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Question for the Waterfowl Hunters

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by Chad, Sep 2, 2007.

  1. Chad

    Chad Member

    868
    2
    Ohio
    Whats the best choke in your eyes for hunting waterfowl ?
    I'm shooting a 11-87 super mag. I use 3 1/2" BB , T for goose and
    3" 2,4 for ducks. I'm not happy with my choke. I want 1 good choke for both duck and goose.
    Right now I'm using the Kicks High Flier Mod. choke. Just wanted to know what you think.
    Thanks
     
  2. Jason O

    Jason O Active Member

    2,242
    0
    Wi
    i use a improved modified extended choke,from what the company told me with steel this is as close to full choke as u get.
    i cant remember the name of the choke though
    happy shooting
     

  3. clewis

    clewis New Member

    450
    1
    There are a lot of factors that contribute to selecting the right choke. If most of your shooting is over decoys with birds at 35 yards or less I would use an improved cylinder choke tube. If you are pass shooting or shooting at 40 to 50 yards, I would use a modified choke. With steel shot, I have not found a full choke tube that throws a even pattern thus I do not use a full choke. I also do not like to take shots at greater than 50 yards.

    The most common thing hunters overlook is patterning their shotgun. Different loads in powder and shot size pattern differently. Different manufacturers and different wad types pattern differently. Different shotgun barrels pattern differently. The best way I have found to ensure a consistent even pattern is to shoot each load you intend to use with the choke you intend to use at a pattern board. I have an 11-87 - with an improved choke tube I shoot even patterns with double B's - triple B's gives me blown pattern and I do not use T or F. My gun also shoots #2's reasonably well although not as good as double B's. I almost exclusively shoot federal shells as they pattern better than winchester or the newer foreign manufacturers. I used to buy the cheapest I could find and wait for sales on case lots . I shot more but did not put more meat on the table, With the new heavy shot the same thing applies. The idea that more shot ounces equals more shot on target does not ring true in my shotgun. For me it was a matter of testing various loads and shot sizes to see what my shotgun does best with.

    The same goes for lead shot - my 11-87 does great with shot size 4 & 6 which I use for pheasants. it also does well with 8's for quail. It really throws weird patterns with 5.s and 7!/2's. Thus I shoot 8's for dove.

    In the end it is personal choice and mix and match until you find what works best in your gun. It takes a little time but it has been very much worth the effort for me. Good luck
     
  4. wildwings

    wildwings New Member

    Get yourself a patternmaster and 3 1/2" 2 shot and go practice hitting stuff with a full pattern ! They might not be all mountable but most will come down dead !
     
  5. SteveP

    SteveP New Member

    Get rid of the T's. They don't penetrate. Steel needs to go fast to kill and T's slow down too much. I agree with Craig with one exception, with modified or tighter chokes, patterning doesn't always show the length of the shot string. If the steel, or any harder shot than lead, has to "compress", some of the shot has to squeeze behind the other shot and it gets to the target later. This is not a problem with a stationary target, like your pattern paper, but leaves holes in your pattern on a moving target. Tighter chokes are also harder on your gun. Of course, you still need enough steel to carry the energy, but more pellets on target also equals more energy. I just bought my first box of BBB after about four years, but it was for my new 10ga. ;D Otherwise, I use 1450fps, or faster, BB for all geese and keep the ranges about 40yards or less. Federals are always a safer bet for me too, especially if I haven't patterned a load yet.

    Handloading steel is a good alternative to hoping to find a load that works in your gun. I once loaded a 1700fps recipe with steel fours. Never bit into any shot with that. :eek: But steel fours are hard pressed to kill beyond 30yds, even at that kind of muzzle speed. At 25yds or less, you won't have to worry about taxidermy costs. Steel is weird stuff, although, I only use lead on clays, doves, and grouse.

    I've heard good things about Patternmasters, also. Or, stick with the modified or imp. cyl.
     
  6. duxdog

    duxdog Active Member

    BB for geese. 2 for ducks. 3 inch. I shoot modified.We've shot over 2000 canada's and 3500 ducks in the last 4 years. That's standard range decoy hunting not shootin g at nose bleeders.
     
  7. Chad

    Chad Member

    868
    2
    Ohio
    Thanks for the advise. Used if a mod. choke last night and it worked well with the 3 1/2 -BB's.
    I'm going to look at the patternmaster choke for late season. My kicks choke works good for ducks.
    Good hunting to you.
     
  8. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller New Member

    408
    2
    I am going to really through a monkey wrench into this whole thing. You will read this and fall out of your chair because all the experts say the opposite. I am not doing this to spark a debate or anything of the sort. It's just another idea on the table.

    I have with me at all times 2 guns. A Remington SP10 and a Remington 11-87 Waterfowl model that came out 2 years ago. In both of these guns I run a Lead Full Choke. I say this because their is the new steel full choke that is much more open than the old Lead Full Chokes. In the days before steel a 12 GA. lead full choke measured out to .690 diameter and a 10 GA full choke measured out to .750 diameter. These are the same full chokes that I am using to this day and ever since steel came out. Now hold on, I can hear all the comments now. There is zero damage to my guns. I can still unscrew both of my choke tubes with one finger. There is no swelling of the barrel before the tube. The 10 GA I have had since before steel came out. I use to shoot an Ithaca 10 GA with steel and a fixed full choke with zero gun damage. My typical load for geese in the 10 GA. is 1 1/2 oz. BBB's at 1450 fps made by Federal. Then for ducks in the 12 GA is 3" 1 1/4" oz. of 3's going 1400 fps by Winchester. I shoot over decoys, jump shooting and pass shooting all with the same choke. Yes, you have to be on the ball at close range, but they are either dead in the decoys or they fly on. None of this sputtering for 500 yards. Wildfowl magazine ran an article about using full chokes last year by the guy with a mustache that never smiles. He is going back to using them again.

    The 10 GA. goose loads by Federal are AWESOME to say the least. The BBB's are lethal at long ranges and with the tight patters they reach out their. It takes 16 lbs of conetic energy to kill a honker. At 60 yards each pellet, starting off at 1350 fps, has 8.8 lbs of conetic energy and that is at sea level. By the time you are at 5000 feet elevation you can add 10 yards to these numbers. You do the math, it is a great load.

    This is just my 2 cents worth. I have been waterfowl hunting for 30 years and have spent many days in the shop reloading lead in the old days. Then shooting at a darn piece of paper with a circle then counting holes.

    Good luck to all of you for many seasons to come!
     
  9. Full
     
  10. M.T.

    M.T. Active Member

    3,771
    2
    Hey Skip, I think having two guns is illegal, isn't it? Kinda like having six shots! or did you mean that your second gun is always back in the truck?
     
  11. daniel

    daniel New Member

    you have got some tough water fowl over there ??? over here i use modified choke on everything i cant be bothered messing around with all kinds of chokes just let them get close enough 42 gram 4s on geese 36gram 6s on every thing else works for me wish you all happy hunting DANIEL ps we still use LEAD
     
  12. duxdog

    duxdog Active Member

    ahhhhhh, the days of lead.
     
  13. I shoot BBB High Velocity for geese & 2 for ducks, I use to shoot T's & even F shot till I talked with the Federal Ammunition Co. & they informed me on that you loose a lot with the larger shot. Velocity, knock down energy, & pattern. (Which goes with what most everyone is saying on this post). Did see much improvement when I kicked the shot size down, no matter what gun I was shooting. I shoot the Browning BPS 10 & 12 gauge in 30" barrels, Remington super Mag. & Benelli Nova up to 3 1/2". Plus I have my guns fitted to me that improved my performance greatly. I quit pulling my shots after the gunsmith talked me into it. Just cost a few bucks more. I do miss lead & I find that my beater mossberg 12 gauge shoots the same as any high dollar gun out there after I had that worked on.
    Darwin
     
  14. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller New Member

    408
    2
    Good question M.T.

    I too thought the same thing. I have been checked several times by Fish and Game and they never said anything. It sure is nice not having to jack duck loads out really fast and get goose loads in. It never fails that a shell gets stuck and you watch the geese fly by.

    I don't know about you although I never have time to put one gun down and pick another up and get 3 more shots off before they are in the next county.
     
  15. SteveP

    SteveP New Member

    Skip,
    I thought your post on full chokes was very interesting. I know I stated that tighter chokes are harder on your gun, as I was told this by a few gunsmiths. I also heard that saboted slugs out of a rifled choke tube will tighten the tube enough to damage the barrel. I've accidently shot BB steel through a LEAD full tube for a whole weekend of spring snow geese, four or five boxes, and pulled the choke out with my fingers. And I experimented with seven boxes, [email protected], of slugs in my 1300 without loosening the tube during the testing. I never seen any damage, but I may have been lucky. I also believe the gun manufacturers warn against using steel and full chokes together for the few unlucky moments that could happen. I still feel tighter chokes lengthen your shot string. I haven't paid the $100 for a Patternmaster tube, but I see in their sales pitch that the string could stretch to 16 feet long using modified or tighter chokes. You would definitely need good follow through. ;) There is no rule on the number of guns you can have in the blind, in the federal, MN,SD, or ND rules. Just no more than three shells per gun. Carrying 17 pounds of gun, four dozen decoys, and ammo in bulky clothes, possibly waders, for 1/2 mile or more... :-\
     
  16. pyeager1

    pyeager1 Active Member

    Your right Steve, Here in Alabama you can carry as many guns as you can tote or haul as long as they are plugged and correct size shot. The last time I duck hunted was for wood ducks in a creek/swamp setting and I used 2 & 3/4 inch 12 gauge fixed modified choke with 4 shot steel. Now if I want to blow the hell out of them I'd carry the 3 1/2 magnum, extra full choke and BB shot.
     
  17. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller New Member

    408
    2
    I have tested a Pattern Master Choke tube with less than desirable results. What I found was that my pattern was no where near as dense as without the Pattern Master. By slowing the wad down the shot is leaving the wad sooner and starting to open up sooner reducing the affective range. My full choke Pattern Master produced at pattern similar to an improved cylinder. Yes, it did lengthen my shot string, but your spreading out the same number of pellets over a longer distance decreasing the number of pellets contacting the target. This also creates more holes in the pattern that birds can fly through. I tossed my tube after the first hunt.

    You want to see a good example of this. The next time you are out shooting around water pick a target about 20 yards out and shoot at it with your standard choke. Then put a Pattern Master in and shoot at the same target and see how much more sparse your pattern is.

    I am not saying that this is a bad product and their are a lot of people who like the results that it produces. I am saying that it did not produce a pattern that I desire.
     
  18. SteveP

    SteveP New Member

    I really wish more people would pattern their guns and loads. We should have more info in this thread about more gun/choke/shot combinations.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences. With what I shoot now, holes in my pattern are not my biggest problem... MISSING is! :D
     
  19. Chad, I'm a firm believer in using 3" vice 3 1/2. I've noticed over the years that most duck hunters who are shooting 3 1/2 loads are expecting that extra 10-15 yard shot and most of the times they wind up just wounding the critter. Modified choke using 3" #2 for ducks and BB for geese kills the birds dead provided that you know your limitations. I guess that's what I'm trying to say is not only patterning your gun is important but knowing your limitations.
     
  20. finazducks

    finazducks EJ is not the only one to have two Wasco Awards

    Two guns in the blind is not illegal in Ca. I can't speak for other states. I find it much safer to have two guns in the blind when opportunities exist for ducks or geese. Constantly changing ammo can lead to dangerous situations. It's not really like having six shots. Besides after three shots a bird should be dead or out of Dodge.