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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently purchased a Condor .410 O/U with Full and modified chokes. Since the gun is to be used for skeet only I had the chokes opened so each barrel has .007 constriction. I shot two rounds before the mod and two rounds after the mod and felt the mod was an improvement except I missed several of my Hi 1 and Low 7 shots. Since I shoot these targets relatively fast I was suspecting overly tight patterns at close range may be a factor so I ran some pattern tests today. Both barrels had no significant pattern differences, however there seem to be some peculuarities in the patterns at various yardages. At 10 yards the diameter of the pattern averaged 10-1/2 inches, at 15 yards the average was 18 inches and at 20 yards the average diameter was 28 inches. According to data at several web sites those numbers would correspond to improved modified or 3/4 choke at 10 yards, skeet 2 or 1/4 choke at 15 yards and skeet 1 choke at 20 yards. This data is insensible to me since a the web data indicates a 10 yard pattern of 10-1/2 inches should produce an 18 inch pattern at 20 yards. Also a 28 inch pattern at 20 yards should produce a 17 inch pattern at 10 yards.

My conclusion at this time is that the gun throws a proper skeet pattern at 20 yards but an overly tight pattern thats is 6-1/2 inches or 38% smaller at 10 yards than it should be.

I know the 10-1/2 pattern at 10 yards makes the low 7 and station 8 targets more challenging.

Has anyone made pattern tests with a .410 to see if they have similar results.
 

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My .410 is a Winchester 9410 Ranger model. It has the fixed "improved cylinder" choke. At 25 yards it completely fills out a 20 inch circle, but the 30 inch leaves 2 clays unharmed (Oberfell method) at about 11:00 and 1:00 (both at the outside edge of the 30 inch circle. It's pretty consistent in this, so I'm guessing I'm holding a bit low (time to adjust the sights).
 

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I have to ask---did y'all measure where ya aimed at or where the pattern was most dense? The thing to do is obtain a large piece of paper to make up for errors-yours or the guns-bear with me.Using the biggest piece possible make a mark in the center.fire three shots into that mark-then see where the pattern is most centered-you may be surprised the full choke is a full choke---only left a foot or so :roll: :wink: This will show where the gun shoots and what constriction it will shoot with 8) 8) ----Your full choke may shoot so far to one side as to only give ya a open choke-test your gun :shock: :shock: :shock:
 

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The .410 (and sometimes the 28ga) are patterned at 25 yards, not 40. This difference will have a definite effect on your calculations and assumptions.

Frank
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
More info. I have been patterning shotguns for over 50 years so I know a little about what I am doing, however this is the first .410 I have had patterning experience with. In these tests I draw a circle around the apparent center of the pattern on my 48x48 inch paper. I eliminate obvious flyers. Yardage is measured with a tape measure.

Today I made another test but this time I used my 20 ga 1100 with a Trulock extended skeet #1 choke as a comparison. I did use different shells, i.e., Remington STS target loads # 9 shot. The results are as follows;all tests were 3 shot averages.

10 yds 20 ga 1100 pattern diameter 16 inches
10 yds .410 " " 12 inches
20 yds 20 ga " " 26-1/2 inches
20 yds .410 " " 26 inches

This test confirms that the .410 appears to throw a 25% smaller pattern at 10 yards than the 20 ga. I just don't understand the physics of this. Top and bottom barrel of the .410 give similar results.
 

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I have observed the same patterning phenomenon with my .410 tubes- The pattern size/distance relationship is not linear- I believe it is due to deformed shot, which is why it is more evident in .410 patterns than any other (more % of shot i contact w/ bore)

The shot that is at the outskirts of your pattern is not travelling in a straight line- This is the shot that is probably in contact with your bore/choke, deformed because of setback, etc. and is not perfectly round. As soon as it leaves your choke it is not traveling in a straight line- It is careening at an angle to your bore that increases in angle the further it travels. Sort of like throwing a boomerang, it starts out in a straight line, but aerodynamic forces quickly cause it to accelerate away from its initial path. (Fortunately deformed shot never comes full circle :D )

That is why a 10" pattern at 10 yards does not equate to a 20" pattern at 20 yards. That would only be the case if each shot was travelling in a straight line.

Anyone else have a different idea or thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hawk.....thanks for the reply and confirming my observations. I have never seen this phenomena discussed by the experts in choke performance in the past. I thought the plastic wad was supposed to reduce the number of flyers but evidently not enough. Just think of the patterns in .410's before the plastic wad. If the patterns we are describing are the norm for .410 then no wonder it is such a frustrating gun to shoot for many of us.
 

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I got a theory...Maybe it has something to do with the bore size. Smaller bore the smaller the pattern at 10 yards.

Try and do the same patterning with a 12 ga and 28 ga; to see if the phenomenon substantiates the theory.
 

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My patterning board for Skeet with any shotgun is a clay target flying through the air at about 45 mph.

If the targets are breaking when I know I'm on them that's all I need to know.

If they're consistently not breaking when I'm pretty sure I'm on them and I'm using a gun I'm totally unfamiliar with, then I might go through the whole rigamarole of shooting at a spot on some paper.

It's been so long ago I can't remember the last time I resorted to that.

What's my point? Most shotguns, most chokes and even most loads do pretty much what's expected of them -- break targets -- and ninety-five percent of the time patterning a shotgun on paper is a waste of time and shotshells.
 

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If that works for you Case, great-

I have had different shells pattern drastically differently in my tubes, especially .410. I would much rather spend an hour and 15 rounds of each type on the patterning board than waste time practicing with a flat of shells that don't pattern well at all in my gun.
The patterning board can certainly be an eye opener, and confidence builder. I would never discourage someone from patterning their gun.

To each their own, whatever you are comfortable/concerned with-

Adam
 

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Hawkdriver75 said:
To each their own, whatever you are comfortable/concerned with...
Well, I'm not feverish about the matter and have actually done a lot of patterning in the past -- until one day I concluded it was basically a waste of time.

Here's why:

I found that I could just as effectively stand at Station 4 with a gun reasonably choked for Skeet but one I'd never shot before and within a few shots know pretty much exactly where it was shooting by how it broke the targets.

From then on, it was a piece of cake.

Guns and loads may pattern somewhat differently, but the same gun and load will shoot effectively in the same manner shot after shot.

If it didn't, there'd be no sense in shooting shotguns at all.

But the truly meaningless results of patterning on paper derive from the fact that those are aimed, static shots and do absolutely nothing to duplicate shots in a string from a swinging gun at a target moving at 45 mpsh.

Think about it...
 

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Ol' Case knows what he's talking about! There is a bit of difference indeed between shooting off a bench and standing upright and swinging on a low house 4 everything else being the same! Been there done that! Unless I've got a new gun I seldom pattern anything anymore!

BP
 

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ke4yyd and Hawk Was interested in the 410 non linear comments you addressed. I never patterened the 410 at 10 yards nor was I interested in the linear charts that were published. Most of my patterning was for longer yardage for upland game, waterfoul, and long yardage Trap. I was kind of surprised at the 10 yard figures you stated but after a little thought, while I don't know the reason, it kind of made some sense. I patterened from 20 to 50 yards, all gages and spent some time trying to get the 410 to give decent results at yardage beyond about 25. I was never able to find any combination of choke, or shell that would pattern well beyond 25 yards. Even at 25 it began to open up somewhat like the bell on a trumpet and by 30 yards even a full would throw much of hard magnum shot off the 4 ft patterning boards with the remainder all over the place.

This was done before the modern chokes we use today, fixed chokes mostly winchester 42s and a few others of the 50 and 60 era. I've used the 410 for close field shooting but gave it up after a couple years because it was often a crippler of game, not to my liking. I use the 410 for skeet, for fun, part of a 4 bbl set, fixed skeet chokes and it patterns well at 20 yards but its unforgiving on the close shots. My problem is hi 1, When I was competing I had a few 99s for the slide by of that hi 1 and your comments on the non linear pattern kinda gives me another "excuse".

In recent years I've aquired an attitude somwhat like Case. Don't pattern much any more and surprisingly I still can run about 1 out of 3 fields with the 410
 

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try this on for size.

Could it possibly have something to do with the fact that a 410 has a much higher percentage of it's pellets in contact with the barrel(albiet through the wad) than any of the other rounds?

As we all know, the column of shot in the 410 shell is very narrow and very long as compared to all of th other gauges.

Maybe the increased barrel/choke contact with the shot causes this.

just a thought.

Copterdrvr
 

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copterdrvr said:
Maybe the increased barrel/choke contact with the shot causes this.
The closely confined barrel space of a .410 supposedly has more of a tendency to deform shot, giving rise to the idea that slightly tighter chokes deliver better patterns.

I have a Light Full (.016 constriction) .410 choke I'm gonna pattern against a Skeet choke someday in my Briley tubes and see if there's actually anything to that.

I shot Skeet with it awhile and didn't notice much difference for breaking targets, except it hit them with more pellets and I had to be more on them.

The having to be "more on them" sent me back to Skt/Skt.
 

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Case and Copterdrvr When I was young and crazy enough to want to understand "shotgunning" better I tried a few things with the standard gages and patterning. Even wanted to "see" the effect of the shot string by having an employee tow a 4' by 20' pattern board juryrigged on an old snowmobile trailer. And yup there was a shot string effect but no it wasn't enough to effect much on clay target sports. I didn't know Bob Bristers book on Shotgunning was out at the time or I could have saved a lot of time end effort, he had done all the work and had the answers.
I did however patten with 3 types of lead shot , cheap stuff, soft, low or no antimony, the best hard, high antimony available, and reclaimed and homemade stuff a friend gathered and made in his garage.

All gages would not patterd well beyond 30 yards with anything but good hard magnum shot and the 410 was a joke with the soft shot and already deformed reclaimed stuff and at 25 yards even the hard high antimony shot was not reliable.

I've shot skeet quite a bit over the years with the 410, never got serious about short yardage "linear patterning" but I guess I learned by repeated trial and error that the close shots at skeet, that is, if you are "quick" on hi 1, lo 7 and slo on 8 you better hunker down and pay attention. Otherwise for the most part the 410 just ain't that tough a gage for skeet. There's enough shot and pattern at 20 yards to more than do the job.

FWIW I thing the small bbl size does deform, the non linear pattern noted earlier in this thread makes sense as a probable reason you can't relax on the short shots, ( even Mark has stated "unforgiving"). I know of no reason for the non linear problem except it seems to be there but "thats shotgunning".

Case, Kudos for your excellent skeet presentations here, any newcomer would be well served to read them.
RossT
 

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RossT said:
Case, Kudos for your excellent skeet presentations here, any newcomer would be well served to read them.
Thanks for the kind words.

The big reason you've got to be on your toes and pay attention with the .410 and much more important than any pattern considerations is the fact that the damned thing only spews out about 293 pellets -- and usually not even that unless someone's belled out the shot cavity of his charge bar, which when stock will only drop about 210 grains, or about 15 pellets short of a full half ounce.

I have no idea whether the deformed-shot theory holds water, since I've never captured any after it came out of the barrel to check it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks guys for the interest in my questions. I guess I am not really sure about what the problem is if there is a problem. The gun originally had full and modified chokes and I had my local gunsmith open them to .007 constriction for skeet. I am not really sure that this gunsmith is competent in this area so I don't know if my patter peculiarities are a result of a poor choking job or is what is normal.

I would apreciate it if some of you could make similar tests at 10 and 20 yards with your .410 and see what results you come up with.

Thanks again for the interest and comments.
 
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