2 3/4 12 guage and waterfowl

FreezerFreezer Senior MemberPosts: 1,496 Senior Member
My son called tonight and during our conversation he brought up that he wanted to waterfowl hunt but didn't have money for another shotgun. He has a Remington 870 Wingmaster LH in 12 gauge with a modified choke. He shoots it well and its adjusted to fit him. My thought is that a modified choke barrel should be fine with steel shot or should be buy the Bismuth rounds?
I like Elmer Keith; I married his daughter :wink:

Replies

  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,967 Senior Member
    I use mod choke and steel.

    Steel with in range should be good.
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • FreezerFreezer Senior Member Posts: 1,496 Senior Member
    I should have mentioned this is a fixed choke barrel not the newer designed barrel.
    I like Elmer Keith; I married his daughter :wink:
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,346 Senior Member
    NN wrote: »
    I use mod choke and steel.

    Steel with in range should be good.

    What Ned said. I have killed many, many ducks and geese with the 2+3/4" steel #2 or #4 shot through a modified choke, especially the cheap Winchester Xpert shells they sell at Walmart. Modified is the tightest you should go with steel but will be fine for the gun.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,731 Senior Member
    2 3/4" steel shotshells in a modified choke is, in my experience perfect for waterfowl. Buy a few boxes of different brands and pattern them to see which patterns best. Next important step is to make sure he can estimate range accurately on flying birds so that he can utilise the loads he uses to best effect.

    Oh, and 1 1/8th oz loads are probably worth looking at in either #3 or #4 steel. They don't necessarily have to be the hottest/fastest loads but should be loads he is comfortable shooting. ( Depending on how old the Wingmaster is, you might want to put a new recoil pad on it as some of the steel loads will give a healthy recoil.)

    ( Send him over here next May, I will find a place for him in my duck boat.............)
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,803 Senior Member
    Well, for $130 he can get a 3 inch gun...

    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=513844569

    And dedicate it to 3 inch steel shells.

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,851 Senior Member
    All I had as a kid was 2 3/4 inch chambers, except my long tom but I seldom used it because it was single shot. I hunted with my dad's Model 31 Remington, forerunner to the 870. It had a 2 3/4 inch chamber. I killed geese and ducks with it. Of course that was before Steel shot. But later after Steel was made law I shot a lot of 2 3/4 steel through it. It was also a modified fixed choke. I will say you gain some with a 3" Chamber but really it's not a game breaker. It all boils down to that same ol thing, shot placement. If he can shoot that gun good and like Alec mentioned, he can judge his distance to target, and knows his lead, he will kill ducks and geese. Too many people want to blame their poor luck hunting on the gun used, while in actuality it's usually the shooter. So don't listen to people telling you you have to have a 3" Chamber. In actuality those that say that probably don't have any better luck with a 3" Chamber because they're missing birds because they're not leading them right.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 15,055 Senior Member
    Knowing the range you're shooting at is the key...if you can plainly see feet and eyes the bird is in your envelope...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • HAWKENHAWKEN Senior Member Posts: 1,688 Senior Member
    All of the ducks I have killed were with either a 12ga or 20ga, both with 2 3/4" chambers, both before and after lead shot was outlawed. Most of my ducks fell to a Fox BSE, SBS, 12ga, bored mod/full. I like #4 steel for puddle ducks. Because steel does not deform, on its trip down the barrel, like the edges of lead shot does, it patterns one choke size tighter than lead. In other words, steel shot fired through a modified choke patterns much like a full choke. He will not be at a disadvantage...........robin
    I don't often talk to people that voted for Obama, but when I do I order large fries!
    Life member of the American Legion, the VFW, the NRA and the Masonic Lodge, retired LEO
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,967 Senior Member
    Fixed mod barrel is OK
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • N320AWN320AW Senior Member Posts: 648 Senior Member
    Freezer wrote: »
    My son called tonight and during our conversation he brought up that he wanted to waterfowl hunt but didn't have money for another shotgun. He has a Remington 870 Wingmaster LH in 12 gauge with a modified choke. He shoots it well and its adjusted to fit him. My thought is that a modified choke barrel should be fine with steel shot or should be buy the Bismuth rounds?

    Bismuth Cartridge Co, went out of business several years ago. I have a few boxes, but they're quite pricey.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 15,055 Senior Member
    Kent Cartridge loads tungsten matrix shot shells....I like them a lot better than steel, but like a lot of non-toxics...they can be pricey...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,967 Senior Member
    Right pricy, I do not see the need for bismuth unless your gonna use an old gun with a fixed full choke.
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • FreezerFreezer Senior Member Posts: 1,496 Senior Member
    I hunted the refuge for pheasant with a Stevens 311 SXS mod/full (a joy to carry all day) and used Bismuth in that with great results. He is a south paw and this is a LH Wingmaster. He doesn't like shells coming across his face. It has an adjustable drop butt plate and he shoots it well. Before I moved I let him use my Mossberg 5500 mk II and it did ok with it but didn't shoot it as well as his wingmaster. I had heard warnings about using steel shot in older fixed barrels. That's why the post.


    Thank you
    I like Elmer Keith; I married his daughter :wink:
  • N320AWN320AW Senior Member Posts: 648 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »

    Poor day when you don't learn something! That's Rio brand from Spain. They make a pretty good shot shell too.
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,043 Senior Member
    It will work just fine.
    Limited out today on ducks using 2 3/4" shells and modified choke. Wasn't using a Remmy though.
    Freezer wrote: »
    My son called tonight and during our conversation he brought up that he wanted to waterfowl hunt but didn't have money for another shotgun. He has a Remington 870 Wingmaster LH in 12 gauge with a modified choke. He shoots it well and its adjusted to fit him. My thought is that a modified choke barrel should be fine with steel shot or should be buy the Bismuth rounds?
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,104 Senior Member
    I've used 2-3/4" Hevi-Shot #6 forever. I bought a crap ton about 10 years ago and I still have about 100 rounds left. It demolishes birds at 50 yards. Expensive, yes.

    As for steel I see no issue with it. It works if you are realistic about the useful range of the size shot used.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,346 Senior Member
    JasonMPD wrote: »
    I've used 2-3/4" Hevi-Shot #6 forever. I bought a crap ton about 10 years ago and I still have about 100 rounds left. It demolishes birds at 50 yards. Expensive, yes.

    As for steel I see no issue with it. It works if you are realistic about the useful range of the size shot used.
    See, I don't shoot until the birds are grazing the gun muzzle anyway, so for my purposes, the steel stuff is beyond adequate. I know guys that like to take the further shots, and for them the alternative/denser shot materials make sense. It's especially useful when you are looking to pass shoot geese at fringe distances and carries its energy noticeably better. However, if you live for the close-in birds over decoys, stick with steel; your wallet will thank you later.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,851 Senior Member
    NN wrote: »
    Right pricy, I do not see the need for bismuth unless your gonna use an old gun with a fixed full choke.

    No thanks. the few times I'm going water fowl hunting I can do with steel, for that price. I've had pretty good luck with steel in an open choke. It doesn't need a lot of choke because it's hard and doesn't deform, which makes for better patterns.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
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