Patterning Your Home Defense Shotgun

Steve Fisher, aka Yeti, of Sentinel Concepts and Jeff Bloovman of Armed Dynamics, compare different loads in three different shotguns. They use a Robar Remington 1100, Benelli M1 Super 90, and a NEF H&R Pardner Pump. They show how the same loads can have different patterns out of different shotguns.

They show some very interesting results. I would not have expected such a difference from the same ammo shooting out of three different guns.

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at


  • imachinegunstuff

    I haven’t watched the video, but the I would imagine the main factor in the different spreads was the use of chokes, and it wouldn’t surprise me if a Remington full choke was different than a Mossberg full choke

    • M.M.D.C.

      All cylinder bore shotguns above, I’m pretty sure.

      • Jwedel1231

        Can’t be sure, though I’m surprised they didn’t specify in the video. (if they did, forgive me. I haven’t seen it yet.)

      • imachinegunstuff

        I know the Super 90s are capable of taking chokes, and the Sporting Pardners (28 inch barrels) not sure about Shorter barreled Pardners though.

        • Nicholas Chen

          Nah. The Pardner Pump they use, is not threaded for chokes. I used to own one. I modified it to take a remington 879 barrel with chokes.

      • A.WChuck

        Cylinder bore or Improved Cylinder bore?

        • M.M.D.C.

          Don’t know. Honestly, I think we’re missing the point here which seems to be that we should test whatever we intend to use as a home defense shotgun.

          I did this with my old Winchester 1300 at ten yards. So I have a pretty good idea of what it will do with several different loads of 00 buck. No indication on the barrel of bore constriction, but it’s a Defender, 18″ barrel, so I assume there is none.

    • Nicholas Chen

      True but at the distances they are shooting? I didnt expect too much deviation between shotgun brands.

      • imachinegunstuff

        Thats a good point,

      • Giolli Joker

        Barrel lengths are different, aren’t they?

        • Nicholas Chen

          Nope. They should all be 18.5

          • Giolli Joker

            Cool. I would have sworn that the Robar 1100 had shorter barrel… maybe the fact that a giant is handling it confused me. 🙂

  • Nick

    Is that Shane from TWD on the target? Lol

    • Scott Tuttle

      I thought it was vin diesel

  • Sianmink

    Yep, patterning is super important. You have to know what pattern your HD shotgun will throw with your ammo of choice. It’s always a good idea to buy 3 or 4 different brands of your load of choice and try them all. Winchester #1 Buck patterned twice as tight as the Federal and Remington #1 in my Saiga, for example.

    • Hyok Kim

      You meant, more evenly spread?

      • Sianmink

        I mean it actually shot a tighter, smaller spread. Noticeably so.

        • Hyok Kim

          Okay, thanks for clarifying.

    • valorius

      my home defense gun ‘patterns’ brenneke slugs…in a 1 hole group at 10 yds.

  • john huscio

    I’d like to know where I can buy Aaron Hernandez targets…

  • Hyok Kim

    Thanks for the video. About what I had expected.

    1. Determine the maximum distance one thinks would use the shogun for in HD scenario.

    2. Determine the ideal pattern size one would use at that distance.

    3. Determine the minimum penetration needed at the maximum distance at the target to do the job

    4. Determine the ideal pattern geometry at the maximum distance decided

    5. Determine the ideal pattern density at the maximum distance decided.

    Find the shells that fit the criteria, and decide the most reliable shells among them, and decide the softest shooting one(s) among them, and decide one(s) with the lowest overall muzzle flash and blast one(s) among them andthen decide the cheapest one among them.

  • BigFED

    I am not a noted firearms expert (maybe within my mind and my small group of associates), but I thought this was an article about “home defense”. So I am wondering just HOW BIG are some of the homes being defended? I have a 2,800 sf, 3 br, house and all of the distances that would occur in defensive situation would be measured in feet, not yards. Across the most open area of the house is about 25’and that is if the intruder and I are standing in opposite corners!!! And at that distance the pattern is about soccer ball or smaller in size out of 18.5′ “home defense” length barrel. Smaller patterns with longer barrels or shorter engagement distances (usually). From what little research I did, the patterns from actual testing at 7yds were about softball size.

    Besides, just how many people does the author think are going to this level (or ANY level) into doing this or any performance tests? I suspect that probably 90% of the people that have bought a shotgun for ‘home defense” in the 35+ years at the shop I work with haven’t even fired the damn thing, much less take/make the effort and COSTs to “pattern” it.

    Sorry, but that is my 72 yo pragmatic thought process tempered with 55+ years of practical experience!

  • uisconfruzed

    It would be nice to see summary pictures with each gun/group/round.

  • phil box

    i always thought a shot gun was used to end problems. when the problem stops moving, select the next problem and repeat.