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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been playing around with the idea of loading some 1 1/2 oz 12ga. loads for varmints (coyote, ground hogs, ect.)
What shot size should I use?
I'll be shooting through a truglo ultra full choke.
I want a load that'll pattern well to 40 yards or so and have enough punch to effectively kill groundhogs.

Thanks in advance!
Evan
 

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I'd say in lead a #2 or BB @ 1 1/2 oz 1150 to 1200 fps ought to give enough energy to be lethal to Mr. or Mrs. G...hog, but I really am clueless as the only things that come to mind as a comparison is a nutria-rat and I've surely not shot them at 120 ft before.

Nutria @ 20 yrds w/#6 1 1/4 oz 1330 fps is lethal.
 

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I would go buy some Remington #4 buckshot loads and give them a try. I'd also try some BB or BBB shot loads and see how they performed. Once you find a load that works as you want, then duplicate it in a reload. I wouldn't purchase components for a reload that I wasn't sure would work as I wanted it to.
 

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I've had good luck with this load:

Fed MPL hull
W209 primer
27 gr. 800X
WAA12F114 wad
22 pellets of #3 buck (I've also loaded with #4 buck)

Steps out at 1320 fps and produces around 9300 psi.

I've killed armadillo out to 80 yds and a ground hog at 110 yds. with the #3 buck. I have not shot the #4 at anything but paper yet. At 100 yds., shooting an 870 with a mod. choke, I get about 10 -14 in. drop on paper. Still lots of retained energy however, as it still penetrated completely through the ground hog.

I got this recipe from an older Lyman's. 3rd Ed., I think. I wasn't real fond of using the Win wad in the Fed hull, but it sure seems to work well.

BTW, I would NOT shoot this load from a full choked gun. Most I'd use is modified.

Don't know if this is what you were after or not.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
bcpifish said:
I've had good luck with this load:

Fed MPL hull
W209 primer
27 gr. 800X
WAA12F114 wad
22 pellets of #3 buck (I've also loaded with #4 buck)

Steps out at 1320 fps and produces around 9300 psi.

I've killed armadillo out to 80 yds and a ground hog at 110 yds. with the #3 buck. I have not shot the #4 at anything but paper yet. At 100 yds., shooting an 870 with a mod. choke, I get about 10 -14 in. drop on paper. Still lots of retained energy however, as it still penetrated completely through the ground hog.

I got this recipe from an older Lyman's. 3rd Ed., I think. I wasn't real fond of using the Win wad in the Fed hull, but it sure seems to work well.

BTW, I would NOT shoot this load from a full choked gun. Most I'd use is modified.

Don't know if this is what you were after or not.

Good luck.
Why shouldn't I use a fully choked gun?
I thought that because turkey hunters use them to choke down the patterns of 3 1/2" shells I wouldn't have a problem with the 2 3/4" loads.

I'm thinking about using #4 buck or BB,
Which will I get the best pattern out of?
I'd like to get a good pattern out at 50-60 yards
 

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It can be done, but 60 yards is a lot to ask from a 2 3/4" gun or any gun for that matter. Years ago, I did an extensive amount of patterning with the 3.5" 10ga. I did most of the patterning at 60 yds. as the load development was for pass shooting. A real good place to start is Tom Roster's buffered lead loads. Buffer helps a lot!! You can shoot any load from a full choke as long as it is lead or as soft as lead. Every gun is different. The only way to find out what works is by shooting. I once did a lot of business with a gunsmith that specialized in choke work. He told me that two identical guns that came out of the same factory on the same day with the same barrels & chokes, can shoot like they came from different planets! Also, give 1 3/8 oz. loads a try. You may be surprized. Lyman has buffered loads & also Precision.
 

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Tomahawk -

I will caveate this by saying this is just my opinion, based on my limited experience with these loads.

Shooting the larger size buck pellets thru a tightly choked gun will really deform the pellets and scatter the pattern. I've found that I get the best patterns from my 870 with IC or Modified, depending on the load. Besides, I'm always a little antsy about squeezing those larger pellets that much and afraid I might damage the choke or the gun. Remember, with #3 buck, all the pellets scrub the barrel thru the wad. When they hit the choke, every pellet will be deformed to one extent or another. With #4 there are a few "interior" pellets, but most will still deform badly in a tight choke. With close range shots it probably does not matter too much, but at anything over 40 yds. the scatter got really noticable.

As far lethality at 60 yds. goes, the #4 buck will certainly do the job. I have no personal experience with BB size shot and can't address that. Grab your Lyman's manual and look at the retained energy chart and shot drop chart and interpolate the information. I suspect that BB size would carry to 60 yds. with enough retained energy to do the job, but don't know that for a fact.

Several years ago I loaded some 3" Activ hulls with #2 chilled shot for varmints. Worked very well, but I don't recall any really long range shots.

BTW, the reason I went with the Federal hull for my buck loads was the greater internal volumn allowed for a heavier, higher velocity round. Plus, when I eject the hull and happen to lose it in the grass, I've not lost anything. They are great for one-time reloads and discard.

Good luck.
 

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The problem is not retained pellet energy, it is pattern density. There is no rule for buckshot & chokes. What you see is what you get. I have 000 buckshot loads that will put 8 or 9, 000 pellets within my hand print @ 60 yards & I have small hands. The other 7 to 10 pellets will be in a 20 in circle. (the number of pellets depends on the particular load). This is out of a very tightly choked 10 ga. The loads are buffered. It has been my experience that the larger pellets track straighter (pattern tighter). I have also hand cast .35 cal. buckshot that work very well. Granted, ooo bk. is a bit too large for ground hogs & coyotes. You might want to try some shot sizes between BB'S & #4 BK. Ballistic Products sells a lot of odd size shot, T, F or whatever.
 

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geometric said:
The problem is not retained pellet energy, it is pattern density. There is no rule for buckshot & chokes. What you see is what you get. I have 000 buckshot loads that will put 8 or 9, 000 pellets within my hand print @ 60 yards & I have small hands. The other 7 to 10 pellets will be in a 20 in circle. (the number of pellets depends on the particular load). This is out of a very tightly choked 10 ga. The loads are buffered. It has been my experience that the larger pellets track straighter (pattern tighter). I have also hand cast .35 cal. buckshot that work very well. Granted, ooo bk. is a bit too large for ground hogs & coyotes. You might want to try some shot sizes between BB'S & #4 BK. Ballistic Products sells a lot of odd size shot, T, F or whatever.
My favorite load for coyote and Timber Wolves(100% legal 24/7/365 here on the reservation by treaty of 1858) revolve lately around #F pellets from Ballistic Products Inc.
35-pellets(1 1/4 oz.)of #F shot in a WAA12F114 wad with 35.4 grains of Longshot,in a Gold Medal hull with a Win. 209 primer,muzzle velocity at +48 (F) is 1478fps from a Browning BPS 26" barrel.

The fun load used for barn yard critters is a 28ga STS hull with 16.2grains of Longshot with a WAA28 wad with 21-pellets of #F shot using a Win209 primer,muzzle velocity at +48(F) from a Stoeger Uplander SxS 26" was 1284fps.
Fox,raccoon,skunk and feral critters have all been cleanly put down at 40yards by my mom,dad,wife,son,daughter and myself with our baby SxS's.

Mike
 

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I would say #2 or BB but the largest we are "allowed" to use here is #4 lead since chucks are considered small game in PA. I would definitely want more than #4 birdshot for 40 yard shots on chucks. You may find a better pattern core with 1-1/4 oz versus a 1-1/2 oz load, you never know with shotshells.

Jeremiah
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
ok, I think I'm gonna go with BB.
I don't think I need anything bigger than that and I want as dense of a pattern as I can get.
It's too bad I don't have any 3" hulls or I'd use them and load 1 7/8 oz.!
 

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I would try to find a load for 13/8 buffered. then load a few of each #2 & bb and see which the gun likes best.
A year or so ago I shot two patterns of 1 7/8 copper #2 out of my friends 3" gun, and two 2 3/4" 1 3/8 plain lead out of the same gun. The 2 3/4" shells had better patterns {more shot in 30"] at 53 yds. 58 & 74 shot in the circle. the best one for the 3" was 44. You never know till you try them out.

Good luck pdqt
 
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