Long Range Patterns

Dear Bruce:

Here’s a little analysis I did for one of my Choke Chooser customers in response to his interesting question about the relative merits of No. 8s vs No. 7-1/2s for 40-yard targets. I know you like the larger pellets for this range (as do I), so I thought these numbers might interest you.

Best regards,


Hi Bob,

It was nice to talk to you today, and find out that you like your Choke Chooser.

After talking with you, I ran the SPRED model to get effective pattern diameters (hit circles) with a fringe of 80% probability of ONE or more hits, for the following target:

Target size: standard Target orientation: edge-on Target range: 40 yards

The results are shown below. Column A is the effective pattern diameter in inches for 80% probability of TWO or more hits, as used in Choke Chooser. Column B is the same, except for ONE or more hits. The optimum choke is Extra Full (82% pattern percentage) in each case.

Load A B
No. 8 1-1/8 oz. 15.3 23.8
No. 8 1 oz. 13.1 22.5
No. 7 1/2 1-1/8 oz. 12.3 22
No. 7 1/2 1 oz. 9.4 20.5

So if our assumption is correct that with its greater energy one No.7-1/2 pellet will break the target at this distance while one No. 8 pellet will not (reliably), it is clear that you are better off using 7-1/2s, even in a 1-oz loading.


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