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Recommended patterning distance ?

864 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Tal/IL
I shoot mostly 16 yd trap and some handicap with a 12 ga Browning o/u using improved modified and full chokes (factory brand that came in the box). I've tried patterning it at 120 feet, STS 1150 fps shells, 7-1/2 shot and the patterns look pretty loose. Hard to tell where the center of the pattern is. Obviously, standing closer to the board makes the pattern tighter but is there a "standard" distance where patterning is done?

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What I have observed consensus to be:

13yds to determine center or Point of Impact

30yds for 16yd trap if you break the target before its peak

35yds for 20-24yd trap if you break the target before peak

40yds for 25-27yd hdcp trap if you brake the target before peak
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How large is the paper you're shooting at? You normally draw a 30" diameter circle to determine the center of the shot cloud, so your paper needs to be larger than that.

Thanks for the replies. The paper in the red resin stuff that you lay down when installing a hard wood floor. It is 36" on a side and will show a few fliers if they occur.
Personally, I am an advocate for point-of-impact (POI) patterning but not for shot distribution patterning.

POI patterning:
13 yards
Done from a good solid rest
Gun aimed like a rifle
A target box works as a "patten board"
Use a "+" on the box as an aiming point
3 or 4 shots are enough

Measure the distance of center of the hole to the center of the "+" and multiply that distance times the multiples of 13 yards that equals the POI of distant targets you shoot.

The results represent your POI when your head and eye is in the same position relative to the gun's rib as was used when patterning. This is the one serious limitation to POI patterning.

When shooting at moving targets, where and how the gun is mounted will significantly affect a gun's POI. What your head is doing on the comb of the stock during swings. e.g., flapping around on the end of your neck for example, also has an effect on the gun's POI. (A number of things cause the head and eye to move relative the the rib during swings. They include the shooting form being used as well as how well the gun fits the size and shape of the shooter.
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If I understand your question, you are wanting to check your pattern effectiveness at the distance you expect to break the target?

From the Remington web site "Trap Shooting Fundamentals": "In singles, targets are usually broken about 20 yards from the house, or 36 yards from the shooter."

I'd say that's probably pretty close to right for a shooter of average speed.
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