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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 09:02am - Mar 27,06
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Location: Chicagoland

Post Posted: 08:18pm - Oct 18,10 
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Hello, just wondering what kind of shotgun shell I should buy and what size. The gun I have is a 11-87 Remington which can shoot up to 3 1/2" shells. Currently I am set up to shot about 50 yards with a full choke for turkey...

Any recommendations? Do I need to use a choke and which type of shells should I buy?


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Joined: 08:06am - Sep 18,06
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Location: Montrose

Post Posted: 10:57pm - Oct 18,10 
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I agree with the aptly named Drakebuster. 3's & 4's for Ducks normally. 2's when going after late season mallards. BB's & BBB's for geese.

I shoot a Remington 887 (which I love, btw - grew up on the 870). I'll normally use the Modified choke. I like the Remington Sportsman Hi-Speed Steel loads and stay away from the Black Cloud or HD stuff as the heavy stuff is too slow in my opinion.

For early Woodies/Teal, I'll shoot up any 2 3/4 shells I have. When going for Geese and Mallards, I like having the extra steel of the 3 1/2's.

My preference is also to work the birds and get a shot over the decoys. They don't have to be feet down, but I hate taking passing shots.......and hate guys on public land who use a full choke to sky blast even more.

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Joined: 11:50pm - Feb 22,09
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Location: Libertyville

Post Posted: 05:27am - Oct 19,10 
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Drake pretty much summed it up well on size! Try the Kent shells, seems you still get the best bang for your buck with them!!!

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Joined: 03:46pm - Dec 8,06
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Post Posted: 06:35am - Oct 19,10 
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I load my first shell with 3" 4's for the early season and then 3 1/2 4's. With just regular steel. Its so light I think you need all the punch you can get.
If i shoot something like Code Blue or Bismuth I'll shoot more 3" shells cause that stuff packs some punch.
I personally like Black Cloud - If you see the way the shot is packed you will know why it works well.
Last, if you shoot a lot of 3 1/2" I would get a cheek pad on your stock - it helps.

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Post Posted: 09:27am - Oct 19,10 
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im for a multiple load also, i dont have the privilege of a 3 1/2" chamber, i shoot a 20yr.old 1187. my first shell is a 2 3/4" #4, followed by 2 - 3"# 2's for ducks. if im hunting geese you cant beat 3" BBB's. if im shooting a pond or small river in the early season i have been known to load 2-3/4" #4"s all day. i shoot a modified choke on both ducks and geese and have had great success. as far as shell brands are concerned i always like the winchester and remington steel, they work and they were affordable. all in all you cant beat good calling to get em in close.
duck

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Post Posted: 09:32am - Oct 19,10 
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I also modify my loads, on the water I put 3" #2 steel up front, followed by #3, 3"Black Clouds. In the field, for strictly geese I use 3" BB or BBB's, maybe even T late, late season when they just won't come down. I shoot a Beretta 309a with either Modified or Improved.

I also agree with all the comments of calling them in(except for that late season stuff). That is the real beauty and challenge of waterfowl hunting. Otherwise, why not just setup a park bench and a loaf of bread at the forest preserve? Or even create a par 3 hole in the field and the local geese will be in there forever.

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Joined: 07:24pm - May 17,10
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Location: Bonfield, IL

Post Posted: 09:49am - Oct 19,10 
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I agree with all of these guys, the one thing that hasn't been mentioned is, take the time to pattern your gun and chokes. Try differnt shot sizes, different chokes and see which combination works the best out of your gun. I personally shoot 3 1/2 #2's. If i'm duck and goose hunting I won't take a shot unless they are over the decoys. I limit myself to 40-45 yards. I shoot a Kcks High Flyer, because it patterns with my load and gun very well. Just take the time to find out what your gun likes and go with it.

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Joined: 08:26am - Jul 1,06
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Post Posted: 04:15pm - Oct 19,10 
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Hmm, interesting, not a word about Hevi-shot. Yeah I know it is more expensive, in fact they are very expensive but that is realative to your skills and how many birds come within your comfort "range". Almost every hunt I have ever been on birds were missed because of range miscalcultions and the shells used just did not have the reach. Hevi-shot helps compensate for that and more than likely you will drop more birds with less shells relative to your abilities to lead and shoot straight. I say try a box, bring a box of hevi-shot and your regular shells and you be the judge. See if your hunting buddy doesn't say "what are you friggin shooting", "gimmie some of those". If nothing else they make a nice last round clean up shell. They really reach out there, 60 -70 yds. It's terrible when you out shoot you bud 2 or 3 to 1. You can take birds they can't even consider and you can take more time lining up your shot. Last advantage is if you want you can shoot a smaller shot size if you want to stay in your partners range limits and get a denser pattern and still out shoot him. Try it, you might find out it is everything they say it is, if it is not, your only out a box of shells. My bet is you will be back for more and you will be pissing and moaning if you pals don't shoot it because they will make you wait untill the birds get right on top of you before they will let loose. We all know the game, some days the birds just won't come in as close as you would like or need, your pals will have you holding tight when you could be dropping birds. Thats ok because once they do get close enough to let loose you can still get that long shot in after they flare out.

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Post Posted: 10:54am - Oct 20,10 
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I've tried the Heavi-Shot and, similar to the Black Cloud and Remington HD stuff, I find it to be too slow. I agree you can get out farther and have more knock down power (better spread) with the heavier loads, but it doesn't help much when you're shooting behind them.

I know where the hi-speed steel is going and how fast its going to get there. I guess I just don't want to have to compensate for a slower load and change my swing/timing....or at least have not had a reason to want to.

GRN HEAD - and anyone else that shoots Kent: I've always been worried about cheap(er) loads fouling up my gun with more debris in the barrel/chamber. Do you have any issues w/ the Kent loads causing problems or is my concern totally unfounded?

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Post Posted: 11:39am - Oct 20,10 
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Frisbee3557.....No never had any problems with kent loads. I never clean my gun except for the wipe down at the end of the day. I use an air compressor to get all the gunk out of the chamber and seems to work really nice. I'm ether hunting or guiding almost every day of the season and I find the Kent loads reliable, affordable and they have a shell for every need.

Would I like to use Heavy Shot everyday? Hell yes! Unfortunately it's not in the budget. For those of you who don't spend as many days in the field, have no ammo budget and are looking for a reliable shell in the field. Heavy Shot is the way to go! I tell all my clients who hunt at the club, if you can afford it...buy it! The reasoning is this...... why not have the most effective laod out there if your only going hunting a handful of times this year.

My opinion on different shot sizes chambered at the same time is: I don't do it. Each load performs differently! So, after your first shot, whatever it may be, if the next shot is different, you have to compensate for the swing of your firearm to compensate for the speed of your load. For example, if your first load is a 3" #2 let's say at 1400 fps and your next two loads are 3.5" BBB's at 1300 or 1650 fps, your swing has to be adjusted to compensate for the speed. The first shot might be behind your target so you adjust to give the bird a greater lead but forget that the next two loads are faster than the second or slower and you find yourself shooting in front of the target. I've seen it happen a hundred times in the field. So I would recommend using all the same loads to be more consistant with the swing on the birds.

This is strickly my opinion and but no means am I a professional reloader or shot expert but rather an end user basing his observations on what happens in the field. I hope this information helps.

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Post Posted: 12:46pm - Oct 20,10 
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My buddy likes to go - "$3, $6, $9" - when I'm pulling the trigger using those high $$$ shells..

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Post Posted: 01:00pm - Oct 21,10 
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What does it cost you just to get in the field? I am lucky to get out a few times a year. I agree Hevi shot is expensive, If you load your own it's a little cheaper. I have shot kent, during snow goose nuisance season, with no issues except range. Them snows are very wary birds, they dont come in easy and if one breaks most follow in short order.

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