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I was going to try a coupple of boxes and would like to know witch size would be better for me. I will be shooting 3" 1 3/8oz shells at mallards over decoys. I will use ic choke. Should i use #4 or #6 shot also there might be a chance at an ocasonal goose at close range, but primerarely duck shooting. Thanks Chris
 

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Either will work . . . . For mostly ducks I'd take the 6's
 

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You'll probably get all kind of answers, but the more important thing is shot placement over shot size. Having said that, my success rate is significantly higher with the 4's over the 6's, whether decoying or not. I shot at a couple of passing mallards at about 40 yards today with 3" 6's and didn't slow them down. Could have been due to shot placement though. Inside 30 yards is a better range for 6's in my opinion. I say this because 40 yards in the field or on the water is farther than it looks. I took two drake mallards today at 40 + yards with #4's and mod choke. I have less cripples hit the water with 4's than 6's as well. For me, my confidence is higher with the 4's and mod choke than any other combination. Your gun may pattern better with a different como though.
 

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Since you said the geese you might wanna use fours they will kill them much easier even though 6 will do the job.
 

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4's should be really good for an all around load. I would recommend 6's if you planned to see a lot of smaller ducks but if you are shooting primary mallards with the occasional goose #4 should be you weapon of choice.
 

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There is a Delta Waterfowl article that indirectly addresses this question:
http://www.deltawaterfowl.org/magazine/ ... ooting.php
George Secor has studied the effective range of Mallard loads. If you examine the chart - the link is at the bottom of the article, or at http://www.deltawaterfowl.org/magazine/ ... ng_DB.html - you will find that in theory #6 Hevi-Shot, fired at 1450 fps, has an effective range of 49 yards. Of course, #6 Hevi-Shot is not quite #6, most of the pellets are on the small side, and many of them are badly misshappen. But #6 Remington HD was designed by Remington to by true to size, true to shape, just as dense as Hevi-Shot, and pattern even better. Thus, I would say that the 3" load of #6 HD probably does have the theoretical 49 yard effective range that Secor credits #6 Hevi-Shot with having.

From the same chart, note that #2 steel fired at 1450 fps has only a 40 yard range! If #6 HD has a 20% longer effective range than #2 steel, then you probably don't even need the #4s!

Of course, Secor's numbers are somewhat controversial. His lethality thresholds are probably too strict. His chart tends to under-emphasize steel's main strength, pellet mass, and over-emphasize Hevi-Shot's main strength, mass to surface area ratio (or "energy density" when the speed of the pellet at a given range is factored in). I, and others here, have expressed doubt that #6 Hevi-Shot is really superior to #2 steel, except in pellet count per load. Thus, one might be tempted to go up to #4 HD, which is surely superior to #2 steel.

However, Secor's article also addresses pattern density, suggesting that a minimum of 188 pellets is required in a load to achieve the desired clean kill rate on mallards. Since #4 HD pellets weigh about the same as #2 steel pellets, you need at least 1.5 ounces of them to achieve adequate pellet count (see the chart again). Once again, I doubt Secor's threshold number is realistic. 1 1/4 oz of #4 lead only has 169 pellets and lots of people used that to good effect on ducks "back in the day." But the #6s certainly do have the advantage in pellet count. So, over all I would guess that the #6s are the best option unless you're going after geese or sea ducks.

Yet, I did buy a box of the #4 Remington HD - the 1.5 oz load of course! I wanted something really long range for passing Canvas Backs. I was pleased to discover that the stuff patterns better and tighter than anything I've ever tried before. I'd say an IC choke is all you should need with HD over decoys. I will probably use the Mod tube for pass shooting. But you definitely need to pattern the 1 3/8 oz load before you can know for sure how it will react to your chokes. That load is a lot faster than the 1 1/2 oz load, and may not pattern as tightly.

-Dave
 
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