Improving Your Game
Every shotgun is unique. It should never be assumed that a shotgun will get similar results, from one to another, even if it’s the same model, using the same choke and shell load.
A Pattern Board can provide lots of useful information to improve your game.
‘Patterning’ is used to determine pellet disbursement, at a given yardage, using a specific choke and shot shell.
Similar to ‘sighting’ in a rifle, patterning a shotgun is extremely important to establish true point of impact (POI). It highlights whether your shotgun shoots high, low, left, right or, shoots flat.
Many Trap shooters prefer a ‘high’ pattern, where the center of the pattern is higher than that bullseye. You should adjust your shotgun’s POI, to suit your individual style.
Review your pattern sheet(s) to determine POI in relation to where you aimed the shotgun.
Make adjustments with the ‘comb’ and/or ‘front sight’, keeping in mind that:
- Adjusting the Comb will move POI in the SAME direction
- Adjusting the Front Sight will move POI in the OPPOSITE direction
Tips for Patterning
- Use a good stable bench rest to minimize flinching or ‘pulling’ the shot out of POI
- Pattern with the load and choke you plan on using during the game – make sure the load and choke are compatible
- Know the pellet count in the load you are patterning. If the ammo manufacturer doesn’t provide it, open a shell and count them yourself – this information is essential to effectively analyzing and making solid evaluations of the target