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Patterning the 935

Advice for the Shooter

Doris and I were making preparations for the 1st turkey season in Southern Illinois last week. We pulled out our hunting clothing, boots, and some calls. Doris had not really shot her turkey gun since last fall, so she went to the range just to shoot a couple of shots to make sure everything was still "on". It was and she felt ready.

I shoot so much, pretty much all year, if the weather allows, that I was tempted just to pick up a gun and go.

Then I thought of all the questions I receive each year and how I always recommend patterning your gun before the season, even if "nothing has changed".

So, off to the range I went with a 935 that I wanted to use on at least a few hunts this year. I loaded a 3" Hevi-13 "Bronze" shell with 2 oz. of #6 shot in the chamber and took aim at one of the NWTF still targets that I had on hand and squeezed the trigger.

I just use the front bead that came on the gun for sights, so I could not see the entire "hit" on the target but even at 40 yards, I did not like what I could see.

When I got closer, I could see what looked like a very dense pattern...on the bottom of the target. I had just forgotten how low this gun was shooting with those shells! What a wake-up call.

If I'd taken that gun to the turkey woods without patterning it, I might have missed a bird or even worse, crippled one. There is just no substitute for patterning.

That session had reminded me that I'd meant to adjust the comb of that stock to raise the pattern. A few minutes with a Beartooth Comb raising kit and I was set.

(By the way, the formula is that a 1/16" adjustment to the comb, will change the point of impact by 1" at 16 yards.)

Since I wanted to raise my point of impact, I added 1/4" to my comb height and was "right-on" at 40 yards with my next shot.

Here's the target.

There are 25 hits in the center 3" circle and 191 total in the 10" circle.

If I get a shot and don't kill the bird, it's my fault and not the 935.

The other details:

Conditions: Partly Cloudy, Wind: S at 21 mph, Humidity: 43%, Temperature 69 degrees.

Mossberg 935 with 26" barrel, SSX Turkey Choke with .670 exit diameter, Beartooth Comb Raising Kit, Shooter's Friend Recoil Pad and 3" Hevi-13 "Bronze" shells with 2 oz. of #6 shot.

I shot from a "Low Boy" stool, in a true turkey hunting position.

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