Why Do Hunters Pattern Their Shotguns: The Benefits to Firing Range?

Owning a shotgun means you are ready to get familiar with using it for hunting or other purposes. The reason is that: various manufacturers design different models of this gun so that you won’t get similar pellet patterns. Therefore, what you’ll have to do is pattern the shotgun and know the way it shoots. 

Patterning is a standard procedure of learning the firing range of a shotgun, and its spread, through the repeated shooting of a target using different shot sizes and gun shells.

Why Pattern a Shotgun?

If you’ve seen many hunters pattern their shotgun, and you have no idea why, below are reasons why they do that: 

  • It is a great way of helping them with gun coordination. 
  • It also improves their hunting skills with the gun. That means they can afford clean kills without missing their targets or wreaking havoc on another (hunter).  

How to Pattern Your Shotgun?

Recently just got a shotgun? You need to learn how to correctly pattern it – especially if you plan to have more in your gun collections. However, you have to be very careful as you proceed with the following steps. 

Observe Cartridge and Choke Performance

Shotguns are prevented from having over-spraying patterns because of the choke and cartridge. The choke ensures that even with the spreading pattern, the pellets are concentrated to the target. The cartridge, on the other hand, determines how the pellets respond. 

If you know how these two factors respond, you can use that to aim at your target properly. 

Always Use Your Dominant Eye

The dominant eye always rules in shotgun patterning. Many shotguns don’t come with sights, so hunters have to rely on their eyes. However, you can check out the best scope for coyote hunting if you’d find something suitable with your gun. 

Here, the finger rule also comes in. Point at the target with your right hand while both eyes are open. Right before you shoot, close one eye and shoot. Do the same for the eye. For each eye, the position of the target changes. The accuracy of your shot will help you determine what your dominant eye is. 

What are the Tips You Need for Shotgun Patterning?

The following tips will be useful if you’d like to pattern your shotgun properly. 

  • Keep tabs on the number of shots you take on a target – a minimum of 10.
  • Keep an optimal shooting range of 40 yards.
  • Always pattern your shotgun before every hunting experience 
  • Practice, Practice, Practice. 

How to Remove Heavy Rust from a Gun?

If you have heavy rust in your gun, lubricating is the ideal way of removal. There are different ways to do that, but you need to ensure the gun isn’t loaded and pointed in a safe direction against misfire. 

  • Apply a large quantity of oil on the rusted surface since it is heavy rust. 
  • Proceed by using a steel wool pad on the surface to remove rust. Avoid applying too much pressure. 
  • Wipe the gun carefully with towels or napkins

You can also use a battery charger or commercial lubricants to remove rust from a gun. 


Shotguns are not that simple to use because they have unique construction and design, even from the same manufacturer. As you pattern, you can check out the best hunting scope under 500 if you need something budget-friendly for your gun. Together with the scope, hunters can improve on aim/dominant eye and ensure great patterning.

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