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 Posted 10/26/2011 9:57:09 AM
 

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Typically i shoot the cheap Xpert HV 3" #4. But i noticed last year i was wounding alot of ducks and not getting clean kills.(Pintails and mallards mostly). I have a Remington 870 super mag and i was wondering if i could up the shot size and switch to 3 1/2" and get better results. I'm not a great shot so i dont want to spend alot on shells. i was looking at trying to get Xpert HV 3 1/2" #3.


P.S. i know i need to pattern my gun to really understand whats going on im just posting this to see what kind of loads other people prefer and to find out if i would be wasting my time and money on 3 1/2" shells.


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Post #762710
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 Posted 10/26/2011 10:49:22 AM
 

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First thing is pattern your gun with a verity of ammo and chokes to see which gives you the best results. As far as shot size goes I have shot 2 3/4 #2 for big ducks and #4 shot for teal I may use a 3" shell for third shot only on ducks. I only use 3" and 3 1/2 shells with BB or BBB shot for geese and this depends on what the birds are doing and how they are coming into the decoys. Chokes are IC and Mod for all hunting of waterfowl.

the old hunter
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 Posted 10/26/2011 11:27:27 AM
 

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I started shooting 3 inch BB and BBB at ducks this season (all I have around the house) and have noticed an improvement in the number of clean kills, especially when the shots are at the outer edge of my range.  Of course it could always be my shooting ability.  :D

The guys I hunt with all shoot 3.5 inch BBB Black Clouds out of their Benelli's and swear by it.  Give it a shot and see how it works. 



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 Posted 10/26/2011 2:36:18 PM
 

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Last year I was using the 3" Xpert 2's with an improved choke and I was getting a lot of wounded ducks. So far this year I've used 3" Kent Fasteel 2's with a modified choke and I've been folding every single one. I patterned the Xpert's to the Kent's and there was a huge difference in the pattern with both the chokes. I'd recommend using something a little better than Xpert's because everyone I know that have used them have had somewhat the same pattern. My brother uses 3 1/2" Kent's and he loves it. He was using 3" Hevi Shot but he switched to 3 1/2" Kent's because they're cheaper and he was getting pretty much the same pattern.

Definitely go pattern your shotgun.
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 Posted 10/26/2011 3:24:04 PM
 

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I shoot Black Cloud 3" #3's with my Vinci and love it. I only had 1 wounded the whole last season because I was using a LM Carlson choke and shot at a bird around 55-60 yrds. All other kills have not had to chase nor see then move a feather. I have noticed certain shells work better with certain shotguns along with certain choke tubes. 

Duck hunting is a 365 day lifestyle
Post #762736
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 Posted 10/27/2011 4:10:12 PM
 

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thankyou all for the advice i think im gonna go pick up some kent faststeel and maybe another brand and pattern it.
Post #762766
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 Posted 10/27/2011 6:18:50 PM
 

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mat0181 (10/26/2011)
Typically i shoot the cheap Xpert HV 3" #4. But i noticed last year i was wounding alot of ducks and not getting clean kills.(Pintails and mallards mostly). I have a Remington 870 super mag and i was wondering if i could up the shot size and switch to 3 1/2" and get better results. I'm not a great shot so i dont want to spend alot on shells. i was looking at trying to get Xpert HV 3 1/2" #3.


P.S. i know i need to pattern my gun to really understand whats going on im just posting this to see what kind of loads other people prefer and to find out if i would be wasting my time and money on 3 1/2" shells.


Try modified choke with #2's as this is the most common combination as it is good for an all around configuration. I shoot teal up through canada geese and have no problem killing either one. If you need 3 1/2" shells to kill ducks, you're either skybusting or need to spend more time practicing. Good luck.


"When you hear my third shot.....that's your signal to take 'em."
-Phil Robertson
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 Posted 10/27/2011 6:35:11 PM
 

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Honestly, all the people I know that use experts and do well, shoot close range, in your face type shots. I'm talking 20 yards or less. I shot them for a few seasons, but I noticed when I hunted more open areas were shots were longer, they didn't seem to have the gusto to get it done past 25 yards or so. After switching to a premium steel load, not only did I start stoning every bird I hit, my actual hit rate improved dramatically. Kent, Hevi-metal, Black cloud, Federal and Winchester premium, and Remington all seem to offer a pretty solid product. It really has a lot to do with what your gun likes and the situations you hunt in.

My marsh recipe is 870 w/ 28" barrel, mod choke, and 3" Black Cloud #3s

My timber recipe is the same but I back down to an IC choke

This of course doesn't mean that it's the right recipe for anyone else, but it's what works well for me. The true test is on the pattern board. It's like cooking gumbo. You can throw together anything and feed people but when you get your recipe right, there's alot more meat in the pot and you get praise and new friends real fast.


Good luck and happy hunting,
Scott

Home of SM's Let's Go Dutch
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 Posted 10/28/2011 6:13:49 AM
 

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Differnt strokes for differnt folks, I crippled alot of birds last year using kent and winchester hi V, I swiched  to BC and was amazed, folded almost every bird. aolt less cripples and a lot less shooting,  I spent more $ per box but shoot half as much, so i really didnt spend much more then normally. With all that said I picked up a case of blind-side, the early season I shot 23 ducks, burned up one box of shells (everything is the same except the ammo) and had 4 cripples.

Good luck and let us know how you made out.:)


 

 

Save the Ta Ta's
"Remember-The guy who shows up, is the guy who wins".............Redhead
Arm the Homeless
"I am out of smoke, napalm and .22 bullets"-----Uncle Si, Beaver hunting
Post #762792
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 Posted 10/30/2011 8:41:21 PM
 

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mat -- I seriously doubt going to 3 1/2" shells will help your duck killin'.  Yes, you should pattern your gun/choke/load to optimize your effectiveness but if you can't kill'em with 3" shells it's not the shells!  It simply doesn't take a 3" or even a 3 1/2" load to effectively harvest ducks as long as you are using the right load, choke and pellet size for the distance and type of duck you are shooting.

If you are shooting small or decoying ducks the #4 steel pellet is fine but the #3 steel pellet is the pellet for all-around duck shooting, and if you are shooting only mallards that occasionally don't decoy close then the #2 steel pellet may be your best bet.

How do some of the more economical 12ga 3" steel duck loads perform?  Well, here are some pattern numbers from two of the more common low-priced 3" steel loads available (Xpert and Sportsman) when shot through my 870 (not supermag) so you can get an idea of what you might be getting from yours.

Patterns shot with a 12ga 3" Remington 870 Special Purpose w/ 28" barrel and factory flush Rem-chokes (pattern average of five, 30" post-shot scribed circle, yardage taped muzzle to target, in-shell pellet count average of five, and true choke constriction from bore gauge).


12 GA 3" REMINGTON SPORTSMAN HI-SPEED STEEL LOAD

1 1/4 OZ #3 STEEL (193 PELLETS) 1,400 FPS

40 YARDS

IC (.009" const.) / pattern 113 (59%)

Mod (.016" const.) / pattern 131 (68%)
Mod (.018" const.) / pattern 146 (76%)
Full (.037" const.) / pattern 150 (78%)


12 GA 3" WINCHESTER XPERT HI-VELOCITY STEEL LOAD

1 1/4 OZ #3 STEEL (195 PELLETS) 1,400 FPS

40 YARDS

IC (.009" const.) / pattern 109 (56%)

Mod (.016" const.) / pattern 124 (64%)
Mod (.018" const.) / pattern 131 (67%)
Full (.037" const.) / pattern 154 (79%)

First things first, I patterned two different factory flush modified Rem-chokes, one has .016" constriction and the other has .018" constriction as measured with a bore gauge.

As you can see from the pattern numbers, either of the two loads would be more than adequate on mallards out to 40 yards even with the most open choke (IC) tested. In other words, if you do your part and put the pattern on the front end of the duck, then the duck is dead!!!

Good luck.



Edited: 10/30/2011 8:45:56 PM by Joe Hunter
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