apexhunter wrote:Also it is not just the percentage of pellets within the circle but the distribution of those pellets. A "good" pattern will have the appropriate number of pellets within the circle and those pellets should be evenly distributed as to not create holes that a target or bird can escape through. It will take a few shots at virgin paper to determine the average pattern the particular load and choke combination throws.
Do note that a particular choke can and most likely will throw different patterns with different loads so once you find a good combination stick with it.
And ApexHunter is right on. They actually have formulas you can use to calculate pattern density and you can use them to deduce or calculate what your pattern would look like at different ranges if you want to just take some shots at 40 yards and not spend the time and money to shoot at all ranges.
The percentage of pellets is a good thing to know but once you start shooting a bunch of different ammos, I found the distributions to be the deciding factor. That said, obviously you are not going to select a gun / shell / choke combination that gives you 50% pellet patterns.
Some people just need a high-five.
In the face.
With a chair.