best bet is to have a "patterning party", get a bunch of buddies together and have everyone buy a different load and let everyone try them out on paper through their guns. Try a few different loads and use the one that patterns best at the distances you typically shoot (30 yards is pretty standard). The problem with full chokes is that you can get a "blown pattern" meaning that the choke is too tight and due to the hardness of steel shot, the pellets bounce around and do all sorts of goofy things and you get a crappy pattern. Typically the smaller the shot size the less this happens, but only one way to find out, punch some holes in paper and see what you get.
Where could i go to pattern my gun? I shoot clays a couple times a month
and there is a rifle range. Do you think they will let me pattern it? Also do you guys think a #4 with full choke will ruin the meat too much?
Unless your gun has some historical or sentimental value, I'd take it to a good gunsmith and have them punch the choke out to modified. Not only will you most likely pattern steel way way better, but the gun will also be more versatile for other shhoting such as grouse , pheasant, clays, ect. Dick Williams in Saginaw charges around $30 bucks a barrel. They have some sort of jig they put it in that does a really precise job. They punched an old Citori 20g out for me from mod imp to skeet skeet and it shot really well afterwards. Way cheaper than a new gun and easy for them to do. I wouldn't shoot steel with a full choke. Even if your groups arent super jacked up, which they probably will be, the tight choke will put you at a huge disadvantage for all birds in decoying range, which is where you should be shooting them anyway. It might be good if youre a skybuster. Shooting too high pressure of a steel load in too tight of a choke could also help you run the risk of bulging you barrel.
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