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Pattern Your Waterfowl Gun Now – Here is How by Melissa Bachman

When it comes to waterfowl hunting, there are tons of tricks and tactics to being the best hunter you can be. One easy step that can be done to ensure the most out of your gun and ammo is to pattern your waterfowl shotgun.

I like to do this at 30-yards as it’s a great way to test out the gun, choke, and ammo combination to ensure perfect patterns when it’s time to hit the field. I always recommend shooting from a lead sled on the bench because it really helps reduce recoil and ensure that shots are consistent, and human error has been taken out.

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When patterning a shotgun, I like to get the entirepatterned perfectly around the dot I’m aiming at. Some people like a certain percentage of the pattern high, but for me I want it dead on. I tried shooting my shotgun at 30-yards using both Winchester Blindside in BB and 3-inch 2 shot. I like to use the BB for the geese and the 3-inch 2 shot on ducks. Once you know your pattern is dead on, it builds confidence and allows you to go into the field knowing your gear is in tip top condition. If you find your patterns are not holding up to what you’d like, try changing out chokes. There are several waterfowl specific chokes that can be tested with various combinations. I decided to use the Browning Modified Waterfowl choke and got great results. As far as my shotgun, this was my first hunt shootingthe Winchester SX4 – I couldn’t be happier. Fast shooting, light weight, and an amazing overall gun. I thought the SX3 was going to be hard to beat, but leave it to Winchester Firearms to get it done!

Winchester Blind Side offers so much for waterfowl hunters with its innovative technology that is packed into each and every shell. The shape of the bb’s allows for 15% more packing in every hull. The hex shape shot also cuts through feathers with ease. Also, the diamond cut wad improves down range performance.

With the perfect ammo, gun and choke combination and a little time at the range you can too hit the field without any concern with your equipment. All your gear will be spot-on so there should be no excuses!


Melissa Bachman
Melissa Bachman
With a degree in broadcast journalism, Melissa set sights on a career in the outdoors. Traveling over 300 days a year to shoot for Winchester Deadly Passion, Bachman considers this her “dream job.” With a love for children, industry trade shows and the great outdoors, she films around the world for her adrenaline-pumped series.