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Thread: 12 bore cartridges for inland geese.

  1. #1

    12 bore cartridges for inland geese.

    I'm heading to Scotland in December for a few days goose shooting. Any recommendations for cartridges would be appreciated. I use a Browning 525 with 3 inch chambers and fixed 1/4 and 3/4 choke. Would Gamebore Buffalo 36gms of 4 shot be ok? The other option in my local shop would be the same cartridge but loaded with BB

  2. #2
    Personally 4's is too small, BB too big 1's or 3's are good I prefer 3's. Most important is getting the lead in the right place.. I Like 40gm + loads and aim for the beak.


  3. #3
    36g 1,2 or 3s will be pleanty ,, wouldent go too heavy ,, shot a 42g 1 out of a over and under once , my shoulder didnt like it much .. as nutty said aim for the beak

  4. #4
    Know a lad that shoots (ridicuasly) large number of geese over decoys (3 figures at a time on some occasions) and he just uses 6's, if ur aiming and hiting the head it won't make any difference will kill just the same but u won't get much penetration on body/wings so won't get the same wounded geese. Not saying it is entirely right on either score but at the relatively short ranges u will be shootng at won't make much difference really. Bit different on the foreshore. Depending wot type of grond ur shooting over will probably be ok with lead shot ie not wetland (i'm sure u already know tthis thou)

    Possibly depend if ur gun actually likes the load but i tend to like a smaller shot size with a better tighter pattern, i don't think penetration is the be all and end all that many seem to think.
    When was the last time u plucked/skinned a pheasant never mind a goose and a pellet had penetrated all way throu the feathers and breast/bone to give u a killing heart shot even at 30m.
    In my opinion larger shot just wounds more, if ur behind/body no matter how large the shot u will not kill the bird cleanly if at all but ur heavy shot will penetrate the body/gut that same shot with lighter shot will probably bounce of the feathers.
    Back in the victorian era the old toff's would take a pocketful of 8's if they were expecting high birds,as more chance of getting a head shot with more pellets/tighter pattern

    Most won't agree with this, but something to think about

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by countrryboy View Post
    Most won't agree with this, but something to think about
    I can't dispute your pal's success on geese using 6's but I don't agree with the theory, beyond the clear effectiveness of a very dense pattern of small shot place firmly on the head at ranges close enough to guarantee a brain/spine hit from that pattern. This is where Payne-Gallwey's idea of 1oz of smaller shot for high pheasants is founded - although to be fair it is likely that what Sir Ralph considered high would have been close enough for the small shot to work anyway, his concept being the correct one, namely that pattern fails before penetration at sporting ranges.

    I'm not sure the concept of 6's not wounding because they don't penetrate far enough is correct: it seems to me likely that a pellet that doesn't penetrate far enough can do nothing but wound. As for pellets 'bouncing off the feathers'...

    When I used to get a chance at geese, I had formed the view that in a 1 1/4oz 12bore load, BB was indeed too big and would lead to risk of wounding because of inadequate pattern.

    Therefore, my choice was 1 1/4oz of 3's, which seemed to offer the best balance of pattern and penetration for a bird markedly larger than Payne-Gallwey's pheasant. And keep the ranges sensible - easy to misjudge on large birds!

  6. #6
    Ur spot on above Dalua Wot i was trying to say was i think a lot of folk nowadays just go for heavy shot atuomatically with out thinking about pattern, whereas it should be a bit of a comprimise depending on species and range
    I wasnae actually advocating using 6's but just saying if u know ur ranges and are a competent shooting in front even a small shot size could b used althou not ur ideal/first choice.

    I realise that in that era it was more about quantity rather the quality but also the shells woul not be going at the velocity they are now, been a big difference even in last 20 odd years
    Wot i was trying to say (badly) was that if ur shooting a bird up the bum it will take a hell of a penetration afore u achieve a texas heart shot. With a smaller shot any injuries would be less if any (esp with duck/geese with there dense feathers/down) but still have the power to kill cleanly if ur hitting the head/neck area
    Even on normal pheasant shoots u see a lot of guns shooting with HV 5's or even 4's on fairly average birds, just no need, and then they wnder why the birds are only fit for soup

    I would say 3 or 4's would be plenty at the ranges ur shooting geese at assuming there coming into decoys, not like ur on the forshore

    My old head keeper used to say the trick to shooting geese was 'imagine the heads a snipe'

  7. #7
    I've always found that 36g of 3's in lead is perfect for inland Scottish geese, you'll get a pattern more in keeping with what you are familiar with smaller shot. If its a specuial trip up north for a few days goose shooting, it might be worth finding another shop near by that sells a broader range of cartridges.

  8. #8
    Food for thought lads. I also believe that "heavy" loads for high Pheasants is shall I dare say a modern fad. Some of the best Pheasant shots Ive seen used 1oz or 1 1/8. Years ago I used nothing but Fiochi semi mags for geese. These were in a silver box with 10 in the box. The supply ran out, and thats when I moved over to 3" after trying several other brands of "semi's" that didnt quite cut it.


  9. #9
    The last time i was shooting Canada Geese i was using a 20 bore with number 6 shot over a stubble field they dropped ok but obviously i wasn't taking ridiculous long range shots.

  10. #10
    I wish we could still use lead for waterfowl... Those were the days.

    Anyway, when I was shooting lead at geese I was using 3's they were generally accepted as the smallest you wanted to go I was using some Winchester super x magnum cartridges, copper plated, buffered lead shot. Cant get ahold of them now but they were mustard at some really very silly ranges.

    Since the lead ban I have gone over to 10 bore to make up for the loss of effectiveness of the non lead substitutes. 2.5 ounces of BB tungsten matrix regains that loss at range that the lead ban took from us.

    In answer to the question, I would say, like nuttyspaniel the 4's are a little on the light side, if your only other option Is BB, I have shot geese, and rooks and crows with a 2 3\4" load of BB that Express do. Cant think what weight they were now. do you have time to try to pattern test them? In a 3 inch load they shouldn't be too bad as there will be a good number in the case.

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