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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In preparation for a Saskatchewan snow goose/duck hunt that I am going on in 61 days, I decided to do a little pattern testing. The gun is a Benelli M2 with a 24" barrel (that's not a typo). I cut open 5 hulls of each tested brand of shells to get my average bb count per shell. The distance shot was 25 yards and then 40 yards. The pattern board that I used was 32"x32", and all shells are 3". I tested 3 different chokes - factory IC, factory M, and Patternmaster. By far, the factory IC shot the best and below are the results:


Shell Info: BB Count: 25 Yards: 40 Yards:
Rem Sptman 1 1/4 #2 156 149/156 95.5% 133/156 85.3%
Rem Sptman 1 3/8 #2 173 156/173 90.1% 129/173 74.6%
Fed (Blue) 1 1/4 #2 150 148/150 98.7% 135/150 90.0%
Estate 1 1/4 #2 160 158/160 98.8% 143/160 89.4%
Kent 1 1/4 #4 245 242/245 98.8% 160/245 65.3%
Rio 1 1/4 #4 230 200/230 87.0% 183/230 80.0%
BlackCloud 1 1/4 #4 239 229/239 95.8% 171/239 71.5%

*I understand that the list of shells that I tested does not include shells such as the Xperts, HeviShot, HeviMetal, etc.

I personally have never shot Estate shells and therefore was a little hesitant to buy a bunch of them. The outfitter recommended that we bring a case of shells per person for the duration of the hunt. I am more familiar shooting the Federal Blue Box, so I picked up 7 boxes of that and 3 of the Estate to try.
 

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That's funny that the factory choke shot the best. I never tested mine. I just bought a Carlson's because I like them so much, and I was still in the buying mood after buying my new gun.
 

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Nice job for taking the time to do this. 8) I have never gone to this extent, but I can tell you for certain I hit more birds with the federals and estates than any other brand I have tried.
BTW where did you find the estates?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Smith and Edwards is where I found the Estates. They have 4 or 5 different shot sizes to choose from and plenty of them!
 

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I patterned 4 of my guns last year and couldn't get a single one to pattern better than 55% at 40 yards no matter what ammo I tried. I had at least a dozen different types between brand and shot size. I am going to start shortly reloading and trying to find a reload that gives me better patterns than what I have now, shouldn't be too hard. Heck I would be elated to get 75% at 40 yards with anything.
 

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I believe Gallenson's still has plenty of the Estate's at a good price too.
 
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