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Maybe I should be posting this over on the Reloading Board, but then again maybe not...

Question: How does the Height of a Shot Column affect the Pattern?

I've read on several different Boards and Sites about differences but my thinking is they would have to be very mi`nute or very negligible effect or does the Shot String get Long....er as some shot run out of gas.

Pondering Minds Exercise the Gray Matter!
Mike...
 

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Shot column length plays a very tiny part in the pattern...mainly because the column length is not as long as most people are led to believe, and the speed is so much faster than the speed of the target that the target only moves a very few inches from the time the first shot arrives until the last of the shot arrives.

Whatever part it does play, however, is all bad.
Bottom line: you can disregard column length in your shooting, safely assuming that the pattern is two-dimensional.
 

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With steel shot, it probably does not matter much because steel is hard and does not deform easily.

With lead shot, it absolutely matters because the lead pellets in the bottom of the shot column get pushed by the wad into the pellets at the top of the column. The pellets in the middle get crushed and since lead is soft they deform. These deformed pellets exhibit more erratic flight (fliers that leave the pattern) and also slow down faster (longer shot string and less energy in those pellets). That is why quality magnum lead loads use buffer or plated shot.

Jeremiah
 

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FullandFuller said:
With steel shot, it probably does not matter much because steel is hard and does not deform easily.

With lead shot, it absolutely matters because the lead pellets in the bottom of the shot column get pushed by the wad into the pellets at the top of the column. The pellets in the middle get crushed and since lead is soft they deform. These deformed pellets exhibit more erratic flight (fliers that leave the pattern) and also slow down faster (longer shot string and less energy in those pellets). That is why quality magnum lead loads use buffer or plated shot.

Jeremiah
Good post F&F. Very instructive.
 
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