Did some patterning today

  • Hey guys, decided to do some patterning for my Remington VersaMax today. I actually forgot that the last time I bought shells I bought the wrong kind then what I normally buy. So all the patterning I did then (when I bought the VersaMax) was worthless to the shells I normally shoot for trap.

    So I went out to the range to do some shooting.


    Remington has some really stupid names for their choke tubes that came with this particular shotgun, I guess though it was made for city folk who wanted/needed an easier way to determine what choke to use. This however makes it worthless for me since I am use to the normal nomenclature of full, modified, cylinder and so on.

    So here's a quick guide for anyone that may be looking. https://support.remington.com/General_Information/ProBore_Choke_Constrictions

    The chokes that came with my gun are:
    “Flooded Timber” .731 Bore .004 Restriction
    “Over Decoys” .726 Bore .009 Restriction
    “Pass Shooting” .721 Bore .014 Restriction
    “Turkey/Predator” .675 Bore .060 Restriction

    After measuring mine they were all within spec of the chokes and my measuring equipment.

    These chokes are all steel rated as well, so they are a little “looser” then the chokes I've used in the past which were made for lead shot, meaning I am missing some choke sizes I had for my 870, and of course they are not compatible since Remington change choke design.

    The “Pass Shooting” choke is about the equivalent to a Light Modified, and the “Over Decoys” (AKA the choke I used in trap all year) is closer to a Improved Cylinder. Yea.... whoops and now we know why Patterning is important.

    So earlier today I grabbed some white paper sheets from my local ShopKo, the paper is 28” wide by 22” tall so it will work decent enough. I ranged out 40 yards and went to work.

    I tested two loads, Remington Gun Club Light Target (GC12L8) which has 1-1/8 oz of #8 shot at approximately 1145FPS, and Winchester AA Heavy Target Load (AAM128, which is my normal load) also has 1-1/8 oz of #8 shot but a bit faster at approximately 1200FPS.

    First I shot the “Pass Shooting” Choke with the Winchester:

    At 40 yards I had 351 BBs and the pattern looked good, a little low and right but that was probably me

    Second I shot the “Turkey” Choke with the Winchester:

    At 40 yards I had 417 BBs, which is probably 90% or so (I didn't actually count the total in a shell but 1-18/ oz of 8 shot should be around 460 or so) this would have been good for the trophy shoot where I added some yardage, but it's probably to tight for normal trap at the 16 yard line.

    Last I shot the “Over Decoys” choke:

    At 40 yards I had 247 BBs, and there were some noticeable holes starting to show up that a clay could probably slip through, especially with my deliberate and slow shooting style.

    Then I shot the Remington stuff, First the “Pass Shooting” choke:

    At 40 yards I had 231/448 BBs (Approximately 54%) and had some pretty big holes as well, wasn't real impressed and decided to not shoot the “Over Decoys” choke.

    So I shot the “Turkey Choke”:

    At 40 yards I had 354/448 BBs, which isn't bad 79% or so, but the pattern centered a bit high and right (most likely on me) unfortunately it just doesn't fit what I like so the Remington stuff will be used for Dove and what not in a couple weeks where the shooting will be a bit closer.

    Anyways, besides all the counting it was a fun day.

    Some of you might notice an extra piece of hardware on my shotgun right along side the ejection port. Being this gun is a semi auto it throws empties, and some people frown upon being hit with them, and after lots and lots and lots of looking I finally found a shell catcher for the VersaMax on eBay, and after using it all season it has worked awesome, and it's genius just attaches to the screw rails in the top of the receiver. And the old guys at the club appreciated it greatly as well.

    Anyways just thought I would share this with everybody.

  • Science!

    Good stuff there. I haven't patterned a shotgun in years, but it's a requirement if you want to know whether your barrel/choke/ammo combo's are running right for the mission at hand.

  • Indeed, and apparently I should have done it sooner.

    Oh well, all set for now I think, I'll probably have to get some new/more chokes to full the gaps though.