How to pattern your shotgun

How to pattern your shotgun: 5 Tips that will make hunting easier

How to Pattern your shotgun. Before you set out to use your shotgun, you need to subject it to patterning. This is a procedure that a good number of people ignorantly disregard. As a result, they end up having one of the most disastrous hunting expeditions. Not only do they fail to hunt down a fowl but also waste resources during hunting.  You pattern your shotgun by shooting targets at various ranges using different shells to see which one is more effective. This will give you a good sense of what shells will perform best at different ranges. Let’s take a closer look at pattern your shotgun

The Importance of Patterning your shotgun

Achieving great pattern quality

A shotgun puts a number of variables into play. The variables include acceleration rates, chamber pressures, and velocity. These factors serve a great purpose of absorbing shocks and igniting your shotgun. Patterning allows you to test all those factors and determine if they are well-suited for your shotgun. Test all the variables and determine their ability and contribution to your shotgun.

Know the pattern density

It is very important to determine the pattern density of your shotgun. This factor reveals the effectiveness of your shotgun’s kill pattern. You get to know the ability of the choke and its impact on the pattern density.

Establish the right range

A lot of shotgun users are poor at estimating the right kill range. This shortcoming negatively impacts their shooting, and makes it difficult for them to reach their ultimate potential when out hunting. This is where patterning comes in handy, It subjects you to numerous practices that will turn you into a great shotgun user. You will be able to make the right range estimations whenever you go out hunting. Not only will you have an unmatched prowess when it comes to shooting, but you will also make more effeicent kills and protect yourself and other people around you.

Attain the best firing technique

Firing your shotgun is not a technique that you will learn overnight. You need continuous training in order to become a pro. This is why you need to know how to pattern your shotgun. It will enable you to identify the most appropriate time to fire your shotgun and when to hold your horses.

Identify your most ideal dominant eye

As a shooter, you need to know which dominant eye will serve you well. It goes with no say that the dominant eye varies from one person to another. In case you are not sure about yours, then chances are you might end up making some serious mistakes. Take the process of patterning your shotgun in order to  help establish your dominant eye. Its very important to know your dominate eye when it comes to shooting a gun in general.

Assess the performance of your shotgun’s cartridge, choke and barrels

Before you start using your shotgun, you need to test its performance. This involves checking the output of some important components such as barrels, choke, and cartridge. Ensure they are all intact and working properly. You can now shoot with confidence being sure that nothing will go amiss. This is the reason behind learning how to pattern your shotgun. The above points reveal the importance of patterning your shotgun. All of them point towards achieving one similar thing and that is getting to know how best to use your shotgun. That is why every licensed shotgun holder needs to know how to pattern it. There are systematic steps that need to be followed when it comes to patterning a shotgun. Every step is as important as the previous and subsequent one. Therefore, you have to be very keen once you start patterning your shotgun. Any kind of mistake will be very costly. First, you will not know the exact performance level of your shotgun. You will be deprived of the most suitable estimation range. Last but not least, you will become as dangerous as the shotgun to the people and animals around you. Below are some of the things you need to do when it comes to patterning your gun:

How to Pattern your Shotgun

Pattern at various ranges using different ammunition

The First step you need to do is to purchase or make a target for your shotgun. You can purchase a turkey target or make your own by using cardboard and drawing a diameter of 30 inches. Next, use different shotgun shells and shoot at various ranges to see which shells work best at different distances. This is an important exercise that will help you determine the best combination for hunting.

Use more choke in greater ranges

When using your shotgun in long ranges, it is important to employ more choke. This will give you the right pattern density. A full choke is ideal when dealing with a range of about 40 yards. Different Shotgun shells will recommend specific chokes to use.

Establish the point of impact

It is obvious that a lot of shotguns will not shoot to where you are aiming. This is why you need to know the right point of impact. It is a confirmation that can be known through patterning your shotgun. Give yourself 40 yards from the target. You can then fire three times at your target by using a complete choke. The full choke enables you to identify the shotgun prints easily.

Repeat the procedure offhand

Once you have established that your shotgun shoots at your target, it is time to repeat the process. You will end up mastering the skill. If you do not get similar results to the first one then your shotgun has a fit issue.

Determine pattern efficiency

You have to achieve a 99% result when it comes to making a critical strike from where you are standing while shooting. Check the choke and shell quality to determine if your shotgun’s pattern is indeed efficient. You will certainly come up with a great combination that you can always use when it comes to hunting with your shotgun.


Using a shotgun to hunt is not that simple especially when you are a newbie. You need to receive sufficient training in order to reach the expected standard. As a shotgun holder, you need to know how to pattern it properly so that you can judge which shells will ensure an effective hit. This is an important process that ensures you achieve the right point of impact everytime. Furthermore, you get to know the most suitable combination that you will always use anytime you are hunting with your shotgun. If you are not comfortable with patterning your shotgun then seek the help of a professional shotgun holder to ensure you have a stress-free process.

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