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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright.... I just got into duck hunting this year. I used a Rem 1187 SP (I bought this gun new back in 1992). I thought about upgrading to a 3.5 gun (SBEII or SuperNova), but I am starting to have second thoughts.

Here are my thinking points:

The 1187 has never let me down at any point. I wouldn't even think of replacing it were a 3.5 gun.

For some reason I got it in my head to shoot 3.5 shells. Maybe because I shot a bunch this year and didn't drop too many ducks. (in my head I am blaming it on the steel shot).

Is the money better spent on high-end shells (Bismuth, or Wingmaster HD)? I figure if I could shoot my old 3" 2oz copper plated turkey loads I wouldn't need 3.5. Aren't the new non-toxics supposed to be just as hard hitting (or even more)?

I am also going to work on my shotgunning this summer with a Do-All auto trap. (about a $550 investment). I have always been a better than average ***********, but here lately I don't get much practice (dove season is about it)

Thanks in advance for any comments!!
 

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If you like it, etc. keep the 1187, it's already setup for steel which is why you don't need Bismuth, it's for older non-steel capable guns. I don't think your turkey loads are considered non-tox, I may be wrong on that. Spend your money on HD, Hevi-shot, Hevi-Steel (cheapest of the bunch) or cheapest of all, high grade steel like Kent Fasteel. I don't see a need for a 3.5, some will disagree, your 3 in. shells are more than enough to drop anything that's flying. For reference I use 3 in. Hevi-Steel in 12 ga. Have used all the above except HD, am considering going back to Kent next year.
 

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rmh said:
If you like it, etc. keep the 1187, it's already setup for steel which is why you don't need Bismuth, it's for older non-steel capable guns. I don't think your turkey loads are considered non-tox, I may be wrong on that. Spend your money on HD, Hevi-shot, Hevi-Steel (cheapest of the bunch) or cheapest of all, high grade steel like Kent Fasteel. I don't see a need for a 3.5, some will disagree, your 3 in. shells are more than enough to drop anything that's flying. For reference I use 3 in. Hevi-Steel in 12 ga. Have used all the above except HD, am considering going back to Kent next year.
I agree with Randy and will add that in my experience 3.5" shells don't bring down the ducks any better. Much harder kicking making quick follow up shots harder. The higher density shot is nice but usless if your not hitting the bird square on. I would spend the money on clay pigeons and a thrower or join a sportsmans club before doing anything just to see how you are shooting, a day at the range can be a real eye opener. I have not heard great things about that do-all auto trap I have the do-all 3/4 pro sit down manual thrower and it works great but I think if you want an auto you may want to do some review reading first, check out the atlas.
 

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:welcome: The SBE II and Super Nova are great guns. If you want one then by all means go buy one. I don't think they'll improve your shooting, unless you have some type of fit problem w/ the 1187.

I used to kill a lot of ducks with 2 3/4, changing to 3" didn't make me a better shooter.

I will just add that most of my hunting is done with a Benelli Nova 20 ga, so I know you don't need 3.5" shells to kill ducks.
 

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I think you should be just fine using 3" steel. I shot 2-3/4" and 3" steel all season long. Make sure you pattern your gun, so you find the best load combination. You don't need a new gun unless you just want to spend the money on a new toy.

Thats my .02
 

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Like TC said, if you really want a new one get it. I'm not one to step in another's way when it comes to buying new guns.

However, you have a good gun that you like. I also don't think 3.5" shells will do anything for you. I usually shoot 3" steel and if I had it to do all over again, wouldn't waste the extra money for a 3.5" gun.

I would suggest try and pattern some shells in the off season. I would stick with high velocity shells. Try Kent, Winchester, and Federals in all their lines and see what you come up with.

I'll bet you find a shell/choke combination that works well for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the feedback. I think I am going to stick with my 1187. Being a older gun, I think it's built very good and I have never had cycling issues with it. Back in the day it was one of the top autoloaders.

I think I will spend the money on a stockpile of Hevi-Shot for next year. Being that it's heavier than lead, it ought to reach out and touch em.

One thing I might do is upgrade the synthetic stocks to the Advantage Wetlands pattern. Right now it's got old school Mossy Oak "Green Leaf"... man that was the pattern to have back then. I know it don't make a hill of beans difference to the ducks, but it will at least give my old gun a updated look. (only $80).

About the Do-All Arieal Assault trap. I also saw the horrible reviews on Cabelas and other retail sites. As luck would have it me and my wife sat beside a couple at a Japanese steakhouse (you know where they cook in front of you).... anyway we got to talking and I mentioned the Do-All trap. He got one for Christmas and says it's great. Between him and his friends they have shot over a 1000 clays without problems. He also said you need to use a good clay..... not the ultra cheap ones. On a funny note (well... maybe not so funny), he had to go to the emergency room the same day he put the trap together. The last step was to install the main spring. After doing so, it came around and hit him right below the knee cap!!!! OUCH!
 

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You have gotten great advice. Before you load up on that hevi do some more reading in the forums. What range do you shoot? What choke and loads did you use that didn't work for you? You would be surprised at how good fast steel is. You just may not be using the right combo. Spending more money will not fix anything if you don't have the load and choke right for your gun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am using a Primos Dead Zone extended waterfowl choke (the "Pass" model)

Here are some example patterns (30 inch circle at 40 yards). I used a sharpie to highlight the holes

# 4 Reminghton Steel shot:



# Black Clouds:

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The Rem shells are ShurShot #4, 1400FPS, 1 1/4oz.

Most of the shots I got this year were pass shots 30-40 yards. We did have a few "by the book" decoy birds and they didn't live to fly away (except for one green head that took a black cloud right up the rear and shook it off and laughed at my nephew when his SBE jammed after the first shot) The jam BTW was from the packing in some Winchester shells.... almost like grains of sand in the magazine tube and it was jamming the piston that feeds the shells down to tube.
 

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You have solid pattern %. I would speed up the #4 for inside 40 yd. and open the choke a little to see what happens. I can't see where your #4 pattern would not bring down ducks consistant if you're putting it on the bird.
 

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To be a sucessful duck hunter you need to be prepared, both physically, and mentally. That means not only having a gun that is physically capable of knocking birds down, but one that you have confidence in. You are no threat to the birds if you don't throw a bit of confidence in your blind bag or chest pack. If you have a notion, however slight, that a different gun or bigger shells will make you a better shot, then it is worth every penny to buy those things.

Personally, I would upgrade to a Supernova. Here is why I think you should do this:

-If you buy the gun on the premise that you have confidence in your ability to kill birds with it, it will make you more confident when you stand up to shoot.
-It takes a 3.5, that doesn't mean you have to shoot them, and buying a Supernova doesn't put you out that much.

That said, I shoot the hottest 3.5" steel loads I can get my hands on, and I can miss with the best of 'em, better most of the time. That 3.5" kaboom has its advantages, for me I just like the cannon, but some people (not all) have something to gain. Most people will attest that you can kill plenty of ducks with 2 3/4" steel, and you can. All different shell configurations have pros and cons you need to consider. A guy who jump shoots woodies at no more than 30 yards won't gain much from hevi shot, at that range you can pattern steel to kill any puddler deader than it needs to be, and for way less money. Now canadas at 40 yards is a whole different ballgame.
 
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