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Let's talk shotgun shell options

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Let's talk shotgun shell options

Old 02-10-2013, 04:56 AM
Typical Buck
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Default Let's talk shotgun shell options

I have decided to put a lot more attention into my choice of shotgun shells this off season. I hunt dove, duck, goose, pheasant, and rabbit with my shotgun.

Yesterday I switched to BBs for goose, and dropped my first bird of the season. I know that I am not that bad of a shot, and I have seen feathers fly while the goose flies off.

I'm thinking that the change helped.

So, what do you use for each, and why?
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:51 AM
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First off DJ - I use #3 Steel for Ducks and BB fSteel or geese. I ahve found I get more birds per shot fired using Black Cloud. I have also spent time at the patterning board as choice of choke with these and its Improved Cylinder in my 12 Ga Benelli. I onlu use 3 Inch rounds.

For pheasant I still use lead unless I am hunting some WMA that requires non toxic. For Lead I use #5 or #6 in 2 3/4" My Choke is Modified and Full in a Over and Under 12 Ga.

For Grouse, woodcock I use a 28 ga - 3/4 oz 7 .5 shot with chokes of Cylinder and Skeet. Shoointg is up close and in tightthick cover.

Rabbits I no longer hunt.

And a 3.5" shell to me is a waste of money- offers me nothing I can't do with a 3 inch round for waterfowl and 3 inch is a waste of money for upland.

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Old 02-10-2013, 07:20 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: Colville WA USA
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Grouse - Doves - Bunnies - Quail = 12 ga - 2.75" - #7-1/2 lead shot - "low brass", but powerful Trap Loads. Sometimes same shell with #8 shot for doves and quail.
Same shell as above for early Season Pheasants --
Late season Pheasants = hi-brass 2.75" - #6 (or #5) lead shot.

Ducks = 12 ga - 3" - #6 shot - Hevi Shot only

Geese = 12 ga - 3" (sometimes 3.5") - #4 shot - Hevi Shot only


Last edited by Doc E; 02-10-2013 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:25 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: Lutz, Florida. Turkey woods in the spring.
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I never made the move to the 3 or 3 1/2 in. shells. Me and my buddies still shoot the 2 3/4 in number 4 steel for all our ducks. (don't have geese where I'm at in Florida). Much of our shooting is over decoys or in tight around timber.
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:52 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: Huntin' In Colorado
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If I'm goose and duck hunting at the same time, I use Blackcloud 3" #2's.

I use the same if I'm only goose hunting.

If I'm only duck hunting, I use Blackcloud 3" #4's.

I think 3 1/2 inch shells are a waste of money but that is just my opinion. I don't think they hurt anything as long as they cycle good in your gun. I don't feel they are worth the money if you are shooting decoyed birds.

If you are skybusting and praying for a kill, more pellets are always better.
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:36 PM
Typical Buck
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Does it change anything that I only hunt public land?
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by DJfan View Post
Does it change anything that I only hunt public land?
I don't care where you hunt, you still gotta call them in close and then shoot them in the head !

Last edited by Sheridan; 02-12-2013 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:57 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Where I normally waterfowl hunt we don't get very many shot opportunities. Most seasons I shoot more geese than ducks. I shoot a 3" 12 gauge using Hevi Shot #2 and #4 for geese, and #4 and #6 for ducks. I keep a few #6 steel around to finish off cripples if needed.
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:05 AM
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Posts: 59

Ducks- Hevi Metal 3" #3's
Geese- Hevi Metal 3.5" BB's
Partridge- Lead 2"3/4 #5's either Federal or Winchester

All shot through my Benelli SBE II with a Patternmaster extended range choke tube.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:58 PM
Giant Nontypical
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Jefferson County, Missouri
Posts: 7,684

I shoot 3" #2's most of the season. Did shoot #4's a few times this season. That's for ducks I don't really goose hunt besides snows, which I shoot the same as I do duck hunting.
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