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Old December 17, 2009, 07:32 PM   #1
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Shot size with I/C barrel for various game

I have a gun with a 26" Improved Cylinder Barrel. It's a classic gun and I'm not going to alter or add anything to it, so it will have to do as is. It's a fine gun for upland game birds and for ducks over decoys. With rifled slugs, it's a good deer gun. But if I want to hunt turkey and geese or flyover ducks, I'm a little bit handicapped by my I/C barrel. I hope to offset that disadvantage a little by using whatever is the best shot size from my I/C barrel for various birds. So, I'd like to know what size shot you'd use in my gun for hunting the following birds and what the longest range is that you would attempt with that size shot. (PS I can't use steel shot in this gun so assume you would use something like Remington Express lead shot for all birds except waterfowl, and something softer than steel for waterfowl.) Thanks in advance to all who respond.

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Old December 17, 2009, 08:04 PM   #2
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Quail:- plantation/preserve/planted - 8 or 7-1/2
Quail:- wild - 7-1/2 or 6
Dove:- 7-1/2
Pheasant:- plantation/preserve/planted - 6 and 5
Pheasant:- wild - 6, 5 or 4

I would limit to somewhere around 35 yards

No idea for turkey ducks or geese - last time I hunted waterfowl, lead was legal.
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Old December 18, 2009, 02:41 PM   #3
nutty ned
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Your going to have to pattern that gun with the ammo you want to use.
I think you already know what shoots best and how far it shoots effectively, since your already using it for hunting.
From what you said you will have to use bismuth for waterfowl and be limited to the same distance up that you shoot over decoys.
Just remember the larger the shot the less dense the pattern no matter what choke is used. Also, bigger shot and fewer hits probably kill the bird, but, how far may it fly first, if you do not break a wing. I went through that phase until I realized I lost too many cripples from not enough pellet strikes with BB steel.
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Old December 18, 2009, 09:29 PM   #4
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open chokes

After growing up in a family where 28 and 30" full choke barrels were the norm, I bought a 26" IC bbl for my 870 and started hitting and bagging more game.

Read an article titled "Don't Choke Up" and never looked back. If I wanted to improve my range or get denser patterns, I went to "short mags", which seemed to make the gun perform more like a modified bbl. I also dropped a shot size, as #4 was the family std, and went to #6 for most of my small game. IC was my go to choke for years for small game, then I got the deer and turkey bug and have pretty much quit, "cept for rabbits w/ a .410.

But IC has its limits.

Turkeys are the grandest game bird there is and deserve "enough gun". You MIGHT find that your IC gun shoots some of the new space metal (hevi-shot, etc) well enough to kill a turkey to 25- 30 yds or so, but pattern first and find out. Any doubt at all, go buy a cheap single bbl w/ a full choke to turkey hunt.

Same w/ geese and ducks over decoys. The premium tungsten/hevi loads may allow your gun to perform more like a modified choke (or tighter) 'cause the stuffs so round and hard and tends to fly true. A good friend killed a lot of ducks in AR w/ early steel loads and an IC bbl in his 1100, over decoys.

I liked 6's for near everything else, except doves, which got 7 1/2 or 8's, whatever was a buy.
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Old December 18, 2009, 09:41 PM   #5
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I shoot # 6's for upland birds, 71/2-9's I think are for targets, I don't like to eat pellets. ducks are a # 4 steel, seaducks may require #2,
upland is a skeet to ic
ducks are 15 to 35 constriction
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