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 Post subject: Re: Are all 70% patterns equal?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:13 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2016 6:28 pm
Posts: 1142
Location: Skeet and Trap Fields
Are shotshells loaded by exact weight or volume?? When reloading with a reloader like a MEC with bushing bars, 1 1/8 oz. is based on volume and not actual weight. I've never seen a commercial shotshell production line, but would imagine it would be more cost effective for them to also load by volume and have some formula to determine a particular volume/weight ratio based on an average pellet weight, taking into account varying pellet sizes and weight.




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 Post subject: Re: Are all 70% patterns equal?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:04 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 5:58 pm
Posts: 1415
Location: Oklahoma
RandyWakeman wrote:
Joe Hunter wrote:
Here’s an example to consider:

12 GA 2 3/4" WINCHESTER AA HEAVY TARGET LOAD
1 1/8 oz #7 ½ lead (377 pellets) @ 1200 fps

12 GA 2 3/4" REMINGTON GUN CLUB TARGET LOAD
1 1/8 oz #7 ½ lead (375 pellets) @ 1200 fps



In the case of those two loads, they either aren't both #7-1/2 shot or not 1-1/8 oz. exactly, or a bit of both.

Antimony is 6.684 g/cc, lead is 11.35 g/cc. Supposedly, AA's are 6% antimony by weight, Gun Clubs are 2% antimony by weight. AA's should have noticeably more pellets than Gun Clubs, but in your example they are essentially the same.


Thanks for your thoughts, Randy.

I still have the components from the five shells that I opened for both of those loads, so I did a little more measuring and number crunching for you.

12 GA 2 3/4" WINCHESTER AA HEAVY TARGET LOAD
1 1/8 oz #7 ½ lead (377 pellets) @ 1200 fps

Pellet counts: 380, 378, 378, 376, 373 / mean 377.0 pellets @ 496.4 gr

25 random pellets measured: .098, .093, .096, .095, .101, .095, .097, .099, .100, .096, .098, .096, .099, .099, .097, .093, .097, .100, .099, .096, .097, .097, .096, .093, .099 / mean .09704"

12 GA 2 3/4" REMINGTON GUN CLUB TARGET LOAD
1 1/8 oz #7 ½ lead (375 pellets) @ 1200 fps


Pellet counts: 381, 378, 373, 372, 371 / mean 375.0 pellets @ 487.2 gr

25 random pellets measured: .092, .096, .095, .099, .094, .097, .086, .099, .099, .099, .094, .095, .097, .094, .091, .097, .101, .096, .095, .093, .094, .097, .099, .096, .094 / mean .09556"


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 Post subject: Re: Are all 70% patterns equal?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:36 pm 
Shotgun Expert
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Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2006 11:02 am
Posts: 27050
Location: Plainfield, IL
Alright, well . . . 1-1/8 oz. = 492.1875, so both brands of shells are loaded with less than 1-1/8 oz. of shot. Olin, based on your measurements, is also using a bit larger than #7-1/2 shot which would be .095 in. if perfectly #7-1/2. Measuring 6.6% of the pellets in one shell isn't enough sampling to be representative. Anyway, 70% patterns cannot possibly be identical when no two shells are absolutely identical and shotshells make holes of different diameters.

Olin claims that AA Diamond Grade shells are double-screened, so if you are looking for work :lol: :lol: :lol: it would be interesting to see what the improvement in consistency is.

You can shoot all day and never print a 70% pattern. It is all generalities. 1200 fps shotshells aren't exactly 1200 fps, #7-1/2 shot isn't #7-1/2 exactly, round pellets aren't round (meaning perfectly spherical), and 1-1/8 oz. loads aren't 1-1/8 oz.

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 Post subject: Re: Are all 70% patterns equal?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:06 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 5:58 pm
Posts: 1415
Location: Oklahoma
Thanks for your comments, Randy.

I agree with you that very little (if anything) in shotgunning is exact. However, I still enjoy knowing what's in the ammo I use and how it performs, even if it isn't at a high statistically relevant confidence level.

With so much marketing surrounding shot shell ammo and performance today, I think it's informative to me and many hunters/shooters to find out what is really in the shells we purchase and how they perform. Yes, it's my gun and chokes and performance can vary with different gun/choke combos, but hopefully it will get others to thinking about their load/choke combo and maybe get them to pattern few.

I haven't seen any of the new AA Diamond Grade shells, but wouldn't mind opening and patterning a few just to see what they will do in my gun/chokes.

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Are all 70% patterns equal?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:26 pm 
Shotgun Expert
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Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2006 11:02 am
Posts: 27050
Location: Plainfield, IL
Joe Hunter wrote:
Thanks for your comments, Randy.

I agree with you that very little (if anything) in shotgunning is exact. However, I still enjoy knowing what's in the ammo I use and how it performs, even if it isn't at a high statistically relevant confidence level.


None of it is exact, and none of it is accurate. There are no 70% patterns. There are no spherical lead pellets. No velocity printed on a box is accurate. Hard lead is like stiff jello-- none of it is hard. Whatever pattern you print, you'll never see a pattern like that again for the rest of your life. Individual shotshells can be only fired once, so it really is no surprise that nothing is repeatable.

Patterning is predicting future performance based on past results.

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 Post subject: Re: Are all 70% patterns equal?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:21 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2016 3:34 pm
Posts: 5986
RandyWakeman wrote:
Joe Hunter wrote:
Thanks for your comments, Randy.

I agree with you that very little (if anything) in shotgunning is exact. However, I still enjoy knowing what's in the ammo I use and how it performs, even if it isn't at a high statistically relevant confidence level.


None of it is exact, and none of it is accurate. There are no 70% patterns. There are no spherical lead pellets. No velocity printed on a box is accurate. Hard lead is like stiff jello-- none of it is hard. Whatever pattern you print, you'll never see a pattern like that again for the rest of your life. Individual shotshells can be only fired once, so it really is no surprise that nothing is repeatable.

Patterning is predicting future performance based on past results.


This.^ exactly right.


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 Post subject: Re: Are all 70% patterns equal?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:56 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 9:31 pm
Posts: 2449
380 pellets sound about right for #7.5 lead pellets in promo shot shells. Ya got +3/-5% weight and 10% count allowable difference...



https://saami.org/wp-content/uploads/20 ... -04-23.pdf

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 Post subject: Re: Are all 70% patterns equal?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:55 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 5:58 pm
Posts: 1415
Location: Oklahoma
Yes, variations in payload weight, pellet size, and pellet antimony content contribute to variations in pellet counts from shell to shell.

Allowable variations in payload weight and pellet count are outlined in Sporting Arms and Manufacturers Institute’s (SAAMI’s) voluntary industry standards which include:

· Pellet size variations allow for +/- one pellet size (+/- .010" dia.) of variation in “game” loads and +/- ½ pellet size (+/- .005" dia.) of variation in “target” loads

· Load weight variations can range from +4% to -7% in game loads and +3% to -5% in target loads

· Pellet counts per ounce can vary by +/- 10% for both game and target loads




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