View Full Version : Thoughts on best shells for Geese.
01-01-2010, 10:52 PM
My son got drawn for Wister Jan 10th and i was wondering what kind of shotshell would be the best for geese if geese are flying at this time of year. two of my shotguns can handle 3inch shells. My kids favorite shotgun is an old 1950's Browning A5 which can only handle 2 3/4 shells. I know there are BB and T-shot I am not quite sure what the difference is or advandage or disadvantage of each shot size. I know hevi shot of other non lead non steel shot is better buy at $4 a shell its a bit much for now.
01-02-2010, 07:08 AM
3 inch #2 steel shot should be fine on decoying geese and would also work well on any ducks that might present an opportunity as well.
Goose hunting has been tough at Wister this year though. My son drew a number 2 ressie back on the 20th of December and ended up getting first blind site pick for the day. We hunted the U's with a massive snow spread and saw very little in the way of geese. Had a single that wanted in but someone next to us took one 80 yard shot as the bird swung wide and missed and that was it. Killed quite a few ducks though.
01-02-2010, 01:00 PM
I have hunted a lot of geese this year, all canadas. So far I have almost literally seen 3" #2 and BB bounce off these huge birds at 40 yards. Where I hunt the geese rarely decoy, sometimes we can peel a few off a large flock and get them to pass over our small spread, but shots are frequently 35-45 yards. Beyond that we dont shoot. I also hunt ducks in the area and want an all-around shell. I recently switched to Black Cloud #3, which knocks the piss out of the ducks, but haven't had a shot at geese with it.
If the geese are going to decoy, and you have shots inside 40 yards, I would agree with Band Collector and get some #2. Something fast like Kent Faststeel, especially if you want ducks too. Otherwise go for B or BB. For the A5 shorty, I would get BB, and hopefully that gun has a modified or wider choke. In my limited experience the geese need to be nearly on top of you to drop one with the shorter shells. Good Luck!!!
01-02-2010, 09:01 PM
My sons A-5 does have a mod choke on it. i guess we will try to stay under 30 yards. Lets us know what works on canadas at 35 to 40 yards. Off the top of my head i would say a 10ga or 3.5 12ga with BBB or T-shot. I would use a heavy gas semi to take some of the sting out of the recoil. Rem imports a Russian made gun from Bakial called the SPR (Iforgot the numbers) its supposed to be reliable and at a good price. My 14 who is well muscled fired some 3.5 #4 with a pump and had black and blue shoulders so a pump might not be the way to go. Again let us know what works.
01-03-2010, 08:12 AM
It takes alot to bring down honkers consistently and so much of it depends on range.
While I have killed them with duck loads (3 inch #3's) because I did not have time to change rounds, my shell of preference is the Federal Tungsten/Iron 2's out of a 3 1/2 inch shell from my Benelli SBE with a modified choke. In my experience that combo just crushes them out to 50 yards. Yes, those shells are expensive, but fortunately I don't have to shoot many and I want to capitalize on any opportunities that present themselves.
When we hunt in Canada however, where there is alot of opportunities on honkers, specks and snows at relatively close ranges we use high speed steel (Kent) in 3 or 3 1/2 inch 2's, 1's and BB's. You go through alot of shells up there and Tungsten would get expensive in a hurry.
Steel is lighter than lead, and while faster, it loses it's downrange energy faster (simple physics). To compensate, larger pellets were designed (BBB and T) to increase weight which in turn increases the downrange energy of steel. The larger the pellet however, the fewer pellets in the shell, which means fewer pellets in the kill zone pattern. Thus the advent of the 3 1/2 inch chambered gun and shell to compensate for steels shortcomings.
Obviously lead shot is a thing of the past, but ammo manufacturers, in an attempt to get us back to the ballistic characteristics of lead (smaller pellets with more downrange killing power) started experimenting with other non-toxic metals that were both heavier than steel and denser than lead such as Tungsten/Iron combinations to hopefully create the ultimate waterfowl load.
These same manufacturers also found that if you increased the speed of steel shot though a combination of hotter powders and fewer pellets per shell (less weight and more enertia) the effectiveness (downrange energy) would increase and smaller pellets could be used, thus the advent of 1,500 to 1,625 feet per second steel shotshells when originally they were traveling at 1,200 to 1,300 fps.
It has been quite a learning curve.
Back to your original question. If you want to avoid the $3 plus per shell for the non-tox hybrids for honkers I would go with a high speed 3 inch shell in BB. Something in the 1,550 to 1,625 fps range and limit your shots to no more than 40 yards. Otherwise you run the risk of crippling the bird due to lack of adequate penetration only to have it fly off and die somewhere else.
Lastly, as someone who owns both a 3 1/2 inch 10 gauge (Remington SP 10) as well as several 3 1/2 inch Benelli SBE's, it is interesting to note that ballistically speaking, both the 10 gauge and the 12 gauge shells are identical in terms amount of powder (drams), amount of pellets (ounces) as well as speed. Therefore, the 10 gauge offers little, if any, advantage over the 12 gauge in terms of "power" and at close to 11 pounds, the weight of the 10 gauge far exceeds the less than 7 pounds the Benelli's weigh.
01-03-2010, 09:35 AM
As bandcollector stated in an earlier post, goose hunting at Wister has been pretty slow this year. The refuge just doesn't seem to be holding the amount of birds it typically has in previous years. Between 3 other hunters and myself, i think we have 7 snows this year down at Wister. Not very good considering the 4 of us hunt every Wednesday and Saturday from November 1st on.
I am the kind of hunter who swears by 3 1/2 inch BB's for geese. If you and your son's guns can't handle 3 1/2 inch shells go with either 2 3/4 inch or 3 inch BB's. I don't think you will have the kind of knock down power as the 3 1/2 inch shells, so you might want to keep your shots within 30-35 yards or so. I'm also thinking that the biggest size shot you can legally shot at Wister is BB, so you might want to look into that before going out and buying T shot. I might be wrong on that though??? If it was me, i would call down to Wister or check the books they keep at the check station and see how many geese are being shot the week previous before your hunt. It seems like the majority of the geese are being shot throughout the refuge and aren't patterning like usual, but instread are ones loafing around getting banged at and a very few drop. If the goose counts aren't up, i would just suggest you grab a great duck spot on the refuge with your draw and make sure your son has some fun banging at something. Good luck out there and let us know how you guys end up!!!
01-03-2010, 10:34 AM
The Baikal Remington has a 3" chamber, and shoot high pressure loads through that gun regularly and it's going to fall apart. I thought about getting one earlier last year and after a lot of research decided against it. If you want a cheaper goose gun that takes 3.5 shells, the Mossberg 935 is a great way to go. You can get a used one for under 500 bucks, and it was designed to take season after season of 3.5 punishment without breaking. I don't have a 3.5 gun, or shoot 3.5 shells, but if I was to get one it would be the 935, as I don't have much in the way of money either. Avoid the Spartan. And as had been said, the 10 guage is unneeded as well.You'd be way better off spending some extra money on 12 guage 3 inch premium shells, as 3.5 and 10 gauge regular steel rivals some of these in price. Hope this helps and go get em!!!
01-03-2010, 11:36 AM
As high as most of the geese I've seen flying this season have been a German 88mm anti-aircraft round comes to mind....:lol bashing sign:
01-03-2010, 07:28 PM
Best for honkers, snows, and speckle bellys...Triple bb...
01-03-2010, 08:21 PM
3" BB or BBB will work good. Get the ones at velocities over 1500 fps.
01-03-2010, 09:37 PM
Thanks guys great advice. Bandcollector looks like he's. set up for a few Xmas goose dinners :smiley_green_with_e . I will take the advice of just worrying more about ducks so my kid can get more enthused about waterfowl hunting. i want to score a goose or two since I was drawn for a COHA hunt and me and my crew didn't score.:( i hope to post some pictures if i get a little bit lucky. I am looking for a partner with a dog if interested pm me.
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