Increasing Pattern Density - What would you do?


Elite Refuge Member
Sep 26, 2014
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Close to where I hunt
I also have patterned my Home-Loads for Waterfowl with a .014 constriction and I can say (at 32 yds) they're tight , about 26" with a hot core !
I can also say most of the pellet strikes are outside the inner core but that inner core has 30 percent of the pattern in it ! I continue to believe my
shooting is to center the bird in the pattern and the times birds are only hit in the head are when I have over-lead them or there were holes in
my pattern that normally , don't show . The "Head shots" I usually get are when I'm reaching out farther than my pattern is capable of so , Yeah
it was the Golden bb thing ! Shotguns throw patterns , on close shots inside of 15 or so yds , it's very dense but when we talk about 25 yds out ,
it's very un-usual to hit a bird (flying) in the head without hitting the body or other parts too ! I will say this , I have put on the ground my share
of birds without any body hits also , with only breaking a wing....poor shooting ? No , successful shooting !

I also shoot a lot of clay targets and have a pretty-good idea of "finding the Line and shooting the Lead" Especially when shooting money shoots
and being the 3 or 6 th to shoot ! When distance plays a part of hitting a bird with a pattern of steel shot , it's more of not having a Dense enough
pattern , than the lead !
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Elite Refuge Member
Mar 11, 2000
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Indian Territory, Oklahoma
Looking at those patterns, I would think that they are pretty tight already, and I would probably be looking to open up the pattern , if that is the range you are killing birds, but 65-70% patterns , to me, are just about ideal in terms of killing cleanly and not turning them into hamburger. You have to find a nice equalibrium between the two, in my opinion. Trial and error, in the field, and not on 2-dimentional paper targets, is where you truly find out how well your patterns are performing. Something about the 4 dimensions of space-time makes those paper targets not quite so valid.

Steel the first two followed by a HTL load…just in case….

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