Guide: How much lead to give a goose (steel vs lead)

aliS

Well-Known Member
How much lead to give a goose and the variation of lead between lead and steel.

A constant question from new wildfowlers that I remember asking is ‘how much lead do I have to give a goose?’ Well with all the variables, interpretation and knack most people have develop over the years it can be hard to quantify. The typical answer that my father gave me was ‘Give it a good lead’, very helpful.

In my head I know with my preferred 3” load of lead #3’s I give an average speed and height goose 2 x it's body length and adjust for height and speed as I deem fit but I can’t explain how. Bum, beak… keep swinging… that'll do... bang. Even with this though I miss more than I hit.

During an extremely bored and unproductive morning at work today I sat down to work out a few differences between the lead load I use in my 12g and the steel load in my 10g.

Please accept that these figures are ballpark and it is the comparison between the lead required for lead vs. steel that I was most interested in. However the results proved interesting with a larger variation than I initially expected.

My comparison is for 12g Eley Alphamax 3” lead #3’s and 10g Winchester Drylok 3 ½” Supreme Steel #2’s.

First of all though how fast does a Goose fly? The most credible information I could gain came from the world wide web and is the rough speed for a Canada goose but sounds about right to me.

Canada Goose Speed
Cruising and preparing to land 30 mph or 13.4 m/s
Travelling distance / en route to feeding 40 mph or 17.9 m/s
Max speed / evasion 60 mph or 26.8 m/s

And what sort of velocities are my shell’s producing? The velocities used are the speeds recorded at 20 and 40m with the specified muzzle velocity being discarded. The velocity results are from a third party however I have accepted them as a true and accurate value for the purposes of this and also lack of anything better. For 0 – 20m the speed at 20m is used, for 20m to 40m the speed at 40m is used, the sum of the two results being used for the time to travel 40m. I know this is not the most accurate granted but the comparison is consistent over the two loads and is like I said a ballpark figure aiming to describe the variance the amount of lead required.

12g Eley Alphamax Magnum Lead #3s
Observed Velocity (seconds) / Time (seconds)
0 – 20m 272 m/s @ 20m / 0.0735sec
20 – 40m 203 m/s @ 40m / 0.0985 sec
Total time to the 40m mark / 0.1720sec

10g Winchester Drylok 3 ½” Steel Supreme #2s
0 – 20m 396 m/s @ 20m / 0.0505sec
20 – 40m 304 m/s @ 40m / 0.0657sec
Total time to the 40 yard mark / 0.1163sec

So by knowing the speed of the quarry and the speed of the payload at a given range we can calculate how far the goose can travel in the time it takes the shot to reach the goose which can in turn be interpreted as required lead.

12g Lead #3’s
Goose speed / lead required
Lead required @ 20m
Preparing to land / 0.98m
Travelling distance / 1.32m
Max speed / 1.96m

lead required @ 40m
Preparing to land / 2.30m
Travelling distance / 3.08m
Max speed / 4.61m


10g Steel #2’s
Lead required @ 20m lead required @ 40m
Preparing to land / 0.67m
Travelling distance / 0.90m
Max speed / 1.35m

lead required @ 40m
Preparing to land / 1.56m
Travelling distance / 2.08m
Max speed / 3.11m


So the results? A slow goose shot with steel at 20m needs about a goose length, a goose shot at 40m with lead which is going like the clappers needs 4-5 times a goose length, and everything else some where in the middle!

Feel free to take this with pich of salt but I do hope it helps somebody out whether it be a new comer to wildfowling or someone trying steel shot for the first (and probably last) time.

Ali
 
Last edited:

limulus

Well-Known Member
Very good. Now just the throw a cat amonst the erm geese, are these calculations for the front, middle or end of the shot string?
 

aliS

Well-Known Member
I wouln't know where to start with regards to the length of the string, how could you quantify how long the string would be? But to answer your question the front. In reality I don't think it would be string shaped just oblong or squashed circle but thinking of it like a string does make it easier to visualise. Maybe I'll make a wide patterning plate one day and swing through and see.
 

aliS

Well-Known Member
10'? I suppose now I think about it thats not completely out of the question.

It's just a rough (albeit calculated) guide anyway.

I mainly sat and worked it all out so I could get a better idea of the lead required from my 10bore in relation to my 12 as I'm still new on the steel and 10g combo but I'm bomb happy with lead in my 12.
 
Last edited:

limulus

Well-Known Member
I'm pretty sure your wide pattening plate wouldnt work as the shot leaves the barrel in an instant. Your pattening plate would have to be travelling at about 10m/s show the effect. ( I suppose some sort of barrel set up spinning at a given rate would work) There is a video somewhere showing shot leaving a shotty and impacting a clay in super slow motion where you can see this effect.

either way your calculations might encourage folk to shoot well ahead. I know I'd hit a lot more if they flew backwards!

Being left eye dominant I have to close my left eye prior to the shot, I pull through the goose and once it disappears in my right eye, i.e. the barrel blots out the target, I pull the trigger.works for me.
 

aliS

Well-Known Member
Yeah I don't really think it would work either.

I'm pretty sure 99% of my missed birds are because I'm not giving enough lead.
 

roedeerred

Well-Known Member
OH boy you must do a job you really do not like to do that sort of thing.
:cry:
All I know about goose shooting is if you concentrate on the head and keep swinging they often fall down
someone once told me that every flap of the wings is 30yards.
Best I have ever done was 9 one morning using no5 lead including 3 rt&lefts(when lead was legal.)
alking yesterday 3 flights want over us well in shot.
 

nuttyspaniel

Well-Known Member
Yeah I don't really think it would work either.

I'm pretty sure 99% of my missed birds are because I'm not giving enough lead.
Ali dont dwell on this. I did a little while ago and it wrecked my enjoyment. As said before pull through block the bird out keep swinging and bang. The biggest tip I can give you is focus on the head and forget the calculations you have done, you are already doubting yourself before you mount the gun and that is bad mumbo mate. That was what i was doing, everything was over thought and too purposefull and that leads to more misses.

Ive shot my fair share of Geese in the past either over deeks or flighted on the shore. A goose is fast alot faster than it looks, off the top of my head around 50mph in straight flight, 1 wing beat is around 8' travelled. If you want to try and judge lead then pace 30 yds from a 12' field gate and use your pinky and index finger to illustrate the distance then find a double gate and do the same, youll be amazed at what it is. Memorize this and its a good start. I use this method as it was showen to me by an expert driven Pheasant shot many years ago. He used this a high fast Pheasants Ok not Geese but about the same in speed especially when off a high bank 40yds up.



nutty
 

longhair

Well-Known Member
i think your missing so many because your so obsessed with how much lead to give them,forget about your gun and cartridge combo and just shoot,if it helps ignore the body and treat the head like a partridge.it doznt realy matter if you miss just being out on the marsh is enough.a bad day on the marsh is still better than a good day at work. ( just out of intrest are you confident with your range i.d ):D
 

woodfordfallow

Well-Known Member
I shoot geese inland .
Last time out i shot 15 with a good hide and 12 fud decoys.Got the photos to prove it.
If you are shooting geese over decoys the timing of the shot is the most important thing.
Thats when they are paddles down hardly moving then shoot for the head at 30 yards you can as you say
shoot them like a partidge. Most people shoot to far out and at the body they are as tuff as old boots
and taste the same.The best to eat are the young ones from the rear of the skeen.
Very interesting I must take a range finder and a tape measure next time see how good that is .
only jokin regards
 

aliS

Well-Known Member
OH boy you must do a job you really do not like to do that sort of thing.
:cry:
All I know about goose shooting is if you concentrate on the head and keep swinging they often fall down
someone once told me that every flap of the wings is 30yards.
Best I have ever done was 9 one morning using no5 lead including 3 rt&lefts(when lead was legal.)
alking yesterday 3 flights want over us well in shot.
Job is pretty dull but it pays the bills!

Ali dont dwell on this. I did a little while ago and it wrecked my enjoyment. As said before pull through block the bird out keep swinging and bang. The biggest tip I can give you is focus on the head and forget the calculations you have done, you are already doubting yourself before you mount the gun and that is bad mumbo mate. That was what i was doing, everything was over thought and too purposefull and that leads to more misses.

Ive shot my fair share of Geese in the past either over deeks or flighted on the shore. A goose is fast alot faster than it looks, off the top of my head around 50mph in straight flight, 1 wing beat is around 8' travelled. If you want to try and judge lead then pace 30 yds from a 12' field gate and use your pinky and index finger to illustrate the distance then find a double gate and do the same, youll be amazed at what it is. Memorize this and its a good start. I use this method as it was showen to me by an expert driven Pheasant shot many years ago. He used this a high fast Pheasants Ok not Geese but about the same in speed especially when off a high bank 40yds up.

nutty
Hi Nutty, not dwelling over anything really, it was bordom and curiosity that lead the way here!


i think your missing so many because your so obsessed with how much lead to give them,forget about your gun and cartridge combo and just shoot,if it helps ignore the body and treat the head like a partridge.it doznt realy matter if you miss just being out on the marsh is enough.a bad day on the marsh is still better than a good day at work. ( just out of intrest are you confident with your range i.d ):D
Hi Longhair,

Not missing many at all thanks, pretty confident with range too, when I do miss though I do usually put it down to to far behind rather than infront and from what I can gather this is the majority of peoples failings. I shot pretty well with my 12g and lead #3's. The 10g steel takes a little getting used to mainly the weight and swing of the gun as well as a big reduction on timing for when you pull the trigger (remember how much faster steel is than lead).

Never had any big bags to boast of , personnally I have a 3 bag limit with one exception which was in 2003 when I scored a perfect 4 out of the one skeen with 4 shots. I thought I only hit 3 until I started them picking up!

mudflats nov.jpgAlcaig Point night.jpg

Pictures from last season befoer the ban, think the pup was 11months then (am I going to get in trouble now for working her to young?!) :D
 

aliS

Well-Known Member
Seriously though guys do you have to relearn amount of lead when,changing to steel.
yes, unless you never gave enough lead with lead shot then you'd be perfect with steel! When steel first came about amongst other things one of the big failings was the lack of understanding regarding the dramatic increase in velocity.
 

stone

Well-Known Member
In normal shooting ranges there is no need to alter any lead at all
Once you get to around 40 yards then give it an extra flick but striking energy seems a lot less unless you up the the loads you are shooting with
Geese can take a lot of killing and taking a poke at them out of your comfort zone, lead will not make a difference at all no matter what you throw at them
 

longhair

Well-Known Member
Job is pretty dull but it pays the bills!



Hi Nutty, not dwelling over anything really, it was bordom and curiosity that lead the way here!




Hi Longhair,

Not missing many at all thanks, pretty confident with range too, when I do miss though I do usually put it down to to far behind rather than infront and from what I can gather this is the majority of peoples failings. I shot pretty well with my 12g and lead #3's. The 10g steel takes a little getting used to mainly the weight and swing of the gun as well as a big reduction on timing for when you pull the trigger (remember how much faster steel is than lead).

Never had any big bags to boast of , personnally I have a 3 bag limit with one exception which was in 2003 when I scored a perfect 4 out of the one skeen with 4 shots. I thought I only hit 3 until I started them picking up!

View attachment 10804View attachment 10805

Pictures from last season befoer the ban, think the pup was 11months then (am I going to get in trouble now for working her to young?!) :D
your choice about the dog but you may get in to trouble using more than a three shot auto.if the feds are reading this im sure it was under licence:D
 

Cyres

Well-Known Member
Geese fly far more quickly than you think, regularly clocked them at 50mph+ flying parellel to the M5, had a skein overtake me whilst driving along a b road last year and was doing 45 mph, they were just coasting along.

Personnally do not conciously lead anything, that is how i was taught 40+ yrs ago by a fine game shooter and owner of the West Midland Shooting school. Not shot many geese but plenty very high pigeon going downwind with a gale behind the. Often the easiest to shoot as you have to swing the gun through the bird and it happens automatically.

Also with geese i think you sub conciously focus on the body, were as you should be on its head, and hence miss behind.

On the very last time I shot on the Solway somebody was using a .22lr auto on the high ones, now what lead would that be!!!!!!!!!!
 

Top