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I went hunting the other day and noticed that I was having a hard time getting birds to fall. With that said I decided to try Rio 3 inch 1550 4 shot on this trip. The two trips before this one I only shot Winchester Xperts and had no problem with getting the birds to fall. Shot size is also 3 inch 1550 4 shot. I decided to pattern test the rounds head to head this morning. I shoot a SX3 with a Carlson blindside extended range choke. The targets were set at 40 yards with a 7.5 inch center circle on a 18 inch piece of card board. In the 7.5 inch circle the Rios had 12 pellets on target. The Xperts placed 38 pellets in the 7.5 inch circle. As for total number of pellets on the 18 board Rios placed 97 pellets. The Xperts placed 156 pellets on the same 18 inch board. I was curious how many pellets on average are in 1 1/8 ounce steel 4 shot. That average number is 216. Aw attached chart.

Bottom line for me is I will keep shooting. Xperts it's not worth the $2.00 a box savings for the Rio. I would like to hear others comparisons of the have they have done similar load tests. I'll try test blindside and blackcloud tomorrow.
 

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I have not done any shot comparison like this, but have had mixed results in my killing. I can see why now. I thought maybe I was getting bad at shooting or slow or no follow through. But maybe it was the shell. Now I have an excuse. But i had noticed I missed alot more shots with the RIO.
 

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One of my guns shot decent with RIO but the others didn't so I haven't bought any more. We seem to be having the best success with Federal #3 shot, 3" magnum 1550 FPS. In my Wingmaster magnum it's shooting lights out with a standard IC screw in choke. Out of a limit on opening day I think over half were first shot kills and the rest were 2nd shot kills. We knocked down quite a few ducks and only one wasn't dead when it hit the ground/water. Last year I did extensive patterning with all my guns. It's amazing how some barrels like certain shot sizes, brands and velocities and the next gun shoots that same shell like crap. I'm going to be sticking with Federals this season and try reloading my own next season.
 
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First off I shoot a SX3 with a Carlson full choke as well. I bought 2 cases of Rio Blue Steel last season and my shooting suffered tremendously. The Xperts are okay, but I shoot much better with the Federal blue box steel 3" #2's in either 1 1/8 oz. or 1 1/4 oz. Give them a try, they are the same price as the Xperts.
 

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I also shoot a sx3 but I use a briley improved mod and the best thing I found have been federals (3" shot size 2) also with feochii a near 2nd worst for me were kents.
 

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I also shoot a sx3 but I use a briley improved mod and the best thing I found have been federals (3" shot size 2) also with feochii a near 2nd worst for me were kents.
Call me crazy but I swear those Fiocchi 1 1/5 oz. steel loads feel light to me. The steel shot is even polished shiny like aluminum or something. I shot a few ducks and geese with them late last season and there were always pellets in the meat. Again it's probably just me, but I won't use them again.

I don't like the Kents either. I prefer to use slower steel around 1400 fps.
 

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FM, feochii's are strange to me aswell they have great knock down to them. I only buy them when I'm walking threw my local cal ranch and they catch my eye. Other then that I stick to federal blues box. I have used black clouds on a snow goose hunt I liked them but to pricy for every hunt use. My son did get his turkey with a black cloud we had left over and was keeping the half box I still have for his swan.
 

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Stick now that's Almost funny how sad of pattern that is .I wish I kept my pattern of my 1 1/4 HW13 #4 I did at 50 yards holy crap There I like a 158 pellets in the load `118 were in a 24 inch circle at 50 yd talk about tight the only goose I hit with this load at 40 yd ish dropped like it got hit by a tank :cool:
 

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Don't pattern shotgun loads, that will only lead down the road of spending more money buying new chokes and high density shot types. Looks like it already got cootlover.

I started patterning shotguns about 12 years ago, 1000+ patterns later and about 50 different after market chokes it is still a sickness. Sometimes I wish I didn't know what was going on downrange and just went to walmart and bought some win xperts and sky blasted with everyone else and hoped for that golden BB.
 

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I too played this game. 2 years ago I bought a box of Rio's to try and they were great. Last year half didn't want to fire or acted like squib loads and left a wad in my barrel. Thankfully something didn't feel right and I checked the barrel. Many people I hunt with had the same problems. I went back to the xperts in a hurry. I seem to have better luck with the #3 shot size although a comparison of 2 vs 3 were almost identical.
 

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I use to shoot Xperts exclusively (3" #1's) and I have never had any problems. Ever!
I smash birds with them. However I love Kent 3" 1's more. they are my favorite shell and thats what i'm shooting. If it weren't Kent then it would be Xperts simply because Federal doesn't make a 1 shot. My third pick would be federal for that reason.

I shoot a benelli nova with a patternmaster
 
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