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are 31/2" worth it?

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so haaad

I agree with Tom Herman. Part of the hunt for me is outsmarting a flock of ducks/geese to get close enough for a decent shot. If you can't take them down with 3" or even 2 3/4, then you shouldn't be shooting anyways. Let's promote smart hunting, not sky-busting long shots.

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Well for some people the 3 and a half inch would be better. Like me, my dad, and my uncle. My uncle is the only one that shoots 3 1/2inch but the extra pellets definatly help. Where we hunt you cant really decoy geese, its strictly pass shooting, your lucky too get a shot at a goose closer than 40 yards. 40-50 yards is the norm. If you try to decoy geese into the ponds or sloughs or feilds you hunting in it wont happen. It doesent matter how good a caller you are or how many decoys you have. The geese know exactly where they want too go. So we drop many geese between 40-60 yards dead. When you only shoot at geese 40 yards high you get **** good at long shots, We shot 10 geese this year and dident lose any. I have too say that Hevi shot 2's and Tungston BB definatly can kill geese at 60 yards. The first time my dad bought Hevi-shot a flock of geese came over at about 70 yards and I dident even shoot, I saw him put his gun too his shoulder and shoot, I looked up and a goose was falling, he dropped it strait down. Longest shot I have ever seen and he hit the goose with about 7 pellets so the pattern was still preaty good. I dropped a goose late season with Tungston BB that had to be 65 yards away, it was one of those desperation 3rd shots that you should never take but sometimes do. Im not promoting sky busting at all, If you cant kill birds at 40-50 yards then dont shoot, Im just saying some people can consitantly do it without cripling many.

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ok a little physics for ya
Force is what we all want at our target.
With steel shot we are limited in mass (I know, bizmuth & hevi shot work very well but right now they are still too expensive for me.I'm a tightass and I know it )
So the only option you have to increase your force with a steel shot load is to increase your velocity.
2 Years ago I was bitchin about shooting steel over fields (which I think should be exempt from the steel shot restriction. Lead poisoning was killing ducks and geese that fed in water and consumed lead pellets in the mud not cornfields)
And this guy from Owl Sports in Glenwood MN overheard me and told me about these hand loads that he makes that he call "speed Steel". He can make some loads that approach 2000 fps!!! He showed me the reloading tables that he used and since I reload my skeet shells anyway I thought I'd try some.
With 2 3/4in 1 shot I was just raggin canadas over decoys (30-40 yrds) The hard part was forgeting to lead them. that was last fall. I just got back from a Nebraska snow goose hunt and I am sold! The birds that I hit at 50 + yards were DEAD!. No sailers no wings broke plain old DEAD
And because the shot charge is fairly light, I don't need to have shoulder surgery either
If your reload, give Owl Sporting goods in Glenwood a call

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3" #2 for ducks and 31/2 BBB for geese. I have shot many different sizes and have found these to work the best.

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I agree with just about everyone on here. because i have used 3 in and 3.5 but i feel that the 3.5 is a better choice. FOr one reason late season geese. It takes alot more to penetrate their feathers in december as it does in sept and october even if ther are with in exceptable range. 35 yards and under. I shoot both 3in and 3.5 through out the season but when it comes to the late seasno you have to go with the 3.5. both my friends are pretty equal in shooting ability but you could always tell who was shooting the 3 in he was out chasing a goose all over the field after the shooting was over.

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I think reguardless of 3 or 3 1/2, steel sucks. I mean that by whats the difference if you have steel from a 3in bouncing off a goose or a couple more pellets from a 31/2 bounce off. I have seen it promote cripples and would rather have my shot miss clean than watch a bird glide a half mile and say I hit one. I myself do shoot a lot of steel because it is cheap and it works decent for early ducks and geese but it does bounce off terribly. This is where Tom is saying that any shot close is going to maximize a kill no matter what you shoot. Invest in time being a better decoyer, and no this does not mean high dollar calls and big spreads. If you are worried about down range knockdown start shooting 3 or 31/2in hevi shot. I know the stuff is expensive, but that is where time at the range in the offseason pays off.

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This is a little off of the subject, but has anyone tried to downsize in their shot? About three years ago a buddy of mine suggested using 7 shot for killing cripples on the water. Worked so good that now I shoot them all the time. I have 2 #7's then a #4 for the last shot. Used to be in the bigger is better mode of thinking and I used to drop ducks/geese at distances I had no business shooting. Now when I hit a duck (gotta be 25 yds or less) the thing is stone cold dead. My calling has improved and I pay more attention to my decoy spread because I know that I cannot take that 50+ yard shot anymore. And I don't miss it. I don't miss wounding birds all day and having to chase them or lose them totally. I know there's a lot of people out there that think the way I used to but you should try it.

Here's a statement that'll stir the pot. I'll kill just as many birds with steel as will someone else will with Tunston or such. Difference will be I'll be doing it at a closer distance.

So many scientists, so few rockets.

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I think that pellet count is more important the further the distance. Need more pellets to fill the pattern properly. At the same time the force or energy of shot is reduced with smaller sized pellets. So it I'd be inclined to say that heavier loads are more effective at longer ranges. Just because you can get more bigger pellets into them. Still must know your own limits as to your accuracy. As in the old days w/lead 4 shot would work but now with steel 2 shot is needed. To keep the same energy due to weight/mass. Steel does not weigh as much as other kinds of shot lead,bismuth,heavyshot, etc. There are more pellets in an ounce of#2 steel than an ounce of #2 lead but the lead will retain it's energy at a further distance. I guess if someone is to make sense outta this, you know where your hunting and the ranges you'd be shooting at. That is what should determine the load you'll shoot. Sorry for the B.S. if it comes down to 3 1/2" may as well go the 10ga. route.


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