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dieduck24

New Beretta Xtreme

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I just got the new Beretta Xtreme 12 Gauge and trying to get adjusted to it...What is my best choke option for duck hunting over decoys and also what shells should I be using...Any advice would be greatly appreciated...Are there any tricks for adjusting the gun as it did come with a stock extension and other adjustments...Thx Dave

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Welcome to the forum Dieduck.

I would use a full choke, and #6 shot for ducks.

Tom

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Thanks Tom

What do you think of messing with the stock length or other adjustments?

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It depends on how you are hunting ducks, and the range you get them in. Most of the time I jump and pass shoot them in a canyon, I will also use 2 decoys here. I find the full choke to be way to much for this type of hunting and will opt for Mod choke and even IC depending on the day. When the ducks are up close and flying fast, you want those pellets to spread out faster.

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Modified is the standard choke for decoying ducks at 30 yards or less. Improved cylinder is a variation that many have come to appreciate as well. Pass shooting, it just depends on how well you shoot and at what distance. I shoot #2 and #3 shot, and BB when needed. Pretty much everyone I hunt with feels the same about shot size. We can tell you what shot and chokes to use until we're red in the face, but what matters is what shot and choke pattern in your gun the best at the distance you're shooting. Also, don't get the stock of that gun underwater if you can help it, it fills up fast :doh[1]: and is the reason I bought a Browning instead.

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Thanks Jeff

The gun came with three different chokes...I've been using the modified with 3 1/2 #6 with not alot of success...Was watcching a DU show and they were talking about setting up a duck target at 35 yds and checking the shot pattern into the target...I bought a case of the shells at half price because the store was going out of business but not sure they are correct for my application....I just got the gun this fall and trying to dial it in with the correct choke and shells so I appreciate your comments and will be careful not to get the butt of the gun wet...Thx Dave

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Yea, #6 shot is a bit rare for ducks in my experience. In fact, I've never met anyone that shoots that small of shot. Maybe in the grasslands on teal days, I suppose. Yes, trying out different load/choke combos on a 30" circle at 30-35 yards is the way to figure out what works for you/your gun. Good luck with it.

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We used to use lead #6 shot back in the good old days before the government got involved. That was back before you were old enough to shoot Jeff.:lol:

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Yea, because all you dinosaurs needed all the shot you could get packed into those shells! Didn't you load them up a little hotter to help out, too?! Haha! :pot::smiley-innocent-halo-yellow:

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Yep, the old browning Auto-5 handled them well, with a 30" full choke 6's worked really good on ducks, just couldn't shoot them to close because it made a hole.

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...And I always thought you couldn't shoot em close in the old days cause the black powder was still burnin way out there and it'd set fire to the ducks.

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Yea #6 in steel doesn't work well. YOU DO NOT NEED 3 1/2" SHELLS. I shoot 2 3/4" #3 & #4's with 1 1/16 oz. load and kill over 150 ducks a year for the past 40 years (except when the limit went down to 4). Those big 3 1/2" shells hurt to shoot. Less recoil translates to better accuracy in shooting. Remember with steel shot that speed kills (XXX Remington has some Hyper Velocity shells out that are 1700 fps that kick like a Missouri mule). The lightest load off shot whether it be 2 3/4 or 3" shells is the best. Others have suggested patterning your gun which is good advice. I remember the good ol days and wasn't very happy when the non-toxic shot became the law, but the new ammo works pretty darn well. I've tried some of the fancy (pricey) non-tox ammo (bismuth, tungsten, black cloud and various others but for the money $10/box steel works for me. Hone your hunting skills and let them come in.

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Right now my favorite combo is a Rio 3.5 inch shell stuffed with 1 3/8 oz. of #3 or #2 steel, pushed through an IC choke. I would ditch that #6 shot. #4 is the absolute smallest size I will shoot and those are usually just for the early morning real flurry. If birds don't want to work tight I'll go to a Mod tube. I have an Imp Mod tube that throws super tight patterns with steel but I'm not a good enough shot to reliably hit fast moving birds with it so it rarely gets used.

A few weeks back my uncle says to me "you won't jump on a bird that's further than 35 or 40 yards out so why do you shoot those 3.5 inch shells?". The only answer I could come up with was "because they don't make a 4 inch shell.". For ducks I like lots of pellets.

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Heck I'm using #4 & 5 lead on pheasant...out of .410s.

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Fill those shells with steel shot and see how well it works for ya'. Lol!

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Probably better off filling the shell with corn.

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Heck I'm using #4 & 5 lead on pheasant...out of .410s.

30+ yard coyote with one shot of my #7 dove loads. But my lead dove loads move faster than most steel loads :smiley-innocent-halo-yellow:

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Bob,

Here's an interesting article with data on velocity, crossing target lead, and energy. http://www.clayshootingusa.com/html/archive/feb_mar11/Larger%20Pellets.pdf

Take from it what you may. But it shows the relavance of shot size (with the shot material being the same in the comparision) on downrange ballistics. The data I've seen on larger shot sizes above clay competitiion sizes, showed pretty good rationale for larger shot at longer ranges. But there's always a trade on pattern density vs. individual pellet performance. Much more so with my .410 size.

In Yuma for the Sept openner on dove, I was using 3", #6, 11/16 oz @ 1135 fps shells out of my .410 on some of the high flying Euro dove and killing them outright at up to about 60 yrds consistantly. My friend was using 8.5 shot @ 1300 fps and you could see he was connecting with some high flyers but not bringing them down. I finally let him in on my "secret". He switched on the spot and began bringing them down hard.

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The data I've seen on larger shot sizes above clay competitiion sizes, showed pretty good rationale for larger shot at longer ranges. But there's always a trade on pattern density vs. individual pellet performance. Much more so with my .410 size.

That, and a whole lot more, went into about a two week long decision before I came up with my go-to load. I was looking for one round to do it all for two reasons. One was because I hate changing my Mec once it is dialed in to perfection. The other was because where we hunt you can jump both quail and chukar in the same spot with an occasional fly over dove, and I didn't want to carry multiple loads. The 6's are great for chukar, and will surely reach out there, but can be a little rough on quail or dove. And I will quit hunting before I use 7-1/2's or smaller ever again in this lifetime. I hate watching feathers fly off a bird and watching it fly away, again. That is why I went with a compromise of a slightly larger pellet, but with a tremendous amount of more speed. Almost 1600ps!!! It gives me roughly 50 more pellets than 6's, and only roughly 50 less than 7-1/2's, but with the added speed the 7's hit harder than standard velocity 6's. Much harder than I had ever dreamed of for that matter. And everything I had read about patterns turning to crap with high velocity pellet deformation etc. is a bunch of manure. First three guns tested patterned tighter, and with lighter loads. In other words, my fast 7/8oz 20ga loads (roughly 1450fps) were patterning denser than the standard 1200-1300fps 1oz loads. And the 1-1/8oz 12ga loads I use were patterning denser than the 1-1/4 oz loads. This is why I always say to go ahead and read, but do not take anything as being absolute fact.

It took a little bit of work and playing, but I finally have a nice compromise of speed and size that will take down anything that goes up at half a football field or better (including pheasant and coyotes) but does completely mutilate dove or quail. But you should see what #5 shot at those speeds does to rabbits :signs165xk:

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I've recently started using #6 on quail at the recommendation of a friend that uses #6 on quail. He claims the meat damage is actually less on average. So far I haven't noticed a difference in meat mutilation.

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