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16gaDavis
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:51 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 24 Jun 2013
Posts: 1207
Location: canandaigua - western n.y. (formerly deerhunter)

I always love these topics when they come up - have always tried to keep these simple ! Does the gun shoot to POI and is it tight or wide open !? I LIKE even patterns . The theories about paper and the fact that the shot is 3D is fine . #1 is that the shot doesn't flie tru straight and I believe it doesn't ! HOWEVER , at that pt in time , if there is a hole in the pattern and the bird is positioned in that hole , it is a miss ! The hole can close as distance increases or it can widen depending on Karma !! What does an 80yd pattern look like ? I believe in the truest flying shot .... #2 , A bird in the core/hit in the head , you don't have to worry about shot in the body . I like this one ! Take your most proud pattern , range doesn't matter , get a crow decoy ,and amuse yourself testing all the angles . See where you can align the crow with the core , and NOT get hits in the body ! The only place it can occur is if there is a cluster in the outer ring that takes care of the head and doesn't touch the body . A core hit is the kill hit , but takes care of the body too unless the range is quite close . So you guys pulling feathers - don't beat yourself up so bad ... #3 , about feathers . I believe in the Lyman #2 , there was a 12ga load @1400 FPs , 7.5 shot . That's what I used for a while in my yute . An old 97 Winnie . Used at first was the old soft shot as the was the most availed and that stuff pulled feathers !! Harder shot was better - less pull . Started messing with bigger shot for foxes and this pulled some awesome feathers if the shot didn't fly thru . Just believe that no matter what the shot , if it stays in the bird it can pull feathers , and if it does , it makes I'Ding the internal shot easier !!

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Riflemeister
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:03 am  Reply with quote
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Very well put by a man who believes what he sees, not some BS off the internet repeated to sound informed. My experience has been that shotgun shooting is not an exact science, especially when shooting birds. The best you can do is find what works for you and stay with it always trying to get better. In the final analysis, for me bird hunting is about my dogs anyway, I just hope my shooting doesn't disappoint them too badly.

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tramroad28
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:40 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 20 Jul 2011
Posts: 366

Shooting a scattergun ainít rocketry...birds or clays. Working to reduce wounding is the ethical move of course but I am glad for misses as they allow for swell stories and would hate to ever kill Ďem all.....too soon and too short hits a season hard enough.
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Cheyenne08
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:56 pm  Reply with quote
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Location: Cheyenne, Wy

16GaDavis, I am not quite sure what you just said, but here is my take:

Shotgunning, at least to me, never seemed all that tough, you hit some missed some, and you and your hunting buddies had a hell of a good time.

Over the years, "Experts" told us what we were doing wrong, and how to swing, what load we should use, and it went on and on.

A whole lot of people care about what the "Experts" say, how much should a gun weigh,
which shotgun is "in".

I pretty much never listened to them, and had a good time, unconventional at times, but enjoying myself at all times.

I have never shot a clay anything, so according to some, I CAN'T be a decent shotgunner, hell, that may be true, but I have fun.

Isn't that what it is supossed to be about?
Wink

Dale

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3crosses
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:36 pm  Reply with quote
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When I was a kid I could get 15 dove with less than a box of shell. I wasn't supposed to hit anything with an "experts" gun.
Many times the experts aren't.
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fn16ga
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:44 pm  Reply with quote
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Joined: 09 Jan 2013
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Location: Florida

I like to hit , but I like having fun better . I have more fun when I'm on.
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16gaDavis
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:05 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 24 Jun 2013
Posts: 1207
Location: canandaigua - western n.y. (formerly deerhunter)

Dale , I think you guys are getting it . Sometimes our threads run a little deep ... We are scratching heads trying to get some funds together to get some REAL trap guns for the kids trap league . They shot this summer with guns like a MOSSIE bolt 20 , a deerslayer , and a couple other closet beauties !! THEY didn't know they weren't real trap guns and they had a ball . One kid started out with a 4 and ended up winning some award at the Sate tourney . We may have lost a little bit had they had to learn about patterning , target and load speed , optimum shot distance etc . And , the dreaded hole !! Too much thinking and the fun may be lost ! But that will come with some experience ! Probably some 4 digit target guns too !! I'd like to see them all start with the ole Winnie 97 - a blast getting them to learn the hammer !

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tramroad28
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:42 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 20 Jul 2011
Posts: 366

Always good to recall Arnold Reigger and the gun with which he began his trapshooting career.

http://www.traphof.org/People-Stories/arnold-riegger.html

That said, the shotgun chosen can be either a help or a hindrance in progressing to the back fence, for most of us mortals.
Kids just learning, naturally not so much, but there are shotguns which will make the halting steps foward...easier....just reality.
Knowing when to fret and when to cease looking to blame equipment for problems tho is important to learn....for clays or birds, for younkers or older hands.
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scraggley
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:07 am  Reply with quote
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Location: connecticut

What Dale said!
Art

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Pine Creek/Dave
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:00 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 17 Mar 2017
Posts: 291
Location: Endless Mountains of Pa

16GaugeDavis,

Good analysis, knowing the pattern you are shooting is covering the birds without any major holes in the pattern is definitely what a bird hunter wants. IMO the double gun that throws good repeat patterns with no holes in the pattern, with what ever shells you happen like, is a serious bird hunt gun.

The man who advised you that you could not be a good gunner without being a line shooter, is a fool. Some of the very best Grouse Hunters never play clays games. However they do pattern their guns, especially when they change the type of shells they are using. Serious Grouse Hunters pattern all their double guns, with the different shells they happen to use. Some shells do not pattern well out of certain individual double guns, it's up to the gun owner to find out which kind of shells work best for his actual hunting.

A good gun that shoots a repeat pattern is only one aspect of bird hunting, becoming a woodsman and knowing how to set up to gun wild birds is a learned discipline. Having a great Grouse dog is a gift from God, having a mentor eliminates many mistakes before they occur.

Pine Creek/Dave

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Dogchaser37
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:48 pm  Reply with quote
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Is the comic relief?

Holding a bird silhouette on a pattern sheet is useless. Why? Because the shot swarm is dynamic. 5 yards before or 5 yards after the point at which you placed the pattern sheet, the spaces between the pellets are completely different........and each shotshell will produce a slightly different pattern.

Patterning is important, but only to get percentages. Looking at a pattern and not counting pellets is a complete waste of time and perfectly good shotshells. Percentages can predict shotshell/gun performance.

Holding up a bird silhouette on a pattern sheet is pretending.

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mike campbell
PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:47 pm  Reply with quote
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OK, Mark, I'll be your class clown!



I have the exact opposite view.

In my youthful exuberance I thought I could become a champion sporting clays shooter with the right shell. After shooting hundreds of patterns, counting thousands of holes and calculating percentages, my most useful conclusion was that more choke gave higher percentages. When I shared my newfound knowledge, most people were not impressed. Seems they already knew that.

I've shared a few beers with a handful of national and world champion clay target shooters. I'd bet cash that any given one of them has never counted holes and figured a pattern percentage. Must be they don't think patterning for percentage is important. Me neither.

I find patterning a target gun for anything other than POI to be useless. I don't need to see patterns and know percentages to evaluate a target load. I make an equipment change and shoot a couple hundred targets. When I'm done I know whether the new combo is better or worse than my benchmark.

I was passionate about upland bird hunting with SxS's for a couple decades. Unlike clays, I couldn't shoot enough birds in a lifetime to gather enough real world data to compare all the equipment variables. This is where patterning becomes useful.

I used a 20ga for woodcock & grouse. I started with a SxS choked Mod/Full. I quickly learned that birds inside 20 yds were reduced to beaks and toenails. I figured maybe my patterns were too dense. I walked into the woods, looked around, and decided the vast majority of my first shots at wc/grouse were @ 15-22 paces. Based on nothing but personal preference, I picked a shell, shot some "picture patterns" at 18 paces and adjusted the choke in the first barrel. I did shoot this same picture a few times at +/- 4 yds from 18yds and got pretty much the same effective pattern over that range. I really can't recall ever mangling a bird again.



I adjusted the second choke to get a similar result with the same shell at 25-35 paces.

Since most all my guns have fixed chokes, I dabbled with spreader loads for awhile. These were all shot thru the same barrel at the same distance. I wouldn't have a clue what pattern percentage would work for grouse with this gun, but based on a few pictures, I'd have no problem picking a load.



Picture patterns are worth a thousand words.
Just to be clear, I don't advocate spreader loads for birds. Spreaders and their usefulness are a whole nuther topic.

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Dogchaser37
PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 2:37 pm  Reply with quote
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Mike,

I completely agree that a lot of the very best shooters have never counted pellets, nor does it matter to them, because they have figured out that it isnít the shotshell.

I too spent a lot of time trying to find the perfect shotshell that would make me a better clay shooter....as you stated it was misspent time.

Like you I do not pattern anymore for clay targets, either I like the breaks or I donít.

As far as killing game, I go by percentage 70-80% at 35 yards and I also rely on central thickening and use the ratio of 1.5 to 1, 21Ē core to 21Ē-30Ē annular, as the minimum. Honestly I only know what the actual percentage is for loads I am going to use for pheasants, ducks and grouse sized birds. For ruffs (when we actually had them in CT), I used the same loads but less choke, and patterned using the same criteria, except I patterned at 25 yards.

I also do not care how many hits the body of the bird takes, because I do my best to lead the head of the bird. Needless to say I think worrying about feather draw is another waste of time. Folks might think this is BS but you donít kill birds the same way you kill mammals because their lungs do not function the same way. If you want to kill a bird at more than 25 yards instantly, the best way is a hit in the head, neck or central nervous system. Sure you can hit them in the body, but they can fly a long way before they die and you will not retrieve most of those birds.

For smaller birds I use target loads, I have no clue what the patterns look like and I donít care because the birds are dead in the air and they are still very edible.

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fourtrax
PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 3:00 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 04 Jun 2009
Posts: 662
Location: N. Shore, mn

What I'm reading here comes home in simple terms.

1. It "ain't" rocket science.

2. No matter how spendy the shell or how many patterns you "paper."
If your shot / pattern isn't on the bird it's pointless. Take my word for it
there's a ""reason"" most of my dogs are above average finding wounded birds
for me of mediocre talent.

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Griffon
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:52 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 19 Apr 2014
Posts: 257
Location: maine

Poor judge of distance + operator error = no bird please try again.

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