View Full Version : Buckshot Pattern Question

June 28, 2008, 04:44 AM
I have a Maverick 88 with a Mossy 18.5 inch cylinder barrel. When I shoot with my friends who have various shotguns mine seems to hold a wider pattern with 00 buck than their guns. I thought it might have to do with brand but the tightest shooting gun out there was a Mossy 500. Is there any way to tighten the pattern without a choke barrel? Thanks.

June 28, 2008, 04:55 AM
Use a longer barrel...like a 22" or a 28"

A shorter bbl is naturally going to have a wide pattern. What size bbls are your friends using?

June 28, 2008, 06:10 AM
Try Federal Flite Control buckshot.


June 28, 2008, 09:31 AM
Your barrel is ment for slugs or close up shooting(10yds). You would have to get another barrel or have yours threaded for choke tubes. Your better off with a new barrel.
MAX100 has good advise but your very limited with the barrel you have.
I got a nice polychoke for sale if your interested. Its listed in the gear for sale page.

Scattergun Bob
June 28, 2008, 07:14 PM
I have fixed this type problem by installing a "pattern Master" choke. It is by far the best buckshot choke on the market.

Vangs backbore and bottle choke system is also very effective.

I have found that there is no real rhyme or reason to how a barrel patterns, this is some voodoo magic to it.

Good Luck & Be Safe

nutty ned
June 28, 2008, 08:27 PM
Possibilly federal premium buckshot

June 28, 2008, 10:14 PM
The pattern problem your having is due to shooting buckshot out of a cylinder bore barrel. This is the most open choke you can have for a barrel. It is meant for slugs and close up situations only with shot. It is not intendid for use at longer ranges except with single projectiles. The only way to solve your problem is to invest in a new barrel or have your existing barrel threaded for choke tubes. Its expensive and your better off with a new barrel with screw in chokes.

June 28, 2008, 11:07 PM
are you patterning just to pattern or for sd/hd situation?

if its for sd/hd unless you live in a mansion or doing a ride around the farm/large piece of land. 20 yards should be sufficent. i patterned my 20" sbrs barrel for hd/sd to 15 hunting, to 25. my 28" vr for 35 with buckshot.

if its for hunting, a longer barrel with or without sights/scope mount. unless f&g laws specify otherwise. a barrel that uses choke tubes or have your threaded for tubes would be a better choice. try different brands and shot sizes/loads to see which patterns the best. a short, bead sighted barrel with a cyl. or imp. cyl. choke is for close work. but even having said that a short barrel(18"-20") with sights would be better for hd/sd situation.

Bill DeShivs
June 29, 2008, 12:14 AM
Barrel length has nothing to do with pattern size.

June 29, 2008, 04:43 AM
First off thanks to all who have answered here. FWIW the gun shoots a nice pattern out to about 20 yards. My gripe is that it is not as tight as the other guns that were shot that day. I just wondered if there was something besides a choke that could help. There really is no need for a choke because this is my inexpensive, reliable HD shotgun and it does fine. Whatever pattern it shoots, five rounds of 00 buck makes me sleep better in my bed at night.

June 29, 2008, 05:48 AM
Try different sized buckshot. There is nothing magical about 00 buckshot, as a matter of fact in MY guns, 00 won't pattern worth a hoot. Now my gun is choked, so your results will be different, but just changing shot size might make a big change. For what it's worth, my gun carries No 1 buck best.

June 29, 2008, 06:41 AM
Try slugs or buck and ball loads. The buck & ball is 3-5 pellets of buckshot along with a single large caliber round ball. Its a great option for HD situations and you get the best of both worlds.:D I have tried these in the past and they did pretty well. They have nice range with the ball if your aiming and the buckshot along with it is great for a point and shoot situation where your unable to aim. Give em a try, You might like them. If your determined to stick with buckshot, try a few brands but the best I have found with a cylinder bore is the Hornady TAP 00 Buck. Its a tacticle round with great performance for HD guns(or any others). Good luck.

June 29, 2008, 09:19 AM
What Cajunbass said............!

I've got a Mossberg 500 with a short barrel that I use here in NE FL. when we hunt hogs after the deer season is over.

To make a long story SHORT. After a bit of testing I found that in my shotgun at least patterens from 000 buck were much tighter. This was determined by pushing a good bit of lead down the barrel.

Not that the same will be true of your gun, and not that as you say it matters all that much in a house. But for a shotgun that's used for hunting like mine is it mattered.

As a side note. We also tested penetration on phone books. The 000 buck penetrated more than half again as much as the 00 buck. This too is a bonus for the hogs we hunt.

Best thing of all about testing your gun is that you've a good excuse to buy a bunch of buckshot and go to the range.................

June 30, 2008, 07:10 AM
Barrel length has nothing to do with pattern size.

bingo there!

as has been said - try different sizes and brands of ammunition - don't assume all brands will shoot the same

July 13, 2008, 10:55 PM
Another thumbs-up on the Federal Flite-Control loads. The 9-pellet 00B Low Recoil variety patterns into about 4 1/2'' at 15 yards from my 18.5" Benelli Nova.

July 13, 2008, 11:11 PM
Barrel length has nothing to do with pattern size.

try different sizes and brands of ammunition - don't assume all brands will shoot the same

What they said. Shotguns are funny like that. You can have two of the same model and they may both pattern different with the same ammo. You just gotta try different sizes and brands to figure out what yours likes best. My Mossberg 500 18.5" barrel likes Hornady Tap 00 Buck Low Recoil best for short distance HD duty. :)

July 14, 2008, 01:28 AM
Yes it is due to being a cylindrical bore... However I must point out that the cyl. barrel is not "designed" for slugs... It is designed to give the widest pattern of buck shot in the closest possible distance. The Mossberg/Maverick manual actually says an improved cylindrical choke will produce the best accuracy with most slugs...

July 15, 2008, 10:33 PM
You can buy a replacement 20" barrel for the gun that has removable choke tubes, and that would then solve your problem. You should be able to get one for under $150

OO Buckshot is way overkill for shooting humans in self-defense scenarios. +1 for switching to smaller #1 Buckshot, or even consider #4 Buckshot.

Improved Cylinder or Modified chokes will give you tighter patterns at longer ranges. I actually split this difference and use a Light Modified Choke in my gun, which is right between those other two chokes in terms of its constriction.


July 17, 2008, 11:01 AM
I'd not say 00 is overkill for human-criminal defense. It's not uncommon for criminals breaking into houses to also be high on drugs, from what I've read. Pick a powerful round to shoot, because you never know who is hiked up on PCP. Better to have overkill, than underkill. ;)

And yes, I do believe it'd also be smart to have a slug or two (or 4) in the tube for backup... "just in case" the S really does H the F, hard and messy. :eek: :D

But, hey, I'm a shotgun newb, so maybe I'm wrong. :o

But I still think, in theory, it's better to be prepared for said situations, than not be.

July 17, 2008, 11:34 AM
LoL - "00 buckshot is overkill" :rolleyes:

There's no such thing as overkill in a self-defense scenario


Without buying a new barrel?

Try different brands - Rem, Win, Fed, Horn, etc... They all pattern differently from different guns

Arguably the tightest-patterning loads are Federal Flite-Control, Hornady TAP, and CCI/Speer low recoil 00.

I suggest trying some Federal Flite-Control low recoil 000 loads for your cylinder-choked barrel

July 17, 2008, 09:57 PM
For HD, I wouldnt want an ultra tight pattern to start with(Hunting, Yes). If thats the case, Shoot slugs. You want to have a pattern that spreads a little if using in your house. Its hard to hit something in the dark with a 3-5 inch pattern @ 5 yds when you and the target are moving(most likely). I think #4 buckshot is great for HD and has alot more pellets than oo buck. I dont know of any human that would survive any size buckshot. Use whatever your gun shoots best but remember that if its used for HD, its gonna be up close and personal and you need a pattern to deal with that kind of situation. Just be sure of whats beyond your target if it comes down to it. Buckshot will penetrate walls and sheetrock and exit to the outside of your house and keep on going. Thats why my HD is loaded with #4 buck I reloaded myself with a lighter charge(but very potent), I have neighbors with kids and dont need any accidents because of flyers.

July 17, 2008, 11:43 PM
An old outlaw told me he loaded shells with 00 that he had cut a slice through the shot and monofilament crimped in place holding the shot together in flight I don't know if this works but id be pretty sure it is illegal.:D

But does anyone know if it is.:confused:

July 18, 2008, 09:14 AM
teeroux, Never heard of that one. Its like the tale of in old days of putting a buck fifty of dimes in the shell for shootouts when they couldnt get large shot.(WARNING,DO NOT DO THIS!) I think theres alot of stories of people doing things and most arent safe and I wouldnt try any of them. I think monofiliment would definatly break due to the pressure and velocity. Intsead of slicing buckshot, Why didnt he just use round fishing splitshots? Would have saved him quite a bit of time. To me, If you want an ultra tight pattern, Im going to use slugs. They got alot more punch and a longer range. I like the buck and ball shells also, They give you the best of both worlds in 1 shell.