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the shot string?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by ZVP, Jan 24, 2013.

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  1. ZVP

    ZVP Member

    May 20, 2010
    After reading "Patterning 101" I realised that the shot pattern opens in two directions.
    One the long string of pellets thatexit a barrel like a freight train and Secondly the spread and corcumfrence thet the pellets spread to cover the target.
    I bought myStoger Uplander for home defrnse and birding so I have two scenerios to consider.
    Home defensr=e at say, 15 to 18 yards only a string of pellets will sly, spreading to maybe the size of a cup saucer, whereas when Birding, I will haave to deal with both a shot string (minor) and a wide shot spread (major) to kill birds.
    SInce this is so, Home defense is best done with IC and Mod chokes to try and get a little spread to the shot??? Full choke would be too tight.
    WHat size shot should I buy to get greatest spread at 15 yards max (indoor distsnce)?
    I know that the shot needs to penetrate to Vitals for best results to stop a fight.
    I am willing to shoot #3 or #4 Buck if necessary.
    The Wife and I are older and chose the SXS Double for lighter weight and to be able to sholder it due to damaged sholder issues for both of us. We chose the 20Ga Stoger Uplander to both control recoil with the slightlgy longer barrels and tostill have plenty of velocity to make a one shot stop!
    Ideas? Thanks,
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    No. Most folks use buckshot for HD, and buckshot patterns tighter in a looser choke then a Full choke.

    Ideally, you want the tightest pattern you can get, to put the whole charge on target.

    You can't get enough "spread" inside a house with any choke to make much difference anyway.
    So you might as well insure all the pellets are on target in the tightest pattern you can get.
    And with buckshot, that is usually with Cyl, Imp Cyl, or possibly Mod.

    For 20 Ga HD you want to use #3 buck.

    See this:

    As for the shot string when hunting?
    Yes it is there, but there is nothing you can do about it except not worry about it.

    If you have the proper lead on a flying bird, and it is in range, you will kill it.

    Also consider if you will how hard it would be to hit a flying bird if there were no shot string?
    If all the pellets got there in a pancake flat pattern at exactly the same time?
    Your timing would have to be exactly 100% perfect on a crossing bird to ever hit it with any of the charge.

    In crossing shots, the shot string is a very good thing to have indeed!

    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013
  3. 45crittergitter

    45crittergitter Member

    Sep 24, 2003
    Agreed, although special "spreader" loads and chokes may help a bit. The general rule is about 1" additional spread per 1 yard of range. So in a 20' room, you will get around cup saucer sized patterns at most.

    Keep in mind that at that range, birdshot is very effective for defense, and doesn't shoot through 7 walls like buckshot tends to do.
  4. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

    Aug 9, 2010
    Ozark Mountains of Arkansas
    I beg to differ about the shot string being minor on the bird shooting. Next time you are in a safe place with water swing your gun like tracking a bird and fire off a shot. Depending on the speed of your swing your string may be 15' long at 30 yards. Leaves a lot of holes in your so called pattern. With a stationary barrel it makes little difference.
  5. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    Apr 24, 2008
    Hot and Humid FL
    Too long a shotstring means holes in the pattern and too many misses
    A light SxS for HD means recoil will be brutal
    Barrel length has nothing to do with velocity in a shotgun under normal issues

    Practice, practice, practice
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