How to Be Lucky - Page 2

Helping You Get the Most From Your Hunting Dogs

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Note that in this shot string portrait, 75% of the pellets are in the first half of the shot string and that the pigeon will be exposed to only those pellets enclosed within the parallel lines.
Have your ammunition maker blow on the dice for you. Higher priced shotshells are worth every penny you pay for them. They use hard shot ("Magnum" or "Long Distance" shot usually means about 5% antimony content and sometimes nickel- or copper-coated) that is rounder, more uniform in size and resists deformation. The wads have better cushioning and shot protection built into them. The care and quality control work that goes into today's high grade ammunition does everything possible to insure the maximum payload into the shortest possible shot string. You do get the bigger bang for the bigger buck.

This drawing shows that even if you shoot too far ahead of the target, at least you have a chance to score. Obviously, if you shoot behind the target, you have no chance at all. And the amount of lead increases with distance from the target. Lucky shooters know that, when in doubt, too much lead is better than not enough.

The rising bird -- the correct position for placement of the shot string projectile for a just-flushed, 15-yard bird is above it. We know that clipping tail feathers or seeing a leg drop on a pheasant is the result of shooting under the bird. If that just-flushed pheasant was perched on your front sight when you fired, it's likely the shot string passed under him. The correct sight picture on a rising bird is to cover -- blot out -- the bird with the muzzle. Your plan is to position your shot string above Mr. Rooster and let him fly up into it.

The shot string is cylindrical in shape with the diameter controlled by the choke constriction at the muzzle. At 15 yards -- a not uncommon distance for a just-flushed pheasant -- the pattern diameter of Improved Cylinder will be about 20 inches.

But when he's on cruise control -- say 30 yards out and heading for the next county -- you'll want to position your shot string a foot under him so that his flight plan and your shot string converge. The pattern diameter from your Modified barrel will be about a 30 inches at 30 yards.

As we have seen... being lucky afield is directly related to the application of shot string technology or, more simply stated, shooting where the bird is going to be. So when a shooting partner calls out "Nice shot!" or your dog gives you an approving glance, it doesn't matter whether you ascribe it to "beginners luck" or "luck of the Irish" or "it's my lucky day" or "luck beats skill every time." When Napoleon comes to your name on his list . . . the answer is "Yes!"
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