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pattering a new gun

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by bob radasch, Nov 9, 2008.

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  1. bob radasch

    bob radasch Guest

    just got a new gun- want to pattern it to see where it shoots and if I need to adjust the coomb to modify the POI. Recommendations???? How far back from the spltter board or paper target should I be???

  2. ec90t

    ec90t Guest


    Do a search for Neil Winston's thread about paterning and setting up POI. It's the best that I've read yet.

  3. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    13 yards from paper target is a good place to start. HMB
  4. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    I see my thread has drifted off. I'll see if I have a copy and if I do I'll re-post it today.

  5. WindyCity

    WindyCity TS Member

    Jan 25, 2008
    I recently had my world turned upside down in relation to patterning, however, it made sense once it was discussed. Here is what I basically learned. If you need more information, please ask or email me.

    Utilize the image at the bottom if needed!

    1. Get back at least 30 yards. This is where you will break targets.

    2. Put whatever choke you want in, from extra full to ?

    3. Draw a horizontal line with a dot, or a point to aim at to establish the horizontal aiming point.

    4. Fire 5 shots at a sheet at least 4' x 4'.

    5. Establish the outside of your pattern spread, (the red lines on top and bottom of the image) and make marks to establish the top and bottom of your spread shot. (I found it was easier to use a xfull choke so the pattern wasn't as big).

    6. Measure the distance between your top and bottom marks. This will give you a measurement in inches. Divide the total by 2, (if your pattern is 30" between the red lines/2 = 15").

    7. Make a mark in between the two red lines (the green line) and this is the center of your pattern or core.

    8. Measure from the horizontal aim point, (the dot placed in step 3).

    9. This gives you how many inches above aim your shot exists.

    10. Now utilize the 3" rule - 3" above horizontal aim point = 60/40, 6" = 70/30, 9"=80/20, 12"=90/10, and 15"= 100/0.

    I didn't believe this idea at all until the person that taught me this method showed how the old percentage method could be adjusted simply by changing the choke.

    I told this person that I was shooting a gun that was too high. He asked me what I thought it was shooting, I replied, 90/10. We patterned the gun from what I knew and saved the sheet of paper. He took the gun in back without me and unknown to me, changed the choke from full to modified.

    We went back out and patterned the gun again. Wow, what a difference, my gun now was shooting 70/30, exactly what I wanted. I thanked him over and over and he popped the information that he didn't change a thing but the choke. I was dumbfounded.

    I was taught that pattern should always be measure in inches and not in percentages because you can change percentages by opening or closing the choke. I have since changed my pattering to the inches method and have been achieving better and more solid hits.

    This is just my .02. You can listen or just throw it out.

    Good luck.

    Cory Kreith

  6. mercedesman1981

    mercedesman1981 TS Member

    May 11, 2007

    The way I did mine (many, many thanks to Neil Winston and Pat Ireland, and ZZT and several others) is this:

    I bench rested my Browning XT for both POI testing and Pattern testing. I wanted to see where my gun was shooting, not how I was shooting it.

    I did POI testing first at 13 yards and full choke. This creates a single hole in the paper from your shot load. Use 1 or 1.125 Oz loads. I used one ounce reloads. You can use a 2' square piece of butcher paper with a cross to aim and measure on. I went to an indoor pistol range near home so I used one sheet at a time. A large sheet of paper with many crosses on it would save time. I shot 10 patterns on 10 different sheets and measured each one for height above my aim point and distance away from the center line.

    After analyzing those results, I then went to the club with 10 4 X 4 foot sheets of paper. I placed a large circle about the size of a clay pigeon, filled in with a black sharpie for my aim point. Since I like either a 60/40 or 70/30 pattern, I placed the black dot lower on the paper. Once again, 10 shots and 10 clean sheets of paper, carefully bench rested at 37 yards and used a very careful trigger press just as if I was shooting a target rifle at a 1000yd target.

    I took these home and with a 36in yardstick, was able to determine pattern and point of impact for a 30inch circle.

    I was amazed at those results. I found my XT was shooting anywhere between 4 to 6 inches to the left very consistently. I closely inspected my gun and found the center bead to not be centered on the rib and in fact had it been, the gun would shoot even further to the left. I gathered up the best of my test targets for both 13yd and 37yd and along with the gun, sent it back to Browning. With no arguments, they replaced the gun. Now its back to the drawing board with POI and pattern testing, but with the outstanding help I have received here, I will confidently find out if my new gun shoots straight.

    Once I have determined that, I will re-visit the pattern board and shoot free handed to see where I shoot the gun and hopefully get to the point where the gun shoots where I look.

    I hope this helps,

  7. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    SE PA
    Bob, I've done this enough times now that I have it down to a science. The first thing you have to determine is where your gun shoots. After you are satisfied that the gun shoots straight, you'll want to determine where you shoot it.

    Set up on a bench with a target between 13 and 20 yards in front of you. If you have interchangeable choke tubes, you'll first have to determine whether they all shoot to the same place. Pick a barrel and put a choke tube in it. Sight the shotgun just like it was a rifle and fire at your POA. Do this at least 5 times, or enough so that you can say with authority this choke prints 1" high and 1/2" right of POA. Now do the same for every other choke. Make sure to use the same barrel for all of these tests.

    At the end of your choke testing you will know which chokes shoot to the same POI and which don't. Mark or discard the ones that don't.

    If your new gun is an O/U, put your two tightest good chokes in and repeat the test. That will tell you if both barrels shoot to the same POI. If a combo, all three barrels should shoot to the same POI with the same sight picture and setup.

    Once you know your hardware is good, it's time to see where you shoot your gun. I like to work on one variable at a time. Any distance from the muzzle to target between 13 yards and 20 yards will work. I prefer 15 yards most of the time for reasons I'll not get into here. I use 40" wide paper and draw three vertical lines on it about 12" apart. Then I mount the gun and fire while tracking a line. I find I'm much better if the gun is moving, so I just trace the line with my bead and fire whenever. I only care about right and left here. If I'm consistently dead on the line, I'm done. If not, I move the comb right or left until I am.

    Next I repeat the process using horizontal lines. Here I am trying to set my POI to the proper height. If I hit the line, my gun shoots 50/50. For every 1" high at 13 yards, you add 10% so 1" high is 60/40, 3" high is 80/20, etc.
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