I usually shoot steel 3" 4's for ducks and BB for geese, 4's are a little light sometimes for mallards. But if you take their heads off they work just fine. I have used about all the non toxic, my favorite being bismuth, but being as i like to throw a fair amount of wasted shot around the air, it became a little pricy shooting it. I just stick to steel, i am familiar with it and i know how my gun patterns with it. If you are new I would say experiment with different shot, see which one you like, all i know is i missed as many birds with the pricy stuff as easy as i did with steel.