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Tim Frazier

Fixed chokes and steel shot

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dogrunner

Probably, they would have to be right in my face to shoot 5s,  most guys I seen on my trip were shooting 3s

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Rick Hall
4 hours ago, dogrunner said:

Probably, they would have to be right in my face to shoot 5s,  most guys I seen on my trip were shooting 3s

 

There, too, it would depend on what one considers "right in my face".  Though mine are Kent's Upland Steel, some of our other guides shoot their 12ga "Teal Steel" 5s, which Tim might want to try.  Certainly not knocking 3s or even bigger shot, per se, but we see an awful lot of guys through our duck blinds that seem loaded for bear, and often to their shooting's detriment in the case of loads that kill at both ends of the gun.

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Tim Frazier

So I stuck with my #3s for the first three days of hunting but stuck with a choke tubed gun with a Carsons choke tube I have had for a long time.  My shooting was suspect but we had a really good time and we took a decent number of ducks the first two days.  Third day (Friday after the previous Saturday opener) was a blue bird day and we had very good shooting but for 10-20 minutes it seemed.  Rick your birds are all decoyed?  We have a sweet spot that we pass shoot that first week.  Some are in your face, some tree tops but very fast action.  I think I would like try those fives but I'd want to make sure the birds were close.

 

My spaniel Thor is happier than he looks, at 12 he's still camera shy ;-)

ducks17.jpg

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Rick Hall
11 hours ago, Tim Frazier said:

Rick your birds are all decoyed?

 

Mostly so, but certainly not all "feet down," and I'm usually shooting behind others.  There  have been parties so slow getting underway that I've been out of the game, but they're pretty rare and leaving shots I'd probably not take with any gauge or shot size, given my own limitations.  I'll s not pass-shoot tall snows and blues without more gun and bigger shot, but even most of our specks are taken where it's no great trick to put a light load on their thinking end.

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charlo slim
On 9/1/2017 at 1:32 PM, Tim Frazier said:

Everytime I pattern steel with older, but open fixed choke guns...I cringe.  Am I missing something?  1 1/8oz of #3s shouldn't have holes a wood duck could fly through at 30 yards!  Argh!!!

 

I can't really come up with any plausible ballistic explanation for on why an integral choke should pattern any differently than a barrel tubed to similar constriction. Something to do with choke geometry maybe?  FWIW, I've certainly seen integral IC's throw very workable steel patterns at well beyond 30 yards. 

 

Good luck with conquering the mystery, and please report back if (when) you do. 

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charlo slim
17 hours ago, Rick Hall said:

 

Mostly so, but certainly not all "feet down," and I'm usually shooting behind others.  There  have been parties so slow getting underway that I've been out of the game, but they're pretty rare and leaving shots I'd probably not take with any gauge or shot size, given my own limitations.  I'll s not pass-shoot tall snows and blues without more gun and bigger shot, but even most of our specks are taken where it's no great trick to put a light load on their thinking end. *

 

* footnote: emphasis added -  or, as a crusty old Illinois river rat mentor always tried to drill into my thick teen-aged skull back in the early '60's.... "Ya gotta shoot them where the corn goes in, not where it comes out!"  This is not in any way directed at you, Tim,  only a comment relative to a widely ignored aspect of efficiently taking waterfowl (with whatever load).  Same deal goes for upland birds, though often to a somewhat lesser extent because of common shot angles.

 

OK, hopefully somewhat back on topic now -  Steel 6's deliver excellent lethality on mallards to a shade over 30 yards in controlled shooting tests, IIRC. Stepping up one shot size to 5's would add about 7 yards, in terms of per-pellet energy / penetration. In addition, those Kent Upland loads that Rick mentions run 150-200 fps faster than most milder steel loads. That should add another 7 or 8 feet, again from the energy / penetration side of things.  

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