TSS Sandhill Crane Loads - #5 #6 Pattern Testing

Post your 12 Gauge pattern results.

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TSS Sandhill Crane Loads - #5 #6 Pattern Testing

Postby PaulDH » Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:15 pm

Obtained from TSS shot from Hal in sizes #5 and #6, with the goal of developing a viable 100yd shell for Sandhill Cranes. I have other shells/loads that get me out to 60-70yds. Looking for a load to cover the over 60yd to 100yd ranges. I loaded and pattern tested 3 shells, using Hal's reloading data. Two shells were pattern tested at 80yds, and and the third was pattern tested at 100yds. I used a 5' by 5' pattern board, due to the testing distances.

These shells were fired in a Rem Versa Max. 26 1/2" barrel using a Trulock extended Full Choke with 0.705" ID. Here's the results from the three patterns:

Load #1 Tested at 80yds:
3” Fiocchi Hull - Roll Crimp 2oz #6s: 50% Pattern (Pretty Uniform) in 30” Circle

273 #6 pellets total. 34 – 36 – 36 – 31 = 137/273 = 50% @ 80yds

237 pellets (87%) Hit 5’x5’ Paper. ~85% in 60” Circle @80yds
80yd Impact ~3” High - 3”Right

Load #2 Tested at 80yds:
3.5” Fiocchi Hull - Roll Crimp 2oz #5s: 62% Pattern (Pretty Uniform) in 30” Circle

226 #5 pellets total. 43 – 31 – 31 – 36 = 141/226 = 62% @ 80yds

222 pellets (98%) Hit 5’x5’ Paper. ~98%+ in 60” Circle @80yds
80yd Impact ~2” High

Load #3 Tested at 100yds:
3.25”Fiocchi Hull - Roll Crimp 1 7/8oz #5s: 50% Pattern (Pretty Uniform) in 30” Circle

212 #5 pellets total. 33 – 27 – 23 – 24 = 107/212 = 50% @ 100yds

150 pellets (71%) Hit within 60” Circle @100yds
100yd Impact ~10” Low - 9” Left

I divided the 30" diameter circle into 4 quadrants, and counted the pellets in each quadrant. 0-90degrees, 90-180degrees, 180-270degrees, and 270-360 degrees, to get an idea on the uniformity of the patterns. So you see those four numbers for each of the pellet counts per quadrant. Then the sum of the 4 quadrants divided by the total pellet count, yielding the percentage of pellets in the 30" circle at 80yd, 80yd, and 100yd.

The #5 pellets shot a dignificantly tighter pattern than the #6s in this .705" TruLock extended choke tube. In fact, more #5s pellets hit within the 30" circle at 80 yds than #6s, even though the 2oz #6 load started with 47 more pellets. A different choke would likely pattern the #6s tighter.

Both #5 loads would have patterned 100% at 40yds, the 'normal' pattern distance for lead shot shells. The #5 loads pattern too densely for any Crane closer than 60yds, in my opinion. At 40yds, a direct hit would be a Crane shredder. I have other loads that will drop them out to 65yds. The #5 loads threw a 30" pattern dense enough to be legitimate and reliable 100yd Crane killers. Had a Crane been located on the pattern board at the location of my aiming point at 100yds, 6-7 #5 pellets would have connected.

I also counted and provided the pellet count and the %pattern in a 5 foot (60") diameter circle. All 3 patterns were quite a bit denser in the 30" circle, than in the area between the 30" circle and the 60" circle. A crane outside the 30" diameter, within the 30" and 60" rings might or might not survive at 80yds and 100yds.

Never dreamed I'd be pattern testing a shotshell at 100yds! After patterning the #5s at 80yds, I was confident they'd be good to 100yds. At 80yds my center of pattern was ~2" high. By 100yds, the center of pattern was ~10"low. So the #5s dropped about 12" traveling from 80 to 100yds. Cheers!

PS: The 3.25" Fiocchi Hull in Load #3 is not a typo. I trimmed a 3 1/2" hull down to 3 1/4" for reliable ejection in my Versa Max. A 3 1/2" hull was too long for reliable ejection.

Dave in AZ
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Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:38 pm

Re: TSS Sandhill Crane Loads - #5 #6 Pattern Testing

Postby Dave in AZ » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:29 pm

Wow what an interesting and unique post! Never seen anyone with this kind of data, very impressive. Thanks for your effort and work on this!

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Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2016 4:56 pm

Re: TSS Sandhill Crane Loads - #5 #6 Pattern Testing

Postby hawglips » Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:07 am

Very thorough. Thanks Paul!

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Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 5:51 pm

Re: TSS Sandhill Crane Loads - #5 #6 Pattern Testing

Postby PaulDH » Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:16 pm

My hunting buddy pattern tested the #6 TSS load which I tested at 80yds out of his Browning side-by-side shotgun. (Load #1 in my initial Post).

My Versa Max shotgun, with the extended Trulock 'Full' choke tube, patterned 50% into 30" at 80yds.

His Browning side-by-side (fixed - Modified Choke) patterned 86% of the 2oz #6s into a 30" circle at 66yds. Yikes! :o Unreal. Look's like I need to pattern test the #6s with a Modified choke tube.

He'll need to wait until the Sandhills have flared and are flying straight away for a very distant, parting shot - like at around 100yds. Just about the time they've announced "all's clear".

Seriously, his pattern is so tight, it'll be tough to hit any passing bird. They'll have to be straight on or straight away. My plan is to load the TSS as the last shot in my semi-auto's magazine. Reach way out there and touch them while they're fleeing - straight away. I'll be using regular shells for the less than 65-70yd shot opportunities. With his double barrel shotgun, he'll be able to select which barrel to shoot as the opportunity presents, provided he doesn't clutch in the excitement :!:

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