There is good reason why a duck hunter should choose the best shot size for ducks. For one, different shot sizes are suitable for varying shot distances. This means if you use a shot size best suited for a 20-yard distance yet your target duck is 30 yards away, you may not make the hit you so much wanted.
One may wonder how to determine if a duck will emerge at a far or near distance during a waterfowl hunt, but experienced duck hunters can estimate the possibility of getting close to a duck by taking into account the terrain. If the terrain enables the hunter to approach the upland birds stealthily or under camouflage, then the best shot size is from the big number bracket.
It is important to note that the shorter the anticipated shooting distance, the greater is the shot size number required. Read on to find out the best shot size for ducks whatever the distance.
- For a distance of around 20 to 30 yards, the shot size should be in the No.4 range
- Within 40 yards, the No.3 range of sizes is recommended.
- If the shot is roughly 50 yards away, the recommended shot size is in the No.2’s.
Note that the distance is unlikely to be exactly 20, 30, 40 or even 50 yards, and that is why the best shot size for bird hunting is not necessarily exactly No.2, 3 or 4. It could be 2.5, 2.75, 3.5, or such.
Over the years, avid duck hunters have established one crucial point: that any time a hunter hunting waterfowl with a shooting gear, it is likely to be within a distance of 20 to 40 yards. That’s the important hunting tips.
Pellet Diameter vis-à-vis the Shot-Size
Different types of hunting require different shot sizes. For example, while turkey hunting may require larger shot sizes such as #4 or #5, waterfowl hunting typically requires smaller shot sizes such as #2 or #3. The size of pellets that duck hunters choose to use for their hunting gear must correspond to the appropriate shot-size numbers; and not necessarily on the brand of their gun-shells. Also, the material used to make the gunshell is not relevant in selecting the best shot size for hunting ducks.
To understand better the different shot sizes, see how their pellets diminish in diameter the bigger the gunshot size.
- For the smallest shot size, BB, the corresponding pellet size is 0.18 inches.
- For shot size No.1, pellets of 0.16 inches diameter are recommended.
- If the shot size is No.2, then 0.15 inches is the best diameter for the pellets.
- Meanwhile, o.14-inch pellet diameter is recommended for shot size No.3.
- Correspondingly, shot size No.4 best matches pellets of 0.13 in diameter.
- If the shot size is No.5, then there commended pellet diameter is 0.12 inches.
- The No.6 shot size corresponds to pellet diameter of 0.11 inches.
It should be noted that the diminishing size of the shotgun ammo comes with an increasing number of pellets per shell. Nevertheless, although it is advantageous to use a size shot with a great number of pellets, pellet count do not solely determine the best shot size for ducks. There is the energy emission to consider.
At every distance, a certain level of energy must be generated, because the shot requires sufficient power to fell a duck. That is why a No.6 shot size is not among the sizes recommended for duck hunting. Even with its high number of pellets per shell, it is unlikely to shoot ducks either from a short or far distance.
The technical term for the energy referred to in shooting a target is “knock-down energy”, whose unit of measurement is “foot-pounds” per every discharged pellet.
Approximate Number of Pellets Per Shell for Every Shot Size
|Shot Size Number||Approximate No. of Pellets per Shell|
Since the shell sizes are standard, it is understandable that the more the pellets the smaller they must be in size. Logically, too, it follows that the tinier the pellet the less power it bears; and the lesser the impact it has on the target animal.
Besides the size of the steel pellets, another thing that impacts the power to fell a duck is the distance between the hunter’s position and the target. This is because all pellets, size notwithstanding, lose their power progressively as they travel away from the hunter’s position and toward the target.
It is important to note that the best shot size for ducks easily fells a duck because it has capacity to form a pellet pattern that has uniform density inside the 30inch circle. For a hunter to effectively shoot a duck, even with its thick feathers, it is imperative that the shot’s pellets form a suitable pattern and be within some 30” circle. Although some of the larger shot’s pellets might stray wide, a good enough number must remain within a circular effective range of 30 inches and form an appropriate pattern density for the steel shots to be effective.
If you were to consider suitable pellet distribution, a good shot string should have from 50 to 60 percent of its lead pellets within the pattern center for you to be certain of hitting the target duck with the right power. Also, you should train your hunting dogs to recognize waterfowl id and retrieve ducks quickly and efficiently. After that, you can grab your rifle ammo and shotgun shell, go out to public land and make the clean kills. You should remember that wilderness survival and safety should always come first. Whether you’re ice fishing, bass fishing, fly fishing, saltwater fishing or engaging in predator hunting or deer hunting, carrying appropriate survival gear is crucial.
The Power of Pellets Inside The 30inch Circle
From a distance of 20 yards
- a No.2 shot size will have 135 pellets releasing energy of 7.6 foot-pound level.
- 168 pellets will be discharged if using shot size No.3, with the energy level being 6.5 foot-pound.
- a shot size No.4 will discharge 205 pellets and energy level of 4.7 foot-pound.
From a distance of 30 yards
- a No.2 shot size is set to release 124 pellets and 5.9 foot-pound energy.
- A shot from a No.3 releases around 154 pellets with the level of energy being 4.6 foot-pound.
- 188 pellets is roughly the quantity released from a No.4 shot, with the energy level being 3.5 foot-pound.
Within the same circle size, 30”, this time from a distance of 40 yards
- shot size No.2 discharges 116 pellets and maintains the energy level at 4.4 foot-pound.
- The energy level from a No.3 shot size is 3.4 foot-pound, the number of pellets discharged being 144 pellets.
- shot size No.4 discharges approximately 175 pellets and the knock-down energy level is 2.5 foot-pound.
A hunter keen on making high yields in duck hunting should remember that the best shot size for ducks hits its target within a distance of 20 to 40 yards. That’s the wild game recipes for the game hunting.