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Author Topic: Good shells for mallards????  (Read 2071 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.
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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!
life is too short to hunt with an ugly 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
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Online 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.
Cut em!
It's not the shells!  It's the shooter!

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

Offline h2ofowlr

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Re: Good shells for mallards????
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2017, 03:43:29 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
I read your post again and something else to maybe try is pull your hevi-metal choke and throw the factory mod back in.  It is ideally set up for Hevi-Shot/Metal wad and shot set up.  They run a thicker wad cup.
If the birds are wobbling after being shot, your probably shooting behind and getting them in rear half or ass end.  May not be leading them as much as you think.  Only speaking from experience.  If your missing everything with #2 consider patterning your gun with that choke.  #2 performs very well and more pellets on target than BB's.  BB's just make a larger wound channel and depper penetration, so 1 pellet on target may do the trick to bring the down in some cases.  I know there is a formula for pellets on target for lethal kills and it can be found if you do some searching. 
Another thought is you may pull enough lead when you pull the trigger, but if you have poor follow through you will loose that lead and shoot behind.  Follow through is key for hammer the birds.
Cut em!
It's not the shells!  It's the shooter!

Offline JODakota

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Re: Good shells for mallards????
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2017, 04:06:50 PM »
Quote
870ís are known jammers but thatís another thread.

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

Al

Ha, as would I!
Not for self, but for country

Offline Stein

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Re: Good shells for mallards????
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2017, 04:29:24 PM »
Quote
870ís are known jammers but thatís another thread.

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

Al

Ha, as would I!

I don't know about the thread, but you are more than welcome to see my 870 jammer special.  First problem is the extractor, you need to replace it with one that isn't injection molded (somehow this was 10% of the price I paid for the gun).  Then, it will at least extract if you can get the shell out of the chamber.  Any minor amount of dirt, carbon or whatever will lock it up tight.

They work fine on a warm, dry day (99.9% of when people shoot them).  Take them to a duck blind in Western WA and you will be disappointed.

Offline Buckewe

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Re: Good shells for mallards????
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2017, 04:55:30 PM »
http://hunting-washington.com/smf/index.php/topic,204362.0.html

I think this is the thread they are referring to
Blacktail lives matter

Offline fisheral87

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Re: Good shells for mallards????
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2017, 04:35:06 AM »
Never experienced this with my wingmaster except with super x ammo.

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

Offline chester

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Re: Good shells for mallards????
« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2017, 04:42:41 AM »
Quote
870ís are known jammers but thatís another thread.

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

Al

Ha, as would I!

I don't know about the thread, but you are more than welcome to see my 870 jammer special.  First problem is the extractor, you need to replace it with one that isn't injection molded (somehow this was 10% of the price I paid for the gun).  Then, it will at least extract if you can get the shell out of the chamber.  Any minor amount of dirt, carbon or whatever will lock it up tight.

They work fine on a warm, dry day (99.9% of when people shoot them).  Take them to a duck blind in Western WA and you will be disappointed.
I know several people with 870 express super magnum shotguns that all have issues with jamming as well . I've only seen it be an issue on the 870 chambered for 3.5" shells


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Offline BigGoonTuna

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Re: Good shells for mallards????
« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2017, 06:03:43 AM »
mine was a 2008ish wingmaster.  however, a bunch of things they had done to the express to make them cheaper could be found on my gun(like the magazine tube and cap, mine had the plastic retainer instead of the spring loaded ball).  wouldn't be surprised if mine had the cheaper extractor.  after about 500 shells through the gun, the ejector was almost worn out, too.

i had a youth model 870 express 20ga that i traded in with my 12ga(i picked it up from a co worker cheap), you nearly had to smack the butt on the ground to open the action with an empty chamber!
life is too short to hunt with an ugly gun!

Offline huntingfool7

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Re: Good shells for mallards????
« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2017, 06:50:21 AM »
It's already been said a couple times above.  The OP is wobbling birds at thirty yards while dumping them at twenty means he's likely shooting a little behind.  Need to get the pattern on the front of the bird.

Offline ian_padron

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Re: Good shells for mallards????
« Reply #23 on: January 20, 2017, 11:36:49 AM »
Super X in 3 shot stone birds dead out to 40 for me shooting them through a full choke. Switched from the factory mod to full about halfway through the season for a similar reason to your issue and now there is not a duck that leaves my spread if I do my job.

Offline Bill W

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Re: Good shells for mallards????
« Reply #24 on: January 20, 2017, 12:14:30 PM »
The year was 1975 and I was sure that those crappy black Remington field loads were responsible for me having a 1 duck for 20 shot ratio.  I felt better ammo would fix this problem.   Flash forward 40 or so years and I now feel that ammo was just fine.  It was my shooting and not patterning the gun.  The Ithaca 37 had  too short of a stock for me and made me shoot too high.  I swapped it out for a Winchester 1400 that "shot where I looked" and the ducks started to fall.  A few trips to the trap range made things even better.   Over the years I shot 8 triples on ducks with that 1400 and trips to the trap range.