3" 3s for geese?

Discussion in 'Shooting - Reloading Forum' started by Hawk, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. Hawk

    Hawk Elite Refuge Member

    Nov 3, 2000
    Lately I have been shooting 3" 2s for both ducks and geese. Mostly out of convienence since I hunt both species together and I don't like switching out shells for each one, and budgetary reasons. Cheaper to buy one case than multiple cases.

    However I am looking to maybe try something different and I have been wondering about 3s and 1s. Obviously 3s would have more pellets available but do they work well on geese?

    Just decoy shooting out to 40 yards for me, but I do have to hunt those late season honkers in SD. :D
  2. calling4life

    calling4life Elite Refuge Member

    Feb 10, 2009
    I use a terror 655 choke, so I'm limited to smaller shot sizes.

    I used 3" 3 shot and 4 shot last year, it was federals red box, ultra shock, however the 3 shot was the heavy high velocity stuff, not just the regular.

    I shot a couple geese on the ground, usually because they landed 50 or so yards off and it was irritating after a while, weird season for me last year.:scratch The point; I shot a couple on the ground that I paced off, one was at 59 paces, the other was 56 I believe, both dead as dead gets.

    So, you can kill them with this stuff at a good distance, but, from normal in the air shots, best results really do limit you to 40 yards or under for big canadas. I really liked the 3 shot, it just seemed to hit the birds harder and produce less cripples, for whatever reasons. Although this spring I just had the 4 shot left, and it did very well on snows, even on some extended range pokes.

    I ordered 2 more cases of the 3 shot for this year. But, I would be shooting 1 shot if I could, I think it is the best all around goose/duck shot. For ducks, 3 shot and 4 shot is nasty, this choke/load combo was unbelievable for ducks, but there were times I wish I had bigger shot for the big honks.
  3. scrounger

    scrounger Senior Refuge Member

    Aug 20, 2008
    the 3's work fine on decoying birds, i have seen them killed with 4 at around 30 yards. the only problem is lots of shot in the meat and chest shot bird is useless.
  4. cackler slayer

    cackler slayer Senior Refuge Member

    Dec 11, 2006
    eugene, OR
    I shoot alot of 3'' 3's at both ducks and geese and never have a problem taking geese down with them. I prefer to use them for the fact of more pellets in the pattern.
  5. Lame-Duck

    Lame-Duck Elite Refuge Member

    Sep 22, 2001
    Central San Joaquin Valley, California
    For shooting steel at both ducks and geese, I'd recommend staying with #2 to #BB's, depending on the size ducks you are shooting. If teal are frequently included in your duck hunting, then #2's would be my choice (for both ducks and geese). Number 3's are on the small side for geese, but will kill them if they are right on you. They will tend to make eating a bit irritating, because #3's don't always pass thru the those big honker breats. You mentioned that you are shooting out to 40 yards. In my opinion #3's will do a lot of crippling at that range.

    In the days when I shot a lot of Kent Tungsten Matrix, #3's were an excellent goose load and crippling was minimal. I still have a lot of those #3 TM's left and absolutely love to shoot them for geese. For ducks (especially mallards) they are "stone cold killers."

    I like shooting hevishot (with a density of 12 g/cc). Number 4 hevishot is an excellent load for both ducks and geese. It is pricey, but an excellent load, nevertheless.
  6. Squaller

    Squaller Elite Refuge Member

    Jan 5, 2003
    Fresno, California
    As far as #3's and #4's, both will work on geese, as long as you make a head shot. You will be crippling a lot of birds with body shots at 40 yards, even on the snows and specks though. But that smaller shot is great if you can consistently put the pattern on the front end of the bird, with a dense pattern.

    I killed a honker with steel #4's at 35 yards last year, and two of us had 4 solid hits. The bird flew about 100 yards and died. The body was riddled with pellets, and even a couple in the neck (apparently missing the spine). The pellets in the breast did not even begin to get penetration into the the vitals, and I feel it was lung shot...

    #2's will work on geese, especially the smaller geese. I would probably stick to #2's for an all around load. The smaller sized shot also becomes much more difficult to shoot for anything in a strong wind.

    That being said, I like the smaller shot for ducks, as I do tend to shoot the front end. I am killing a lot more birds, many with one pellet in the head.:eek:

    If I had the cash, I would go to Hevi-Shot (original) or Remington HD #4's for an all-around load. That stuff straight kills ducks and geese (of any size), and has excellent penetration as well as consistent patterns....
  7. Native NV Ducker

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

    Dec 14, 2003
    Sula, MT
    Last year was my first with smaller shot sizes. I shot 3's and 4's. If the birds are in range, (40 yards and less) there is NO problem killing large ducks and geese. Opening week I had a flight of geese sneak up on me, flying down the river, so no time to switch to my normal goose load, 1 1/4 BB's. I raised up at about 35 yards on the first shot with 4's, powdered him, and leveled the 2nd one with 3" 3's. Both dead before they hit the ground. 2nd shot was 40+ yards, going slightly away.

    I will trade anybody straight up my two flats of BB's for some 3's or 4's.
  8. tornadochaser

    tornadochaser Elite Refuge Member

    Dec 15, 2008
    south dakota
    i just punched in a typical 3.5" load of #3 into the KPY software and this is what i came up with:

    @40 yards, a 1 3/8 1550 fps load of 3's would have a velocity of 725 fps, energy density of 216, and gel penetration of 1.58".

    those numbers say to me that 3's will kill ducks at 40 yards no problem, but big geese better get it in the head if you don't want to chase cripples across the field.
  9. Brent4Hire

    Brent4Hire Elite Refuge Member

    Aug 5, 2008
    Quebec, Canada
    Marketting, marketting, marketting - any 3" steel load will kill a goose as dead as its 3.5" counterpart if the load is on target.:tu
  10. goosenazi

    goosenazi Elite Refuge Member

    Dec 21, 2008
    The fringes of Censorship, WI
    If you keep your shots within 30 yards, 3's will work fine. I started using 4's last year and they performed awesome on close birds. I would only recommend using smaller size shot if you can judge distance well and wait for the birds to finish. My .02

Share This Page