View Full Version : Duck Hunting
November 9, 2000, 11:13 PM
I'm going to try out my 12 gauge Benelli Super Black Eagle with Kent Tungsten 3 1/2" shells this year. It'll be the first time I hunted with 3 1/2" shells. In years pass, I've used 3" 3 shot Kent Tungsten. What size shot do you recommend for Kent 3 1/2"?
[This message has been edited by ArmySon (edited November 10, 2000).]
November 10, 2000, 04:36 AM
ArmySon - Depending on how much ammo you're buying, I'd stick with #4's and try #2's if you're going for more range. I've never shot the stuff myself, too spendy and I do well enough with steel so I don't bother. My favorite load is a 2-3/4 #3 steel.
You realize that a 3-1/2 #4 has no more range than a 3 in. #4, you're just slinging a denser pattern (and paying more for it!). You'll get more range with #2 and still have a dense shot cone with the 3-1/2 shells. I don't know how well you shoot, but having helped put on waterfowl hunting clinics all over Alaska, I know that most duck hunters 1)can't judge distance worth sh$t, and #2) can't shoot well beyond 30 yards. When they THINK they can shoot well beyond 30 yards, see #1. What often happens is that people spend way too much on ammo when the problem is not the ammo at all, its shooting ability (and I'm first in line to admit I've been down that road ;)). Good luck! Hope you slay 'em.
November 10, 2000, 07:16 PM
First, I disagree with Field. I think you do get a little extra distance with the 3.5" shells. I often use them in a combination of 2-2.75" shells, backed up by a 3.5". The idea is that if you miss a bird with your first two shots, you can sometimes bring them down with the extra range and pellet count of the 3.5".
November 10, 2000, 09:41 PM
I think you'll like the SBE. Purchased one myself this year and it's a fine shooter. I still like my old humpback better which I've hunted with for over 28 years but figured it was time to retire it.
Concerning shot size. I don't use Tungsten due to the cost and Steel will kill quite well for me. But I were using the Tungsten I use 2's & 4's like Fielddressed recommended.
I shoot over decoys and use steel in 3" 1 3/8 oz # 2's and 3's. I do carry 3.5" 1 9/16 oz T size for geese If I have time reload if not the 3" will do. The 3.5" sheels don't shoot as tight of group as the 3" in my SBE.
Concerning distance. I fully agree with Fielddressed. Going to a 3.5" shell all you're doing is putting more shot into a given area and that's not bad. Shooting Size T in 3" will give you greater distance than #3's in a 3.5 inch. For the good old days of being able to use lead shot.
If you can get a 3.5" shell that has a higher MV with the same size of shot then that where you're going to get more distance.
Going out tomorrow morning myself. Been a bad year my work schedule conflicting with waterfowl season and the days I've hunted never seen so much fog hold so long.
Good hunting and enjoy the time in the field.
[This message has been edited by Turk (edited November 10, 2000).]
November 10, 2000, 10:33 PM
Shot SIZE is not relevant to velocity, therefore distance. Shot WEIGHT is going to determine distance with a given powder charge. ie if you are using a 3 dram equivalent with a 1 1/8 oz shot charge, it doesnt matter if the shot size you are shooting is #9 or #3. The powder charge is pushing a WEIGHT, the size of the individual shot that comprise that weight is irrelevant. Now getting to the 3 vs 3.5, if you compare apples to apples so to speak and use the same shot CHARGE in both samples (ie 1 3/8 oz), the 3.5 will give you more range if you have a higher powder charge with the 3.5 inch shell. FieldDressed makes a good point about the shooting abilities of shooters and their ability to judge distance. Practice will kill birds, not shell size. Ive got a good friend that I hunt with in Arkansas. Every year he brings his 20 guage out and slaughters ducks. The 3.5 is very useful for geese because you can throw so much steel, you get a lot more T's and BB's in a 3.5 in shell. For ducks its not necessary, but I can see why somebody would want one. Hope that helps. Whatever you get, PRACTICE!
November 12, 2000, 12:15 AM
I don't hunt ducks, but I kill a truck load or two of geese every year. As anyone can tell you, if the shot size is the same, the one that shoots the fastest also shoots the furthest.
I shot 3 1/2 inch shells for several years. I shot a Super Black Eagle for a time. I also shot a 3 1/2 Citori for a season. Last year I bought a Winchester 3 1/2 Super X auto. I sold it and went back to my favorite, the Benelli Super 90.
I couldn't see where a 3.5 inch shell really gave me much over the 3 inch. I mean, sure the shot string is longer, but it isn't much more effective. The most effective loads are the fast ones.
To answer your question, use the same size shot in your 3.5 as you would in the 3 inch. For geese go no larger than BBB. The T and F sizes don't cut it.
November 12, 2000, 05:02 AM
Rock-jock - You outta read up on the ballistics of ROUND shot. The faster you send it out the barrel, the quicker the laws of physics acts on it. You have no range advantage in a 12 ga 3-1/2 or even a 10 ga. UNLESS your throwing bigger shot, which you can do with the larger 3 1/2 chamber. But it gets back to skill. I stand by my argument that most hunters can't hit sh$t beyond 30 or 40 yards. Bismuth and tungsten manufacturers are cashing in on the shooting inability of most duck hunters who believe all the steel shot myths. Better to spend your money on shooting practice and buying and learning how to use decoys and calls. Much more rewarding then blasting dollar bills into the sky.
Ron - You're right about shot size for geese. I like BB, and F is illegal in Alaska because of high crippling loss rate.
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