Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
esox49

Which choke and what shells for pheasants?

19 posts in this topic

Just was wondering what chokes and what size / # shells everyone is using now days for pheasants? Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hard to beat a mod choke as a good all around choice. As for shells, if using lead, 3" 2oz copper plated 6's work wonders smile but 5's or 6's are what I'll generally run. If using steel, 3's and 4's work well for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots of variables. But it boils down to this. Assuming you are an average shot for the given conditions at what distance will you take your first shot and are you shooting steel or lead?

<20 yds

Lead - IC and 6 shot. 1 1/4 or 1 3/8 oz will work.

Steel - IC and 2 or 3 shot. 3" Mag

20-30 yds

Lead - MOD and 6 or 5 shot. 1 1/4 or 1 3/8 oz will work.

Steel - MOD and 2 or 3 shot. 3" Mag

30-40 yds

Lead - MOD and 5 or 4 shot. 1 1/4 - 1 3/8 oz will work.

Steel - MOD and 2 or 3 shot. 3" Mag

>40yds - IMHO nobody should be taking a shot beyond 40 yds.

Notice for the lead suggestion I didn't suggest 3" mag. You don't need 3" mags to kill pheasants with lead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i use steel 4's all year. just a personal decision to not use lead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I shoot IC at all ranges for the entire season and don't seem to have a problem killing birds out to 40 yds. I have on occasion gone to the Mod. but always find myself putting back in that IC. My brittany often helps me hold birds close, even late in the season.

My preferred load is #4 Federal premium copper 1/14 oz. 1500 FPS. I find that the more open choke allows for a more consistent pattern in my Beretta. I am sure others will not find this combination suitable to them, but it is my experience that this combo works well for me...

If I have birds flushing wild 25-35 yds or more I sometimes go to a 1 and a half ounce load made by Kent. I almost never shoot 3 inch loads.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

gspman outlined it very well. I, too, go with steel shot all year...a lot of the public land in SD is non-toxic shot, and we hunt waterfowl at the same time...so I haven't even bought any lead shot for a few years now.

Early season, I will go with #4 steel. By this time of year, I am to the #2. Modified choke may be the better choice, but when going with the larger (#2) shot, I find that an IC choke patterns better. The mod is a bit too tight for the larger shot.

If using lead, #5 is a good all around, all-season choice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3" federal steel 4's through a patternmaster extended choke on my sx2, or factory improved mod and factory mod in my citori with kent ultra pheasant 5's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps the best solution is to take your gun out and pattern it with both chokes and different load to see how they perform in your gun. Every one is different and you can learn a lot about patterns and where you gun shoots by spending some time with a patterning board. You can google patterning a shotgun and get the how to's pretty easily.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2 3/4" and 3", #5 Federals. Mod choke w/a 26" barrel 11-87 12 ga. Either seems to pattern similiar, with a little better coverage with the 3". Phred52

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These guys are right, shoot whatever patterns the best be it 2 3/4 or 3 in. I shoot a briley quail choke with 3 in 1 3/4 Golden Pheasant 6's or 3 in Kent 1 1/4 #2 or #3's for steel. With steel I limit my shots to 35 and with lead the birds are dead to about 45. This choke allows me to shoot birds real close without blowing them up and be very deadly at longer ranges. It took some pattern testing but these loads open up quick and hold together good enough for distance, it was well worth the effort.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today I got 4 birds (5 guys) with modified choke and 3" mag steel 3's out to about 40 yards, no problem. Like others have stated, modified is your middle of the road suitable for most situations choke. And lead my favorite is 3" 5's, and with steel go a little bigger to have that knockdown power.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With temps hovering around 40 degrees I wish I could've been out there today. I usually use #2's or 4's. Man I sure miss the lead 8's for grouse & 5 & 6's for stubble ducks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's an example of choke and load gone wrong. I put in a mod choke on Thursday due to the high winds and was using 1 3/8 oz Fiocchi Golden Pheasant loads. Didn't get a shooting opportunity on Thursday. I forgot to take it out and put the cyl tube in for Friday's hunting. I used the same load. The dog stuck one in short cattails and I shot it at about 10 yds. As soon as I touched the trigger I thought to myself this isn't going to be good. Sure enough when the dog brought it back it was completely disemboweled with one breast essentially missing and a leg dangling by a piece of tissue.

Choosing the right choke for the conditions and expected range of first shot is very important.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have used 3" steel 2's through an improved cylinder for several years now with outstanding results.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's an example of choke and load gone wrong. I put in a mod choke on Thursday due to the high winds and was using 1 3/8 oz Fiocchi Golden Pheasant loads. Didn't get a shooting opportunity on Thursday. I forgot to take it out and put the cyl tube in for Friday's hunting. I used the same load. The dog stuck one in short cattails and I shot it at about 10 yds. As soon as I touched the trigger I thought to myself this isn't going to be good. Sure enough when the dog brought it back it was completely disemboweled with one breast essentially missing and a leg dangling by a piece of tissue.

Choosing the right choke for the conditions and expected range of first shot is very important.

I would say any load is going to make a pheasant into a puffball at 10 yards. Hard to restrain yourself sometimes, especially after a few misses.

I go with #2 steel with a modified choke all season long, I go back and forth between public and private, I don't want the hassle of changing out shells. Early season its all 2 3/4 inch, just recently I went to 3" shells.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On Sunday I had the opposite happen to my previous post. Knocked one down at the edge of effective range for my choke and load. Luckily the dog saved the day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On Sunday I had the opposite happen to my previous post. Knocked one down at the edge of effective range for my choke and load. Luckily the dog saved the day.

What would we do without our retrieving dogs?? I find as the season wears on, I have more of those epic chases, wing tipped birds, longer shots, poor shooting when you're surprised by a rooster. Fun, fun!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Go with #5 lead. 2 3/4 in is all you need in general. If birds are close, but who plans on that?????, #6 IC is sweet. Believe it or not, with my lab I have found trap loads effective as long as birds aren't weiry. Point is, try to plan on shots according to wind and elements. Personally, I hate steel and dislike patterns and killing range associated with it. BUT it seems like non toxic shot is the future so we have to get used to it. Therefore, buy ten shells for thirty bucks in #4 and previously spend time throwing lead at trap ranges so you can shoot straight with your "jewel" shot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    •   My Father-in-law (a master plumber) always used to say you only need to know 3 things to be a plumber:          sh*t doesn't run uphill         payday is on Friday         the boss is an ahole      
    • I've been getting them at Costco,  I've checked slyvee and sams but never see them.  Although one of the butcher's at slyvee says he can get them which might not be a bad idea since you can have some fat cut off before you pay per #. I picked one up a couple of weeks ago and it was about 2.80 a #, which isn't too bad yet considering bacon in the store can run quite a bit more than that.  You making bacon or doing pork belly burnt ends moon lake?
    • Excellent summer fishing.  Charters catching strong numbers.  Jig/minnow or jig/leech and bouncers with spinners with crawlers or minnows still producing walleyes. When the wind is right for pulling spinners, they have been lights out.  Walleyes being caught in varying depths, 7-31' of water.  Some shallow shorelines still producing. Pike mixed in all over the lake.    Walleyes in the Rainy River with a better morning/evening bite.  Trolling cranks or pulling spinners a good idea to cover more water. Smallmouth bass are out and about along shorelines and feeder streams. Sturgeon fishing opens again Saturday, July 1st.     Up at the NW Angle, water temps are in the low to mid 60’s. Wind blown shorelines are giving up walleyes via leeches or crankbaits along the weed line. Crawlers on a  gold and/or orange spinner are producing fish out of the mud between 22 - 26 feet. On the Canadian side, bottom bouncers and spinners have been filling the livewells outside of monument bay between 24-28 feet.  Jigging near Skeet and Kennedy Islands have produced nice sized walleye and numerous perch. Great smallmouth action in Tranquil channel and the mouth of Johnston passage. Muskie fishing picking up with high 40” class fish being caught with a few 50's from shallow bottom bays or adjacent to them.
    • Busy time of year out there so if u get canceled it is hard to rebook especially with the smaller operations. Bummer though as it can be a lot of fun if they are biting. 
    • I understand that you never really know when the Warriors are going to fall off or if they even will.  Hopefully the Wolves can make the playoffs and gain some experience, maybe teach the rest of the team how to play defense, so that in a few years we are knocking on the door and can lure in a top free agent to put us over the edge.  Its just an awful tough time to be a good team right now with the Warriors so clearly heads and shoulders above everyone else.
    • I couldn't have said it better myself pikestabber!  We have to go out there and do what we can now and not try to set up for "when the warriors are old" cuz the way the NBA is going who knows what players may join forces to set up the next "Warriors" squad.  Heck maybe the Wolves will be that next team !!  I just really love the addition of Butler and from the sounds of it we are not done yet and I am excited to see what will happen in free agency and if we could really land the likes of Kyle Lowry one of the other PG's that are hitting the FA market.  Nice to see the Wolves making moves!!
    • I would ask Getanet where to get some good ones!   Pork Belly Stinks Started by Getanet, May 1
    • So that means you ALMOST caught a fish!!   Real bummer!
  • Our Sponsors