410 Shot String

Dear Bruce,

Thanks again for your advice with the Model 42. It has become my favorite gun in only two weeks. I used the non-skid shower material on the butt plate, and now the stock stays rock solid in the pocket. It may not be the most elegant solution, but it is easy, efficient and economic.

A friend espoused a theory last Saturday, and appeared to fall dead center within your slide rule logic. A 410’s 1/2 oz load is 44% of a 12 gauge 1 1/8 load. However the 410 bore is 18% of a 12 gauge bore. Since the bore is reduced 2.4 X as much as the load, is it safe to assume that the shot string is 2.4 X as long with a 410 vs. a 12? To a right brainer, this seems intuitively true, but I was wondering what the results of your empirical analysis would be?

I find that I am using bigger leads with the 410, and wonder if a longer shot string is the offset to a smaller pattern. I am having most of my problems with High One and Low Seven, while I am having success with the remaining crossers. It seems that these two targets would not benefit from a long shot string, being straightaway shots. Does this logic compute, or am I just creating new excuses.

I eagerly await the lighted path from the Swami of Shootsmanship.

Claremont, Ca.

Dear Bob,

Glad that you enjoy your 42. A guy who doesn’t like the 42 has no soul.

The comparison of bore size and shot load to shot string is valid, but not for the reasons your friend gives. The 410 produces long shotstrings because it has a long shot column in the barrel and thus distorts more shot. Out-of-round shot tends to string out more than round shot. That’s the short course.

While a long shotstring is normally a handicap, at skeet distances it may not be so. The Russians went to great lengths to get their special International Skeet shells to string out. Frankly, at High One and Low Seven distances, I doubt if shot string plays any part because the distances are so short. Misses here are usually gun handling problems or could result from a bit too much choke for the distance.

I also think that your perceived increase leads are due to the dynamics of the gun and width of barrel, not the shell. My 410 leads with a tube set are the same as the other gauges. Due to the much smaller pattern involved I find that follow through is even more important than usual.

Best regards,

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

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