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Old March 9, 2014, 10:21 PM   #1
pollo
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Shotgun Patterning Problems for Turkey

Hello all. Okay, I don't know if it is appropriate to post a forum about shotguns here... But oh well... As you all know, spring turkey season is quickly approaching. So, I have a Baikal Remington Spartan 12 gauge 3.5" and I ordered a Carlson's choke tube with a diameter of .665". We patterned it with standard 3.5" Turkey loads (#4 and #6). First I shot at 20 yards, and I was sighted in but my pattern was unusually wide. So, eventually, I backed out to 40 yards and it patterned with 48 pellets in a 10" circle at 40 yards. Now I heard somewhere that you need to have at least 100 pellets in a 10" circle at either 30 or 40 yards ( I can't remember). Either one, my gun is not patterning good. I had a guy suggest Hevi-shot, but it is $27.99 for 5 shotshells! I can't afford that. I need a cheaper solution. Any help guys?

Thanks

Pollo
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Old March 9, 2014, 10:25 PM   #2
pollo
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Correction:

appropriate to post a thread (not forum)
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Old March 10, 2014, 12:10 AM   #3
Ruger480
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Several things come to mind, first: its possible that your choketube is constricting your shot too much. Switch shot sizes. Try three inchers or shells with a slower velocity. You can also try different shot compositions, all sixes for example or try buffered shot. All these variables are affected by your choke tube.
If your tube is too tight, it deforms the pellets too much and affects their flight.
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Old March 10, 2014, 11:40 AM   #4
natman
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Start with the factory full just to get a baseline for comparison. Something is wrong with your patterns alright, you should be able to get way more than 48 pellets in a 10" circle at 40 yards.
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Old March 10, 2014, 12:42 PM   #5
buck460XVR
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Go back to 3'' shells or go to a standard full choke. With the 3 1/2'' shells you're trying to shove a 10ga load down a 12ga barrel and constricting it even more with a tight turkey will do more harm than good, both to the shot and your shoulder.

BTW......48 pellets in a 10'' circle at 40 yards is an extremely good pattern. Pattern your gun with a turkey target. You'll want a minimum of 9-15 pellets in the kill area. (head/neck). Many say to use a 15'' circle @ 40 yards and 60 evenly spaced pellets is considered good.
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Old March 10, 2014, 05:10 PM   #6
pollo
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I would try the factory Full choke, but, the problem is, it is a steel shot Full choke, and it patterns lead a lot wider of a pattern than a normal lead shot full choke would.
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Old March 10, 2014, 06:37 PM   #7
pollo
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Okay, should I return my .665" Carlson's Turkey Choke for a constriction of .690" and then try that? That's where most people are pointing me.

Thanks
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Old March 10, 2014, 10:32 PM   #8
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If you don't want to switch ammo then yes, your gonna have switch chokes.
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Old March 11, 2014, 03:11 AM   #9
bamaranger
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turkey patterns

Hello pollo.

Will echo some of what has been stated already. You don't need hevi-shot to kill gobblers at reasonable ranges ( 40 yds, +/- ) "Space shot" is an undeniable improvement over lead, but the advantage it offers is over sold by the ammo companies and industry if you ask me. And you don't need 3.5" shells either.

Once the leaves come out, it is often difficult to see birds in a woodland setting beyond the 40-45 yd range anyhow. Many thousands of gobblers have fallen to lead shot. Modern lead loads , decoys, calls and blinds have all combined to allow us to get gobblers in reasonable range. My shots on birds last year were taken at 39, 39, 33 and 20 paces, and all got plenty dead with plain old lead.

I've never found a load with lead #4 that patterned well enough to use it as a first round up in my old 870. Always shot just a bit thin. Most guns will shoot #6 lead well enough, but range estimation is a bit more critical with #6's. I feel #5 lead is a good compromise...but all guns/loads need patterned and are a study of their own. Be sure and have some type of sights beyond the old single bead.

I use a plain sheet of typing paper as a target, with a hand drawn gobblers head on it for grins. I count pellets with a magic marker, and label and save same. My early turkey gun, my grandad's Savage pump, with std 1-1/4 oz loads, would put about 70 - #6 pellets on a sheet of typing paper at 30 paces. Modern guns and lead loads will easily double that, often with larger shot! The 870, and bamaboys 835, will put 150+ #5 shot from a hi-vel 3" mag, on that same piece of paper. I've got a sheet shot with the old 2-1/4oz Active load, #6 shot, that has an incredible 181 pellet holes in it!

Get some sights, swap for some 3" shells with a pal, experiment with make and shot size, don't expect high pellet count with #4
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Old March 11, 2014, 09:37 AM   #10
natman
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Quote:
BTW......48 pellets in a 10'' circle at 40 yards is an extremely good pattern.
By wingshooting standards, perhaps, but it's a pretty poor turkey pattern. There's about 315 #4 pellets in a 2 1/4 oz. turkey load. If you are only getting 48 of them in the circle, that's ~15% coverage. According to the National Wild Turkey Foundation coverage should be a much higher percentage:

Quote:
Two ounces of No. 4s (approx. 135 pellets/oz.) should result in a 37-percent pattern.
http://www.nwtf.org/tips_adventures/tips.php?id=13279
Which would result in 100+ pellets in the center, a much better turkey pattern. Results with an extra 1/4 ounce should be even higher.

Quote:
The ideal pattern for turkey hunting is 100 pellets in a 10-inch circle at 40 yards.
ibid
------------

Note to the OP:

Try a different choke, try 3" loads. It's not unusual for a 3" load to pattern better than a 3.5, especially from a standard diameter barrel.

Last edited by natman; March 11, 2014 at 09:53 AM.
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Old March 12, 2014, 06:51 PM   #11
pollo
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Thanks guys. I know I don't need it, but I'm going to stick with 3 1/2 anyways because i already have them. But I will switch chokes to a more open one.

Thanks again

Pollo
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