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Type of powder affecting patterning

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by daswankesq, Feb 18, 2013.

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  1. daswankesq

    daswankesq TS Member

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    I was reading old messages on this forum about different powder recommendations. Several posts suggested that certain brands of powder "pattern" better than others. If different loads are travelling at the same speed (for instance, both going 1145 fps), how could the powder that is propelling them have any impact on pattern density as long as the speed is the same? I can see how result would vary with different speeds, different wads, different chokes, barrel lengths, etc. - but if the only variable that changes is powder - but still traveling at the same speed - I don't see how that could affect the pattern. Can someone explain this?
    Thank you.

    Drew
     
  2. Avaldes

    Avaldes Well-Known Member

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    Neil Winston published a nice set of data that suggested that Green Dot does pattern tighter at 1200 ft/sec than Red Dot. You may search under Neil's sign on name and dig up that article from a few years back.

    As far as I can remember, that is the only set of data that I have seen posted here that could lead one to definitively believe that one powder could pattern differently than another. There is a LOT of variation from shot to shot and in the loading process. So it takes large sample sizes taken on multiple days to have any meaningful conclusions. You also need to use a good data extraction process, like Shotgun Insight (by Dr. Andrew Jones) to reduce the data into a meaningful number. Otherwise you are just fooling yourself.

    Many people go out and shoot a couple patterns and draw conclusions that might have only a 50% chance of being correct. In a game that is 90% mental, this could hurt or help. But personally I like to use real facts when making decisions. YMMV.

    -Aaron
     
  3. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    Green Dot patterns better because it treats the shot gently. HMB
     
  4. lots of 24's

    lots of 24's Member

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    If you are any kind of a serious shot gunner, you need to spend some time at a patterning board. If you dont you are just guessing at what works best in your gun. If you do........you will be amazed at the difference one single variable...like powder.....can make. Everything affects it. The powder, the amount of powder, the primer, the wad. Choke tubes......never assume choke tubes shoot straight....pattern them....you will be amazed. And you will be an informed,educated shooter. Break em all.
     
  5. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    Drew, I won't disagree with anything posted here so far. It is all valid, but it is not the answer.

    I have spent hundreds of hours patterning and counting holes. Later I used software to do the counting. What I found was this. The barrel, with all its components, makes more difference than wads, powder or all the rest. Simply put, there are good barrels and bad barrels.

    When I started reloading again, I tried every wad, powder, hull, primer, etc. I could buy. Pattern results were all over the place. I sold the gun and bought a Superposed. Patterns were beautiful- tight and even. It didn't care a jot what you fed it. Both barrels liked everything.

    I sold that gun and bought a used MX-15 with a Wilkinson tuned barrel. I performed the same with everything I fed it.

    I sold that gun and Bought An MX-200 with an MX-15 barrel on it. Unmodified, that barrel threw the tightest patterns around. It worked great with 8 shot, but loved 7 1/2. So did the O/U barrels I added. All three patterned beautifully with everything.

    Like a dope I sold those barrels because I wanted higher ribbed barrels. I acquired a 35/34 combo set. patterns from the 35" were okay. The under barrel didn't like anything, and the over barrel was fine. I sent those barrels to Kerry Allor. He told me why they were poor performers and fixed them. Now they digest everything and throw beautiful patterns.

    So I'd say this. Try some different powders and wads. If you are getting a wide variation in pattern efficiency with trap loads, you more than likely have a bad barrel/forcing cone/choke or something. If so, send it to a smith and have it fixed. Life is too short to shoot bad barrels.

    The upside is, once you know you have a good barrel, you can stop experimenting. Another 4 or 6 pellets inside the 20" ring isn't going to do much for you.
     
  6. 635 G

    635 G Well-Known Member

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    There is a great article out there, on Shotgun world--it compares sys, nitro vs gun clubs--very revealing.

    Phil Berkowitz
     
  7. Scott Johnson

    Scott Johnson Well-Known Member

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    Granted it is nothing like Neil would test but after a 1/2 dozen patterns, Green Dot has a denser core than TightGroup everything else the same. Hulls. wads, primers, and gun, patterned @ 40 yards. Pellet counts were close in 30" circle with the nod to GD, the Green Dot had more pellets in the 20" core than TG. The patterns also appeared more dense, so the "theory" is it MAY be better for long Caps. YMMV Scott
     
  8. Johnny

    Johnny Well-Known Member

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    I remember Neil's test that showed about 6 pellets av more in a GD pattern. He couldn't explain that. That isn't significant and may not repeat. The powder is just a force against the bottom of the wad. I don't think component choice makes much difference at all. I wouldn't go out of my way thinking GD will break more targets.
     
  9. Avaldes

    Avaldes Well-Known Member

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    Scott that is an interesting data point. My tests suggested the opposite, but the differences were small, such that I would consider them equal in performance. The cleanliness of TG is the deciding factor for me.
     
  10. johnpe

    johnpe Member

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    Several years ago (the mid-1970's) I did a pattern test using five of my full choke trap barrels and shells that according to the charts of the day said they were the same velocity. Primers, hulls, shot and wads were the same. I found that Green Dot gave patterns in a 30" circle at 40 yards that were 4.4% tighter than Red Dot and that Unique was 7% tighter than Red Dot. Each shell fired had the same number of pellets according to count. Do your own testing. The information that is available today as to components, velocity and pressure are light years ahead of what was available then. There was a difference in barrels, but not as much as some would have you think. Those tested were a Pigeon M12 trap, an LC Smith Single Barrel, a Remington M32 O/U with full and full, and a Remington M1100 trap. The shot was standard chilled shot from Lawrence. The LC Smith and 1100 gave the tightest patterns and were pretty much equal. Changing powder can definitely make a difference.

    Johnpe
     
  11. Scott Johnson

    Scott Johnson Well-Known Member

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    I have shot reasonable scores at long Caps with both Green Dot and Tight Group, so difference there can be, but pointing the shotgun correctly is still the best way. Scott
     
  12. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    If you haven't digested all this "stuff" yet, barrels and loads require a lot of VOODOO to go along with the art of trying to figure out which options work best with each barrel. Good Luck. And do yourself a favor, go down to New Orleans and consult with a Voodoo Witch Doctors before you begin the process.....
     
  13. drgondog

    drgondog Member

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    Technically speaking every charge of powder has a different burn rate and if measured in strict lab conditions will demonstrate a different pressure curve.

    Mathmatically, the curve demonstrates acceleration variations over time and distance which in turn provide force (variable) on the wad/shot column. Somewhere in the data, it is more probable that the Pressure wave that causes smoother acclerations may impact the shot within the wad less severely.
     
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