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Loaded question, sometimes yes and sometimes no. On large ducks that is the furthest you want to go but i like to get them in closer and will pass up a shot if i think it may be a little far. That is just me and some others will say you have to use heavy shot or similiar. You need to pattern test to KNOW what your shot string is at each ten yard interval.

George 8)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am using 3 1/2 in 1 1/2 oz. federals at 1450 fps, or I use 1 3/8 oz. federals at 1550fps. both with a full choke. at 40 yds the 1 3/8 oz loads have about 65 pellets in a 25 inch circle. I have not yet looked at the 1 1/2 oz load, but will soon.
Mike
 

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Clayshooter000000 have you tried a more open choke? I have found out with steel that the more open is better. I use a modified at the tightest and an improved cyl. for the majority of my shooting and have better patterns than from a full choke.

George 8)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Are you using Federals? I got the best results with their loads at 40 yards with a full choke. It could be the buffering in there, right? I'm thinking it could make a difference with the different charge weights. I havent shot a lot of the shells to pattern them, but I will soon. Ill have to see what happens.

Mike
 

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I'm using 3" estates at 1 1/4 ,not sure of the velocity. I have less than half a flat to use before i try another load or brand. Poor hunting in 04 and an early freeze this season did not eat up too many shells.
I save the 3 1/2 loads in BBB for geese. Mallards and woodducks at 30 yards doesnt need the large shells.

George 8)
 

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I find that my BG shoots wide patterns with normal chokes sizes. Compared to other guns, it shoots about 15% more than other I have patterned.
Currently, I use a full choke. Most of my shooting is farther than 40 yards(pass shooting). I now use #1's for most of my shooting. Anything less seems to be not as effective.
 

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It could be the buffering in there, right?
Do they buffer steel loads? I didn't think that there was a need due to the hardness of the shot.

I would also try a more open choke. I have a hard time seeing mod. not doing well at 40 yrds. What gun are you shooting? Have you tried any 3" loads? I have heard that the taller shot column in the 3.5 can do some funny things when it comes to patterning, BICBW. I am with GHO, if they are out past 40 I don't shoot. Not because I can't kill them that far out, its mure fun for me to decoy them in close.
 

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Mike,
If you use an Energy Density value of 235 as a guide, steel 2's launched at 1450fps drop below that at about 40 yards, while 2's fired at 1550fps maintain that level for another 3 yards. Although 235 is a conservative value, I would suggest sticking with it when using steel.

You didn't specify the quarry, but I'm assuming mallards and other large ducks. When you pattern test, make sure the choke you use holds at least 85 reasonably spaced hits in a 30" circle at the max distance you shoot (100+ hits is better). This minimum pattern density will ensure that most birds are hit with 4-6 pellets. One or more of those pellets will generally be on a vital spot (head, neck, thoracic cavity, flight bone) and put the duck down.
 

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The last bird I mallard I shot this year had three #2 steel pellets in him. Two were under the side/breast skin and one was into the breast about halfway. I did not ask the duck how far he was shot at previously with the steel, but it was apparently too far. I shot him with #5 TM and really smacked him but I did not find any of my shot in him; they all passed through the meat. It was only about a 25 yard shot. I found two steel when cleaning him and bit the third the other night at dinner. It was about 1/2" deep into his breast. Got me pretty mad since I don't use hard shot for a reason.

I have not shot many ducks with steel, but the the #5 TM weighs 2.9 gr (0.122") and those recovered #2 steel were 3.4 gr (0.150"). I can see how those big light shots bind up in feathers and don't penetrate much.

Jeremiah
 

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Whatever they cost is worth it. I'm sick of chasing cripples from the steel loads I've used (BB to #3s, at <40yds). With all the money I've got wrapped up in other eqiupment the cost difference between steel and TM or Hevishot is hardly an issue. The reason I shoot at something is to kill it, not chase it around on the ground(water).
But I'm also cheap, so I'll be searching for after season clearances on all non toxics.
PS. last spring I picked up 3 boxes of 3" #2 hevishot for $7/box.

Edit: I did use some 3.5" 2,9/16oz steel BB this year that worked well on ducks under 30 yrds
 
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