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Pattern a Shotgun

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by tomc66, Sep 30, 2009.

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  1. tomc66

    tomc66 Member

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    What is the proper distance to pattern a shotgun?
     
  2. Rich219

    Rich219 Active Member

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    40 yds I believe.
     
  3. Chichay

    Chichay TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    I think it should at a distance where you expect to shoot the target.
     
  4. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    What are you trying to determine?

    If you want to see if the gun shoots straight, 13 yards is best.

    If you want to see what the pattern looks like, then 30 to 40 yards is best. HMB
     
  5. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    I have a slightly different take. When shooting/"patterning" for POI, use half the distance you are interested in and double the results. For singles shot at an average of 30 yards, use 15 yards. You eliminate a whole lot of errors that way. If you hit caps at an average of 42 yards, then shoot for POI at 21 yards.

    When you are actually patterning, that is, trying to find out how your gun performs at a certain discipline, use the full distance. If you routinely nail your singles at an average of 30 yards, put a good Mod choke in and pattern at 30 yards. Change chokes until you get about 85% PE at that distance. Then do the same for caps at 42 yards. Howeveer, it is extremely unlikely you will get 85% patterns at 42 yards with any choke, so do the best you can.
     
  6. DTrykow

    DTrykow Active Member

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    zzt: How many shots? Is it one shot then change paper or is it 3 shots with Mod, 3 with IM, etc? Any rule of thumb? Dave T.
     
  7. motordoctor

    motordoctor Shoji Tabuchi in Branson

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    make a pattern board. our club made one out of 3/16 or 1/4 in steel that was slightly rolled from the center out in a slight curve with the curved side facing out. we use grease on a paint roller to wipe on the face of the steel. There is a 1 inch hole in the center of the plate to aim at. When you shoot at the plate you SEE the shot hit and the pattern easily. You cannot count pellets but it does show where the pattern is. Then just take the roller and "paint" over it for another pattern. It really works slick and no paper to tape up. motordoc
     
  8. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    DTrykow, for quickly checking POI from a known straight-shooting gun/barrel/choke combination, I use paper for 16 yards and closer, and a grease plate for farther.

    For the shorter distance, I use red rosin paper available at any of the building supply stores. I draw three widely spaced horizontal lines on it. Then I track each line with the bead and fire whenever. I usually shoot 3 or 4 shots per line. That's a total of 9 - 12. A large majority of the hits are the same distance above the line, so I use that distance to calculate POI.

    For 20 yards and farther, I shoot, measure, wipe and shoot again until I am confident I have a correct dimension.

    In reality, you can use any distance from 13 yards to 16 yards for close testing of POI. Just be aware that the higher your rib and the higher your POI, the more error you will have when you extrapolate to 40 yards.

    For real patterning, I generally do ten shots with each combination I'm interested in. If the patterns look visibly poor, I'll quit and go on to the next load, otherwise, ten it is. I used to count all the holes by hand. Now i use Shotgun Insight to do it for me.
     
  9. whim

    whim TS Member

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    This is an article i got of the a web sight (www.chrisbatha.com)
    a pattern plate's role in gun fitting is to check the point off impact of the pattern, its pellet distribution and position. this is utilised in gun fitting by firing at a plate with a circle of 30 inch diamiter drawn on it, draw 2 lines through the centre of the circle so as to split the circle into quarters,in the centre of this circle where the 2 lines cross, draw a up side down triangle (side's a inch in lengh)the centre of this circle is held at approx 4 feet off the ground
    The eye, on average, is three feet from the end of the barrel.if the plate is shot from a 16 yard marker, the mathematics of three feet into 16 yards equates that 2 inches on the plate is an eighth of an inch (3mm) on the gun.Thus, if you are a right-hander shooting four inches to the left of the aiming mark (triangle) then you would require one quarter of an inch (6mm)of cast-off to align the gun to the eye. this formula is equally applied at 32 yards with 2 inches representing a sixteenth (1.5mm)of an inch on the gun

    Another web sight with an article on gun fitting i found was www.peteblakeley.com
     
  10. whim

    whim TS Member

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    with all this patern plate stuff ,all of which i tried out myself it only gave me a rough idea of a shots placement,the real testing is to get someone who knows what they are looking for to stand behind you whilst you go and shoot at some straight and level going away targets useing the tightest choke you have ,i used a five eighth of choke shooting at approx 30 yards to start with,i was lucky enough to have a fully adjustable stock, and had to make a fair bit of adjustment from leaving the pattern plate,by using a tighter choke i was able to tell where the point of impact was on the target, where as using a more open choke a sray pellet could hit the target and break it
     
  11. DTrykow

    DTrykow Active Member

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    zzt & company: Thank you for your info. I spent some time and patterned my gun on Sunday. Both at 30 and 40 yards. I used three different chokes. I also loaded with 3 different wads(B&P, WinAA & Downrange) and tested them to see if there were any wild changes in patterns. Dave T.
     
  12. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    How did the testing turn out Dave? Did you come up with any favorite choke/load combinations?
     
  13. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    . . . and how many shots did you take for each combination?

    Neil
     
  14. DTrykow

    DTrykow Active Member

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    zzt: preliminary "by eye at the range" results look like at 30yd's B&P with a Mod choke patterned the most consistantly, with WinAA and DownrangeXL tied. All looked very good. At 40yds the WinAA shined over the other 2 wads. As a sidebar I tried to formulate my results prior to shooting. I weighed the wads and found that the WinAA are the heaviest(and the longest) of the three with B&P second and DRXL the lightest. All are 4 petal. B&P's are a very stiff wad that seats the hardest. I also cut the B&P petals apart. The come semi-attached. I was told sometimes they don't break free and may or have caused pattern problems. Intially picked B&P as all around winner. Hopefully in a few days I'll have more concrete evidence.

    Neil: 5 shots for each combo. I also did single shots and tightned the choke until I found a consistant pattern with no holes. K-80 Mod for singles and full for handicap. If I was shakened or had some confidence issues my IM choke would foot the bill for handicap. Dave T.
     
  15. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    Dqave, I'm guessing you are talking about the B&P Z2M series wads. You used to be able to get them in 15, 18 and 21mm heights, but now only in 15mm. At any rate, I heard the stories about the stitching not breaking and ruining patterns. I tested them. It's rubbish. I made a special point of recovering each wad in a long patterning session, and not a single wad failed to open completely.

    BTW, if I were still reloading Fiocchi hulls, that's the wad I would use with bulky powders for 1 1/8oz loads. I think it one of the very best wads made. I also think it throws one of the shortest shot strings around. I used to put my pattern paper on masonite backer boards. Each shot hit that board with a whomp and rocked it back on its legs. No other wad in similar loads did that to that extent.
     
  16. DTrykow

    DTrykow Active Member

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    zzt: Your right. It's the #Z21 Trap Commander, Product #020Z21. Dave T.
     
  17. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    One last thing, Dave. When you say five shots, do you mean five shots, one each at individual pieces of paper? I wonder because you asked about that and got no answer. Three tubes times three wads is nine, times five is forty -five total pattens, plus the trial ones. Do I have that right?

    Good work on doing it; I see none of it at my own club though people talk about patterns there all the time.

    Neil
     
  18. DTrykow

    DTrykow Active Member

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    Neil: Lets see. I stuck with Mod only for the 30yd patterns. So that was 3 single shot papers and three 5 shot papers. Since I had no idea of choke or wad for the 40 yard I did 3 single shot papers per wad per choke(3 chokes) I took the best of that and did a final 5 shot paper. That adds up to 16 pattern sheets. One of my goals is to shoot one load for both distances. If I get another calm day like Sunday I would like to pattern the other set of chokes that came with my combo and compare all of them for pattern and POI changes. I bought a case of HunterJohn pattern sheets, www.hunterjohn.com , so I'm good to go. I was a fun afternoon. Dave T.
     
  19. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    Dave, only the single shot papers are going to tell you anything worthwhile. You'll have to do at last three per choke, per load/wad. Five each would be much better, and ten will tell you anything you have to know.

    The reason more than one shot per sheet doesn't tell you anything useful is the results are muddied. Each pattern from the same load/choke/barrel/gun is different. PEs can vary by as much as 10% (extreme to be sure) from patterns to pattern. Plus, unless you are shooting patterns from a bench rest (recommended) you cannot be reasonably sure you had the same POI for each shot.

    Let me give you a couple of examples. I was just looking over some old patterning data I found. One set was for the very best patterning gun I ever owned. That was a Browning Superposed Broadway. With my favored singles load at the time the under barrel averaged 82% patterns, varying between 80% and 83%. The over barrel averaged 86%, varying between 85% and 87%. With my favorite handicap load, the under barrel averaged 83% with variations between 81% and 84%. The over averaged 85% with variations between 85% and 86%. It was the most consistent set of barrels I ever owned. Actually, that is extraordinarily consistent. I wish any of my subsequent barrels came close. BTW, all these percentages were at 40 yards.

    At any rate, each of those patterns were different. Holes were in different places. The percentage of shot falling in the 10.6" and 21.2" rings were markedly different. It just so happened that the percentage of shot landing within the 30" was relatively constant. Nothing else was.

    Now take the Beretta over barrel on my field gun. That Mod choked barrel worked great with hunting loads, but just did not like trap loads. At 30 yards (the distance I pattern Mod chokes at), a factory 1oz trap load averaged 80%, but the variations were between 71% and 89%. That's just way to much variation for me. This barrel would digest almost any 1 1/4oz load @ 1220fps with aplomb, but I had to work like the dickens to find a 1oz load it liked.

    The next time you go out, pick the load and choke you thought did the best the last time. Then shoot five patterns, one shot each target, and compare. I think you will find the results interesting.
     
  20. DTrykow

    DTrykow Active Member

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    Thank you zzt: The five shot results were showing me my POI vs POA. I fiddled with the comb and rib recently so I was curious as to the results.
    Looks like I'm 90/10 now. A little higher than what my 80/20 Citori Plus was
    but it's working for me. Dave T.
     
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