Looking for a new choke...

desertcj

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I know, another choke question...lol. I'm looking at either a Benelli Mobil Carlsons ported sporting Clay's full .695" or a Kicks HyFlyer "Extra full" .697". If you've used either of these, please share your opinion. I'm shooting ducks on a refuge and right now, they aren't decoying at all. Mostly resident ducks that have been hammered and all they give you are passing shots at 40-60yds. "Skybusting", the option is to go home without ever shooting or just don't hunt. Please no ethics police...lol.

Maybe I should add that I'm currently using a LR Carlsons Cremator .700".
 
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desertcj

desertcj

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I also just found out about Jebs High Voltage chokes. They look good to me but? There constrictions are significantly tighter for the patterns they rate their chokes by. .685" is their "Long Range".
 
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desertcj

desertcj

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Once we get some weather, new birds should be coming in but probably 1/3rd of the season is going to be like this every year I imagine. The Cremator long range is good between 30-40yds and the mid range is good from 15-30yds. Just trying to find something that will help on these fly byes. I've killed a few, but I'm pretty sure the pattern with the Cremator LR is just too spotty past 40yds.
 
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desertcj

desertcj

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Well, if anyone is following this...I ordered a Kicks High Flyer extra full. I'll pattern it at 50yds when it comes in and 60yds too just to see. I've also been looking into loading my own shells as well for next year. Duplex loads with tungsten/steel which should legitimately have the needed penetration out to 60yds.
 

Reburn

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I think the main reason you haven't gotten many responses is those ranges are just tough to kill birds with steel. I can take my LR creamator 0.697 (which is steel safe) out to 40-45 yards with fasteel #3 1 3/8oz at 1550 fps or so. Beyond that the steel just doesn't carry the velocity far enough. It’s really frustrating when you can see the hit and the bird push but not fall.

The duplex loads are a good idea on paper, but I personally have had horrible luck with them. It has to do more with shot stringing. With different densities and sizes of shot the pattern has a tendency to string out. While the pattern can look good on paper 2D the actual pattern 3D is very long and only the steel / lead alternative is actually what will be hitting the duck with enough velocity to kill it. I have tried a couple duplex loads but the one that stands out as the worst was hevi metal which is a hevi shot / steel duplex.

My 2 brothers and I personally use bismuth or legit hevi shot whichever is available when we order. We all carry 2 boxes of shells (which is way overkill) in the drake shell holders. One side of one shell holder (12 rounds) will be the hevishot. Yes, we could and should carry way less shells. Most hunts are finished within 12 shots a gun.

We used to change to standard Benelli crio plus extra full choke (0.685) if we are going the distance with the hevi shot. We no longer do this for fear of accidently wrecking a gun barrel. Just a word of caution if you fire steel through a .685 choke it’s not cool. This includes duplex steel shells. Be super conscious which choke is in and which shell your grabbing. I have patterned both and shot clays and ducks with both setups .685 vs .697. None of us could tell the difference so for simplicity sake we just carry our standard 3 creamator chokes, CR .717, MR .707, LR .697. We still have the extra full chokes though (we just don't carry them normally) if we know we are going snow goose or somewhere that will require extra long shots.
 
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desertcj

desertcj

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Thanks for the reply. I know that anything past 40yds is getting iffy, but I've read that steel #2s should carry enough juice out to 47yds I believe? If I can stretch it to 50yds, that may be just enough to turn those 1 bird days into 3-4 bird days.
 

Oregon

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I routinely kill ducks at 40-50 yds with an IC choke in the bottom tube and Light Mod in the top. If I remember correctly, it is super easy to over choke steel loads. I jumped off the 1550fps bandwagon a few years ago. Switched to Federal 1 1/4 oz #3’s at 1400fps. My cripple rate dropped dramatically from the Kent faststeel I used to shoot.
Im not an expert on chokes or even claim to be. I’m just a guy who hunts ducks around 80 days a year and shoots a lot of steel shot. Also shoot around 3000 rounds a year at pigeons and clay pigeons.
At around 45 yards, mallards are extremely hard to kill. I’ve almost given up trying unless it is coming right at me(overhead)or just as it flares. 8 out of 10 times it’s a crippling shot
Wigeon and sprig die easy comparatively speaking.
Sometimes focusing more on wingshooting instead of trying to find the perfect magic combination is beneficial.
 

Reburn

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I routinely kill ducks at 40-50 yds with an IC choke in the bottom tube and Light Mod in the top. If I remember correctly, it is super easy to over choke steel loads. I jumped off the 1550fps bandwagon a few years ago. Switched to Federal 1 1/4 oz #3’s at 1400fps. My cripple rate dropped dramatically from the Kent faststeel I used to shoot.
Im not an expert on chokes or even claim to be. I’m just a guy who hunts ducks around 80 days a year and shoots a lot of steel shot. Also shoot around 3000 rounds a year at pigeons and clay pigeons.
At around 45 yards, mallards are extremely hard to kill. I’ve almost given up trying unless it is coming right at me(overhead)or just as it flares. 8 out of 10 times it’s a crippling shot
Wigeon and sprig die easy comparatively speaking.
Sometimes focusing more on wingshooting instead of trying to find the perfect magic combination is beneficial.

I agree with most of these points. I used to hunt that much but I choose not to anymore. If the weather isn't going to be crappy, (very windy or rainy) to push the ducks down I don't even bother going anymore. I just don't hunt blue bird windless days anymore. But I also have a job that basically allows me to go whenever I want so going on a tuesday is no big deal to me. To be completely honest I haven't hunted anything public locally in more then a decade either so between only hunting crappy days and only hunting private water its not hard for me to scout the day before and sit on the X where the birds are likely coming anyways. I never throw out more then 12 decoys anymore either. Normally I just use 6.

I very rarely use anything other then my medium range carlson creamator which is basically a modified. I do agree that choking steel above modified has the potential to lead to alot more shot stringing. Also yes mallards, and most divers are tougher birds compared to most puddle ducks.

There is something to be said about shooting the shell and choke that your gun likes. All my benellis have done well with the fasteel and my cripple rate is very low. One on my good friends winchester SX3 doesnt care for the fasteel and patterns badly with it. He shoots 3" federals as well. I also pattern all of my gun / choke / shell combos on butcher paper and if the pattern is good with no holes then I take them and bust clays with the combo to make sure to get clean breaks. Just like rifles not every gun / choke will like every shell.

In closing I agree that focusing more on wingshooting is beneficial but I will also say patterning your gun / choke combo is just as important.
 

Reburn

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One other thing pattering your shotgun accomplishes is your shot split. Without getting into the weeds too much on this.

I shoot "euro" style floating targets with a shot split 60/40 to 65/35 pellet ratio top / bottom. I like to hold my dot just below or bottom half of the bird and not on the bird. I don't shoot well with a 50/50 split top and bottom. You always want 50/50 side to side though. This was a big thing for the SBE3 as it was setup to naturally shoot 60/40 and lots of people didn't like it. There was also reports of it shooting too far to one side.

These things can be adjusted messing with the drop/cast of your shotgun and also by changing the pipper size to a smaller or larger fiber optic or bead.

There is no right or wrong here you just need to recognize what your brain likes and run with that. If I try to shoot a 50/50 split I break out the landing gear on quail. 60/40 I knock them out though.
 
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desertcj

desertcj

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Thanks guys. I have patterned my gun with both the mr and lr cremator chokes. They are OK out to 40yds, not amazing. I'm sure I could benefit from more practice but generally haven't had a glaring problem hitting birds within 40yds. Of course I blank sometimes...I'm not a chip shot. Time will tell if the Kicks extra full shows any benefit.
 
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desertcj

desertcj

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Just thought I'd report back. I hunted with the Kicks extra full choke and I killed a few birds. It seemed to work better so I'm happy! I'm probably going to get another Kicks in modified actually, just to have the option if they are actually decoying.
 
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