Pattern comments please

Slugz

Veteran member
Oct 12, 2014
2,644
45
49
Woodland Park, Colorado
I had some time between hunts so I wanted to see what our guns pattern looked like with goose loads. The target paper was 22" wide by 28 inch high.

Remington 11-87 / modified choke / Rem HV steel 1 1/4 , 3 inch, BB
Center mass was 4 inches low and 8 inches right
67 of 90 BB on paper.
20190121_150027.jpg

Stoeger 3500 / modified choke / same shell
Center mass was 5 inches high and 2 inches left
61 of 90 BB on paper
20190121_145958.jpg

Seems like the Stoeger patterned fine.
The Remington though.....I was disappointed in the right component.

Shots were no wind on a bench.

What's everyone's thoughts? Are these performing as specs?
Thanks
 

Slugz

Veteran member
Oct 12, 2014
2,644
45
49
Woodland Park, Colorado
Seems like from reading last night I need to shoot more and take some averages for a good data set.

I also need to shoot a few more with a full choke and check point of impact.
 

mallardsx2

Veteran member
Jul 8, 2015
1,627
13
Big steel shot is notoriously tough to pattern.

I dont know how far your average shot is where you are hunting.

I've tried a lot of shells over the years.

Factoring in affordability/patterning nothing beats these for ANY waterfowl species out to 50 yards.

https://www.cabelas.com/product/Winchester-reg-Xpert-Hi-Velocity-Steel-Shotshells-Per-Box-Case/740470.uts

12 Gauge 3-1/2" 1-1/4 oz. # 2 1,625

Go with #2 shot...you get 60% more BB's to fill in those holes.

Beyond 50 you need bigger shot. But 50 and closer...and you own them....

My guns always patterned best with these shells through an improved-modified COMP-N-CHOKE.

Full choke was a very close second.....

If I have time this week I'll shoot one at 30 , 40 and 50 yards at a piece of paper and you can see the results.
 

Slugz

Veteran member
Oct 12, 2014
2,644
45
49
Woodland Park, Colorado
Those Winchester 2s is what we shoot for ducks and have had great results.

Honkers we are using BB.

Our geese kill hole is at 25 yards and most of our shots are 30 yards and under.

This experiment I'm conducting now is because most of the geese we have are pretty stale and hard to decoy. We have had alot come in cup up and right at about 30 yards flare and turn.

I'm nitpicking now I think and most likley this weather will push a ton of fresh geese in and make all the ones we have now break up in groups and feed harder.
 

mallardsx2

Veteran member
Jul 8, 2015
1,627
13
Is putting the decoys upwind of you 50 yards and waiting for them to pass over your pit and then shooting them in the tail at point blank range an option? Depends on the layout I suppose. And it requires absolute perfection of your camo..

Lot of times when you open up on them like that they flare right back after the first shot in your face and its easy pickings.

It does take some self control and a consistent wind.

Been there done that on those birds that thought they were clever...lol

Not to mention that shooting at a goose's back exposes their vitals to you. Complete spine and when the wings are open the feathers are much thinner there on those last season birds. 1" of penetration and you are in lungs and all of the other goodies.

If I was consistently shooting geese at 30 yards, I would be using a skeet choke and # 2's Those birds that like to sit down at 40 yards are the issue. I feel your pain.

Disclaimer- As you know those 3.5 HV are hard on the shoulder if your not using a gas operated gun. Even if you are they are still hard on your shoulder.
 
Last edited:

Fink

Veteran member
Apr 7, 2011
1,815
4
West Side, MoMo
I'm with Mallards, switch to 2's, the pellet count difference between 2 and BB is stark, like 155-160 to 90. That's a lot of extra shot to help fill out a pattern. It's hard to miss with 2 shot when they're in the decoys, and it'll kill em pretty dead at 40 too. I dont shoot them much farther than that with anything.
 

Slugz

Veteran member
Oct 12, 2014
2,644
45
49
Woodland Park, Colorado
Yeah I agree....may shoot 2s tomorrow and give them a go. I just cut open 3 shells to see the pellet count.
Rem HV 1 1/4 2s 146 count
Win HV 1 1/8 2s 133 count
Rem HV BB 1 1/4 90 count
 

CrimsonArrow

Very Active Member
Feb 21, 2011
664
0
Minnesota
Those Winchester 2s is what we shoot for ducks and have had great results.

Honkers we are using BB.

Our geese kill hole is at 25 yards and most of our shots are 30 yards and under.

This experiment I'm conducting now is because most of the geese we have are pretty stale and hard to decoy. We have had alot come in cup up and right at about 30 yards flare and turn.

I'm nitpicking now I think and most likley this weather will push a ton of fresh geese in and make all the ones we have now break up in groups and feed harder.
Geez, if all my goose shots were 30 yards or less I would use the same loads I do for ducks, 3” #3s
 

taskswap

Member
Jul 9, 2018
132
5
Colorado
I use #4 (or sometimes #6) for just about everything. My range doesn't allow that size for clays but when I'm on public land I even use it for that. I've taken duck, turkey, grouse, and tons of clays. Shot size selection is heavily dependent on the choke you use, how your gun patterns, the distance you're shooting at, and how consistent you are. #4 is right for me - I'm not pushing it on anyone else.

DEFINITELY pay attention to what works in your gun. I have a Remington 1100 semi-auto with a 2-3/4" chamber. It's a gas-operated action that's easily fouled by low quality / dirty powders. And some brands just seem finicky with it in general. For fun one day I picked up a few boxes of Fiocchi buckshot, but it doesn't cycle at all - the rounds seem very slightly too wide/tight in the chamber and they don't extract properly. It loves Federal and Remington, but some other brands just don't run well in it.

This is a smoothbore obviously, and believe it or not I didn't get it for fowl. Before I moved to CO I lived in CT where centerfire rifles are not allowed for big game hunting. You have to use shotguns and slugs. It's a GREAT slug gun, especially with Herter's low-recoil rounds. Despite them being fairly on the cheap side, they run really well and I can get a 5" group at up to 100yds. Perfect for deer hunting.
 

Rich M

Active Member
Oct 16, 2012
185
1
Late to the party...

Used to shoot a lot of bigger canadas (12 pound-class birds) in CT (back when we could use rifles for deer) with Winchester Dry Locks 3-inch #1. Public land birds, anything inside of 65 yards got shot at and usually dropped. They were some nice loads, no idea if they even make em anymore.
 

Slugz

Veteran member
Oct 12, 2014
2,644
45
49
Woodland Park, Colorado
In the end (caveat this was our first full goose season so a very steep learning curve from November to March)

2# worked fine with the smaller lessers. Once the bigger greaters came into town it was evident we needed to shoot BBs.

Will most likely get a Patternmaster choke for next year to cut down on shot length.
 

Fink

Veteran member
Apr 7, 2011
1,815
4
West Side, MoMo
Late to the party...

Used to shoot a lot of bigger canadas (12 pound-class birds) in CT (back when we could use rifles for deer) with Winchester Dry Locks 3-inch #1. Public land birds, anything inside of 65 yards got shot at and usually dropped. They were some nice loads, no idea if they even make em anymore.
65 yards????
 

Rich M

Active Member
Oct 16, 2012
185
1
I just killed more geese with #1s as opposed to #2s, BBs, or BBBs.

Yes - 65 yards.

I wonder how many guys actually know what 65 yards is - that's often a 2nd or 3rd shot for many guys. I'll explain:

Say a goose is flying 40 mph, that's 40 x 5280 = 211,200 feet per hour, divide by 60 minutes and that equals 3520 feet per minute, divide by 60 seconds and you get 59 feet per second (or just google it). Or roughly 20 yards per second.

So you shoot at a crossing goose at say 25 yards, by time you get 2nd shot he's 45 yards, 3rd shot is 65 yards - assuming you can shoot an accurate shot at 1 per second. If he's 35 yards you can only shoot 2x before it is too far.

What's the effective killing range of your ammo? Helps to know. That's where you get more dead birds than cripples.

What's your effective shooting range? That helps too. That's where you hit more than you miss.

So - if you criticize but often shoot your 3rd shell at birds, I call bullshit on you. Some guys do have great hunting spots and excellent calling skills. Most guys only dream of that stuff.
 

taskswap

Member
Jul 9, 2018
132
5
Colorado
Correct me if I'm wrong, but did you only fire one round to determine your pattern? That's not an accurate way to pattern a shotgun. You're supposed to take 3 shots and the average of all three. All KINDS of things affect a pattern and definitely trying different brands, shot sizes, choke tubes, etc. will all do that. Even a slightly off factory load could throw a pattern, which is why the 3-shot test.

My Remington 1100 patterns really badly with those "Hevi" (is that the brand or the style, I forgot... but it's spelled that way) shells some people rave about. I've had really good luck with the Winchester Super X which another poster mentioned above. And I totally agree on shot size. Just go up a single step and it may change your day.

People think I'm crazy but I use #4 for just about everything. I can't do a 65 yard shot like some of the posters above, but out to 35-40 yards I have a lot of confidence with it for just about anything I hunt and I even shoot clays with it (on public land anyway - my range won't allow less than #7-1/2). I know how it runs in my gun and I know how I shoot with it and that's the main thing.