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#582914 10/28/20 12:28 PM
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I just picked up a new (to me, and perhaps to Lord Newport in 1903) Henry Atkin SLE in 12. The barrels are choked .708 and .720, so I am calling that essentially Improved/Modified. Most of my hunting is grouse and woodcock, with preserve pheasants thrown in maybe once a year or once every year and a half. That being said, I would like to do some wild pheasants and even travel for driven birds in the future. I assumed that I was going to open the chokes up a bit, but now I'm wondering if simply using spreader RST and Polywad cartridges for my hunting doesn't get me to a similar result without having to tinker with the gun, and preserving tighter chokes for farther shots.

The problem is, I have no concept of what the spread is on the spreader loads, having never used them before. Any advice, warnings disagreement, or agreement is appreciated.


"More important, we hoped that when Autumn came, the birds would fly"

-Guy De La Valdene
TCN #582917 10/28/20 12:51 PM
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I USE SPREADERS OCCASONALLY IN SPORTINC CLAYS THEY SEEM TO ABOUT DOUBLE THE PATTERN I USE FIOCCHI,BUT RST WOULD BE THE ONES OF CHOICE

TCN #582918 10/28/20 01:43 PM
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I've had limited experience in using spreader loads in a variety of guns, but I do use them exclusively in one of my guns.

I have a 16 gauge BLE, which is choked improved cylinder and full. It is my fulltime woodcock and grouse gun. I use 2 1/2" RST spreader loads in 7/8 ounce.

What I have found in my gun, is that they don't substantially open the pattern. In my IC barrel, they open it to about C, and in my Full barrel they open it to about IM. The increased spread was marginal.

However, what I did find is that by using the spreader loads it substantially improved the uniformness of my pattern. When I use a standard RST load (and shotcup) the pattern is more center dense with more open voids as it filled out the cylinder pattern circle. With the spreader the pattern is much more uniform out to the pattern circle with fewer voids.

Your gun may vary.


“I left long before daylight, alone but not lonely.”~Gordon Macquarrie
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Thanks, this is helpful, and candidly if I could open my I/M to something approaching SKeet and C, I would be thrilled.


"More important, we hoped that when Autumn came, the birds would fly"

-Guy De La Valdene
TCN #582925 10/28/20 04:03 PM
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I have used the RST spreader loads in both 12 & 16 ga for both hunting & (a very limited amount) sporting clays & pattern results are similar to what Flintfan reports w/ opening the choke by about one step & a very even distribution of shot with reduced center density. This is what Alex who used to work for RST told me to expect.

PolyWad spreaders open much more dramatically but in the patterns I've shot you can have very uneven coverage w/some big holes. I wouldn't want to use them @ more than 15/20 yards on any type of game bird.

I've also shot a few of 12 ga 1 oz Fiocchi Interceptors @ sporting clays but have never patterned them. They are 1300 FPS & I did not like the recoil.

TCN #582926 10/28/20 04:13 PM
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I have used a few 16 ga RST spreaders on woodcock and they seemed to work fine. Just wondering if you know for sure what the bore diameters are? The only way to know for sure is pattern it. Rule of thumb seems the spreaders open 1 choke size.

TCN #582941 10/28/20 06:39 PM
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Close up the RST spreader loads make quail guns out of my M&F choked shotguns. As Brittany Man said and my experience dictates, they fail beyond twenty yards. I can't kill a dove with spreaders to save my life...Geo

TCN #582942 10/28/20 07:12 PM
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If you're willing to tool up to load 2 1/2" shells (which I assume your gun is chambered for),IC and MOD can be opened up a bit by just using chilled shot. Skipping the shotcup or shot wrapper and loading with soft shot is easy and worth a try.

Spreaders do work, and I use the BPI X wad to good effect in 12 and the Polywad insert in 20. Many caution against using spreaders over dogs. I'm now in that camp.

Save the factory shells for pheasants and try soft shot and no shotcup to open things up when needed.

Lots of satisfaction from rolling your own shells to solve a problem.


"The price of good shotgunnery is constant practice" - Fred Kimble
TCN #582947 10/28/20 08:05 PM
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Like Leighton, I use Fiocchi Interceptors in my modern guns. They make my modified choked MX8 shoot IC patterns. Some people say that's one choke constriction. I say it's two. IC is .010" and LM is .015", with the M being .020".

My only experience with other makes of spreaders are with the Polywad SpredR, in 16 ga. I bought a few boxes one year at the Southern Side by Side Fall Classic, and used them to qualify and shoot in the LC Smith/Parker Challenge. I was using my 32" barreled FWE Smith which is choked very tight in both barrels. They broke every bird and rabbit presentation on the five-stand where we competed. Think I shot a 23/25 with them in the actual competition round. For some reason I've never patterned them, so I can't speak to the patchiness mentioned earlier, but they gave very reliable breaks on that five-stand.

SRH


"With one foot in the grave ..........and one foot on the pedal, I was born a Rebel" T.P.
TCN #582962 10/29/20 08:00 AM
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Jay Menefee identified the Polywad spreader issue. There are a couple different ways to deal with it. One is a layer of shot on top of the disc. Another is to modify the disc, which is what Jay did. I tried a modification by punching 3 semicircles around the edge of the disc with a one hole paper punch. Seemed to produce very good spread while doing a better job of filling in the center.

The Polywads definitely spread more than the RST's. But I don't use them any more (although I still have some loaded up in 20ga) and I'm not certain about Polywad's current status. Are they still in business?

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