Friday, September 25, 2009

Shotgun Point of Impact Test - .410 Gauge Shotgun - Part Two

In Part One of a simple test of point of impact and how well they patterned with different shotshell rounds for our .410 gauge shotguns, results of RW, Jr. were posted. I am now posting my results of the recent tests that were done with my H & R Topper Model 88 .410 gauge shotgun.

Using the same basic target rounds as RW, Jr., the first shotshells I used were the Remington Long Range Shotshells in #6. I used green colored targets for my targets instead of the black colored ones that RW, Jr. used. No mistake or confusion on the results that way.

I had a very good pattern on the 8 1/2 inch by 11 inch target with the Remington shotshells aiming at the center mark of the target from 50 feet. This was pretty much in line with what I thought would happen. I’ve made a point to make sure I know just what my firearms are capable of and what, if any, limitations there might be on the gun or my abilities.

I had similar results at 50 feet using the Winchester High Brass Shotshells in both the # 7 1/2 and # 6 shotshells. This was to be expected though. I have been using these loads for quite some time and they have always done well in my .410 shotgun. Good patterns were achieved when aiming at center target with all shotshell rounds (see pics above). I would feel very comfortable using either the Remington or Winchester shotshells, as both produced excellent results for me. It is important to remember that this was done with a stationary (fixed) target from a standing position (not the most stable platform). Moving targets are a whole different ball game.

Pictured above is a pellet from the 000 buckshot rounds that RW, Jr. dug out of the tree behind the target when repairing the tree damage. You should always make an attempt to repair any unintended damage done to the natural environment. This is a basic precept of good hunting, shooting and bushcraft skills.

From a distance of 75 feet, it penetrated the good oak tree about 1 1/4 inches and mushroomed very nicely to a little less than 1/2 inch in diameter. The pellets in the target went only slightly deeper but the old stump was fairly rotten. No surprise that they went a little deeper!

The buckshot rounds tested fairly well also. My first rounds were within a five inch circle but were slightly to the left of center and this was probably due to the fact that I’m right-handed but left eye dominant. If I cock my head ever so slightly, my rounds have a tendency to go left of center and down to the left. This depends upon how bad I cock my head when aiming. It takes a conscious effort on my part to keep my head straight. This is something my good friend Bitmap pointed out in the comments section of Part One. The position of your body will affect your aim. My second shot was even worse. I over compensated and my head was turned too much to the right. Hence the rounds went low and to the right.

I need to shoot more of the 000 buckshot before I make a definitive decision. This may be a while though. I can shoot a 25 round clip of .22lr for the cost of just one of the .410 buckshot rounds. I also need to mention that there was a minimal amount of additional recoil from the buckshot loads. Those of you out there that are of smaller stature don't need to worry about it.

If you don’t know for sure how your firearm performs, you may need to do a little practice yourself. Practice only makes you better and will give you more confidence in your own abilities. It’s too bad I don’t have any free rounds from a manufacturer to test out or I would be doing a lot more shooting!

Staying above the water line!



Anonymous said...

Cool - much obliged for this shooting review. Have a great weekend RW.

Bitmap said...

One thing you ought to do is have a larger paper for patterning so you can see the whole distribution. The second target looks like the distribution is high and right but you can't tell for sure without seeing the entire pattern.

Two full sheets of newspaper (one above the other) is a good place to start. I think shotgun patterning for wingshooting is usually done with a 40 inch diameter circle.

Another thing is that the pattern won't be the same every time due to tolerances in the ammunition. Sort of like judging how well a rifle shoots based on one group. Several shots with each load will give you a better idea.

Bitmap said...

I had to add that I'm impressed with the patterning, especially of the buckshot load. I've tried a number of 12ga. cylinder bored guns that wouldn't put as many pellets as close to the center at that range with a 9 pellet 00 load and wouldn't put many more in the center with a 27 pellet #4 buck load.

I wonder if having the pellets all in a row instead of side-by-side in layers helps? With all the pellets in a single stack I wouldn't think the choke would make much difference but I could be wrong.

I love .410s. They are great for small game and critters and pests. I just wish the ammo was priced by weight compared to the 12ga stuff. From what I've seen .410 bird shot loads are about 2x the price per round of similar 12ga loads.

Western Mass. Man said...

Thanks RW and RW Jr.
I think you just turned me on to a .410 for the misses or the kids.

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 7:21

Have a great weekend yourself!

My weekends vary depending upon what happens...I'm the "go to" guy at work if an emergency pops up.

Thanks anon!


riverwalker said...

To: Bitmap

I was actually working more towards point of aim than patterning. The basic test for patterning is at 40 yards (i.e.,120 feet) and we were shooting at 50 feet instead. I'm not sure offhand about the size of a patterning target but 40 inches sounds about the right size.

I went back and checked that one target you mentioned and it had over fifty pellets strike it but it was a little to the right of center (about 2 1/2 inches) when I looked at the shot concentration a little closer. You've got sharp eyes to pick that up from a low-res pic.

I haven't tested any 00 or 000 buckshot loads in my 12 gauge but need to do that pretty quick.

I only had one pellet that didn't hit on or inside five inches at 50 feet and that one hit at 7 inches. I don't think anyone would ever want to get shot with a load like that. The pellets all mushroomed nicely and very uniformly...hence the one pic.

RW, Jr. shot several rounds with the modified and to keep the test pretty similar it was decided to go with the full choke only on his double barrel .410.

Thanks Bitmap!


riverwalker said...

To: Western Mass Man

A .410 is a great starter gun and they can work their way up from there. The .410 shotguns aren't real expensive...good ones are usually less than $150. The price of the ammo is what sets you back! Not the cheapest...5 to 6 bucks at the box store for a 5 round box.



riverwalker said...

To: Bitmap

Forgot to mention that you may be right about inline placement of the 3 pellets versus the alternating or stacked pellets in a 12 gauge round.


Ken said...

...great follow up RW,good eye Bitmap,had to look again at the

...funny about the cost too,in the not so distant past it was at least equivalent in price to other shells,i haven't had to buy any in many years,so i might be mistaken !?!?

HermitJim said...

Looks like a pretty good grouping to me...would get the job done, I reckon!

Thanks, R.W....

riverwalker said...

To: Ken

Bitmap's got a good eye for the details...not going to slip much by him.

I seem to recall .410 shotshells being just about the cheapest thing around in my younger days...50 or so years back! LOL

Thanks Ken!


riverwalker said...

To: HermitJim

I reckon it would...

Thanks Jim!


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