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What steel shot size?

Old 11-29-2005, 08:57 AM
  #1  
Giant Nontypical
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Default What steel shot size?

I hope to go duck hunting for the first time over the Christmas holiday. I expect to hunt a 2 to 5 acre pond. What steel shot size should I use? I was thinking #2, but I really have no idea and lifted this number from a book. Since I haven't been there to hunt I can't say what the hunting is like, what range on average the shooting will be. What would be a good safe steel shot size or "all purpose" steel shot size for this circumstance? I'm using a 12 gauge pump shotgun that can handle 2 3/4", 3", and 3 1/2" shells, though I would prefer to use 2 3/4" shells. I have Modified and Improved choke tubes and will likely purchase a Full choke tube, though I may not use this latter choke tube in the near term -- I'm not a seasoned shotgunner, and this tight choke may just increase my miss percentage.
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Old 11-29-2005, 10:52 AM
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Default RE: What steel shot size?

I hunt open water and small ponds with 3" 2's. 2's are the way to go for 30- yard shots. If shots are going to be further you might want to try 1's or even BB's. Don't be afraid of the 3". It doesn'tkick that bad and if you're not an experienced shooter the extra pellets may help. Also if you want to shoot a full choke you'll need to buy one just for steel shot. Factory full chokes that come with the gundon't handle steel shot. Try the modified for medium range birds. Take you're IC with you in case they are really close shots. Good luck.
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Old 11-29-2005, 04:40 PM
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Default RE: What steel shot size?

Yeah, I would stick with the modified choke. It's a good one for close up ducks like at a pond. For shot that is I would prefer 2-4. Again, it is good for the range and just an overall good shot for most ducks.
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Old 11-29-2005, 09:30 PM
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Default RE: What steel shot size?

I just hunted a similar place as you describe. I was shooting 2 3/4" 4 shot.. And I was Pile driving the Mallards. My buddy and his dad both were shooting 3" 2's. The switched to 4's on the last day.. And we all shot modified chokes. But I would say Shoot 3's.. If I could have found some I would have shot them! Good luck!
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Old 11-29-2005, 11:03 PM
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Default RE: What steel shot size?

I use a modified chose and shoot #2 shot for pretty much any duck at any distance. If they are really far, I might try something a bit bigger. I also use nothing less than a 3.5" shell! They're hell on the ducks up close though. Matt
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Old 11-30-2005, 08:37 AM
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Default RE: What steel shot size?

When I used to duck hunt, I used #2's.

I hunted a swamp that my dad used to hunt since he was a kid for woodies that is supposedly owned by someone else, but I hunted off a set of abandoned railroad tracks which is public. The "owner" confronted my family after a duck hunt saying we couldn't hunt it and never denied the fact that we could hunt it from the tracks. We just stopped hunting there because we just don't want to have to deal with her. That was the only place worth hunting for ducks in our area.

My dad brags about how he used to be able to hunt with lead shot #6's for ducks. Oh well, so much for the good old days. Since we have stopped duck hunting, they have come out with Hevi-Shot. If it performs better than lead like they claim and you feel like paying a little extra, you could probably use that in #6's.

Although the swamp I hunted was fairly open in some spots, I never wacked a duck beyond 20 yds. Then again I was using Improved Cylinder.
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Old 11-30-2005, 09:55 AM
  #7  
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Default RE: What steel shot size?

Your dad was a duck hunter, he was right on the lead #6's, and, the good old days are still here. Hevi shot #5 or #6 are effective, but the pellets are as hard as steel and will wreck your teeth if you hit one chewing. Matrix and Bismuth are both just as effective, and crush when you hit them during dinner.

Spend the extra $$ for these shells. You won't need to shoot many cripples and will spend more time in the blind during prime time rather than chasing wounded birds around the pond.
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Old 11-30-2005, 10:34 AM
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Default RE: What steel shot size?

I have been huntingopen water marsh for many years, at any time wewill have opportunities on teal up toCanadians. I use to lay out BB's and load with 2's or 4's but in the past few years I have just shot 3 1/2" no. 2's from teal to Geese and it works perfect.
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Old 11-30-2005, 01:12 PM
  #9  
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Default RE: What steel shot size?

Go Big or go Home???? Man oh man, We shot 51 ducks in four days.. With 2 3/4'' 4 shot Kent Faststeel.. We only lost two ducks.... Mostly due to the fact the dog was 10 years old. Personally, I think that a 3 1/2" any shell is way to much for ducks.. I only use a 3'' shell for killing kripples and Geese.
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Old 11-30-2005, 05:36 PM
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Default RE: What steel shot size?

My dad used to shoot the ducks when he was pheasant hunting. Now that with nontoxic shot only, we considered going with the upland steelbecause we have jumped wood ducks while going along a swamp on some public land we hunt while hunting for pheasants but we never jumped enough of them that we didn't find it to be worth switching over to steel. Plus my dad shoots Belgium Browning shotguns so that would mean he would have to switch guns too because the special steel they used to make those guns would be damaged from the steel shot.

I hope I find some place good to hunt for ducks someday. The beginning of my hunting life consisted of some duck hunts. I like the smell of going through a swamp heading to the blind before sunrise.

I am mainly a pheasant guy at that time of year, so the only time I would go out for ducks is opening day on Columbus Day, the saturday after is when pheasant opens up and that is if a hunting club I belong to isn't having a game preserve hunt for pheasants.

So far the total number of ducks I have shot is 1. haha. Not hard to forget when it was my only one.
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