But how can I measure the length of their shot string?

Clay shooting

JOHN BIDWELL

There?s nothing at all wrong in patterning different cartridges through a gun but I fail to see the point in doing so if you?re already happy with the way they perform.

The time to check out how a given choke/cartridge combination works is when the kills/breaks you get are proving inconsistent.

It?s not unknown, for instance, for a gun to perform adequately well with a particular cartridge loaded with, say, 7 shot, but not 5s.

Or vice versa.

In cases like this a visit to the pattern plate might throw up some interesting findings if you feel that something?s amiss, but bear in mind it often takes a trained eye to spot anomalies in cartridge performance.

On the other hand I think the pattern plate is a much more useful tool for determining how well a gun fits the individual.

In this role the printed findings hardly ever lie.