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Author Topic: Good shells for mallards????  (Read 4981 times)

Offline Ajj828

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Good shells for mallards????
« on: January 18, 2017, 06:59:03 PM »
Over this past month I've shot at about 15 mallards over my spread and within about 30 yards and have only killed 3 hens. I'm using a benelli nova with a heavy metal modified choke and 3 shot Kent fast steel or either Winchester super x loads 3 inches. I'm having no problems killing pintail, ring necks, buffleheads, and teals with 3 shot but whenever I shoot a mallard that thing won't go down. I know I'm leading them pretty good. Like today for example. I shot at a mallard hen about 30 yards away pass shooting and it wobbled super hard in the air like it was going to fall but then just continued on over the trees. I ended up getting 4 ring necks and all of those were 1 shot kills at ablut 20 yards with 3 shot. What ammo have you guys had success with when shooting mallards? I've tried 2 shot Kent at the start of the season and was missing everything so I switched to 3 shot and started limiting out on birds almost every hunt. One of my friends uses federal BB loads and seems to be fairly successful

Offline WSU

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Re: Good shells for mallards????
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2017, 07:06:46 PM »
Try a different choke/load combo. Those loads will kill ducks at the range you are talking about very efficiently. I often use 4's. Sounds like a bad pattern to me.

Offline northwesthunter84

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Re: Good shells for mallards????
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2017, 07:10:21 PM »
I thump them with mod choke and 2's  at 35. That goes for most ducks unless I'm on  the salt then it's a full choke with 2's

Offline 270Shooter

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Re: Good shells for mallards????
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2017, 07:35:25 PM »
I usually just shoot factory mod with federal 3" 2's. Basically all I shoot is mallards these days. 3's work fine I'd guess that you aren't hitting them in the head neck well enough.
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Offline Special T

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Re: Good shells for mallards????
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2017, 07:44:09 PM »
I love my Kent 3" #3 steel.

One thing I would do is hone the barrel. I take a drill some atf and the shotgun patch head and Rod and feed a strip of green scotch bright pad into it. Put some oil on it insert to barrel and hone it good. Cleans great and takes any imperfections out of the barrel.
In archery we have something like the way of the superior man. When the archer misses the center of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure in himself. 

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Offline bulldogs40

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Re: Good shells for mallards????
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2017, 08:22:14 PM »
Aftermarket choke did wonders for me.... it took a while to get used to a tighter pattern but once I did I have been smacking birds. It not only keeps the pattern in a tight diameter but it keeps the pellets from being too spread out on the longitudinal axis . Most people only think about your pattern one dementional and worry about how wide the pattern is. You also have to worry about how long the "string" of pellets is and when they arrive on target. I shoot a patternmaster anaconda, all sorts of 3in 2 shot, and it keeps me on the birds. Also, make sure you find a shell you like and only shoot shells that velocity.

On a side note I used to shoot a nova with a factory modified choke with super x and couldn't hit anyhing. I switched to 3in blindside 2 shot and i was hitting a lot more birds.

Offline Bill W

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Re: Good shells for mallards????
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2017, 09:12:07 PM »
What I did before hunting season opened this year and later on when I bought a new shotgun in mid-season was to go to the gun range and use a patterning board.

I had one Improved Modified choke tube I thought would be great for 40-45 yard shots.  It wasn't as it had big holes in the pattern.  A Light Modified choke (slightly more than IC) gave the best patterns.   This also lets you know what your Point Of Impact is.

I stapled blank newspaper paper to 1/2 inch plywood to make my target.  I don't think shooting steel ammo at metal patterning boards is a safe thing.

Offline BigGoonTuna

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Re: Good shells for mallards????
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2017, 04:16:16 AM »
i used to have an 870 that shot a foot and a half low and to the right at 40 yards.  always wondered why i could put birds down with my dad's gun and mine never seemed get the job done, patterning it revealed the problem.  off to the pawn shop it went!
you can still get gas in heaven, and a drink in kingdom come,
in the meantime, i'll be cleaning my gun

Offline fisheral87

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Re: Good shells for mallards????
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2017, 05:41:40 AM »
We had two 870's in our group that would not cycle those Super X shells and had trouble downing birds when they did. I have had good experience with Kent, but I'll be hesitant to shoot Super X ammo again.

Al
"Luck is a dividend of sweat, the more you sweat the luckier you get." - Ray Kroc

Offline CP

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Re: Good shells for mallards????
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2017, 06:53:19 AM »
870ís are known jammers but thatís another thread. 

Iím not impressed with Winchester steel loads, they cycle fine in my guns but the birds need to be close for consistent, clean kills.

Federal steel #2 - 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 oz  (Blackcloud or the regular wad) works great for mallards even in full winter plumage.   I rarely find shot in the meat, it passes through. 


Offline fisheral87

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Re: Good shells for mallards????
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2017, 06:57:48 AM »
Quote
870ís are known jammers but thatís another thread.

I'd like to see this grossly generalized thread.  :chuckle:

Al
"Luck is a dividend of sweat, the more you sweat the luckier you get." - Ray Kroc

Offline EWUeagles

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Re: Good shells for mallards????
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2017, 07:28:10 AM »
Sounds to me like a shooting problem not a shell/choke problem. At 30 yards (if it is really 30 yards) 3 shot is a great sized shot for mallards. You should try patterning your gun but I really assume your just missing the shot. Probably more time spent at the range would do you more good than getting a bigger sized shot or changing your choke.

Offline h2ofowlr

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Re: Good shells for mallards????
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2017, 07:28:24 AM »
I usually shoot Hevi Metal #2 on everything with a mod or full.  I got a good deal on Winchester Super X 3", #3 shot and did very well on the mallards.  And saved $60 a case.  May have to just try and shoot them big mallards in the head.  I would say it's the shooter!

I took a guy out the past two days and all he shot was a 20 gauge shooting #5 steel.  He did very good on the mallards.  He was using a factory mod in his Benelli Nova.
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Offline Stein

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Re: Good shells for mallards????
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2017, 07:33:50 AM »
2's absolutely thump any duck at any range I can hit one.  I had a bunch of 4's left over from last year and they will do the job ok although I always find at least 2-3 pellets in the bird.

I agree that 3's should be knocking down birds just fine, I would look at either your pattern or where you are hitting.  Do your birds seem to all be bloody either in the front or back?  Usually when I need a follow up shot I notice the bird has a bunch of holes in the tail side which tells me it probably just caught the tail end of my pattern.

Offline Buckewe

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Re: Good shells for mallards????
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2017, 08:22:01 AM »
I shoot a nova with federal ultra shock 3in 3 shot and I have no problem taking birds at 40. I shoot a Carlson extended full choke. Patterning is the key, once you know how your pattern is going downrange you will hit more birds.
Blacktail lives matter

 

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