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so my first season of serious waterfowl hunting will end on sunday in MI. I tried various types of shells though the season. 3"

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  • so my first season of serious waterfowl hunting will end on sunday in MI. I tried various types of shells though the season. 3"

    so my first season of serious waterfowl hunting will end on sunday in MI. I tried various types of shells though the season. 3", 3 1/2", #BB-4's, all sorts of manufactures. the conclusion i have come to is that for duck hunting, nothing beats blackcloud. last few weeks i shot 3" #2 and its devastating. I dont think ive had any cripples that i have hit with it, and it really hits harder then other ammo i shot.

  • #2
    Scratch- I've shot BlackClouds 3" #3's for a while now. I like their performance, but I especially like their range. Their downfall to me is the devastation they do at very close ranges. I also shoot them coupled with a black cloud choke.

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    • #3
      Don't shoot when waterfowl is close then. And when you pay more for those high performance loads one tends to take good shots rather than go bang-bang-bang.

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      • #4
        Kent #2's have been working well for me. I also carry some high speed Rem and Win #6's for cripples and teal. Haven't had any goose opportunities yet, but will go with BB's for them.

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        • #5
          I also have been experimenting with shot shells and chokes this year, and I think I have settled on 3 inch Kent Fasteel #2's out of a full choke, modified choke just doesn't have the pattern I want at least with my Baikal MP 153 and most of my shots are around 30-40 yards, haven't tried Black Cloud, but may have to after I use up the Kents

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          • #6
            Doubt if you have it right vas.....Shootin steel first off is a no-no idea in a full chocked gun, and secondly with the modern shot cup you can consider the modified tube to be what full choke was in yesteryear. 30-40 yds is good range, and the most popular tube being used is improved cylinder ( IC ) And that is slightly more open than mod. at 40 yds.

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            • #7
              Dangle- The Full that came with my gun is rated for steel, and I don't know if it is because the gun came from Europe or not, but for some reason the Modified just does not pattern well at all, and I have put several different makes and sizes of steel shot through it. Will keep experimenting

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              • #8
                I actually did some research, the choke labelled F-Steel with the Baikal is actually the same constriction as a regular Modified, apparently they label them by what it shoots instead of what the constriction is, weird

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                • #9
                  There you go, good info. True full choke is said not to perform very well by the testers. And if a major barrel problem doesn't pop up shooting steel through an actual full choked gun what is likely to happen is your full choke will be opened up wider, and no longer be a full choke.

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                  • #10
                    My full choke 870 has been shooting steel for at least fifteen years. It has not "opened up." You guys can do a quick check for 12 gauge using an American dime. If it drops through the choke constriction the barrel is not full.

                    I paid the big bucks for a box of Black Cloud shells two years ago. They did not perform any better than the Kent shells I was using. I don't like to shoot at geese "long distance" with any steel shells. Too many cripples. At thirty to forty yards I couldn't see any difference except the cost. I now use the cheap Winchester shells from Walmart and still bat a thousand many mornings. On a poor day it may take three shells for each bird. But that is rare. The Black Cloud shells never shot better than that ... not really possible.

                    This fall I bought four boxes of shells at Scheel's in Grand Forks on my way to Montana to hunt pheasants: 1 box of low base #6 steel Winchester (for hunting fed game reserve), 2 boxes of #4 Fiochi high base 1330 fps lead; 1 box of Federal high velocity 1500 fps #4 lead (essentially the same thing as Prairie Storm without the goofy Saturn-shaped pellets). The intention was to carry high-speed Federals up the tube for follow up shots. Turns out I hardly ever needed a follow up shot so the Federals were not used up till the end of my trip. Probably the best performing shells were the puny low base steel. No kidding! Ten shells for eight roosters in three days. And that last one was out there a ways! At least a broken wing and leg so he was hit well (still froze solid out in the car top carrier with the other two shot on last day as I was leaving for home in Canada - arrived late last night after driving 28 hours so I'll thaw and dress them this morning). Without a doubt the worst performing shells were the high speed Federal lead. Birds did not seem to be hit hard enough to come down and the miss ratio was significantly higher. Had to chase down several gut shot ones with the dogs. Perhaps the pellets were hitting too hard? Maybe they were passing through the birds too fast? Anyway, something had to be wrong with the pattern for sure. I definitely DID NOT enjoy shooting them, that's for sure. Pounded the crap out of me. My Browning auto couldn't absorb enough recoil even in cold weather with the ring switched to heavy loads. I can't imagine shooting those on warm days wearing light clothing. Yowch! The low base steel shells, on the other hand, were like firing a cap gun. No recoil or ear-splitting retort. Very pleasant! However, the Browning wouldn't quite eject them in minus twenty so I had to switch to my 870 goose gun for the last two birds. Turns out I didn't need to. They only required one shot each. With that gun's 30" barrel I could hardly hear those light loads going off.

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                    • #11
                      If you are happy with them then by all means continue to use them. I have been very happy with Rio Blue Steel as they pattern very well and kill birds very dead when I do my part. I shoot an IC tube and have no problems killing birds dead at 40-45 true yards with either 1 1/8 or 1 1/4 oz of steel.
                      I tend to think most folks tend to over-choke nowadays and end up fringing or just plain missing ducks. A tight choke with steel is really unnecessary because you will run out of energy before you run out of pattern density. Remember, regardless of choke, steel is gonna be real tight up close and maintain to extended yardage. If you don't believe it, shoot the water with a load of lead at 60 yards and shoot the same spot with steel. You will find the lead sprays all over the water and the steel maintains a tighter pattern. If you find this to be different please let me know.

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                      • #12
                        Vasportsman: It is an ancient axiom that chokes shot tighter with steel than lead, hence the reason that most choke tubes have a choke designation for both steel and full, IE: Lead-Modified, Steel-Full.
                        And yes, shells loaded with a plastic wad with sleeves will pattern tighter than ancient shells which utilized a fiber wad with no sleeves.
                        The sleeves were designed to protect the lead pellets from deformation from contact with the barrel wall. The tighter patterns were a result of the flyers that had been subject to the deformation now remaining in the pattern because of their non-deformity.

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                        • #13
                          Correction: designation for both steel and lead, IE
                          Sorry.

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                          • #14
                            Ontario..Don't take this personal, but you put out a whole lot of bad information on these threads. Where you come up with some of your stuff is a real head scratcher.

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                            • #15
                              Whoops Dangle, I took the bait. You are an idiot. There is exactly one way to learn something on your own. Turns out I've done that and I wont be shooting waterfowl in close when using blackcloud ammo. As for letting someone else know of my misadventure with the ammo, it's to keep them from finding the same result as me and ruining a perfectly edible duck in the process. From here on out, your advice will only be taken when asked for. Thanks.

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