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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for some guidance. My son is turning ten this spring (legal hunting age in MI) and has saved up for three years to buy his first duck gun. He has bought a beretta 391 urika 2 youth model in twenty guage. He has been shooting a .410 for two years or better and is a pretty good shot. I want to buy him a case of ammo, for his birthday, that he will be hunting with so he can shoot some patterns and try to break some clays with them over the summer before the season starts. I don't reload so I am going to be buying shells off the shelf. I want him to have the best chance of killing birds realizing his shooting will probably be marginal. My question is this, I was looking at the remington hd shells, they have a 3" 20 guage in six shot 1 1/8 oz load. would this give him a higher pellet count than #4 steels in a 1 oz load? I can not find pellet counts on the factory websites and the higher density of the rmington hd leaves me scratching my head as to how many pellets are in 1 1/8 oz's. Also do you think the 3"ers would be to heavy of a load, he's only 75 pounds or should I be getting him the 2 3/4"ers. I know I can get the birds close, we never take shots over thirty yards, so range and tight patterns are not the issue. I want to know what off the shelf load, with the widest choke is going to give him the best pellet count with good knock down power to 25-30 yards? This year money is not an issue. Next year he is on his own. Thanks guys any other advice is welcome also, how are those beretta factory chokes?
 

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1 1/8 #6 hd will put you somewhere in the 225 pellets range, while 1 oz #4 steel will give you about 192. The 6's would give you more range, but it doesn't sound like you ever shoot beyond any #4 at reasonable speeds capabitlies. Depending on the speed and payload there's no rule that a 2 3/4 would kick less. I'd buy him the steel. He can shoot a bunch of clays with it to gain some comfortability and as good as the lesson about not shooting beyond your capabilites is, so is that you don't need the new fancy shells to harvest waterfowl. He'll inevitably want to try to the latest and greatest in shotshells when he gets older, but I'd hate to start someone so young on that stuff. Any bird he hits at that range with the hd will die just as easily with the steel 4's.
 

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:dito: we got my friend's son set up with a Beretta 390 20 youth and 3" Fed #4 steel. I forget the spec's on the Fed 3", but it was something like 1 oz. 1350 fps I want to say. It patterned great at 30-35 yd. with either the IC or Mod, can't remember which right off. He had no problem killing ducks clean if he put it on them and we kept them inside 30 or so yards. I was impressed with the patterns.
 

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i agree. leave the HD on the shelf. far too much money and only 100 shells instead of 250 in the steel case.

3" 3's or 4's. get federal in case you do decide to reload one day, or send me the empties :thumbsup:
 

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For shooting clay's, i'de stick with the steel. Much less expensive. After he's gotton good with the steel, let him try a few rounds with the HD.

ohsay is right though. Inside 30 yards, the #4 steel will not lose much of anything to the #6 HD. However, if money is not a big concern of yours as you say, come hunting time i'de opt for the HD. Further range + better pattern.
 

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the definition of "better pattern" depends on the user. for an experienced shooter that wants farther range, then it means tight and even. for a 10yr old shooting at 30 yard ducks, it means as wide as possible. at 30 yards, you will have trouble getting HD to "pattern better" because it will not spread out at that range, even with skeet chokes. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
pennsyltucky said:
the definition of "better pattern" depends on the user. for an experienced shooter that wants farther range, then it means tight and even. for a 10yr old shooting at 30 yard ducks, it means as wide as possible. at 30 yards, you will have trouble getting HD to "pattern better" because it will not spread out at that range, even with skeet chokes. :thumbsup:
This is what I am looking for, as wide and consistent as possible. What is the effective range of 6 shot at 1300 or so fps, this seems to be the average fps in 20 guage rounds? 30 yards would be an extreme shot for him, we often shoot birds at 20 yards or less. He has been coming along with me on hunts since he was four, he's better than I am at not flaring birds :oops:
 

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That really depends on who you ask and what you're shooting at. For ducks hd 6 will kill them inside of 50 yards with enough hits. It'll have more range than the steel 4's. Theoritically it's supposed to have a 3 size advantage over steel. I go by just a tad more (especially with bigger hd), but some think it's 5/6 shot sizes. Like pennsy was saying though, if you're shooting at 20-30 yards the pattern is going to be TIGHT. It will dramatically reduce his chances. You can open up the choke on hd shells and a lot of the time it just doesn't respond. They pattern tight. It's just the nature of the shot. Buy a box of each and pattern them with a couple chokes. You'll see what we're saying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sorry ohsay, I wasn't clear, I meant the effective range of steel 6 shot.

Why does the HD pattern tighter? is it just the shell design?
 

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Steel 6'? That answer would still depend on who you ask. lol I personally, wouldn't shoot steel 6's at any ducks beyond about 20 yards, because I have a thing about steel in my duck meat, but they'll kill beyond that. I shoot them at crows and they're fine at further distances. If you use 600 fps as the minimum speed for effective penetration you're looking at 37 yards. If you're only having him shoot out to 30 yards like you say, they'll do the job. An ounce of steel 6's has about 315 pellets by the way.

There are a lot of reasons the hd's pattern tighter, but if I go into them it will start a thread hijacking argument with a member or two. As a rule though, hd patterns tighter than steel, just like steel usually patterns tighter than lead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the input everyone, I think I'm going to buy a mixed lot of different brands of steel 4 and 6 shot and see how they pattern. I will get him a box of HD 6's as well, he can use them for turkey this spring and we can see how they pattern. :thumbsup:
 

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Check out this stuff www.tungstensupershot.com

They're supposed to have 20 gauge loads out soon if not already. I've patterned the 12 gauge 1oz #8 load and the patterns they advertise are true. 40 yards - Cylinder choke - nice tight even pattern (you get 250 pellets in that load) you couldn't squeeze a teal through. The really nice thing is the 12 gauge load feels just like a target load and hits harder than hevi shot or wingmaster HD ... for comparison steel is 7.8 g/cc, lead is 11 g/cc, and wingmaster HD is 12g/cc. This stuff is 18 g/cc.

I got my shells loaded too late in the year to try them out on ducks, but will hopefully using their #5's on Snows this week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
A5Mag12 said:
I'd get him a case of Kents 7/8 oz 3" shell in #3 or #4 shot. Midway had a decent price on them a week or so ago.
The local gander has the kent fasteel 4's in three inch for 14.00 a box that didnt seem to bad. I will definately get a box of those, if they pattern well that would be great as they are alot faster than the other brands
 

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Try abble ammo. I just got 3 cases of kent 3" 3 shot for $96 a case. It is all I will shoot for ducks with my 20's. I think I also seen macks had it still at $98 a case.
 

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this is my wifes first year duck hunting with her 20 gauge....day one started out with # 4 steel. she hit the duck feathers flew everywhere and i had to shoot and kill it....

i bought her heavyshot #5. she killed everything with one shot after that. she doesn't hunt enough to make me worry about the cost of heavy shot.
 
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