Patterning with Oval and Angled Shotgun Muzzles

    Patterning with Oval and Angled Shotgun Muzzles (1)

    Constriction of the shotgun bore diameter at the muzzle end is probably the most widespread technique of changing the shot pattern density at a given distance. It is achieved either by having a permanent constriction built into the design of the barrel itself or by the use of removable choke tubes. As you know, the use of chokes allows tightening the shot pattern to different degrees depending on the amount of bore diameter constriction. But have you ever thought what will happen if the cross-section of the shotgun muzzle was not circular? What will do an oval muzzle or what will happen if you cut the muzzle at an angle?

    The answers to these questions are what we are about to learn by watching an interesting video published by Paul Harrell.

    As you saw in the video, the oval-shaped muzzle (or rather stadium shaped) indeed spreads the birdshot in a similar shape resulting in a wider horizontal dispersion of the pellets. And in the case of the angled muzzle, the pattern goes to the direction opposing the protrusion. While the concept of having oval patterns by attaching special chokes is not new and has been used in military applications, it is still interesting to see how such muzzle cross section actually performs. I think in some situations and applications (e.g. hunting a running game as Paul mentioned in the video) such muzzle alterations may be useful, but it will definitely take some time to get used to the unusual patterning of the gun.

    Patterning with Oval and Angled Shotgun Muzzles (2)

    The pattern with oval muzzle shotgun at 15 yards. The point of aim is between the two targets.


    What do our readers think about this experiment? Have you tried something similar and if yes, what results did you get? Do you think such muzzle designs do have practical applications? Sound off in the comments section!

    Images are screenshots from Paul Harrell’s video embedded into the article.

    Hrachya H

    Being a lifelong firearms enthusiast, Hrachya always enjoys studying design, technology and history of guns and ammunition. His knowledge of Russian allows him to translate and make Russian/Soviet/Combloc small arms related information available for the English speaking audience. Hrachya also writes for
    Should you need to contact him, feel free to shoot him a message at [email protected]