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Texas Boy
10-20-2008, 6:24 PM
Not sure which forum this should go in.....

Just bought my first shotgun today (Benelli M2 Field in 12 gauge)! Plan is to duck hunt, but I'll prob be spending more time shooting clays - at least for a while.

I've owned several guns, and shot other people's shotguns, but this is my first shotgun. I'm looking for guidance on selecting shells and chokes, primarily for clays and water fowl. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.

Also, I've seen "low recoil" shells advertised. Would these be suitable for letting my 10 year old or my wife try some clay shooting?

Thanks,
Mark

BlueOvalBruin
10-20-2008, 9:18 PM
Texas Boy,

Congrats on the new shotgun, you picked well. You're going to want to break it in with some heavy loads first so it can cycle the lighter stuff better. Some ideas on shells and chokes.

Clays:
1. Shells - buy some of the sporting loads (2.75", #7.5 or #8 shot, 1 1/8oz, 3 DRAM) or game loads (2.75", #7.5 or #8 shot, 1 oz, 1290fps). You should be able to do light loads (1 1/8oz 2.75 DRAM, or 1oz 3 dram) for trap singles, but the benelli might have trouble cycling them for skeet or sporting clays doubles (break it in with some 3" magnums and then try the light loads, it might work great). Your wife and kid would have an easier time with these light loads.

2. Chokes - try out your stock chokes first before you spend money on aftermarket ones. For trap I shoot an improved modified because I suck and wait too long to shoot. For skeet you're up closer so an improved cylinder or perhaps even a cylinder might work for you. For sporting clays, I just stuck to the improved modified because I don't know any better. At my local SC course, there are some really far out clays so I need some reach, but not too much because I'll miss the close ones. Sporting clays is now my favorite of all the games since there's so much variety.

Duck Hunting:
1. Shells - Get some 3" duck loads, make sure there's no lead shot. I use 3.5" Kent Fasteel 1 3/8" 1550fps in #1 shot. Since you have a 3" chamber, you'll have to decide whether you want the mass or the velocity. With steel, I'd recommend velocity since they slow down so quickly. If you want to use hevi-shot or similar materials, your options are better performance-wise but they're so dang expensive.

2. Chokes - If you're using steel shot, generally use an improved cylinder out to 40yards and a modified choke for shots further than that. 40 yards is a long way for steel. You should never use steel in a choke tighter than modified because you can seriously damage your gun and you. For non-leaded, non-steel shot, the rules are different and I don't know what they are.



General choke rules - Pattern your gun, choke, ammo and figure out which combos gives you a desirable pattern. This is a very important step.

Thefeeder
10-20-2008, 9:28 PM
Texas Boy,

Congrats on the new shotgun, you picked well. You're going to want to break it in with some heavy loads first so it can cycle the lighter stuff better. Some ideas on shells and chokes.

Clays:
1. Shells - buy some of the sporting loads (2.75", #7.5 or #8 shot, 1 1/8oz, 3 DRAM) or game loads (2.75", #7.5 or #8 shot, 1 oz, 1290fps). You should be able to do light loads (1 1/8oz 2.75 DRAM, or 1oz 3 dram) for trap singles, but the benelli might have trouble cycling them for skeet or sporting clays doubles (break it in with some 3" magnums and then try the light loads, it might work great). Your wife and kid would have an easier time with these light loads.

2. Chokes - try out your stock chokes first before you spend money on aftermarket ones. For trap I shoot an improved modified because I suck and wait too long to shoot. For skeet you're up closer so an improved cylinder or perhaps even a cylinder might work for you. For sporting clays, I just stuck to the improved modified because I don't know any better. At my local SC course, there are some really far out clays so I need some reach, but not too much because I'll miss the close ones. Sporting clays is now my favorite of all the games since there's so much variety.

Duck Hunting:
1. Shells - Get some 3" duck loads, make sure there's no lead shot. I use 3.5" Kent Fasteel 1 3/8" 1550fps in #1 shot. Since you have a 3" chamber, you'll have to decide whether you want the mass or the velocity. With steel, I'd recommend velocity since they slow down so quickly. If you want to use hevi-shot or similar materials, your options are better performance-wise but they're so dang expensive.

2. Chokes - If you're using steel shot, generally use an improved cylinder out to 40yards and a modified choke for shots further than that. 40 yards is a long way for steel. You should never use steel in a choke tighter than modified because you can seriously damage your gun and you. For non-leaded, non-steel shot, the rules are different and I don't know what they are.



General choke rules - Pattern your gun, choke, ammo and figure out which combos gives you a desirable pattern. This is a very important step.

+1 That covers it. Learn to use what you have...its all you need ....if you use it well....more stuff does not = better results

My $0.02.....I have used Remington #3 steel on ducks for years...#1 and BB for geese....my gun loves these loads

Texas Boy
10-20-2008, 10:13 PM
Thanks guys! That should get me going.

Benelli provides C, IC, M, IM, and F right out of the box - so I should be set. I still have a full case of clays from my last trip to the range, just need to pick up some shells....and wait 9 more days.....

randy
10-21-2008, 12:11 AM
RTFM is the first thing you should do. There is a bunch of useful information in there.

You picked a great gun and should have many years of trouble free shooting.

It depends on how big your wife is if she will like it. Use 2.5 or 2.75 dram loads for her, maybe 1 ounce too.

For your clay shooting Trap use the modified choke. For sporting clays use a modified choke or you can change them for the birds you are shooting. Ducks get a "steel" full. If I'm not mistaken a steel choke is one size off of lead. There again check your manual.

Lead Mod= steel full
Lead IC= steel mod
RTFM

.454
10-21-2008, 7:38 AM
Congratulations on your new gun. What you need now is not other chokes (the ones coming with the M2 are pretty good); what you really, really need is one hour or two hours with a certified shotgun instructor to learn the proper stance, the follow-up of the shot.... all the little details that will make you a good shooter. The risk of trying to learn shotgunning by yourself or from friends? You will be a bad shot your entire life because it is hard to get rid of bad shooting habits. I cannot stress this enough: the best investment in this sport (for you) isn't your $1100 Benelli; it is the $60 / 2 hour session you'll pay a certified shooting instructor to teach you how to shoot it.

popndrop
10-21-2008, 10:40 AM
All above have given great advice - the only thing I would add is that Heavy-Shot or the more expensive waterfowl rounds are worth every dollar spent. If you're going to go sit in some miserable wet swamp with pouring rain and mud and smelly dogs and freezing finger tips and all that...spend the extra $5 or so on the good ammo...and shoot some ducks! Have fun with it, and Good hunting to you!
:36: give'em hell

Barbarossa
10-21-2008, 2:07 PM
Remington shot seems very slow to me, and I've never done well on ducks with it. I shot a case of 3" #4 nitro magnums, and refuse to use them any longer.

I am now using the Winchester Xpert from Walmart at $9.98 a box. 3" #3's, are a great compromise between 2's and 4's. An honest 1550 FPS.

I generally lead with a 3" #2 heavy steel (green box), followed by (2) 3" #4's.

For Trap/skeet, etc... the 100 shot packs from Walmart are like $20.00. $0.20 a shot.

BlueOvalBruin
10-21-2008, 10:58 PM
Texas Boy,

Some good news about your new Benelli that you might not know about:

http://www.benelliusa.com/promos/

Texas Boy
10-22-2008, 6:25 AM
Wow! That is good news! Thanks BlueOvalBruin. I'll definitely cash in on that one. And thanks to all, lots of good advice here. Now I just have to wait 'till the 30th to pick it up.

Oh, I forgot to mention the best thing about this shotgun. It is a left handed model. After 30+ years of having casings and shells fly across my face, I will at last have a gun where this isn't the case. Honestly, I'm so used to RH guns I'll have to adjust to having the breach on the other side.