There is more to hunting than learning the proper shooting techniques and investing in the right equipment. You will also need to learn how to use the particular gun you have, particularly the shotgun. Do you know about patterning the shotgun? If you do, you probably wonder about why do hunters pattern their shotguns. While it does seem like a tedious task at first, it reaps a ton of benefits hunters love, which is what makes it an important thing to do.
So if you’re wondering about why you should pattern a shotgun and how to do so, read on as I show you all about it!
What Do You Mean By Patterning a Shotgun?
When you get a shotgun straight from the shop, it doesn’t fire consistently at first. That’s why it’s best to familiarize yourself with the way it shoots, which depends on the model and manufacturer you got it from. That way, you will know for sure the shot pattern of the gun you got and how you should stance yourself to get an accurate shot.
Patterning a shotgun is done through repeatedly shooting a target with different shells and shot sizes. It helps you figure out which type of shells, shot sizes, and the loads will perform best and at what distance you should do so.
Why Do Hunters Pattern Their Shotguns?
You now know what patterning a shotgun means, but why do hunters pattern their shotguns in the first place?
When you shoot a shotgun while hunting, you want to make sure that you are familiarized with how it works, don’t you? If you aren’t sure about how the shotgun performs and the types of tools it needs to shoot effectively, then you will have a hard time taking your aim and shooting your target accurately.
Sure, you have the best skills, but without coordinating with the way your shotgun works, those skills won’t be able to be utilized as much as it should. That’s the reason why many hunters opt to test their shotguns and pattern it before intense hunting sessions. You wouldn’t want to go in without knowing your gun well enough. Not only does this lessen the number of clean kills you can make, but it may also hurt something in the process due to inaccurate shooting.
Tips on How to Pattern a Shotgun
Now that you know why you should pattern a shotgun, the next thing you should consider is how to do so properly. Here are some tips to follow:
- Always keep a tab on the number of shots you do every time you shoot your target. Take note that you’ll need at least ten shots when patterning one target.
- Take note that when you are patterning a shotgun, the results you get will vary between the different brands you choose. Try different shotguns and bullets, so you’ll know if you need to switch weapons while you are hunting.
- Pattern your shotgun before hunting. If you are unsure, then you can ask a local gunsmith to help you out and improve your shotgun’s stock.
Here is an excellent video that shows you how to pattern a shotgun correctly:
More to Know About Hunting With a Shotgun
Other than just patterning a shotgun, you must follow the rules and proper techniques when hunting with a shotgun to ensure safety with efficient shots. Here are tips to follow when doing so:
- NEVER point your gun at something you won’t want to shoot, especially when at a fellow hunter. You never know what can pull the trigger and it may cause injury.
- Always look around your target when shooting. It’s best to shoot in an area with a background or backstop near the target to assure that the bullet will not go far (if missed) and injure anything.
- Remove unfired shells after your hunt and check for barrel obstructions to avoid it from bursting and causing accidents.
- Wear protection and use eye and ear protection while shooting to prevent any injury or ear conditions.
When it comes to hunting or shooting with a shotgun, you must learn how to pattern it to shoot straight and gain the accuracy you need for clean kills. Through patterning it correctly, you will be able to have better consistency and enjoy a successful hunting session right after. All thanks to a bit of hard work beforehand!
I hope that this article answers your question: “Why do hunters pattern your shotgun?” Now that you’re familiar with what to do, why not follow these tips on how to pattern your shotgun and begin today?
If you have any questions or would like to share your experiences with patterning a shotgun, then comment down below. I would love to hear what you have to think.