Small Shot

Discussion in 'Shooting - Reloading Forum' started by gglenn13, Dec 22, 2017.

  1. gglenn13

    gglenn13 Refuge Member

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    Got any hunters here who swear by using small steel shot for ducks? Looking to start a discussion and maybe learn something here. Recently talked with someone who swears by using #5-7 steel shot through a tight choke for all ducks, out to 40 yards.

    It seems like this approach might be valid. From birds I've skinned, I haven't noticed any that had considerable tissue around the head or neck region (in comparison to torso) or much at all on the wings. Seems that if you were using a tight choke with a dense pattern of smaller shot, you could hit and penetrate these areas relatively easily. Such a pattern should contain fewer holes and be able to put multiple pellets onto smaller areas.

    I have almost always shot #2 steel. Most resources advise using shot with enough KE to penetrate the bodies of birds, but I have noticed on birds that are shot in the body (without hitting the spinal cord), they often sail a ways and then die of internal trauma -- i.e. you still have cripples. It seems that if you could increase the chances of head/neck hits, or at least cause sufficient damage to the bird's wings to bring it down and then take a headshot on the water, that it would be more effective.

    I'm willing to try #4 or #5 shot through a tighter choke to see if this approach is effective or not. Feel free to tell me that my thinking is totally wrong here -- just looking to learn something.
     
  2. theduckguru

    theduckguru Elite Refuge Member

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    I have used 4, 5 and 6 steel on large ducks. There is zero reason to shoot smaller than #4. There is plenty of pellet population with #4 and no reason to shoot a tighter choke either. Actually you want a more open choke.
     
  3. bang you'r dead

    bang you'r dead Canada Forum Mod. Eh! Moderator Flyway Manager

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    I get lots of head/neck kills with #3 and #4 shot using my SK1 choke. Good pattern density and dispersion is needed to kill well . I like a 70% pattern as a good comprimise between the two.
     
  4. Tuleman

    Tuleman Elite Refuge Member

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    I'm another one who sees little need for steel shot smaller than #4 for ducks. That's the size I prefer for teal, because of their small size. Once the Early Teal Season is over, I switch to #3 and still bring down lots of teal along with the larger birds.

    Decades ago, I used #4 steel for all my duck hunting, but have found that I really do get fewer cripples with the larger (#3) shot.
    YRMV
     
  5. Native NV Ducker

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

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    Most here have heard this, but..

    I shoot an O/U, 20ga. When the birds are working, it is loaded with 4's and 4's. Then it is 4's and 3's. After that, all I will do is tighten up my chokes a notch. I go from I/C-Mod to Lt Mod-Imp Mod. That's it.

    As an aside, last week we hunted a spot that had a ton of Eurasian Dove coming into the trees behind us. I know most that are forced to shoot steel for doves use 6's, but all I had were 4's. I was very pleased with the performance, and they did not tear the birds up. Every bird I thought I was on, dropped. I missed my share, but not because of the shells. Usually because I had to let them get right overhead, because of a feed lot to our left. Almost falling over backwards is not a recipe for success.
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. gadwall52

    gadwall52 Elite Refuge Member

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    1/2 cup of honey thinned with a little barbeque sauce slathered on them breasts yum
     
  7. Native NV Ducker

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

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    Actually, I made a Orange Chicken stir fry
     
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  8. AIRBORNE6869

    AIRBORNE6869 Refuge Member

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    OK enough of the Dove hunting already, making me hungry for Doves on the grill but none left in my freezer only Elk burger.
    I don't use smaller than #4 steel for anything that requires steel. I have done a small amount of penetration testing and to MY satisfaction steel shot smaller than #4 runs out of penetration ability even for head, neck and wings. But the whole premise of hunting is to kill humanely, not break wings as to cripple.

    AIRBORNE
     
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  9. 10GAGENUT

    10GAGENUT Elite Refuge Member Sponsor Flyway Manager

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    If you load steel 4's or 5's up to 1600-1650 fps then you get pretty good penetration, They aren't great much beyond 40 yards but in the decoys they can get the job done.
     
  10. AIRBORNE6869

    AIRBORNE6869 Refuge Member

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    Now if you are talking about HW's as in Hevi-Shot and the other HW's then by all means use the smaller shot. 7.5 Hevi-Shot or any of the other HW's is deadly on Ducks. Have used it for years in my 20 ga. shotguns.
    But you were asking about steel only, sorry no intent to get off post.

    AIRBORNE
     

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