Jump to content
Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!

Duck Loads in Urika


Recommended Posts

Anybody hunt ducks with their 391? What's the magic combo of choke and shot size to get a decent pattern to reach out and touch the suckers? Right now, I'm using a Winchester 3" mag of #2 steel with a Light Mod choke - which just isn't cutting it. I'm going to go up to a Mod the next trip out and see what I get. Anyone have experience using an extended (briley-style) improved-mod choke and steel? Will the steel just stretch it back into a mod choke?

I would *really* prefer not to resort to the high-zoot tungsten or bismuth loads if I can help it. I just can't afford to miss like I do at $2 a shell. ;)

(And yes, when I save up my milk money I'll be buying an Extrema and solve the payload problem for good, but for today 3" is what I've got to work with.)


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't own a 391, but I shoot with some guys that hunt with 391s. However I have been duck hunting a while (first couple of years during the lead days).

I have patterned all sorts of steel loads through my shotguns. After a few years I came to the conclusion that steel sucks past 35yds.. And the ducks always seem to agree. Then, one day the guy shooting next to me will drop a 55 yarder with number 4 steel and proclaim that he has found the magic load. Which is always short-lived when the same load misses ten in a row, ten yards closer.

I stick with Seyfried's highly tested advice: number 1 for geese and number 3 for ducks.

Your load of 3" #2s should be great for big ducks. All I know to do is get an average of at least three patterns, at your desired kill range, with the choke you are wanting to try.

I have never seen an advantage with a choke tighter than Mod.( .012-.016) in my guns when shooting steel, but yours may be different.

I can't afford to shoot Hevi-Shot, but a bunch of guys here love the stuff for long range shooting when they hunt AR rice fields.

From what I have experienced(and others that I know), the 3.5 inch shell is a huge loser! I will never ever buy a 12ga. with a chamber longer than 3 inches again! In turkey and duck loads, we routinely see the 3 incher pattern better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

came to the conclusion that steel sucks past 35yds.. And the ducks always seem to agree.


You ain't shittin! I hit ducks left and right today. I hit the same duck two or three times in a row. I could *see* the hits. Either the SPCA has been passing out bulletproof vests or steel shot sucks. I went down to #2's because I wanted to get the range, but damn.... I might as well be using a sling shot.

All the shots are 50-60-70 yards.

What really tweaks me is the outrageous prices they charge for raw heavi-shot. It's just as expensive to reload the stuff as to buy shells. Anybody got a line on depleted uranium? :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, this has been a frigging education. For the first time in my life, I'm convinced that I need to buy the fancy ammo to get performance. Of course, the Winchester shells I was using yesterday had *no* velocity information printed on the box. (Which should have been a clue, but this is me we're talking about here. <_< ) I simply assumed that "MAX" meant they had as much poop as I was going to get.


The shells according to Win's website, only had about 1250 fps at the muzzle! :o So, I bought a couple boxes of Kent Faststeel which cooks out of the barrel at 1550 fps. I know I won't keep all that speed downrange, but geez, what a difference. That's 54% more muzzle energy out of the Kent! Sportsman's Warehouse also got to stick me for a couple boxes of HeaviShot.

We'll just see what kills birds and what doesn't tomorrow morning.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

I can tell you that generally Steel doesn't really like going through a constricted choke. I shoot nothing but Improved at all ranges and change up shot sizes for the game being shot. Ducks generally get 3's, geese generally get 2's or BB's. I'm going to start loading some #T sized steel, ounce and an eighth at 1500 fps. I saw that Kent has 2's and BB's loaded ounce and an eighth at 1560 fps. I tend to stay away from max payload steel loads as you want as much velocity as possible over weight since the lighter load is more deadly generally than the heavier payload not moving quite so fast.

After years of shooting an ounce and a quarter, it finally dawned on Dad that ounce and an eighth loads worked much better for him that the heavier payload. With the faster stuff he was dead on and with the slower loads he tended to miss more often or he needed to take more shots for a positive kill. My standard load for a long time was only an ounce loaded to 1450, but recently Ballistic products has better wads for loading and I can fit a bit more shot in the cups at higher velocities. As for 35 yards being max, I have made shots quite a lot farther than that that were 1 shot knock downs.. and we aren't talking sailing them, we are talking folded and not moving. Closer is better, but there are days when geese just don't want to come within 40 yards for you.

I shoot the same Browning Gold for Duck hunting as I do for 3 gun. Same barrel, et al. Ok, I take the extended tube off and it only holds 3. :) Dad uses either his Gold or a Beretta. Improved does it well for both of us.

Well, I should have read better, I see ya got some of those Kents. :) Oh well, the info above works so I'm going to keep it posted.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Improved choke is best....forget anytthing tighter...blows your pattern to heck...

2's for ducks and BBB for geese...get really close and pray...

No more scratching them down pass shooting ducks at 50+ yds..just won't happen....

As far as the 3.5 " 12 ga, better go with the 10 ga....shorter shot column is the ticket there...that is why the 28 .5 oz load is lots better than the 11/16oz of the 410...

Good luck... ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...