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No doubt about it, patterning your s.g. loads is a p.i.t.a.
But I still do it.
I am a member of another large general shooting forum with a s.g. section and I mentioned patterning and was surprised that of the hundreds of members and s.g. hunters no one else patterns loads.
So the question is how many of you pattern your reloaded or factory ammo?
At what distances? I'm doing to standard 40" brown paper at 40 yards and a 30" circle.
I have developed hunting loads with nickel platted, buffered 1 1/4 ounce #5 shot that puts more shot into a turkey target and 30" circle than 'magnum' loads using as much as 1 7/8 ounce of shot.
When I was big into trap shooting I patterned my AA trap reloads and after some experimenting got 96% average patterns at 40 with 7.5 shot and Green Dot.
Of course the barrel had special custom work done too.
What is your best patterning loads?
 

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You're right, pattering is a PITA, and even moreso when you know you should do about seven at least for results anywhere near meaningful.

I've found patterning on clay targets is a lot easier and just as revealing.

When I miss, I know why I missed — and it's certainly not because of a bad pattern.
 

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Case said:
You're right, patterning is a PITA, and even moreso when you know you should do about seven at least for results anywhere near meaningful.

I've found patterning on clay targets is a lot easier and just as revealing.

When I miss, I know why I missed - and it's certainly not because of a bad pattern.
Me, too. I can guarandamntee that I've never missed a target due to a blown pattern.
 

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Ditto on patterning being a P.I.T.A however it can be eye opening. I have an older Ferlach SXS 12 gauge that I wanted to use on pheasants. I reload and decided I would put together loads at about 8000-9000 lbs pressure to save wear and tear on the gun. In my tests I have come up with loads that pattern everywhere from true cylinder to extra full using hard 6's or softer 5's. This from two barrels I had opened to LtMod and ImpMod. As a point of interest, one load with the soft 5's patterned 80% out of the tight barrel at 40 yards. I ended up settling on a load that patterned hard 6's exactly as I wanted. But I have no need for choke tubes. I can get just about any choke combo I want by changing shells. Patterning can be a P.I.T.A but if you are serious, it is essential if you want to know what is really happening at the other end of the shot column.
 

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Used to interest me. Not any more. I shoot a test pattern for each new gun to confirm POI and choke. I shoot a test pattern with a hunting load before I use it, but heck, have not changed hunting loads for years.

It does not take a lot of patterns to find out a lot. Bought a superposed with damaged bore and cones and it just took one pattern to see that it was absolutely awful. Sent it to Mike Orlen and it just took one pattern with each barrel when it got back to see that he had worked wonders with it. When the first pattern is round and relativey uniform looking things are good.

I have purchased and worked on guns that I eventually sold because of patterning problems. It did not take multiple patterns and pellet counting to tell the problems. When a skeet choke is supposed to give a 28-30 inch pattern at 20 yards and you get a 15", there is no need to repeat it statistically.
 

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I really don't pattern my loads anymore. What I do is pattern my new guns with my loads. I have about a dozen loads that I use for all of my target and hunting for both 12ga and 20ga. For the most part these are all tried and true and are all that I use.
Whenever I get a new/different gun I will take it to the board to establish the gun's and my POA/POI with my appropriate load. I will do this at a range of about 15 yards.
While at the board I'll also go ahead and see how the gun and each of it's chokes/barrels perform as well. Since I'm so close to the board though it's not really a patterning test as much as a POI test for each choke. It's good enough though since once I know the basics the clay field will give me the detail I'm interested in.
 

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I guess I spend more time patterning than most. With a new gun the first thing I do is pattern for poa. I have a roll of auto body masking paper 36" wide in white that I use. I usually fire three shots, resting my elbow on the top of the bed of my truck. Since I have adjustable combs on all of my clay guns, I adjust the comb of the new gun to shoot where I want off the top of the bead. That's good enough for skeet and I don't pattern my reloads beyond that since I Don't have as many choices especially in the sub guages as far as reloading goes.

I probably spend more time testing patterns for my handicap than all the rest of the games put together. I guess I'm looking for that silver bullet that will make me into Kay Oyhe............not!

Seems like I've gotten to pickey in my older age, at least that what my Wife says. Oh well.........many of lifes pleasures are small.
Jim
 

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Nobody seems to mention a patterning plate on these forums.
When I was kid,the local club had a 60" X 60" X 1/4" steel plate mounted on 4X4"s.A lard can half full of whitewash and a wallpaper brush was adjacent to it.
Before each shot,you gave plate a fresh coat.
With today's digital camera's,you wouldn't have to rely on your memory and paper records.
Ron
 

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relodr36 said:
Nobody seems to mention a patterning plate on these forums.
When I was kid,the local club had a 60" X 60" X 1/4" steel plate mounted on 4X4"s.A lard can half full of whitewash and a wallpaper brush was adjacent to it.
Before each shot,you gave plate a fresh coat.
With today's digital camera's,you wouldn't have to rely on your memory and paper records.
Ron
Didn't mention it but that's what my club uses, except with oil.
 

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I get 38" round cardboard like paper from the local paper printing office. They were throwing them away so they give them to me for free :D . It's real easy to pattern when you clamp 6 or more to the old barbed wire fence in the back yard. :wink:
 

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My club has a patterning plate 40" x 40". The plate is covered with automotive grease and is refreshed after each shot using a paint roller. 35 yards is the maximum distance that can be used on the plate. It is very enlightening to see the results of different chokes or different components in a reload.
 
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