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I patterned 2 3/4" #4 hevi-shot 12 gauge 1 1/4 ounce load at 30 and 50 yards with a Cabela's MOD hevi-shot choke. I think 50 yards in the max lethal range for that load. At 30 yards the pattern was very even and and around 95%. At 50 yards the pattern was a little low, but that could of just been me and it was around 80%. I think at 20 yards and under a goose will be a little chewed up, but at least I can shoot out to 50 yards. :D
 

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i use a hevishot choke in my mossberg 835 and so does my grandfather with his Browning BPS, and using hevi shot i have successfully killed geese at 50 yards, by grandpa however has been able to take both ducks and geese with it at 60 yards, for some reason ducks are harder for me to kill then geese , smaller target maybe? i noticed though there bullet proof as you can waste 12 steel shot shells on one butter ball drake in the water with out him flying, and thats not bad shooting , thats just bad luck!
 

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I get the same performance from standard factory chokes. The stuff patterns very good! I have used up to IM with no problem with #4 and #2 and turkey chokes for #5 and #6 shot for very tight patterns.
 

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That depends on many variables. How fast is the load and what type of shot and size? This is critical to determine initial and retained velocity. Also how fast is the goose going? Is the goose costing, setting, full speed in to the wind or full speed with the wind and at what angle? If you know all of those factors you can calculate the lead. Then there is the factor of your swing type, timing of the shot, and your perception of what say 20 feet is at 50 yards with a goose going full speed. You also need to really be able to tell the exact range. It is easy to think a big goose is 30 yd when it is 45 or a small one is 50 when it is 40.

So basically you don't have time to calculate leads in hunting conditions and without a lot of experience it will be difficult to know exact range and speed in open areas. You can in an ideal scenario and place a decoy at 50 yards and past out the lead and set another object and then put you gun on it to see what it looks like for a starting reference and then it will be experience to quickly have your brain figure it all out and take the shot. That is why grandpa can till them way out there. Hevi is very close to lead performance and he has probably had lots of lead experience to draw from.

You can spend a lot of money on expensive ammo and do a lot of missing and crippling birds until you get it all figured out or you can make some changes and have much better success. I have shot them out there a long way and used TM, TI, and Hevi, but I chose not to bother any more. Set up right, call good and bring them in for close shooting. Spend your money on blinds, decoys and learning to call with a good call.

A setting or costing bird coming in at under 35 yards with 1550 fps steel loads takes nothing more than shooting at the head for me. I shot two geese at 40-45 yards this year with 1550 steel BB and killed them dead. The rest I shot at 35 and under and killed them with no problem.

If you are having problems killing birds inside 45 yards with steel you are shooting too slow of loads, or too large of pellets. Try 1 oz. #4 steel at 1500-1550 for ducks inside 40 yards; it will give you good pellet energy, pattern coverage and it will shoot right through mallards. Try #3 1500-1550 3" 1 1/8 oz loads for a little more reach on ducks and the same load in BB for geese. Open up your chokes to IC for decoy work and Mod for reasonable pass shooting. Pattern your loads for nice 30" patterns and you will not have problems. I used to shoot those slow heavy loads of #2 steel for ducks and BBB or larger for geese. I had the same problems with cripples and not being able to swat them on the water. I went with tighter chokes and that was not the fix. #4 steel and a mod choke will water swat a duck to 40 yards with no problem and anything you put that pattern on in the air inside 45 yards will come down.

I gave up the high $$ stuff and started reloading and shooting Kent fast steel. Now I kill my birds just as dead as Hevi inside 45 yards for $7.00 per 25 duck loads. Hevi #6 is an awesome duck load, but not at the price for me. There are too many other cool hunting things to spend the money on.
 
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