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Shotgun Loads and Chokes for Coyotes!

Old 02-26-2013, 07:47 PM
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Default Shotgun Loads and Chokes for Coyotes!

The shotgun is a very versatile predator calling weapon. Whether you're calling over a shotgun as your primary, or simply using it as "backdoor prevention" while calling over a rifle, the shotgun is right at home putting fur in the dirt.

Predator hunters need dense patterns with enough pellet count to reach out on "long-for-a-shotgun" shots, but also need enough pellet weight and size to do the job when it gets there. Choosing the right load and choke combination is critical in predator hunting, and unfortunately, many new predator hunters feel as if they are drifting into uncharted waters, but fear not: Welcome to the world of Buckshot!

Rule #1: YOU MUST PATTERN YOUR SHOTGUN BEFORE TAKING IT AFIELD. Below are ranges for choke constrictions appropriate for various shot sizes, which I offer as a guide, but what YOUR particular shotgun likes may vary slightly. These rules below were derived by blowing a lot of money down range while patterning and a lot of fur in the dirt over the years out of a dozen or so shotguns with various chokes.

00buck: Choke = imp cyl or light mod, wanting something in the 0.715-0.720" ballpark. Buffered buckshot seems to do better with the tighter side, even reaching down to a modified choke, standard buckshot seems to do better with improved. The limitation here is that there are only 8-15 pellets, so at any substantial range, the pattern density is very low. I have used Winchester Super-X 00Buck for over 20yrs on coyotes, 2.75", 3", and 3.5". This is a great "stand-by" load for a guy that wants a load that's on the shelf at any shop, and doesn't require specialized chokes (same chokes you'd use for upland wingshooting). It would kill a coyote at 100yrds if you could connect, but the pattern density is terrible past 50, so the shot count is really range limiting.

#1-#3 buck: Choke = Mod, Imp Mod, or Light Full (obviously light full will likely be too tight for #1 buck, but may work for #3 buck), something in the 0.700-0.710" ballpark. Hard to come by, but much better pattern density and pellet count than 00buck. The Federal loads are great, pattern very well for me, and have smacked coyotes like a truck the few times I have used them in the field.

#4 buck: Choke = Light Full, Full, X-full is iffy, usually 0.680" seems to be the bottom end for my shotty's, you might get lucky with a 0.660" or 0.655" turkey choke, but my best performance is 0.675-0.680". I'm using an old version of the Carlson's Dead Coyote Choke in 0.680". The Federal #4 buck is quickly becoming my favorite load for coyotes over the last two years. Find me some #4buck in heavier-than-lead for about $2.50-3.00 a shot and I'd never shoot anything else. Great pellet count, good penetration, tight patterns = great range.

T, BB, and B: Choke = Full to X-full, might be able to get as low as 0.650-0.660", but 0.680" has patterned better for me. MUST be heavier than lead to get decent penetration and good stopping power. Lots of shot, but not much pellet weight. Have heard reports of guys getting a LOT of run off coyotes with the Winchester X-tended Range High Density Coyote B shot, but I've yet to get enough of them to try in the field yet personally. Carlson's Dead Coyote Hevi-shot T shot gave me holes in my patterns and flyers with 0.655" and 0.660" chokes, but pattern BEAUTIFULLY with 0.680" old version of the Carlson's Dead Coyote Choke. The Hevi-Shot Dead Coyote T shot load is fantastic, but at $5 a shot, I gave up on it.

As you can see, there is definitely more than one way to skin a cat... or coyote, or fox... Whichever comes into your call... There are multiple load and choke combinations suitable for predators, and every shotgun behaves just a little differently, so patterning is vital. These guidelines should serve as a jumping off point to try out new loads in your scattergun, see what it likes, and get in the field after some songdogs.

Last edited by Nomercy448; 01-16-2014 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:53 PM
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Great piece of work Nomercy !!!
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Sheridan
Great piece of work Nomercy !!!
Thanks my friend!

Don't think that I'm going to let you get away without contributing on this deal Sheridan!!!
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:57 AM
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Excellent explanation!
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:53 AM
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Have mercy NoMercy!!!! If that don't take out all doubt, nothing will!!!!! Great piece of work!!!! Had to get my .02 cents worth as well!!
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:01 AM
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I'm not sure how I forgot to post this over here last spring, but here's my small "collection" of coyote choke tubes. The smallest of these tend to only pattern well with shot sizes that I consider to be too small for coyotes except in heavier-than-lead options, and the largest tends to only favor super-sized shot that offer poor pattern density or low shot counts. I hang out in the middle of these - the 0.670-0.680" ballpark with the old version Carlson's Hevi-shot Dead Coyote choke or the Tru-Glo Gobble Stopper, with #4buck lead shot. That's been my best killing performance, offering good shot counts, high pattern density, and hard hitting killing power.


Last edited by Nomercy448; 07-08-2017 at 12:29 PM. Reason: Screw Photobucket
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Old 11-29-2016, 10:24 AM
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I want to get into coyote hunting.they are crazy around here.I live in Rushford mn.se corner of mn.I have a benelli nova 12 gauge.what size choke do you recommend and ammo would you recommend?I've searched around about this and I'm getting don't do it because the benelli has a smaller bore diameter.should I get different shotgun or rifle?I'm figuring I should be able to get them in within 50 yards,hopefully.
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Old 11-29-2016, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Ryan9717
I want to get into coyote hunting.they are crazy around here.I live in Rushford mn.se corner of mn.I have a benelli nova 12 gauge.what size choke do you recommend and ammo would you recommend?I've searched around about this and I'm getting don't do it because the benelli has a smaller bore diameter.should I get different shotgun or rifle?I'm figuring I should be able to get them in within 50 yards,hopefully.
All of the above text from me is valid for the Benelli Supernova (and Nova) just as much as it is for any other over-bored or standard bore shotgun brand. You'll note, my array of chokes pictured above are Benelli (and compatible aftermarket). I hunted for many years with Remington and Winchester shotguns, but came to Benelli's about 10yrs ago and have rarely looked back.

My current coyote shotgun - Benelli Super Nova with Carlson's barrel.



50yards is a reach. #4buck, heavier than lead T and BB, and 00 buck are what I would recommend, and see the first post in this thread for choke diameter recommendations to go with each respective size.

If your Nova is a 3" chamber, not a 3 1/2" capable model, a long range Patternmaster is a great option to let you flex among many shot sizes.

PATTERN YOUR SHOTGUN

Last edited by Nomercy448; 07-08-2017 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 01-07-2017, 06:15 AM
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Default Thanks for the info.

Where did you get the new version of the coyote tube @.680?I have the factory chokes, coyote choke from Carlson, I believe it's a .665,from Carlson's,I think.
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Old 01-07-2017, 08:25 AM
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Excellent OP!

I shoot a LOT of 00 and #4 just because I have molds for those and load my own. I've put down more than a few nuisance beavers with both and I agree 100%.
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