Choke 12ga 7/8 oz #3 steel close-in pheasants/ducks?

Interact with others on shot gun shells, reloading, ballistics, chokes, or anything that has to do with your shooting.

Moderators: donell67, pennsyltucky, Ohio Wildfowler, NV Guide

Choke 12ga 7/8 oz #3 steel close-in pheasants/ducks?

Postby kenner » Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:40 pm

I've read that a number of y'all use 7/8 oz steel loads for mallards and pheasants. I've loaded a few shells to pattern. For close, farmed pheasants and decoyed ducks 15-30 yds, what choke might you suggest? My loads are 7/8 oz, #3 steel, 1700+fps.

I'm a pretty fair shot and I'm trying to kill the bird cleanly, without turning it to mush. I'm thinking that if skeet chokes break clays, using lead,, then maybe a skeet, or even cylinder choke might be appropriate? Maybe with that light of a payload, the skeet would be better? I know that many recommend an IC choke,, but it seems pretty tight for the shooting I do.

Should I go to 1oz of shot and a more open choke?,, or save the 1oz, or 1.125oz load for my second shot? (ya, I know there's not supposed to be a second shot, right?)

What are your thoughts and what's your reasoning?

Thanks!!.... Ken
kenner
hunter
 
Posts: 661
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:15 pm
Location: SoggyFoot, Oregon


Re: Choke 12ga 7/8 oz #3 steel close-in pheasants/ducks?

Postby inthebox30lbs » Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:54 pm

I get great patterns with the 7/8oz loads with extended non ported mod choke. They also pattern excellent out of my 935 with the factory accu mag full, mod, and IC choke tubes. I have patterned a ton of the lightning loads. I like the mod tube for an all around tube and plan to shoot it at ducks and pheasants and the full factory at geese with 1's and B steel. I get 98-100% patterns at 40 yards with this set up full choke with bigger steel with loads hovering in the mid 1700's. I like 4's for ducks and will shoot 5 and 6 steel at pheasants and chukar pen raised dispite what many believe it will crush birds out to 40 yards with a mod tube. :biggrin:
scott
inthebox30lbs
hunter
 
Posts: 472
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 6:36 pm

Re: Choke 12ga 7/8 oz #3 steel close-in pheasants/ducks?

Postby brad43 » Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:14 pm

Son,

Skeet probably would serve you good at those distances. Down size your shot to #4 or #5 in the 7/8 oz load will perform better with higher pellet counts and improved patterns IMO. One ounce loads would just put more pellets on the target than necessary at those ranges. Number 5's at 15-30 yards will put a snockering Ned smack down on ducks @ 1700 fps!

Now I gotta tell ya, I shot a couple pheasants and a chukar with LS #5's in 7/8 at the ranges your describing w/IC........like shooting a chipmunk with a 300 win mag.(And the shells do sound that loud!) 15 yards @ 1700 fps #3s = vaporized bird regardless of the choke. Just add some hickory chips to your shot.....you'll have some smoked bird!

Good luck with those loads!

Brad
brad43
hunter
 
Posts: 99
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:20 pm

Re: Choke 12ga 7/8 oz #3 steel close-in pheasants/ducks?

Postby Ned S » Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:49 pm

I would use 7/8 oz of 4's and 1 oz of 3's from the Lightning Steel recipes. Ned S
Ned Swygard
Ned S
hunter
 
Posts: 8760
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 10:16 pm
Location: Amarillo, Tx

Re: Choke 12ga 7/8 oz #3 steel close-in pheasants/ducks?

Postby kenner » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:57 am

Thank you, gentlemen, for your replies!

I was reading Roster's rooster report and so went with steel #3's,, but that was at what, 1365 fps?....

With the 7/8 oz load, can I kill mallards with #4 shot out to 35/40 yds @ 1700 fps? I've only been buying off the shelf, so I don't know how this stuff works. I've killed birds with #6 steel over my dekes,, but then, I hunker down under the grass like a nutria and smear mud and nutria camo on my face and basically have to shoo the birds away to shoot them. I think that my misses (not my Mrs.) have been from leading the birds and shooting passed them at close range.... (I did much better as a kid, when I didn't think about this stuff,, I just pointed and clicked and killed 'em).

I did load some 1oz, #3's to pattern, for a follow-up shot. I'm using RSI data, listed at 1575 fps in a 2.75". Maybe I'll use this in a cylinder choke?

If you have past posts, or URL's to share on faster steel loads for ducks and pheasants at close range, that's be great!! You don't have to re-write everything you've posted before. I do very much appreciate your help!

Later, Ken
kenner
hunter
 
Posts: 661
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:15 pm
Location: SoggyFoot, Oregon

Re: Choke 12ga 7/8 oz #3 steel close-in pheasants/ducks?

Postby Ned S » Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:34 am

I shoot 7/8 oz of 4's at 1725 fps and kills ducks to 45 yds with a Light Mod extended choke. It should penetrate to kill to 50 yds. I like 1 oz of 3's at 1650 fps for my second shot in my Condor O/U and 3 rd shot in my autos. The last two pheasants I killed were with 7/8 oz of 4's at about 30 yds each using the Condor. The Alliant 7/8 oz and Lightning Steel loads are fantastic, been shooting them for over 5 yrs. The Alliant loads since '98. Ned S the young 81 yr old
Ned Swygard
Ned S
hunter
 
Posts: 8760
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 10:16 pm
Location: Amarillo, Tx

Re: Choke 12ga 7/8 oz #3 steel close-in pheasants/ducks?

Postby kenner » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:09 pm

Initial patterning with my PolyChoke: "Slug" choke with 7/8oz, #3 @ 30yds was far too open, but might be a good choice of choke up close. IC threw a nice pattern at that range, but I'd be concerned at closer ranges and especially if I go to smaller shot, that I'd pulverize the bird.

Sounds like high speed #4's are the way to go.

So, given 1550 fps of #4's, what kind of real range might I be limited to? I'm asking about the lethal energy of a #4 pellet at that initial speed.

Many thanks to posters and PM's!

G'night,, Ken
kenner
hunter
 
Posts: 661
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:15 pm
Location: SoggyFoot, Oregon

Re: Choke 12ga 7/8 oz #3 steel close-in pheasants/ducks?

Postby J J Mac » Wed Sep 01, 2010 7:37 am

kenner wrote:So, given 1550 fps of #4's, what kind of real range might I be limited to? I'm asking about the lethal energy of a #4 pellet at that initial speed?G'night,, Ken

From Shotshell Ballistics, at 37 - 38 yd the penetration is 1.5" in ballistic gelatin which would be good for vital organ penetration in big ducks. Neck and head shots will get you more distance but can't rely on that.
User avatar
J J Mac
hunter
 
Posts: 786
Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2006 9:18 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: Choke 12ga 7/8 oz #3 steel close-in pheasants/ducks?

Postby Ned S » Wed Sep 01, 2010 8:21 am

Field data shows steel 4's at 1725 fps kill consistantly to 45 yds, others report to 50 yds. At 50 yds I prefer 1650 fps 3's. At 30 yds steel 4's at 1650 fps go clear thru drake mallards at 30 yds. At 30 yds this load penetrates gelating to 1.92" no close to thickness of mallard meat. There is no correlation between gel and waterfowl per Ed Lowery. Ned S the young 81 yr old.
Ned Swygard
Ned S
hunter
 
Posts: 8760
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 10:16 pm
Location: Amarillo, Tx

Re: Choke 12ga 7/8 oz #3 steel close-in pheasants/ducks?

Postby J J Mac » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:04 am

Ned S wrote:Field data shows steel 4's at 1725 fps kill consistantly to 45 yds, others report to 50 yds. At 50 yds I prefer 1650 fps 3's. At 30 yds steel 4's at 1650 fps go clear thru drake mallards at 30 yds. At 30 yds this load penetrates gelating to 1.92" no close to thickness of mallard meat. There is no correlation between gel and waterfowl per Ed Lowery. Ned S the young 81 yr old.

There is no correlation between velocity and lethality for shot of different sizes and densities which you erroneously report all the time. In my opinion and a lot of others whose experience/knowledge I respect, penetration in ballistic gelatin is the best lethality predictor for body penetration there is across a spectrum of shot sizes and densities. Lethality correlation with ballistic gelatin does not mean that the penetration in ballistic gelatin is the same as in the actual critter! Certainly as an engineer you should understand that.

At 1725 fps 3-ft velocity, #4 steel has a ballistic gelatin penetration of about 1.4" at 45 yd and 1.50" at 41 yd. This is at 59 F and sea level.
User avatar
J J Mac
hunter
 
Posts: 786
Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2006 9:18 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: Choke 12ga 7/8 oz #3 steel close-in pheasants/ducks?

Postby Ned S » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:16 am

Per usual as I do not have a Phd after my name my field data on penetration and using the 600 fps rule does not count. I have said it many times that the 600 fps rule does work for steel 3's thru BB's per gobs of field analysis with a Leica rangefinder. Also live birds were shot by Dr. Samuelson in coming up with his 575 fps rule of thumb which it is. I found that 600 fps was more realistic from field observation but again that doesn't count because of no Phd. Ned S PE in Mech Engr State of Iowa who now has shot a 1950 fps load in his 935.
Ned Swygard
Ned S
hunter
 
Posts: 8760
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 10:16 pm
Location: Amarillo, Tx

Re: Choke 12ga 7/8 oz #3 steel close-in pheasants/ducks?

Postby kenner » Wed Sep 01, 2010 1:15 pm

Well, I'm not wanting to shoot at longer distances with #4's,, but I'm wondering more about meat damage...
Am I incorrect to think the a bunch of smaller pellets will do more meat damage than fewer larger ones?

Thanks!... Ken
kenner
hunter
 
Posts: 661
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:15 pm
Location: SoggyFoot, Oregon

Re: Choke 12ga 7/8 oz #3 steel close-in pheasants/ducks?

Postby Ned S » Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:08 pm

Not if you use a IC choke which I use or use 3's instead of 4's. Pellet count on the target is easy to control. Ned S
Ned Swygard
Ned S
hunter
 
Posts: 8760
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 10:16 pm
Location: Amarillo, Tx

Re: Choke 12ga 7/8 oz #3 steel close-in pheasants/ducks?

Postby kenner » Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:24 pm

So, what I'm gathering is that the recommendations of #2/#3's for killing mallards/pheasants was for lower velocity loads and that #4's at higher speeds are guaranteed good out to moderate ranges, at least, and are probably best for my situation?

Thanks!... Ken
kenner
hunter
 
Posts: 661
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:15 pm
Location: SoggyFoot, Oregon

Re: Choke 12ga 7/8 oz #3 steel close-in pheasants/ducks?

Postby cultivateitnow » Thu Sep 02, 2010 6:03 am

I will assume everyone knows there are different types of Ballistic Gel. The two most commonly used need to be calibrated, but were designed to tell you what to expect if you shoot someone not something. :)

During the gel wars I studied and followed the subject closely and will say the adverage street results over 30 years matched withing 1% of those found by shooting gel. One could make a table that would allow meaningful data.

When folks on this site quote penetration in Gel are we talking 20% solution at room temp to match meat or 10% at 38 deg to match organ tissue? The industry standard now is 10% which was found to more closely match "field" results.

As a side note for those that may now believe in gel... During my testing I discovered when you shoot organs you get the exact same spiral wound channel that is seen in ballistic gel. I did the conversions for pistol calibers on deer accounting for skin effect and they work out perfectly.

I am interested in learning more about the relationship of 10% gel to duck and gel to geese.
cultivateitnow
hunter
 
Posts: 332
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:32 am

Re: Choke 12ga 7/8 oz #3 steel close-in pheasants/ducks?

Postby Ned S » Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:27 am

kenner wrote:Initial patterning with my PolyChoke: "Slug" choke with 7/8oz, #3 @ 30yds was far too open, but might be a good choice of choke up close. IC threw a nice pattern at that range, but I'd be concerned at closer ranges and especially if I go to smaller shot, that I'd pulverize the bird.

Sounds like high speed #4's are the way to go.

So, given 1550 fps of #4's, what kind of real range might I be limited to? I'm asking about the lethal energy of a #4 pellet at that initial speed.

Many thanks to posters and PM's!

G'night,, Ken


At 1550 fps steel 4's should penetrate to kill to 48 yds at 32F using the 600 fps rule of thumb. Reports of 45 yd kills have been posted at 1550 fps. Put a 45 yd stake out beyond your decoys and you will know. Ned S the young 81 yr old.
Ned Swygard
Ned S
hunter
 
Posts: 8760
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 10:16 pm
Location: Amarillo, Tx

Re: Choke 12ga 7/8 oz #3 steel close-in pheasants/ducks?

Postby cultivateitnow » Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:52 am

Don't be afraid to put a different choke in your gun. In the old days the general rule was one size more open than lead chokes you prefer. With new shells and more research the manufactures guidelines are BB and up one size up from lead. Steel shot sizes #2 and smaller use the same choek you would use for lead including all the way down to full.

It appears much of the bad name steel received early on was mostly due to people shooting chokes they were far more open than they should have been causing poor hits with too few pellets on target. Now that people are using high speed loads they are finding small shot sizes and full choke rule. That is mostly why Black Cloud has such a following. No matter what choke you use they pattern full at 40 yards.
cultivateitnow
hunter
 
Posts: 332
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:32 am

Re: Choke 12ga 7/8 oz #3 steel close-in pheasants/ducks?

Postby Ned S » Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:30 am

My findings after over 2300 steel patterns is that steel performs best with more open extended chokes with about about 3/4 " cyl diameter on the end. Imp Mod extended are excellent with up to steel BB's. For Long Range shooting you can't beat the Terror. I shoot mostly IC and Light Mod extended with steel 4's and 3's. The 935 Mod Mossy gives me 90% patterns with 7/8 oz of steel B's at around 1800 fps plus. This load is good to 50 yds before running out of pattern density penetrating to kill to about 73 yds where I hunt. I have over 62 chokes and 5 shotguns I use. Barrel resonance is the culprit that causes bad patterns. The less resonance the better the patterns. The extended chokes helps with reducing resonance. Ned S
Ned Swygard
Ned S
hunter
 
Posts: 8760
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 10:16 pm
Location: Amarillo, Tx

Re: Choke 12ga 7/8 oz #3 steel close-in pheasants/ducks?

Postby cultivateitnow » Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:14 am

Reduce or change?

Rifle folks have been doing that for about 20 years now. I also think their is benefit to long tapered chokes versus trying to get it all done in the last inch of the barrel. In the old days cokes were about a foot long and produced very good patterns.

Have you experimented with barrel weights?
cultivateitnow
hunter
 
Posts: 332
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:32 am

Re: Choke 12ga 7/8 oz #3 steel close-in pheasants/ducks?

Postby inthebox30lbs » Thu Sep 02, 2010 5:53 pm

Ned S wrote:My findings after over 2300 steel patterns is that steel performs best with more open extended chokes with about about 3/4 " cyl diameter on the end. Imp Mod extended are excellent with up to steel BB's. For Long Range shooting you can't beat the Terror. I shoot mostly IC and Light Mod extended with steel 4's and 3's. The 935 Mod Mossy gives me 90% patterns with 7/8 oz of steel B's at around 1800 fps plus. This load is good to 50 yds before running out of pattern density penetrating to kill to about 73 yds where I hunt. I have over 62 chokes and 5 shotguns I use. Barrel resonance is the culprit that causes bad patterns. The less resonance the better the patterns. The extended chokes helps with reducing resonance. Ned S

I still like the Extended Carlsons Mod out of the 935 as the go to all around choke From 6 steel to B's. With the full factory I can get 100% patterns at 40 with 1's and B's. The Ext. Mod has patterned the best with all lightning steel loads I have shot :thumbsup:
inthebox30lbs
hunter
 
Posts: 472
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 6:36 pm

Re: Choke 12ga 7/8 oz #3 steel close-in pheasants/ducks?

Postby cultivateitnow » Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:25 pm

That's pretty much what everyone is saying now. If a 100% pattern won't get it done.... :)
cultivateitnow
hunter
 
Posts: 332
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:32 am

Re: Choke 12ga 7/8 oz #3 steel close-in pheasants/ducks?

Postby Ned S » Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:49 pm

cultivateitnow wrote:Reduce or change?

Rifle folks have been doing that for about 20 years now. I also think their is benefit to long tapered chokes versus trying to get it all done in the last inch of the barrel. In the old days cokes were about a foot long and produced very good patterns.

Have you experimented with barrel weights?

I have tried a Premier Rem barrel (light weight) with the steel shot acting like a loose fire hose. Ned S
Ned Swygard
Ned S
hunter
 
Posts: 8760
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 10:16 pm
Location: Amarillo, Tx

Re: Choke 12ga 7/8 oz #3 steel close-in pheasants/ducks?

Postby kenner » Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:05 am

Thank you for all your replies on shot size, loads, and chokes!

Looks like I'll pattern my WadWizard and continue playing with loads. Think I'll do the light and fast #4's and pick my shots at close range, so as not to destroy the bird, and then follow that with other loads,, contemplating a 1oz load and a 3", 1700fps load for a third.

Again, Thanks!.... Ken
kenner
hunter
 
Posts: 661
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:15 pm
Location: SoggyFoot, Oregon

Re: Choke 12ga 7/8 oz #3 steel close-in pheasants/ducks?

Postby Ned S » Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:38 am

Ken, you can control your patterns with different size shot, velocity, and different weight of loads. This way you can shoot a tighter pattern with each shot thru the same choke. I do not know about the WadWizard. With standard extended chokes the pattern % increases with shot size generally with similiar velocities. I have been known to shoot a 4, then a 3 and finally a 1 in my autos but generally shoot two 4's and a 3. In my Condor O/U I shoot a 7/8 oz 4 and a 1 oz 3. Ned S
Ned Swygard
Ned S
hunter
 
Posts: 8760
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 10:16 pm
Location: Amarillo, Tx

Re: Choke 12ga 7/8 oz #3 steel close-in pheasants/ducks?

Postby kenner » Sat Sep 04, 2010 10:52 am

Yes, Ned, your recommendation is a conclusion/method I've been looking at... Using a light payload at short range and then increasing the payload and shot size/mass with successive shots.

So, for these close-range pheasants, is a 7/8oz load of #2's going to destroy more meat and 7/8oz #4, with higher pellet count/strike at the same speed?,, Or am I correct in thinking that given that the #2's have a smaller surface to volume ratio, the #2's will actually contact less meat and therefore, ruin less than the smaller #4's? At close range, both will blow through the bird.

WadWizard "Choke": http://wadwizard.com/
(p.s... Just saw that the Terror is sold by WadWizard)

Different question: Can I safely reduce a load by 0.5grains, or 1grain?? I hear the warnings of never messing with a load, but I was wondering if the reduction of 0.5-1grain could/would tweak my pattern?? Can one safely reduce a load that's posted? I'm using RSI Steel powder data.

Thanks! Ken
kenner
hunter
 
Posts: 661
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:15 pm
Location: SoggyFoot, Oregon

Next

Return to Shotshell, Reloading, Ballistics, & Chokes

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 16 guests