Choke question (A LITTLE CONFUSED)

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Choke question (A LITTLE CONFUSED)

Postby Trigger81 » Sat Jun 25, 2005 11:38 am

Which has a tighter constriction improved modified or modified?
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Postby ks_waterfowler » Sat Jun 25, 2005 11:53 am

IM has the tighter constriction.
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Postby frazier2209 » Sat Jun 25, 2005 11:58 am

I wouldn't reccomend shooting IM w/ steel shot.
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Postby AlaskaRedneK » Sat Jun 25, 2005 10:48 pm

Improved modified is tighter.

Rule of thumb: when it says "improved" it means more constriction than the choke name that follows.........

Good Question :thumbsup:
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Postby cooter » Sun Jun 26, 2005 7:30 am

I have 2 chokes I carry with me all the time, doing any kind of bird hunting. And have great success with duck hunting. I shoot a 3 1/2" - 1 3/8oz - #5 - 1550fps through a IM or Cylinder Bore in my SBE.

Mainly a Greenhead Hunter, and the Cylinder Bore is the best decoying bird killer I have ever seen. Then the IM still is giving me a great pattern at 35-40 yards. So it is just according to how the birds want to act on a given day.

The #5's through the IM still give me several hits on the birds at the 35 yard range, and and at 1550fps it has still got the Knock Down at that range. So unless I am not shooting well, they rarely come up swimming. Very Few Cripples.

Then the Cylinder Bore opens quick enough on close birds to keep from tearing them up, and allows a second shot REAL Quick. A lot of the time, I get lucky enough to get the decoying birds, and most of the time I can drop 2 in the decoys. But rarely get 3 due to the birds being out of range of it's pattern by the third shot.

I reload my own shells, so I shoot the same round at ALL waterfowl. This keeps me from having to adjust my lead back and forth due to change in the speed of different shells. Once I get the lead dialed in, it never changes.

I like the IM with Steel. But I would suggest Testing & Patterning which ever choke you are planning on using, with the round you are planning on shooting through it. cooter
Last edited by cooter on Sun Jun 26, 2005 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Trigger81 » Sun Jun 26, 2005 9:38 am

WOW, that was alot but it was really good, thanks for your advice I'll keep that in mind during the times I'm in the field.
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Postby the_duckinator » Sun Jun 26, 2005 5:20 pm

Steel 5's cooter? Sounds a bit light to me. One day I was out hunting and my buddy and I were both using 12 ga 3" steel 4's out of modified chokes. I knocked down a woodie at about 30 yards but just crippled it. It hit the water and started swimming. We swatted it 6 times (it was in the middle of the pattern every time) and it still swam off into the wild rice. We never found that one, even with my dog. I've seen a lot of cripples with 4's and have since switched to 2's and have had a lot fewer cripples. I don't know man, but that seems awfully small for ducks to me.
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Postby cooter » Sun Jun 26, 2005 8:51 pm

I here ya, but many things really factor into the shell a guy wants to shoot. Shot/Load/Speed/Shooting Ability are the big 4.

Shot/Load
Shooting 3" #2's which is probably at best a 1 1/4oz load, and many are 1 1/8oz if they have any speed what so ever. But with the bigger pellets, you are getting fewer pellets into your pattern with a smaller load. So the farther the shot, the bigger holes you have in the pattern. With the #5's in a 1 3/8oz load, the pattern gives me a better chance that 1-2 of the 5-6 hits on the bird being in the head/neck area. I am probably getting almost twice as many pellets by down sizing the pellets, and up sizing the load.

Speed
Then most of your store bought shells are traveling at about 1300fps. Reloads are not loaded "HOT" but Shell Makers keep all of their stuff just fast enough that it will/can possibly do the job. My loads are traveling at 1550-1600fps, which is about 300fps faster than most Store Bought load. So just for ease of understanding. The load I am shooting is traveling the length of a Football Field farther in the second it take a Store bought load to travel the 1300ft. And what this really turns into is a harder hit on the target increasing the killing power & less lead on the bird.

I know that guys haft to shoot what is available to them, and not that many people reload. Althought I am shooting and reloading a better shell that can be bought at a store. The reasoning & philosophies are the same. The faster shell you shoot, the harder you will hit the target. This gives you a choice of trade off to go to a smaller shot, increasing the # of pellets in your pattern (more hit on target).

Shooting Ability
I have been doing this a long time, but by NO means the Daniel Boone of duck hunting. And this is not saying anything about anybodies shooting. The rule of thumb is: If You/I/We are getting cripples, we are shooting behind the bird. This many times isn't a shooter being a bad shot. But if you buy a case of shells (Whatever Brand) that are traveling at 1300fps. Or even worse, buying shells every couple weeks at The Blue Light Specials. Run out of shells, and haft to go buy whatever is left on the shelve, late in the season. If there is 50fps difference, you are late, behind the bird, and maybe to the point of missing. So the lead you have got use to the whole season is not worth a plug nickel. Speed alone does this to all of us, and is the reason I shoot the same shell at everything from Teal to Mallards. I want my lead to remain the same.

We are shooting a much better steel than we were when it first came out, and was told to shoot 2 sizes heavier (bigger) shot than we did with lead. I am killing Snow Geese, or knocking them down anyway at 40 yards with #1 & #2 Steel loads just like the #5's.

Not trying to be a Know-It-All here, because that is not the case at all. But I have been reloading Rifles/Pistols/Shotguns for years. Testing, patterning and evaluating shells and loads. So all this is just hoping that it might be helpful to someone that might not understand or thought about what is actually happening with the load when you pull the trigger. Bottom line, if you are killing birds than keep on rock'n. If you are struggling with some things. Maybe some of the info will help with understanding how much the shells you shoot actually come into play. SPEED KILLS

Again, not trying to Pi$$ anyone off, just throwing out some info. cooter
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Postby ACEBLDRS » Sun Jun 26, 2005 9:21 pm

Very well put cooter. I like the advice, All good things. I am guilty of buying the blue light specials and different loads. My hunting buddies dad shoots #6's most of the time. He is shooting teal in close and he knocks em down just fine.
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Postby ks_waterfowler » Sun Jun 26, 2005 9:43 pm

I shoot steel 6s at ducks. Slays em over decoys. Pattern is so thick it just tears them up.
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Postby the_duckinator » Mon Jun 27, 2005 7:53 am

Cooter, Kent has shells that move #2's at 1500 fps or over which is pretty flippin fast for a big pellet like that.

ks, I've also seen birds shot with 6's and it ain't pretty. Too close and they're hamburger, a little too far and they'll fly off with the pellets in them.

Speed isn't the only factor, the pellet has to have enough enertia to penetrate the bird. The more penetration the cleaner the kill. Steel 2's retain will retain their velocity throughout the shot more so than 6's. It's like throwing a baseball and a wiffle ball. You may be able to get the wiffle ball going faster at first, but its speed quickly drops off. A baseball will start off slower, but it loses speed more slowly. While the 6's are moving faster than the 2's at a very short distance, by the time your shot gets out to 35 or 40 yards the 6's speed has dropped off dramatically, while the 2's speed hasn't dropped as much. Paper patterns don't tell it all. If you really wanted to test this you'd need to get some balistics gelatin (which is very expensive, otherwise i'd get some) and figure out what kind of penetration each load gets. Then it's a question of pattern density. Are there enough pellets in my pattern that it's ok to have less penetration? In general its a much safer bet to use bigger shot than to use too small of shot and wound the bird.

Of course if you want TOTAL knockdown power, Hevishot takes the cake. Denser than lead, it has a slower velocity but retains it even longer. 6's in Hevi are my load of choice for ducks. 2's or 4's for canadas. You'll hardly ever have a cripple, and if you do it's not the load's fault.

I'm not tryin to tick anyone off, just puttin out my opinion. Have a good one.
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Postby h2ofwlr » Mon Jun 27, 2005 1:27 pm

It is about time I ran across a guy like cooter. I have said basically the same damned thing for years now. :yes:

Most guys can not shoot well past 40 yds consistently. So it something to consider is that most hunters can not effectively shoot past 40 yds. because of personal limitations, not limitations of the loads they are shooting. There are very few guys that can consistently shoot over 60 yds and cleanly kill birds even when using loads and chokes that can actually effectively shoot that far. Remember skybusting is shooting at anything past what the load can perform AND/OR shooting past your personal limitations.

Steel Ballistic chart of HV shot.

Shot size 6 5 4 3 2 1 B BB BBB T

1450 fps 43 47 51 55 58 62 65 70 73 77
1500 fps 44 48 52 56 59 64 68 71 75 79
1550 fps 45 49 53 57 61 65 69 73 77 81
1600 fps 46 50 54 58 62 66 71 75 78 82
1650 fps 47 51 55 59 63 67 72 76 80 84
1700 fps 47 51 56 60 64 68 73 77 81 86
1750 fps 47 51 56 60 64 68 73 77 81 86
1800 fps 47 51 56 60 64 68 73 77 81 86


As can be seen #5 shot at 1550 is lethal to 49yds
But remember this is under optimin conditions. The light loads have a lot more wind drift than the heavier coarser laods, which is something to consider. For instance, in a stout 30mph cross wind I have had #4 shot at 1450 clean miss the cripples head at 30 yds due to the high wind.

I personally love #3 shot in 3" 1475 or 1500fps for ducks as I find it the perfect combo of pattern density and umph to kill them dead. :thumbsup: Many medium sized ducks have the pellets go striaght through the body at 35 yds which = dead duck in my book :mrgreen:


Also--this is extremely important--remember the above is for loads that are HV (1450fps or faster). Make no mistake about it, the older slower loads of 1250 fps and such are not even close in the performance. The old slower steel loads are like a Ford Escort, the 1450 is like a Ford Tuarus, and the 1550 is like a Trans Am on the race track. BTW, I do NOT recommend faster than 1550fps because I have seen very poor "blown" patterns all too often. The best of both worlds is the 1450-1500fps in the factory loads, a hard hitting (deep penetration) and with decent enough patterns too. Yes the old loads killed ducks in close, BUT, at over 30 yds too many were cripples, especially on big ducks.

I hope this helps to educate a few more guys of the modern loads. :thumbsup:

h2ofwlr :smile:
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Postby the_duckinator » Mon Jun 27, 2005 7:22 pm

I'm not sure where you got this chart, but I'll assume it was somewhere credible. There is only one problem. The chart deals with velocity, which is a big part of choosing loads, but not penetration. Even if a steel #6 going 1450 fps will shoot flat out to 43 yards, how is the penetration? 6's at 40 yards won't have near the penetration of 3's or 2's (my favorite duck pellets :smile: ). 6's my take the duck down if you break a wing or shoot 'em in the lips, but what about a shot that doesn't hit vitals or wings (such as an azz shot)?

Well, I happen to have "The Ducks Unlimited Guide to Shotgunning" by Don Zutz, a shotgunning expert. He says that 5's (not 4's, just because of pellet count) are good for decoying birds out to just over 20 yards. Anything 25-40 over decoys 2's or 3's are the best. He also says that steel 6's are not an adequite load, as they lose energy so quickly (they are the equivilent of lead 8's energy wise).

If you're shooting 4's or lighter do us all a favor and stick to shots under 25 yards (don't want birds flyin off with pellets in them). Otherwise I'd use a larger pellet. Time to go work out, I'll post more later tonight or tomorrow.
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Postby h2ofwlr » Mon Jun 27, 2005 9:39 pm

I got it from Ned S. 4 years ago. 575fps at all the ranges which is the mininum needed for sufficient penetration.
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Postby cooter » Mon Jun 27, 2005 10:01 pm

Well, I guess we can play "my dog is bigger than your dog" until the cows come home and it will not make a difference. I would say that confidence is as big a player in the hunting sport as anything. So if you are happy with what you are shooting, then stay with it. But if you are not hitting shots or getting more cripples than you should. Try something different. Look at what you think is happening to you and try to cure that problem. The problem with a lot of the information if you don't watch out is, it is like computers. By the time you get it home, it is outdated. New recipes are coming out every year in the Steel. They have Steel 3" recipe that are running at 1750-1800fps and I do agree that it is to fast for the guns and chokes of today. Seems to have blow hole in the pattern. But if they are getting Steel to shoot this fast, you can bet your favorite marble, someone is working on how to make these fast load work for hunters and shooters. So, don't be an ostrich, and get caught up thinking that the philosophies that brought Steel Shells into existence are still the ones to base your shooting on today.

Common sense should tell you some things. If you are shooting #2's in a 3" shell. There is going to be less than 100 pellets in the pattern. Now you consider the fact of the shot string will be around 7' long. Plus at 40 yards patterns are starting to fall apart and really spread out at best. Figure all of that in there, and I think that you will have holes in the pattern you could throw a Beach Ball through. But the one good thing about the #2 is it does give you the Golden BB effect. If you happen to hit the duck with 1 he is probably coming down. Not dead, but at least there is a chance for the dog to earn his keep. #4's & #5's are probably more effective inside 30yards due to a dense pattern and more hits on the target, but for farther shots, the speed starts falling off.

I use to shoot #2's myself and what I got to noticing is the # of hits on a bird when cleaning them. Many time being 1 or maybe 2. With the #5's that I have gone to, I am getting 5-7 hits. Which is a lot more trauma. Penetration seems to be the topic, but I think I have read that it takes just a little over 500fps to penetrate. So a shot starting out at 1550fps has to dropp 1000fps before it looses it penetration affect. So I guess my point is, I think I had rather be shot with 1 - 38 slug, and hope it wasn't in a vital area, than be shot with 5-7 22 slugs, knowing that chance of one of them being vital was in the shooters favor. May be a smaller hole and not as deep, but you are bleeding from some many places that the loss of blood is working against ya. Then the "trauma" of having so many injuries is more than a body can recover from.

Not trying to prove anyone wrong, because I really don't think there is a Right or Wrong. This is some good reading with different ideas. But the 40 yard thing has really got my attention. I think if a guy is having to set up his equipment to kill at 35-40 yards. It might be a better idea to work on how to get them closer, calling, more believable spreads, etc.

I am not trying to debate the issue of #5 is better than #2, or #1's are better than #4's. My point is, if you are shooting big pellets, and not having the success you would like. Then make a change by increasing your pattern. If you are shooting small pellets and having to many cripples, pick up the speed or go to a little larger pellet. Or even better, if you are having to make 35yard shots on the regular bases, work on getting them in closer. Your odds go up "Big Time" with this.

There is some great information and reading in this discussion, and I don't believe a right or wrong answer. It should give some great ideas, on adjustments that a guy can make to improve his shooting and things to watch for while hunting. So Good Luck, and hope it helps someone. cooter

PS: Now maybe we should go to a: How To Get'm Closer Post
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Postby AlaskaRedneK » Mon Jun 27, 2005 11:15 pm

the_duckinator wrote: 6's at 40 yards won't have near the penetration of 3's or 2's (my favorite duck pellets :smile: ). 6's my take the duck down if you break a wing or shoot 'em in the lips, but what about a shot that doesn't hit vitals or wings (such as an azz shot)?


Again, I am w/duckinator on this one!

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Postby AlaskaRedneK » Mon Jun 27, 2005 11:17 pm

cooter wrote:
PS: Now maybe we should go to a: How To Get'm Closer Post
:laughing:


Now Im all up for that!! :salude:
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(and I promice I'd even be a good boy, and read the posts, not just type random stuff at the bottom :toofunny: J/K :smile: )
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Postby the_duckinator » Tue Jun 28, 2005 11:00 am

Woot, go AlaskaRed!

A heavier pellet will have a flatter trajectory than a lighter pellet, that's just common sense. The "muzzle velocity" printed on boxes of shells is actually the average velocity of the pellets 3 feet from the muzzle. Ed Lowry (a former Winchester ballistician) did some research and showed that a load of steel BB's with a published velocity of 1350 fps is atcually going 1459 fps at the muzzle. In 3 feet the pellets lost almost 110 fps. That's for BB's! Imagine what 5's or 6's drops. Because steel shot is so light it loses velocity to air drag VERY quickly. The first 3-4 feet shows the most dramatic drop in velocity, but the pellets still slow down considerably.


There's a chart comparing bismouth(top) steel (middle) and lead (bottom) pellets in the link below. As you can see, steel is much less dense and moves quicker but doesn't penetrate nearly as far as lead or even bismouth. Steel 2's or 3's for close range ducks are the way to go. If I had to pick one it'd be 2's.
http://www.duckhuntingchat.com/album_pa ... pic_id=666

Just out of curiosity, what do you guys shoot at geese? I use BB's usually, but I'm not shooting further than 30-35 yards. Every now and then the BBB's come out though.
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Postby Kiwi » Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:28 pm

I always pattern my shells before the season to work out what choke and shell works best . Rem fast steel 11/8 1550 ft/s with IM choke has worked fine for us over decoys . Steel has now become compulsory in New Zealand and its all a learning curve and these sites have helped a lot !!!

I like what Cooter is saying :thumbsup:
Over here in nz the above shells $20 -22 a pkt


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Postby Greg Wile » Sun Jul 03, 2005 8:38 am

We use #2's for ducks and geese and like to have the birds in our faces , not many cripples and we have the shot passing through their bodies to just under the skin on the other side most of the time. Like I said before wait till you can see their toenails then give er. Shell at 1375 fps or higher and patterned for our guns using modified chokes, ranges out to 45 yards.
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Postby Greg Wile » Sun Jul 03, 2005 5:08 pm

Watch some of the vids on duck and goose hunts and even though it looks like they are taking shots way out there you can bet that almost all of them are 40-0 yrd shots using premium shot shells. Most of the guids will tell you to use a modified choke and pattern for the shell/shot you will be using so you know what size your shot cloud will be at diff ranges.
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Postby Quackcephus » Sun Jul 03, 2005 7:48 pm

cooter let me try & explain it another way...

[siteimg]349[/siteimg]

[siteimg]706[/siteimg]
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Postby cooter » Sun Jul 03, 2005 8:04 pm

Dang, Quack ! ! ! !

I just love that Progressive English you speak. :toofunny: I remember both of those whack'n. That second PIC is the one that we got your dog to putting it alto gather, RIGHT. We worked her @$$ that day. :yes: :yes:

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Postby AlaskaRedneK » Sun Jul 03, 2005 10:40 pm

WOW :eek:

Like I said in the other thread..... Just lemme know where to get my plane tickets to, and where to get a non-resident tag..... I wanna hunt w/y you two!!! :salude:

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Postby Kiwi » Mon Jul 04, 2005 3:45 am

Hey Quackcephus, did you guys sleep in to only shoot 1/4 of a bag !!!!! :smile:

Have you seen the Phil Robersons video Duckmen of Middle Earth !!!! :thumbsup:


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