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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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Rifle shooters may start their sighting-in at 25 yards and then move to 100 yards. Most don't check much further than that for reasons ranging from (1) don't have a longer range, (2) don't have a spotting scope, (3) don't have time, (4) don't want to waste the ammo, or (5) don't care. Those rifle shooters who do check their guns at 200 yards, 300, 500, and further can get quite an eye-opening experience discovering their gun is not doing what they extrapolated it to do.

Many trap shooters do not shoot at paper or patterning boards. No interest in it at all. Many who do shoot at patterning boards limit it to 13 or 16 yards.

Like the rifle shooter who starts at 25 yards, the trap shooter starting at 13 yards might be a great idea.

How many of y'all extended your shotgun patterning range out to 50+ yards where some of the handicap clay target breaking is happening ?

What do you see ?

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I check patterns at 40yds. That is a standard yardage I can use to compare my guns performance to others. At 50yds I couldn't do that.
 

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We play a game called "Protection". 2 shooters at full handicap distance have a chance to break the same target. If the 1st misses the second has a shot at it. I have learned to hold lower the further out the target is. Faster speed handicap loads allow me to hold "Not as low". My shotgun is set to shoot a rising target (fast shooter).

Bob
 

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Depends on the objective. If the pattern board is used to compare chokes/barrels and ammo against a 'standard' then I always shoot 40 yard patterns - then look to see other indicators.

For pigeons, helice and bunker I like to see what it looks like at 50 yards in the inner 20" circle. I do count pellets for the 20". I want the choke for the ammo to have the tightest pattern I can get on the second barrel.

For first Barrel I like to look at 32 or 35 yards and I don't count pellets
 

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I pattern my barrels at 30 yards for singles and 40 yards for handicap. I don't feel the need to pattern at longer distances because the software I use, Dr. Jones' Pattern Insight, does a very good job at interpolating to different distances as long as they are relatively close to the original.

I check my POI at half the distance I care about. So that would be 15 yards for singles and 20 yards for handicap.
 

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I check POI at 13 Yards at the patterning board. What you see at 13, just multiply by 3 for 36 yards or there a bouts. Use a full choke at 13.... there will be no doubt as to the center of the group.

Now, for pattern, I use the patterning board at 36 yards which is about where I break targets. Again the center of the pattern should be from a POI perspective in the same area that the 13 yard test revealed.... however now you are seeing at 36, what the choke, load, wad and barrel can give you.

So as you can see, these are two different tests, run at different distances. Use the load that you will be normally shooting for these tests.

I find that shooting from rest to be the best way as it eliminates alot of variables. If you cannot shoot from rest, then slowly raise your gun up to be just under the mark aim point on the patterning board. We use 4" fluorescent orange target pastors for our patterning and white flip chart paper that is essentially a large Post-It note with the self stick on the back.

For the back distance game, set your trap at straight aways, start at 16 and work back to 27. As you work back you will probably notice that your bird-bead relationship may need to get tighter, at around 23 yards. Some guys add a 1/16th inch spacer in their comb for the back game if they want to have the same bird bead relationship as at 16. The back game that you describe often times has the second shot out at 45 to 50 yards or more. We do this game at our club with WOBBLE and the trap machine wound up tight. A great game, and unlike normal Trap, very gregarious with all sorts of chiding and typical trash talking going on. We call it ...wipe your eye. If the backup guy hits your target twice you are out. Last man standing wins the pot. Fun game. I use 7 1/2 shot 3 dram loads for that game in a one ounce payload. The pattern out there is very loose even so. I find one ounce to pattern better out there in the distance... perhaps less lead shot scrubbing.... my favorite gun for this is the Remington 90-T HPAR with the long tight barrel full fixed choke. A real killer gun for the long game.

Hope this helps...
Art
 

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For my 270 deer rifle, I doubt that sighting in at 25 yards would tell me very much unless it was a brand new scope & mounts. I normally sight in my rifle at mid range of 100 yards from a bench and use ballistic tables for the ammo I use. The other posts have the correct info for trap guns.
 

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20 yds for poi.

For patterning for performance, depends on usage and objective. Back when I done alot of turkey shooting and knockouts/annies, 60 yds plus.

For most folks,40 yds is probably plenty. Another 5 yds can be very scary at how much patterns can deteriorate.
 

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I used to worry about stuff like that, then I just switched to a fixed full choke. Grinds them up until the curvature of the earth blocks 'em out.
 

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Crush, Especially with a fixed full choke, your gun still has to shoot where your looking. So, I still pattern a gun whether a fixed or screw in chokes to know where it is shooting and if I need to change the POI.
 
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