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Patterning your shotgun

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Flinch king, Dec 5, 2011.

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  1. Flinch king

    Flinch king Member

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    Hello fellow shooters,
    My question this week is the correct way to pattern my trap gun. I have heard many versions of the correct way to find POI and then what way to make the corrections. So I thught I would ask the experts. I shoot a golden clays BT-99 and it seem the gun is shooting high (Breaking the top of the dome). So while the weather is terrible I thought about some range time to figure this out. Question 1 - How far and how many times should I shot to see the pattern. Question 2 - How do I determine how many pellets are in the 30" group without count everyone. And is 80/20 the best ratio for my game.

    Thanks For The Help,

    Brian Seibert
     
  2. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Uh oh.

    Neil
     
  3. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    LMAO at Neil :)
     
  4. Stl Flyn

    Stl Flyn Well-Known Member

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    Neil,

    That's funny. I was thinking and going to write the exact same thing. Only with an exclamation point!

    I think you would be better off looking up Dr. Longshots thread and taking those 150 experts opinion. Jon
     
  5. Shawn

    Shawn Member

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    Brian
    I have linked a document that you might find to be a good read.
    Mr Winston put it together and is pretty quick to answer any questions.

    Shawn
     
  6. JerryP

    JerryP Active Member

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    Come on Neil, he needs help. He is "breaking the top of the dome"
     
  7. JerryP

    JerryP Active Member

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    Ok Brian, I will help you out. If you are breaking the dome on the target, that's close enough. Leave everything alone. Just shoot it!
     
  8. Calkidd

    Calkidd Well-Known Member

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    Brian, read the article that Shawn posted in his thread. This is all you'll need. If you have further questions do a search under Neil Winston and you'll find various threads of targets breaking and that you really can't determine where your gun is shooting based on just your breaks alone.

    Bryan
     
  9. BigM-Perazzi

    BigM-Perazzi Well-Known Member

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    First things first.

    Learn the search function.
     
  10. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Brian Siebert, I trust you know that there are about as many theories of "Patterning your shotgun" as there are AAA or D-class shooters in the ATA. As a result, there is a great diversity of opinion varying, as does shooting skill in the ATA, from the very good to the "needs more work."

    One of the first things to do when testing any gun is to clear your head of preconceptions about its point-of-impact or pattern performance based on what you have heard at the club, read here, or just simply makes sense. Really, start with a know-nothing attitude and let the gun tell you what's going on, not the other way around.

    We see that you are already bringing a theory to the test

    ". . .and it seems the gun is shooting high (Breaking the top of the dome). "

    And that's as good a place to start head-clearing as any. In the video at Ron Baker's North Star Clay Target linked above, you will see high-speed videos of targets being broken by AA Featherlite ® reduced-recoil shells.

    To see perfectly what's happening, you will want to use a good movie-viewer program. On the Mac, Quicktime 7.6 is the best (not just Quicktime) because it allows you to single-step, and back and so on. I hear there is a Windows Viewer that does the same and hope someone who uses a machine like that will tell us what works. You should download the video and watch it with Quicktime 7 or the Windows viewer, but you can just click on it too. If you just watch it on line, make sure you make use of the little "full screen" square at the lower right of the box.


    The camera is directly over the gun and a few inches above it. With that setup, any pellets which appear to be above the target really are above it.

    You will see that in almost all cases, the vast bulk of the shot-charge has been (intentionally) directed above the target. But also note that there is no evidence from any of the breaks that the main body of the shot is over the target. Or to either side, for that matter. For example, to use your words, there are no cases we can see where "breaking the top of the dome" is evident, and that's because targets break because of spin, not where they are hit.

    As this thread progresses we will look at other theories, but for the time being, I think the booklet Shawn referred above to is as good a place to start as any.

    By the way, in general shooting trap we are counting on shells which will break a target almost all the time with a single-pellet hit. Occasionally in the long string of videos we did last summer, we saw a "hit with no break" but they were relative rarities. But in this video, with "Reduced-Recoil" shells, there are a lot of them, even though the pellets are 8's. This tells us that even at the 16-yard line, where these shots were taken, pellet-velocity counts, and these shells don't have enough if you are shooting "when it counts" and have to fall back on on a lucky pellet now and then.

    Neil

    ©2011 Text and video NMW & RWB
     
  11. Stl Flyn

    Stl Flyn Well-Known Member

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    After watching that video I am going to a 7/8 oz. load. I am wasting to much lead. Jon
     
  12. open choke

    open choke TS Member

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    I know why trap guns are supposed to shoot high due to the rising target; but it was nice to see it in slow motion and up close.

    Thanks
     
  13. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Brian, one of the decisions you have to make when you test this gun is to decide how many shots you will take at each point-of-aim. There are plenty either at the club or here who will tell you to take three or five shots each time, the idea being that variations will "average out" and it will be easier to tell where the center of the patten is.

    We will get into long-distance patterning later, but for the time being, let's assume you will at least start at 13 yards, which is, in my opinion, the only plan that makes any sense. Here's a fragment from a thread a few days ago called "Help with POI" and which can be accessed at the above link. It is a response to the "multishot" idea and defends my "single shot" advice.


    A new (to me) gun came in on Saturday and Monday I set the POI by shooting it in a couple of rounds of singles. It's just a start, of course, but I wanted to see what I had come up with by moving the comb up until I got good (enough) breaks.

    I fired six shots at separate bulls from 13 yards off a rest.

    [​IMG]

    Hmm, I don't much like this. I checked the bore and choke on this old Perazzi MX-8 and it shouldn't be shooting modified and improved-modified patterns even though the air density according to my old Moon meter is 105% and that's going to open things up at least a bit. What's going on? Well, this is what's going on.

    [​IMG]

    They are economy shells and you can see that even at this distance. You can use them and they will tell POI just fine, but you can't tell about choke anymore.

    Here's what I should use, AA's

    [​IMG]

    And now I get improved-modified and full choke patterns just as I expected. They are about two inches high and all but one, the mid-lower, are about straight. So I go with the most common result, two inches or so high and straight, right to left and I'm done though I will repeat it, not just today, but later too if I change anything. I'm going to sand the stock a bit on the face-side but don't expect that to change much except my comfort, but I'd better check to make sure.

    Understand that I am being fair here, doing my best and not trying to artificially make one method come out better than the other. Cross my heart.

    There's another way to take six shots and that's to take your advice and shoot three at each bull.

    [​IMG]

    Well, the right one is about what we concluded from the first test but the left one is definitely left, so at the very least, we will need to shoot a few more three-shot groups. Remember, after the first 6-shot test, at different bulls, I was already done.

    Probably that left-hand result was spoiled by a single shot pulled left, just as in the earlier (six-bull) test. But there we were able to see that it was a rarity; here it leads to a 50/50 situation. So go ahead and shoot another six or twelve and probably you can call me with the result; I'm already half way home. I left you a half-box of shells there on the bench expecting you would need them.

    But it's worth seeing what happens when you add each shot.

    One shot:

    [​IMG]

    and now add the second:

    [​IMG]

    and the third:

    [​IMG]

    Well, as you said, we have a bigger hole, but what have we learned by shooting the other two? I don't see anything other than the knowledge that the first was probably about right. But you would know that if you shot at _different_ bulls too. And you would know to what extent this gun can put its shot in the same place. And how good you are at shooting like this. And what your choke is, and how much it varies shot to shot. And how good the shells you are testing are. And . . . And . . .

    That's why "single shots at different bulls" is a better idea.

    Neil

    ©2011 NMW
     
  14. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    The OP hasn't responded back. Are you sure you still have his attention? Not that the rest of us are not. I'm pay'n attention.
     
  15. open choke

    open choke TS Member

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    I'm learning....
     
  16. gun fitter

    gun fitter TS Member

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    Everything that Neil has said. Just one observation Different shells can perform differently in the same gun. For point of impact can very from shell to shell.

    Several years ago I was doing a fitting for a customer i was going to build a stock for. I can't remember which gun it was since I've done several for him.

    The gun was either a Krieghoff or a MX10. While we were shooting at the pattern plate I couldn't get him to hit the same spot twice. Evey shot at 16 yards was in a different position. The centers of the shots were easely 3"-4" off of the last shot for a total of 6 shells. Now this shooter was a state champion in singles and doubles several times. I finally shot the gun with the same results! I asked him were these the shells you shoot competition with? He answered "No but I thought I'd use them for patterning I won 10 flats at the last shoot." The shells were a top three name brand premium shell but they would not work in his gun. We went back to his usual factory shell and things went back to the way they should have been.

    The only answer I have is barrel harmonics. Shell selection must be careful; test every shell you intend to use by patterning for impact and performance.

    Joe
     
  17. open choke

    open choke TS Member

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    +1 On what gun fitter said.

    I use the same formula & brand of shells. I even pattern my chokes and write on the paper which is which
     
  18. Flinch king

    Flinch king Member

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    Hello Everyone,
    Hell, I didn't know there was going to be homework. Is there a test after watching the video? I want to thank everyone for the great information. I really want to thank you Neil for all the help. I'm sure with the research that you have done, that I will find out where the gun is shooting. One has to wonder how many people never put the time and energy into trying to better their scores and performance by working the gun and the load. It put things into perspective on how much time and money we waste by not knowing where the gun is shooting. Again thanks to everyone for your help. I will return with an update after the field trip and science project is complete.

    Best Regards,

    Brian Seibert
     
  19. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Well-Known Member

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    Brian, You are very fortunate to be able to get insight to Neil's work. He has been very generous over time to many of us here in sharing his knowledge and a lot of it is just common sense. Sometimes in our haste we lose some of that. Have fun as it's a long voyage, but interesting. Good luck, Bob
     
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