Switching back to #2 shot

Talk about various Louisiana duck hunting tactics with others and explore issues related to duck hunting in the heart of Cajun duck hunting country.

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Switching back to #2 shot

Postby Mr.L » Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:34 am

During the late summer, I bought a Kick's modified choke for my Browning Gold. I patterned it at 35yds and 45yds with #2 and #4 shot. It had great patterns. I was given a few boxes of Black Cloud 3in #4 shot. I shot a few and noticed they had a little more kick. I figured they had a little more powder and thus they could possibly live up to all the hype I had heard about them. I know they had a hefty price tag on them. I have 40 yd markers at the four corners of my blind. So I know exactly when ducks are in range to kill. After shooting the #4 shot, I found that they just don't do the job on big ducks like mallards. They work on teal but I have had too many cripples. I have killed too many ducks dead at 40+ yards with #1 and #2 shot, so I am switching back and saving the #4 shot to finish off any cripples when I get out of the blind.
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Re: Switching back to #2 shot

Postby Toledo » Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:49 am

I stopped using 4s because they seem to leave way more pellets stuck in the meat just waiting to break someones tooth. I dont even like to keep birds after hunting with people using 4s.

To me 4s seem to wound a lot of birds and break a lot of wings. My borther which is a better shot than 99% of duck hunters shoots 4s exclusely and kills dead almost everything he shoots at. I'm thinking he has his lead down better than most of us and is hitting most of what he shoots at across the head and neck eliminating cripples.
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Re: Switching back to #2 shot

Postby Ducaholic » Wed Dec 11, 2013 1:58 pm

3' 3's in the timber and 3.5' three on lakes and in fields
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Re: Switching back to #2 shot

Postby Original Duckster » Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:45 am

I have been using 1 1/4oz of #4 at 1425fps for the last 15 or so years with good luck. Later in the season I do go with #3 in the same load. I/C or mod choke. I do key on the head of the duck and most of the pellets are in the upper third of the body.

Main thing is get your head down!

Yes I do have off days :biggrin:
When in doubt, pee on it.
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Re: Switching back to #2 shot

Postby Mr.L » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:59 am

Original Duckster it may just be my shooting. On opening morning just right after shooting hours began, a mallard drake cupped in and hovered over the decoys at about 30 yds. I shot him with a Black Cloud 3 in. #4 shot. He folded up and fell in the edge of the decoys. It was still fairly dark and I thought he was dead. We had a group of teals come in and I took my eyes off of him. We knocked down a couple of teals. My partner stepped out to retrieve our ducks. I thought I saw some waves in the bushes because it was still a little dark. Sure enough my drake was not dead and swam off. We killed a couple of more teals after daylight. My partner got sick and we had to leave at 7:10. I went that evening with another friend. We had a group of three mallards come in. I raised up and shot. My first shot just knocked feathers. I stayed on the duck and knocked it down but it was not dead. I began to wonder about my #4 shot. I switched to Federal 3 in.#2 shot 1 3/8 load. Later a mallard drake came in so close I could almost grab him. I let my partner shoot at him. He fired three shots and clean missed him. By now the drake was gaining altitude and was 40+ yds. away. I fired one shot and he helicoptered dead. It may be my lead, I don't know but since I switched back to #2 shot I haven't had near the cripples.
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Re: Switching back to #2 shot

Postby Toledo » Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:53 am

Mr.L wrote:, a mallard drake cupped in and hovered over the decoys at about 30 yds. I shot him with a Black Cloud 3 in. #4 shot. He folded up and fell in the edge of the decoys. We had a group of three mallards come in. I raised up and shot. My first shot just knocked feathers. Lastly- I fired one shot and he helicoptered dead.


I'm sure you know some of this but the way the bird reacts will often tell you where you hit. Frist bird that crumpled hard but swam off was likely a high wing break where the main wing bone is broken just outside of the body causing them to crumple hard but once on the water they make a beeline out of there. This is pretty common on birds that are wiffling into the decoys and moving side to side causing a shot to be off to one side some.

Second bird that puffed feathers was likely hit towards the rear of the body where feathers come out more easily. It gives the appearance that you slammed the bird but there's nothing vital in the back half of the body no matter what you shoot them with.

Third bird was head shot. Every bird that helicopters down will have a pellet through the cranium.

I prefer the 2s over 4s but where your pattern was centered or just luck of where a pellet struck likely had more to do with those three birds than the shot size.
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Re: Switching back to #2 shot

Postby Mr.L » Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:36 am

Toledo, what you said makes sense. Saturday, I am going to stay with the #2 shot and adjust my lead a little more.
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Re: Switching back to #2 shot

Postby tb44 » Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:47 pm

95% shooting #3 the other 5 % is #2 for fields or #4 For timber holes in your face. 100% reloads unless im shotting BB's or something off the wall on a field hunt. What guns are yall shooting? And do you thinks a kicks choke is worth the hype.....Im skeptical....


Been looking at those browning maxus have any of yall shot one?
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Re: Switching back to #2 shot

Postby Toledo » Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:09 pm

Im shooting a 870 supermag with a Carlson LM choke and 3" 3s for 90% of what I do. Got SBEs and other stuff sitting at the house but stick with the 870 because it just fits better and I'm much more consistent with it.

For a tight choke I like the .655 terror choke. I keep it in the pocket of my parka for those days when the gadwalls want to land 50-60 yards out in the middle of the pond or I go bushwacking and need to shoot far. You can turkey shoot the hell out of some ducks with it. I was getting 97%+ 40 yard patterns with it and 3.5" kents but I gave them up cause they kept getting wet and being bloopers.
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Re: Switching back to #2 shot

Postby Mr.L » Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:24 pm

tb44, I have not shot a Maxus. I own a Browning Gold and have shot it for years. It was the first one to shoot 3.5 mag. shells. I had to get on a waiting list at Security Sporting Goods in Alexandria to get one when they first came out. The Maxus looks like it has the same recoil system like my Gold. The only issue I had with it was the safety got hard to release. I sent it back to Browning and they repaired it for me. I mostly shoot 3.5 mag. shells. The recoil is not bad. Last year I bought a Remington 870 Super Magnum. I like it but it punishes your shoulder if you shoot a lot of 3.5 mag. I decided to go back to my Browning. I shot the factory modified choke for years and was satisfied. I bought a Briley light modified choke two years ago and it worked well. I heard about the Kick's tubes. I bought one from Midway this summer. I shot #2 and #4 shot at 35 yds and 45 yds. The patterns were better that the factory tube. Hope this info helps you.
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