Gun Hub Forums banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
What buckshot load, penetration and pattern performance standard would you use to evaluate a shotgun/choke/load for deer hunting?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,055 Posts
Assuming you are using a 12 but you didn't specify which length so the number of pellets varies. A standard 2 3/4" 00 buck load is 9 pellets and that is plenty. Buckshot doesn't respond to choke the same as small shot so the norm is probably improved cylinder.

You really must shoot your gun at some paper to learn where the pattern goes in relation to the bead sight. I don't have a specific load but would lean toward a top of the line load from any of the big companies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,804 Posts
make sure buckshot is legal or required where you hunt, slugs are much more effective and accurate, and are probably a better option.

I only know of a few places where buckshot is required, and in most places where it is an option, slugs would still be a better choice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,118 Posts
RMc, I was a member of a dog drive club for a couple of years and witnessed a lot of deer killed with buckshot. IMHO, I'd want at least #1 buck or bigger and all pellets to pattern in 16 inches or less ("C" zone IPSC target).

As to brand, the Federal shells with FliteControl wads seem to extend your working range significantly. Avoid the LE loads, they seem to be a bit slow (1145 FPS).

As for what your shotgun likes, got to get some range time and see. Generally, #1 and bigger buckshot do better in more open chokes. #1 is sort of a crossover, one of my 870s had a fixed modified choke and did well with #1. For "OO" and "OOO" improved cylinder would be my starting point. :thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Al Thompson said:
RMc, I was a member of a dog drive club for a couple of years and witnessed a lot of deer killed with buckshot. IMHO, I'd want at least #1 buck or bigger and all pellets to pattern in 16 inches or less ("C" zone IPSC target).

As to brand, the Federal shells with FliteControl wads seem to extend your working range significantly. Avoid the LE loads, they seem to be a bit slow (1145 FPS).

As for what your shotgun likes, got to get some range time and see. Generally, #1 and bigger buckshot do better in more open chokes. #1 is sort of a crossover, one of my 870s had a fixed modified choke and did well with #1. For "OO" and "OOO" improved cylinder would be my starting point. :thumbsup:
Al Thompson

Would you consider the range at which all pellets, (regardless of the number of pellets), in the buckshot load stay inside a 16 inch area to be the maximum ethical kill range with buckshot?

At what range did your load/gun/choke fail to meet this standard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,118 Posts
Would you consider the range at which all pellets, (regardless of the number of pellets), in the buckshot load stay inside a 16 inch area to be the maximum ethical kill range with buckshot?

At what range did your load/gun/choke fail to meet this standard.
RMc, excellent question. I can live with a flyer or two (9 pellet OO) out of the 16 inch circle, if the rest of the pattern looks good. I tended to test in five round "groups" and discovered that even a well placed/centered pattern tended to throw a flyer every now and again. To me, the big thing was an average 80% plus amount of pellets in the circle.

I found that between 20 and 30 yards, depending on the gun/ammo match, was about the limit. One good ethical hunter in the club shot an over and under - he routinely fired a "double tap" if he was the least bit concerned about the range.

Another factor to consider is the size of the deer. Here in South Carolina, does run about 110 lbs., bucks maybe 130. So you target area is small, but the deer are not like the small horses you see up north. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Al Thompson said:
Would you consider the range at which all pellets, (regardless of the number of pellets), in the buckshot load stay inside a 16 inch area to be the maximum ethical kill range with buckshot?

At what range did your load/gun/choke fail to meet this standard.
RMc, excellent question. I can live with a flyer or two (9 pellet OO) out of the 16 inch circle, if the rest of the pattern looks good. I tended to test in five round "groups" and discovered that even a well placed/centered pattern tended to throw a flyer every now and again. To me, the big thing was an average 80% plus amount of pellets in the circle.

I found that between 20 and 30 yards, depending on the gun/ammo match, was about the limit. One good ethical hunter in the club shot an over and under - he routinely fired a "double tap" if he was the least bit concerned about the range.

Another factor to consider is the size of the deer. Here in South Carolina, does run about 110 lbs., bucks maybe 130. So you target area is small, but the deer are not like the small horses you see up north. :)
Al Thompson:

Deer along the Gulf Coast are similar in size.

Could you elaborate on why you chose a 16" area for a pattern standard?

Wouldn't a 10" or 12" "kill zone" pattern standard be closer in size to the vital zone?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,118 Posts
Sixteen inches is about what the deer around here measure from top to bottom in the chest. While tighter is better, until Federal's FliteControl loads came out (in a hunting package), a requirement for a small pattern severely limited your range. IME, "OO" buckshot even with optimum choke spreads at a rate of about 1/2 (+,-) inch per yard. With a cylinder bore, an inch per yard is the norm.

Buddy of mine picked up a sleeve of the Federal 3 inch FliteControl (hunting load) and has gotten decent groups out to 40 yards. I think he's over choked (using a modified tube) and can tighten up his patterns if he will go to a cylinder choke or improved cylinder.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
What "new standard" for acceptable pattern size would Federal Flite Control buckshot allow?

Would a tighter pattern extend the range of buckshot effectiveness or just make buckshot more reliable inside of 40 yards?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,118 Posts
RMc, wanted to see the patterns before I responded. Looks like the 3 inch FliteControl loads are viable to 40 yards. His patterns with a modified choke are a bit open. But, the 40 yard pattern is about 20 inches - several flyers opened it up. However, 6 pellets were pretty well centered. If I were to pursue this, I'd go with a cylinder or improved cylinder and see what happens. IMHO, his choke is too tight based on patterns I was getting with the LE 2 3/4 00 loads.

As to effective range, I'm not sure where velocity drops off to the point where the buckshot is a wounder rather than a killer. For me, I'd have a hard time shooting at a deer more than 50 yards away, regardless of choke. The more I think about it, the more I'd want to have 000 in the shotgun for longer ranges, dependent on great patterns of course.

Theoretically, I guess, if you had a very tight pattern and could do some testing to make sure you were getting adequate penetration, range would be where ever you exceeded your personal limits.

On the other hand, a hand sized pattern at 20 yards will put meat on the table. :thumbsup:
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top