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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Next year the Hereford gang (This Yankee is a member) has decided to use lay out blinds and decoy Sandhill Cranes. Most of the shooting will be at 30-50 yds. I plan on shooting 1 3/8 oz load of lead 2's (124 pellets) using the Estate hull same as Fed plastic with paper basewad. If I remember right I got 70% (87 pellets)patterns at 40 yds with my Wingmaster and Mod barrel. You only need 28 pellets in the 30" circle to put 5 pellets in a sandhill. So that's 3 times as many as I need which would be great for head shots. Shooting lead for Sandhill Cranes is legal in Texas. Got to add this load to my patterns for this summer. I already have a 1 1/4 oz of buffered lead 2's to pattern using Longshot. Any comments? Ned S
 

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Bring a game cart, those suckers are big. How fast are those loads going? Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
They just look big and weigh up to 10 lbs. The Hereford gang shoots a lot of them at Muleshoe just pass shooting. I don't pass shoot. Ned S who kills a few while goose hunting.
 

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I know people that kill them with duck loads like #3 and #2 steel. I hear they are soft targets, but don't know personally. We don't have a season here and with all of them we have I don't know why. I had a day this year in a new spot and that is all we saw all morning. Had them float over the goose spread at 25 yd. up. Could have killed them with #4 steel. They have a lot of neck to hit. I wouldn't think you would need more than #4 lead to drop them out quite a way. How far are you planning to shot them with the #2 lead? I hear they are good eating.
 

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The ribeye of the sky. Feel free to send some meat up to Kansas if you want. Good luck shooting. I have yet to go after cranes, but I hear they are great to eat....
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just checked the killin' distance of lead 2's at 1295 fps, 32 F and 4000 ft and those babies will penetrate to kill to 85 yds with 3.33 ft-lb of energy per pellet. I aught to put those pellets clear thru the cranes out to 50 yds with 6.12 ft-lbs of energy. This is a high antimony shot. I also have some regular lead 2's also. Ned S
 

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I'd feel comfortable shooting cranes to 50 yards with lead 2's. I shoot 1's on the rare chances I get to go after them.

They're not all that soft of a target thaner. They're no greater canadians, but they're no ross's either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've killed quite a few Cranes while goose hunting the last 20 years. It "aint" new to me only I will be using lead this time. All the other Cranes I killed was with steel BB's. When the geese start flying we put away our lead and go with steel. When both are flying we just go with steel. Ned S
 

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Ned you still havent posted a link to those Terrors.
 

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The lead #2's will do just fine.

My dad, who is a hunter of 56 years of age, has been hunting cranes and geese for many years. He swears by cranes being a harder bird to nock down than any goose. From what I have seen, I tend to agree with him.

Great eating! The amount of meat is very similar to that of a greater canada goose.
 

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I have been considering lead 2's. I mostly have to pass shoot. I've tried lead B, nickel plated lead BB's, nickel plated lead 1's and steel BB. Frankly, the 1 1/8 oz of steel BB and 1 1/2oz of nickel plated 1's are about equal, with the steel BB possibly edging it out. I'm not sure how, as I'm using a low velocity federal load that is only slightly faster than my buffered lead load. Although the I haven't put the lead on paper( I know that's bad) I don't know how it's not beating the steel. More pellets, buffered load, fixed full choke that patterns the steel BB's terribly. With 1.5oz the lead B and BB have crippled birds even at close range. The lead 1's and steel BB's almost always drop them out to 60 yards. However, I have only seen a few birds come down that hadn't been hit in the head, neck or wing. As such, I've been thinking that 1 1/2oz of 2's would probably extend range. Those birds can take a hit and just keep moving if you don't hit head neck or wings. I've hit the same bird three times with 1 1/4oz of lead BB out of a 16ga(trying to get something the wife could shoot), feathers flying all three times, and watched them fly out of sight, and that's with a first shot at just 40yds. I've also pulled rusted steel BB's out of breasts(I have 4 on my loading bench) showing that the bird must have been shot the previous season and survived! They are probably the toughest bird alive, however they probably get the soft target rep because they have so much head and neck to hit that small shot is probably quite deadly at close range. That again is why I'm going to downsize my shot next year.

To Ned, if you can stand the recoil, and get 1 1/2oz to put more pellets in your 30" circle, I would bump up the payload for even better chances of hitting the head, neck or wing, however, with 81 steel BB's and 110 nickel plated 1's, I would say it's very unusual for a hit at 50 yards not to drop a bird, so your load of 2's should be equally or more effective than the two loads I've been using, particularly since they should pattern better. Like I say, I'll be buying 2's next year, if I don't decide to go even smaller. 3's or 4's should break a neck to 60 yards.
 

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steelshotshooter said:
Ned,

I have a 1 1/8 buffered load of #2 lead @ 1,440 fps. that will hammer those cranes, if you are interested. There are 100 pellets of hard magnum lead in this load, which is more than enough for cranes inside of 50 yds...
Thanks, but I already use buffered lead loads. Also I don't shoot Cranes anymore and have a bunch of 3" loads left. Ned S
 

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NedSwygard said:
[thread opening post by Ned...]
Next year the Hereford gang (This Yankee is a member) has decided to use lay out blinds and decoy Sandhill Cranes. Most of the shooting will be at 30-50 yds. I plan on shooting 1 3/8 oz load of lead 2's (124 pellets) using the Estate hull same as Fed plastic with paper basewad

[last post by ned...]
Thanks, but I already use buffered lead loads. Also I don't shoot Cranes anymore and have a bunch of 3" loads left. Ned S
I'm sorry, but I can't make heads or tails of this...First you make a thread about shooting Sandhill cranes with lead, then you say you don't shoot them anymore... I'm confused. Are you actually planning on hunting cranes or not?
 
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