My shot shell experiment this season.

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My shot shell experiment this season.

Postby LongHammer » Thu Dec 19, 2019 12:02 am

So after years of switching back and forth between 2 3/4" 7.5 1300fps lead shot for doves and going up to 3" hevi metal 4s and 3s1500 fps for waterfowl I stopped this season. We had a conversation about single length golf club shafts and it got me to thinking. What if I only had 1 lead for everything I shoot? How can I do it? Slowing down the waterfowl loads really isn't an option so I looked at dove loads. Rogers sent out their email blast and had 3" steel 6s at 1500fps. Hmmm they were cheaper than the lead I was shooting so 2 cases arrived about 5 days later. To be clear at 6'3" 285 I am not recoil sensitive. :D Dove season finally opened with 16 whiffs in a row. I was really second guessing my plan. Then I connected on 17 and it was a poof basically a bird butt with a leg attached. Leaving the patternmaster code black goose was a mistake :lol: I needed to make adjustments. Moved my seat back close to 30 yards from the mojo dove and that was just the ticket. Second trip I was on fire! No dove seemed out of range! Even my buddies were a little surprised at the range they were dropping. Then waterfowl season started. Not a lot of ducks around yet but I have been crushing them. I feel petty good about taking those long passing shots after blasting all those long range doves. The first wild snow goose I ever saw fell to a single shot at close to 60 yards DRT. I can't argue with the results so far. My experiment seems to be working well. I am happy I changed things up.
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Re: My shot shell experiment this season.

Postby Willie T » Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:37 am

Interesting approach LongHammer. I shoot wood ducks and teal with the cheap 2 3/4” steel #7 field loads. I also reload and have loaded and shot a wide assortment of stuff. I don’t think that applies to your experiment other than I still like to experiment with different loads and types of shot.
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Re: My shot shell experiment this season.

Postby orhunter » Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:03 am

Interesting.... "Slowing down waterfowl loads really isn't an option." Sounds odd. You were willing to experiment somewhere else, why not that? I really think you're going to fail because a single Snow is no indication the load will be consistently effective on them. Especially that load. I would call it a fluke. I think lot of birds are going to fly off with holes in them only to die later. I don't know what the rules are where you dove hunt but why are you using steel? I use 1 ounce of 8's @ 1350 fps. I personally won't use steel any smaller than 3's on any waterfowl or pheasants.
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Re: My shot shell experiment this season.

Postby LongHammer » Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:06 pm

orhunter wrote:Interesting.... "Slowing down waterfowl loads really isn't an option." Sounds odd. You were willing to experiment somewhere else, why not that? I really think you're going to fail because a single Snow is no indication the load will be consistently effective on them. Especially that load. I would call it a fluke. I think lot of birds are going to fly off with holes in them only to die later. I don't know what the rules are where you dove hunt but why are you using steel? I use 1 ounce of 8's @ 1350 fps. I personally won't use steel any smaller than 3's on any waterfowl or pheasants.


The 4 cases of hevi metals on the floor in the hunting room means that's not changing anytime soon.

Steel for the doves was brought on by the cost of lead around here this year. Seems we are being nudged away from lead so why fight it.

In all the hevi metals I have shot 2 to 4s the hevi shot is all the same same size only the steel size changes. But at close to a buck a piece I have not broken one open in a while just pulled them out of carcases.

One timing the snow goose was lucky. It might have been the only one I will see for another 10 years. I am in Arizona. When you hunt for 6 hours and see 3 ducks nothing is out of range!

My point was more toward I am engaging targets with all the loads traveling the same fps. If a duck and a dove both fly 50mph why not use the same lead to kill the dove and shoot the duck in the head?
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Re: My shot shell experiment this season.

Postby orhunter » Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:16 pm

Maybe I'm not understanding your post. A distinct possibility. I read it to say you are shooting steel 6's for everything.
Last edited by orhunter on Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My shot shell experiment this season.

Postby AverageGuy » Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:14 am

LH, I am the opposite. I use a wide variety of loads which I select as the best possible for what I am hunting in the moment. Do the same with my Chokes.
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Re: My shot shell experiment this season.

Postby orhunter » Fri Dec 20, 2019 10:03 am

That's the book I go by. I switch guns as often as I switch loads or chokes. I can do that because all my guns fit me and shoot to the same point of aim. I do see a difference in how loads of different speeds affect how much I lead a bird but that adjustment hasn't caused any problems. I like how much tighter the pattern is with slower ammo. Not that a tight pattern is always good but we can adjust that with proper choke selection. This is always a work in progress. My steel duck loads are the same speed as lead pheasant ammo, 1300 fps. Two's for ducks, four's for phez. I'll be adding a Browning White Lightning 28 Gauge to the arsenal when they hit the market and that may not go well.
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Re: My shot shell experiment this season.

Postby LongHammer » Mon Dec 23, 2019 6:28 pm

I guess it does not matter what shells I shoot. Last 3 trips have been 6 ducks seen 1 shot fired out of frustration for a big fat 0. Not even a coot or sawbill......
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Re: My shot shell experiment this season.

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:16 pm

LongHammer, Do you hunt desert quail much?
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Re: My shot shell experiment this season.

Postby LongHammer » Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:22 pm

AverageGuy wrote:LongHammer, Do you hunt desert quail much?



I personally do not go quail hunting often. Predator hunting and ducks are my favorite. Quail are just something we hunt when we run across them hunting something else. My hunting style has turned Otto into different kind of dog. Those pics of dogs pointing birds 30 yards away sure are pretty but that's not really how we roll.
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Re: My shot shell experiment this season.

Postby JONOV » Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:10 pm

How much difference is the lead required by 200 fps difference for a true crossing shot (where the bird is flying at a 90 degree angle to you? I think it's likely the choke more than the loads themselves...

Always makes for an interesting discussion though.
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Re: My shot shell experiment this season.

Postby LongHammer » Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:25 pm

I have read the lead difference could be from 8 up to 23 inches at 40 yards. That math is beyond my skill set. Chokes are a whole nother story. My Patternmaster code black goose has me questioning the real value of constriction chokes. Before you send something half a football field away why stuff it through the smallest hole possible? Great for launching liquids like a fire hose but solid shot? If you are a member of the flite control wad crowd why would you use a choke at all? The possibilities are endless.
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Re: My shot shell experiment this season.

Postby orhunter » Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:27 pm

Shot isn't solid. It has air spaces and compresses as it passes through a choke. Water does not compress. Apples to oranges.
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Re: My shot shell experiment this season.

Postby JONOV » Fri Jan 03, 2020 5:10 pm

LongHammer wrote:I have read the lead difference could be from 8 up to 23 inches at 40 yards. That math is beyond my skill set. Chokes are a whole nother story. My Patternmaster code black goose has me questioning the real value of constriction chokes. Before you send something half a football field away why stuff it through the smallest hole possible? Great for launching liquids like a fire hose but solid shot? If you are a member of the flite control wad crowd why would you use a choke at all? The possibilities are endless.


Think of a racket ball. And think of a baseball. Think of a Lacrosse ball. Think of a tennis ball. And a Jai Alai ball. And A Wiffle Ball.

All more or less the same size. If you threw them through the air or hit them with a baseball bat they'd have very different characteristics. As does steel vs lead.

That's why you have chokes. I don't pretend to know the physics of them but I know that shot velocity, density, and hardness all play a role.
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Re: My shot shell experiment this season.

Postby LongHammer » Fri Jan 03, 2020 6:07 pm

orhunter wrote:Shot isn't solid. It has air spaces and compresses as it passes through a choke. Water does not compress. Apples to oranges.


Is it really? Constriction lengthens the liquids stream and arguably the shot string. Not saying anyone is wrong but we all aren't 100% right.
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