question for guys who used to shoot lead at ducks

TROB

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Oct 31, 2005
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i was looking at trying hevi shot once in awhile for ducks. shooting over decoys for the most part and was wondering what you guys were shooting back in the Lead age.

I usually shoot 3" 2's and 3's in steel. but with tungsten, im thinking 3" 4's or 6's

thanks
 
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Marcus

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May 21, 2004
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I never got to shoot lead at ducks but from what I have read #4's in hevi shot seems to be the way to go.

Honestly though steel has come a long way and the new rounds have plenty of knock down power. Hevishot is nice but when it's costing you $2-3 a trigger pull it gets a little ridiculous.
 
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TROB

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Oct 31, 2005
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I never got to shoot lead at ducks but from what I have read #4's in hevi shot seems to be the way to go.

Honestly though steel has come a long way and the new rounds have plenty of knock down power. Hevishot is nice but when it's costing you $2-3 a trigger pull it gets a little ridiculous.


yea, no doubt on the cost. thats why it would be a once in awhile thing.

only reason im considering trying it out is because i can get them for about $16/box with a friendly discount.:) and knowing the cost, maybe ill get more "one shot wonders".
 
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Sluester

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My buddy got his hands on some hevi-shot #6 2-3/4" a few years ago and we were knocking the crap out of birds at 35-40 yds.
He got a smoking deal on a few cases.....free.

I ran out of steel 3" #2 and 3's last season and finished off the last few weeks with 2-3/4" #2's-3's and was till whacking the ducks at distance.

If you don't hunt//shoot a lot the exotic stuff is cool. IMO if you are shooting over deks I think it's overkill. They are close enough the regular stuff will kill them just as dead.
 
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TROB

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agreed. i would never make it my "only" ammo.
 
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Rubberhook2

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Since the tungsten is heavier and denser than steel you can get away with shooting smaller pellets without sacraficing downrange energy. More pellets per shell mean denser patterns as well.

That said, I only shoot it at honkers... Federal 3 1/2" Tungsten/Iron #2's.
 
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Outhouse

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Feb 13, 2007
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I'll admit to being old enough to have hunted ducks with lead. We used 2 3/4" shells with #6 shot. If you were lucky enough to have a magnum, you could really become AT&T and reach out and touch them.
 
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Rubberhook2

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I have heard stories of Federal copper coated and buffered lead 3" #2's dropping snows consistently at 80 yards...

Stories mind you, stories.
 
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aeon

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Apr 11, 2006
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Back in the day it was 2 3/4 #4 and #6. Used to reload them all :) I was a kid! I'm not that old.

This year I shot 3" hevy metal's and they worked great 19 bucks a box of 25 from Rodgers sporting goods.
 
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Rubberhook2

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Remember, it was in the mid 80's that steel shot became required ammunition for waterfowl hunting.

This is an interesting article that gives some history as to pre steel and post steel advancements in technology...


Waterfowl Field Guide : Cabela's
 
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BluefinCurly

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Aug 15, 2004
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I have shot plenty of lead. Hevi shot is superior to most modern no-tox shot, but I still think lead performed better because it deforms when it enters tissue unlike most tungsten blends. I used to shoot # 7 1/2 on teal and 1/38 oz #5 on big ducks and it was lethal.

Like Tim and others, I limit my use of Hevi Shot to geese.
If I was going to shoot Hevi Shot on Ducks (which I have), the 3" #4 are a good all around load.

Frankly though I shoot most ducks over the dekes, inside of 35 yds. I ususally shoot
3 1/2 #2 only because we have geese mixed in often, and it kills pretty much everything.
I have shot Kent Faststeel for several years with good results. Last year I shot a number of boxes of the new Hevi Metal in #3 and was very impressed with its overall performance, including a noticeable reduction in cripples.
 
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Smudge

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Mar 11, 2005
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The last couple of times we've gone to Montana to hunt, we've stopped at Cabela's in Salt Lake on the way up and I picked up Hevi-shot in 3" #4's and #6's. Both were absolutely devestating, but overkill in my opinion for the jump shooting or decoying birds. I did drop a suzie waaaayy out while jumping ducks on spring creeks, but apart from that I think all of my other shots would have been easily accomplished using kent fast steel, hevi-metal or any of the other premium high speed modern steel shots.

Now for pass shooting, the hevi-shot really comes into its own. We shot golden eye on the Gallatin River and that shit is the BOMB! I swear golden eye wear body armor, but it couldn't stand up to the tungsten! Most shots that I connected on were stone dead birds. That's really important while pass shooting over a shallow but fast moving river. If the birds were crippled and dove, forget about it. You could never find them. Most times it was BANG, sommersault, plop, floating on their back with one leg kicking in the air. These are birds that are smoking fast and super tough.

Pass shooting hevi-shot on a once a year hunt is worth it. Over decoys? Nah, go with some good, fast, steel shot IMO. BTW I only shoot 3" and still manage to kill plenty of ducks when I'm actually in the right state during hunting season!!
 
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Carl

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  • Nov 29, 2004
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    Save the Tungsten for geese. BB or 2's both work great...
     
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    tangob5

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    Jan 13, 2008
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    I used to use #4 copper plated buffered 3" mags. way back when. Remember when we first started to use steel. Now that really sucked because we were used to lead. A lot of missed birds because the steel flew faster until we adjusted our lead to compensate. Also long shots were a no go because the steel didn't have the momentum to drop one out at the ranges we were used to. So we probably injured a lot of birds in the beginning. Was definitely a comedy of errors the first year of steel.
     
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    middleofnowhere

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    I have heard stories of Federal copper coated and buffered lead 3" #2's dropping snows consistently at 80 yards...

    Stories mind you, stories.

    I've shot a few birds with copper #2's. Some of them were pretty far out there, but 80 yds??????
    I think as important as keeping the shot round (the reason they were copper plated) was the "buffering" which seemed to hold your pattern together better out there in the longer ranges. Federal Premiums is what they were called. I think I still have some in my stockpile.
    I haven't shot a goose or anything else for that matter in many years. I would imagine that some of the heavy shot is every bit as good as the old lead.
     
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    Rubberhook2

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    Jan 19, 2007
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    The thing I remember about those Federal Premiums was a 3 inch shell held a full 2 ounces of lead shot. I don't recall the speed but it had to be slow compared to what we shoot today. Even my 3 1/2 inch Tungsten/Iron #2's that I shoot honkers with only holds 1 5/8 ounce of shot at 1450fps.

    Yep, 80 yards. I see guys killing geese at 60 yards today with heavy shot or tungsten...
     
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    TROB

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    Oct 31, 2005
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    thanks for the replies guys.

    I think ill save the hevi shot for when i feel like treating myself to it, but im definitely going to shoot it a little next year just for kicks.

    bought a patternmaster long-range today for my gun, so hopefully ill see a noticeable improvement with that alone. any of you guys run one?

    heard thats the one to get, and most the guys who recommended it raved about the difference, so I figured i'd give it a whirl.
     
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    Carl

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  • Nov 29, 2004
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    I personally like to get the birds closer, rather than trying to kill em farther.
     
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    Rubberhook2

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    That was pass shooting, where the birds are going from A to B and you could not hunt either so you got under em' and counted the seconds for them to hit the ground. On real windy days they were telephone pole high and way doable.
     
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    Carl

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  • Nov 29, 2004
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    I just use 4 buck now.

    Great for those days when they won't come closer;)
    Gotta be careful of them bitches comin down though....
     
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    TROB

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    Oct 31, 2005
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    I personally like to get the birds closer, rather than trying to kill em farther.


    agreed. but being able to hit a single before your buddy does aint all that bad haha...:Death_To_Above:
     
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    middleofnowhere

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    If you reload, make yourself some "flying guillotines". Get some thin piano wire about 3' long. Put a split shot on each end. Wrap the wire nice and tight around your pinkey. Place inside your shell as you slowly add the steel or lead.

    When you shoot, the wire will be taught and spin. You get the picture.
    Not for hunting use, but lots of fun if you want to cut something in half..
     
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