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Old October 19, 2012, 07:47 PM   #1
300magman
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Disappointing Buckshot in Rem 870

I thought I would spring for the good stuff to feed my new 870 supermag waterfowl camo so I picked up a box of Federal Premium 18 ball 00 buckshot with flight control wad.

The shotgun has a 26" barrel with a "waterfowl" choke which seems to be roughly halfway between my other two shotguns with full choke and improved cyclinder

Anyway my target is 3'x3' and at 40 yards I'm ony getting 11 or 12 balls on target, but in a very tall, narrow oval . . . any ideas why I would be getting a pattern like this rather than the usual circle of shot?
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Old October 19, 2012, 08:42 PM   #2
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this may not be it but the first thing I would check is if the choke tubes are in all the way. Even a little loose can through off the patters. After that I would try different ammo.

sorry I know im not alot of help here.
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Old October 19, 2012, 08:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
I thought I would spring for the good stuff to feed my new 870 supermag waterfowl camo so I picked up a box of Federal Premium 18 ball 00 buckshot with flight control wad.

The shotgun has a 26" barrel with a "waterfowl" choke which seems to be roughly halfway between my other two shotguns with full choke and improved cyclinder

Anyway my target is 3'x3' and at 40 yards I'm ony getting 11 or 12 balls on target, but in a very tall, narrow oval . . . any ideas why I would be getting a pattern like this rather than the usual circle of shot?
Chokes for waterfowl have traditionally been very tight ("extra full"). Chokes constrict the shot column. However, shot (as opposed to buckshot), is hardened by the addition of arsenic, and hardens when it is rapidly cooled ("chilled"). The hardened shot restricts deformation induced by the constriction of chokes. But, buckshot is not made in a shot tower or has it elements added to harden it because it is "swagged" (formed with pressure in dies when it is cold), and is made of pure soft, lead. Therefore, generally, it is deformed by the use of a choke. Usually, the more open the choke, the better the pattern will be because there is less tendency for the buckshot to deform (flat areas on the buckshot), and curve out of the pattern. Put your most open choke in your gun and test it to see if your pattern is better.
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Old October 19, 2012, 09:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Chokes for waterfowl have traditionally been very tight ("extra full")
You could be thinking of Turkey guns, or perhaps you are referring to the good old days when moderate loads of lead shot killed waterfowl at long range easily.

But the shotgun I am talking about here is new and that generally means a more open choke (roughly modified I believe) that works better with the larger diameter steel shot that we now need to use (unless we spend big bucks on one of the non-lead heavy metals)

Last edited by 300magman; October 19, 2012 at 09:39 PM.
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Old October 19, 2012, 10:16 PM   #5
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That is the best patterning ammunition out of an 18" cylinder bore. Choke may be the problem
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Old October 19, 2012, 10:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Chokes for waterfowl have traditionally been very tight ("extra full")
You could be thinking of Turkey guns, or perhaps you are referring to the good old days when moderate loads of lead shot killed waterfowl at long range easily.

But the shotgun I am talking about here is new and that generally means a more open choke (roughly modified I believe) that works better with the larger diameter steel shot that we now need to use (unless we spend big bucks on one of the non-lead heavy metals)
That is exactly what I was refering to...the good old days of lead shot for waterfowl. I guess my age is showing. Nevertheless, chokes have always been the bain of buckshot (soft swagged lead).
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Old October 19, 2012, 11:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
That is the best patterning ammunition out of an 18" cylinder bore. Choke may be the problem
Agree with this.

Flight control ammo usually gets its best results with O.C. cylinder.

Any choke tube that catches the flight control cup and strips it from the shot prematurely will result in a lesser pattern then the round is capable of.

Again, try O.C. cyl.

Last edited by shortwave; October 20, 2012 at 12:06 AM.
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Old October 20, 2012, 12:42 AM   #8
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I'd agree with the idea of using a more open choke.

If those shells have 18 pellets of 00, you must be using 3.5" shells. Any particular reason you chose those over standard buckshot sells?
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Old October 20, 2012, 04:06 AM   #9
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My understanding is most premium 00 buck was designed for cyl bore.
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Old October 20, 2012, 09:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
My understanding is most premium 00 buck was designed for cyl bore.
Premium buckshot has a shot cup, buffering added to keep the buckshot from deforming against one another. Please explain what feature is present, not present, that indicates the manufacturer "designed" it for cylinder bore. How would a shell be "designed" to be used in a modified choke? Explain please.
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Old October 21, 2012, 08:18 AM   #11
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I don't believe barrels are "designed" for use with a particular load (like buckshot) but every one I have owned or used shot the best patterns with cylinder bore barrels. Running buckshot through any kind of choke restriction isn't going to help. I don't really care why. Just get a cylinder bore barrel for your 870 if you want to use buckshot and slugs. Or buy a longer barrel and cut the choke off of it. You cannot really expect tight patterns with buckshot at 40 yards either, especially with a choke. (Flite control or not)

Last edited by drail; October 21, 2012 at 08:26 AM.
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Old October 21, 2012, 07:00 PM   #12
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The Federal "Flight Control" stuff patterns great in my 870 (Cylinder Bore).
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Old October 21, 2012, 09:06 PM   #13
300magman
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Well, it sounds as I suspected, that I need to finally drop the $$ on a larger variety of chokes; including an open one.

I just thought perhaps the narrow/tall pattern could have been a sign of something else. (what I don't know) But I was assuming a choke pattern might have been more randomly skattershot.


Anyway, thanks for the input everyone
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Old October 21, 2012, 09:35 PM   #14
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BTW someone asked why I was using big 3.5" 18 ball shells instead of the standard little buckshot loads.
The answer is because I can not legally use a rifle or slugs in some places and must use buckshot...despite fairly open country whick offers many long shots.
I wanted maximum range, and my thinking was that 18 balls would give greater odds of putting lead into vitals than only 9 . . . assuming that both loads patterned equally.



But while I am talking range . . . does anyone know at roughly what range 00buck no longer has the penetration needed to reach vitals?
Each pellet is so light and slow, that I wouldn't think it to be very effective, even point blank; if I was just looking at the #s on paper and hadn't seen real world results.
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Old October 21, 2012, 09:58 PM   #15
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Will they let use this - 945 (315 x 3) grains of hard cast .60 cal "buckshot.":
Dixie Tri Ball 3"
Bullet Name: Dixie-Tri Ball 3"
Bullet Weight: 315.00 grains
Bullet Diameter: 0.600 inches
Muzzle Velocity: 1100.00 ft/sec
Ballistic Coefficient: 0.085
Line of Sight Above Bore Axis: 0.75 ins
Zero: 0.0 Inches at 30.0
Crosswind: 0.00 mph from 0 degs
Temperature: 70 deg F
Altitude: 500 ft
Firing Angle: 0 deg
Cant Angle: 0 deg
http://www.dixieslugs.com/home.html
The Tri Ball will smoke most anything on earth.
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Old October 21, 2012, 11:06 PM   #16
idek
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I was the one who asked about why 3.5" I didn't realize you were using it for hunting. I was thinking of HD.

Since you are talking hunting, I'd second the recommendation to look into the Dixie Tri-Ball load if legal.
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Old October 23, 2012, 12:28 PM   #17
300magman
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My best guess on the Dixie load is no. It is very hard to find anyone who can give you an answer around here, calling the local enforcement officers just gets you the next number for the head office, which in turn passes you off to some obscure government phone number...and in the end you get a secretary who tells you "maybe" and says there is no one else available to talk to you right now. Calling back 100 times and leaving a call back number doesn't get any better results.
I've had the same experience a few times when enquiring about shotguns, and the legality of using pellet guns, its a very poorly run system.


Anyway, my guess on the dixie load comes from the "general guide book" which is only a brief summary of the laws, dumbed down to suit the average Joe, most of the time; but is in no way complete.
In this case the section on shotguns states that I can not use " a slug, or ball."
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Old October 23, 2012, 05:52 PM   #18
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So you are using an aftermarket choke unknown manufacture, unknown constriction, made for either steel or non toxic shot, and wonder why you are having patterning issues?

Factory Remington tubes have Remington silk screened on the side and have their designation under the name. Aftermarket have their names in various places and some type of designation on them usually too.

Definitely time for you to invest in a tube or three based on what you intend to use it for and chosen for what you intend to feed it.
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Old October 24, 2012, 09:22 AM   #19
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Quote:
Premium buckshot has a shot cup, buffering added to keep the buckshot from deforming against one another. Please explain what feature is present, not present, that indicates the manufacturer "designed" it for cylinder bore. How would a shell be "designed" to be used in a modified choke? Explain please.
Fed Flite Control wad is designed to stick with the shot column for a while outside the bbl, so the usual dispersion effect is delayed for a time and a few yards down range. Usually makes for tighter buck patterns. Choke it down and it will strip/fall off earlier.

Fed Flitecontrol is good stuff, but not magic. Works great in some, but not all my cylinder bores. For instance, Rem Express 000buck works best in my Rem870 cylinder bore.
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Old October 24, 2012, 09:46 PM   #20
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Last time I killed a deer with a 12ga I used some of this ammo. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rybvE961DLY

1 65 caliber ball and a 6 #1 buck shot BBs.

Dixie tri ball would work really well too.

It patterns pretty well from my shotgun
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Old October 25, 2012, 09:38 AM   #21
300magman
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Quote:
So you are using an aftermarket choke unknown manufacture, unknown constriction, made for either steel or non toxic shot, and wonder why you are having patterning issues?

No. Not at all. Where did you get that from?

I said I was using a new remington and the factory choke is designated only as "waterfowl" which appeared to be approximately equal to a "modified" choke.
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Old October 27, 2012, 09:51 PM   #22
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You never said it was a factory choke. You said:
Quote:
The shotgun has a 26" barrel with a "waterfowl" choke which seems to be roughly halfway between my other two shotguns with full choke and improved cyclinder
So the presumptions are:
The choke make is unknown.

You don't actually know what the rated constriction is. By your own statements you are guessing.

It is made for steel or other nontoxic shot. Pretty much a given for anything with a 3 1/2" chamber not made specifically for Turkey.

And I forgot to add that it is probably made for a specific size of shot range.

Looking at Remington's website the closest to what you describe would be the Wingmaster HD chokes. These are still specifically marked to their rated constriction.

Wingmaster HD
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Old October 28, 2012, 04:51 PM   #23
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As a rule, where choke is concerned using FliteControl loads, less is more. ImpCyl at the most, or CYL should do better - but the patterning board is your friend...
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Old October 28, 2012, 07:46 PM   #24
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For me anything between IM and M is for slugs, and IM to Full for bird shot up to #3. For buckshot I want the most open choke I can get. That is for the guns I have and the way I shoot. Your mileage may differ but in any case you will be well advised to put in an open choke as suggested if buckshot is intended as a main load for that gun.
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Old October 28, 2012, 08:57 PM   #25
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I disagree with the assertion that buckshot patterns tighter with a less restrictive choke. Now I am talking about basic, no-frills, cheap Remington, Federal, Winchester #4, #1, and 00 buck. I've never used the Flight Control ammo. I've patterned all three of my shotguns, using various chokes on each and trying all three sizes of buckshot in each. Without exception, I clearly get the tightest patterns with full choke. That's my experience, but I'd think that with my "sample of three" shotguns, it would hold water.

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