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Author Topic: Why 20 gauge LEAD shooters should NOT be obsessed with a 40 yard pattern  (Read 5916 times)

Offline Tail Feathers

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True.  Pattern your gun and know your maximum range and get after 'em.
I shoot Fiocchi Heavy 6's in lead (1.25oz) loads for sighting in each year.
They throw a real good 30 yard pattern.
I've never tried 35 but it would probably be good.  They are a bit thin for my taste at 40 but I may find their max range and hunt with them some next year. A box of 25 costs less than a box of 5 Federal HW 7's.
Love to hunt the King of Spring!

Offline Spurs

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Why 20 gauge LEAD shooters should NOT be obsessed with a 40 yard pattern
« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2016, 08:53:48 PM »
Use the best you can afford.  In my college days, it was whatever came off the sale rack.  Now, I am about to buy a new 870 compact, Burris fast fire, 2-3 chokes, and start punching holes with some TSS.

Will I look down on someone shooting #5?  Heck no!!!  Been there myself. 

Only thing I look down on is when I heard a hunting partner say he hasn't patterned a single gun in his life (this man is my fathers age).  He isn't the best hunter in the woods and has only had a handful of birds in shooting range in the past 6-7 years, most of which were called in by my dad.  Luckily those were all clean misses.  When I did finally talk him into patterning, he was getting 75 in 10"@40 with a 12g 3" combo. 

This to me is unacceptable.

To end, I helped him out with a RemVentillator and got him the Longbeard #6 and he killed his first bird by himself in probably 10+ years.


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This year is going to suck!!!

Offline worth612000

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Re: Why 20 gauge LEAD shooters should NOT be obsessed with a 40 yard pattern
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2017, 05:03:54 PM »
5) 10in circles (even if 8inches off POA)

I like this example. I never understood the pattern pictures. They say they will adjust their POA later. The POA would be my first concern. I never count holes, you can eyeball a killing pattern.

Offline Fieldturkey

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Re: Why 20 gauge LEAD shooters should NOT be obsessed with a 40 yard pattern
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2017, 06:41:41 PM »
It's just another enjoyable aspect of the sport! Whether you want the best 30 yd pattern or 50. We all do it our own way and are blessed to be able to do it at all.

Offline worth612000

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Re: Why 20 gauge LEAD shooters should NOT be obsessed with a 40 yard pattern
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2017, 11:00:35 PM »
I don't mean I don't agree with pattern your gun. That's the most important thing.

Offline Tom Foolery

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Re: Why 20 gauge LEAD shooters should NOT be obsessed with a 40 yard pattern
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2017, 07:17:20 AM »
I have adjustable sights so POI isn't important to me.  I shoot 3 shot and count to make sure I have consistency and then I adjust my sights to center the pattern.  It's no different than working up a load for a rifle.  I don't chase bullet holes.  I shoot a group, find an accurate load and then zero my rifle to that load.

Offline TauntoHawk

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Re: Why 20 gauge LEAD shooters should NOT be obsessed with a 40 yard pattern
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2017, 09:35:03 AM »
5) 10in circles (even if 8inches off POA)

I like this example. I never understood the pattern pictures. They say they will adjust their POA later. The POA would be my first concern. I never count holes, you can eyeball a killing pattern.

I adjust my sight to POI and count the center 10 circle, even perfectly dialed in at 40 off a bench my patterns is going to drift a bit off center from shot to shot. out of a 20ga I enjoy a 150 in 10 pattern that seems to be the not too tight but plenty at 40

Offline TRKYDOG

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Re: Why 20 gauge LEAD shooters should NOT be obsessed with a 40 yard pattern
« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2017, 02:13:28 PM »


Enjoy the sport whatever it may be. A bream on a cane pole with a cork and cricket ain't no Orvis fly rod and $XXXX reel but for many it is still fun watching that cork ease under . Know what I 'm saying?



Right on....Man that is so true!  :icon_thumright:


Offline BottomLand54

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Re: Why 20 gauge LEAD shooters should NOT be obsessed with a 40 yard pattern
« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2017, 02:01:17 PM »
As I write this I can only imagine the grief I am going to catch. The older man who got me hooked on this addiction of turkey hunting that I love said grab a 12 guage with some #5s and your good to go. First time we went he called in 2 birds we got a double. What I am saying is this:

1) we never patterned our shotguns, he has never patterned a shotgun and probaly has killed 100's of birds
2) we did not have any optic
3) we did not have any tss or htl
4) we did not have any 3.5 inch shell
5) we did not have any turkey choke.

Now am I saying this is the right way? NO. What I am saying is it worked, when I went to pattern the fun I killed my first birds with (I didn't even know there was such a thing as patterning a shotgun) I said wow I had just a couple pellets on the target at 20 yds. I was amazed at how I had even killed the birds I killed. But then again they didn't say sir I wish you would have shot.me with 400 tss #9s, or heavyweight #7s, sir I sure wish you would have used a 3.5 inch, sir I wish you woulda had the ff3, sir I wish you woulda had that sumtoy, ic, truglo, jebs,pattern master, etc.

They actually gobbled then boom and next thing I know I was skinning them!


That being said I like a hunting pattern a pattern that is denser and even out to 30 yds even tho I hope to never shoot a bird farther then 20. When you get these patterns so tight at 40 you are shooting bullet holes at 20 and that is more opportunity for a miss (just as if your fun wasn't shooting POA/poi). I like my guns to shoot good at 10-35 and anything beyond that praise God! But I like to be up and close with the game. I do use a ff3, I do use a sumtoy choke, I do use htl. Only because I see the advantages of it. But I DO NOT count pellet holes in a 10 inch ring at 40 yds.

The older man who got me into turkey hunting is still shooting his ol faithful Remington 1100 12 guage with a modified choke and #5 cheap Walmart lead turkey loads and he still smokes em every year and hasn't ever patterned his gun and thinks I am crazy lol, but we still hunt together and I love him dearly for showing me the basics. He can call some birds.
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Offline CrustyRusty

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Re: Why 20 gauge LEAD shooters should NOT be obsessed with a 40 yard pattern
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2017, 07:24:04 AM »
Personally, I like the taste of htl over lead in my turkey  :funnyturkey:

Offline BINK McCARTY

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FACTS.... You don't have to do all or ANYTHING to see how your turkey gun patterns.....if you don't mind being a half-a×€ hunter. What I mean is WE as outdoorsmen & women OWE it to the game we hunt to do EVERYTHING we can to kill our quarry as quickly and cleanly as possible.  PERIOD. Patterns, sights,chokes,htl,lead ammo, 10" circles,etc....etc.....etc.....are all TOOLS we have to use,and in my HUMBLE opinion,I believe we should buy/use the best of these tools each one of us can afford. I ,myself like to tinker,and ifn I have a gun that puts 500 hits in a 10" circle @ 60 yds then I will try and find another set-up that will put 501 in a 9" @ 61yds. But that's me ,not Jon,or Jack,Harry,Henry, Slim ,or Bubba.... thing is....MOST important thing is.....get out and hunt,have fun,but KNOW your limitations of what you AND your equipment are capable of !!!!!!! HAPPY HUNTIN EVERYONE! !!!!!! !

Offline Deast1988

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I don't reload, my Nitros #7 3in does 230s in the 10@40yds. I got 10rounds of apex loaded tss #9 to try. I'm not one to chase numbers or distance but I'm not taking a gun either that I feel handicapped with. My 20s both are consistent 40yd hammers. I like the show but when a bird hits 35 to me he's plenty close enough. I shoot high price high performance premium shells I'm mad at turkeys enough I feel you can't kill em dead enough. 20ga is a heck of a hammer especially when I can get 12ga performance out of a lighter smaller gun that don't knock my fillings out when it goes off. This sight doesn't advise long distance shots on Turkeys. My lil 870 and my Winchester are stone cold killers 40yds or less. After 40 is sniping an I don't condone that 1 bit. One thing that blows my mind is the longbeard #6 1000fps lead is bad news if one misjudges a few yards on a 35yd bird. That speed can't be producing much energy at 40yds. Any one with field experience on this load is welcome to DM me.

Offline g8rvet

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As I write this I can only imagine the grief I am going to catch. The older man who got me hooked on this addiction of turkey hunting that I love said grab a 12 guage with some #5s and your good to go. First time we went he called in 2 birds we got a double. What I am saying is this:

1) we never patterned our shotguns, he has never patterned a shotgun and probaly has killed 100's of birds
2) we did not have any optic
3) we did not have any tss or htl
4) we did not have any 3.5 inch shell
5) we did not have any turkey choke.

Now am I saying this is the right way? NO. What I am saying is it worked, when I went to pattern the fun I killed my first birds with (I didn't even know there was such a thing as patterning a shotgun) I said wow I had just a couple pellets on the target at 20 yds. I was amazed at how I had even killed the birds I killed. But then again they didn't say sir I wish you would have shot.me with 400 tss #9s, or heavyweight #7s, sir I sure wish you would have used a 3.5 inch, sir I wish you woulda had the ff3, sir I wish you woulda had that sumtoy, ic, truglo, jebs,pattern master, etc.

They actually gobbled then boom and next thing I know I was skinning them!


That being said I like a hunting pattern a pattern that is denser and even out to 30 yds even tho I hope to never shoot a bird farther then 20. When you get these patterns so tight at 40 you are shooting bullet holes at 20 and that is more opportunity for a miss (just as if your fun wasn't shooting POA/poi). I like my guns to shoot good at 10-35 and anything beyond that praise God! But I like to be up and close with the game. I do use a ff3, I do use a sumtoy choke, I do use htl. Only because I see the advantages of it. But I DO NOT count pellet holes in a 10 inch ring at 40 yds.

The older man who got me into turkey hunting is still shooting his ol faithful Remington 1100 12 guage with a modified choke and #5 cheap Walmart lead turkey loads and he still smokes em every year and hasn't ever patterned his gun and thinks I am crazy lol, but we still hunt together and I love him dearly for showing me the basics. He can call some birds.

I understand what you are saying. I killed my first spring bird with high brass #5 borrowed from a buddy at 26 steps with a modified choke.  I spend enough time and energy to turkey hunt now though that I like to be sure I will kill a bird cleanly inside 40 yards.  By patterning a little, I now know that. 
Ducks, turkey, redfish.  Who has time for golf?

Offline Bolandstrutters

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Couldn't agree more.  My last 6 birds have been less the 20 yards.  The furthest bird i've ever killed was 35.  I've actually missed more in tight then i've had the opportunity with past 40.

Offline Longshanks

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Closer the better for the shot. Like a pattern with some margin for error at 20-25yds and also a killing pattern to 40yds. That said, I still turkey hunt the same way that I did 40 years ago with my dad, try to get the turkey inside 30yds and 35 is about as far as I like to shoot. Regardless of whether it's a 20 or 12. The pattern to 40 is just in case I misjudge distance which is easy to do sitting on the ground moving to multiple set ups to get in position on a turkey. All I know is hunting this way puts more turkeys on the ground than trying to stretch shots. I have seen this guiding where guys come in with hot rod turkey guns and take the shot too soon cause they have patterned their gun at long distance. In the turkey woods its a little different than shooting paper.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2017, 10:27:22 PM by Longshanks »