View Full Version : what are good size shot

12-14-2010, 9:33 PM
what is good size shotgun shot for goose and what is good shot for duck and what size shot can i use for both?????


12-14-2010, 9:43 PM
The answer is depends. Are you shooting over decoys or pass shooting? Are you using a full, modified or extra full choke? I have been using the Kent Faststeel for a number of years with great success. I have found that the 3" number 2's and BB's they are working extremely well with a modified choke over decoys. I use the same loads with full choke for pass shooting.

I recently started testing some Blackcloud loads, the 2's and BB's in 3" are hell on wheels creating giant wound channels and dropping ducks in the decoys. I have also been using some 3.5" BB's pass shooting geese are also finding them to be the ticket.

With steel speed kills try several different loads and see what works the best for your set up and conditions. You really need to buy several different loads and try them a varied distances and chokes. Mix up the shot shot sizes too to see what your gun likes the best.

12-14-2010, 10:10 PM
use a 12 gauge, i really wouldnt want anything less. For geese use like bb or bbb and for ducks use like 4 or 2. Buy the best ammo you can afford.

12-15-2010, 1:59 AM


12-15-2010, 10:50 AM
As stated above you will want to go to the range and test different chokes and different shot sizes at different ranges to see how your gun patterns. In my own personal experience shot sizes under #2 tend to lose their velocity too quickly limiting range to 30 yards or so. In my personal shotgun I use #1 or if I can't find #1 shot I use BB's with an improved cylinder. I find that this combination works well on both geese and ducks as far as 60 yards. Modern steel shot with a good choke combo can shoot pretty far. I have seen ducks dispatched at a confirmed 80yards with #1 shot. Many people make the the mistake of going to small with their steel shot.

12-15-2010, 10:19 PM
I tend to go with 3's and 2's for decoyed ducks to about 40 yards.. I slip in 3 or 3.5" BB's for pass shooting geese.. this year I swapped to the Cheaper Winchester Expert 3" shells and the ducks and geese don't seem to be able to tell the difference.. I keep dropping them. I've been using an improved cylinder and am thinking about swapping up to a light modified...

12-16-2010, 5:18 PM
You'll get lots of people who disagree, but... I've just cleaned a bunch of ducks and a couple geese from our blind over the last couple days and I'll share a datapoint.

I shoot 3" 2s, two guys shoot 3.5" BBs, last guy shoots 3" 4s. We had a pintail with 6 shots in the breast (mine was the final nail). I don't know how the bird was still flying because it had huge deep holes in it. I almost think their shots were keeping it up! The meat was basically unusable so it went in the duck stick bag I'm collecting for later. I kinda feel like telling the BB guys they need to re-evaluate. They even use them for teal!

That being said, of the 4 widgeon that the #4 guy shot all of his had really effective single shots nearly dead center of the breast. Nice and clean birds. That being said, he is probably the best shot in the blind and the early mojo season birds were working in well. On the one hand, having more pellets helps but on the other hand, he doesn't need it.

At least one of the geese was not a clean kill probably with my #2. These were pretty small geese, if they were big old honkers I would have felt bad.

So, my conclusion? I'm sticking with 2s for general shooting but I'm keeping 1s in the blind. If geese were working I'd switch just to be ready for both. If I was hunting geese primarily, BBs for sure no question!

12-16-2010, 5:51 PM
I shoot fast (1550 fps) #3's for all Ducks. It also kills the smaller Goose species (Snows and Specks) pretty well out to 40 yards. I use a Comp N Choke I.C. choke the choke is pretty amazing, it keeps patterns dense to 40 yds., but not too dense for decoying (25-30 yd.) shots. The fast 3's have been tested by my hunting party for several years and we found that load to consistently kill. If you have the pattern density, you'll drop them.

A fast load of #2's work well also. It's also a good go to load.

If your shots are passing, almost always long, I'd go with #1's. The 1's work well on the small Geese. If your going for the large Canadas at longer ranges, I'd go to BB's.

I've taken a number of small geese at long ranges using #1's with a Terror .675 choke.

If you get into a fierce wind (30+ M.P.H.), I'd go with the heavier sizes (1's or BB).

12-17-2010, 12:05 PM
Why carry three differnt shot sizes when you could carry one to cover any senario you may encounter in the field? You usually don't have time to unload all your #3 or 4's so you can load up you BB's for geese, at least not at a comfortable pace so you can be ready when they come in. In my experience 2 - BB's tend to cover the spectrum while giving you increased range. Another problem with small shot at close range is that the patterns are so dense that it can tear up meat where as large shot will have less pellets passing through the bird.