Which Shotgun for buckshot ?

HHJ56

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I will be changing to using buckshot for deer hunting is there any shotgun you have experienced that gives you the best patterns. What choke works best for you?
Can you tell any difference in barrel length?
Is the aftermarket cokes that much better?
I will be using a 12 gauge
Would it be worth going to a 3.5" gun?
I know these are questions that are opinions but I would like to here from someone with real experience
 
Growing up in Florida hunting swamps and palmetto thickets the general rule of thumb then was no. 1 buckshot with a full choke and 00 buckshot with a modified choke. And keep shooting til deer or hog was gutted or gun was empty. But try to acquire several loads and pattern in your gun and use what shoots best.
 
I have been hunting Chital deer, Kakar deer and jungle boars quite a bit, by employing buckshot. I personally prefer a 12 Gauge 3 "Magnum sidelock ejector side by side, which was built in 1932 by Janssen Freres in Belgium. The barrels are 32 " long and both barrels are improved cylinder Choke.
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I used to prefer Sellier & Bellot "Red Hare" paper cased 2.75 " 35 gram eight pellet LG shells in the past. Each LG pellet has a diameter of 9.14mm and is the equivalent of American OOO Buck. Unfortunately, Sellier & Bellot discontinued manufacturing shotgun shells loaded with any shot size larger than SG/OO Buck a few years ago.
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I currently use Federal Premium 3 " Magnum Copper plated ten pellet OOO Buck shells.
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IMG_20210827_174136.jpg


In regards to chokes, this is a very technical subject area. Buckshot which is unbuffered and uses a fiber wad, should be used only in open choked shotguns (such as cylinder or improved cylinder). Otherwise the tight chokes will cause the buckshot pellets to get deformed while passing through the barrel and your pattern will be erratic. Buckshot which is buffered and protected by a plastic wad can be used in even tightly choked shotguns (such as full or extra full), often with good results (i.e tight patterns).

I personally prefer side by side shotguns, but any format (be it over & under, pump action, semi automatic or single barrel) may be used for safely shooting buckshot. The platform is of no consequence. But side by side or over & under shotguns are more likely to have their barrel soldering eventually get damaged if heavy buckshot is repeatedly fired through them (especially the delicately built English shotguns). For this reason, double barreled shotguns (which you intend to use for shooting buckshot) should always have very strong walls.

In my experience, the bulk of the manufacturers of shotguns discourage using OOO buckshot in shotgun barrels which are choked tighter than improved cylinder. The reason being, that they believe that large buckshot through a tightly choked shotgun barrel will eventually cause a barrel bulge. These manufacturers include:
Winchester
Browning
Fausti
Rizzini
AyA
Grulla Armas
Armas Garbi
Ignacio Zubillaga
Merkel
Savage
Huglu
Baikal
Westley Richards
Watson Brothers
A. A. Brown
Verney Carron
Lebeau Courally (although they might not be manufacturing any new firearms, anyway)

Birmingham proof master, Sam Perry believes that shotguns which are intended for use with heavy Buckshot ... Should not be choked tighter than quarter choke with a good length of the cone leading in.


To the best of my knowledge... Only Beretta, Benelli and Remington (and the original Czech owned BRNO) encourage the use of OOO Buck in fully choked shotguns.

You definitely don't need a 12 Gauge with 3.5 " Super Magnum chambers. The recoil is absolutely beastly. But if you must get one, then the Benelli Super Black Eagle 3 is the greatest 3.5" Super Magnum shotgun ever to be made.

3 "Magnum chambers are far more reasonable and practical. And I've never found 3 " Magnum shells to be lacking in any department.
 
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@Hunter-Habib
Great article.

Once again I am impressed by your knowledge! But could you please tell me how have you collected all this information on number of brands that discourage 000 in their shotguns? in my library, never have I found similar informations, and internet does not provide me this as well!
 
@Hunter-Habib
Great article.

Once again I am impressed by your knowledge! But could you please tell me how have you collected all this information on number of brands that discourage 000 in their shotguns? in my library, never have I found similar informations, and internet does not provide me this as well!
@mark-hunter, I know somebody (a shotgun enthusiast) who wrote letters to all of these companies and asked them directly about their position on buckshot and slugs.
 
I have killed a pile of deer with buckshot. Any gun with the proper choke and ammo is what matters, not the make. Years ago a full choke with Federal or Winchester copper plated 3" 00 would kill out to 50 yds. When aftermarket chokes came out, like Pattern master, it increased your effective patterns about another 10 yds. You will hear incredible accounts of killing up to 75 or 80 yds. A 00 pellet does not have the energy to kill cleanly out that far. Lucky shots. You have to know what the expectations are for distance. Shots up to 30 yds a modified choke will do. I don't like using anything smaller than 00. All you do is ruin a lot of meat. I have a 3.5" shotgun. I use a 3" shell first then back it up with the bigger shell. A few extra pellets can help at longer ranges. When hunting you hardly feel the recoil. Whatever you choose, test it out first by patterning on paper. Why leave it to chance.
 
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I have been hunting Chital deer, Kakar deer and jungle boars quite a bit, by employing buckshot. I personally prefer a 12 Gauge 3 "Magnum sidelock ejector side by side, which was built in 1932 by Janssen Freres in Belgium. The barrels are 32 " long and both barrels are improved cylinder Choke.
View attachment 446512View attachment 446513
I used to prefer Sellier & Bellot "Red Hare" paper cased 2.75 " 35 gram eight pellet LG shells in the past. Each LG pellet has a diameter of 9.14mm and is the equivalent of American OOO Buck. Unfortunately, Sellier & Bellot discontinued manufacturing shotgun shells loaded with any shot size larger than SG/OO Buck a few years ago.
View attachment 446514View attachment 446515

I currently use Federal Premium 3 " Magnum Copper plated ten pellet OOO Buck shells.
View attachment 446516View attachment 446517

In regards to chokes, this is a very technical subject area. Buckshot which is unbuffered and uses a fiber wad, should be used only in open choked shotguns (such as cylinder or improved cylinder). Otherwise the tight chokes will cause the buckshot pellets to get deformed while passing through the barrel and your pattern will be erratic. Buckshot which is buffered and protected by a plastic wad can be used in even tightly choked shotguns (such as full or extra full), often with good results (i.e tight patterns).

I personally prefer side by side shotguns, but any format (be it over & under, pump action, semi automatic or single barrel) may be used for safely shooting buckshot. The platform is of no consequence. But side by side or over & under shotguns are more likely to have their barrel soldering eventually get damaged if heavy buckshot is repeatedly fired through them (especially the delicately built English shotguns). For this reason, double barreled shotguns (which you intend to use for shooting buckshot) should always have very strong walls.

In my experience, the bulk of the manufacturers of shotguns discourage using OOO buckshot in shotgun barrels which are choked tighter than improved cylinder. The reason being, that they believe that large buckshot through a tightly choked shotgun barrel will eventually cause a barrel bulge. These manufacturers include:
Winchester
Browning
Fausti
Rizzini
AyA
Grulla Armas
Armas Garbi
Ignacio Zubillaga
Merkel
Savage
Huglu
Baikal
Westley Richards
Watson Brothers
A. A. Brown
Verney Carron
Lebeau Courally (although they might not be manufacturing any new firearms, anyway)

Birmingham proof master, Sam Perry believes that shotguns which are intended for use with heavy Buckshot ... Should not be choked tighter than quarter choke with a good length of the cone leading in.


To the best of my knowledge... Only Beretta, Benelli and Remington (and the original Czech owned BRNO) encourage the use of OOO Buck in fully choked shotguns.

You definitely don't need a 12 Gauge with 3.5 " Super Magnum chambers. The recoil is absolutely beastly. But if you must get one, then the Benelli Super Black Eagle 3 is the greatest 3.5" Super Magnum shotgun ever to be made.

3 "Magnum chambers are far more reasonable and practical. And I've never found 3 " Magnum shells to be lacking in any department.
Mr Perry is a good and knowledgable man.
 
Every shotgun needs to be patterned with different shell/choke combos to find the best one. Kicks, trulok, briley, jebs etc. Make excellent buckshot chokes. If you're not happy with the factory choke that came with the gun then experiment with different ammo or aftermarket chokes.

Cheers
 
Buckshot has not even been legal for deer for years where i live. Slugs are recommended. ;)
 
While living in North Carolina where I sometimes hunted. I would use 00 or 000 buckshot in 2-34" and 3" where my shots would be in brushy terrain followed up by a slug in case the woods allowed for open unobstructed shots when using a pump or semi auto. Most often I would carry a s x s double barrel 1 barrel with slug the other with buckshot. All my choke were improved modified and/or cylinder for the reason Hunter-Habib stated to avoid a barrel bulge.
 
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I'd look to a moderately priced OU such as a CZ or Yildiz. You can add sights, if desired, to the rib and you have two choke choices which can also contain two different sizes of Buckshot. I.E., 000 & 00, or maybe #1 and 00.

You're now able to have a load for up to 30 yards and a better one for perhaps out to 40-50 yards.

Added: I forgot to mention, you may also want to use one barrel with a good slug and the second for the best buckshot load. You can utilize the barrel selector or double triggers to use which load is most appropriate.
 
I will be changing to using buckshot for deer hunting is there any shotgun you have experienced that gives you the best patterns. What choke works best for you?
Can you tell any difference in barrel length?
Is the aftermarket cokes that much better?
I will be using a 12 gauge
Would it be worth going to a 3.5" gun?
I know these are questions that are opinions but I would like to here from someone with real experience
I have always been a fan of 3.5 inch 00buck out of my a400 it is devastating on hogs at close range.
 
I will be changing to using buckshot for deer hunting is there any shotgun you have experienced that gives you the best patterns. What choke works best for you?
Can you tell any difference in barrel length?
Is the aftermarket cokes that much better?
I will be using a 12 gauge
Would it be worth going to a 3.5" gun?
I know these are questions that are opinions but I would like to here from someone with real experience

Federal Flight Control and choke doesn’t matter.

9 pellet 00 Buck.
 
Only use where rules are no single projectile weapon allowed, close to farms and highway corridor, gives us an "extra" deer. Killed a few deer here with my Weatherby SA 08 with full choke tube in, full camo, 26" barrel, semi and can hold 5 rnds with plug out, light and great handling in the thick Van Island rain forest. Semi is lighter with felt recoil also. I use Remington 000 buck and like the 8 larger pellets, but as others state pattern your gun with expected ammo and choke. May need to change if pattern is not tight. Also keep shooting till animal is down and I don't shoot past 40 yds, buckshot is weird, sometimes down and dead now and then others they run off, not much blood trail so follow up is difficult.

MB
 
I have killed a pile of deer with buckshot. Any gun with the proper choke and ammo is what matters, not the make. Years ago a full choke with Federal or Winchester copper plated 3" 00 would kill out to 50 yds. When aftermarket chokes came out, like Pattern master, it increased your effective patterns about another 10 yds. You will hear incredible accounts of killing up to 75 or 80 yds. A 00 pellet does not have the energy to kill cleanly out that far. Lucky shots. You have to know what the expectations are for distance. Shots up to 30 yds a modified choke will do. I don't like using anything smaller than 00. All you do is ruin a lot of meat. I have a 3.5" shotgun. I use a 3" shell first then back it up with the bigger shell. A few extra pellets can help at longer ranges. When hunting you hardly feel the recoil. Whatever you choose, test it out first by patterning on paper. Why leave it to chance.
I disagree with you. I've killed deer with one shot at distances exceeding 50 yards decisively. With proper practice and patterning, the shotgun is effective out to 100 yards. Beyond that I believe it needs to be a broadside standing still shot and your margin has dropped significantly. We've seen 2¾" 1B pass through and catch in the offside hide.
Patternmaster and Wad Wizard are wad retarding devices. They have very little constriction and instead have lugs that slow the wad so it strips cleanly off the shot column like Flitecontrol wads do so well.
Every shotgun needs to be patterned with different shell/choke combos to find the best one. Kicks, trulok, briley, jebs etc. Make excellent buckshot chokes. If you're not happy with the factory choke that came with the gun then experiment with different ammo or aftermarket chokes.

Cheers
Listen to this guy's advice. It is reasonable.
Federal Flight Control and choke doesn’t matter.

9 pellet 00 Buck.
Not true. Choke does matter. This is a fin retarded wad. You can over constrict these loads and cause bad patterns. Cylinder or improved cylinder is likely the best bet with this load. I have a Flitecontrol load that isn't opening up all that much at all until about forty yards out of a 14" cylinder bore barrel.

As to the OP and a recommendation for a good patterning shotgun, I like non back bored barrels such as Remington or Benelli. I have had good patterns with the 1100, 1187, and Super Black Eagle. I have also use Mossbergs to great effect in the field with back bored barrels, but they generally seem to throw a larger pattern than the non back bored barrels. If I were building a 1000 yard shotgun, I'd use a Remington 1187 with a smoothbore choke barrel with rifle sights. The theory being that the sights prevent an up close complete miss as the pattern would be bore sized out to 30 yards and also allow for proper elevation at longer distances for a dead on hold.
Also the new Mossberg 940 with the sights and chokes is appealing since I do not believe it has a back bored barrel and has a long sight radius.
 
I would like to see a target that you shot at 100 yds with buckshot that gets 7 of the pellets all land within a 10" killing circle, every shot. Not disputing, but I have never seen or heard anyone who states that. Slugs yes but we are talking buckshot, I have many shotguns and none were any more noticeably accurate than the other, I will keep to my 40 yds for our deer, from my experience buckshot is a horrible choice for consistent clean humane killing of deer, only reason I use is law in certain areas.

MB
 
I would like to see a target that you shot at 100 yds with buckshot that gets 7 of the pellets all land within a 10" killing circle, every shot. Not disputing, but I have never seen or heard anyone who states that. Slugs yes but we are talking buckshot, I have many shotguns and none were any more noticeably accurate than the other, I will keep to my 40 yds for our deer, from my experience buckshot is a horrible choice for consistent clean humane killing of deer, only reason I use is law in certain areas.

MB
Why seven pellets? That's quite an arbitrary value. You also failed to state a shot size. I could monkey around with 4B and get seven pellets at 100 yds, but to what end? The energy is likely not there to break through the ribs. Personally I'd go with 00B and looking for three or four. It really only takes one, but three or four definitely means we're eating venison.

"A horrible choice for consistent clean humane killing of deer," is a false label on the cartridge perpetuated by use by the unpracticed and ill prepared. I think it does a fine job when one spends the spring and summer shooting clays with the shotgun one is to go deer hunting with. When Joe redneck has the shotgun sitting in the corner with the same choke it came with 10 months of the year and goes out to hunt he has no idea what's going on. The vent rib shotgun is a tough thing to use making long shots and requires intimate knowledge of the load. That's usually a financial investment most people aren't making, but I have seen individuals who can deliver in excess of 50 yards regularly with it. I had six out of 18 pellets hit the vitals from Federal Premium 3½" 00B on a broad side doe at 80 yards. There was no trailing. She fell right there. The shotgun setup that I was using for 100 yard shots was a 21" 11-87 smoothbore with rifle sights, a Pattern Master wad retarding device, and Remington Premier buckshot 2¾" 00B. That was good stuff, is no longer made and I'm down to my last boxes of it. I'm looking at Flitecontrol as a replacement but it's going to require a different approach as it doesn't play well with wad retarding chokes and apparently doesn't like to be heavily constricted.
 

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