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Modeling the PDF of shotgun pellets at a Skeet/Trap range

Modeling the PDF of shotgun pellets at a Skeet/Trap range

Modeling the PDF of shotgun pellets at a Skeet/Trap range

Who is up for an interesting intellectual exercise?

What's the probability of finding a shotgun pellet during a sampling event at a skeet/trap range. Let's model the distribution. I've started developing a model to predict the probability density solely based on the geometries involved in the games. Now it's time to get a wider and more practical perspective about the distances used and assumptions made. I'll need input from experienced shooters, and interested R users. More info is posted on my blog.


Safety Zone: Fan Shaped, 300 yards from shooter position
Most widely used shot: 12 Gauge, #9, with 1-1/8oz load, 658 pellets per shot, and max distance 175 yards
Choke and spread: Cylinder (no choke), and 85% pellets within a 30” diameter circle at 21 yards
Total Distance: 175 yards (525 ft) for trap, and 125 yards (375 feet) for skeet
Skeet Aiming and breakpoint: 15’ above surface at centerline
Trap Aiming and breakpoint: 20-25 yards after target launch (approx. 40 yards from shooter position), targets launched within 22-degrees of centerline

Distribution of pellets: A unique pellet distribution pattern was built for each shooting position. From each skeet position, I modeled one shot trajectory for each target from the HH and LH. This allowed me to use a Normal (Gaussian) distribution of pellets between the two trajectories, at 125 yards from each skeet-shooting position. This was replicated for trap-shooting at 175 from the position.

Are these distances correct?

Braxton V. Lewis
Morgantown, WV

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