20ga patterns

Discussion in 'Waterfowl Hunting' started by Orange Dust, Nov 18, 2019.


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  1. Orange Dust

    Orange Dust Well-Known Member

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    Oct 23, 2015
    With the new HeviX 20ga loads, we thought the 20ga might once again become a viable option for open field shooting of ducks and geese. We shot up nearly a whole roll of contractor paper yesterday with 2 20ga's, a Super x 4 and a Beretta A400. I thought I might share the results with you all, since we have a lot of women and youth hunters.
    The long, narrow shot column of the 3" 20ga has always been challenging to get to pattern well. It is even worse than the 3-1/2" 12ga which shares this problem.
    Testing was done @40yds with contractors paper backed by blue styrofoam.
    Federal black cloud #3's actually shot the best patterns of everything tested with a Skeet choke. Even, thick and tight. Troubling was some of the pellets did not penetrate the backing but, this load is known to take ducks to 40 yds.
    Heavy metal 2's. We could not obtain tight, even patterns with any choke. This load is best used with IC choke and is limited in range.
    HeviX 2's. Any choke tighter than modified will blow the pattern. Mod threw excellent patterns. The shot blew through the backer and hit hard in the dirt. Patterns were great for mallards and light geese. The patterns were thin enough to cause crippling in smaller ducks @40yds.
    HeviX 4's We did not have an IMOD choke for either gun. Modified pattern was good but I feel it could take a little more choke. Full blows the pattern. I'm going to buy a Briley IMOD and try it. I am afraid it will blow the pattern with 2's though.
    Constrictions above are all based on lead, not steel. It is very easy to blow the pattern on all of these loads with too much choke. Sometimes less is more, and this is one of those times. Hope this will be of some help to someone.