Short barrel #3 20ga load

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Short barrel #3 20ga load

Postby orphanedcowboy » Sat Oct 05, 2013 7:51 pm

I have found myself in a quandary. I have a Beretta 3901 with a 24" barrel for my daughter and cannot find a #3 load that it will pattern worth a hoot. The same loads in #4 look like this at 40yds with an Improved Modified choke:

Image

but the #3 load exhibits signs of being blown regardless of choke past Light Modified at 40yds(I was growing frustrated and quit marking them):

Image

I have no issues using the #4 load, but I am afraid of her crippling birds. She has been really good at limiting her shots the majority of the time, but does get excited from time to time and I end up having to break out the #7 Hevi to finish a bird. I hate to think this close to season trying to reload HS for her. Last yr she used the #4, but she only hunted the timber and small ponds with me, this yr she will be hunting bigger water and I would like a #3 load that I can hold together.

Who has found a #3 load that works for them in the short barrel 20's?
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Re: Short barrel #3 20ga load

Postby BBK » Sat Oct 05, 2013 8:31 pm

Have you tried 2's? If you can get a load of 2's to pattern like those 4's you will have a duck killer. Have you tried multiple brands/loads of 3's?

Back when I shot a 20 I shot federal ultra-shok 3" 1oz #2 and #3, and federal premium classic #2's. They are now discontinued but you may be able to find some. I killed a lot of ducks with that 20ga youth 870.
Why do I shoot 3.5" for geese? Because they don't make a 4" yet!
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Re: Short barrel #3 20ga load

Postby z51 » Sat Oct 05, 2013 8:55 pm

My 20 with a 28" barrel doesn't pattern Drylock #3 well either but patterns #4 Nitro Steel quite well. It should be good to 40 yards based on the 73 percent patterns I'm seeing with the factory modified and 1 oz. loads. No need to push a 20 passed 40 yards IMO.
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Re: Short barrel #3 20ga load

Postby orphanedcowboy » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:19 pm

These are the Federal Ultra-Shok loads, I have about 30 cases of the #4 and probably half as many #3. The #3s pattern great with a I/C & L/M for timber(but they are overkill for the >30yd shots we see), but are all over the place with Mod and IM. I am going to sell everything in #3 Federal I have unless I can find a choke to hold them together. I was looking at the Wad Wizard/Terror chokes, but I don't know if even they would help.

I am going to Cabela's, Academy and Bass Pro tomorrow to pick up as many different #3 loads as I can to try out. I went back and read my log book on the Remington Nitro Steel #3 loads and they were great with the Invector + barrels, but I have no data on the Invector or similar bore barrels. The Winchester Drylok gave the same results with the Invector + and the 2 3/4" #4 loads are great with her 24" barrel, but the 3/4oz of shot is worrisome.

I spent too much time this summer patterning the new Optima + barrels on my 391s, neglecting the 20ga 3901s. I am kinda pissed at myself and contemplating a SX3 compact for her even though she loves the Beretta.
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Re: Short barrel #3 20ga load

Postby BT Justice » Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:11 am

Take this for what it's worth ..once you start getting to the smaller ga guns steel shot gets to be even more of a joy ( read that PAIN in the butt).
I've seen some 20 ga guns pattern steel very well and some that would drive you crazy, some of them will pattern 2's all day long and some will not...just the way it is.
My wife's 20 ga Browning will pattern 3's with the factory tubes, IC and M being about the most useful.
Different choke might work, but you might find out you just have a gun that likes smaller shot sizes.
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Re: Short barrel #3 20ga load

Postby lostknife4 » Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:49 am

Try a 3/4 oz load of TSS #9, you will be pleasantly surprised!
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Re: Short barrel #3 20ga load

Postby orphanedcowboy » Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:57 am

lostknife4 wrote:Try a 3/4 oz load of TSS #9, you will be pleasantly surprised!
Lost


PM me your retailer, I haven't bought any TSS in several yrs and need to get on this fast. I did find a small jar of #5 they sold, but there isn't enough to even bother with, maybe 6 oz or less. I can't even remember what I bought it for.

BT, I quit shooting the M2 20ga because it patterned horribly, it became work. It is a shame because it was a Christmas present from my wife. The Invector Plus barrels in 20ga all seem to be an easy task, but these Italian barrels are troublesome and finicky.

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Re: Short barrel #3 20ga load

Postby lostknife4 » Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:18 am

Accesshga@aol.com

Hal Abbott
Access International Inc
4901 Collard Patch Lane
Garner, NC, 27529

919-662-8138

Tell him Lost sent ya! LOL

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Re: Short barrel #3 20ga load

Postby dakotashooter2 » Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:05 pm

Flush fit tubes or extended? My 20 ga O/U shoots better with the extended tubes. Can't say I have tried #3s. I use #2s for geese and ducks but am going to try #4s this year as I have been getting far more clean kills with #4s on close range geese (in 12 ga) than with 2s or BBs. I'm simply getting more pellets on target.
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Re: Short barrel #3 20ga load

Postby orphanedcowboy » Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:38 pm

Extended Trulock tubes only
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Re: Short barrel #3 20ga load

Postby lostknife4 » Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:45 pm

With TSS all that is needed is the factory tubes in IC anything tighter will create a very dense centre pattern density.
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Re: Short barrel #3 20ga load

Postby Frank Lopez » Sun Oct 06, 2013 3:07 pm

lostknife4 wrote:Try a 3/4 oz load of TSS #9, you will be pleasantly surprised!
Lost


What kind of penetration are you looking at with those things at 70 (seventy) yards? And how will the pattern hold up at that range? Just curious.

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Re: Short barrel #3 20ga load

Postby lostknife4 » Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:26 pm

Frank KPY gives @ 1350 fps: ED@ 196.8 and Gel penetration of 1.78 with a remaining velocity of 604 fps. I have never patterned them at 70 yards but I suspect that a LM choke would easily provide sufficient pattern density to dispatch fowl at that distance but I stand to be corrected.
There was a reply to a query here in DHC from a gentleman who knew the guy who originally introduced us to TSS and his reference was to a very long range shot after drop and windage was determined, I'll search some more later and if I find it will add a link.
Of course there are always lucky shots with any recipe and alloy used.
Thinking of trying some ?
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Re: Short barrel #3 20ga load

Postby mudpack » Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:05 pm

orphanedcowboy wrote:I have no issues using the #4 load, but I am afraid of her crippling birds.

Who has found a #3 load that works for them in the short barrel 20's?



Easy solution: have her only take shots under 35 yards. That way either load will work.
BTW, barrel length has virtually no effect on patterns. So, don't go thinking of changing barrel length.....
Last edited by mudpack on Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Short barrel #3 20ga load

Postby orphanedcowboy » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:52 pm

mudpack wrote:
orphanedcowboy wrote:I have no issues using the #4 load, but I am afraid of her crippling birds.

Who has found a #3 load that works for them in the short barrel 20's?



Easy solution: have her only take shots under 35 yards. That way either load will work.
BTW, barrel length has virtually no effect on patterns. So, don't go thinking of changing barrels.....


The one sentence after that I explained she is good at limiting her shots but does get excited from time to time.

I already checked out a 26" and 28" and patterns were slightly better, but still not where I felt remotely comfortable using the load.

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Re: Short barrel #3 20ga load

Postby Rob MacK » Mon Oct 07, 2013 5:23 am

Not sure if you reload or not so this may be of little use. I have had good luck in 3" 20ga loads using 7/8oz data from RSi. I have tried 1s and 3s from a Mossberg pump with a Carlsons LM and was happy with the results. The actual pattern numbers I don't have in front of me but I will take a look when I get home. I should have logged them like I normally do but cant be sure till I look.


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Re: Short barrel #3 20ga load

Postby mudpack » Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:13 am

orphanedcowboy wrote:[The one sentence after that I explained she is good at limiting her shots but does get excited from time to time.
We all do. Changing loads will not correct this. Experience will.
I already checked out a 26" and 28" and patterns were slightly better, but still not where I felt remotely comfortable using the load.

Not surprised; different barrels can pattern the same load differently. You might have improved your patterns the same amount by using a different 26" barrel.
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Re: Short barrel #3 20ga load

Postby OpenWater » Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:27 am

It looks like you have test a variety of loads, but have shoot any of the black cloud loads. I ask only because its a load I have used in the past out of a 20ga 870, with good results on paper and birds. I don't knew if that style of wad will help with that short barrel, but its an option on the non-conventicle load side of things.
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Re: Short barrel #3 20ga load

Postby orphanedcowboy » Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:30 am

OpenWater wrote:It looks like you have test a variety of loads, but have shoot any of the black cloud loads. I ask only because its a load I have used in the past out of a 20ga 870, with good results on paper and birds. I don't knew if that style of wad will help with that short barrel, but its an option on the non-conventicle load side of things.


Nope, and don't plan too. No Black Clouds, Hypersonics, Heavy Metal/Steel or Blindsides for this fellow
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Re: Short barrel #3 20ga load

Postby OpenWater » Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:21 am

I tried it because it was the only 20ga steel I was able to find on a Friday afternoon, and I was going out the next morning. I like to keep a box or two of Kent fast steel around for day I feel like shooting the 20ga.
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Re: Short barrel #3 20ga load

Postby lostknife4 » Tue Oct 08, 2013 6:25 am

lostknife4 wrote:Frank KPY gives @ 1350 fps: ED@ 196.8 and Gel penetration of 1.78 with a remaining velocity of 604 fps. I have never patterned them at 70 yards but I suspect that a LM choke would easily provide sufficient pattern density to dispatch fowl at that distance but I stand to be corrected.
There was a reply to a query here in DHC from a gentleman who knew the guy who originally introduced us to TSS and his reference was to a very long range shot after drop and windage was determined, I'll search some more later and if I find it will add a link.
Of course there are always lucky shots with any recipe and alloy used.
Thinking of trying some ?
Lost


Frank, here is the posting I mentioned above :



"Re: Choice for long range finishing load

Postby Bug Doc ยป Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:34 am
A little off topic here, but still a good story. During development of TSS, I was on a snow goose hunt with Kyle (the creator of TSS). A winged bird hit the water about 100 yards away. The guide asked Kyle if he thought he could swat that bird. Kyle quickly screwed in a turkey choke, took dead aim, and missed several feet short and to the side. The pattern of #5 TSS was still coherent (maybe 4' across), so he adjusted for windage & drop and fired again. This time the pattern just fringed the tail of the bird, making it swim a little faster. The third shot was the charm, covering up the bird. At first it didn't look like it was hit, but then it started to swoon and died fairly quickly. I pulled out my rangerfinder and lasered the shot at 131 yards!
Back on topic, it would be very difficult to swat a goose on the water with steel at 70 yards. Notice Lost's table. Even #4 steel only has 1/2" of penetration at that distance (can't imagine how much #7 steel would have :eek: ). I'm not sure how much penetration one needs to kill with a head shot, but I'm guessing it's somewhat more than #7 steel can provide. On the other hand, going for body hits is also problematic. First, the angle is very bad. Shooting at such an oblique angle means you need to penetrate a greater amount wing feathers, skin, fat, muscle, and in a lot of cases the back bone and/or ribs to get to the vitals (kinda like shooting through sloping armor on a tank - the slope increases the effective thickness of the armor). With a great deal of the body under water, you have a much smaller & tougher target to deal with.

Perhaps a slow, high-payload shell of #1 or possibly #2 fired through a turkey choke might have the pattern density necessary to ensure a head hit at that range, but I wouldn't count on it without some testing. It might be fun to mess with, but a bit of a headache to try to utilize in the field."


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Re: Short barrel #3 20ga load

Postby jehler » Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:04 am

oc my son uses a carlsons lm and mod extended choke with 3's out of his berretta 20 with good results, they are a 7/8 ounce load using a csd wad from bpi, I would think kents would be close
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