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Thread: 20 Ga loads for ducks.

  1. #1
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    Default 20 Ga loads for ducks.

    Hey Ya'll, I was wonderin what a good load would be for ducks with my 20 GA, it is a single shot NEF with a modified choke, I have a 12 GA too, (the only 2 guns we have that would be good for ducks, the other 2 are made for slugs, and one is form around the turn o the century) but if me and my brother (who doens't really hunt....ever...unless he is trying to impress somebody) went duck hunting, I would prolly use the single shot, cause I am naturally better at moving targets than he, and, well, that 20 GA just has a special place in my heart, I killed alot of first's with that gun (grouse, rabbit, crow, snipe, exc) And I just love that thing, So, my question to you is

    What would be a good load? Oh, its can shoot up to 3 inch shells
    and what would be the range on it?

    I have gotten fairily good with both the 12 GA and the 20, throwing shotgun shell in the air and hitting them at about 25 yards or so, And I'd love to give em both a try when I'm out moose hunting some time.

    Thanks.

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    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
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    I would use pretty much the same thing I use for 12. A 1 1/8 or 1 1/4 #2 steel. I don't have any experience with a 20 gauge, and don't know if they even make 1 1/4, but I am sure they would make a 1 ounce or 1 1/8 ounce load.
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    I found a box of bismuth #4 a few years ago, inside 30 yards ,they were deadly.
    Alex

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    Member SkinnyD's Avatar
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    Those black clouds that the guy was talking about are pretty good but I can't remember if I've seen them in 20ga or not. I always recognize the 3" #3 box because it has that bearded fellow from Louisiana stamped on it. I saw him at a Bass Pro in Nashville once and he didn't look nearly as gruff.
    Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.


  5. #5
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    3 inch high-speed shells in a single shot NEF....that takes me back to some fun days afield...numb cheek bones...bruised shoulders...good times

    It is going to be a toss up between being able to shoot the ammo well or not. I would recommend spending the money on a non-toxic shot such as Kent Matrix. It is not high speed and mimics the old lead loads in the 20 gauge that us old guys used as kids to take lots of ducks when we were starting out. It is not cheap though so you have to adjust your priorties about using it or not.

    At sportsmans you should be able to find all manner of 20gauge shot in both high-speed and sub 1400fps speed. Stick with shot size #2 to get a decent pellet count and terminal energy in the smaller gauge.

  6. #6
    Member kwackkillncrew's Avatar
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    sell the single shot and buy a 870 express. then shoot 3 inch federals.....and they dont make black cloude in twenty gauge. that bearded fellow on the box is THE DUCK COMMANDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!! only the most bad ass duck hunter around http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STeifXhOIwg
    I will never be a "Prostaffer" its not that I am not good enough
    but its because I refuse to pimp products for free.

  7. #7

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    I grew up shooting ducks with a 20 gauge and steel shot. However, just like with a 12 gauge the alt. metal loads are always going to perform better, increases efective range, and can be better on older guns barrels. However, if costs is an issue, ducks and geese that are commited to dekes can be harvested with no problem using steel. We have a family tradition back in Kansas where we always do a christmas day .410 shoot on a local river. We handload bismuth loads and really like the results. We generally shoot limits of greenheads with a few honkers mixed in and never had much trouble with crippling birds. So...just remember that 5 #2 pellets traveling at 1200+ FPS out of a 20 guage hitting a duck is going to do the same thing as 5 pellets coming out of a 10 guage!!!! If your aim is true, you should have no problem.

  8. #8
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    #4 lead works really good! Been there done that. Nowadays, my wife shoots #2 3" steel at them - it is DEADLY under 40 yards on ducks and geese - big geese - and turkeys - and rabbits - big jack rabbits - works good on seaducks also - - don't get much tougher than a going away shot on a big ole Scoter or a Puffin (puffin tastes like chicken - white meat).

    Get em feet down coming in 3rd swing on the deeks and tip em over at 25 yards - not much will make it through a load of #2 steel at that distance - now if you are at your bear baiting station, I would not recommend steel, or bismuth, or lead out of a 20 or a 12 guage.

    BTW - didja know that #2 shot out of a 20ga going 1200 fps is just as deadly as #2 shot out of a 12ga going 1200 fps ? Same if they are closer and moving 1400 fps.....(and now, deep thoughts....)

  9. #9
    Member AKMarmot's Avatar
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    It somewhat depends on the distance & what time of season.
    They do make 3" 20ga Black cloud, along with hevi-metal & hevi-steel. The wife has had luck with all three out of a modified choke.
    After the first couple weekends switch to 2's in the black cloud & heavi-metal, you can use the 4's & 2's in hevi-shot.

  10. #10

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    Kent Fasteel, 20 gauge, 3 inch, #3 steel shot, 1550 fps.

    You can't do better than that. The only drawback to shooting the single-shot would be the recoil. The Fasteel is a pretty significant load for a light gun.

    If the NEF has a hard butt pad replace it with a Pachmayr Decelerator pad or a Limbsaver. Then you'd be able to take ducks with that load and not get too beat up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jake windemere View Post
    Kent Fasteel, 20 gauge, 3 inch, #3 steel shot, 1550 fps.

    You can't do better than that. The only drawback to shooting the single-shot would be the recoil. The Fasteel is a pretty significant load for a light gun.

    If the NEF has a hard butt pad replace it with a Pachmayr Decelerator pad or a Limbsaver. Then you'd be able to take ducks with that load and not get too beat up.
    I've been thinkin about getting a sissy pad, but I don't feel like spending the money.

  12. #12

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    I've been thinkin about getting a sissy pad, but I don't feel like spending the money.
    LOL! I am a gadget/gimmick lover so I get my guns Pro-Ported, have the chamber forcing cones lengthened, and install soft recoil pads.

  13. #13
    Member kwackkillncrew's Avatar
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    just pick up some of this stuff and be done with it....but i think its only 12 gauge http://www.remington.com/pages/Hypersonic-Steel.aspx
    I will never be a "Prostaffer" its not that I am not good enough
    but its because I refuse to pimp products for free.

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