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I'm looking for a steel shot load that retains enough energy for a killing shot, on mallards, at 50 yards. A few years ago I read an article & the writer said #1 shot wouild do it - I don't recall the load size, or the speed, but I'm guessing back then it was probably about 1,400 fps. Since the speed has increased drastically since then, Remington HyperSonic at 1,700 fps, I'm wondering if maybe 1 & 1/2 oz. of #3 shkot would do the trick. Brezny writes on this sometimes in Wildfowl Magazine - wondering if ya'll might know. Thanks.
 

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#3 shot wont be lethal at 50 with any less than 1600-1700fps pushing it. And even then you will end up with shot in the meat.

50 yard mallards means 1 1/4 of #1 shot at 1400-1475fps, or 3.5" 1 3/8 of #1 at 1550fps.

#BB will work too, but you will lose some pellet count.

I stay far away from the hypersonics. WAY too much recoil, makes it harder to get back on a bird for a follow up shot... and that recoil can not be good for your gun. My guns are working guns, not show guns, and I still wouldnt shoot it out of them.
 

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One spot I used to hunt was a river where the closest I could set up a blind was about 30 yards from the closest edge. The river wasn't wide, but the ducks would drop in with trees blocking any decent shot at them on the way down. However, when I would stand up, they would take off flying almost straight away from me. Most of the shots were in the 45 - 50 yard range by the time the gun went off. The gun and load I used was a BPS10, with 1 3/8 oz. of 1's at 1570 fps, through a .720" Terror choke. it worked very well with few swatting shots being required. I know I couldn't get a good enough pattern from my 12ga. at that range to be reliable, but the 10ga. would do it. If you can get a good enough pattern with a comparable weight and velocity 12ga. load of 1's, I'd think it would work too.
 

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What choke constriction would you use in a 12 gauge and what would be the largest shot size in steel loads would you need to use to drop mallards at 50 yards? I shoot tight chokes (anywhere from .025 to .035 constriction) for lead shot at pheasants and like to take them at long yardage but with steel, what constriction choke and steel shot size do I need to set myself up with take some of the longer range shots?
 

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cootlover said:
I shoot fast steel #2 3in 1550 out of my m2 20ga with my pattern master very deadly. I think most hunters cant even hit a duck at 50 yards.
What ?
They can hit them...killing them is different. I've shot and hit ducks from much further just to PROVE how ineffective it is.

I shot a swimming mallard from about 80 yards because my friend was dying because I wouldn't let him shoot it. We argued and argued that he could NOT kill that duck.
So I shot the 80-yard duck on the water. It got hit and started flying. I shot it again. It was OBVIOUS I hit that duck because feathers flew, the duck stopped flapping and said, "OUCH, THAT ****ing hurt".
So it started flapping again and I shot it again. More feathers and the duck stopped flapping its wings and cussed at me again.

Don't EVER tell me I can't hit a duck at 50 yards. Killing it...maybe I might get lucky and put one pellet through it's eyeballs. It happens.

I routinely start shooting when the ducks are 20-25 yards away. By the time I shoot three times they are 50 or 60 and I still manage to kill ducks on third shots. I would NOT recommend shooting at 50 yard ducks as a first shot. Treetopper.
 

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aunt betty said:
I would NOT recommend shooting at 50 yard ducks as a first shot. Treetopper.
You dont have to shoot 3 times every time. I've seen many 60 yard shots at a passing pair, one shot dropping one of them and then letting the other go. You dont have to shoot until the gun clicks every time.
 

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For mallards at 50 yards I would start with a long range choke (full) with 1 1/4 of #B steel (or #1 if you dont reload). Actually I plan to shoot that load all year this year so I dont have to change shells for geese when river hunting. I'm not planning on taking any 50 yard shots unless maybe a single flys over straight up. I shoot Mod choke almost all the time.
 

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BBK said:
For mallards at 50 yards I would start with a long range choke (full) with 1 1/4 of #B steel (or #1 if you dont reload). Actually I plan to shoot that load all year this year so I dont have to change shells for geese when river hunting. I'm not planning on taking any 50 yard shots unless maybe a single flys over straight up. I shoot Mod choke almost all the time.
I thought a Full choke is a big no-no with steel shot, especially the larger sized shot?
 

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sernv99 said:
BBK said:
For mallards at 50 yards I would start with a long range choke (full) with 1 1/4 of #B steel (or #1 if you dont reload). Actually I plan to shoot that load all year this year so I dont have to change shells for geese when river hunting. I'm not planning on taking any 50 yard shots unless maybe a single flys over straight up. I shoot Mod choke almost all the time.
I thought a Full choke is a big no-no with steel shot, especially the larger sized shot?
Just shot bigger than #BB.

Nearly every single waterfowl choke on the market comes in a Full constriction.
 

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If you go with the 1.28" penetration and/or 600fps guideline

#3 shot at 1550fps penetrates 1.28" at 52yards and reaches 600fps at 51.5 yards.

You can load a 1 3/16oz (182 pellets) at 1550fps.

With a LM choke I average 115 pellets at 40 yards in a 30" circle. 135 pellets at 30 yards in a 30" circle.

CONSEP data advises a minimum pellet count in 30" circle to be:

Large ducks: 85-90 pellets
Medium ducks: 115-120pellets
Small ducks: 135-145 pellets

At 1550fps...50 yards would be a MAX for #3 shot. Most keep their shots well within 50 yards though.
 

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sernv99 said:
What choke constriction would you use in a 12 gauge and what would be the largest shot size in steel loads would you need to use to drop mallards at 50 yards? I shoot tight chokes (anywhere from .025 to .035 constriction) for lead shot at pheasants and like to take them at long yardage but with steel, what constriction choke and steel shot size do I need to set myself up with take some of the longer range shots?
That varies with the bore, the choke form, the make of shell, shot velocity and shot size. It's something that you have to determine by patterning your gun, your chokes and your loads. If you are taking shots at the sides of big ducks, you won't need as big of shot pellets as you would on straight away or quartering away shots. Personally, I wouldn't use anything smaller than no. 2 steel at 50 yards and prefer no. 1's. But, if you use 2's or 1's at 50 yards you have to have a very good patterning load to maintain effective pattern density.
 

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open door said:
I'm looking for a steel shot load that retains enough energy for a killing shot, on mallards, at 50 yards. A few years ago I read an article & the writer said #1 shot wouild do it - I don't recall the load size, or the speed, but I'm guessing back then it was probably about 1,400 fps. Since the speed has increased drastically since then, Remington HyperSonic at 1,700 fps, I'm wondering if maybe 1 & 1/2 oz. of #3 shkot would do the trick. Brezny writes on this sometimes in Wildfowl Magazine - wondering if ya'll might know. Thanks.
Nowhere in your post do I see any mention of maintaining a killing pattern at 50 yards. Anything from #3 on up will retain enough individual pellet energy to penetrate sufficiently, provided a MV of 1400fps or greater, so "energy" isn't the issue. The issue is two-fold: sufficient pattern density and (as cootlover said) the ability to put that pattern on the front half of the bird. Those are the limiting factors...I'm with tripleb on this one.
Anyone who goes duck hunting, planning to take 50 yard shots, is either a novice or an unethical hunter. That's my opinion, y'unnerstan.

PS don't believe everything Brezney writes. :lol3:
 

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Get a Patternmaster and any 2 shot will work. Pattern your gun then repattern it! We've all done it. Ah I don't have tine or money or a place to pattern. So you go a season or more without hitting easy shots and wounding every thing you hit.
You can't just screw in a 100 dollar choke and pick up the latest and greatest steel shot. You have to test it!
My Maxus doesn't like 3.5 shells. At 25 yards I get blown out patterns with most shells. How's I gunna figure that out without a day at the range?

Yeah Hypersonics have hyperrecoil! My Maxus shoots most 3.5" shells better than a few 3" loads in different autos. But them Hypers are insane! No thank you! Plus after 1550 fps shells are no good in a PM.

Sent from my Tim Grounds Triple Crown
 

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chris_k said:
Why are you taking such long shot? 50 yards is a loooong way. Dont risk crippling the bird. Like a bowhunter, pride yourself in getting them in close. Shoot them at 5-15 yards.
I'm with this guy. I've never understood the fixation some people have on the right choke/load to be shooting 50 yards out (for ducks atleast, Turkey I'm on the other side of the fence.) I mean, if you do have a group swing by at 15-20 yards, and you are set up to shoot out to 50, your pattern is going to be about the size of a softball, which kinda handicaps most folks a bit.

However, I wouldn't go as far as to say it's unethical to shoot long shots, or even that you shouldn't do it. If you can consistently hit 'em that far out and still make clean kills, then to each his own.
 

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Here's what has always perplexed me about Loads and Chokes....

Let's say you want to practice shooting birds at 50+ yards and you determine that you need a full choke and #1's... after tons of skeet and testing.
So now you are out and you are all rigged up, and here come some teal dumping into your rig at 20 yards....
Now what?
Quickly throw in the Mod Choke and the #4's???

Or how about that little honey hole where the mallards drain in at 30 yards time after time...You have your mod choke and your #4's all day long. But then here come those makable geese at 45 high and passing...

My point is;
If I knew I was going to the pit for geese, I would grab my BB's 3.5" and hunt.
But for day to day shooting, buffies over deeks, black ducks into a drain, brant in a layout boat etc....
I shoot 3" #2's on a full choke and just lead the bird as necessary.

I don't know a single one of us that discuss Dram, Oz's, FPS.. etc..
It all seems to be about shot size for the bird and your ability to shoot.
 

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Sometimes that is not possible, and you shouldnt judge the guy for it. For instance, my duck blind sits on the bank of a small river where the river cuts through a sand bar and makes a nice pothole in front of the blind. Deadly on ducks. But with the water being low the water is 30 yards out from the blind. If I wanted to hunt there I know I could get some birds in, but it would be a 40-50 yard shot. Most people would say I need to find a new place to hunt, well there isnt any. The public marshes are so packed its stupid, 15-20 boats fighting for 3-4 spots. 3-4 people get the spots then the rest just sit around them and skybust at ducks flying by. The only other place to hunt is the big rivers and there are no local ducks on them this year. So what I'm saying is, sometimes you HAVE to take those shots or you dont get to go hunting that year.
 

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I'd recommend the hypersonics if you're doing a lot of long range shooting. The larger pellets #1 and #2's, if they don't hit bone, will go through and through a duck past 50 yards. A lot of times I back my hunting buddies on single birds, and if they hit them and don't go down, I'll throw both barrels at them even if they're fairly far out there. On many occasions I've folded em stone dead at those ranges, where a pellet enters below a leg, travels through the body cavity and out the front. I don't know if I'll shoot the hypersonics again this year, but in the larger pellet sizes they will carry plenty of energy past 50 yards in my opinion. Like others have stated, though, 50 yard shotgun shots are iffy at best unless you specialize your gun and skills for that range. At that point are you really duck hunting or just a sky blaster? It doesn't take a whole lot to get ducks into effective shotgun range, try a pair of dekes and using just single quacks or a whistle, and most importantly conceal yourself, and I bet you'll start getting some decoying birds.
 
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