I shoot 3" 1.25 oz #3 steel out of an IC or modified choke for about all of my duck hunting. I prefer a 1400 fps or faster load. That load has worked well on everything from little bluewings to big scoters. Steel pellets MUST be pushed faster to have anything approaching the killing power of lead. Keep your shots under 40 -45 yards, and you shouldnt have any problems.
If you dont mind dropping the coin Hevishot kills much better than steel especially on larger birds. I shoot #4 Hevi out of a modified choke for geese. It hammers them.
For practice, if you can get to a sporting clays range, concentrate on high crossers and incoming birds. That is mostly what you'll see duck hunting. Dont worry about shooting the same load that you hunt with for practice. Most ranges dont allow any shot larger than 7.5 and the difference in lead is insignificant.
Last edited by LSnSC; July 13, 2011 at 05:52 AM.