Basics of Patterning

After I've done this now around eighty times let me refine this a bit.  For material I found Garden Ridge pottery to have plastic table cloth, 100'x40" for about $9.99 a roll.  It works very well and is cheap.  I cut them out in squares of 40x40.  For an easy stand, get chicken wire and string it between some wooden stakes.  Then attach the material to the wire with clothes pins.  Once you shoot, learn where you POI is, if its high, then aim low to make sure you can get as many pellets on the paper as possible.  Then when you start counting, don't rely on charts for your numbers, count all that you see and use that number, unless you are missing like half of them.  The charts can be very off.  And thats pretty much it.

Basics of patterning, get material, mark aiming point, measure distance to material, shoot, then mark 30" circle and count hits and misses.  Some material ideas:


What do you use for Pattern paper. I was using that thick brown paper from Home depot. it was real thick, but it comes in a really big roll, and its expensive.

Wally world has rolls of paper picinic table covers that are 48in wide and 100ft long.

I think it was 8 bucks a roll.

Tie a 15in string on a magic marker and a push pin and you can make a bunch of circles in a hurry.

I bought some real nice,heavy white paper----1 roll----from an office supply place in town, for about $20. It's much better than the brown paper I got at Sam's CLub. It measures 48" & 75 ', so I get 25 patterns out of it. cost per target is .80 C

I also bought some brown rolled paper (per a reply here to my previous post a few weeks ago) at Sam's Club. It was a real bargain in one respect, but it is only 30" wide, & I found that it's easier, more informative with the 48" paper, to get a more accurate "picture" of your pattern and then draw the 30" circle to encomass the greatest % of shot. You get 6 rolls in the box for about $12 or a little less. Each roll has 40 feet of paper, so there's about 14 targets or so per roll, X 6rolls = 84 targets @ under.15C
each,---quite the bargain.

The walmart picnic cover mentioned works out to about 36 patterns @ $8 = under .23C each. How easy are they to cut, fasten, 'read' the pellet counts etc? I sure think the 48" width is a big plus.

We usually use cardboard, anytime we get something in a big enough box the cardboard gets saved. I keep an eye out on job sites when I'm working around new houses and try to catch when the cabinates are being installed. Factory made cabinates come in big cardboard boxes. You can shoot both sides of each piece.

Sam's has 400 ft of banquet paper for around $8. That's what I use and I shoot 3 patterns at a time. That's one recipes worth. Less walking.

i got an endroll from a the local newspaper. it's only 20" wide so i have to tape 2 pieces together.

they sold it by weight. i'm guessing i got a 300-500 ft roll. i've shot about 25 patterns with it and it hasn't even dented the circumferance of the roll. it was about 4 bucks.

it's a pita to cut and tape the 2 pieces together.

Banquet cloth here. About 8-9 dollars a roll.

Garbage bags

If you have a butcher shop in town you can ask them where they get their butcher paper from, it usually comes in really big rolls.
I never buy any, I have Ned S. dream range five miles from my house and it only costs me 2 bucks to shoot my brains out for a couple of hours. 50 yard , yardage marked cement walkway with a rolling table rest provided, full backstop and all the white butcher paper and targets you can use for patterning. All run by the Missouri Dept of Conservation, they have a 100 yard rifle range and pistol range, four trap stations and even an archery range there also...not bad for a bunch of Hillbilies Huh!!

For patterning, I use brown rosin paper from local building supply. Its heavy, 120 lbs., only 36" wide, but its about $10/roll, and yields 36 3'X4' targets. You can get 50 lb. kraft paper from Viking Office Product, 4 foot wide, 720' long roll for $68 delivered. Yields 180 4'X4' targets. Both about 36C for each target.