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 Post subject: Best all-around duck round?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 9:21 am 
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Price, value, range, reliability, etc...

Kents, Winchester, Remington, and many more I'm sure... What's your opinion on the best all-around shot shell for ducks? Both passing shots and over dekes?


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 Post subject: re: Best all-around duck round?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:45 am 
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If you can still get them for a reasonable price, Kent's Tungsten Matrix #5 is deadly on waterfowl. I would put the 2.75", 1 3/8 oz, 1375 fps load up against any other duck load. Kent's #5 pellets are oversized so they're actually more like lead #4.5 (if that ever existed), or about like HeviShot #5 (both will work even on geese out to a reasonable range). The material is the same density as high-antimony lead, and at least as soft so it's totally gun barrel safe. It's also tooth safe, which makes it superior to HeviShot in my book.

The 1 1/4 oz TM load is also very effective, but with fewer than 200 pellets I would hesitate to use it on small ducks. I have a lot of the 3" 1.5 oz load because it went on sale at my local Cabelas, but there's really no need for the extra pellets (unless you're going after teal in which case #5 TM is serious overkill).


-Dave

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 Post subject: re: Best all-around duck round?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 12:31 pm 
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7 1/2 Hevi-shot

Since TM went the way of the dinosaur I have bought all I could, but after that, the older 16s and 20s will be retired to the wall, save an odd rabbit for the pot or some assorted skeet shoots. Back to the 1100 and the IC Rem Chokes.

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 Post subject: re: Best all-around duck round?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 1:09 pm 
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3" #2 steel at 1,550fps which ever brand patterns best in your gun/choke combination.


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 Post subject: re: Best all-around duck round?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 10:07 pm 
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my preference is for Hevi-steel in 3" 1 1/8 oz @ 1550 fps in #4. The shot weight is halfway between steel and lead so it is similar to bismuth performance wise yet only costs 25 bucks a box OF 25. Knocks the crap out of ducks and you only have to go up one shot size from lead. good stuff.
*****HEVI STEEL AND HEVI SHOT ARE NOT THE SAME*****

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 Post subject: re: Best all-around duck round?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 11:19 pm 
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Who makes Hevi-Steel?


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 Post subject: re: Best all-around duck round?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 12:36 am 
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BWolfe,

Hevi-Steel is made by Environmetal Inc., the same company that makes Hevi-Shot. Last year I used the same load that "a fib and proud of it" is talking about. I worked pretty well for me. This year I'd like to try out the 6's and see how they work on smaller ducks.

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 Post subject: re: Best all-around duck round?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:23 am 
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I really like #3 steel but it is so hard to find. Otherwise I use #2 or #4 pretty much interchangeably. I am shooting almost exclusively decoying birds though.

If it is pass shooting I will jump up to #1 still hard to find and BB although the #2 will do a good job as well. For loads well I buy all the leftover stuff at Wally World when they mark it down at the end of the year and see no difference between the 1 1/8 or 1 1/4 loads as far as effectiveness. But when a bird is decoying at 25 to 30 yards anything works well, even have a friend that loves the #6 steel loads and he smokes the ducks. I even like to use my 20 ga with the 1 ounce loads but any less than that is getting a bit thin.

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 Post subject: Re: re: Best all-around duck round?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 1:36 pm 
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Worc wrote:
3" #2 steel at 1,550fps which ever brand patterns best in your gun/choke combination.

I know many many people have killed ducks with this load for years now and like it just fine. But seriously folks, that's 140 pellets!

140. :shock:

I know, 100 in a 30" circle kills mallards fine, and steel patterns tight. But there are lots of teal and ringnecks and even a few woodies in my part of the country, and none of those birds is much more than about half the cross-sectional area of a mallard. Shouldn't you need twice as many pellets in the 30" circle for these? I don't understand how this load is considered so reliable. Don't the smaller ducks sometimes fly right through its pattern?

I can imagine that possibly such fly-throughs would appear as a mystery miss and just about any hit on such a small duck with such a big pellet would bring one down, so maybe pellet count isn't as important as I would have thought. But I was just wonderin' what's up with this load's popularity. :?


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 Post subject: Re: re: Best all-around duck round?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 1:51 pm 
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Researcher wrote:
Worc wrote:
3" #2 steel at 1,550fps which ever brand patterns best in your gun/choke combination.

I know many many people have killed ducks with this load for years now and like it just fine. But seriously folks, that's 140 pellets!

140. :shock:

I know, 100 in a 30" circle kills mallards fine, and steel patterns tight. But there are lots of teal and ringnecks and even a few woodies in my part of the country, and none of those birds is much more than about half the cross-sectional area of a mallard. Shouldn't you need twice as many pellets in the 30" circle for these? I don't understand how this load is considered so reliable. Don't the smaller ducks sometimes fly right through its pattern?

I can imagine that possibly such fly-throughs would appear as a mystery miss and just about any hit on such a small duck with such a big pellet would bring one down, so maybe pellet count isn't as important as I would have thought. But I was just wonderin' what's up with this load's popularity. :?


-Dave
How many pellets do you get if you switch to 4's from 2's?


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 Post subject: Re: Best all-around duck round?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 4:05 pm 
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BWolfe wrote:
Price, value, range, reliability, etc...

Kents, Winchester, Remington, and many more I'm sure... What's your opinion on the best all-around shot shell for ducks? Both passing shots and over dekes?


In my limited experience I would say 12 Gauge 2.75 inch #4 Heavy Shot.

On the few hunts that I have gone on when they were hit with heavy Shot they dropped. In the same blind were others using steel and the results were not nearly as good.

For Geese I used Heavy Shot 3 inch #2 folloed by B for the second and 3rd shot.

Mike 8)

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 Post subject: Re: re: Best all-around duck round?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 4:40 pm 
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BWolfe wrote:
How many pellets do you get if you switch to 4's from 2's?

Don't do it, dude. It's not worth it. Every study I've read on this issue says #4 steel has no practical applications where it is not outperformed by either #2 or #6. #3 is reputedly the best all-around steel duck pellet. Try Kent Fasteel #3s at 1560 fps. I don't think you can get much better when it comes to steel, but then, that's all on paper. I've killed very few birds with steel, and they always required a dispatch shot (or knife to the neck) once they were down.

By-the-way #6 steel penetrates surprisingly well. I bought a box of the Federal Premium 2 3/4", 1 1/4 oz, 1375 fps load to use for dispatching wounded birds and taking teal. It didn't do so good on the one teal I took with it, (jumped him, had to shoot him in the back at 35 yards, so not the ideal set-up for steel) but as a swatter load it was ideal. I also used it on a downed roughed grouse at about 20 yards and found one steel pellet had penetrated diagonally through at least 2" of breast meat dragging feathers all the way (and the bird wasn't facing me so I don't really see how then pellet penetrated to the breast in the first place!). :o :) Given the pellet count advantage I can kinda see how it outperformed #4 steel on pheasants at ranges of less than 40 yards in one major study.


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 Post subject: re: Best all-around duck round?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 8:45 pm 
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I can't say that I rely on studys or by what I've read. I can tell you that for me #4 steel at 1,550fps has worked well for early season Woodies and Teal. After the first week or two I switch to #2 at 1,550fps.

Quote:
I know many many people have killed ducks with this load for years now and like it just fine. But seriously folks, that's 140 pellets!

140.


I can't argue with my results.


Quote:
How many pellets do you get if you switch to 4's from 2's?


Around 229


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 Post subject: re: Best all-around duck round?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 3:46 pm 
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I know Im jumping in late (have been away on business recently) but I like Winchester Supreme Elite HD #2 the best, currently. I have shot steel for a long time and have supported Winchester Xpert #4 and B but when it comes down to folding the few ducks I have shot this year the Elite just plain works. I have shot Kent TM #4's both out of my Md 12 and my SX2 and I can't complain at all, Im sorry its going away, it was great out of the old guns.


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 Post subject: re: Best all-around duck round?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 10:52 pm 
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My hunting partners and I all agree that 12 ga. Kent 3" magnum shells with #3 shot is the most effective duck round. We have done comparisons over the past three years and are convinced.


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 Post subject: Re: re: Best all-around duck round?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 12:19 am 
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Worc wrote:
I can't say that I rely on studys or by what I've read.
I assume you realize the irony in the fact that we read your results? :wink: I would argue that so long as the studies show better results with other pellet sizes it's more or less pointless for me to start out my waterfowling career by experimenting with #4 steel loads. Someday, when I take more than 50 or 60 shots per year at waterfowl, I would love to try #4 steel for myself and see first hand how it compares to other pellets. Until then, I'll stick with loads everyone agrees are superior so long as they remain available.

Quote:
I can tell you that for me #4 steel at 1,550fps has worked well for early season Woodies and Teal.
These results are actually quite compatible with Tom Roster's CONSEP 2000 Steel Shot Lethality Table, which states that #4 steel has not proven lethal on large ducks beyond 45 yards. Within its limitations I'm sure there are decent duck loads of #4 steel. But I wouldn't exactly consider it worthy of mention in a thread entitled "Best all-around duck round?". :?

doug grant wrote:
My hunting partners and I all agree that 12 ga. Kent 3" magnum shells with #3 shot is the most effective duck round. We have done comparisons over the past three years and are convinced.
From everything I've read, that's the steel load that looks the most appealing to me.

-Dave

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 Post subject: re: Best all-around duck round?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 10:03 am 
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Quote:
I've killed very few birds with steel


If you had more experience with it you wouldn't be slamming it so hard.

Last time out, both of us were shooting steel #4 for the first 2 shots follwed by #2. We killed our limit and only had to ring 2 necks. Not all that much different from the days of lead. At least 3 of those birds killed with #4s were 40+ yard shots.

The studies may say that #4 steel is worthless, but tell that to the birds in the freezer. :lol:

I would like to shoot SC with a bunch of you that claim Hevi and others as the "magic bullet" that leaves no crips. I have a feeling it isn't the type of pellets in the shell that is the factor :lol:


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 Post subject: re: Best all-around duck round?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:08 pm 
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Quote:
I assume you realize the irony in the fact that we read your results?


The only thing I find ironic is the ones who have actually used HV steel #4 are reporting good results with it. Since the posters here are writting good results about it, this should no longer be true.
Quote:
Don't do it, dude. It's not worth it. Every study I've read on this issue says #4 steel has no practical applications where it is not outperformed by either #2 or #6.

:wink:

I'll still take HV steel #2 for all around duckin. My opinion of what is the best all around is no better than the guy who likes #4 steel or any other different load.


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 Post subject: re: Best all-around duck round?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:50 pm 
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For me this year it will be 12ga,3" 1.5oz #4 hevi-shot.

Why?

1. Because I found it on deal for $16/box. :)
2. Because I hate chasing cripples!!!

?Is it a little overkill? Maybe, but with an IC choke over decoys at 30Yds or less it works VERY well. And if some geese happen to come in I don't worry about changing shells in the middle of the action. I prefer more penetration over pellet count, just center the bird in the pattern. It works for me, but if the store would have had #5's I would have probably bought them instead for use on ducks, and used steel BB on the geese.

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 Post subject: re: Best all-around duck round?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 12:28 am 
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I've harvested more ducks with a 2 3/4" 1oz load of #4 steel at 1550fps in a CSD100 wad than any other load i've used, mainly because it's extremely easy to load, i can load em on my MEC 9000 at a blistering pace,and patterns fabulous in every gun it's been used in.
It is very effective on ducks up to 40yds,
45+ is startin to push it however.
And have harvested pheasant with this load as well.
I then got a fetish for a 3.5" 1 3/8oz #1 steel at 1550fps,especially late season, and have hammered many a duck with that load with authority,Although #1 steel or larger does horrendous damage to a ducks breast meat,something happens when you go from #2 to #1 or larger, i'm not sure what it is, but a #2 pellet just looks like a hole like a #3 pellet, once you go to #1 ,B, or BB, the duck breasts look HAMMERED!, with massive blood coagulation etc.
This year i've been shootin exclusively a 3" 1oz load of #3's at 1720-1750fps in a CSD100 wad thru a terror.675, only choke i've found that'll hold those velocities together in my 11-87SM, and thus far it's been folding ducks like hit with a sledge hammer.
Either that ,or i'll miss :oops:

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