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Gun Patterning Left

2629 Views 13 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Stl Flyn
I patterned my gun on a bench and it was shooting straight but when shooting free hand, it appears I am pulling it to the left. Any idea why this happens? I heard it is common with right handed shooters. Is there a better way to grip the forearm to avoid pulling to the left?
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It's because your no holding the gun straight up and down. It's kicked to the left so if it's shooting high it shoots to the left the best way to fix this is with an adjustable butt pad then you can turn the butt pad so the gun sits straight on your shoulder.
Shooting paper is harder than shooting clays. You don't realize it, or even know you do it, but you tighten your grip slightly on your forearm, anticipating recoil when you shoot paper. Hardly ever shooting clays because things are moving to fast.

When you tighten your grip on the forearm, your bicep tightens and pulls the gun left. Just 1/8 of an inch will make the gun shoot 4" left. It all happens the same time you squeeze the trigger, so you don't see it. JMO

Youre not applying as much cheek pressure as you would when you're shooting at clays. Very common and a lot of guys chase their tails when a patterning board comes into play.

I have been patterning a new barrel and stock myself recently. When standing and shooting I found the pattern going to the left. When I used a bench press it was dead on.

I spoke to one of the best all time shooters this past Sunday here in Wisconsin about patterning guns. I was shocked when this person admitted that they never patterned a shotgun barrel. All this person would do was shoot at a targets being thrown. I was told that they did not want to see the pattern as all it woiuld do is mess with their mind.

I am still shaking my head about this statement.
Steve Balistreri
Drake20, there should be no surprise there. Your form at the bench is different than when you are standing up shooting. At the bench you are intentionally lining up the beads. When standing, your gun mount is different.

What you describe has happened to me often. Here is what I found. First, I cannot hold the gun still to shoot at a cross hair. There is a tendency to jerk the trigger when the bead is on target. That pulls the shot left. When I check left/right POI, I draw vertical lines on the paper. I start at the bottom, trace the line with the bead, squeeze the trigger and let it go off whenever it does. Also, if you use the middle of the pad of the first joint in your finger to pull the trigger, you'll have much better luck.

The second thing I found is when mounting the gun standing I sometimes let the butt slip to the right, into the shoulder pocket instead of on the collar bone. That throws the shot left. Once I realize that, correcting my gun mount solves that problem.
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I only pattern when I notice poor target breaking, but did try patterning my CG w.full choke and the tight patterns amazed me, it and they are excellent handicap shooting guns,

I want to be sure the pattern is right on vertically and horizontal
on my Mark on the pattern Paper.

For me the tighter the better for hdcp,

Gary Bryant
I pull left with a release. This is standing. But I can tell when I I do finish a well aimed shot. Some were on this 13 yard board and some were not.
Grass Land lot Trailer Grassland

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I cannot get an accurate shot at the pattern board with a release without moving the gun.
Thanks for the advice. I shoot a release trigger with an adjustable butt pad and use quality loads. I do believe I grip the forearm pretty tight to possibly cause it pulled slightly to the left upon shooting. I will lighten up on my grip and adjust my stance to see if it helps. Otherwise sounds like a common problem shooting free hand.
Have a buddy sneak a snap-cap in your gun and then see how you do. ;-)

Bob Falfa
Steve, how many pounds are you bench pressing before it shoots straight? And how many more do you have to press before it starts shooting right? Mike
I can understand not wanting to put a 410 on a pattern board!
Aim farther right!
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