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Shotgun cartridge test… your shooting will improve

[Music] Unlike a rifle, many people expect their new
shotgun to shoot straight, straight out of the box. But that ain’t neccesarily so. Gunfit,
cartridges and chokes all play a part. Take Crow’s brother-in-law Neil. He’s an experienced
shot but he couldn’t hit the Ark Royal with his new Benelli Vinci. So Andy and Neil set
up a pattern plate. At 25 yards it was shooting 2 foot high, and that was just for starters. Sometimes it is not down to you why you are
missing. It is the gun, you just have to alter the gun. That is going back to what I have
said all along. Always make sure the gun fits you. Today Crow is going to show us the importance
of getting your shotgun set-up properly using his Lincoln over-and-under and Gamebore Clear
Pigeon shells. Target is 25 yards from us. We are going to
put a Gamebore Clear Pigeon through a quarter choke. Size 60 steady two, plastic wad and
see what happens. Just hope I can hit it. [Music] Right let’s go and have a look. It is quite
a good pattern. It is quite off to the left hand side you have got just here a bit of
a hole but that is out of a quarter choke, straight 25 yards. Yes I would be happy with
that. Crow is looking for an evenly spread shot
pattern, no doubling up and regular shot sizes. Crow’s Lincoln comes with multi chokes. For
this next shot he’s fitted a half choke. We are going to give half choke a go now so
that we can try and compare the patterns and see what they go like. [Music] Nice dense pattern and all within the circle.
We have got a few fliers up the top here so it is shooting a bit high. That could be me
it could be the gun. The last pattern was spot on it was all within the 30 inch. This
has gone a little bit high. It could have been me. Yes, if you have got the time and
have got the facilities to do it, the space to do it you get to know cartridges, different
chokes and I have the facilities for doing it a lot of people don’t. The over-riding factor with all this is to
get you gun fitted. Never one to miss an opportunity Andy reloads
for the real thing. Next up is going to be full choke at 25 yards.
But remember, before changing chokes always check the gun is empty. The one thing I will say make sure you keep
it tight. I was at a shoot earlier on in the year, a chap’s choke had become loose and
blew the end out of the barrel. The pressure got between the choke and the barrel and just
blew the end out of it. He didn’t even know he had done it. It wasn’t until we shouted
to him to hang on that he realised, otherwise he would have had another shot. Yes, so make
sure you do keep your chokes, don’t go crazy tight with them, but make sure they are tight.
Quarter choke was the whole board. Half choke was coming in around here somewhere. The full
choke is getting much smaller, but it is a lot denser. There is your pattern. Hell of
a lot denser. But would you really want to be eating a pigeon
with more holes in it than a collander? That is a sort of a pigeon body. There you
go would you want to eat that. You wouldn’t would you. I wouldn’t want to eat that. This time Andy is going to use a couple of
different makes of cartridges. All the same shot size. We are going to slip
all out quarter choke, 25 yards and see what sort of pattern we get. It is a lovely pattern,
don’t get me wrong, it is a nice pattern, but they are not all sixes. There will be
people saying that there might be two pellets going through the same hole, but no it is
not it is definitely a big pellet. We will cut it open in a minute and have a look. That
is something like a four or a five may be and that one up there could be an eight or
a nine, an eight I think. The first one has a good even spread but shows
a real variety of shot sizes. When we open it up Andy finds all sorts. See this one is shot. It is a pellet in half,
more like an egg this one. That is not a six that is a bit big. That is not round, see
it has got a flat edge on it, see how it rolls, it is on the flat edge, see. The second manufacturer also delivers a nice
even pattern – however – there are a lot of pairs. It just seems strange that there are a lot
two’s. Pellets in two’s. We have got two here, two, two, two. No point two pellets hitting
the same place. It would be better if those pellets were inch apart it would open up.
I just don’t understand that there are lot of pairs in there. Again – Dissecting the cartridge reveals some
shot is stuck together. We have got three half pellets here. Got two
like a little snowman here. Where has my chicken egg gone, there was a chicken egg here. For our final test let’s compare the new custom
choke with the standard choke fitted to Neil’s Benelli. Loads of lumps. This is the standard quarter
choke this is. If these lumps were spread out it would fill all this in and would be
quite nice. We will screw this choke out now and see what the difference is with a custom.
Compared with the other one, we had lumps here, we had lumps there and it is pretty
well even. We have got one lump here, but there is nothing wrong with the chokes that
come with the gun, but it could be the difference between another three or four birds a day
if not more. Definitely pays to invest in some decent cartridges and a decent choke. There are a number of choke manufacturers
out there – Crow has had Briley chokes from Chris Potter Guns in the past but it’s worth
shopping around. This is your standard choke, your custom choke.
Between £40 and £45. This particular choke. The Benelli is now ready to rock and roll
– a lowered stock – some decent cartridges and a custom choke have done the job. The
last thing you need to do is keep those cartidges warm. Last year, George Digweed showed us the mess
cold cartridges make of your barrels. The powder just doesn’t burn as quickly and therefore
the shot isn’t delivered efficiently in a neat even pattern. These are some I have had on the radiator
and as you can see there is no residue up there at all. I hope some of this has been useful even – dare
I say it – educational. If not, then we’ve given you loads of excuses for the next time
you miss a sitter.

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