View Full Version : 12ga goose load recommendations?

November 24, 2002, 10:29 AM
Well, a buddy of mine has offered to drag me along goose huntin this Thanksgiving. His father and him have been goose huntin for their entire lives, so they have everything we need - floatin blind and liscense, dog, sweet boat with some kinda wizzbang blind gadgetry, "big foot" goose decoys, etc...

They've been steady throwing me a little advice here and there - when to shoot, what gun to use, how the day may go, past huntin stories. The only part I don't like is that they're sayin I don't need to bother bringing ammo. They'll bring me some 3" Hevishot they use. Well, ok, I guess.

My dilemna is that I don't use my 3" magnums. 2 of 3 of my 870s are 3", but I always use my 2 3/4" Wingmaster when shootin skeet, deer/turkey huntin, plinkin, etc. Even when I use my 3" 870's, I'm always shootin 2 3/4". I couldn't tell you anymore about a 3" than the man on the moon.

So whatchu think? Should I just dis their offer of the Hevishot and go get me something I'm more used to? Maybe some 7 1/2 steel 2 3/4? Dang if I know. Seems to me it's a little too late to be changin up now.

My gun options are:
870 Wingmaster 20" bead sight/cylinder bore (the gun I use all the time)
870 Wingmaster Magnum 20" rifle sights/removable chokes (about 5 different turkey chokes for it, but never shot the gun at all - don't prefer rifle sights on shotguns)
870 Express Magnum 28" bead sight/ removable chokes

My contention is this - if my 20" cylinder bore takes turkeys down with the right loads, why not use it for geese? From what I hear, these geese are going to be sitting on top of us when we pop'm, so why would we need 3"?

November 24, 2002, 11:00 AM
Take them up on the hevishot . . . it can cost as much as $2 a pop, depending on where you buy. Use the 28" 870 . . . if geese are decoying nicely, the IC choke is all you'll need.
good luck . . . and let us know how it goes. ;)

November 24, 2002, 01:32 PM
The only one you list that is appropriate on an invitation hunt is the 28" express. Shoot their ammo, they know what they are doing!! Lots of us go right into "overkill" on large birds like geese, they are a whole lot tougher than you might think. I have seen them take 3 loads of 3" #4 steel, AND 3 loads of #2 3.5" high velocity steel at less than 35 yards only to fly 300 yards before spooling out of the sky!! If you do not break a wing or get a CNS hit on a goose it is not coming down until it bleeds out. Sometimes you can get 6 or 8 pellets in them and they will drop due to sensory overload, but that is far from the norm.

November 24, 2002, 04:02 PM
I would use the 870 E.M. with full choke.

Load = Winchester "supreme" 3 inch mag, with steel 2's. If shooting over decoys.

Pass shooting would require heavier shot size, BB or T shot.


Navy joe
November 24, 2002, 04:08 PM
Given your track record on the water pick a waterproof shell :D

BTW a duck flew over yesterday, musta seen you canoing, it was still laughing.

Unless you can find some 2 3/4 hevi-shot use theirs, can't imagine picking steel shot over that.

November 24, 2002, 05:36 PM
Jus like the man said in Jaws I, "I think we need a bigger boat!" So I got me one. :D

Ducks can laugh all they want, as long as they shut their mouths before I stick my fork in'm this weekend. :eek: ;)

November 26, 2002, 01:22 PM
I'm preferential to Kent Fassteel loads. I use BB's for Virginia resident and migratory geese, as a body shot with #2's often won't penetrate thickly plumed geese at distance. If given Heavishot for free, I would use it, as it's probably the best stuff out there-however, I won't pay $2 per shell when I can buy a box of 25 Kent for $10.
I'd use shot of at least #1 size. With steel, speed kills. With lead, payload kills.

December 4, 2002, 06:31 PM
Enough down to make a jacket? Or are you gonna' have to settle for a down vest? ;) Or, maybe, just a small pillow . . . :D