As I understand it, patterning a shotgun is simply experimenting with different loads at different distances so you can determine the specific characteristics of your shotgun.
I'm very much looking forward to taking my 870 to the range this weekend - just got it back from Hans Vang (18" ported barrel, MMC ghostrings, etc.). I plan to try a couple versions of Federal #1 buck, #00 buck, and some game loads. But, here are my questions:
1. What distances should I use? I'm assuming 10, 25 and 50 yards.
2. I've sighted in a rifle, but what is the proper procedure to sight in a shotgun? Right now I figure I'll adjust for 25 yards and see how the 10 yard performance varies - I would assume not too much.
Any other considerations? Does a shotgun barrel need any type break-in procedure?
Main use of this gun is self defense, although I'm sure I'll take it hunting this year as well.
Thanks for your help.
ps - BTW, Hans is a great guy to deal with.