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2-shot or 4-shot?

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What do you guys normally use? Been using 4 shot, 1 1/8 oz federals over decoys. Most shots are 20-30 yds. Today had to throw 4 ducks away because they were shot up too bad.

I was thinking 2 shot might be better, less pellets?

What do you guys have the best results with in the early season?

Last year I used some 6 shot, but had too many cripples.

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You may want to spend a day patterning your shotgun with different loads and choke tubes. A gun that is setup to reach out to get the ones 50 - 60 yards out is not the one to use at 20 - 30 yards. Finding a happy medium is key. I use to use a full or modified depending on where I was hunting. #4 for early in the season and #2 after the woodies and teal headed south.

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My hunting style mirrors yours. I like to get them in close, my current good spot is flooded willows on a beaver flowage with lots of wood ducks. Mostly close pass shooting. I use the cheap Win 2 3/4" Xpert shells with 1 1/16 oz of 4's through a carlson IC choke in an Ithaca M37. These shells have really ugly shot with lots of voids and flat spots. Seem to shoot about a choke tighter than non buffered lead 4s from my gun. Roughly a mod pattern to 30 yards then they blow up.

Drops the woodies and teal stone dead without poofing the meat up too bad. Also knocks down the occasional mallard nicely but you need to practice shot discipline with 4s on big mallards.

I stoke the 3rd round with 3" faststeel 2s for the occasional hail mary shot at a fluttering cripple trying to get out of range. I usually keep some Faststeel 3's on hand if I'm getting a heavier mix of mallards or the ducks are ranging a bit long. They pattern significantly tighter and hold together better at longer range from my gun. Hope this helps.

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Theres a place online that will ship cases of federal 3" 1 1/8oz shells to your door for $99.99.

I usually go with the 3" BB's from Federal. They were on sale a couple times already for 9.39 a box. The Winchester Xperts were on sale for around the same price but we had problems with those jamming a few years back and haven't bought any since.

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For decoying ducks I use a 3" 4 shot, IC choke, all year long. Shot selection is key. I know what I can hit and keep it to that range. I also carry a second gun loaded for geese and occassionally for ducks that wont commit. 3 1/2 BB for Geese and 3 1/2 3's for ducks. I get more satisfaction out of a high hit percentage than number of shots fired.

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