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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello:
I often wonder if patterning your gun is always a good idea? Before some of you get your shorts in a bundle please let me explain.

I have a friend who purchased a new Perazzi TMX and right out of the box he shot a practice round and then proceeded to shoot a 100 straight at the state shoot. He asked me if I thought if he should pattern his gun?

My response was to leave well enough alone. I know this guy fairly well and I knew if he patterns the gun there would be something that he doesn't like and will get some type of barrel work done. I told him you just broke 100 straight and what good would patterning your gun do?

Long story short, he patterned his gun and the pattern wasn't perfect to his liking and shortly afterwards the gun was off to a well know barrel man and work was done. He got the gun back and took the gun out to the next ATA event and shot an 88. Needless to say he was devastated and eventually lost all confidence in the gun.

I have always believed that patterning a new gun is a available tool in shooting potentially good scores, but if you already shot a 100 straight in singles and you do not shoot handicap events what good does patterning your gun really do? My thought is you broke 100 straight why look for problems and excuses?

What do you think?
Steve Balistreri
Wauwatosa Wisconsin
 

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No. Most people don't know how to use a patterning board and don't understand that it isn't a definitive solution to anything. Most end up chasing their tails. A patterning board is just ONE tool to gun fit.

I've seen many AA shooters who can't come close to a dot on a board with guns they run 100's with!
 

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No. Most people don't know how to use a patterning board and don't understand that it isn't a definitive solution to anything. Most end up chasing their tails. A patterning board is just ONE tool to gun fit.

I've seen many AA shooters who can't come close to a dot on a board with guns they run 100's with!
Forget the patterning but do check for point-of-impact.
 

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I haven' patterned one yet.
But who knows, some day I might get really bored.

Just check the POI and have at it.

AA27AA
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
When I get a new gun I always look for poi and if it shoots left or right of center. This particular guy I know wants the shot evenly placed within the circle. I would think very few guns will have the shot evenly dispersed? Personally, if poi is what you like and you already broke 100 straight what good is patterning your gun other than to give you something to do and start tinkering with the gun?

I'd rather have a gun that patterns like crap and break 100 straight then have a gun that looks great on paper and you do not break good scores. Brings up another question, how can a shooter with a gun with less than an ideal pattern break 100 straight? Is that even possible?
Steve
 

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I do pattern my guns but in your friends case it might not have been a good idea. Confidence may have trumped patterns in his case.
 

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Yep, barrel regulation (from bench rest) and pattern performance is about all the board should be used for.
 

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This is usually an iffy subject. Most people take a gun out for patterning without knowing what to expect or a plan to get something accomplished and shoot ONE pattern. One the basis of this ONE pattern they make a judgment that will usually cost them a bunch of money. It takes at least 10 well shot patterns to begin to understand what that one load will do in that one barrel. Right now, I shoot at least 20 different shotguns with different action types, gauges, etc. and shoot all of them pretty well. There are some I shoot a little better than some of the others, but there isn't a lot of difference. The difference is more day to day rather than averages. I'm betting that it is pretty much the same for most people if they give it a try. I've shot probably two or three thousand patterns and keep a knockdown patterning board in my garage. Except for the very early days, I knew the number of pellets in each shell and all ten shells were as close to the same as I could make them. I even do a crush test on the shot so I have at least some idea of how hard it really is - not what it says on the bag. I've gotten old and stand a lot straighter than I used to. The guns that used to pattern 70/30 or so now pattern at least 100% high because my eye is higher up than it used to be. Can I really tell any difference in breaking long (further than 27 yard trap) or short (skeet range type) targets? NO!! Let the eyes and the brain do their work and you will seldom notice any difference. If you are an aimer, expect differences - sometimes they can be rather profound.

Johnpe
 

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The original post (senior smoke) doesn't say whether his friend - again - patterned the gun "after" the barrel work was done, and before shooting his 88 score, and whether he kept track of his original pattern in some manner (like a photo). Once the barrel work was done (it doesn't say what was done) he should have shot it again to duplicate the (100 straight) point-of-impact. I want to say "point-of-impact" rather than pattern as that's what he should have been checking, once the work was done on the barrel, since it's a critical issue to duplicate. In my opinion, the individual shot pattern isn't as critical unless there are lots of holes in it which I've not found to any large extent on any fixed load I use.

Again, only my opinion, if you don't know where your point-of-impact is you're shooting kind of blind. Missing, you don't often know if it's you, the gun or both of you. Also, is this gentleman usually shooting a 100 straight? Could the 88 be more typical of the low end of his shooting on a bad day? Shooting 100 straight is no easy task - even on a good day. He must be one heck of a shot having done that.

Once you know your point-of-impact, and it suits your shooting style (and this is the hard part), you can take that out of the equation. Now, when you miss and you're really honest with yourself, the "why you missed" becomes quite apparent and you know what you did wrong. I find that my mind is then at ease regarding the gun and I have to fix myself (swing thru better, for example). I know people who've shot for years and don't know their point-of-impact. The variation in their scores is dramatic and they struggle changing everything not welded shut.

I found the dynamics of your shooting style is something often overlooked and that's the tough part of setting your point-of-impact. Neil Winston once touched on the subject which helped me considerably. One should also review Neil's 13 yard patterning write-up, well worth the read. Not putting your gun on paper, to me, is like going out after a criminal without a mug shot.
 

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I only go to patterning board when I constantly don't do well with a new gun or new choke tubes.
So far I haven't encounter any of mine that doesn't shoot straight.
Onetime I did find two chokes from a well known maker that shot half moon shape patterns.
 
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POI...Absolutely a must.

I had a young shooter that was so inconsistent when he came to me. I told him the first thing we need to do is POI his gun. I took him over to the board and he shot and was a nice 50/50. I told him to do it again, it was 70/30...Hmmmmmm, better try it again thinking he just messed up a shot. The next shot he was 30/70....WTH?? So we went through gun fit and he was always mounting the gun different trying to get it to not hurt his shoulder. We did some work on his gun and got a comfortable fit with the sight picture he liked after that. The first thing we did before EVERY lesson was to POI his gun for the first 5 or 6 lessons.
This young man is on the top squad now and has been in many shoot offs. It truly is very satisfying to get the phone call from a 14 year old kid and you can hear the excitement in his voice when he wants to tell me he has won!

I understand guys that have found success and shot for years and never used a patterning board...Thats great!, but for these guys to go around telling new shooters...."You dont need to do that" That is bad advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
My friend that this thread is about always flirted between a solid A and AA . He had very deep pockets and could afford to attempt top buy a good score with barrel work. He would have the choke opened anywhere from .037 to .039 and have the forcing cones lengthened. In this particular case he told me that he did pattern this gun on a bench rest before he sent the gun to the gunsmith as well as after he got it back.

He told me after the work was done the pattern was improved to his liking and he saw more smoke when he hit targets compared to before he sent the gun to the gunsmith. I told him every time I purchase a new gun I seemed to shoot really well at first and then reality enters into the picture. In my case, my highest average for a year of shooting was just under a 95%. I usually averaged 92% or a bit higher which tells me I had a lot of issues in my shooting.

He was a lot better shooter then myself, but he was a tinkerer, as he had very deep pockets and in his particular case very long arms when it pertained to his guns. Let's face it, if you do not average 100%, every 100 that you break is shooting above your head and it is not the norm. I believe he had a very good day shooting and the gun was new, and he did everything right that day plus he had good targets, a good puller and a good squad.

I have always believed you need everything to fall into please when you run a straight. The 88 he shot after he got his gun back was indeed low for him but this same guy never missed a target that he could not find someone or some thing to blame his misses on. All he needed was to take a look into the mirror.

Steve
 

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I once knew a man who shot singles really well and was on the 25 yard line. He wasn't a great shooter but a very good one. He had a lot of money and shot a high-grade K-80, a high-grade Kolar and a Silver Seitz equally well. Then his club installed shotgun patterning boards and he was off to the races. He went so far as to have a local print shop make large patterning targets for him and set all his guns so they shot where he thought they should. His shooting bounced off the rim and went into the toilet.

I told him to readjust all three guns while shooting them until they broke targets hard and leave the stock and rib wrenches at home. So he shot practice with me one day and we got his K-80 breaking targets well and he ran his last 50 straight. The following weekend, we shot together at a registered shoot and he did poorly, missing multiple targets in a row. He admitted he had patterned it again and asked if I would meet him at his club to help him get it readjusted.

While we were there, he suggested I at least see how my gun was shooting so I did. Even I was shocked at how high my gun shot on paper - the uppermost pellets in my patterns were a foot under the aiming point at 13 yards. But I refused to adjust the gun because I knew I could err on my point, covering the target with my muzzle and at least break the target weakly, something that couldn't happen with a gun shooting 140% high. I must do something mechanically when shooting a moving gun at a moving target that I don't do when I shoot a stationary gun at a stationary target. I suggested that he might do something similar but he stood by the patterning board results and adjusted his guns so they shot where he thought they should on paper. He never shot well again.

I'm all for shooting three shots at a paper to see that the barrel shoots straight and throws a decent pattern but that's it. From there, I let the targets determine what if anything needs changed.

Ed
 

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Ed, the top of your pattern was a foot low at 13 yards?
 

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I approach this from a different angle which is, does anybody think that Perazzi or any other high end gun maker would let a gun leave their facility and not shoot a good shot pattern? But you know, some people are just never satisfied.
 

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Ask a barrel guru, ( Wilkinson, Eyster, etc), you'd be surprised what leaves the factory sometimes.

I've had a Fab Arm, 2 Blasers, a Kolar, and 2 Guerini's, and a Perazzi on my splatter board that weren't regulated. Only the Kolar was a used gun and may have been tinkered with.

Hit the splatter board a soon as you buy a gun,
 

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That is why I believe that your POI on paper is just a starting point, if needed! POI in reality while concentrating on a target, and shooting, is so reliant on eye, hand coordination, that it could vary to the point of insignificance if done on paper. It either restores confidence, or destroys it.

Now I understand what your friend did as far as curiosity goes to see the actual pattern. You know what they say about that, "Curiosity killed the cat."

In your friends case, what the hell was he thinking? Why would he spend more money on a gun, and alter it, when he already proved to himself that it shoots the best that it can? Sometimes the mind is a good thing to get wasted. Cheers!
 
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