well i use 3.5 fast steel kent shells. i can kill birds out to 50 yards. i just like the higher fire power. then some guys use 2 3/4 to kill geese, but they are at pretty close range. i like having the advantage of higher fire power. i need all the help i can get. i kill alot of birds from 35 to 50 yards that are just passing by.at those ranges i dont think a 2 3/4 or 3 inch would be near as effective at those ranges.
Hey Ducks, low brass shells are generally smaller powder loads with smaller pellet sizes...most often dove or skeet loads. 3.5" shells have more powder, and, more pellets than a 3" or 2.75". Each shell has its pluses and minuses under different situations. Momma always said " Bigger is better", so, I use 3.5" #3's for dux, and, BB for geese, sometimes, I'll shoot TT at them honkers. Ill use 3" if I can get a good deal...married with children, and, them 3.5's can be pricey. 2.75" I use mainly for skeet and dove. Y'all have a nice day!
the biggest advantage of having a bigger shell is the ability to deliver a higher payload of shot downrange at speed. a 2 3/4 inch "high velocity" shell in most cases will use a 1oz or 1 1/8oz load to deliver a muzzel velocity in the 1375 to 1500 fps range (depending on the shell) once you start to get into the 1 1/4oz of shot area you start to lose the ability to push that much shot that fast and you start seeing velocities peek out around that 1300fps range.
what the higher payload ability gives you is more shot in your pattern while not sacraficing muzzel velocity. remember, when you're talking steel...speed kills, so the ability to get a lot of shot out fast is a big benefit.
the common misconception about 3.5" shells is that you can shoot farther with them than a 2 3/4 inch shell. ballistically, this is simply not true. a steel pellet of say, #2 , travelling at 1500fps doesn't care what size shotshell it came out of. the laws of physics will cause that pellet to have the same downrange performance regardless. the advantage is that in a 2 3/4 oz load you will likely only have 1oz of shot whereas in a 3.5" load you can have as much as 1 1/2 to 1 9/16oz of the same size shot flying at the same speeds. it is the increase in the number of pellets in your pattern that raises the hit/miss ratios of shot out past 40 yards. most people think that you can't kill a duck that far with a 2 3/4 inch shell. the reason is that because by the time the shot flys that far there are huge holes in the pattern resulting in more misses. it is that increase in pellet count and the ability to push it at high speeds that makes the 3.5 a more effective downrange killer.
Good Lord brother you said it all in an nut shell :thumbsup: I just need to get my own thinking back on track ,,,, I been letting the locals tell me stuff tell I wasn`t sure anymore and that is what I was thinking all along ,,,, but once again I lost track thanks everyone and it was much help!
personally, 3" is plenty big a shell. if you can't kill it with that, you shouldn't be shooting at it. things are different nowadays. people would rather buy more lead/steel to throw at it than learn to shoot better. (no offense intended to anyone here. this just seems to be the trend.)
one of my favorite duck loads is the Federal SpeedShock 2 3/4" with 1oz of #2 flying at 1375fps. inexpensive (about 5.99 a box regular price) and a very effective killer for close in shots (25 yards less) over dekes.
for later in the year when the shots range out to 30-40 yards i usually step up to a 3" shell pushing 1 1/4 oz loads of #1's at 1400 fps.
personally, if it is past 35 yards i usually won't drop the hammer. i like my ducks to hit the water and float...not take off swim/flapping for another 100 yards while the dog trys to chase it down.
Also, Donell mentioned earlier that he likes to use a 3.5" shell for those longer shots and that, in his opinion, the 2 3/4 or 3" shells wouldn't be as effective. in my opinion, he is right. the larger shot payloads make the 3.5" shell a much better choice for the type of shooting he described.
It doesn't matter whether you shoot 2.75, 3, or 3.5 inch shells, as long as they have adaquate velocity(very important for steel) to kill at the distances that you are shooting of you have good pattern density. I would rather shoot faster (1600-1800 fps) 2.75" reloads with a reduced payload than heavier, slower 3.5" shells, as long as you can hold the pattern together downrange, which is where aftermarket chokes come into play.
between Puppy and DuckBoy....there is nothing to add.....they have hit all the bases.
I am a firm consituant of velocity when using steel. Speed gets the impact (foot pounds of energy) neede to bring down waterfowl effectively.
I guess I am of the minority, in that, I use 2 3/4" shells for about 90% of my shooting....have never used 3 1/2".....I do rend to take only close in shots, but even on eider and scoter at 40 yards I am killing birds, so why change. If confident withaparticular load then by all means stay with it! As mentioned I shoot alot of seaducks, and I use #2 steel most days which for most guys is too small, but I know where my gun hits.
When using the 20g guns I do go up to 3" shells for the slight increase in payload capacity.
A bit off topic..... I used Hevi this past season and liked it....just too darn expensive at $15 for ten to be used alot.....steel works just fine after the inprovements we have seen in the past 15 years.
i am with you DUK. i use a lot of 2 3/4 inch stuff as well. i will step up to 3" when i got to shot sizes larger than #2 however.
as for the Hevi. personally, the only advantage i see to it now is that you can use a much smaller shot, like #6's, and be very effective out to the outer ranges of most people's shooting abilities (or even farther in some cases...heh heh) but, like you, i find it waaay to expensive to shoot in relation to what you can get off the shelf (or reload your own) in steel these days.
I too use 2 and 3/4 for all my shooting. Shot everything from early season woodies to geese in December to sea ducks in January. I hunt with alot of fellas that have to have their 3 and 1/2 inchers, I'm not knocking them, but we shoot an equal amount of birds. I typically shoot decoying birds, so I have the luxury of taking those close and personal shots. When we were out sea duck hunting this year in Mass., I could go to the hotel room at the end of the day without a big old bruise on my shoulder. DUKHTR knows what I mean, when the sea ducks are flying the shooting is fast and furious, and it's surprising how fast you can go through a box or two of shells. Those ducks fly mach 5 and don't die very easily. :laughing: I always tell the boys that if you shoot a duck in the head and neck, he's going to go down, so if you use a 3 and 1/2 incher and hit that duck in the *** it really doesn't help you much. I usually tell newbies to actually try to aim ahead of the duck to the point that you'd think you'd miss, and you'd be surprized at how your kill ratio will rise. It's nice to see more short shell shooters out there! :thumbsup: Pete
Not much else to add, except that contrary to popular belief, (Bigger IS Better). I dont care what anyone else says, the more steel flyin downrange (with the same velocity), does more damage, and makes a better pattern. (period) :thumbsup: Even though I cant always aford bigger shells, there is no doubt in my mind that they are better. :thumbsup:
I use 2 3/4" and 3" shells for every thing. Mostly #2 and BB every now and the I will buy a box of 3" BBB if I am going after geese exclusively. But we bring down a lot of geese with 2 3/4" #2s 1 and 1/8th oz. loads at 1375 fps to 1550 fps.
3 inch #2's or #4's always do it for me. They can work on a shoulder as is, I don't want to even think about any 3 1/2s. If you take good shots at a reasonable range it doesn't matter what size you use as long as it is fast enough to penetrate. :thumbsup:
I'm a 10ga. 3 1/2'r myself. But, DUKHTR - you're on the money w/ no.2's.I blew down two Canada's two months ago w/ no.2 steel. Rem's (wish they'd been Federals, but Fed's in 10 are getting hard to get 'round here - plus the Rem's were cheaper).
I know this is an old topic, but I have to agree with Swamp Pup, DuckHtr. A thirty-yard shot is a long shot for me. 2 3/4in #2s is about all I use, it nocks them Butt-end over apple cart. I do use 3in #2s in late season depending on the day and the wind.
I have this guy at work, which kept telling me "I needed a 3 1/2in," and "I wood be smart to buy 10ga." I thought to my self I've got see this guy in action, so I took him on a night-hunt. I can't begin to tell you how impressed I was; he brought his 10ga, he was shooting reloaded Ts. To make a long story short he missed every duck, and goose, he shoot at. Oh he did hit the one that landed in my decoys. That drake Mallard was 20yrds away; it took two shots to kill it, with 10ga Ts I thought, "I would be smart" not to take this Ya hoo again. And I haven't.
I don't know, I guess I'm old school, don't get me wrong. More power [ no pun intended ] to the guys who have them, but I don't see the need for all that fire power. Over the years I've killed a lot geese and ducks with my 2 ¾ and 3in #2s. Besides I want them so close I can see them say to them selves OH SH$$
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