Any reviews on Kent shells?

Discussion in 'Shooting - Reloading Forum' started by Pastor, Aug 1, 2017.

  1. Pastor

    Pastor Senior Refuge Member

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    I had 2 boxes of federal 3" #2s last year and after a couple hunts of knocking down birds and watching the get back up and fly away I went back to the cheap Winchesters and used the federals for clean up and they didn't do a good job at that either. And I wasn't sky busting. These birds were feet down and falling in the decoys.

    Anyway, I bought a box of Kent 3" BBs for geese and they seemed to be pretty good shells. What is your experience with them in duck loads?? How are they compared to the Winchesters??
     
  2. Native NV Ducker

    Native NV Ducker Mod-Duck Hunters Forum, Classifieds, and 2 others Moderator Flyway Manager

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    'Shells' do one thing. They send pellets down the barrel. There are different kinds of pellets, plated or not, but there is not a substantial difference in performance. (5% or less)
    Now, different shells will pattern better or worse in a given gun and choke combo. However, again, at 30 yards or less, they are all pretty much the same. Out at 40 yards, you might start seeing some holes in patterns.
    Some shells burn a little dirty. Not a problem for an O/U, but some Auto guys see a difference. But, that isn't a concern in your post.
    Some shells are a little faster than others. Kents are usually near the top end, except for Remington Hypers, which are even faster (not needed). But, all the Kents are fast enough.

    So, what was the problem? Not the shells. I have shot all the shells you mention, and they all kill birds just fine. The problem is, you have to put pellets into the head, neck, spine, heart, or lungs. All those things are at the front of the bird. If you hit the back end, they might fall, and WILL die later, but they might also get back up and try to get away.

    IF, as you say, you are shooting birds in the decoys (that doesn't really tell us much, the dekes might be 40 yards out, but let's assume 25-30 yards) then I suggest two things. FIRST-Smaller shot size. 4's are EASILY fine to 35 yards, 3's are EASILY fine to 40. I have consistently killed ducks and geese 5 yards beyond those numbers with my 20ga. Again, this allows the probability of putting a pellet into a kill zone. SECOND- Open up your choke. I/C is all you need at 30 yards. LT Mod is also a good choice, and one many here use. If you are behind the birds, a slightly more open choke might put some pellets up front. I shoot I/C-Mod in my 20ga O/U. If I had a single barrel, I would go Lt Mod.

    BB's are the WRONG choice for geese over decoys. 2's maybe. 3's would be my choice. I used mostly 4's and some 3's in Canada last year, where they were truly 'in the decoys'. I shot about 80%, got excited a couple of times.
     
  3. Pastor

    Pastor Senior Refuge Member

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    My farthest decoy was at 30 yards and I'm humble enough to consider that my shots were poor but I couldn't help but doubt the shells. I know pattern density is very important but it just seemed that these shells had a hard time killing a cripple sitting just 20 yards away. I've used #3s with good results in the past and it may be that my gun shoots the 3s better. I don't buy into the hype of high priced shells especially if the birds are decoyed but I also don't want junk. I expect to pay for quality but I'm looking for the best shell for the money.

    Last year was my first year decoying geese and I was just thinking the bigger bird needs bigger pellets. Ive been hunting ducks for a few years but I recently got access to a really good Canada goose spot and didn't even own a goose decoy until the middle of last season. I'm open to any advice on shot size and shell selection.

    Thank you for your advice
     
  4. Red foot

    Red foot Elite Refuge Member

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    i shoot Kents almost exclusively. They just work for me. That said, a buddy of mine shoots the cheapest Winchesters he can find. More than once, he's outshot me in both numbers and distance.
     
  5. Native NV Ducker

    Native NV Ducker Mod-Duck Hunters Forum, Classifieds, and 2 others Moderator Flyway Manager

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    IMO, premium shells just means premium price. I have shot them all, from Winchester Experts to Hevi-Metal. Fiocci, Remington, Kents, Federals, blue and red box. At 40 yards, there is ZERO difference, assuming your gun likes the shell (patterns properly) At 30 yards, there is ZERO difference, period. I buy on sale, with rebates. Last year I went with the Remington Nitros, (the new ones, in the pretty yellow and green box) and I think I paid about $9 a box. Loved em. They are slower than other 20ga offerings, but that didn't seem to matter. Look for shells between 1400fps and 1500. That seems to be the sweet spot, though these were listed at 1350 and it didn't seem to matter.
    Now, better shot patterns better. Better wads keep the patterns tight. Better powder burns cleaner. All those things are in 'premium' shells. And, none of that matters at 30 yards (well, cept the dirty burning powder) 45-60 yards? Sure, now it matters. Pace yourself off 60 yards, put a decoy out there, and shoot it. See how many hits you get. Now, consider the ducks are flying at 35 mph, and you are half stuck in the mud. Not an easy shot, so, to me, 60 yard performance means squad.

    Well, if you are pass shooting, that is true. If you are planning on a single pellet penetrating to the heart and lungs, it is also true. HOWEVER, geese have really long necks, and bigger heads. Get in front of the bird, focus on the cheek patch, and a single #4 in the neck puts him down for good. Smaller pellets, denser pattern, front of the bird = dead bird. Year before last I double doubled on geese, pure crossing shot, as they came down the river. Nice long necks. They were bunched up pretty tight, but our limit is 4, so I wasn't too worried. 2 birds with each shot, dead right there. Lucky? Most certainly. For the 2nd bird with each shot, but NOT for the first one.

    Look around on this forum, and you will see me talking about this for the last 3-4 years. Look for my 'Roster Seminar' threads about 4-5 years ago. There are 3, I think. Patterning, range estimation, shooting. After that time frame, several others have started using 3's and 4's, and seeing the same results. I got 2 cases of Fiocci BB's for sale, $7 a box, cuz I will never use them. Had em for a few years.

    Mind you, when I am talking about my success rates, it is all with a 20ga. 1oz of shot. I have not shot my 12ga in 2 seasons now. BUT, I pace my decoys off, 25 yards out. I know where 35 yards is. I don't raise up on 40 yard birds, for the most part. 40 yards is a decent poke, and it isn't easy to center a bird that far. I was just 'top gun' at a 200 shooter, mixed clays 101 bird event last weekend, and I don't like the idea of shooting at birds beyond 40 yards. If you DO want to shoot that far, you need bigger pellets, tighter chokes, and some wingshooting skills. So, what happens when you plan on 40 yard shots, and get em at 20? You better stay out in front, or you are gonna have hamburger hitting the water.
    It's all a matter of choices.
    I don't think I have said this, but pattern your gun. The Roster Patterning thread goes into how to do it. Only takes a few shots, and half an hour. Once you know what your shells are doing at given ranges, you can dismiss them as the problem, and concentrate on other things.
     
  6. Billy Bob

    Billy Bob Elite Refuge Member

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    I am one of the guys that was convinced to try smaller shot. It made a huge difference by lowering the amount of cripples I get.

    Like Native said, pattern your gun. Different brands of shells can pattern different in the same gun and choke even with the same shot size. It could be that your gun/choke combination just doesn't like federals. As far as the Kent shells go, they are no better than the federals or cheap Winchesters. I could only get them to pattern well with 1 of my guns. That and the fact that they are not water resistant are why I won't shoot them.
     
  7. Seaark18

    Seaark18 Senior Refuge Member

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    Like they mentioned above, pattern your gun. That's the only way to know what's happening when you pull the trigger. You may have to experiment a bit with different brands of shells, shot sizes, chokes, etc. until you find a combo that your gun likes. Kents are fine, i shoot them a lot, but not in all of my guns. I have other guns that pattern Federals best. Others like Remington's. I personally like larger shot for geese. I have patterned loads of BB's that shoot very well in my guns, and have little trouble with cripples. I don't typically try for head shots unless the birds are in very close, as the BB's from my 12 and 10 gauge guns work well on body shots on big geese.
     
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  8. 10GAGENUT

    10GAGENUT Elite Refuge Member Flyway Manager

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    When patterning go down to 3's and see how they do also, with 2's a lot of guns just won't pattern them for some reason. Haven't seen to many guns that won't pattern 3's. For the range and hit birds the OP is speaking of I'd guess it's only a one or two pellet hit scenario.
     
  9. tornadochaser

    tornadochaser Elite Refuge Member

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    What works for any of us may not work for you at all, even with the same gun and choke. Gotta pattern and determine what works for you. Then you still have to hit them where it counts. We're all guilty of an *** shot on a duck and see all those feathers and immediately think "I smoked that bird how did it get away?"
     
  10. CA Birdman

    CA Birdman Elite Refuge Member

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    If you are shooting geese and getting into 2s or BBs, weight of charge matters a little as well. Go with 1 1/4 loads. I shoot Kent 3 1 1/8oz 3s in my rice blind on everything from teal to specs and snows and it will do just fine 40 and there is still a few yards past that. I don't see any issues with powder build up, etc. I keep my shells dry, but Kent's are not waterproof. We shoot Kents in various guns with IC to Modified chokes with no problems. My favorite shell.
     

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