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buckshot pattern for deer???


bluewater
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If I were to use "buckshot" for deer (and I wouldn't) I'd use the biggest capacity shell with the largest size pellets to try and carry as much energy into the deer as possible. Both Winchester & Remington make a 3-1/2" shell which holds 18 pellets of 00 and a 3" shell with 10 pellets of 000. My thought would be to use a 26" barrel for quick handling and ease of use in thick cover. A modified choke to keep the pattern tight for as long as possible without mashing the pellets together coming out of the barrel. BUT ... you’d really have to pattern test each choke and each shotgun shell brand & load to see how they perform at your anticipated maximum shooting range. (To define your limits of shooter and equipment)

 

Now ... 00 is .33" in diameter and 000 is .36" in diameter. With the common 00; it's roughly equivalent to trying to kill a deer with a 32 caliber black powder handgun loaded with a round ball ... except the pistol would probably be MORE accurate. I'm guessing on pellet weight here, but starting at roughly 1200fps a .33" lead ball (which has the ballistic coefficient of a boat anchor) has about 240ft/lbs of energy at the muzzle and 185ft/lbs at 50 yards. If you go with the conventionally accepted figure of ethically killing a deer as 1000 ft/lbs ... you have to get at least 5 pellets into the VITALS of a deer at 25 yards to be assured of a clean kill. Personally, I don’t think that’s a high percentage situation in either the accuracy, nor the energy departments. Compare that to the 2400 ft/lbs of energy a modern sabot slug is STILL carrying ACCURATELY at 100 yards!!! Hence the reason that some states have banned buckshot from the deer woods ... too many wounded animals. All of which is why you almost never see any articles written about "buckshot" in any hunting magazine; while you see two or three in magazines addressing the advances in shotgun slug technology each year.

 

With the obvious bias for slugs out of the way ... I know tradition plays a part in hunting, especially in some areas ... and traditions are often hard to discard. I personally think that buckshot can be used ethically and with good results in the hands of a disciplined and conscientious hunter who keeps his shots to close range (under 35 yards) and only shoots when he has a clear shot at the vitals. I know nothing about shooting deer in front of dogs, so I may wind up with my foot in my mouth; but it sounds like it could easily become a “spray and pray” situation with a slide action or semi-automatic shotgun loaded with buckshot ... unless the hunter has great self control, is not prone to “buck fever” and knows his gun, load and his own capabilities. Is there any reason why slugs are not a practical option in hunting with hounds???

 

 

Butch

 

[ 12-13-2005, 09:36 AM: Message edited by: Butch-M ]

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Butch,

 

I am a northerner. We shoot dogs that run deer. In the south, they shoot dogs that don't! In college, I went to a South Carolina hunt club where they were running deer with dogs (and they kill a ton of deer). I was a guest and I showed up with my Leupold 2-7x scoped rilfled barrel shotgun that was capable of 2" groups at 100 yards. They said I could NOT use slugs and had to use buckshot as it was a safety thing with so many guys in the woods. They worried the slugs would carry too far. Needless to say, when a deer showed up at 20 yards and I missed completely with my rifled barrel I was embarassed. Later I patterned it and the results were atrocious--like one pellet hitting a poster sized paper at 20 yards. I now understood why I missed.

 

I have another SC friend who uses buckshot out of his SBE 28" when they do man drives on the small islands where deer hang out after being pushed on the main woods. From his pictures, I would say that buckshot is pretty darn effective when used in it proper--key word--application.

Just my 2¢.

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Makes sense to me! As I said ... I can well envision buckshot being effective in the hands of a hunter who knows it limits and keeps within his own. I’m sure deer hunting over dogs triggers some controversy, but it does sound like it would be fun. As the saying goes ... “When in Rome, etc, etc.”

 

While at first glance the safety theory sounds solid ... I wonder if you're better off (actually worse off... LOL)with one powerful projectile going exactly where you aim it, (be sure of your target and what’s behind it) or ten (20 or 30) lesser lead balls scattered all over God's half acre? I guess the lead balls lose energy fast enough to be the safer bet if somebody got nailed with one, but your odds of getting hit are greater.

 

Unfortunately buckshot is to often relied upon by guys who don't want to pay their dues working with their shotgun to get 2" groups at 100 yards. They think it's a substitute for practice and good marksmanship. It's almost like that old turn of the century buffalo hunter mentality. It worked for grandpa, it worked for Pop, and I'm going to use it too. They never hear the stories of grandpa wounding or missing 5 deer for every one he killed. I've been trying to educate two friends who rely on the stuff about the ethical limits and range handicap of buckshot for years. One of them took a nice 10 pointer at a (sheepishly) claimed 80 yards by emptying his pump from his treestand into the deer standing in a field. Inspection revealed ONE lucky hit in the head with one pellet. Since then he's wounded three animals and not recovered them. To the point where even HE felt the pains of conscience and put the gun down for the season. As distraught as he was, it's like talking to a wall when I talk to them. They listen politely to all the ballistics & statistics, but I can see that nothing is sinking in. To them buckshot is like a lottery ticket is to a gambler ... a mysterious chance for an easy win. My argument isn’t against buckshot itself, it’s just that it’s so easy to and so often abused. You’re one of the only guys I’ve heard of who “patterned” his buckshot. The rifling in your barrel probably scraped, smashed and flattened those buckshot pellets into aerodynamic frisbees and sent them in every which direction. LOL In the very least it spun the shotcup into some aberrant spiral, loosing the pellets to all points. You should closely check the rifling in your barrel to make sure there’s no lead in the lands. To me; ethically; we should all know exactly where and how our shotguns, rifles, muzzleloaders, bows, arrows and loads shoot. Wether it’s birdshot, buckshot, slugs, 150gr boattails, maxiballs or carbon arrows. That takes time, effort, money and plenty of practice.

 

Thanks for the hunting with hounds info. Good luck over them!

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I would expect that a rifled barrel would put a wicked spin on a shot cup.

As soon as the shot column left the barrel, centrifugal force would do its thing.

 

I have lived in a dog chase region all of my life.

I've used slugs, buckshot, and rifles, with the latter being the preferred weapon.

I've got a buddy who's been shooting the same HK940 for 20 years, and he can put a running deer down at 200 yards with nothing more than a glimpse of him through head-high cutover.

It's an amazing thing to watch.

 

I prefer to still or stand hunt, but I will go with them sometimes for the fun factor.

 

Very few of these guys use anything but rifles, and they rarely, rarely miss.

 

A lot people don't realize that deer chased by dogs do not run flat out all the time. They stop and look back often, checking to see if they're still being pursued. They'll side-step the hounds and hole up in a thicket or creek bottom, then try to sneak out the back door.

 

As Butch said, by far the majority of wounded deer that get away are shot with buckshot.

I only use it if I'm hunting heavy, heavy cover and at close ranges.

 

BTW:

The last accident in the club was about 30 years ago when a long-time member foolishly crossed a fence with a loaded rifle and shot himself right through the heart. In that case, the weapon would not have made much difference.

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Thanks for your replies and your efforts to be ethical hunters and promote such. I am sixty years old and shot my first buck with a single shot twenty gauge with buckshot when I was 12. Since then have taken one or more with buckshot every year since. When hunting with hounds in the south most of the time the cover is too thin the visibilty to short and the terrain too flat to be able to use a rifle or slug from a ground position. The area we hunt in restricts us to shotgun only. We restrict the slug guns to elevated positions because of their ability to travel through a hundred yards of palmetos or more. Your right spray and pray is unethical and doesn,t work. I have purchased many shotguns through the years trying to get better patterns and with each one I have bought almost every practial shot combo to test as have the rest of my friends in our hunt club. We often laugh about one of my guns that I spent more money on buckshot testing than I did on the gun looking for a acceptial pattern, no luck I might add . The gun was subsequently donated to a fund raising raffle. I have paid my dues buying and testing shotguns and ammo for over fourty years. All I was asking for was for someone to share their test results of their new benelli and save me a lot of time and money. Also I would like to say that because of good hounds and good hunters we recover almost all the deer that that are hit. The right gun and load combo is paramount to this end as well as a experianced hunter that has patterned his gun and tested the effective range for his or her combo. My question was in line with my never ending quest for even better results. I might also add that I also hunt with bow muzzleloader and rifle here in the south and on several yearly hunts out of state. Dont be too quick to judge the dog hunters. they on a whole put more efforts into their hunting than do the still hunters that go a few times a year. Every year we recover deer that were poorly shot by bow hunters and muzzloaders. Because of the wet and poor tracking conditions most of these would be lost if it were not for the efforts of the dog hunters. Lets remember that at the core we are all hunters and we have more than enough people trying to stop all of us. United we stand or divided we fall its our choice. God bless all of you and have a wonderful holiday season. Safe hunting and my a big buck come your way thanks Ken

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Ken(bluewater)...I pruchased a M2 in Feb 05. It is without a doubt the best shotgun I have ever owned. I load my own and the results, patterns, with this gun are almost beyond belief with shot from #4 to #8. Haven't tried #2 yet but expect good results.

As far as buckshot goes, "my gun" will not pattern any size at any distance. The best is remington #1 with IC choke. The spread on a 4X8 sheet of plywood at 25 yds is a 4 ft circle, not including the 2 or 3 odd flyers.

IC choke with rifled slug at 60 yds yields group of 8 inches or less for 3 shots, if I do my part, all printing about 10 inches high.

Hold at the belly line of the deer and enjoy your venision.

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I hear you on the ammo testing help Ken. I've burned up hundreds of dollars worth of slugs looking for the "best." I'm afraid there's no quick and painless way around it because these guns pattern or group so individually. Probably because of some hoocus pokeus differences in barrel vibrations. The guys on this site helped me a lot when I was looking for "Turkey" chokes and turkey loads for my SBEII smoothbore barrel. I'm sure they saved me a ton of money and a pounded shoulder with their advice.

 

I agree we as hunters have to be flexible and embracing of each other ... (crossbow hunting comes to mind) but we also have to try to do our part to educate each other in the realness of enlightened modern day ethics. We must limit the amount of "ammunition" we give the tree huggers, gun grabbers and "animal rights activists" who will take a maimed "Bambi" and parley it into more negative press and anti-gun & anti-hunting rhetoric. Here in Jersey we recently had the antis parading in front of the all too agenda serving NYC TV cameras; while dressed in orange tee shirts with the melodramatic "Wounded Bear Recovery Team" in big bold letters. I know hunting is a freedom lover's pastime and just about any written or unwritten guideline feels intrusive; but the harsh reality in today’s media driven, liberal press, and ludicrously unreal politically correctness ... is that my friend who is crippling deer is not only making me uncomfortable (and even angry) by MY (and most hunters) "ethical" standards ... but in the bigger picture they are actually endangering the sport which we love!!! A moral dilemma??? How do you (or I) handle this?

 

Anyway ... I work pretty hard at being a decent rifleman, archer and wingshot for a few reasons; one of them being my personally felt obligation or the ethics towards my prey. I practice, ask a lot of questions, read a lot, and always look for improved equipment and techniques. I share whatever limited knowledge and experience I have acquired readily for the good (or vexation? LOL) of those around me who are interested. I take a great deal from these “Internet Forums” and to do my part, I try to contribute if I think I can. I'm also a product of the 1960's anti-establishment generation. A generation which abhorred government intrusion and loss and/or erosion of our freedoms. And, I live in the middle of the liberal media capital of the planet. Put it all together and you can probably imagine why "cripples and wounded" animals are a trigger subject for me. You guys obviously know how to use buckshot as it is supposed to be used. Your conditions sound different than in most areas of the country, and I’m working from what I’ve seen, read and heard being done with buckshot in the woods and fields ... not thick vegetation. Around here you MUST be sure of your target and absolutely sure of what’s behind it, and it’s fairly easy to do so. Elevated platforms for slugs so they shoot into the ground is extra safe. I personally think the dogs must add a lot to the hunt, as they do in the marshes and with upland game. Your volunteering your dogs for tracking & recovering other peoples downed game is admirable and definitely benefits both the hunter and hunting in general. There was no affront intended. Your discription of the situation explained Florida conditions well and was educational, thanks. Sorry if I made you feel defensive.

 

Butch

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Originally posted by bluewater:

Iam considering a new auto loader.We use 00 or better ooo for deer. When we run the hounds. Has any one tested the new guns with these loads. Which cokes did you use ? Which ammo?? and what barrel length. Thanks for any info.

bluewater

I have killed 15 deer and numerous hogs with my Benelli M1 Super 90 12 ga and buckshot. I use a 21" barrel and have been using modified choke, but I bought a Patternmaster choke a couple of years ago. I have and do use 3" magnum 00 buck but have no brand preference. The main issue with using buckshot is to know your limitations. I will NEVER take a shot with buckshot past 40 yards. My "comfort zone" is 20-35 yards, but I have dropped several past 35 yards. I have personally never had any animal take a step after being hit, but I will say it again. Know your limitations!!!

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