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rharm

Shot size?

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What size shot does everyone use for pheasants? I shoot with a 12 guage. What about differences in size when shooting steel or other non-toxics? What type of shot are you using?

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You will get a lot of anecdotal answers to this question and I have my own. But the best thing is to just look at the science. You need enough energy to be able to break bones with one pellet. That in my experience is #5 lead shot or larger. There have been a gazillion birds shot with #6, but in my personal experience, it sometimes fails to break bones like #5s will. A good load is the Pheasants Forever Federal #5 load. 1 1/4 oz shot traveling at 1500 fps if memory serves correct. That has a lot of energy. Dont be temped by the 1200 fps loads, they are just not as good in my opinion.

For steel, #2 at the smallest; again, look at the speed. For other non-toxics, treat'em like lead.

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yep, I too prefer 5 lead or 2 steel. Often times I will just stick with the 2 steel, as steel is required in some areas (WPA) and for some things (duck, goose).

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1 1/4 oz lead 5's at 1400 fps. I shot 6's for a number of years, but the 5's give me a little extra range and less heads up cripples for the dogs to chase.

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Most of the time I'm shooting a 20. I go with #2 steel for all my pheasant hunting so I can go back and forth betweem WMA and WPA land and not worry about if I have the right shells in my vest. Or god forbid you get checked on WPA land and missed a lead shot shell in your vest or pocket.

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agree 5 early 4 later the fastest fps you can find and dont even look at the price I usually only get 2 3/4 3 inch seams slower.

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I was kind of curious about the nontoxic shot as well.....anybody? Haven't been real happy with the steel, but mainly used size 4 I think.

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Quote:
Anyone using non-toxic other than steel?

Kent Tungsten Matrix works well.

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Agreed. It does work well. I've only used it a couple of times, tho. Pretty spendy for me compared to steel. If the price was lower that's the shot I'd most likely use.

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Quote:
speed kills

ahem... it helps a little but a dense evenly distributed pattern that is well placed is more important than speed. Higher speed will give you a little more downrange energy (not as much as you might think) and maybe 5-10 yds extra range depending on what you are using.

Speed for some equates to taking longer shots. High speed ammo doesn't magically give one more ability to make an accurate long range shot. Most hunters, including myself, have no business taking 40-50 yd shots at roosters as we just aren't good enough to hit them consistently.

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Tom Roster the shotgun guru did an effectiveness study on roosters with steel. It was a throrough scientific study on steel and he ended up recomending Steel 2 shot. I think the article is still on the MN DNR HSOforum if you google it. When I'm hunting WPA's or other places that require no-tox I shoot handloaded bismuth. It is just bit less dense than lead and is soft so it patterns the same. I heard that bismuth went out of business a while back, but have also heard they are back. When I reloaded my 3 case supply my total cost was something like a $1 a shell. If I was going to have to buy something now days I'd go with Kent Tungsten Matrix. Hevi-shot doesn't mix with nice old guns.

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5's for lead which i prefer and 3 steel. I am to cheap to get good non toxic shot. LOL.

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Tom Roster the shotgun guru did an effectiveness study on roosters with steel. It was a throrough scientific study on steel and he ended up recomending Steel 2 shot. I think the article is still on the MN DNR HSOforum if you google it. When I'm hunting WPA's or other places that require no-tox I shoot handloaded bismuth. It is just bit less dense than lead and is soft so it patterns the same. I heard that bismuth went out of business a while back, but have also heard they are back. When I reloaded my 3 case supply my total cost was something like a $1 a shell. If I was going to have to buy something now days I'd go with Kent Tungsten Matrix. Hevi-shot doesn't mix with nice old guns.

bismaxx brand loads bismuth shot nowdays...

hevi shot makes a "classic doubles" load safe for older fixed choke style guns..ive shot this through my wingmaster and it patterned ok...

speed is somewhat a marketing ploy. if more guys would sit down and actually pattern their guns, they might be surprised what they find. i'd rather have a solid pattern so i get head and neck strikes, vs depending on a load that "breaks bones". typically, when hunting over pointers early in the early season i shoot 1 1/8 oz 7.5 shot out of a pattern master. big group of guys, dogs everywhere, wild birds, posting, etc, i'll load up with kent lead 2 3/4" 1 1/2 oz 5's.

state land i will shoot what ever loads ive patterned that do the job on ducks, which right now is 2 3/4" federal steel 6's through a patternmaster or 3" federal 1's through the same choke.

late season in minnesota, and here in south dakota, ive even loaded up with 3" lead BB or 3.5" 2 oz lead #4 turkey loads when out hunting by myself on skittish birds.

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i used to shoot 6 now switched to 5. I've gone to the estate brand becasue its the least expensive. I used to shoot remington pheasant load, but that went up in price. they have done well for me

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Often times I will just stick with the 2 steel, as steel is required in some areas (WPA) and for some things (dove, duck, goose).

Since when is steel required for doves?

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Sorry about that.

I do some dove hunting in areas that require steel shot. Just got it confused.

Thanks for the correction.

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