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Can Ducks and Geese Be hunted with 2&3/4 shells?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by romeo212000, Oct 3, 2007.

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  1. romeo212000

    romeo212000 Member

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    I was wondering if ducks and geese can be hunted with 2 3/4 12 gauge shells. The reason I am asking is because I am really eyeing a Franchi 48-al But it only takes 2 3/4 inch shells. IS this going to work well or do I really need 3 inch shells. I have killed turkey with 2 3/4 inch shells but never ducks or geese.
     
  2. alucard0822

    alucard0822 Member

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    YES, there are no flying critters that I know of where 2 3/4" 12ga shells would be considered "inadequate" in fact this is the standard 12 ga chambering, predating the "magnum" chamberings. Even 16, 20 and in some cases .410 will do the job well. The longes shells just basically throw more pellets (and bruise the shoulder), where proper tecnique, shot size and choke selection will put a larger percentage of pellets on target. 2oz of shot from a 3 1/2" shell in a 12' pattern that just barely covers a duck won't bring him down, 1 1/4oz from a 2 3/4 in a 20" pattern dead on center certainly will.
     
  3. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I'd get hevi shot for geese, but Kent Fasteel or Winchester Xpert Hi-Velocity 3s bring the ducks down from the stratosphere out of a 2 3/4" gun. No worries. I really prefer a 3" for geese, but a 2 3/4 using hevi shot will do the job admirably. I'd shoot hevi shot 2s in it, personally, for geese. Be sure and pattern 'em. I shoot a modified lead choke with 3 fasteel out of my Winchester 1400 for tight patterns way out there or sometimes loosen it up with IC over decoys especially early in the season.

    I'm unaware of any non-toxic shot in .410. LOL Back in the day, I killed a few teal with my little JC Higgins .410 pump and 6 lead. I've killed a LOT of ducks with 20 gauge, but now days use 3" steel 4s in 20. Back in the day, 2 3/4" lead fives were awesome.
     
  4. trueblue1776

    trueblue1776 Member

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    Absolutely, that's what I use. 3" shells haven't been around forever. Even now, 2-3/4" is still heavily used by hunters I know, for waterfowl and upland.
     
  5. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Shell length means nothing by itself.

    The only reason for longer shells is to fit more shot into them. The length doesn't add to the velocity or the energy of the pellets.

    Remember: the energy of each pellet depends on the mass and velocity of the pellet, not the size of the shell. The size of the shell just allows more pellets to be stuffed into it. Of course, shotshell patterns degrade when you use a lot more shot volume than is optimal for the gauge.

    Ever look at a downed bird? How many pellets actually hit it? Each pellet has to have the energy to drop the bird; more of them in a shell just makes it somewhat easier to hit the thing to begin with.

    Steel shot is lighter than lead, so pellet size is a good deal bigger. Therefore, you have less weight and fewer pellets per unit volume. So 3" shells became popular, so you could fit enough steel pellets in the shell to begin to match what lead offers in 2 3/4" shells.

    However, if you're willing to spend the money, you can get heavier-than-lead shot for waterfowl hunting (Hevi Shot and a number of others). It's expensive, but it works well, retains velocity and energy much farther out than steel, and you can buy 1 1/4 oz. loads in 2 3/4" shells. No need for 3" shells.

    Just make sure the barrel is steel shot rated.
     
  6. romeo212000

    romeo212000 Member

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    any body know if the 48-al is okay to shoot steel shot out of?
     
  7. trueblue1776

    trueblue1776 Member

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    Romeo, what does the barrel steel look like?
     
  8. sm

    sm member

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    Yep.

    All I have ever used for hunting anything, is 2 3/4 shells, except for 2 1/2" .410.
    Deer, Geese, Ducks...

    1. Check your Hunting Regs along with Migratory Regs.
    Some public lands may only allow certain Non-Tox loads and NOT allow other Non-Tox loads, such as Bismuth.

    2. Check with Gun Mfg on any special restrictions on Non-Tox Shot, and pay attention to any Choke and Suggested loadings.
    Also any warnings to NOT use certain payloads, or shot types.

    3. Pattern the gun at known distances.
    To save some money, get with some other folks that will be using 2 3/4" shells and share the various loads agreed up to test patterns, chokes an loads.

    4. Shoot at known distances and mark distances if can.
    Decoy set out at a certain yardage , or a old farm/ranch bucket the geese are used to seeing in fields , and use that for a range marker.


    Remember, stationary pattern board testing in only Part of the pattern.
    Shot, of any kind, does not all arrive at the same time.
    Moving targets add another dimension to patterns.
    So pattern boards reveal the pattern size and density.

    Long Shot strings mean it takes more time for shot to all arrive.
    Short Shot strings means more of the shot arrives at the same time.

    Interesting thing (just one) is sometimes more shot being shoved into that forcing cone, under pressure, "blows" a pattern.
    Too much shot, vying for that small diameter bore.
    With lead, pellets deform.
    Steel and other hard pellets, they too "react odd" vying for that forcing cone, bore and exiting muzzle.

    Often times ones gets a Short Shot String with Less loading than with more and therefore more effective hits , and moving targets that get more pellets onto them - fall.

    :)
     
  9. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    The rage for geese when steel was mandated was the new F or T shot in the new Mossberg Ultimag for 3.5" magnum. 3" has been around since I have and I've been around 55 years. Well, at least I had a friend with a 3" Marlin goose gun back about 1967. NObody used the 3" back then on ducks. I was shooting a 20 gauge 2 3/4" Wingmaster on ducks and a single shot 16 gauge for geese back then. The Ultimag came out in the early 80s right after the advent of steel shot laws. Then, along came Bismuth, like 60 bucks a box of 10 or something ridiculous at first. Hevi shot sells for close to 20 a box of ten, but for goose hunting, it's worth it. Even 3" BB with steel is pretty worthless outside of 35 yards. I haven't tried any of the new fasteel loads on geese, haven't shot geese in a couple of years, but I've heard that it extends your range out to 40+ and if that's so, it's good 'nuf. I still have a bunch of hevi shot stored up, though, if I go this season and no more often than I hunt geese, I'll probably stick with hevi shot. That stuff is amazing on big birds. If I get another goose lease in the future and start shooting more at 'em, I'll try the hevi steel or fast steel. Hevi steel is new from Remington and sells for not much more than steel shot, yet is supposed to be more dense and more effective. It sells for about 20 bucks a 25 round box. So far, though, I've only seen the hevi steel in 3" loads. They haven't come out with it in 2 3/4. Fasteel is available in 2 3/4.
     
  10. romeo212000

    romeo212000 Member

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    what do you mean trueblue? It is blued or matte. Whichever i prefer and am willing to pay for.
     
  11. trueblue1776

    trueblue1776 Member

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    Sorry, didn't realize it was a modern gun. sure, steel shot is fine.
     
  12. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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  13. romeo212000

    romeo212000 Member

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    WHat do you guys recommend I start out with patterning for ducks and geese. I saw 2's for geese and maybe 4's for ducks?
     
  14. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Like I said, steel is a lot lighter than lead, whereas hevi-shot and competitors are heavier than lead.

    So shot size would depend on what kind of shot... It's energy that matters, and energy is a function of weight, not size.
     
  15. romeo212000

    romeo212000 Member

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    what if i went with hevi-shot
     
  16. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    I use HeviShot for all my waterfowl shooting (except I carry a few cheaper steel swatter loads for the occaisional cripple).

    HeviShot
    I use #4 and #6 shot for ducks in 2-3/4"
    and #2 and #4 for geese- usually 3" but 2-3/4" will work OK too.

    HeviShot is definitely worth the extra cost compared to steel. Try an IC choke first, nothing tighter than MOD in my experience.
     
  17. halfacop

    halfacop Member

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    Whatever size of hevi-shot you shoot, do not over choke it.

    From my experince you can over choke Hevi-shot quickly. I have good luck using Mod for most applications.
     
  18. romeo212000

    romeo212000 Member

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    Great. I really like that gun and Im glad to know that I can shoot pretty much anything with it. It will be nice on those long upland hunts and I will simply add a recoil pad for some heavier loads.
     
  19. sm

    sm member

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    I don't think I have used Hevi-Shot. :p

    Last Geeses I felled...
    Super X Model 1, with Steel approved external knurled .735 choke [ I was too lazy to remove this choke I use for SKeet and all mind you] and used 2 3/4" shells since the chamber is only 2 3/4" , of Win #1 Steel shot and distance was about 30 yds.
    No camo, just out near a farm structure and the damn geese were making too much racket.

    Win 1400, 20 ga, again restricted to 2 3/4 " chamber, and again left the IC choke in it, as I was too lazy to change it and used Some Win Steel load, which I did not bother to look or ask.
    "Hand me your gun and some shells and how many Geese do you want".
    Again, no camo, and trying to check out something and the damn Geese would not shut up.

    Last Geeses, Goosess, whatever...
    H&R Topper, Youth, Single Shot 20 ga, fixed modified barrel.

    Some 20 ga Federal load I was tossed, again, no camo, just out and supposed to be watching and "What a dumb gun, you can't fell a honker with one of them".
    Bang, Bang.

    "Aw hell, don't tell my gun that, you will hurts its feeling".

    Rebel...umm...I might have rebelled against a few things in my life. ;)

    Fella had the nice Ulta Mag with 3.5" shells...just could not shoot worth a flip.
    I was out watching the dawgs and my intent for my wittle gun, was to shoot some small game on the way back in.

    Geeses, Gooses, whatever you want to call 'em are helluva lot heavier than wabbits...:D

    Bismuth I bought to reload , was #5 shot, as I like that shot size for ducks.
    If a dumb geeses/gooses is going to get in the way, just shoot'em in da head.

    I do this in no camo stuff and most often critters show up when you take a leak, sip coffee or light a cigarette.

    Tip, easier to stop sipping or lighting a smoke than to stop peeing.
     
  20. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    The nice thing about upland hunting for geese is that you can see them in the grass more easily than quail.

    The bummer is that a few of them in a group can critically injure your dog.
     
  21. romeo212000

    romeo212000 Member

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    Well I was actually referring to using it for upland hunting quail and pheasants and then being able to use it for ducks and geese. I have always doubted how necessary 3" shells were and now I know. I have heard the best things about the al-48 and am dying to get one myself.
     
  22. sm

    sm member

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    ArmedBear,
    You are so correct about Geeses hurting dawgs.

    They will hurt people too! Especially kids and the elderly.

    Hunting has all sorts of safety attached.
    Do not forget more tame critters like ducks and geese on property - will hurt dawgs and humans if they feel threatened.

    Buddy of mine lost hunting pup to a geese as ArmedBear shared.

    Stray dawg was hurt so bad it died, the ducks on property, momma ducks, ganged up and put the hurt on this stray dawg dumped out in the country.

    I ended up putting the dawg down...he was that bad off.
     
  23. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Thanks sm.

    I'll never feel bad about shooting, eating, or hobbling a duck for dog training again.

    Bastards have got it coming.
     
  24. sm

    sm member

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    ArmedBear,
    It is I that thanks you.

    Folks,
    There is a Natural Order to things. We speak of Firearm Safety, Hunting Safety, Ethics and being civil and polite.

    Hunters go out into the environment, where critters, including Geese, are "doing" this Natural Order Of Things.
    Prey and Predator.

    Firearm and Hunting Safety Applies, to one's self, to others, dawgs, equipment, vehicles and structures.

    Ethics...encompasses a lot.

    Sky Busting with 3.5" shells is not hunting, not ethical, not safe or anything.

    The Hunter, that has a knowledge of game and habitat, is Safe with firearms, safe in regard to hunting, follows rules, is civil,polite, respectful, of others, of property and dawgs, has skill sets, in hunting, shooting, patterning a shotgun...with a 2 3/4" only shotgun is not only a more successful hunter , also a better Representative of Firearm owners, of Hunting, and a better Human Being - period.
     
  25. langenc

    langenc Member

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    Just dont skybust and you will kill both. If the target is still coming-wait-dont shoot. 30-35 yards and youll be picking before you know it.
     
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