20ga patterns

Orange Dust

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Oct 23, 2015
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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.
 

Ryan Steindorf

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Feb 25, 2019
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Have you tried the Patternmaster Chokes? they have worked wonders for me, because they do not use constriction to tighten the pattern, instead uses a stud ring inside the choke that helps separate the wad from the BB's. This means that 4 shot will shoot like a modified choke, 2 shot will shoot like a full choke and so on. This helps not blow the pattern.
 

Orange Dust

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I've tried every choke on the planet. Briley's are not only the most consistent, they foul less. I wont allow a vented choke in the blind duck hunting.
 

Orange Dust

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Oct 23, 2015
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To continue the report. We are just starting the third season. We have found the 3" 20ga HeviX 4's are as effective as any known 12ga straight steel load, including 3-1/2" BB's. Pattern is a little smaller so there is not as much room for error, but they will kill birds just as far. They will kill Mallards @60yds and cripple @70. Pretty much what happens with 3-1/2" Hevi Metal BB's. There has never been a steel 20ga load that we have found effective on ducks in open country. For Years the 20 has been regulated to a woods gun. This shot really holds its pattern well, better than lead. Our wives and kids have been shooting 12ga guns for years because we hunt mostly in rice fields. The 12ga guns are bulky and heavy, and difficult for them to shoot as well as a 20. They have been shooting HeviX in them since it came out. The shot is very effective in a 12ga. Best compromise between cost and range introduced to date. Using the same shot the 20ga will hang with the 2-3/4 12 they have been shooting, and it is nearly as good as the 3" load. This is fantastic news for women and kids. Little ones can now enjoy shooting ducks in the open again. I have been shooting this nearly as much as my 10. I take the 10 when geese are around, and the twenty whenever they aren't. Getting where I have little use for a 12ga.
 

700Sendero

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Apr 25, 2014
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I would check out Boss Shotshells also. Small company up in Michigan that loads copper plated bismuth. I shot 20ga 3” 5s, and my dad the 12ga 2 3/4 4s at big mallards all year and it’s absolutely devastating. Patterns are incredible and you don’t have the smoke and mirrors that enviro-metal always plays, with density and wording. I’ll never shoot anything else again.
 

wildwings

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Sep 24, 2017
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Orange, you will not find a better performing waterfowl shell than the Hevishot line of shells. I also used the Hevi X 3" 4's in my Benelli 20 gauge and I could take ANY DUCK that my fellow 12 gauge pals were shooting. I also tried some of the Hevi Bismuth 4's in my 20 gauge and they HIT HARD. So, I would highly recommend either one (Hevi X and Hevi Bismuth Waterfowl)
 

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