Originally Posted by Pistolenschutze
Out of a cylinder choked, 18" or 20" barrel, a shot pattern expands only about 1" per yard traveled. This means that across a room, say 18 feet or so, your shot patter will only be about the size of a 6" saucer. Many think of a shotgun as a "trench sweeper." It's not; it has to be aimed even at room distances.
Just chimming in an often overlooked factor...
With a lot of shotgun ammo it can travel almost 3 yards before really separating from the wad/cup. Those brands with a deep cup especially...made to protect the pellets from deformation all the way out the choke to give a tight pattern at longer range. So at 18 feet it's often a pattern smaller than your fist.
For the biggest pattern try loads that have the shot sitting on a flat wad. Soft lead is best. Also, for buckshot, sometimes a full choke deforms pellets more and you get a wide pattern full of "flyers".
On aiming...In training new shotgunners, I noticed a long time ago there is a powerful perception in many that you can't miss. (A close quarters demonstration on paper always impresses people, since many have never shot anything but hunting loads and at distances of 15+ yards) Shotgun shooters are very prone to "jerk" the hell out of the trigger. A buddy or coach loading inert shells in the mag is the best way to self correct it by showing how bad the problem is. I've seen guys on a door breach in training miss hinges, deadbolts etc...and ya probably know how close a breach gun is applied to door hardware....less than 10 inches...and wasting a $4 metal slug aint kool
Never say die!
"A nation who forgets its defenders is soon forgotten itself."
"A good shot must necessarily be a good man since the essence of good marksmanship is self-control and self-control is the essential quality of a good man." – Theodore Roosevelt