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NoDak_Dude said:
Maybe it's just me, but it would be rather hard for a rooster to survive that pattern. ;)
Difficult to tell what size that circle is, but if it is a 30 inch circle, then yes, it is just you! :shock: There are some serious pheasant sized holes there, again, if that is a 30 inch circle. The other thing is that at 50 yards, you will have some serious shot string problems and with density that thin, that is a crippling pattern!

As to the original topic, shoot a good shell, and you really don't lose much if anything to the 12.
While this will help you solve the disparity, it is a one sided argument on a two way street. What happens if you use premium ammunition in the 12ga? The twenty gauge (or the 16, or the 28 ) that can compete on even terms with a 12ga just doesn't exist, provided we are discussing similar levels of quality. Why is this so difficult to understand? The advantage of the 20 is in its' weight and (hopefully) handling. But this doesn't tell the whole story either. A lightweight 12ga balanced well will be just as responsive and, to many shooters, a more manageable gun than any 20.

Twenties are wonderfull guns and I use mine quite often. However, they do not compare with the 12ga ballistically.

Frank
 

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Ok, Randy, let's take this one point at a time.

RandyWakeman said:
As far as "Twenties are wonderfull guns and I use mine quite often. However, they do not compare with the 12ga ballistically." that is completely wrong.

Shotstring is not relevant to begin with; it is nothing but trivia to pheasant hunting and other flushing game.
Well, until you get yourself a boat trailer, some plywood and paper, and a friend dumb enough to tow the stupid thing and duplicate Brister's and Burrard's work, as I have done, you'll continue to believe such nonsense as shotstring not being relavant. Particularly in the context of the 50 yard claim above. At the very least, you should shoot some low flying targets over water at 40 and 50 yards so you can see the effect first hand, if not the actual "print out"

A 28 gauge may compare VERY favorably to a 12 ga., so long as you use 3/4 oz. of shot.
Inside of about 33 to 35 yards, there isn't a pheasant alive that won't die from this load when properly centered. Beyond that range, the pattern has pretty much degraded into a crippler, so beyond 35 yards, the 28 ga does not compare with the 12, if only due to the 12's larger payload. However, ballistics refers to the scientific study of the whole of the load, not just a single pellet. When ballistics are considered, the larger gauge always wins simply because the smaller gauge cannot deliver a payload as large as the larger gauge.

A 20 gauge may compare VERY favorably to a 12 gauge, so long as you use no more that 1-1/4 oz. loads.
Again, inside of 45 yards, the 20 ga might compare to a 12ga if you look at a two dimensional pattern. I say might, because the 20 WILL loose more pellets to damage than will the 12, and that fact alone removes pellets from the effective part of the pattern, particularly at the rnage where those pellets are most needed. About the maximum load that can be effectively shot out of a 20ga is 1 ounce. After that, you will see slight gains, but you are dealing with the laws of diminishing returns.

A 16 gauge may compare very favorably to a 12 gauge as long as 1 oz. and 1-1/8 oz. loads are used.
This is getting redundant, as well as boring. See above and extrapolate the data a little.

Certainly, where very large shot sizes are used (larger than #4) a 12 gauge can often pattern better than sub-guages. Certainly, you can have more pellet pattern density with larger payloads (1-3/8 oz. - 1-7/8 oz. and heavier) allowed by the 12 ga. platform than subgauges as well.
Shall we take this as your veiled admission that the smaller gauges are not the ballistic equal of the 12? You are, after all, stating that they cannot do what the 12 will do.

Within range, the matter quickly becomes moot. What do you think is more than a sufficient pattern at 25 or 30 yards?

If anyone thinks that gauge equals ballistics, than they should be prepared to give range limits per gauge. There is no such thing, because a well-populated pattern at the ranges you intend to shoot is is just that; pheasants cannot get more than 100% dead, and 100% game drop and 100% game recovery cannot be bettered.
This is exactly the point! The smaller gauges have inferior range capabilities when compared to the 12, and as such are ballistically inferior. They have their limitations in both pellet size and payload when considering the effective pattern.

NoDak_Dude's post shows a 1 1/4oz 20ga load patterned at 50 yards in what is assumed to be a 30 inch circle. At 50 yards, #5 shot is marginal, so #4 are probably in order, though he doesn't say what the pellet size was. The fital area of a pheasant is about 12 square inches, sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. This equates to about a 3.9 inch diameter circle (amazing how close that is to a clay target, isn't it!). Look closely at NoDak_Dude's picture. How many 4 inch hokes do you see in that pattern? By casual observance, I can see at least 8, more likely more than 10. Using Gough Thomas and Burrard's work as a gauge, that pattern ceased to be effective long ago. This particular instance is not necessarily an indictment of the 20 ga in general, but that pattern is at best a crippler. And as I originally stated, it that were shot at a 50 yard crosser, shot stringing will remove the bulk of whatever chance you had of hitting the target.

Spanky's original post asked about opinions for his "pheasant hunt of a lifetime". It would be a HUGE disservice to recommend anything but a 12ga. It is not like he is experienced in western pheasants, where he gets to choose his shots and come back another day if the birds are getting up a ways out there today. Because of the 12ga's ability to handle larger pellets and payloads and therefore be effective at longer ranges (ballistics), and the great variety of cartridges available anywhere, the 12ga is the logical choice.

Frank
 

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RandyWakeman said:
This picture is quite misleading. We assume that this is a 40 yard pattern because you mentiuon it in the sentance before the picture, but we do not know the load information. 1oz, 1 1/4? #4s, #7 1/2s? And that pheasant! As I stated in a previous post, the vital area of a pheasant is about 12 square inches or about a 4 inch circle. That's a pretty poor pattern!

There is one other curious thing about your posts. Every time you wish to make a point, you provide a link to something you've written on Chuck Hawkes site, like it is gospel! In those links, I find no emperical data or researched quotes from any of the multitude of certified experts in the field. As such, we can only assume that these writings reflect your opinions, to which you are certainly entitled. However, that doesn't necessarily mean the reflect the facts.

Frank
 

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First, as far as flushing game is concerned, I've seen plenty of full crossing shots. In fact, so many that I'd say that it is on a par with the number of straight aways and quartering shots we see. So, yes, shot stringing, particularly when discussing overstuffed small bores in a line of walkers in a high plains CRP field is relavant to flushing birds.

The "we", Randy, is plural, as in all those who read posts in a public forum. Had I intended it to be singular, I would have said I. But since we are on a public forum and I chose not to use the PM features, the "we" seems appropriate.

And that photograph is quite misleading, due to it's composition rather than its' definition. You are deliberately trying to indicate that a pheasant could not slip throught he patter unscathed by placing a full sized dummy over the pattern. The problem here is that the area covered by the pheasant dummy is about four to five times the size of the vital area, without the tail! When you analyze a pattern, you look to find holes the size of the intended target's vital zone. There are multiple points on that poster board where the front half of the bird would pass unharmed. This would make that a crippling pattern in that not striking a vital, but striking further back, would cause the bird to fly a long way before it came down.

Oh, and one last thing, anytime you feel up to the task of "putting me back in the suitcase", you go right ahead and make the attempt. But, be fore warned, there is likely to be some consequences. :evil:

Frank
 

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Pattern analysis

Have a look at the above link. The red circles indicate a 4 inch diameter area where there are no pellet strikes. The blue circles represent areas where there are an insufficient number of pellet strikes to ensure a clean kill. I purposely placed one red circle over the bird's vital area for clarity. The circles were generated to a very close scale using AutoCAD.

This is just a quick analysis. More time moving the circles around will reveal just how much of a crippling pattern we are looking at. While the inner 15 inches may indeed provide sufficient density (we can't really tell, because the bird is covering it), when you analyze patterns at range, you generally look for an effective pattern of at least 24 inches, give or take an inch.

Frank
 

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RandyWakeman said:
You can analyze how you personally wish, however that does not have support in Burrard, Oberfell & Thompson, or the industry. Nor does an arbitrary 5 in. circle, which ignores critical strike portions of the bird (head, neck, wing bones, vertebrae). Your circle drawing is incorrect; the linitation of low-rez images.
The circle theory was developed by Burrard and refined by Thomas. The idea behind it is that the area of the circle is equal to the whole of the vital area of the bird. Being Gaussian, the pattern is as likely to strike any 12 square inch area as not. Statistically speaking the circles are valid.

That pattern is better than an 82% pattern @ 40 yards, well above full choke performance.
I've seen 100% patterns that were just as bad with respect to effectiveness. Just because a pattern is dense doesn't make it effective.

The pellet count is not there to support 24 inches; Oberfell and Thompson used 20 in. more than anything; Brindle and Zutz used other criteria.
Brindle used three concentric circles of 10, 20 and 30 inches to analyze a pattern (correctly so, I might add). His ultimate conclusion was that effective game getting patterns cannot be stretched to 30 inches because there aren't enough pellets to preduce the required density in the outer ring. However, he goes on to say that a portion of that outer ring is quite useable and a pattern can be expected to be effective between 24 and 26 inches.

The same goes for the special pleading involved with shotstring. Burrard, Oberfell & Thompson, and Lowry have all disproved it as being of significance. That is a huge body of disproving to now attempt to prove.
Burrard, Oberfell and Thompson and Lowry! :roll: Of the three, Burrard was the only one to do the actual tests. And he didn't really realize what he was looking at. (by the way, Burrard wasn't the ballistics expert we tend to believe he was. A lot of what he wrote was conjecture and based on observation rather than hard evidance. He was, after all, made to look quite foolish by Churchill in a British court.) Plus their assumptions were incorrect. A shot string is not "cigar shaped" at all, unless they were referring to a pyramid cigar shape! Shot strings are conical in nature, with the apex forward. This fact alone has a major impact on the results. When you use the very best premium loads and hold the length of the shot string to a minimum, the effects of shot stringing are indeed minimalized. However, when you consider that the average hunter is just as likely (more so) to purchase promotional loads, he has not minimalized the effects, but rather amplified them. (why do you think Winchester, Remington and Federal sell so much "Dove and Quail" loads right before the season? Check which loads Remington sells more of, the Game Loads, or the Nitro Express loads.

On the other hand, Brister did the actual testing. And he did it in such a manner as to determine exactly how the shot string is percieved by the target. His work was confirmed by Roster. And in it, he acknowledges the work of Burrard, Oberfell and Thompson and Lowry. He just proved them to be incorrect about a lot of it.

Effective, reasonable compromise is the balance being eternally sought. Gauge is not part of that equation.
Were that true, we'd all be carrying 28ga guns and loading them up or down as necessary!

Frank
 
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