Non Duck Related - Shotshell load for groundhogs

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Non Duck Related - Shotshell load for groundhogs

Postby Smith » Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:10 am

I have a problem with groundhogs repeatedly damaging property in various ways. I shot a couple that came close to the house but now they all seem to stay 50 or 60 yards out in the yard during the day, and run for cover as soon as I come out of the house. Is there a shotgun load that will reliably kill a groundhog at that range? My shotgun (an 870) has a fixed full choke, so I'm reluctant to use giant steel pellets for fear of damaging the choke. It appears that nobody makes lead loads in big pellet sizes any more, other than buck shot, and I don't think buck shot has enough pellets for shooting at such a small target. One last thing: I don't want to use a rifle because my neighbors house is not too far off in that general direction.
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Re: Non Duck Related - Shotshell load for groundhogs

Postby Paulinkansas » Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:24 pm

I'd imagine e a #2 or #4 3" 1 7/8 oz load of lead would work. Or you could get a spring piston or nitrogen piston pellet gun in the 22-25 caliber range. I've killed crows and starlings at 50 yards with mine.
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Re: Non Duck Related - Shotshell load for groundhogs

Postby Jim Atlas » Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:02 am

Having not shot a groundhog, I can only speculate, but I can't imagine they'd stand up to #4 lead if you hit them with it. That's where I'd start.
Actually, my dog takes obscene pleasure in dealing with ground dwelling rodents in her own way. So I guess I'd start with her, then move on to #4's.
By the way, I've used airgun bb's (really #B.5) in my mid 70's fixed full 870 without any issues. My gun, my choice of course, so take it for what it's worth.
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Re: Non Duck Related - Shotshell load for groundhogs

Postby ohio mike » Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:19 am

Live trap and a apple.Gets em every time.
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Re: Non Duck Related - Shotshell load for groundhogs

Postby wildflights » Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:33 pm

On something the size of a groundhog, I doubt your going to get much of a killing pattern out of large lead @ 50-60 yards. I have some 1-3/4 oz loads of Premium #2 lead. On paper they leave a lot to be desired at 40 yards. I think you'd be better served with some of those discount turkey loads from Rogers. Flite control wads and tungsten shot can extend effective ranges and be consistent at it.

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Re: Non Duck Related - Shotshell load for groundhogs

Postby Smith » Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:35 pm

Thanks guys,
These non-mainstream loads are hard to find nowadays. I found a box of 3" 1 7/8 oz. lead 2's online. I guess we'll find out soon enough how they work for me.
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Re: Non Duck Related - Shotshell load for groundhogs

Postby xrated » Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:04 pm

Rifles reach that far


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Re: Non Duck Related - Shotshell load for groundhogs

Postby HNTFSH » Tue Aug 04, 2020 4:23 am

You must not be the neighbor.

Smith wrote: One last thing: I don't want to use a rifle because my neighbors house is not too far off in that general direction.
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Re: Non Duck Related - Shotshell load for groundhogs

Postby ohio mike » Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:55 pm

Lead 2's aren't exactly close range.How far are the neighbors?
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Re: Non Duck Related - Shotshell load for groundhogs

Postby Smith » Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:09 am

I don't know. I'm not very good at judging range beyond normal shotgun distances, but I wouldn't want to shoot a rifle anywhere near the house. I suppose a shotgun could reach the house, but wouldn't cause injury or damage. I have no intention of shooting anything directly toward it.
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Re: Non Duck Related - Shotshell load for groundhogs

Postby wildflights » Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:59 am

Let's see some patterns from your 870. It's been a long time since I've shot paper with a full choked 870 and lead 2's.
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Re: Non Duck Related - Shotshell load for groundhogs

Postby mudpack » Sat Aug 08, 2020 2:30 pm

Paulinkansas wrote: you could get a spring piston or nitrogen piston pellet gun in the 22-25 caliber range. I've killed crows and starlings at 50 yards with mine.

Probably be my first choice. Even a .177 pellet would kill them; not instantly, but eventually. Now, if you''re good enough to make a head shot, the spring piston would be lights-out for them.
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