out, shoot some patterns, report the results with a little plate of Olympics/F.I.T.A.S.C on the side and figure you have done your job. But that would require leaving your keyboard and perhaps even your apartment, which is why it’s so rarely seen.

    Better all around to seize on a couple of popular theories, spin some results based on them, turn up the hyperbole a couple of notches to make it convincing, and hope no one has noticed that you’ve written yet another patterning article with no patterns, another pellet-distribution dissertation with no pellets, another “practical guide” you have never, actually, put into practice. You do this by concentrating on the theory as if it is all that counts and showing how it has worked in the past; using examples no one can check on. Black powder references are a necessity; combine that with 6-gauge shotguns in 1840 and you’ve got a virtual franchise.

    Why here’s one right here! It’s by Tim Woodhouse in the September 2008 Shotgun Sports, titled “1 Ounce Loads For Clays.” I know a lot of you chucked the whole magazine when you scanned for that telling sentence “We can now have consistent performance with high-performing 1-ounce loads and know we can reliably hit a 50-yard plus crossing target if we do our bit and put the pattern in the right place.” Yes, the “50-yard crosser” is a clear warning of worse to come, but in this case it’s just an appetizer, a quail drumstick leading off a turkey dinner.

    The article is based on the height of the shot column, and the idea that the taller it is, the worse it is. The pellets on the top push down on the lower ones and flatten them with bad effects on the pattern

    Here’s an illustrative graphic, supplied by Light Gauges for the article:

    <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank">[​IMG]</a>

    There are three problems I see right away. The first is that solid things don’t just flatten from the top, they widen. So the pellets at the bottom are not free to just get shorter, there certainly some neighboring pellets trying to do the same thing and they will, to some extent, keep each other from distorting because there’s no room for all of them to widen. The second problem is that this exaggerates the effect. The shot-column on the left is 50% taller than the one on the right; in the 1 1/8 ounce vs 1 ounce comparison it should only be about ten percent taller, a difference of about 1/5 of what is pictured here. The third problem is that I think I’ve seen that drawing on the left before. Page 197 of Gough Thomas’ 1975 (and perhaps earlier) Shotguns and Cartridges illustrates:

    <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank">[​IMG]</a>

    And they look suspiciously similar to me.

    What is the effect of that tall column and the resulting pellet distortion?
    “Sadly, heavier loads with their longer shot columns and smaller sizes of shot often produce an unbelievable number of “flyers” – squashed or damaged pellet from the bottom end of the column which do not fly true. They can fly more erratically than you might suppose.” Later we are told that with 1 1/8 ounces of shot and 9’s “. . . the degree of damaged shot can be pushed to ridiculous levels.”

    For me, all that was way too general. Why no numbers? Change “unbelievable” to, say, “60” and we would be getting somewhere, but as it is, what’s to tell us how much of a problem this really is? Or if Mr. Woodhouse knows himself?

    I admit I spent way too much time trying to define that word “flyers” and got some odd results, but in the end I just settled on “pellets in the shell minus pellets in the pattern.” That is, whatever doesn’t wind up in the standard 30-pattern is a flyer.

    Shells of 1 1/8, 1, and 7/8 ounce of Remington Hard 8’s from the same bag were assembled. Red Dot powder was used to drive them all at 1200 fps as measured with an inductive chronograph. On consecutive warm fall days, ten patterns from each type of shell were shot at 40 yards from two guns, 0.740 bore, one with 0.035 choke tubes; the other with a 0.04 fixed choke. The patterns were analyzed with Andrew Jones’ Shotgun-Insight software.

    First let’s look at the “flyers.”

    <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank">[​IMG]</a>

    There’s only about one percent more flyers with the 1 1/8 ounce load than the one ounce. The drawing and text that foretold a large number of added flyers did not accurately predict what would happen; there’s hardly any difference at all. With 1 1/8 ounce there are more flyers, but only about twenty more on a load with 100 more pellets. “Excess” flyers are not more of a problem with any of these loads in comparison to any of the others.

    The 7/8 loads patterned tighter than the others, by about 4 percent:

    <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank">[​IMG]</a>

    But that does not overcome the lack of pellets in either of the lighter loads. They just put fewer pellets in the 30-inch circle.

    <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank">[​IMG]</a>

    And here’s where the pellets are missing from, the outer two areas, the 10-20 and 20-30 inch rings.

    <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank">[​IMG]</a>

    These results are little different from others I’ve already posted using factory loads. They lead to three conclusions:


    1. Because of the similar center pellet-counts, shooters who are “right in the middle of them” would notice little difference in their scores shooting even 7/8 ounce loads if they shoot 8’s and if 8’s break targets just as well as 7 ½’s.


    2. Less skilled shooters probably will shoot somewhat worse, because there are fewer pellets in pattern areas away from the target, an area they use more.

    3. Going to lighter loads in the ATA to “equalize handicap” would make things worse, not better, for the “average shooter.”


    Thank you for your attention,

    Neil

    © Neil Winston 2010
     
  2. short shucker

    short shucker TS Member

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    Great post Neil!

    ss
     
  3. jim brown

    jim brown Well-Known Member

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    Don't ya just hate it when the facts don't support what you want to believe.

    jim brown
     
  4. BigM-Perazzi

    BigM-Perazzi Well-Known Member

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    I hate it when the facts support what I don't want to believe!!!
     
  5. E. Beaver

    E. Beaver Member

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    Excellent, Thanks for Posting.

    Charlie
     
  6. crusha

    crusha TS Member

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    "Oh, there you go again...not wanting to change anything...blah blah blah...it's useless trying to get you old farts to do anything to prevent losing shooters, you just want the sport to die, blah, blah, blah..."


    Interesting thread, and clearly and concisely presented. I can just hear a string of erstwhile bunker shooters loping towards the campfire now, ready to disperse the usual folk wisdom...
     
  7. goatskin

    goatskin TS Member

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    jwemrw: you are only remembering half of it. When TIR dropped shot from 28gm to 24gm, they made the course a little easier.

    Grand Prix shooters were pretty-much unaffected (- ½ bird through the first year of 24gm). The lesser shooters clearly benefitted from being able to stay in the gun for the 2nd shot at targets 2m closer & slower.


    Bob
     
  8. samiam03

    samiam03 Member

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    Thanks for the information.


    [​IMG]


    Sam
     
  9. Kemen053

    Kemen053 Member

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    Thanks Neil,those 1oz numbers are very similar to the ones I got the other day,740 bore and .030 of choke.How many pellet per oz were in your shells?
     
  10. Smok'n Joe

    Smok'n Joe Active Member

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    Neil,

    Very well done...I just wish it wasn't to COLD !!!

    Smoken Joe
     
  11. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Tim Woodhouse in the September 2008 Shotgun Sports presented a reasonable hypothesis lacking supporting empirical data. Neil tested the hypothesis and his data do not support the conclusion presented by Woodhouse. This is the way we learn new things.

    jwemrw countered with the "fact" that bunker scores went up when the shot charge was reduced. But, trap scores have also gone up without a mandatory reduction in shot charges. Would bunker scores have gone up even more if the shot charge were not reduced? What would happen to bunker scores if light charge were required for the first shot and a heaver charge allowed for the second shot?

    At this time my conclusion is that 1 1/8 oz charges put more pellets in the air around the target. With more pellets, my chances of breaking a target are greater. But for others, the light charge reduces recoil and helps them stay in their gun. If PFS were banned, I would probably change to 1 oz loads for this reason.

    Pat Ireland
     
  12. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    At what distance do the pellets start to leave the 30 inch circle? Does that distance change when using different weight payloads? HMB
     
  13. Unknown1

    Unknown1 Well-Known Member

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    Neil,

    I took the liberty of converting your second "flyers" table to make it viewable on one screen. If you want to substitute, feel free:<center
    [​IMG]

    the address: (img src='/uploads/unknown1_2009_051119.jpg')</center>



    MK
     
  14. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Woodhouse throws a left. Winston follows with a right, a left and a kick to the kidneys. Jwemrw counters with a jab and Ireland finishes with several knees to the gut. Goatskin is in the melee as well.

    And now comes the hard part - acceptance, which is the interesting part, really.

    Tried the 7/8 oz option myself and didn't like the lighter breaks. After fixing some recoil to the face late in the fall will surely try 1-1/8 oz again...

    da coonster
     
  15. TOOLMAKER 251

    TOOLMAKER 251 Active Member

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    Neil, I never shot any loads with steel shot in them, but beings there should be very little shot distortion if any at all. Would they pattern at your test yardage with flyers?
     
  16. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    Just out of curiosity, I wouldn't mind knowing the components used is assembling these shells.
     
  17. Hitapair

    Hitapair Active Member

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    Thanks, Unknown 1. Maybe everybody else knew how to do it themselves, but I didn't.
     
  18. oleolliedawg

    oleolliedawg Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    Neil conveniently forgets the game was originally designed using guns that patterned below 70% with cardboard wads and soft shot. Guns of today often pattern well in excess of 80% with vast shell improvements. We can safely say the shooter of yesteryear broke 27yd. targets with ammo that patterned no better than the 1oz. loads of today.

    Contrary to Neil's findings we can see why short yardage shooters enjoyed a real advantage in the earlier days Trapshooting!!
     
  19. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    Best of both worlds: 1 oz loads and a PFS. That's what I use and I'm sticking to it.
     
  20. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    zzt and Ross, all the hulls were once-fired sts's. Winchester primers and Winchester wads appropriate to the loads: white, pink, grey. Red Dot 17.9,17.1, 16.4 grains dropped by a scale/dribbler combo and assembled on a single stage MEC. Pellet counts were 360, 400, and 458. Yes, the one ounce should have ideally been 410 but I'd already messed up one bar and didn't want to risk another for 10 pellets. Those ten pellets would have added one or three in various areas, not enough to make a difference, it seems to me.

    The ten would have done one thing, and that is moved the green trace up a bit in the pellet-count line graph, making the point a a little stronger that adding pellets just adds pellets.

    Neil
     
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