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Old June 4, 2013, 10:51 PM   #1
H.W. French
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3" 00 Buck, 20" Barrel

Greetings devotees of the scattergun. For general purpose, which choke would you recommend for 3" 00 buck from a 20" Mossberg 500. It's more of a field (truck) gun than anything else and is used more for 4-legged critters. I'm more familiar with rifle/ammo combos than shotgun, but it's such a handy firearm I'm thinking about taking it with me into known yote and cat country for extended stays and even then would only deploy it in extreme circumstances. I don't mind either as long as we have a gentlemen's agreement on boundaries. Either is free to roam my camp as long as I'm sawing logs.
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Old June 5, 2013, 01:30 AM   #2
theblakester
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3" 00 Buck, 20" Barrel

I believe that generally 3 inch shell of buckshot tends to spread faster than 2&3/4 inch. Given that I would go with a full choke to give you tighter groups, so that you can be more accurate on shots over 20 yards.
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Old June 5, 2013, 04:58 AM   #3
CajunBass
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You'll have to pattern your gun really. Don't get your head set on using one particular size shot (there is nothing magical about 00). Shoot several different sizes of shot with different choke settings (if you got interchangable chokes) and see what shoots best. Barrel length does not matter one bit. Shorter barrels just (1) make a little more noise, and (2) are handier to handle.

Having said that, it sounds like you've already got the shells, and just want to know what choke tube to screw in. I'd start with modified and see where it goes from there.
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Old June 5, 2013, 07:46 AM   #4
BigD_in_FL
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+1 on patterning the gun. You might also try the regular 2-3/4", you'd be surprised how effective that can be. Coyotes can be easily taken with a 22 mag, and cats with a 38 - don't really see a need for 3"00. Besides, I am sure you know, you will never the see the cat if it wants to attack, they always find a way to come from above and behind
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Old June 5, 2013, 07:55 AM   #5
.45 COLT
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Putting it on paper is important, but before you do that, decide what type of pattern fills your anticipated needs. There are shell/gun combinations that produce beautiful, tight patterns where you might want a much more open pattern. Some of the tight shooters, you might as well be using slugs.

It has been my experience that if the Buck is stacked three/layer (common configuration), then the more open chokes, no tighter than Modified, produce even patterns. If it is stacked by twos, it most generally likes tighter chokes.

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Old June 5, 2013, 08:43 AM   #6
H.W. French
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Thanks for all the replys. I will have to pattern it when I get a day or two off. The three inch 00 shells are just what I had laying around. I'm kind of fond of 2-3/4" myself. I just didn't want to make a mistake and overchoke it possibly ruining the choke/barrel, if that's even possible.
It's a handy package even though it doesn't swing as nice as the longer barrel. Would it be viable as a field gun just to fill the cook pot or is the 20" best suited for ranch duty?
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Old June 5, 2013, 10:30 AM   #7
SoilworK777
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#1 buck sounds ideal for your purposes. You'll get 16 pellets in a 2 3/4 shell vs 9 pellets with 00.

I'd use IC for your choke.
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Old June 5, 2013, 12:46 PM   #8
CajunBass
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A 20" pump gun is about the same overall length as a 26" double. Maybe a little shorter. Properly choked no reason to think it wouldn't do as a hunting gun. Practice with it a bit to get used to the way it swings.

I'm a big fan of modified choke for buckshot, I've found them to USUALLY work fine, but I hunted with a lot of good hunters who used full choke guns for buckshot and they swore by them, too. As I said earlier, the only way to know for sure with your gun, and your load is to shoot it on paper.

You're not going to damage the choke shooting buckshot. Maybe if you were to use a really extra full turkey choke or something like that, but I've never heard of anyone damaging a normal full/modified/improved cylinder choke.

I agree that No 1 buck sounds perfect for your use, but then I think No 1 buck is about the perfect buckshot. But if I had 00, I'd use them for what you're talking about.
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Old June 5, 2013, 12:55 PM   #9
columbia_shotguneer
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Suggested from above I'd go with either the 2 3/4 or 3 in. #1 buck. It is an all around good size buckshot and patterns good with alot of different chokes. IMO, the 2 3/4 16 pellet load shoots better with a mod or full choke. The 3 inch with an I/C or modified. Have fun shooting!
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Old June 5, 2013, 12:58 PM   #10
H.W. French
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Thanks

Very helpful responses. Thank you all. Can't wait to do a little experimenting.
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Old June 6, 2013, 10:49 AM   #11
Lee Lapin
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The pattern board is the only way to really know what your barrel likes. You implied that your barrel is set up for choke tubes, and if that's the case, you'll need to pattern different loads with different chokes to really answer your question. And IMHO it really is worth doing the work to find out what your gun likes.

Through the years I've found that getting the forcing cone extended and polished does more to help with patterning buckshot than anything else I've done to a barrel's interior other than adding choke. This seems especially true of larger buckshot like 00.

And if you can get your barrel to pattern with #1 buck, don't let anything happen to it. I've been looking for a barrel that will shoot it for more than 30 years and have yet to find one.
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