Help. Can't hit broad side of barn

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Help. Can't hit broad side of barn

Postby portahunter » Tue Jan 09, 2007 1:25 pm

I need help. I can't seem to hit the ducks to save my life this year. I shot just about ever shell there is out of my 870 this year and can't hit anything. Can't hit anything with other guns too. Federal Ultrashoks are working the best for me but even then I'm shooting way more shells per duck than I was last year. I was assassinating the ducks last year with the same gun and this year I can't hit squat. I've had marginal luck on geese with regular steel. 8 of my 13 geese this year came from shooting a box of Dead Coyote T's at them. I'm not rushing my shots either. I'm shooting shells that have a muzzle velocity of 1450 fps and closer than 20 yds, I'm putting the bead on the tip of the beak and past 20 yds to 40 yds I'm leading them 3-10 inches depending on the approximate distance. It's the same as when I was slaying them last year. I just can't figure out why I'm not hitting them or when I do feathers come off and they keep flying. Went 0 for 18 this morning.
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Postby Jim Broadbridge » Tue Jan 09, 2007 2:27 pm

A hard one to give good advise, but here we go. The lead that you put on a bird is relative to how fast you are swinging your gun barrel and that you follow through and don't stop the motion. 3 to 10 inches isn't much of a lead to put on a bird that is 30 + yards out. You may also be taking your face off the stock to watch the duck. More ducks are missed because of not enough lead than any other reason, second is not having a follow through. There are several ways of putting a lead on a crossing target, which method do you use? I wouldn't suggest you use the bead at all, if you are looking at the bead and consious of it, it could be your problem. Look at the target, focus on the target, your brain will know where the barrel is, no need to look at it. There would be a whole bunch more good wing shooters if they never even put a bead on a shot gun, absalutely no need for a bead for good wingshooting.
Last edited by Jim Broadbridge on Wed Jan 10, 2007 9:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Daisycuttin » Tue Jan 09, 2007 3:10 pm

:withstupid: proper lead or lack there of is the reason why millions of birds make it down here to Arkansas :smile: more often than not it takes alot more lead than you may think when shooting at a duck that is traveling directly across (perpindicular) you. As the range increases from 15yrds out, so does the lead necessary to take the bird cleanly. With this knowledge in hand, I still find myself occasionally shooting "at" birds inside of thirty yrds only to watch them fly away costing me 3 shells worth of pride. :eek:
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Postby dudejcb » Tue Jan 09, 2007 3:21 pm

I think everyone's shooting is sometimes streaky, but it sounds like you've really hit the wall.

If the muzzle velocity is 1450 fps, then it takes about about 0.062 seconds for the shot to travel 30 yards (90 feet). If a duck flies at 45 miles per hour that is equivalent to 66 ft/sec. That means that in 0.062 seconds of shot flight time, the duck has traveled 4 ft, so your lead should be about a little more than that... Remembering that your shot strings out several feet as it flies, so it's pretty difficult to over lead birds that are out there a ways.

1450 fps shot needs 0.031 seconds to travel 15 yards (45 ft), and a 40 mph duck travels at 58.7 ft/sec, so in 0.031 seconds the duck has traveled 1.82 feet... so you need a minimum 20" lead at 15 yards which may explain why you're not hitting 'em.

for each distance you do three calculations. start with how fast the shot takes gets there in seconds. 60 ft/1450 ft per sec = 0.0414 seconds of flight time for the shot to travel twenty yards. Now, how fast is the duck moving, and how far does he travel in 0.0414 seconds... at 35 mph the duck is moving at (35 mi/hr)(5280 ft/mi)(1hr/3600 seconds)= 51.33 feet per second, so in the time it take the shot to travel 20 yard (0.0414 seconds) the bird has traveled (0.0414 sec) ( 51.33 ft/sec)= 2.1 feet. this is your minimum (right-angle) lead, if your barrel swing is tracking the speed of the bird.

If you have the opportunity to shoot diver ducks flying low over the water, it really helps becasue you can see your shot hitting the water 4 feet behind the birds.

Now you have to let experience build in the compensatons for angles of flight, and other variations. good Luck.
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Postby pennsyltucky » Tue Jan 09, 2007 3:22 pm

take the bead right out of that gun. it should be threaded. u cant learn to shoot correctly by looking at a bead on the barrel, only by looking at the bird.

i remember you have the "tight-choke" syndrome. you may wanna get that checked out....... get some smaller shot, and use an i/c or skeet1. u are making it harder on urself by using the tight chokes with big shot.


the leads for those distances are more than the previous poster has figured because the shot slows down very fast. at 40 yards, BB's that were fired at 1480fps, will be going 812fps and the time lapse will be .147746 seconds.
Last edited by pennsyltucky on Tue Jan 09, 2007 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby dudejcb » Tue Jan 09, 2007 3:31 pm

Forget that!

use a modified or improved cylinder choke with steel shot and stick with larger shot as more mass means more velocity retentian and abilty to break bones (wings).

hey pennsyltucky...
Your sign off message... since when is liberal (defn: a willingness to entertain different points of view) equivalent to tyrant? This chat site is liberal in that it invites different opinions. Get a dictionary. You're listening way to much to Limbaugh, Hannity, and FOX stupid-spin. Dare to think for yourself!
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Postby pennsyltucky » Tue Jan 09, 2007 3:39 pm

if you have something personal to say, use the private message function. im sure people know what the term "liberal" means when i use it in that context. please do not hijack a thread with political punches.....


and would you like to expound on ur theory of open chokes and LARGE shot? and instead of killing them, trying to break a wing instead?
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Postby Sagebrush » Tue Jan 09, 2007 3:47 pm

Shooting 101;

For the ducks inside of 20 yards. Most guns have 30" pattern minimum
at 20 yards. A pattern 15" infront of a bird has worked for me.

For shots farther than 25 yards, I use 2 to 3 feet as a guide.

At this range, the speed of your muzzle swing is what sets your lead!!

Turning at the hips and your cheek down on the stock,also helps.

In time you will learn how much "daylight" is needed between your muzzle
and the bird.

Lots of practice makes perfect !!

A good duck load for close work calls for # 4 steel. ( #5 even better )

LOTS of pellets to help you out !!

Just my 2 cents.
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Postby dudejcb » Tue Jan 09, 2007 4:31 pm

Are right and wrong convertible terms, dependant upon popular opinion?
William Lloyd Garrison (not a political punch unless you receive it as one, and you are the one who put "liberal" in parens next to "tyrant," so don't politicize this thread PLEASE. And, if you do, man up and take the shot!)

The commonly accepted knowledge on chokes for steel shot is this: since steel is harder than lead, it does not deform from round as lead did, nor does it to compress as it passes through a tight choke. the deformed lead pellets had the effect of enlarging a pattern, as the deformed shot became outfliers. by and large this does not happen with steel, so full chokes are not necessary or desirable as they may damage your gun (ballon the barrel) if used with steel. I've shot plenty of gees and ducks at long yardage using improved cylinder. It's less a matter of choke selection than of actually hitting them in the center of the pattern.

As for larger shot, this is not a physics course, but so all may understand: mass times velocity is?.... inertia in motion, or momentum... sometimes referred to as force, shock power, etc. the same logic applies to rifle bullets, so I'm too far out on a limb here. ergo, BB's have more mass than No. 4's, which in turn has more mass thank 6's. the common understanding here is that if you shot lead 4's you'd now choose steel 2's. If you shot 2's you'd go for BBB, my personal favorite as it kill's 'em all, and with geese it is particularly good at breaking large wing bones.

A good read: Impeachment: the Founders cure for Royalism by John Nichols. he makes the point that impeachment is good politics for both liberla and conservatives as it put either on the right side of the consitution, to keep this a country of laws, not a country of men, as the founders intended.
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Postby fowlaholic » Tue Jan 09, 2007 4:33 pm

recoil consious maybe
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Postby greenster » Tue Jan 09, 2007 4:57 pm

Daisycuttin wrote::withstupid::smile: more often than not it takes a lot more lead than you may think when shooting at a duck that is traveling directly across (perpendicular)

)

Daisy I done told you abut letting in on our lead (lead shot) shooting secrets. :toofunny: just kiddin




FYI: I had dame problem except I could not hit anything with the cheep sells. All I did was save up and bought a few boxes of the cheep duck shell's, Win. High-Vio. and shot some clays until i figured out my correct lean (lee-d, distance) as before i could only shoot the expensive slower shells like Dryloks
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Postby portahunter » Tue Jan 09, 2007 5:12 pm

On ducks I've been using a modified choke with 3 inch #4's and # 2's that are 1450fps. On geese I've been using 3 1/2 inch BB's that go 1625 fps. I've gone beyond the frustration point.
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Postby thaner » Tue Jan 09, 2007 6:00 pm

Look that bird in the eye so hard you can see your reflection and move the gun. Most people have problems because they are using lazy eyes and not really focusing on the target. You can't just generally look at a target you need to focus sharply on the leading edge of it if you want to get in front of it. Forget the bead and just shoot with your eyes and hands. Not that is dependent on if you gun fits good. It you can throw it up and it is right on your eye then you can forget the bead. If you have to work to get lined up you need to work on your gun mount or get a different gun. Once you get these things working you just need to put a little more lead on them if you are still missing.
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Postby portahunter » Tue Jan 09, 2007 6:29 pm

I'm just going to blame it on the bad luck I've been having all year. Destroyed the robo duck today and over slept by almost two hours this morning. It's been like this for me all year.
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Postby thaner » Tue Jan 09, 2007 7:23 pm

I am beginning to think it's your attitude. Maybe you just need to relax a little.

Your duck season sounds like my deer season. Everything that could go wrong did. The harder I tried the less result I got. I am lucky to be eating venison this year at all. :laughing:

Try some targets to get things worked out. When you start smoking clays you will get your confidence back. Put up some pattern paper and shoot some fast shot at 30 yd with a full choke. Just throw they gun up and shoot several time to make sure you and your gun have the proper POI first to see if you have a gun fit issue or a gun that's not shooting correctly. If you get that worked out then shoot some easy targets and work your way up to harder ones. Noting like hitting something constant to bring up your confidence.
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Postby Thundersnow » Tue Jan 09, 2007 8:47 pm

dudejcb wrote:Forget that!

use a modified or improved cylinder choke with steel shot and stick with larger shot as more mass means more velocity retentian and abilty to break bones (wings)



A #3 or #4 steel pellet will penetrate the vitals of a mallard at 40 yards. Proven fact. The whole object of picking a load is to use the SMALLEST shot that will penetrate the vitals of the duck at the distance you are shooting with enough density to hit the vitals. If you need BBs to penetrate the vitals and kill a duck....you are not shooting decoying ducks. You are pass shooting. You are also probally not getting the density to cleanly kill ducks.

Go ahead and pass shoot if you want, just don't spread the WRONG advice that you need large shot to kill a duck in decoying range.
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Postby portahunter » Tue Jan 09, 2007 9:08 pm

I knew by late September that we would struggle this season. We had a big storm in late September that completely ruined our season. Pushed up to 4 ft of saltwater across our marsh and killed all the aquatic vegetation that the ducks feed on so we don't have anything to hold any birds. They fly in one day and leave the next.

I'm going to switch my chokes out on my gun. I have one of those North Wind Duck Chokes and I'm going to put that in there. I used it the first half of last year and I spanked the ducks with it. I don't know what restriction it is but I know it worked for me last year and I'm getting desperate. I may switch back to my 20 ga. It's a sweet little gun. I've only used it a little bit the last six years but I've always done good with it.
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Postby Ducksbeus » Wed Jan 10, 2007 8:22 am

Open your eyes silly :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:
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Postby Jim Broadbridge » Wed Jan 10, 2007 9:22 am

Thundersnow wrote:
dudejcb wrote:Forget that!

use a modified or improved cylinder choke with steel shot and stick with larger shot as more mass means more velocity retentian and abilty to break bones (wings)



A #3 or #4 steel pellet will penetrate the vitals of a mallard at 40 yards. Proven fact. The whole object of picking a load is to use the SMALLEST shot that will penetrate the vitals of the duck at the distance you are shooting with enough density to hit the vitals. If you need BBs to penetrate the vitals and kill a duck....you are not shooting decoying ducks. You are pass shooting. You are also probally not getting the density to cleanly kill ducks.

Go ahead and pass shoot if you want, just don't spread the WRONG advice that you need large shot to kill a duck in decoying range.


:withstupid: Breaking bones is not a requirement for clean kills, pellots in the vitals is what it's all about. And #3 will kill at 50 yards.
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Postby dudejcb » Wed Jan 10, 2007 9:58 am

Dear Jim,

I hunt out of a boat with decoys and a dog. As a rule I do not pass shoot unless a passing (not decoying) presents a good in-range shot. Neither am I "spreading bad advice." Rather I am presenting alternative logic to a person asked for help with his shooting. To shoot and kill, it helps to understand some laws of mechanical physics, and different logics about shot patterns and shot density. Once fully informed I think this fellow can make his own enlightened choices and decide what works best for him.

As an experienced hunter I'm sure you have shot birds through the vitals, that for some miraculous reason (adrenaline and the desire to survive perhaps) have flown some distance before suddenly dropping to earth stone dead. This doesn't happen all that often, but in my experience it seems to happen more frequently with geese. If someone is having difficulty centering a bird in the pattern, larger shot will help bring it down on the second or third shot. On the other hand smaller more numerous shot shells, may provide the extra "golden pellet" that hits the head or wherever, that frings them down. That's why many turkey hunters use 6 shot and pepper the head. It's anyone's guess where shot will actually fly and hit, and each situation is unique.

Personally I don't believe in taking long shots and leaving wounded birds scattered about the marsh. Most of my shots are pretty close, ususally under thirty yards (inside the decoys), because I call fairly well after 35 years of practical experience, am patient, and don't need a full bag limit to prove my manhood, or enjoy being out. I also, don't beleive in fumbling around attempting to change over to "goose loads" whenever I see geese coming. I simplify and shoot larger shot all the time and have no complaints.
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Postby Jim Broadbridge » Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:32 am

I hear yah!!! and don't disagree with your thinkin, I would like to see a beginner or someone that is having trouble at close range targets use an open choke and lots of pellots to fill the area with a good killing pattern. Someone as yourself with 35 years under your belt will get away with things a rookie won't, you most likely centre your pattern on alot of your shots, and we all know the core of the pattern is denser, on the other hand a beginner is lucky to hit the duck with any part of the pattern, and the larger pellots are going to leave bigger holes in the pattern on the outside edges, one #2 in the ass isn't going to do much more than a #4 in the ass. :smile:
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Postby dudejcb » Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:48 am

you sir, are correct, in addition to being a gentleman.

It's been a few years since I visited Saskatchewan (sp?) to shoot at birds that were plentiful and inexperienced, and I imagine you have a similar situation in your neck of the woods. Good hunting!
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Postby portahunter » Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:55 am

Went 0 for 1 today. It was a 65 yd frustration shot. I just wanted to shot and didn't care whether I hit it or not. I'm exhausted. I scouted this hole for two days and it held a fair amount of birds both days and today, nothing. Should have known better. Had no water and no birds. Boats covered from the tip of the bow to the motor in a nice layer of that sinkin marsh mud. I'm going to stay home tomarrow and sleep in and wash the boat.
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Postby CrackerJackShot » Wed Jan 10, 2007 1:04 pm

Im going to go with the shouldering. I know that is one of my problems, when I have them. If I miss a bird all I have to do is make sure the next time I pull the gun up and shoulder the gun perfectly and they fold everytime. Leading isn't that much of an issue, usually your brain can determine how far to lead in front, especially if youve hit them before. It kinda records it into a video memory that you can't actually see but it remembers it.
And yeah, consentrating on the barrel will certainly mess you up. But just make sure that your shouldering correctly, its a commonly overlooked mistake.
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Postby thaner » Wed Jan 10, 2007 5:51 pm

:withstupid: good point. I should also add that the other big no no is lifting your head. This can happen when you get frustrated. You try to see the bird better or see where you are shooting and you lift your head off the gun and shoot high. This is a common problem for target shooters and hunter even if they pre mount the gun and have their head down good at the start.
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