Snows and the choke/shell to reach them

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Snows and the choke/shell to reach them

Postby JRZDUCKSTER » Sat Mar 01, 2014 6:54 am

Looking for experienced replies here. Having been on my first snow goose hunt a few weeks ago, I experienced a frustrating experience which I hope to remedy.
Lots of snows flying over to check out the spread, but not cupping and dropping in. They're avaerage distance was approximately 50-60 yards above us. None came in low enough, ( 40 yards IMO) for clean kill shots. I noticed when my hunting buddy and I were shooting, we were in fact hitting the snows, because you could see the feathers take the shot and see the snows rock and wobble at impact. I am assuming that at that distance our shot was losing a lot of velocity and didn't have enough ft lbs of energy to penetrate and kill.
I constantly see posts where guys are shooting and killing birds(geese) at 50-60+ yards. My patterning experince with my Win SX3 is very good out to 40 yards, then loses it's ability to hold a good pattern. My shells were Black Cloud Snow Goose #2's, 3" 12ga, Kent Fasteel 3", 12ga #2's and Black Cloud 12 ga 3" BB at 1450 fps. Chokes is used were Carlson's BC Chokes in Mid Range and Long Range. Again, real good out to 40 yards, after that, not so favorable.

Are any of you shooting a Win SX3 and getting great results beyond 40 yards? The barrel is back bored, so is that a requirement to seek another choke? I can't imagine that I'm the only guy who has a 12ga that cant kill a goose beyond 40 yards!!! I just purchased Hevi Metal 12ga, 3" #2's at 1500 fps to see how they pattern. Can any of you experienced goose shooters help me with some info that may get my patterns a bit farther, lets say 50+ yards? Thanks
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Re: Snows and the choke/shell to reach them

Postby Nelliboy2 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 11:54 am

Be a great question for the shotgun section. I would play around with chokes if I were you.

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Re: Snows and the choke/shell to reach them

Postby dog walker » Sat Mar 01, 2014 2:54 pm

What you need to do is take your gun, shells and chokes and pattern them. You will need to pick and use the best load/choke combination before your pattern falls apart. At the range your pattern starts to really break down is basically just about your max range. Knowing your max range will give you an idea of shoot don't shoot range.

Also in my opinion 2's lack the energy for clean kills on snows at 60 yards but that's just me.
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Re: Snows and the choke/shell to reach them

Postby KRB » Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:28 am

Try 1 shot or BB to get some more penetration.
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Re: Snows and the choke/shell to reach them

Postby TomKat » Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:04 am

Spend some money and get HeavyShot ect
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Re: Snows and the choke/shell to reach them

Postby rbol121 » Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:16 am

Ext choke tube to keep your pattern together and shoot BB's or BBB's. I agree if you can afford, heavily-shot would work, but a man would go broke on a heavy shooting day. I've shot in excess of 5 boxes in one day when we got into hem real good....
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Re: Snows and the choke/shell to reach them

Postby Mugzwump » Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:36 pm

Nevermind patterning, you were hitting them. Try getting them in closer, hide yourself better. For passing geese I shoot BBB. It sounds like they may have been further than you think, if you didn't at least cripple one with the 2's. A lot of guys say the high-velocity stuff works for them, but I don't use it.

For a good hit on a bird that is 60 yards out or more, you need to lead maybe 8-10 times the length of the bird as you see it. if not more. the bird is here... you have to be shooting waaaay over there... it's a big lead.

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Re: Snows and the choke/shell to reach them

Postby possumfoot » Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:41 pm

average distance of 50-60? if you see feathers comming out that means the pellet has the energy to CUT a feather. you are talking a small round object cutting quills. at 50 -60 that is very possible.. its also likely you were hitting the birds in the butt and thats why they were not falling.

pretty good thing to go by is if you see feathers comming out, the bird is in effective range. (for the load)
i'm not talking a feather here or there, but if your seeing 5+ peices of feathers come off a bird, its not the gun/choke/loads fault that bird is not hitting the dirt.
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Re: Snows and the choke/shell to reach them

Postby dukgtr187 » Sat Mar 15, 2014 3:40 pm

Leading is the main key. On my 870 12 ga ill use 3" #2 or #1 shot thats 1550. with modified choke. seems to do the trick out to 60 yards.
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Re: Snows and the choke/shell to reach them

Postby Seaark18 » Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:34 pm

My main snow goose gun for the last 8-9 years has been my SBE2 with a Carlsons extended steel Long Range tube. I've spent a lot of time patterning this gun, and have shot cases and cases of Remington Sportsman 3.5" 1 3/8oz BB's @1550fps. Works great on snows out to 60 yards. If the birds are decoying better, I'll switch over to 3" 1's. I've killed more snows than I can count with that set up. The OP mentioned shooting 2's; in my experience 2's work fine at and inside of 40 yds on snows, but 1's and especially BB's make a noticeable difference as the range extends. Find some good, affordable loads of 1's and bb's that pattern well with your guns and chokes and you'll be set for any reasonable shot on snows.
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Re: Snows and the choke/shell to reach them

Postby Oly1 » Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:13 pm

Have had great luck with Patternmaster Extended Range and shoot Kent Faststeel 1625 fps with BB's. Hunt them in Canada and decoy birds real nice but shoot the birds further out to start and clean up those heading out. When they are not playing nice am able to reach them out there a ways. Have had great success with the distances you are shooting at. In my opinion speed kills. Uniform shot of steel and if you can put it on the mark and it will kill snow geese a LONG ways out there. In My Humble Opinion. Oly1
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Re: Snows and the choke/shell to reach them

Postby tornadochaser » Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:25 am

Snows fold pretty easy with 2's even when your hacking at 60 yard birds, but you have to get head/neck hits. For 40-60 yard shots on snows I shoot BB, usually 3.5" for the pattern density. Yeah yeah all the haters are gunna say 2 3/4" 19000 fps .5 oz BB is all you need but 3.5" BB works for me and I don't notice the recoil.
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Re: Snows and the choke/shell to reach them

Postby rainingmallards » Fri Jan 02, 2015 8:31 pm

Hevishot Extended Range Tube with Hevimetal BB's
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Re: Snows and the choke/shell to reach them

Postby rjh » Mon Feb 02, 2015 10:00 pm

Kent Fasteel 3.5" 1 3/8 oz #1 at 1550 with a Browning Grand Passage Improved Modified choke. I have also owned several patternmasters, wad-wizard, terror, and other aftermarket chokes, but I keep coming back to the IM as I get even patterns and a little wider spread than some of the other chokes which helps on the close shots but still holds a killing pattern to over 60 yards. I pretty much shoot everything with this load from big honkers to ducks. Has sufficient energy to penetrate vitals and break wings out to 60+ yards and increases your pellet count and pattern density over BB by quite a bit. Knocks them as dead as my buddy that shoots hevi-shot. The key is to pattern your gun with various chokes and brands of ammo to find what patterns best in your gun. Dense patterns kill birds.
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