Patterning = OCD

Discussion in 'Shooting - Reloading Forum' started by Dr Duk, May 23, 2020 at 10:45 AM.

  1. Dr Duk

    Dr Duk Senior Refuge Member

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    I have 52 shotguns!:z
    I have NEVER, EVER patterned them. Or any of the 150 or so I’ve owned.
    I have 4 with adjustable ribs and combs.
    I “pattern” my new gun on low 7 at skeet.
    If I smoke the target, no adj needed.
    It doesn’t show me any percentage, but works for me.
    I shoot about 10,000 targets a year currently.

    Start the criticism!:flame
     
    derbyacresbob likes this.
  2. OneShotBandit

    OneShotBandit Elite Refuge Member Supporting Member

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    :tu Ya know Doc, there was thread years ago about someone that was killing ducks so he didn't do any patterning/choke work. THEN he did and he was amazed the horrible patterns (on paper) he got! So now MY WAY is if you're killing ducks then that's all you need to know! It might not be Kosher, but you won't be in for a MAJOR let down! IMHO only!
     
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  3. JP

    JP Elite Refuge Member

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    Until ~1991 I had never undertaken any serious pattern work. This was in response to the frustration of steel shot cartridges of the day and why they weren’t killing birds as the lead pellet loads used 1967-1987.

    A buddy and I went to a public range with a wheelbarrow load of shotguns and pounds of steel cartridges. The results of firing rounds at 4X4 sheets of cardboard placed 40 yards away were astounding. Holes and gaps large enough to throw a full grown housecat through were epidemic. Of the dozen or so shotguns the only one that placed pellets in a killing pattern (even pellet dispersion and density) was a 1980 vintage (my first Wingmaster) 870 magnum that a gunsmith had opened the 30” FULL barrel to a IM constriction. With 3” Federal cartridges in “T” shot pellets it placed a 30” group that (later) killed mallard size birds deader than fried chicken.

    Steel is nowhere near as forgiving as lead shot and relying upon the choke tube designation and pellet info on the cartridge box can be a source of frustration.

    The HTL pellets are now my go-to option for waterfowl in situations where birds need to be killed based upon distance and or wind.

    The combination of steel as the first (and/or second) load followed by a HTL load allows for use of a more open (IC or SKT II) choke for steel loads of #4’s or #5’s to get a good pattern over the decoys and the HTL in #6’s or #7’s as the coup de grais final solution is what I tend to default as the basic setup nowadays.

    With that being said, if you’re killing birds and have never patterned anything, ignorance is bliss. However, if you find yourself scratching your head when the bird is relieved of a pillow full of feathers yet flys away or becomes a lost cripple, do you owe it to the birds (and, yourself) to get the paper out and head to the pattern board?
     
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  4. duckbuster5901

    duckbuster5901 Elite Refuge Member

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    What sent me to the pattern board years ago was similar but checking p.o.i. on a quail gun. Beretta 303) I kept killing the bird close over top of one I was shooting at thinking I had correct drop at comb. Discovered a 5mm difference in shim thickness put me spot on. With that same gun the way it was originally shimmed I was still killing birds at range but missing in close before pattern opened up. Guess it all amounts to if your satisfied with what your getting. Same gun taught me how those Berettas/Benellis liked open chokes because of smaller bore diam. Since than I believe I,ve checked every shotgun I,ve owned. Some were right, some were,nt but were corrected. I,d rather make sure it was the arrow and not the Indian. And steel shot shells now that's a whole different story!
     
    JP likes this.
  5. twodog

    twodog Refuge Member

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    I never knew about pattering my shotguns until I owned a Benelli. I took my new (only shot a few times) SBE II to Venice Louisiana. The first day I missed a few birds and had a poor shooting day the second day the guide offered me to try his Maxus. I said no until I missed two teal point blank. I picked up his Maxus and shot a double the very next time birds entered the decoys. I shot his gun the rest of the trip. Huge fan of the Maxus ever since. In my opinion, the Maxus is the best waterfowl gun on the market.

    After I got home I pattered the Benelli on a friends recommendation and it shot high. Way high. I have two Benellis (12 & 20) and they are now my dedicated turkey guns. I pattern them frequently.

    To your point, I don’t pattern unless there is a problem or trying new choke/ammo combo for turkey hunting
     
  6. Native NV Ducker

    Native NV Ducker Mod-Duck Hunters Forum, Classifieds, and 2 others Moderator

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    If you are happy with your % of ducks killed per shots, then no, no need to pattern.

    Also, if ALL your shooting is inside 30 yards, mostly no need for patterning (unless you are shooting sub-gauges)
     
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  7. Native NV Ducker

    Native NV Ducker Mod-Duck Hunters Forum, Classifieds, and 2 others Moderator

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    Not to argue, as I agree it is semantics, shooting to check POI/POA isn't patterning. It is sighting in.
     
  8. Neighbor Guy

    Neighbor Guy Senior Refuge Member

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    If not patterning your guns work for you and makes you feel good. The go for it. Do you.

    I am an overthinker, so I like to know everything about my equipment. What it's good at and what it’s not. That can only be done at the patterning board and the sporting clays range.

    I’m happy for the guys who can buy one off the rack, go buy the shells the guy on the outdoor channel told him to buy, and kill stuff without doing the work. It’s just not the way I want to do it.
     
    JP likes this.
  9. duckbuster5901

    duckbuster5901 Elite Refuge Member

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    Guess you look at it that way. After owning a gun that shot high on aimed shots my first stop is at pattern board to make sure it shoots to P.O.A.. second thing is adjust shims if equipped to shoot spot on w/full choke at 15/16 yds.( P.O.I. )Third thing usually is pattern chokes at 25 & 40 just to see what I,m working with. All done at pattern board , just different uses of board.
     
  10. Waxed Canvas

    Waxed Canvas Elite Refuge Member

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    Here’s what patterning taught me. The shots I take Duck Hunting are between 25 and 35 yards with most being in the 20-25 yard range. I had NEVER patterned a shotgun until this year. I’m 56 and have been hunting squirrels, quail, Ducks, pheasant and dove since age 7. I wonder how many more Ducks I would have killed and many fewer Ducks I would have wounded had I known how the shotgun I was using behaved?
     
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