I understand your reasoning, but, after doing all this patterning and getting all this confidence you are talking about, has it increased your averages or given you any more yards than you would have had if you didn't pattern? I think that, if you are honest with yourself, it hasn't made you a better shooter, just a more informed one in regards to your patterns. Do you have one load for cold weather, one for warm, one for wind, one for high altitude, one for sea level, one for calm days, etc? Maybe you know which load you have that patterns well for each of these conditions, but I would be willing to bet you use the same load for everything rather than try to figure out which of your loads will pattern better on any given day or condition. What has made you a better shooter is practice and getting to know where your gun shoots in relation to your POI to be able to consistantly break the target. This is a direct result of reading your breaks. I patterned more loads than I want to think about and it never did me any good, nor did it give me anymore targets. What HAS given me more targets is knowing where my gun shoots using my natural POI and using the ability to read my breaks to my benefit. That is why I think it's more important to know your POI than it is to know how many pellets you can put into a 30" circle at 42yds.......Just my opinion.....Dan Thome (Trap2)
I do a lot of pattern work because I also shoot a lot of sporting clays.
My objective is to learn what size the pattern is at various distances rather than center density or fringe counts....In other words what does my Improved Cylinder choke do at 35 yards. An interesting outcome of this testing is that I have found that many open chokes actually hold a very good pattern at greater distances that you would expect.
Sheeree, the more you tell me, the more I see why patterning didn't work for you. If you can't look straight down the gun comfortably, you can't shoot it. And POI testing won't change that. As you have learned, that's the one thing which "must be."
I know people don't use a rest. But look at it this way: say you've just mounted a scope on a rifle and want to sight it in. Do you "freehand" it? Of course not. It might work eventually, but it's so much quicker and more accurate to bench rest it. And in POI testing, that's all you are trying to do as well. See where it shoots. Why spend all afternoon and never get the answer when you can shoot 5 shots in three minutes and learn what you want?
Clearly I spend a lot of time at Metro's pattern board. The only people who know what's going on with their guns are turkey hunters. They sit, brace, lie prone, whatever it takes to steady the gun. They know where they shoot. Trapshooters, in general, have no idea. But it must be harder to hit a flying target at 40 yards than a walking turkey at 20, or so it seems to me. Some things I'll never understand.
I think patterning won't ever change a score much. I do it to find things out, see who's right, who's bluffing.
Maybe it'll save a little money. You've all heard and read that lengthening the forcing cone will improve patterns. I'd never have it done but I did buy one time with a long forcing cone, so I thought I would test the theory. Most Perazzis with a standard bore and about 38 to 40 thousandths choke shoot about the same. That's the singles, and the over barrels of an unmodified O/U. If you do ten patterns with the same shells, they will be about equal, certainly no statistically-significant differences. Here are ten patterns - one with a Perazzi I call RP, the other Kansas with the long forcing cone. The RP gun shoots about like most unmodified P-guns.
The first thing to notice is that WPT is basically right. All these patterns are different in terms of where they put most of their shot this time, where next. Don't look for anything "deep" in here, there isn't anything. Pellet percentages cross, cross again, run parallel, diverge in a completely random fashion. But you can see something. The guns shoot just about the same. Sure a better test would be to test, do the cone, test, and it's possible the Kansas gun started bad and the cone-job saved it, but the simplest explanation is that lengthening the forcing cone of a Perazzi does not change the pattern percentage thrown by the gun.
This is just an example of the usefulness of patterning. And by that I mean "real" patterning. Counting the holes. Look at all that variability! You couldn't tell anything by "visual examination," nothing at all. Is there a bird in a thousand in this test. No. Is it worth knowing? That's up to you.
Yours in Sport,
ZZT, as I said I think your post on how to get a gun right should be on every gun club wall. Think of the time, money, and frustration that could be saved!
Trap2, you would lose your bet. I absolutely know how every load I use performs at varying ranges, in all temperatures from 30F to 95F. That knowledge allowed me to winnow the number of loads I used down to three- 1ea 7/8oz, 1oz and 1 1/8oz. The only thing I have to change to go from 3-season to winter is to change to 7 1/2 shot, and maybe choke up a little more if it is really cold.
As for the rest of your post, you mistook what I said on my posts on this thread. Of course it's important. That's my point. Make sure your gun shoots straight and the barrels are converged. Make sure your chokes shoot where your barrels do. Make your straight shooting gun shoot where you look. Use a load that performs well and consistantly. Then using all this known good stuff, develop a POA that lets you smoke targets. That's the confidence I'm talking about. Now there is no arguing with the fact that when I miss, it is my fault. I either identify that fault and learn not to do it again, or I'll continue to miss.
Does all this work? For me, yes. I've enough confidence in my 20b and my ability that I am actually flabberghasted when I miss. I'm not there yet with my MX-15, but I only have 1000 rounds through it so far. Even so, by applying these principles I've added 2 points to my singles and caps averages, moved up a class, and been bumped up another class at the last two championship shoots based on known ability for the results of the past few weeks. When I get the MX-15 to shoot exactly where I look, my scores will show I belong with the big dawgs.
So, it works for me and I'm not going to change my approach unless I run into a brick wall, or discover a method that works even better. If Neil had posted his two posts a little over a year ago, I would be a better shot by now. I would have spent less money and avoided a whole lot of learning things the hard way.
My name is Bill Ruhlman, I live in Calif. I currently am an A/26.5/B and approaching 100,000 target pin.
I made no claim as to my expertise, but merely responded to the question. Many times when someone asks a simple question, numerous lengthy responses are made from a posture of being an "expert".
My point was simply that I prefer to take the advice of people like Phil Kiner, and Leo Harrison, both of whom I have had the pleasure of taking lessons from and neither had us shooting at paper! You know these guys; many time All Americans, have various grand slams etc to their credit.
By the way I don't see where you bother to sign your name to your posts?
You can knowledge yourself to death and not be smarter.
Let me simplify my statement.
Would it make me a better golfer to hit a 1000 balls a day at the practice field for a year? Or, would I be better off knowing the makeup, density, number of dimples and wind resistance of the ball I am hitting and hit 10 balls a day for the same period? You decide.
If the club fits you then practice is what it is all about.
viperrt, you made my point with your averages! I'm not belittling you but rather pointing out that maybe should you take the time to do some pattern evaluation that it may help you reach a higher plateau! As for Leo and Phil, the majority of people in this game can tell you that both are very close personnel friends of mine and just because they are_who_they_are, doesn't mean that the average shooter couldn't learn additional info beyond their teachings! Every teacher has somewhat different methods! Finally if you're a trapshooter, as you say, I can't believe you don't know who I am, as most folks do, but just for you, I'm Martin Wilbur, ATA #2023390!
Some really good information can be gleaned from re-reading this debate. Some posters deleted their posts for whatever reasons. Those new to the game may learn something about patterning "Ol Betsy" from these guys years of experiences. Hap
I am going to put a pattern board in the back yard, my plant is to buy a 40X40 1/4 inch steel plate and mount it on 4x4 posts, drill a 1" hole in the middle and use white oil based paint 50/50 with 30wt motor oil and a roller.
You need to know your POI in relation to how you mount the gun and where your eyes are looking.
Hap, I'm particularly sorry to see that Sherree has deleted her posts. In many ways they were the most instructive of any in this thread.
Though I think she's shooting far less if at all, she was a completely typical enthusiastic novice entering our sport and trying to make progress and working very hard at it. But though she had "coach" and he or she no doubt did as much as could be done with her, she was held back by gunclub advisors and an unwillingness to follow a step-by-step program to improvement.
A little time - though she considered it a lot - offhand at a pattern board with no result put her off POI testing, and now that she was committed to staying lost she did what everyone does and bought a new gun and and on and on.
I think this is part of why we lose two-thirds of new shooters after a couple of seasons. Many have guns that won't ever work, or aren't doing close to what they think they are ("I got this gun from Wally and he said it shoots 80/20" or worse "I paid as much for this combo set as I did for my first car; finally I have a gun I can trust and don't have to worry about.")
If experienced shooters kept an eye out for newcomers who are having problems and could get them to test their equipment, or even better, help them test guns they are thinking of buying, I'd think we'd keep members who quit in frustration as a result of being saddled, as many are, with bad equipment, or at the least, equipment which would work a lot better if it were matched better to the shooter.
Patterning a gun means little to the average shooter. Most fail to understand what impact point is necessary for success. Some guns may impact at let's say 60-40 off the bench but the shooter needs another totally different one. Gun dynamics also play a part in impact requirements.
The late Frank Little patterned his gun one time and sold it shortly thereafter. Seems he couldn't understand how he was so successful with a gun that patterned so poorly. Never patterned one after that but averaged 99%+ for 13 years straight!!
Well said Neil! I do hope Sherree picks up her gun again and continues. She was doing ok with her B-Bway, maybe a recoil reducing stock may have been the ticket for her to win that elusive trophy she wanted so much! That mixed with lighter loads from the yardages she shot from may have worked better for her! I think she bought a new Beretta looking for the answer to no avail? I've never understood why a shooter says this gun shoots this way or that wanting another shooter to try said gun. The pupil of the eye to comb measurement is so different on most of us it's surprising not more are aware of it.
I do agree with your wanting new beginners to have quality help from the start too! It's so easy for people now days drifting into our sport knowing nothing at all about guns to become discouraged in a hurry! Times have changed drastically and our sport need all the help we can muster from those with experience. Most are reluctant to offer assistance to new shooters unless asked, maybe we should offer that at the club level encouraged by ATA? Or, possibly a novice class to build a more solid base? Just thinking out loud here. Hap