In the 20 use 4s or 6s. Even 6s should penatrate a mallard sufficiently at 35-40 yards. The extra pellets will also help offset using a 20 somewhat. You could also try 3s, but, You shouldn't be using a 20 much past 35-40 yards and that is when the 3s would really be needed. 2s are just going to have too many holes in the pattern when they get out to the range where they are needed.
I've dumped several geese and plenty of ducks using my 20 ga w/ 2 3/4" #4's. If you are shooting smaller birds like teal or woodies, especially in early season, I would hesitate moving up to a 5 or 6 shot.
I used a 20 for the first time yesterday. The loads were Kent fast steel 7/8oz. #2 at 1550 fps. I shot a limit of 7 mallards with them the longest shot was about forty yards. 6 of the 7 birds hit the water dead. The one that didn't was a shorter shot. I am pretty sure I hit him on the fringe of the pattern. I will defiantly be using this gun more this season. I didn't think it would throw a good enough pattern out to 40 but I am a believer now. It also makes you watch you ranges better I passed on tons of shots I wouldn't of thought twice about with my 10. :thumbsup:
For small ducks I use # 5 steel if you can get the velosity up to 1400fps.
If you want more energy go too # 4 steel, but your pellet count will drop.
Remember these two things: SPEED KILLS as do TIGHT PATTERNS !
Steel needs speed for pellet energy, but pellet energy is no good if there are no pellets in the pattern board!!! Work for a 65% pattern of your TOTAL pellet count or better. If it comes with a good velosity you have a winner!! good hunting. Later ... Mr Ed
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