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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I believe in the fullest pattern possible for a given distance, with some consideration given to target presentation. So I therefore believe in changing chokes as necessary - but believing it and wanting to mess with it are two different things.

So with lots of help from this forum on different reloads I have put together a "choke system" to select shotshell using different shells (performance based) and then coloring the primer with a large tip Sharpie to help manage in the shell selection.

I shoot Mod/Mod and use ammunition to adjust pattern size.

In photo, Waste containment Waste container Cylinder Wood Gas

the blue primer is a Gun Club 1oz..#8s with Polywad disc - shoots Cylinder, targets inside 15 yds
Red Primer is a Fed. G.M.go-to shell, 7/8 #9s with X-insert, produces skeet patterns(maybe IC) out to 33 yards, high pellet count killer on rabbits.
No color is an STS 7/8 oz. #8s, no insert, basically 20 yards
Green col ored primer in Gold Medal, 7.5s, 1 oz., anything over 40 yards
 

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Do you have patterns for each? Would be interesting to see direct comparisons.


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I don't know, that seems like more work and more to keep track of than a few chokes.

How do you know how many of each to bring with you to a shoot?
 

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Stopped choke twisting a couple of decades ago. Settled on Modified with 1 oz of 7.5 if shooting registered sporting clays and the same load but with Imp Mod for FITASC. If shooting for leagues, practice, or fun, 7/8 oz of 8s and Full is most often used in a gun with tubes.

Learned that choke is of little consequence if you put the target in the center of the pattern. Do so and the target breaks. Open chokes can break targets way out there but the core is much smaller and more difficult to center. Miss and it is very unlikely that a larger pattern would have helped and whatever "extra" breaks one might get will probably be lost elsewhere.

Breaking targets is 98% in the mind- go tight chokes and larger shot so one knows their tools are effective at any range and then one can concentrate on the mental aspect were targets are actually broken. You don't see the better and best shots messing with chokes and rarely with ammo which is a significant clue. They have picked their best options long ago and spend their time mentally preparing to make the shot. Not worrying if they have the right choke or she'll in the gun.
 

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Way over thinking this. Buy a speed wrench.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That's funny, claims of overthinking from this crew LOL. But I get it. Hey, I like reloading so this is just another facet of that hobby. I understand and support the 'one load, one choke' concept, and have shot that way for years - Mod with 7/8 oz 7.5's. Breaks them all. All my practice is 7/8 oz 8's. I may go back to this process for tournaments but for now having fun and isn't that what it's all about?

And I would definitely recommend beginners keep it simple because of everything mentioned above and elsewhere about overthinking.

Just FYI, it goes like this: Default shell is the non-colored primer. See target. If brain says 'that is a close target', then go to red shell. Thinking stops. That thought and action takes less time to happen than it just took me to type it. This handles about 90 of the 100 targets in a course. I don't have a yardage stick or limits - it is just either close or it is not close, but generally 'close' means skeet ranges.

If target is an at my feet rabbit or a close flopper, that gets a blue shell. Sometimes these never get used. Can I shoot it with a modified choke and standard ammo? Usually. But when I break it with a shell that I made specifically for that presentation, it gives me a cheap thrill. (Probably should see a counselor)

If the target is way out there, it gets a green shell. Average a few of these each round.

More thought required than one load-one choke, but no more thinking than changing chokes method. I also freely admit I'm not quite getting what I could with different chokes, but like I said, and extension of reloading addiction.

Also, it was late when I made OP, so had a few typos, corrected below.
the blue primer is a Gun Club 1oz..#8s with Polywad disc - shoots Cylinder, targets inside 15 yds
Red Primer is a Fed. G.M.go-to shell, 7/8 #9s with X-insert, produces skeet patterns (maybe IC) out to 33 yards, high pellet count killer on rabbits.
No color is an STS 7/8 oz. #8s, no insert, basically 20 yards to 40 yards
Green colored primer in Gold Medal or STS, 7.5s, 1 oz., anything over 40 yards


Thanks to all for sharing your knowledge and experience!

The below pattern plate shot at 15 yards has standard 7/8 oz. #8's in upper right hand corner, and a 'red' spreader 7/8 oz. #9's in the middle. The circle means nothing here. What am I getting, 20%, 30%? Hard to say. I believe this works for me, YMMV.





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1 second delay on target changes a choke more open.
shooting 1 second quicker tightens it.
(a lot easier than loading or playing transformer chokes)
 

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When the entire process of shooting clay games became work....a lot of the appeal was lost, for me.
Nice to see that some folks do not mind work.
 

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To the OP,

You still spend less time reading and planning to break a target than the better shooters. If you want to improve, try emulating the tactics and methods of those that actually successful. To advance past mediocre means one needs to give there full attention to the task at hand, not the tools. Look at the accessories the top shooters carry and one will find a bare minimum in regards to loads, chokes, and the like. One will also find a narrow focus toward the task at hand and total dedication in achieving that goal.

The sooner one realizes this, the sooner they can advance to the better levels.
 

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I applaud the effort involved in truly getting to know one's gun. At the same time, I grew up with fixed chokes and (mostly) the OLD AA shells. There wasn't any choice, you got good with what you had.
 

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You can change pattern density with different reloading recipes. Looking for a desired pheasant load, I found I could get patterns from skeet to imp mod from the same choke depending on the recipe and components. Lots of patterning required, but it can work if you want to put in the time.
 

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Do you carry 4 Boxes of shells?
My Clays bag can hold 12, I usually carry 6 or 8 for a day's shooting. I don't get nearly as creative as OP, but I DO put the larger shot (usually 7.5's) in my left pocket, and the smaller shot (8's or 9's) in my right pocket.

I usually use the same chokes on most of the courses locally (unless they are set up for a more difficult/tournament setup). IC in bottom barrel, and LM in top. Using the larger shot (7.5's) on the longer shots in the top barrel usually suffices, unless it's a crazy long shot. Then I'll screw in a proper choke.

For tournaments, I'll load the 9's in a distinctive hull. (but still only carry a box or two at most).

So, I guess I do indeed do something similar to OP.

Mike B
 

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That's funny, claims of overthinking from this crew LOL. But I get it. Hey, I like reloading so this is just another facet of that hobby. I understand and support the 'one load, one choke' concept, and have shot that way for years - Mod with 7/8 oz 7.5's. Breaks them all. All my practice is 7/8 oz 8's. I may go back to this process for tournaments but for now having fun and isn't that what it's all about?

And I would definitely recommend beginners keep it simple because of everything mentioned above and elsewhere about overthinking.

Just FYI, it goes like this: Default shell is the non-colored primer. See target. If brain says 'that is a close target', then go to red shell. Thinking stops. That thought and action takes less time to happen than it just took me to type it. This handles about 90 of the 100 targets in a course. I don't have a yardage stick or limits - it is just either close or it is not close, but generally 'close' means skeet ranges.

If target is an at my feet rabbit or a close flopper, that gets a blue shell. Sometimes these never get used. Can I shoot it with a modified choke and standard ammo? Usually. But when I break it with a shell that I made specifically for that presentation, it gives me a cheap thrill. (Probably should see a counselor)

If the target is way out there, it gets a green shell. Average a few of these each round.

More thought required than one load-one choke, but no more thinking than changing chokes method. I also freely admit I'm not quite getting what I could with different chokes, but like I said, and extension of reloading addiction.

Also, it was late when I made OP, so had a few typos, corrected below.
the blue primer is a Gun Club 1oz..#8s with Polywad disc - shoots Cylinder, targets inside 15 yds
Red Primer is a Fed. G.M.go-to shell, 7/8 #9s with X-insert, produces skeet patterns (maybe IC) out to 33 yards, high pellet count killer on rabbits.
No color is an STS 7/8 oz. #8s, no insert, basically 20 yards to 40 yards
Green colored primer in Gold Medal or STS, 7.5s, 1 oz., anything over 40 yards


Thanks to all for sharing your knowledge and experience!

The below pattern plate shot at 15 yards has standard 7/8 oz. #8's in upper right hand corner, and a 'red' spreader 7/8 oz. #9's in the middle. The circle means nothing here. What am I getting, 20%, 30%? Hard to say. I believe this works for me, YMMV.





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You're somewhat new here. If you want people to read your posts, consider shortening them up. This was too long for me to even think about reading.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Do you carry 4 Boxes of shells?
Now you got me there Bill, and of course you know why. Last tournament I took 4 boxes standard, 2 boxes red spreader, 8 rounds green (the bomb) and 8 rounds blue. My vest has four pouches so it works out. So yes, there are some logistics there. If I had to backpack it, I would abandon the method and just take my standard load and a dozen blue spreaders.

And FYI this all started when I started shooting a Fiocchi Interceptor diffusion round for close targets, recommended by an accomplished shooter I trust. Well now the Interceptor turned a mod choke into a bona fide skeet choke at 25 yards. But it was 1300fps which slipped into the day after 74 of my 1200 fps reloads - well hello baby!! So I decided to reload a spreader at the same speed as my typical load. Now I know jacking up the speed helps disperse the pattern, but only talking about 100 fps so not sure how much there. Plus I'm shooting close targets so don't really need speed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You're somewhat new here. If you want people to read your posts, consider shortening them up. This was too long for me to even think about reading.
Nebs, thanks for the tip. Big fan. Honestly it really meant to say thanks to the Forum to help me find a new hobby and look what I'm doing with it.
 

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So it is too much trouble to "mess with" changing chokes but the time to load several boxes of different ammo, plus machine set up time for the different loads plus pattern testing to verify they throw the desired patterns is okay??? Whatever.
 
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