Gaussian Ducks


I recently discovered your stuff and I am very impressed. As an engineer with a good knowledge of such things as interior and exterior ballistics and a shotgunner for 38 years I have read much that is technical hogwash. Your stuff is technically sound.

On Gaussian Distributions and Wood Ducks: There is no such thing as too little choke. SK/IC (Briley) in a Rem. 3200 (heavy enough to swing itself) prints a rather holy 40 yd pattern with 1 1/4 oz. steel #2, but the Woodies usually don’t make it through. It’s the damn “shadows” in the pattern created by hitting trees between me and the Woodie that get me down!

On Gaussian Distributions and Snow Geese: As kids we’d – usually two of us – get 50% kill rates by sky-blasting 6 shots rapid fire (3 each) at the lead goose using 3″ mag #4 buck. We’d lead about “a dozen goose lengths”. In the Army we used a technique, similar in theory, called squad fire to engage aircraft with small arms.

On Gaussian Distributions and 5″ Circles: They are really tubes through the shot string. When one starts thinking about football shaped shot clouds with 5″ tubes of void at 800-900 fps and crossing Woodies at 30 yards and 58.6666667 fps (that’s 40 mph, more or less) one wants to throw up. It gets even worse when you realize that the tubes are constantly changing, like writhing snakes, disappearing and reforming, only to appear at the instant the pattern board interrupts their life.

Its a Quantum World mate, some things are best not measured!!!!


Dear Jay,

Your cogent comments merely reinforce my believe that Gauss was a vegetarian. I am working on disproving the Gaussian distribution as to shot shells and feel that I can now prove that it doesn’t work. My pal and I both use the same chokes and shells when we shoot teal. He hits more than I do. Quod erat demonstrandum: the Gaussian curve does not apply equally and can pick favorites based on some hidden grudge.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid
(Often in error, never in doubt.)

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