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Discussion Starter #1
Out of the fog 3 mallards dropped in at 25 yards. My brother and I knock all three down. First one goes feet up dead. The other two look toast then show some life. We proceed to finish them off. At that time the first duck gets up and flys off.
Question?
Is it just that steel doesn't have the killing power or is it shot placement. At that distance I expect to see the all in the bag.
 

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At 25 yards steel has plenty of killing power! I would check on how your guns are patterning, steel usually likes a more open choke!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Over the decoys carlson.
Expert 3"#2. Patterned it and was happy with that.
I agree it does have the killing power. That's why I am curious why that ducks not bagged.
Thanks for the quick response
 

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Manufactures of steel shot have refined their loads over the years to deliver enough energy to do the job...I would check on how your gun is patterning.
 

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I would guess it was the expert. The way they form the shot is not consistant. With that said one time you will have a decent pattern and another you would puke at how bad it is. That's just my experience with expert. Some people might like it but I think its to inconsistant. When shooting those shells I had a lot of cripples.
 

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My philosophy has always been to stick with Federal. The only thing they make is ammunition so they know what they are doing.
 

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BandCollector said:
My philosophy has always been to stick with Federal. The only thing they make is ammunition so they know what they are doing.
There's others out there that strictly make ammunition (i.e Envirmometal, makers of HEVI shot).
 

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You said it patterned well, but did you pattern "others", too?

One thing that is over looked quite abit is "shot string". Not sure how it can really be evaluated by just anyone, but its nearly as equally important as the pattern.
 

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Is it just that steel doesn't have the killing power or is it shot placement.
At 25 yards, the problem has to be shot placement.
There have been many improvements to steel ammo in the last 10 years and there isn't a steel shell made today that wouldn't kill a duck at 25 yards.
So, don't change a thing except for maybe a little off season practice at the Sporting Clays course. Also, hunters can make mistakes in estimating distance, especially over water. A range finder eliminates a lot of guess work with the distances. Sometimes the guessed 25 yard shot is really closer to 35 yards.

From what I've read, unlike lead ammo, the shot string in the steel shells is very short and does not mean a thing when shooting Waterfowl.
 

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I gun with some old timers over the years and they say its ridiculous how steel cripples birds compared to lead. He said they shot 1 1/4 oz of #5's for everything, ducks and geese. He said if they were just shooting ducks they used #6. I understand choke/pattern plays a big roll with the steel shot.
 

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agreed the shell does make a difference, Ringnecks are hard to kill clean but can be crushed with #7's "in the decoys" check your choke tighten it up a little and get back in there....I haven't shot at a Real Mallard in awhile would number #3's a better choice?

good luck

just my 2cents jimmy shutt
 

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Steel shot was bad when it first came out. It is bad now. It will be bad in the future. #6 coper lubloy was the best all round killer Young gunners today never saw it work , but if you put the load of steel on the bird at 25yds. it will work somewhat.I shot lead for 30 yrs. then went to Bismuth . I use #5 shot and it dose agood job. Large steel likes open chokes. Good Gunning
 

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It definitely depends on the individual shell. Last year we had a cripple swimming around on a pond at 20 yards and it took 3 shots with 3.5 inch shells to kill it. Now I'm not telling you I'm a shooting expert but I can tell you I wasn't missing that bird. I called black cloud and they sent me a new box. I would pattern some of the other shells in that box. Could be an issue with the shell.
 

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Inside 40-45 yards, there is NOTHING that steel cannot do that lead or heavy shot can. How dead is dead? I have seen BB steel go almost completely through a nig hinker at 40 yards and would only be stopped bu the breast bone or found under the skin on the off side. Keep your shots where they should be...in the decoys and you'll have not a single problem, provided you have patterned your gun/load/choke combo and are getting killing patterns. FWIW, geese turning out at 40 yards ARE NOT finished birds. Feet down, back pedaling IN THE DECOYS is finished. Inside that range, it shouldn't matter what you're throwing at them as long as the patterns hold up.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for all of the replies.

25 yards was the shot used a range finder. The farthest goose deke was 15 yards.

I know experts stink but after patterning they beat out black cloud, hevi metal and hypersonics.

My concern is a good even killing pattern should drop the bird dead at that distance. The bird dropped then flew off a few flaps later. How do you know if your shell is delivering enough power at the end. The two that died still flopped around on water for a while and got finishing shots just in case.

Just hate seeing cripples get away. This was on a big reservoir( no where to hide).
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yes 25 yrd. 3 shots each. Then went to 40 where all shells left something to be desired.

Blackcloud was solid as well but for the price point went with expert.
 

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Hoops...
if you wanna dig deep into your shooting and ammo here's a couple of guides that might help out. For large ducks over decoys, at any distance, it takes 85 -90 pellets inside a 30 inch circle.
Tom Roster's 2012 Nontoxic Shot Lethality Table

Then it's good to know how many pellets are in the ammo your using.

Average Pellet Count

Now when you pattern your ammo at that 40 yard mark you'll know how many pellets you can get and how many you need, inside the 30 inch circle.
Good Luck!
 
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