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Over this past summer I read "Shotguns and Shooting" by Michael McIntosh and became interested in his ideas of "downloading" lighter loads for bird hunting. After shooting magnums and supermags since the advent of steel shot, I wondered if the concept could apply to waterfowling loads so I decided to try an experiment. I managed to find ONE (1) box of 2 3/4" loads for both my 12 and 20 bore guns...both in #4 shot.

During early teal/wood duck season I took the little 20 out and lo and behold it killed birds stone dead over the dekes...better yet, it kissed my shoulder like a fairy...I was very pleasantly surprised...and Id like to learn more...

Ive looked into and bought some of the factory shells (bismouth, hevi-shot etc) and have been pleased with those (as a teacher, I wince when it comes time to pay up for those shells, however) out of my 20 o/u and old A5 Light 12

Does anyone have recipes for handloading light loads with nontoxics, or links/written materials that you could point me to so that I can continue on with this experiment. I (and my shoulder) thank you in advance.
 

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There are a few manuals out there that load up the fast and light stuff. My heaviest load is 1 3/8oz and is in a 3 1/2 for pass shooting - which I almost never do... shy of that one loan (in non-tox) my heaviest load is 1 1/8oz in 3" 1s,Bs, and BBs, for geese. My heaviest duck load is 1oz, and my favorite early season load is 3/4oz... so there are plenty of loads out there to toy with. Id suggest the Status of Steel from BPI and the Reloading Specialties manual for starters...

Just remember sometimes the fater stuff is harder to get to patter well... so you may have to experiment.

Hope that helps.
Wade
 

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Oh and Alliant has some on their site for steel, and hogdon has Hevi and Biz loads.
 

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Oh and Alliant has some on their site for steel, and hogdon has Hevi and Biz loads.
 
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