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This thread got me thinking so I pulled the trigger on a case of Boss copper plated bismuth, 2 3/4" 1 1/4oz #3/5. Also picked up a few boxes of their 3" 1 1/2oz #2s for late season geese, I'm excited to try them out! Bismuth seems to be the middle ground as far as performance to cost ratio goes, with steel on one end of the spectrum and TSS on the other.
Doesn't matter much what size or type of shot one uses when you shoot them at 30 yards or less. Within reason, of course. I've double on geese with 3/4 ounce of steel 6's out of one of my 20 gauge O/Us. $6/box.

This particular gun is a Beretta BL-4, made in 1968 with fixed IC/M chokes, so steel shot larger than 6s is not recommended. Weighs under 5# 14oz, so is a wand:

Vertebrate Snow Bird Feather Beak
 

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Doesn't matter much what size or type of shot one uses when you shoot them at 30 yards or less. Within reason, of course. I've double on geese with 3/4 ounce of steel 6's out of one of my 20 gauge O/Us. $6/box.

This particular gun is a Beretta BL-4, made in 1968 with fixed IC/M chokes, so steel shot larger than 6s is not recommended. Weighs under 5# 14oz, so is a wand:

View attachment 155407
That's a nice pile Fowl! I usually don't shoot past 30-35 yards on anything but I do like having a heavier load as backup in case they keep going. I've killed geese with everything from steel 5's to BB's, I'm hoping the 2's will be the best balance of pattern density and pellet energy.
 

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I have a couple of boxes of Bismuth I loaded up a couple of years ago. And a friend gave me a bag of Boss to try.

I would like to take my Grandpa's model 12 out before the season ends just for the nostalgia. But I don't want to hunt that gun out of a layout blind. It would trash it.
 

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That's a nice pile Fowl! I usually don't shoot past 30-35 yards on anything but I do like having a heavier load as backup in case they keep going. I've killed geese with everything from steel 5's to BB's, I'm hoping the 2's will be the best balance of pattern density and pellet energy.
Fyi:
Fowl and Paddler are two different dudes.
 

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Wow!!! Those are amazing images! Please share what setup took these photos and how far away you were.

To stay on topic. Duplex steel with TSS can be done for about $1-$1.25 a shell if you reload in the 20ga and 28ga.
They were taken with a Nikon Z5, which is their entry level full frame mirrorless body,. The lens is the 500mm f/5.6 PF, which is a truly great lens. The fox was ~40 yards away, the robin was pretty close.

I wonder what it would cost to load 20 gauge or 28 gauge #5 steel. Seems like #5s would be the perfect shot size out of the 28.
 

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They were taken with a Nikon Z5, which is their entry level full frame mirrorless body,. The lens is the 500mm f/5.6 PF, which is a truly great lens. The fox was ~40 yards away, the robin was pretty close.

I wonder what it would cost to load 20 gauge or 28 gauge #5 steel. Seems like #5s would be the perfect shot size out of the 28.
With today cost of components $0.28 per shell if you have the hulls or $6.95 per box of 25. At 5 years ago cost of components, it was about $5.50. I've shot a fair amount of #5 in the 28ga at ducks and they crap out at around 30-35 yards. Fine for close shots, but did not work well for jump shooting. I duplex 9/16oz of steel #4 with 1/4oz of TSS #9s in the 28ga and get 1300fps and 198 pellets in the pattern. I shoot it with an IM SK choke and it has 50 yards range, but works equally well at 10-15 yards with the open choke. The steel disperses quickly and the TSS stays together with that high density and has still has good pattern density at 45 yards. At close ranges, it can put a lot of holes if center patterned, but I took a greenhead at 50 paces today with that load. It dropped dead. At a cost of $1.05 per shell, I shoot more of these than anything else during duck season.
 

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I shoot most of my birds at less than 30 yd. I don't think I ever shoot more than 35 yards. This year in Canada we shot too many birds too close, as in 20 yards or less.
 
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With today cost of components $0.28 per shell if you have the hulls or $6.95 per box of 25. At 5 years ago cost of components, it was about $5.50. I've shot a fair amount of #5 in the 28ga at ducks and they crap out at around 30-35 yards. Fine for close shots, but did not work well for jump shooting. I duplex 9/16oz of steel #4 with 1/4oz of TSS #9s in the 28ga and get 1300fps and 198 pellets in the pattern. I shoot it with an IM SK choke and it has 50 yards range, but works equally well at 10-15 yards with the open choke. The steel disperses quickly and the TSS stays together with that high density and has still has good pattern density at 45 yards. At close ranges, it can put a lot of holes if center patterned, but I took a greenhead at 50 paces today with that load. It dropped dead. At a cost of $1.05 per shell, I shoot more of these than anything else during duck season.
I may be up in the night, but for how I hunt, with open chokes for birds over decoys, it seems like ~150 pellets provides adequate pattern density. In 20 gauge, 3/4 ounce of 4s contains 143 pellets. In 28 gauge, 5/8 ounce of 6s has 199 pellets, but 5/8 ounce of 5s has 152 pellets. Thus 5s yield adequate pattern density but better retained pellet energy than 6s. Fewer pellets in the meat, too.

I think you're probably right that 5s out of a 28 gauge should be reliable out to 30-35 yards. My guess is 6s out of a 28 probably peter out at ~27-28 yards.
 

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Got an email from Roger's this morning. Bismuth is on sale! 20 gauge 3" is only $400/case. Can't believe ammo prices these days. Wonder if they'll ever come down.
 

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Best deal on Bismuth that I've found currently is $325 a case shipped for Boss 20 gauge 3". Not cheap but better than $400!
But aren't Boss cases only 200 rounds versus a traditional case of 250? If so, that would make them slightly more expensive then what Rogers has on sale. Very expensive either way though.

Luckily I haven't had to buy shells in a couple years, and I'm trying really hard to burn through my random stashes of 12 gauge ammo. But I do need more 20 gauge stuff, especially so my kids have plenty of ammo next season, and it sure isn't easy to find these days. And when I find it, it's stupid expensive.
 

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All of it. Hiking is terrible without a gun or rod in my hands.
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But aren't Boss cases only 200 rounds versus a traditional case of 250? If so, that would make them slightly more expensive then what Rogers has on sale. Very expensive either way though.

Luckily I haven't had to buy shells in a couple years, and I'm trying really hard to burn through my random stashes of 12 gauge ammo. But I do need more 20 gauge stuff, especially so my kids have plenty of ammo next season, and it sure isn't easy to find these days. And when I find it, it's stupid expensive.

I went through 1.5 seasons with 3 cases and 2.5 shooters. I'm now at 3 shooters. 4 cases wasn't cheap.
 
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