Best 12ga ammo for Duck & Geese

This is a discussion on Best 12ga ammo for Duck & Geese within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm going duck hunting in a few days and the recommendation I got for ammo was Black Cloud Non-Toxic 12ga 2¾" #3 shot? My question ...

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Thread: Best 12ga ammo for Duck & Geese

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Jmac00's Avatar
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    Best 12ga ammo for Duck & Geese

    I'm going duck hunting in a few days and the recommendation I got for ammo was Black Cloud Non-Toxic 12ga 2¾" #3 shot?

    My question is, why #3, why not #2 or #4 or BB's or.....whatever

    In NYS you must use Non toxic ammo.

    any thought would be appreciated
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  3. #2
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    Most likely personal preference or just what they had to sell. Ducks and geese may require different loads. Geese are harder to bring down then ducks by far . I typically use #4 shot since steel became the regs for MI. It is a good idea to buy a few different shot # and pattern your gun. Finally if you are walking or wading remember especially practice good gun safety due to the slippery , tough walking involved. Have fun , I know I will.
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    VIP Member Array Rob99VMI04's Avatar
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    I'll be hunting in upstate New York starting Next week for the early duck season as well. I don't think Geese is in but I will check. I started up their using #4 steel, but found it had a tendency not to bring birds down very well. I would recommend you go no smaller than #2. I know some guys use BB and swear by it, I have never tried it.

    I have heard some good things about the Bismuth ammution but never tried it.

    I would also recommend you shoot at a least a modified choke or tighter (Improved modified, and then if you have to shoot a Full choke). Last year I managed to bring down a few birds with a straight Skeet choke (which is a very open choke) but had birds I probable could have taken if I had a MOD in the gun.

    I have heard a lot of chatter on the Black Cloud ammuntion, however, I had already purchased 3 Inch #2 1400 FPS for the season. Dicks had it for I believe 12.99 a box. My father in law also reloads his own steele #2 and has had really good luck with it. I'm not sure how fast its going, but I believe the are 1 1/8 ounce.

    Just an FYI Non-toxic ammo for migratory waterfowl birds I believe is a federal restriction.

    Happy wingshooting!!!!!

    I'll post pics if I get anything...
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    Senior Member Array Jmac00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob99VMI04 View Post
    I'll be hunting in upstate New York starting Next week for the early duck season as well. I don't think Geese is in but I will check. I started up their using #4 steel, but found it had a tendency not to bring birds down very well. I would recommend you go no smaller than #2. I know some guys use BB and swear by it, I have never tried it.

    I have heard some good things about the Bismuth ammution but never tried it.

    I would also recommend you shoot at a least a modified choke or tighter (Improved modified, and then if you have to shoot a Full choke). Last year I managed to bring down a few birds with a straight Skeet choke (which is a very open choke) but had birds I probable could have taken if I had a MOD in the gun.

    I have heard a lot of chatter on the Black Cloud ammuntion, however, I had already purchased 3 Inch #2 1400 FPS for the season. Dicks had it for I believe 12.99 a box. My father in law also reloads his own steele #2 and has had really good luck with it. I'm not sure how fast its going, but I believe the are 1 1/8 ounce.

    Just an FYI Non-toxic ammo for migratory waterfowl birds I believe is a federal restriction.

    Happy wingshooting!!!!!

    I'll post pics if I get anything...
    Thanx for the info. I'll try and find #3 then. I'm using a Mossy 500, w/Mod choke. If I actually hit something (other than clouds) I'll post some pix to. Have fun, tally-ho
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    I'm going to try out the Fiocchi Tundra loads this year. I've had good results with Bismuth shot but it isn't generally available at retail for me. The bismuth shot gave the same performance as lead in my experience. That is to say it is superior to steel shot.

    I've shot steel shot at ducks just long enough to determine that it is a poor substitute for lead. I'd as soon quit hunting as use steel shot.

    For ducks over decoys I used to always like No. 6 lead shot and strove to shoot the same size shot with the bismuth.


    Link: http://www.fiocchiusa.com/Tundra.html
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    Member Array NCGunDude's Avatar
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    Non toxic shot is a Federal Waterfowl regulation in all 50 states. #2's for geese on up to #6 for small ducks. I'll prolly shoot #4 at woodies this early season. Can't remember if they're 3 or 3 1/2 inch. Prolly 3 1/2's. I can check it later tonight. It's time to gear up!

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    Senior Member Array Jmac00's Avatar
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    it would be nice if we could all come back at the end of the season and report our results as to what load worked best in your area and for what birds we got.
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    VIP Member Array Rob99VMI04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jmac00 View Post
    it would be nice if we could all come back at the end of the season and report our results as to what load worked best in your area and for what birds we got.
    Well I'm going to post my pics here if I get anything. We are doing Ducks in the morning and late evening and then going to do some Coyotes at night. I got one of those Laser Genetics ND-5 Laser Lights to test this year on some night critters. Last year we hit a few ducks and couldn't find them only to go out the next morning finding nothing but coyote prints feathers and bones.
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    Senior Member Array Jmac00's Avatar
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    I'm going out Saturday Morning, I can't leave here til 3:00pm friday, thats puts me at camp around 5 or 6. By the time I get everything set up I'll be ready to go out and hit the Coyotes friday night
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    Back when I hunted waterfowl in the 90's,we used #4 steel on teal,and either #4 or #2 on mallards and pintail etc.,for geese I found that BBB worked very well,but some guys used either F shot,or T shot on geese,My Beretta 390 came with steel shot choke tubes
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    Senior Member Array Jmac00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    Back when I hunted waterfowl in the 90's,we used #4 steel on teal,and either #4 or #2 on mallards and pintail etc.,for geese I found that BBB worked very well,but some guys used either F shot,or T shot on geese,My Beretta 390 came with steel shot choke tubes
    there is actually a special choke for steel shot
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    I use #2.

    Don't let anyone tell you what to shoot, because it doesn't matter.

    What does matter is that you pattern your gun with the loads that you are going to shoot. Some shot sizes will pattern better than others.

    The steel shot needs a more open choke to pattern well. Many people make the mistake of using to tight a choke. The standard method is to use one size more open choke that what you would use with lead. If you used a full choke with lead shot, then use a modified with steel shot. Steel shot doesn't compress like lead shot will and it needs less constriction in the choke to pattern the same. It is typical for large shot to shoot better with less choke,some guns actually do better with an improved cylinder when shooting large steel shot.

    All shotguns are different. Pattern your shotgun before the season arrives and adjust if needed. Make sure you know where the gun shoots, many shotguns don't shoot to the point of aim.
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  14. #13
    Senior Member Array Jmac00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    I use #2.

    Don't let anyone tell you what to shoot, because it doesn't matter.

    What does matter is that you pattern your gun with the loads that you are going to shoot. Some shot sizes will pattern better than others.

    The steel shot needs a more open choke to pattern well. Many people make the mistake of using to tight a choke. The standard method is to use one size more open choke that what you would use with lead. If you used a full choke with lead shot, then use a modified with steel shot. Steel shot doesn't compress like lead shot will and it needs less constriction in the choke to pattern the same. It is typical for large shot to shoot better with less choke,some guns actually do better with an improved cylinder when shooting large steel shot.

    All shotguns are different. Pattern your shotgun before the season arrives and adjust if needed. Make sure you know where the gun shoots, many shotguns don't shoot to the point of aim.



    no kidding, mine can't hit a barn
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    It you cant hit a barn standing still how are you going to hit a duck flying 60 MPH?
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  16. #15
    Senior Member Array Jmac00's Avatar
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    I was just kidding I hit plenty of ducks.........I ain't to bad with skeet either
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