You'll have to take my word, Sir 3 incher- but in part thanks to a few constant factors, I have a season long average of 1&1/2 shells for male mallards, and 2 for geese- mainly pass shooting over water. Several factors come into play in that average: (1) off season practice with the same shotguns I use for waterfowling- 12 gauge Model 12 pumpguns (a favorite of the late Gough Thomas I believe)- crows, blackbirds,feral pigeons and the odd shitepoke- At almost 80, my days of putting out a load of decoys, wearing waders in rapid rivers, or laying on my aching back in a camo field bag are pretty much over. I use Kent 2&3/4" No. 4 steel 1&1/8 oz. for mallard and early season geese, later when the flight birds come down our flyway I use 1&1/4 ounce No. 4 steel. My average estimated kill zone is 30 yards and closing. Being a bit frugal, I had to waste shells. You will never have any way to verify this, you'll have to take my word, but one of many factors in my skill at pass shooting birds is the fact that I still have 20/20 distance vision, a real gift from God since all my working years involved welding- Ah yes, welding- you implied that I might have pandering my farmer friends to get permission to hunt and shoot their lands. I beg to differ, Sir. They are all friends, and I don't come to them empty handed. Maybe equipment vital to their farming and income is not used in Limeyland, but here, welding and machine repair go hand=in=hand with staying operational. I do this service for them in a manner of "paying my way"--and NOT taking them and their friendship for granted. RWTF
Thanks for taking the time to respond.We are still legally shooting lead inland here in Scotland so 1 and 5/8 oz number 3 lead or occasionally 1 and 7/8 oz number 2 Winchester buffered load for geese and 1 and 1/4 oz lead number 4 for mallard with 5s and 6s for the smaller wigeon and teal respectively. Evening flighting on inland ponds or rivers light loads of 6s in a 20 bore skeet gun.
I don’t know if Gough Thomas possessed a model 12 but I do remember him writing in the Shooting Times in the 1970s of its eumatic qualities as he called them. Geoffrey Boothroyd did possess a model 12 and enjoyed using it. I own a skeet model 12 with cutts and previously had a 20 bore ,ribless ,full choke ,short barrel. Unfortunately they are hard to source in the UK ,a decent one anyway, or I would have another 20 bore. I have met old wildfowlers like yourself on the shore ,nearing 80 and always saying it will be their last season out,the last one was toting an eight bore double barrel. I can only hope that I will be enjoying days afield when I reach your age.
Much like yourself I help out on the farm ,lambing in the sheds in late March early April and tending to lambs and ewes when they are transferred out to the field ,trimming feet ,dosing for worms and next week I will be helping at the clipping.
I bought a 10 bore Zephyr Honker single barrel in Holts last unsold lots sale. The barrel is perfect ,no pitting or marks ,the stock was awful so having only been delivered last week due to the Covid restrictions it is now being stained and oil finished. I also have an old Lyman 10 bore reloading kit to reload what little cartridges I will use so new ground for me. The weight is 8lb 9oz so I’m curious as to how much recoil I’m going to have to get used to.
Wildfowling and trout fishing can be great levellers and maybe I should remind myself a bit more often that more unites than divides those that take part.