Shot Pattern

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Shot Pattern

Postby AR Dave » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:35 am

OK - I'm going to step out the back door and compare my chokes - improved vs modified.
Also want to see how the 20 gauge, my daughter shoots, compares.
So how do I need to go about this? Shoot them at 30 yds and 40 yds?
I have some sacks that should open up to about 3 ft x 3 ft - large enough?
Suggestions appreciated.

Kent, 3 inch, #3, is working real well for me.
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Re: Shot Pattern

Postby Frank Lopez » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:59 am

Dave,

You'll need to shoot a minimum of five shots through each choke to get a good idea of what to expect. That said, you need to figure out what the distance you typically shoot your birds at and shoot at that distance. You'll be looking for a minimum of 85 to 90 well distributed pellets in a 30 inch circle. That's the minimum needed to consistently kill large ducks. What I like to do is to test my patterns five yards before and ten yards after the distance I expect the birds. I want that minimum pattern to be at ten yards past that distance. Then, I'll want to see what the pattern looks like five yards early, just so I don't get over kill.

You can get way more technical in your analysis, but that's really not necessary for the most part. 4 foot square is better, but your 3x3 should work. You can put an aiming point on the paper, but don't draw the circle until you've shot the pattern. Then, determine the center of the pattern (which may or may not be at the aim point) and draw the circle.

Try a couple of different loads, too. You'll be surprised at some of the variations just from different shells.

Frank
I feel slightly sorry for a man who has never patterned his gun, who has no idea how far his chosen load will retain killing penetration. But I'm extremely sorry for the ducks he shoots at beyond the killing range of his gun and load - Bob Brister
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Re: Shot Pattern

Postby lostknife4 » Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:22 am

I get my pattern "paper" ie cardboard pallet liners at the local grocery store, they're free for the asking and are around 4 x 4.

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Re: Shot Pattern

Postby aclumpkin » Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:55 am

I use red rosin paper. It is cheap, it easy to transport (in a roll), and is sturdy enough to withstand handling and drawing on it once you cut it to analyze it. I did build my own patterning board though that has a roll dispenser on it. So you just roll up a new sheet of red rosin paper, clip it, shoot it, cut it, and then repeat. My hunting buddies and I do a good amount of patterning though so for what you are looking for, what Lost recommended might be best.

Frank has great info on the actual patterning. I do very similar to what he states. Most of my shots are around 30 to 35 yards. That said, I make sure to pattern out to 40 to see how the pattern looks. Some loads and choke combinations work great and others can really make patterns deteriorate quickly past 30-35 yards. I try to shoot for around 100 pellets though because I also want to increase my chances on the medium sized ducks.

Good luck and hope you have fun with it... we do! :beer:
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Re: Shot Pattern

Postby BBK » Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:42 pm

I use computer paper LOL

I just staple them up to the patterning board (plywood) and shoot them. Then when I draw the circle it leaves a mark through all of the papers so I can re-assemble them if needed later on.
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Re: Shot Pattern

Postby 10gaOkie » Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:55 pm

I have a piece of cardboard that is a 30" round circle. I use it for a pattern, over and over, to cover the most pellet hits, then trace around it. I normally use a piece of paper that is 35" x 35". That would be the minimum size I would suggest using. I never shoot a pattern that is closer than 40 yards. 45 yards is my normal patterning range with 50 yards being second. I then draw small circles around each hit inside the circle while counting. If you get say 142 hits counted from a load that shoots 153 pellets total, then your pattern is 142/153 which is a 92% pattern.

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Re: Shot Pattern

Postby baltz526 » Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:17 pm

I like the 30" cardboard circle idea. I have been using a aluminum strap with 2 holes 15" on center. Then use a tack to center, and second hole gets a felt tip pen to scribe the circle. Think I'll make the 30" cut out tonight. Thanks.
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Re: Shot Pattern

Postby 10gaOkie » Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:22 pm

I might add, I can fold that 30" round piece of cardboard for safe keeping in the trunk of my car. It works about as slick as I have found for my own use. It is also easy to use it covering a max number of hits. Just slide it around until you are happy with it and trace around it.

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Re: Shot Pattern

Postby TEN GAUGE BBB » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:33 pm

baltz526 wrote:I like the 30" cardboard circle idea
:thumbsup:
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Re: Shot Pattern

Postby BBK » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:41 pm

That is a heck of an idea!
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Re: Shot Pattern

Postby eastcoastsoxfan » Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:53 am

10gaOkie wrote:I have a piece of cardboard that is a 30" round circle.

Chris


I use card board for patterns, I rummage through the card board recycling at work and one day I found some circles of card board that must of came off a wire spool pallet or something and they are a perfect 30" circle. I cut the center out of one so it's easy to see the pattern when you lay it on, I have a bunch more hoarded in the shed should the first wear out.
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Re: Shot Pattern

Postby mauserfan » Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:01 am

You can shoot both ways through the cardboard as well. Easily seen on back side for pattern comparison....mauser
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Re: Shot Pattern

Postby aclumpkin » Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:37 am

Frank Lopez wrote:You can put an aiming point on the paper, but don't draw the circle until you've shot the pattern. Then, determine the center of the pattern (which may or may not be at the aim point) and draw the circle.

Like Chris, I have a big piece of folding cardboard that I cut out a 30" circle out of. My cardboard used to be a school presentation board (the ones that have a large middle and two wings that fold in). They are just big enough.

Then I do like Frank says. I have a 1" circle cut out on a piece of cardboard. When I roll up my target to shoot, I use a magnum marker to fill in the 1" on the red rosin paper. That is my aiming point. I shoot the target at the desired distance, cut it off, and move on.

When I get home, I flip the red rosin paper over. You can clearly see all of the holes coming through on the back. I use my 30" cut out circle to move it around to find the best pattern. Like Frank says, note that I find the best pattern regardless of where the 1" aiming point is on the front. I look at the pattern and its distribution, count the pellet %, and take a quick picture (I don't keep the paper). Some of the things I count and keep are the shell and choke of course, pellet distribution, the pellet % in the 30" circle, and how many pellets are in the 1" aiming point.

The reason why I do it this way is that lets just say that the middle of the 30" target on the back is 6" left of the aiming point (so I pulled the shot 6" to the right of my target (right because I was looking at the back). This could definitely happen in the field, a shot 6" too far in front of a passing bird. I want to see that even though I did not hit my target precisely, how many pellets ended up in the 1" aiming point / target. Because if I have a good, uniform patter with a sufficient pellet %, then I hopefully will still get enough pellets in the 1" aiming point to take down the bird. This of course assumes that you don't miss your aiming point by more than 15" because the pattern circles we are looking at is 30".

Anyway, this is the way I do it. Hope it helps. I also have a YouTube video on what my patterning board looks like with the roller if you are interested. I have posted it up here in the past.

Good luck :beer:
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Re: Shot Pattern

Postby aclumpkin » Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:40 am

For example, here is Black Cloud # 2, Mid Range Carlson Choke, at 40 yards:

BC2_MRC_40.JPG
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Re: Shot Pattern

Postby Joe Hunter » Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:41 am

Here's a link to a patterning article that might be helpful.

http://www.wildlifedepartment.com/hunti ... erning.htm

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Re: Shot Pattern

Postby Frank Lopez » Fri Dec 13, 2013 1:02 pm

If you do a lot of patterning, here's an idea that's a little more permanent (and expensive) than cardboard. Get a piece of plexiglass. Mine is 1/4 inch thick, but any thickness will really work. mark the center and scribe a 30 inch circle and a 20 inch circle on the plexiglass. Cut the plexi around the 30 inch circle. Using a 1/8 inch drill, drill the center hole. Then use a 1/4 drill and mark off 4 points on the center lines along the 20 inch circle. You can also make and attach a handle of sorts, for easier carrying and handling.

Once you center the plexi over your pattern, mark the center and the quarter points of the 20 inch circle. Use any convenient method to draw/define the 20 inch circle. Here's why.

The standard 30 inch circle contains 706 and change sq. in. The 20 inch circle is a little less than half that at 314 sq. in. When your pattern actually meets a duck somewhere down range, it's that central 20 inches that does the work. The pellets in the 20 to 30 inch annular ring are more dispersed and less effective than those in the central 20 inches. Being able to look at these two areas separately will give you a better understanding of the pattern and an indication about the shot string.

Mostly, it's overkill. But some of us find it interesting to look at.

Frank
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