late season Patternmaster?

A place to discuss Maine hunting. Topics include Maine's reknowned sea duck hunting.

Moderators: DUKHTR, Dogman

late season Patternmaster?

Postby mountainguy » Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:22 pm

My early season IC hunting with #4s is good. But my late season hunting takes a dive...like, I hit nothing with 3 BB shots at 20 geese at 40 yards today, and then missed 3 Black Ducks with #2s at 35 yards. Bah!

I'm thinking of getting a Patternmaster choke for my 3 inch M2 to try to improve my late season performance, have been using factory chokes.

Anybody shoot an M2 and have experience to offer?
-------------
2014: 6 Geese, 22 duck, 1 grouse, 1 turkey
2013: 9 Geese, 31 duck
2012: 10 Geese, 27 duck, 13 dove, 13 rabbit
2011: 3 Geese, 20 duck
2010: 5 Geese, 20 duck
2009: 3 Geese, 20 duck
2008: 1 Goose, 18 duck
2007: 4 Geese, 19 duck
mountainguy
hunter
 
Posts: 153
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2007 5:19 pm
Location: Midcoast Maine


Re: late season Patternmaster?

Postby cjg » Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:35 pm

I bought a pattern master believing the hype and after patterning it was less than impressed so back it went.
User avatar
cjg
hunter
 
Posts: 980
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:46 am
Location: North Waterboro, Maine

Re: late season Patternmaster?

Postby rerun » Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:24 pm

My M2 patterns best with the factory Modified choke.
"A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone." Henry David Thoreau
rerun
hunter
 
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 5:53 am
Location: Wetbrook, ME

Re: late season Patternmaster?

Postby mountainguy » Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:59 pm

@rerun, what shot do you use?
mountainguy
hunter
 
Posts: 153
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2007 5:19 pm
Location: Midcoast Maine

Re: late season Patternmaster?

Postby maineducker » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:26 am

Try your factory modified with #2's. That's what I use 90% of the season on decoying ducks and geese. I also switched to 3.5" shells this year for my 2's. I've noticed much cleaner kills at longer range with the increased payload.
User avatar
maineducker
hunter
 
Posts: 364
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 3:50 am
Location: North Western Maine

Re: late season Patternmaster?

Postby rerun » Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:24 am

@rerun, what shot do you use?


Kent Fasteel #3's for pretty much everything...used to swap between #2's and #4's (Geese & Ducks respectively)....so me being the minimalist I am....I did the basic math and went with #3's for everything a couple of years back! No more worrying about which load to bring or having to switch out ammo mid hunt.
"A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone." Henry David Thoreau
rerun
hunter
 
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 5:53 am
Location: Wetbrook, ME

Re: late season Patternmaster?

Postby baydog44 » Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:17 pm

All the speciality chokes are really only good for the companies pockets that are selling them in my humble opinion. I think a full choke with 2's in 3" will cleanly kill anything you should be shooting. It doesn't matter what you shoot if you are trying to knock down birds at longer ranges as you will have cripples. These choke tubes and the non round shot types(Black Cloud, Matrix,etc.) are two of the best marketing ploys shot shell manufacturers have devised. Practice by shooting off season and pattern to determine what shoots best in your gun. There is no silver bullet.

Thanks
baydog44
hunter
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:57 am

Re: late season Patternmaster?

Postby mountainguy » Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:34 pm

Good to hear your opinions, thanks. I'm a pretty good shot, have dropped plenty of pheasants and such over past 25 years at similar range using my 56-year old 870. Now I'm figuring out how to adapt to steel shot in 3 inch for waterfowl. Near range blind and pass shooting with #4 steel feels and hits similar to my historical shooting (after some adjustment period), but I just can't get the mid-range and bigger birds (e.g. geese) to resemble what I'm used to. #2s and BBs do not shoot in any way I can figure out, have tried a range of shot brands and all my steel-approved factory chokes, let's say 250 shots or so. So my assumption is that the factory choke is breaking up the pattern with these larger steel shot more than I'm accustomed to or can figure out how to adapt to. Therefore I've been wondering about switching to something like Patternmaster. Based on the input from you guys, maybe I'll try a couple more boxes of #2 steel with my factory Mod choke (can't use the IM or Full with steel) and see what happens.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
-------------
2014: 6 Geese, 22 duck, 1 grouse, 1 turkey
2013: 9 Geese, 31 duck
2012: 10 Geese, 27 duck, 13 dove, 13 rabbit
2011: 3 Geese, 20 duck
2010: 5 Geese, 20 duck
2009: 3 Geese, 20 duck
2008: 1 Goose, 18 duck
2007: 4 Geese, 19 duck
mountainguy
hunter
 
Posts: 153
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2007 5:19 pm
Location: Midcoast Maine

Re: late season Patternmaster?

Postby maineducker » Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:19 am

Have you patterned your gun? This would help a lot in understanding what's going on.
User avatar
maineducker
hunter
 
Posts: 364
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 3:50 am
Location: North Western Maine

Re: late season Patternmaster?

Postby baydog44 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:21 am

You can use full chokes for steel---factory chokes are marked that way now. If you have an old choke get a new one(full) made for steel but please don't pay the money for one of the hyped up ones. What does a choke do---primary it reduces the bore down by a few thousands inch to hold the pattern tighter at a longer distance. Many of the new ones, factory and after market, are ported to reduce recoil, muzzell jump and some claim to strip the plastic shot cup out to prevent it from intermingling with the shot just out of the muzzle causing some of the pellets to fly irratically. The porting can help but the basic, primary purpose of a choke (fixed or screw in) is to constrict the end of the barrel to produce a tighter pattern down range. All the super duper chokes tubes are designed to extract money from people looking for a "fix".

If you are trying to figure out how to adapt to 3" steel I really believe you are thinking toooo much and nedd to settle on a gun, shell combo that patterns well then shoot it at killable ranges and forget something that is going to be the cure all. I have competed all over and done a lot of work trying different things for the inside of a gun barrel-not a "guru" but have burned a lot of powder and would not steer you wrong!!!!!

GOOD LUCK!!!!!!
baydog44
hunter
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:57 am

Re: late season Patternmaster?

Postby mountainguy » Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:15 pm

More good info, thanks.

I am now shooting a $20 Benelli M2 (won it at DU 3 years ago!) instead of my old 2 3/4" Wingmaster, so that I can shoot steel without risk in the old mod-choke gun, and consequently I'm shooting 3" for the first time. As noted above, I'm back to my normal shooting with IC over decoys and nearish range/early season (#4s doing the job), but can't get back to my usual track with mod range or BBs for geese.

I did not know that factory full choke for steel is now available -- thanks for the info. I just looked at the Benelli factory "pass shooting" extended tube, trying now to learn something about that.

I asked about Patternmaster because (1) a good hunter friend of many years, who hates to fidget with lots of gear, uses one in his Benelli and is very happy with how it shoots; (2) Patternmaster makes the argument that they do not constrict the bore but just strip away the wad ad different points along in order to achieve the pattern, and since I've read that constricting steel shot in a choke doesn't compress like lead did and can make the steel fly erratic, it was easy to map their argument into what I'm seeing in my mod range and BB shooting. That's why I'm asking for input from anyone with Patternmaster/Benelli experience (recognizing the dangers in this forum of linking those two names!)

I'll keep sucking in all of your input and wisdom!
mountainguy
hunter
 
Posts: 153
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2007 5:19 pm
Location: Midcoast Maine

Re: late season Patternmaster?

Postby maineducker » Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:33 pm

I wouldn't hesitate to shoot steel out of the Wingmaster. I have a mid 70's mod choke 2 3/4" Wingmaster and I shoot steel out of it. I believe Remington says any of their guns produced after the 1950's is fine for steel shot.

Try switching to 1's or 2's for geese. I find 2's over decoys put them down just as good as BB. You can use factory full chokes with steel. Most say not to shoot anything larger than BB though.

You seriously need to shoot some paper to see your patterns. That will tell you way more than buying a new choke. You may just need to find the right load for your gun.
User avatar
maineducker
hunter
 
Posts: 364
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 3:50 am
Location: North Western Maine

Re: late season Patternmaster?

Postby Maineduckhunter » Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:17 pm

I hit nothing with 3 BB shots at 20 geese at 40 yards today, and then missed 3 Black Ducks with #2s at 35 yards. Bah!


:lol3: I like how many folks blame the shells all of the time, Mountain, not laughing at you, just the statement. To reply and add to what everyone has said so far will be a long post, so I will try to summarize the best that I can.

Stop guessing, you need to pattern your gun, plain and simple, no getting around this one, to truly understand what your gun is doing. Early season birds in your lap, using #4's, sure your throwing a larger pattern with smaller shot. Can't achieve the same results now using larger shot size? Less shot, longer ranges, could be your pattern is spread too thin, again patterning your gun will tell you.
Maybe your point of aim is off, smaller shot size, may compensate for it, larger shot size isn't, ever think of that?
Don't always think that a full choke is the only way to achieve that killer dense pattern, change your mindset a bit. I can achieve dense full patterns with my 20 gauge using IC choke. You do realize that steel patterns tighter than lead, right? A modified choke will throw full choke patterns, and a full will throw x-tra full patterns, usually, mind you, there are always exceptions to the rule.
Larger shot sizes usually benefit from quality after market tubes with longer parallel sections, keep that in mind. I have done plenty of patterning with my guns, and they all throw different patterns, using the same choke style/type shot size....interesting right?
Most all of my guns have screw in chokes, a few don't. I still shoot my old (35 years) Smith & Wesson auto, 30" barrel fixed full choke. Back in the day, that was what all or most waterfowler's used, long barrels and tight constriction for that wonderful stuff called lead shot. I will shoot #2 steel through it, but nothing larger, as I don't want to blow the choke out, besides, my patterning test showed that is what works best with it.
You DO NOT need to shoot the candle sticks (3 1/2"), or even 3" shells, believe me. I won't shoot anything larger than 3" shells, have I shot 3 1/2" shells, yes, I personally do not deem it necessary, most of my shooting has been done with 2 3/4" shells.
When steel was first mandated, I had to switch to it, I think it was back in 1983, where I hunted. I went through different brands, all 2 3/4", some performed well, others not so much. One of my favorite loads, believe it or not was 1oz. of shot in a 2 3/4" shell, out of that same S&W gun, I killed a lot of birds with that load, and at distances greater than 25 yards, even a few geese.
I have a gun that came with 5 factory chokes, I tried them all with various loads, they all sucked! So, aftermarket chokes were next, the improvement in pattern density and shape were obvious, and very favorable.
ALL of my guns, except for the fixed choked ones, use aftermarket chokes, the improvement in using them was justifiable, by the better patterns that I was getting.
What I'm telling you, are my experiences in shooting Ducks/Geese/Pheasant/Turkeys/Doves etc... for over 35 years, this is experience talking, backed up with data, not some internet jockey who read it somewhere. Take it for what it's worth.
I never saw the benefit of wad stripping chokes, didn't do anything "x-tra" for my patterns, so I don't use them.
I definitely have no need for the Black Cloud chokes :lol3: I settled on Trulock chokes, SK2 and IM for most of my guns, albeit I do have a Terror choke, that throws a mean pattern, it is tight, and I only use it in certain conditions.
Other folks have very good things to say about Carlson, Briley, Kicks, Colonial Arms, Indian Creek, Pure Gold (what I use for Turkey's). Ever heard of the Ceramic Teflon infused Muller chokes? most haven't, what about Sumtoy? These are a couple of the not so well know brands, that are very good indeed.
If you take anything away from this, remember, if you center the bird in your pattern, at a reasonable (killing) range, you will bring that bird down, you do your part & the gun & shell will do their part.
User avatar
Maineduckhunter
hunter
 
Posts: 550
Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2004 7:48 pm
Location: Southern Maine

Re: late season Patternmaster?

Postby 682x » Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:15 am

Don't forget gun fit. Up close it way hit where your pointing but farther out it may not. I've seen this a lot on the range, so as the other guys said get out the paper. Or maybe its the gun I have a 391 urika 2 sporting 4 sale :)
Arnold Trail Trap , Skeet, and 5-Stand.
User avatar
682x
hunter
 
Posts: 167
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:22 pm
Location: 7 Gates of HELL

Re: late season Patternmaster?

Postby R-Factor » Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:12 am

Chokes are an interesting topic when it comes to waterfowl needs. I've gone through dozens of choke/load combinations on paper and the field in the last few years and keep coming back to the same thing. I shoot best with an extended Carlson IC in both my Benelli and Browning. There are times- certain applications- when I'll utilize a Terror Choke (I only have one for the BPS), but I find that more times than not...I have a tight choke in the barrel and wish that I had an IC when the birds come in...rather than the other way around. Though I'll be the last person to tell somebody else what they need to use, I don't personally buy the late season/tighter choke deal. I dropped a Teal and a Black yesterday- both under 20 yards. I can honestly tell you- the way the Black was exiting the scene, there's no way in heck I would have hit him with my Terror in. My bottom line is that YES, there are times that a tight choke is nice, but I think that more times than not you end up screwing yourself on close opportunities that come out of nowhere. With that said, I've been amazed at some of the distances birds have dropped with my Carlson's IC tubes...they have a really good span of range- and this is evident on the paper.
As to shot size...I have no use for BB anymore...regardless of the distance or how big the geese are. Like many of you, I value spread density over pellet size- generally speaking. 1's and 2's for me for geese (though I've killed more than a couple with 3's and 4's)...and 4's for almost all of my duck pursuits...the exception being 6's for real close action. Kent Fasteel is my favorite factory load offering, but am working my way through a bunch of Federal and Fiocchi this year due to prices I was able to get on each.
Just my humble opinions...have fun with the patterning. It's neat to try different options on paper!
P.S. For what it's worth, I have owned a Patternmaster for the BPS and did a lot of testing with it. It IS a good choke, but for that kind of money I prefer the Terror. I ended up selling the PM and kept the Terror. Both of these are a lot of dough though compared to Carlson's offerings...I love my extended IC's for 99% of my fowlin'.
User avatar
R-Factor
hunter
 
Posts: 1068
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2008 1:56 pm
Location: Lincoln Maine

Re: late season Patternmaster?

Postby mountainguy » Sun Dec 02, 2012 4:11 am

R-Factor, what choke do you use for geese when you have the choice?
mountainguy
hunter
 
Posts: 153
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2007 5:19 pm
Location: Midcoast Maine

Re: late season Patternmaster?

Postby papageno » Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:05 pm

Three things: 1) Steel only shoots full choke patterns - no matter what choke you use. 2) Any good gunsmith will tell you not to use a full choke with steel. 3) 3" 2s for everything.
papageno
hunter
 
Posts: 638
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 8:51 pm

Re: late season Patternmaster?

Postby R-Factor » Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:50 pm

mountainguy wrote:R-Factor, what choke do you use for geese when you have the choice?

Carlson Extended IC almost all the time. This is really ideal for the distances I'm typically shooting out of the layout blind- 5-35 yards.
User avatar
R-Factor
hunter
 
Posts: 1068
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2008 1:56 pm
Location: Lincoln Maine

Re: late season Patternmaster?

Postby daffy... » Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:29 pm

i have a m2. i use a carlson mod with kents 2s for everything in 40 yards. im hunting the salt a lot this time of years and im trying to find the recipe for a tighter pattern to 50 yards because i hunt the shorelines. tried factory full and carlson full with kents 2s and bb and the patterns were getting blown out, the mod was coming out tighter. i have a IM carlson im gonna try next, id really like to get a softball sized pattern at 30 yards

kents 2s (for everything, teal to geese) and a carlson mod stones everything from 40yards in. anything 20 yards and less sometimes is to much
User avatar
daffy...
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 1996
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 10:12 pm
Location: merrymeeting bay

Re: late season Patternmaster?

Postby mountainguy » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:41 am

Thanks, team. Fyi I'm in Bath, hunting upriver early and downriver late, so I expect that's you guys I pass in my boat on some of those cold early mornings.

Based on asking tons of others what they like best in their M2, I just ordered two chokes: the Carlson Extended "Close Range" (.715), and the Carlson Extended "Mid Range" (.705) (Interesting in my shooter-research is that the Carlson Light Mod (LM .710) was actually the favorite amongst M2 shooters for ducks, but as far as I can tell it is not now offered in waterfowl version.) I didn't hear much positive at all from M2 users about the Long Range chokes, Carlson or otherwise, except a few fans of Patternmaster; but the pro-Carlson comments were more and louder across the country.

I'll use the Close Range most of the time, but late in the year when I kayak the marshes on the coast I'll try the Mid Range (jumping birds farther away, and also floating into geese sometimes).

In all this I'm just hoping I can get my M2 to mimic how my 1956 870 Wingmaster shoots. I've been putting steel through it but makes me nervous; in other words, I'm not looking for a gun/choke/shell to make great shooting or bad shooting, just looking to be able to shoot the way I'm accustomed to.

And OF COURSE I'll now get out and do patterning on paper as so many guys advise. But it seemed silly not to ask a bunch of other people who shoot the exact same gun what configuration they prefer; and its interesting that their answers have been pretty much consistent. Thanks to all for your input.
mountainguy
hunter
 
Posts: 153
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2007 5:19 pm
Location: Midcoast Maine

Re: late season Patternmaster?

Postby baydog44 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:22 am

Don't mean to beat a dead horse or duck to death but did you check your bore for diameter. Another factor, especially on an older gun is to get your forcing cone lenghtend---all may be over kill for hunting but if you are going to purchase the expensive chokes you may want to be sure what you are actually choking as bore diameters vary in mass produced guns.

Best of LUCK
baydog44
hunter
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:57 am

Re: late season Patternmaster?

Postby lames33 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:29 pm

Guys regarding chokes, I believe you are over thinking things with these after market chokes. By no means am I an expert marksmen I shot a SBE 2 with factory mod and kill more than I miss and what I usually miss is out of range. Go to the range and shot clays fully suited up in camo and don't mount gun until you say pull. It makes it much more accurate than with an early season no bulky sweater etc... Repetition is going to help you much more than some aftermarket choke. Shooting is instinctive don't let your brain get in the way. Same as a golf swing. Again my opinion.

Sincerely,

lames33
User avatar
lames33
hunter
 
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 5:08 pm
Location: Saco, ME


Return to Maine Duck Hunting

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests