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I think all dogs can hunt and I think all shotguns can take wild pheasant. The trick is to have the bird in the pattern and don't bother with long shots. I have a little single shot 20 that I haven't used since I was a kid. Took that out today, along with my Dad's Ithaca auto 12 and my own Winchester pump 12. Used donated reload 4 in the auto and 6 in the pump. Used commercial 6 in the 20. When a bird keeps flying, it's most likely because we totally miss. Anything in the pattern at 30-35 yards is a dead bird. Here's the results. One shooter, 3 guns, 3 roosters. I have hunted most game (big and small) that Canada has to offer. For me there is nothing more enjoyable than wild pheasants. I don't bother with anything else now (old age I suppose). Regards, Jack
 

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Not much I can add to what randy has already said, other than that the pellets don't care what gauge they are shot out of.

As for a rooster surviving the pattern, I said it would be hard for the rooster to survive the pattern, I never said one couldnt.

And I stand by that statement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Let's get a few facts out on the table.
1). I am not new to shooting.
2). I am not on here to claim that I'm any Mr. Crack Shot, Mr. Joe Upland, or Man Mountain Dean that wants to treat pheasant hunting half heartedly with a 20 gauge in the pheasant capital of the U.S. just to say I was hunting there with a sub-gauge.
3). Posted thread to get 20 gauge opinions.
4). I've started shooting my 20 ga. again for something different and have been giving some serious thought about buying a 20 ga. decent O/U to hunt and shoot s/c with. I'm trying to convince myself that the 20 ga. has enough killing power with the loads I've been shooting. The first (2) turkeys I killed was with one of these 20 gauges. I really don't have to convince myself of anything. Maybe more like justify. I certainly would be bringing a 12 gauge also.
5). I'm a pretty decent trapshooter(no state champ), love shooting s/c but don't get to shoot them on a regular basis like I do trapshooting.
6). Have been successful over the years hunting deer, turkeys, rabbits, squirrels, grouse and pheasants here in Pennsylvania. As previously mentioned I do not live in or near a pheasant meca. A put and take situation for pheasants.
7). Only looking for the experience of a lifetime pheasant hunt. Not trying to overstep, take advantage or incroach on any local mid-westerners and your resources.
8). As for squirrel hunting with a shotgun vs. .22, when leaves are on(some of which are still on) to me it makes more sense to hunt this way. Late season or 2nd season might make more sense(squirrel only) to use a .22LR. The use of a shotgun during small game to me is more senseable because of not handicaping myself at a shot at a rabbit, squirrel or bird.
9). Thanks for the post and info provided so far.
 

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Spankey said:
Let's get a few facts out on the table.
Facts? :shock: Never let the facts get in the way of a good story. 8) Certainly, don't try to confuse the issue with common sense.

What is "better" I've tried to answer:

http://www.chuckhawks.com/twenty_vs_twelve.htm

Shotshell ballistics are round ball ballistics, it is admittedly a boring read, but I've tried to reasonably cover it nevertheless: http://www.chuckhawks.com/shotshell_ballistics.htm

A 99% chance of a 4-pellet hit is more pattern than you need to kill a pheasant. This type of pattern is far more dense than you need @ 40 yards, but overkill is better than underkill in my view:

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Contrary to what you may have read, you don't need be the age of Barbara Walters (she's at least 147 years old) in order to kill a pheasant. Also, you don't need to kill a thousand pheasants in order to kill the next two.

Heart surgery and other health issues do not affect pattern quality. Now, my father survived a ruptured aorta-- the ONLY person in Illinois EVER to survive this operation; an a operation with such a low success rate (just my father in Illinois) it is no longer attempted. That was nearly 20 years ago. No way will my Dad tell you that his ruptured aorta, beating prostrate cancer, bypass operation, or getting his second pacemaker is related to pheasant hunting or pattern quality.

Illinois hunters are no better than any hunters in the rest of the country. The ones that whine and obsess the most about "heavy" guns would be better served giving equal attention to the massive girth that hangs over their belts. Hard to feel sorry for sweating slobs and 8 lb. guns when 20, 30, 40 or more pounds of excess blubber is hanging off their bodies because they put it there. :oops:

There is a world of difference between pattern size and effective pattern size:



Effective pattern size is naturally what counts. Choke a shotgun, any shotgun, for effective patterns at 50 yards-- we pay a price on closer shots; we have a smaller effective pattern size.

A good friend of mine hunts turkeys every year with a 28 gauge. He does not cripple or lose birds. He also is a mature enough hunter to NEVER pull the trigger past 25 yards on a turkey. For him, killing a turkey is hardly the point. He enjoys calling them in, and if he can't get them within 25 yards no gun goes bang, and it is a story for another day-- period. The fun and challenge is not killing, it is in the calling. I like his style.

No way would I ever suggest that any 20 gauge has the pattern potential of a 1-7/8 oz. 12 gauge load. It doesn't; but that is moot . . . I don't hunt pheasants with 1-7/8 oz. loads and never will.

The first pheasants I ever dropped were with an old Crescent SxS .410. That was a very long time ago, and I'd never make the case that a .410 is in anyway an ideal pheasant hunting tool. Within its very short limits, it works. I sure wish I has started hunting with a 28 gauge instead; a .410 is a horrible thing to have to work with. But, it can work well-- just very little room for error, and not enough pellets to properly populate a pattern at range.

We can debate pattern efficiency of gauges if really that bored. Sure, you MIGHT be able to find 3-5% more pattern efficiency in a 12 gauge 1-1/4 oz. load vs. a 20 gauge 1-1/4 oz. load. Maybe. Possibly.

All that means is that your 50 yard 20 gauge load is a 52 yard 12 gauge load. That is not anything of tangible, meaningful performance in pheasant hunting as far as I'm concerned. If you think it is, then by all means ... shoot whatever eases your troubled mind.

Spankey, I'm here to tell you with absolute certainty that a 20 gauge is more than adequate for successful pheasant hunting. No doubt, no question, no "ifs ands or buts."

Naturally, what any individual chooses to hunt with is up to them. I hardly care. But, I do care very very much what pattern I place on pheasants.

If I could find basis that the superior patterning, short shot string 10 gauge made sense vs. the sub-bored, crummy 12 gauges that infest us . . . sure, I'd be hunting with a 10 gauge.

Wingshooters can be a peculiar, if not downright wierd bunch. There is something about the human condition that makes us want others to use exactly what we are using, if for no other reason than to reassure ourselves that we are "doing it right."

Naturally, this is all without any basis in fact. Effective patterns are where you find them, and they really have to be found. When the ranges get longer, you need larger balls-- a .36 caliber "squirrel rifle" was aptly named. Larger balls mean larger payloads to properly populate a pattern.

3/4 oz. of #6 shot is about 166 - 168 pellets. 1-1/4 oz. of #4 shot is also 166-168 pellets.

This stuff isn't all that tough. A 3/4 oz. 28 gauge load of #6 shot can produce just as many holes as a 1-1/4 oz. 12 ga. load of #4 shot.

Savvy 28 gauge shooters understand this well, and exploit it. I can tell you who cripples more birds, the 28 ga. guy who takes most of his birds at 30 yards (or less) vs. the "12 ga. guy" that thinks he can stretch shots past 55 yards for the "legendary" late season pheasants by virtue of his "better" 12 ga., 1-1/4 oz. load, and "late season pellets."

The 28 gauge hunter wins in the clean kill department every time. It should be obvious why that is. :wink:
 

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The ones that whine and obsess the most about "heavy" guns would be better served giving equal attention to the massive girth that hangs over their belts. Hard to feel sorry for sweating slobs and 8 lb. guns when 20, 30, 40 or more pounds of excess blubber is hanging off their bodies because they put it there.
Hey Randy thats hitting a little below the belt! :lol:

I love light guns and yes I have that extra blubber but it's for warmth. :p

3/4 oz. of #6 shot is about 166 - 168 pellets. 1-1/4 oz. of #4 shot is also 166-168 pellets.

This stuff isn't all that tough. A 3/4 oz. 28 gauge load of #6 shot can produce just as many holes as a 1-1/4 oz. 12 ga. load of #4 shot.

Savvy 28 gauge shooters understand this well, and exploit it. I can tell you who cripples more birds, the 28 ga. guy who takes most of his birds at 30 yards (or less) vs. the "12 ga. guy" that thinks he can stretch shots past 55 yards for the "legendary" late season pheasants by virtue of his "better" 12 ga., 1-1/4 oz. load, and "late season pellets."

The 28 gauge hunter wins in the clean kill department every time. It should be obvious why that is.
WHat an excellent way to put it. I watch more guys wound birds regardless of gauge because they don't know their limitations or their guns. Most becasue they look at that long tail and shoot the bird in the ***.
 

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One will always see serious, expierienced that can't hit a barn door once it's on the wing. You have to look at how dedicated the person is and how serious they take their wingshooting in general. For the hunters that fall into that catagory you'll find 16, 20, 28 gauges the norm along with a good dog.
 

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Naturally, in the "pleasingly plump" department, I'm referring only to the overfed Illinois hunter-- not the sleek, svelte wingshooters in the rest of the country. "Pinch more than an inch" is one thing, but when you have more Chins than a Chinese telephone directory, eat breakfast out of a satellite dish, and can take a shower without getting your feet wet . . . it is hard to take the complaints of "heavy" guns, boots, and so forth all that seriously. :oops: Really, when you get a shoe shine, and you have to take the guy's word for it, things just might be a bit out of hand? :shock:
 

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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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As far the peculiar notion of "SHOT STRING," Lowry has it well-covered: http://randywakeman.com/lowryshotstring.pdf.

Beyond that, which discusses pass shooting-- pass shooting is not relevant to flushing game, anyway.

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!
Is the "WE" the "Royal We" or the Frank "We"? How many of you are there? :roll: Please be quiet, or I'll put you back in the suitcase.

What you carelessly refer to as a "poor pattern" is over 197 holes into a 28 x 32 in posterboard at a laser verified 40 yards. That's OVER 15% more pellets through 28 x 32 @ 40 yards than an 1-1/4 oz. load of #4 shot has before it is fired.

If you want to call that "quite misleading," then call Canon. No camera trickery was involved, and no SFX by George Lucas, either. If you are misled, then please try rubbing your eyes or something. :lol:
 

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Chaco1 said:
What an excellent way to put it. I watch more guys wound birds regardless of gauge because they don't know their limitations or their guns. Most becasue they look at that long tail and shoot the bird in the a$$.
Yes, Chaco, I knew as soon as I typed it that it would put me in the unsavory, indelicate position of agreeing with you. How will I ever face my family and friends again? :oops:

Nevertheless, I'll get over it. Certainly, the 28 gauge can and is very effective when used with discretion. Of all people, my mother dropped many, many pheasants with a Remington 11-48 28 gauge. Mom stopped hunting regularly when raising 5 kids relieved her of that "duty"-- but that 11-48 still patterns beautifully. It kills more doves than pheasants these days, but when I finally mature and show some restraint; maybe I'll pop a couple of pheasants with it myself. :wink:
 

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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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Frank Lopez said:
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.
Deliberately? Now we have assertions as to intent; I must be the P. T. Barnum of shotgunning. Too bad I have no tickets for sale. :oops:

The interested reader is referred to pages 43-74 of THe Mysteries of Shotgun Patterns, the seminal work by Oberfell & Thompson. Of particular interest is the discussion of patchiness, as defined by a 5 inch circle on page 52.

Note that 100 pellets or more in a 15 inch circle equates to zero patches, as does 175 pellets in a 20 inch circle and a 21.213 inch circle, and 300 pellets in a 30 inch circle equates to 0.6 patches.

Three hundred pellets in a 30 inch circle is neither practical nor desireable, as all patterns are Gaussian in nature, and put more pellets in the "core" of the bell curve.

This you can believe is deliberate: the core of this pattern has OVER 100 pellets in a 15 inch circle, meaning 0.00% patches. A pheasant could not possibly be unscathed if anywhere inside the 15 inch circle. According to normal distribution, it is a 0.00% chance.

Note that 75 pellets in a 15 in. pattern equates to a 0.2 patches, 50 pellets 0.7 patches on average.
 

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This season most of our pheasant shots have been over points. Most of the shooting was with 20 gauges. It was never the guns fault when there was a miss. It was poor shooting. Lots of poor shooting. I think some of our shells don't have any shot in them. It doesn't matter what gauge you are using if someone forgets the shot. I have found that I would much rather carry a 20 gauge under 6 pounds all day than a 12 gauge. I can miss just as easily with less work.
 

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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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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. That pattern is better than an 82% pattern @ 40 yards, well above full choke performance.

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.

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.

Maximum effective pattern size can only exist at one exact range for one pattern to be fired in the future. Distances and presentations are constantly variable, constantly changing, as are patterns themselves.

Effective, reasonable compromise is the balance being eternally sought. Gauge is not part of that equation.
 

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What works is what works.. Ive found that 1 1/4 ounce of number 4 bismuth at 1050 fps in cylinder bore means a dead duck up to 35 yards in a 16 gauge flintlock.. That With a huge pattern.. Since i dont have speed, i need penetration when i dont have a good enough pattern for wing shots... i need to be fairly close,.. But i can add this, pennetration can make up for volumn of shot.. Ive read by roster it takes 3 hits average for a good hit.. Now thats water foul where a downed bird is usally recovered with a dog.. .. So hunting knowledge fills in for that.. An inexperienced person may use too tight of choke too close, or two open of choke too far, or too small of shot for size of bird.. I dont think we have any dummys here.. Even the beginners are smart enough to ask questions.. Now im not going to argue why 1 1/4 oz number 4 bismuth works at 1050 muzzel velocity.. Works for me, may be wothless for you.. :D We have head shots, wing shots, body shots, etc.. I think there is where the arguments arise when different shooters try to impose thier type of kill on another.... A good trap shooter acorss the street from my store ( post office) who won the city championship awhile back, says he shoots the pheasants in the head so he wont waste any meat.. I havent tried that.. but i wont argue with him... Dave
 

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jugchoke said:
And for the life of me, why oh why would one buy a 20 gage, only to shoot 3 inch shells out of it????????????????

Totally defeats the concept of a light gun! Kicks even harder than the 12, unless it is a very heavy 20 gage gun.

The beauty of the 12 gage I carry, is it can be used with 3/4 oz. 28 gage type loads, 7/8 oz. 20 gage loads, and right on up to 1 7/8 or even 2 oz. 3 inch loads! Take your pick!

Clyde
I agree with you entirely.

Lee
 

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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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Frank Lopez said:
Burrard, Oberfell and Thompson and Lowry! :roll: Of the three, Burrard was the only one to do the actual tests.
Well, Sir, you will have to stand corrected. Thompson did most of the shooting personally at Oklahoma State University. Certainly, Brister had the pleasure of shooting at his wife as most people know. Ed Lowry, professional ballistician with a long history at Olin-Winchester, is perhaps the most qualified of them all-- few people have done as much work with shotshell interior and exterior ballistics than Lowry. It is what he has devoted a goodly portion of his life to.

You can attempt to discount this: http://randywakeman.com/lowryshotstring.pdf but no one has.

I don't rewrite my own articles, so I link them: http://randywakeman.com/ShotgunPowertheMyth.htm

The last thousand or so wild pheasants that I've dropped with a 20 ga. are, at the very least, a representative sampling. None of them died from natural causes, and anyone thinks that it was just a thousand lucky shots-- you are most welcome to that unsupported, strained notion. I can show, I have shown it, I have redundantly demonstrated it, and I autopsy the birds I drop. I don't shoot pheasants with my keyboard, so the actual field results speak loud and clear.

Were that true, we'd all be carrying 28ga guns and loading them up or down as necessary!
A ridiculous notion like this is only to argue over nothing. Gauge does not equate to anything, patterns do. It is difficult to put more pellets in a shot cloud than you have to start with. 3/4 oz. has its limitations, but no one I know has said that there are "no" limitations with a gauge, any gauge. The limitation is pellet count, so it should be clear to the most obstinate soul that when used withing reasonable limitations as defined by the payload, gauge is not the sole definition of field performance.
 
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