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patterning

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I shoot the Black Cloud #2 3.5" with a Briley X2 Light Modified choke. I tried all the black cloud chokes and many modified chokes and the LM pattern was far better than the rest.

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3.5 Black Cloud 2's and BB's, out of factory modified choke work great out of my SBEII. Pattern is tight up close, but smokes birds. I've also shot 3.5 Wingmaster BB's with modified choke at high flying honkers, and that stuff is amazing. My buddies and I were shocked at how far we could fold birds with it, but I use it sparingly since it costs an arm and a leg.

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I would suspect if you could narrow down what you were hunting you could get a better answer, just a thought? Most all shotguns will pattern differently and it might not be much but they can be different! Pattern Board,ammo and due diligence will be the only way to find out what your shotgun shoots well and it's a blast trying different loads and chokes! I strictly like Primos tubes in my SBEII 2003 12 Ga! It likes the expensive heavy shot and Winchester hybrid stuff a lot!

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I'm mainly looking for a load and choke best suited for goose hunting. Ducks I can get by without getting too caught up in patterning but sometime honkers are tough to drop, I was looking at maybe getting a PatternMaster?

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As for the load, you will get about 3 pellets extra out of a 3.5" compared to the 3" load in #2. You get the same power factor but with 3 extra pellets and heavier recoil. The pellets won't go any further, so I would not bother with the more expensive 3.5" expecting more distance. I would go with Black Cloud #2 in 3" or #0 in 3". The #3 in 3" is good for both ducks and geese if you hunt in an area where there is both and don't want to bother switching on the run. Modified choke is what I use and works fine.

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Actually there are about 30 more pellets plus or minus a few in a 3.5" BC compared to the 3". Distance wise they do shoot the same, but more pellets will allow you to shoot a slightly more open choke and acheive a better pattern. My gun actually patterned better with the LM than the Mod at 40 and 50 yds.

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photo.jpg Here is a photo of the 3.5" BC #2 using the Briley LM(non ported) at 40 yds. I have my gun set up to shoot about 60/40. Edited by cootcommander

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For Honker's I'll only use one of two loads, Winchester 3.5" #2's or BB's, either one will work. I think the most important part when it comes to hunting Honker's is the choke selection and the shot placement. I use the Patternmaster Long Range choke and it's a nasty combination for big geese :D

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Actually there are about 30 more pellets plus or minus a few in a 3.5" BC compared to the 3". Distance wise they do shoot the same, but more pellets will allow you to shoot a slightly more open choke and acheive a better pattern. My gun actually patterned better with the LM than the Mod at 40 and 50 yds.

 

30? I have not taken one appart to count them myself, but 30 seems a bit high for an extra .5". If my memory serves me well, I think I have seen posted here before that the #OO in 3.5" has only 3 more pellets than the 3", and that I admitt that I may be mistaken on the #2. However, 30 extras in the #2 on the 3.5" seems a bit high. #4 I could believe but for #2, this has me scratching my head. Are you sure about that?

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I have taken them apart. There is also a chart on duckhuntingchat.com in the reloading section that has a chart. #2 steel shot in 1 1/4 oz which is what the 3" shell is has approx 155 pellets. 1 1/2 oz (3 1/2" shell) has approx 186.

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Well I'll be darned... I just might consider getting the 3.5" next season. But then again, it most likely cheaper to adjust my aim and keep buying the 3". Do you know the diff between the 2.5" vs 3"?

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