Prairie Storm in a cylinder bore


November 29, 2012, 09:10 AM
Hello all. I have a 12ga 2 3/4 Ithaca 37 deerslayer with a smooth cylinder bore slug barrel. Shoots slugs great but patterns shot about the size of a barn door by 10 yards. I'm wanting to try and find shells that will pattern better by using flight control wads. If successful it would be for upland birds, maybe rabbit or squirrel. If I find something that works it will save me from or at least prolong buying a new shotgun.

I emailed federal and they recommended "Prairie Storm". Anyone have experience with this load? Any other recommendations for getting tighter groups with #6 size shot? I know I'm trying to make orange juice from apples but its worth a try to me.


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November 29, 2012, 09:34 AM
You could always have the barrel end threaded for choke tubes and use a cylinder one for your slugs and other constrictions for other game

November 29, 2012, 10:25 AM
People keep mentioning that but as its a light weight (featherweight might even be part of the model name I'm not sure) the barrel walls seem a little thin to me to be modifying, plus if anything did go wrong there is not enough barrel to cut off as its already just over 19".

Thanks for the suggestion, just not a route I want to take. I'd prefer to (and eventualky plan to) buy a Mossberg Maverick 88 if it comes down to it.

Fred Fuller
November 29, 2012, 10:27 AM
Have you tried patterning Prairie Storm out of that barrel yet? The patterning paper will answer that question best.

The FliteControl wad produces awesome results for me out of CYL bore barrels with 00 buck, but I have not tried it with smaller shot.

November 29, 2012, 10:55 AM
You might ask the folks at Briley about whether or not their thin wall chokes will work in your gun - they are the masters at that stuff

November 29, 2012, 11:50 AM
For rabbit and upland birds in Kansas, it's pretty hard to beat a Cyl or IC bore with plain old 1 1/8 oz trap loads of any kind.

You will bring home more game and distroy less meat then going after them with a Full choke gun thats for sure.

Squirrel are a different matter if you are trying to knock them out off the top of a tall oak tree.


November 29, 2012, 11:52 AM
New MC barrel from Ithaca? New fixed choke longer barrel even?

November 29, 2012, 02:53 PM
Haven't patterned in my gun yet but ordered a box and its waiting for me at home when I get back from work (two more weeks). As for a new Ithaca barrel, that would cost more than a new Mossberg so again not what I'm looking for. As for the thin walled chokes, again not terribly interested in modifying this gun, unless I'm missing something the Briley's still require threading. Not to mention the price point on just one of those gets me half way to a Mossberg maverick 88 possibly with a whole set of chokes.

RC - being that I know almost nothing about shot shells at this point: what specifically makes a "trap" load? Is it pellet size, velocity, both, more? What would you specifically recommend (preferably in federal if possible)? I'm willing to try just about anything for ammo (as long as its safe).

November 29, 2012, 04:50 PM
"Trap load" is a generic term for a 1 1/8" load of #7 1/2 or #8 shot.

Most all of your factory "upland game" loads will be very similiar but may be found in 1 1/4 oz, and in larger shot sizes like #5 & #6, as well as #7 1/2.

You can get choke tubes installed here for $125.
Thats what I would do.


November 29, 2012, 07:55 PM
I have not put my hands on a box of prairie storm ammo yet . Here is what I do know the blackcloud steel version of that load will shoot light full choke patterns out of an old H&R cylinder bore slug gun and the flight control buckshot will put all nine pellets on a 9" paper plate at 25 yards out of the same gun. Federal says prairie storm will pattern the same as the blackcloud ammo . If it does it turns a smooth bore slug gun in to a all around game getter

November 29, 2012, 08:56 PM
I shoot prairie storm loads out of an ic choke. Both 2 3/4" #5 1 1/4 oz and 3" #5 1 5/8 oz. Works well for me. I generally take longer shots. Thirty yards out to forty five or so. They are quite lethal at longer ranges. You probably won't have much meat left at closer ranges.

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Tom Held
November 29, 2012, 09:54 PM
The only problem I have with Prairie Storms is giving them away. I've had some poor performance experiences hunting pheasant. The wings on the wads would not open and obviously would not dispense the shot column. Some of the retrieved wads still had shot in them.

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