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Sidelock
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I picked up a flat of Spred-R 1 1/8 ounce #7 1/2 shot 12-gauge 2 3/4 inch loads at the going out of business sale at the old Potomac River Gun Club. I used some of them in my Father's old tightly choked 2 frame Parker Bros. waterfowl gun. I shot a couple of patterns with each barrel and in that particular gun the results were very patchy. Just my experience with a very limited test. Maybe in a different barrel they would give better results.

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Mike, very nice work and great visual aids. I'm sure it took a lot of time and I for one appreciate your effort. Just wondering, what were the distance(s) of the circle testing and of the birds in flight? I like how you showed that clumping on the last flying bird. (Private joke - like I blurred that reflection in the B-W trophy pic, MODERN TECHNOLOGY!) Frank


I AM SILVERS, NOT SLIVER = two different members. I'm in the northeast, the other member is in MT.
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I use the Gailandi X-post wad.



Comparable pattern conditions for a full choke barrel with a CB Lightening wad:



and a spreader wad.



As long as yo are willing to load, case/color/sticker code, and carry two types of shells, you have no need to cut chokes. i found this combo in a full-mod gun very effective at last VC.

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Frank,

FWIW, neither session was shot with a game gun. The large grouping was shot with my 12ga O/U comp gun with (virtually) fixed chokes of .018/.018 at 15 yds; the 3 bird targets were shot with my 16ga SxS comp gun with fixed .016/.016. The purpose was to visualize the relative merits of different spreader technologies, as opposed to finding a task-specific load. I might add that in a separate session I tried the multi-colored centerpost wad (similar to the soda straw technique)and found virtually no spread relative to a control, with perhaps a negligible disruptance of the core.

I don't employ spreaders for hunting, preferring 2 barrels, 2 different chokes and possibly 2 different loads to achieve as near perfect patterns as I can at 2 common distances for the game involved. In other words, my grouse 20 is choked .005/.015 and the patterns at 20 and 30 yds respectively, with the same 1 ounce of #7.5, are virtually identical. I haven't destroyed a woodcock or grouse since I made that choice, and I doubt anyone would suggest I'm undergunned. Likewise, my pheasant 12 is choked .015/.025 for first and second shots at 25 & 45 yds, but with #6 and #4.

My hunting shots are much more predictable than a clays course and my method for being prepared for any target is to choke both barrels for the longest shot I'm likely to encounter.
For the last decade my sporting clays philosophy has been 2 chokes.....no-choke for ridiculously close and one choke for everything beyond 15 yds. Basically cylinder and modified. But now I'm shooting fixed-choke Foxes almost exclusively, I've been interested in a spreader load that would duplicate a cylinder tube (or even threads). I think the disperser-X technology is really slick in that it produces the most even patterns (notice the absence of hot cores) I've ever recorded but really doesn't buy much additional pattern size inside 20 yds where I need it. The polywad disc gives the most dramatic pattern spread, but at the expense of severe patchiness, even the occasional donut pattern. I think they are much too risky for any straightaway target but offer perhaps the best option on a silly-ass crosser at 40 feet. Actually, that's not so bad. They really do help me on very short, fast rabbits but I distrust them so much I'm not likley to get dependent on them for other targets inside 20 yds. Also, the polywad is not dependent on high pressure and/or velocity; I get similar results with very mild loads.

best, Mike


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FWIW....

for many years I made my own spreaders out of the sides of waxed milk cartons ala' BP's X-Stream design. They worked well and were always good for at least a 10% expansion in the tighter chokes, sometimes a bit more.

I've also patterned a bunch with the Poly-T device that Mike uses but can avoid that weak core by adding a small step in my loading procedure. Say that I want a 7/8 oz. spreader load using the Poly-T device.....then I'll set up with a 3/4 oz. charge bar for the main drop....insert the Poly-T device.... and then add the remaining 1/8 oz. via a small scoop made out of a .38 shell casing. Once the scoop is cut and deburred to a height that holds 1/8th oz., it's pretty easy to load at a similar speed. This can be done with any charge weight, just as long as you save 1/8th oz. of it to go atop the device.

The extra 1/8th of shot atop the disc eliminates any thin areas in the core, and if you doubt it, I suggest you take it to the patterning plate as you'll be pleasantly surprised. One-eighth oz. of shot in a 16 or 12 ga. virtually covers the top of the disc to a uniform depth of one pellet. So, it basically comes down to how big a hurry you are in when reloading. Sorry I've no comparable photos to illustrate this, but there it is......


Rob Harris

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Rob,

That's pretty clever. I'm gonna try that and put em on paper. Since I remove the shell to insert the disc, topping it off with another 1/8 ounce should take virtually no extra time.


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This is a really good thread. I don't have much to add, but patterns I've gotten with Polywad discs look just like Mike's. Bore constriction does not seem to matter. My .021 16 and .030 12 ga barrels throw cyl patterns with the Polywads discs.

My results with soda straw inserts are similar. Have not tried the Disperser X, but am intrigued by these - and by Rob's technique with Polywad discs.

Mike's ruminations about field choking are also spot-on.

I, too, would not not molest tight fixed chokes. It's easy enough to work around them.

Sam

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Mike,

Good or bad, let us know what you find. I don't think you'll be disappointed as that 1/8th oz. cap of shot flies true without any dispersion effect. Good Luck with it, and am just sorry I don't have some patterns on picture file to show you.


Rob

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Good job, Mike! Pictures are worth many thousands of words.
Thank you,


> Jim Legg <

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