I was using those premade turkey targets to pattern my shotgun, but there is a cheap alternative that works even better. Go to your local hardware store and ask for a roll of construction paper or Red Rosin paper. You can get an entire roll for less than $15. The 36” wide stuff is perfect, because it allows you to see the entire pattern. It also gives you a larger target for long distance patterning. The easiest thing to do is just draw a dot on the paper and shoot. Don’t try using those red stick on bulls-eyes for a dot. They have a tendency to fall off after you shoot them with a shotgun and then you lose your point of aim.
When you are first setting up, pick a nice calm day to shoot so you are not fighting the elements. Set up about 20 yards or so from your patterning board and shoot to see if your POA and POI line up. You can use dove loads for this rather than wasting a turkey load. Make the necessary adjustments and move back to 40 yards. Now you can square things up with dove loads and then switch over to your turkey loads to make the final adjustments to the pattern. Do not expect the dove loads and the turkey loads to line up perfectly.
To get an accurate idea of where your pattern is hitting, you should draw a 10” circle (not 12”) around the densest part of the pattern (even if it falls where you were not aiming). Some people have 10” plexiglass templates made to make this easier. Craft stores will often sell wooden 10” hoops that will also work for this purpose. Hopefully the dot you set up for your POA will be in the middle of the circle draw. If it is not, make the site adjustments to correct the problem so your POA and POI match.
Last edited by Broken Brow; 06-01-2011 at 09:24 PM.