After all the warnings about the effective range of hevishot, does anyone know if there were actual problems with stray shot hitting other hunters? I'm especially thinking about goose hunters on the refuges, since even steel BBs can sting pretty good and the refuge hunters get a little close.
I agree with Kid Creole, save it for the geese unless you can afford it. If your avg 1-2 birds a trip, Hevi shot is very affordable. If your getting more than that, out af my price range. I had some "delayed deaths" on greenheads and wigeon it hit in the chest w/#4s. Frankly, Tungsten worked better for me on ducks.
Now the goose loads are different. Took 5 big Westerns in our Sept early season last year, out to 60 yards. They were very,very dead.
I do just fine with my 3.5 #2 & 3s Estates. I get them by the case from an outfit in Texas that ships em free. At 11.99 a box, very affordable and takes birds as far as I need to take them.
Heavy shot maintains significant punch out past normal steel shot ranges, so there were some cautionary notes in a couple of hunting magazines. At some of the places I hunt, I know that I and other hunters were inside each others' 100 yard perimeters, and I have certainly been "rained on" plenty of times.
Kid, almost all of my shots on Specks at my favorite refuge have been over decoys, wings set and gear down... I still manage to not kill them most of the time, even shooting steel BBs.
I like the idea of hevi-shot, but sure would hate to hurt my neighbor with stray pellets. Sounds like an exaggerated risk, which is why I wondered if anyone had heard anything about it.
For ducks, it's definitely way too expensive. But I don't think I fired more than 20 rounds at geese all season.
You'd have to agree that speklebellies are probably the easiest goose to decoy and I should have stated the geese I was talking about were snows and honkers. The handful of times I've shot specks they've been in my face, too bad all geese don't decoy like specs. Hopefully anyone who shoots geese with Hevi-shot will be wise enough to be safe with it.
Whitey1, Wingsetter and myself dicovered some very interesting things about 3 1/2" steel shells this year. We are typically very conservative about our shooting range, this year we tried shots that we wouldn't have taken last year and with the right chokes and right loads the snow geese rolled out of the air.
It also seems that from time to time I have problems killing certain birds, my toughest for some reason is Gadwals, maybe I should shoot Hevi-Shot at the Gads!
The stuff is deadly wicked. I patterned some 2 3/4" 12 ga. shells when they first came out 2 years ago and it tore my plywood pattern boards up. My 3" Activ and regular copper plated turkey shells never did this.
I shot some phone books to see about penetration and it was almost double. Later we used the shells on honkers and they were devastating at 40 to 60 yards. Not only was the pattern tight, the pellets swiss cheesed the geese, breaking bones and wings. Usually I find pellets while skinning ducks or geese, didn't find any with this stuff.
Where I see this shot really shining is if for some reason you need to follow up with a 2nd shot on a running or flying bird this stuff is your best bet.
There are reports the shot is scratching older/softer barrels and the word from Hevi-shot is to use it only in barrels made for steel shot. I've run about 50 shells through my Rem 870 and don't see any problem with the barrel. You also don't need super tight chokes, the shot works best with a modified choke in most 12 gauges.
You're dead right about specks, which is probably why that's mostly what I get shots at. That, and the fact that you don't see many honkers or snows down there (Mendota). When you can get away from the yahoos and get a little decent fog, the late season can be some really good speck shooting.
I can't use the 3.5" rounds, and have no desire or intention of switching guns (have I mentioned that I LOVE my SxS?), so I need to figure out what I'm doing wrong and fix it. I'm certainly hitting the geese, but they're just not falling. I whacked a speck twice inside 25 yards this winter, and he kept going, trailing feathers like a smoking fighter plane, but I watched him out of sight and he never faltered (I know he became coyote bait later, but that's hardly productive). The one honker I managed to collect this year flew on another hundred yards, then landed as if nothing was wrong. I stalked him, and shot him a third, then a fourth time when he jumped. He was still kicking when the dog brought him back. I hit two others inside 30 yards, and never saw either of them again.
Maybe moving to hevi-shot is the answer. But LORD HAVE MERCY! Nearly two bucks a shot, they better kill something!
I've never had a shot at goose Mendota and for the past 5 years or so I only get up to Mendota once or so a year. We have been very fortunate on res. cards, blind selection and being in the right place at the right time at Wister. We've shot a few hundred snows over the last 4 years and have tried everything from steel to tungsten and there's a million opinions on all the shells. IMO a person needs to shoot with what he feels confident in, if a person draws a aim on a bird and doesn't feel confident in his gun, shell selection or combination of the two he's going to struggle with making a clean shot. IMO what works best for me on snow geese is Federal 3 1/2" BB's.
Wingsetter was having problems hitting ducks and geese with his 3 1/2' Benelli and was trying to sell it, he had no confidence at what he was shooting at. He brought the gun up to Kern during the open refuge day and patterned the gun and found the factory Benelli chokes SUCK, he tried different loads and different chokes and his kill ratio improved significantly.
Whitey1 and myself shoot three inch Duplex shot, BBx1 and BBx2 at all ducks except teal, we've shot these shells for the last 5 or so years and love'm, why Remington ever stopped making these shells I'll never know.
Spec, pattern the shells that you shoot at geese and you may find that the pattern is not what you want. I've seen some of your pics and doubt the problem is you but it could be a choke issue.