THE ACCURATERELOADING.COM BIRD SHOOTING FORUM

Accuratereloading.com    The Accurate Reloading Forums    THE ACCURATE RELOADING.COM FORUMS  Hop To Forum Categories  Hunting  Hop To Forums  Bird Shooting    Best Shotgun Shells for Pheasant
Page 1 2 

Moderators: Saeed
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
Best Shotgun Shells for Pheasant
 Login/Join
 
one of us
posted
I’ve always used regular lead 6 shot with high brass, but there are so many steel and bismuth combinations and copper plated shot available now that I wonder if they are worth the added expense.

What are your thoughts/recommendations?

Thanks.

BH63


Hunting buff is better than sex!
 
Posts: 2205 | Registered: 29 December 2015Reply With Quote
one of us
Picture of NormanConquest
posted Hide Post
I always used high brass # 6s myself when I would visit relatives in the winter in Ohio. However, that was in the late 60s + then that is all we had available but the performance was just fine. I have not priced the Bismuth #6s but they can't be that much more for a couple of boxes to experiment with.


Never mistake motion for action.
 
Posts: 12874 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: 11 March 2013Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
First off, unless you are forced to by economics and law, steel is NEVER the answer.

As far as other choices...

It really depends on conditions.

Assuming you are shooting a 12 ga.

Early season birds over dogs, the old fashioned duck and pheasant load is hard to beat- 1 1/4 oz of #6 lead shot at any old velocity. (1200 FPS +)

Later season birds over flushing dogs or if you are walking a field, I'd use the same load but step up to #5 plain lead, and move up a bit with velocity (1250'ish).

End of the season birds... well, then you have some options. These will be getting up far and fast. If you have a good pointer, your early season loads will work OK. I usually use 1 1/2 oz of plated #4 or 5 lead at around 1300 FPS. If you shoot factory, one of the best ones would be Fiocchi Golden pheasant GPX. Its 1 3/8 oz Nickel plated shot at 1450 or so FPS. Some go to 3" shells late, but I don't really see the point- unless you have to use steel.

If you have to use nontoxic, and don't shoot a lot, bismuth is the best lead shot replacement for upland game. It works about like lead, and won't damage your teeth.

Steel, only if you have to, but remember that speed is more important than shot weight.

Hevi shot and other tungsten shot is probably way overkill for pheasant. Too much money, and the shots really aren't that long.

Sub gauge shells-

16- I'd stick with the same shot size as the 12 ga. I use #6 "whatever" with 1 oz early and go to CP #5 1 1/8 oz late. Unless you handload, 16 puts you really at the mercy of what you can find...

Bismuth is really the only viable nontox in 16.

20- This gets to be a lot like the 12 ga, in that standard field loads work fine early with close/dumb birds. 7/8 oz in #6.

Mid season I go to 7/8 oz CP #6.

Late, if I use the 20, its with 3" plated #4 or #5.

Same loads with bismuth.

Steel, 3" #4 steel. Don't use late in the year with steel, IMO.

This would be the one place that I might use tungsten.

28- I've used on early a few times, and on game farm birds. 3/4 oz 7 1/2 plated lead works on closer birds. I think this is better a dove and quail gun, but I will occasionally get some Winchester 1 oz #5's to take along and put it in the second barrel.

The 28's I have I won't use tungsten or steel in them.

.410... I won't use it on game, period. Too much patterning experience for clay games- there are always holes in the pattern. If I had to, I'd try TSS (18+ g/mm 3) #9 in it.
 
Posts: 5804 | Location: Minnesota USA | Registered: 15 June 2007Reply With Quote
one of us
Picture of tomahawker
posted Hide Post
Stick with lead or copper coated. I only use Bismuth etc. when required. Late season reach out with 4’s and 5’s.
 
Posts: 3050 | Registered: 27 November 2014Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
Thanks for the information. I generally start out with IC and Mod using 6 and later in season switch to IC and F with 6 in open and 5 in F.

Based on your posts I will stick with this.

I might pick up a box of bismuth if they are on sale just to try it out.

Thanks again.

BH63


Hunting buff is better than sex!
 
Posts: 2205 | Registered: 29 December 2015Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
I am a die hard 28 gauge shooter, have shot many pheasants with it, both wild and released. If you handload, Ballistic Products sells a nickel plated shot that is awesome. I have moved to that shot for doves-7&1/2 and 8 depending on time of year and distance. Ron Reiber, who is Hodgdon's #1 ballistician and a Master Class Clays shooter (as well as a bird hunter) turned me on to this several years ago. The nickel plating makes the shot "punch" through feathers. I have compared this shot to lead and copper plated lead, and IMHO if you hit a bird with this shot you are going to recover it. As far as factory loads, Fiocchi makes a nickel plated shot in their Golden Pheasant line.


"Never, ever, book a hunt with Jeri Booth or Detail Company Adventures"
 
Posts: 463 | Location: San Antonio, Texas | Registered: 09 November 2010Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
I might just pick up a box of the Fiocchi.

Thanks.

BH63


Hunting buff is better than sex!
 
Posts: 2205 | Registered: 29 December 2015Reply With Quote
one of us
Picture of NormanConquest
posted Hide Post
I agree with staying away from the steel shot for obvious reasons.


Never mistake motion for action.
 
Posts: 12874 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: 11 March 2013Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
In the UK we use 6 majority of time but for high 35+ metre birds i suggest 5 and even 3/4 for extreme birds 45-65 metres away.

High brass is purely a sales gimmick and doesnt add anything except cost
 
Posts: 446 | Location: England/ Hungary | Registered: 07 June 2016Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
I've loaded the same load for pheasants for 15 years or so. A 2 3/4" hull with the Rem SP12 wad, 1 3/8's oz of magnum #5 shot at 1230-50 fps with blue dot. Even used that for low recoil turkey loads for kids and wives. I don't change the load but may change the chokes early vs late season.

It's a hell of a crow load too!


Shoot straight, shoot often.
Matt
 
Posts: 1089 | Location: Wisconsin | Registered: 19 July 2001Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Hunt Inter:

High brass is purely a sales gimmick and doesnt add anything except cost


You are 100% correct about the brass, but in the US, the term is often used (by older hunters anyway, as an informal way of indicating a shotshell having a heavy load of shot, pushed by an appropriate amount of powder.

Cheers!

BH63


Hunting buff is better than sex!
 
Posts: 2205 | Registered: 29 December 2015Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by BuffHunter63:
quote:
Originally posted by Hunt Inter:

High brass is purely a sales gimmick and doesnt add anything except cost


You are 100% correct about the brass, but in the US, the term is often used (by older hunters anyway, as an informal way of indicating a shotshell having a heavy load of shot, pushed by an appropriate amount of powder.

Cheers!

BH63


tu2 Learn something new every day.
 
Posts: 446 | Location: England/ Hungary | Registered: 07 June 2016Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
I load 3/4 oz. of Ballistic Products nickel plated #5's for my Parker repro 28. It works well.


DRSS
NRA Life Member
VDD-GNA


 
Posts: 314 | Location: WY USA | Registered: 18 January 2003Reply With Quote
one of us
Picture of samir
posted Hide Post
I load 1 1/4oz of #5 lead for ducks and pheasant in 12ga running 1360fps and 3/4 #6 in the 28 ga. Velocity makes a huge difference in knocking down birds. Once you go above 1275 you notice a big difference between killing and wounding


DRSS
Chapuis 9.3x74R
Searcy 470 NE
 
Posts: 1289 | Location: San Diego | Registered: 02 July 2005Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
Another vote for golden pheasant.
 
Posts: 2717 | Location: NH | Registered: 03 February 2009Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
Fiocchi Golden Pheasant
 
Posts: 803 | Location: Imperial, NE | Registered: 05 January 2013Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by samir:
I load 1 1/4oz of #5 lead for ducks and pheasant in 12ga running 1360fps and 3/4 #6 in the 28 ga. Velocity makes a huge difference in knocking down birds. Once you go above 1275 you notice a big difference between killing and wounding


You "load 1 1/4 oz of #5 lead for ducks?"
 
Posts: 2717 | Location: NH | Registered: 03 February 2009Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
Stick with the sixes high brass lead backed up by lead 4's. Prairie storm makes good pheasant loads as well as golden pheasant.
 
Posts: 1043 | Location: Billings,MT | Registered: 24 July 2004Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
Just bought one box of #6 and one box of #5 Golden Pheasant by Fiocchi. Nickle plated and the #6s are blazing fast (over 1400 fps).

Interesting how things change. I grew up with Drams Equiv as an indication of the powder load.

Now, a more useful metric, velocity.

Although they are kind of spendy, I figure that I would rather spend the extra money and decrease the chances of wounding a pheasant.

I actually stopped bird hunting for a long time, because I was finding so many quail, pheasants, and ducks that had been previously wounding.

It has never bothered me to kill an animal, but I don't like to wound them and leave them to suffer.

Thanks for all the advice.

BH63


Hunting buff is better than sex!
 
Posts: 2205 | Registered: 29 December 2015Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
There are 2 types of Golden pheasant ammo, at least in 12 ga.

Both have nickel plated shot. One is roughly standard velocity. The other is the 1485 FPS. I think they call the fast stuff GPX, but it is clearly stated on the boxes.

The fast stuff doesn’t pattern as nicely, but it does kill better IME.
 
Posts: 5804 | Location: Minnesota USA | Registered: 15 June 2007Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
When I shot 12 ga. I found that Pheasant Forever Federal #4 shot resulted in fewer runners on late season South Dakota wild birds.

I've switch to 16ga for past 8 years or so and started using shells from https://baschieri-pellagriusa.com. I use #5 shot. Wonderful shells. I assume 12ga would be just as good.

FWIW I had bad luck with Fiochi Golden Pheasant in 12ga. Must have just patterned bad in my particular gun because there are a lot of positive reviews.
 
Posts: 315 | Location: Alabama | Registered: 06 March 2004Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
I also like the pheasants forever federal 4 shot load. I think the velocity is 1500 FPS. Works good on Pheasants late season
 
Posts: 53 | Location: South Dakota | Registered: 09 February 2011Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
I generally shoot the Federal Prairie Storms. 12ga, 2 3/4", 1 1/4oz, #6's, or 20ga, 2 3/4", 1 oz #5's or 4's.

12ga is an O/U (either a Citori XT or a Citori GTI) with LM bottom, IM top.

20ga is a Franchi AL48 with mod.

I generally hunt stocked farms (mix of cut corn and soy) over dogs.
 
Posts: 1188 | Location: Shelton, CT | Registered: 22 February 2010Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
With a good dog, wild birds, I like nickel #5's, pushed fast, like 1,400fps+.

W/O a dog, wild birds, nickel #4's, and I will have several shells loaded with lead #2's in my pocket. If conditions are tough, a nickel #4 goes in the right barrel and a lead #2 in the left

W/O a dog, I need them dead-in-the-air, hence the larger pellets and faster shotshell. I hate loosing a bird.
 
Posts: 84 | Registered: 04 May 2019Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
First shot out of the Citori is a Duck and Pheasant load of #6 lead. The first two in the A-5. Second shot in the O-U is Plated #5's the last 3 in the A-5 are the same. I use Improved Cylinder in the bottom barrel, Modified in the top. A regular Modified works great in the A-5 most all the time. I find most premium loads like Winchester Supreme or a Federal offering of #5's going 1400 fps works great on the longer first shots or follow up shots. Hunting pheasants over a good dog is just the best there is. DW
 
Posts: 986 | Location: Happy Valley, Utah | Registered: 13 October 2006Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
I'm not really an upland hunter. I shot mostly ducks growing up. A friend invited me on a preserve hunt that held a mixture of wild and released birds. He let me use a 12 GA Citori. I asked what he was using for shells and he offer a couple boxes of low base reloaded #8's. Now I was skeptical. That cloud of fine shot just hammered every bird.

Mark


MARK H. YOUNG
MARK'S EXCLUSIVE ADVENTURES
7215 GREAT DOVER ST.
LAS VEGAS, NV 89166
Office 702-848-1693
Cell 307-250-1156
E-mail markttc@msn.com
Website: myexclusiveadventures.com
Skype: markhyhunter
Check us out on https://www.facebook.com/pages...ures/627027353990716
 
Posts: 11680 | Location: LAS VEGAS, NV USA | Registered: 04 August 2002Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
I can see 8s on released birds. Wild birds, not a chance IMO. Too many cripples most likely. I had always used 6s, but a hunting companion recommended 4s on wild birds last weekend. They worked.

I haven't hunted released pheasant in forty years, and won't in the future. Some we touched with the toe of our boot. Some we could have shot with a BB gun. We couldn't use dogs. They would have simply picked them up off the ground. Can't even call it a hunt. Hope your experience was better. Ours was down by Katy.
 
Posts: 10697 | Location: Texas | Registered: 10 May 2002Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Kensco:
I can see 8s on released birds. Wild birds, not a chance IMO. Too many cripples most likely. I had always used 6s, but a hunting companion recommended 4s on wild birds last weekend. They worked.

I haven't hunted released pheasant in forty years, and won't in the future. Some we touched with the toe of our boot. Some we could have shot with a BB gun. We couldn't use dogs. They would have simply picked them up off the ground. Can't even call it a hunt. Hope your experience was better. Ours was down by Katy.


If you lived in a place with no wild birds you might reconsider. I've been hunting both wild and released birds over dogs for many years and I have NEVER experienced what you describe. Total embellishment on your part, perhaps purposely.
 
Posts: 2717 | Location: NH | Registered: 03 February 2009Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
We have had good performance with Fiocchi Golden Pheasant in 12ga and 28ga. Will try 16ga for the hunt coming up.

Mostly have used #6 shot in them, but will have #5 on hand this time, as going later in the season.

I look at the gear I use and wonder that my dad hunted pheasants with a single shot .410.


Regards,

roo_ster

"We live in an unreasonable age, ruled by ridiculous people."
----Zman
 
Posts: 61 | Location: Texas | Registered: 12 June 2019Reply With Quote
Administrator
posted Hide Post
I think the choke on your shotgun makes a lot of difference.

And as mentioned above, lead is king.


www.accuratereloading.com
Instagram : ganyana2000
 
Posts: 52219 | Location: Dubai, UAE | Registered: 08 January 1998Reply With Quote
one of us
Picture of Use Enough Gun
posted Hide Post
quote:
I look at the gear I use and wonder that my dad hunted pheasants with a single shot .410.

I started my waterfowl and upland game hunting career 56 years ago using a single shot Eastern Arms .410 shotgun. Killed a lot of limits of ducks and pheasants with that gun. I then 'graduated' to a brand new Browning Auto 5, 12 gauge, as that was the 'coming of age' shotguns for all of us in our family of hunters. I recall hunting ducks with the Auto 5 one early November morning and my younger brother had the .410. He was complaining about not hitting anything with it, so I traded him guns and knocked down a lone mallard flying a mile high in the sky. That was the end of the whining. Big Grin
 
Posts: 15266 | Registered: 04 April 2005Reply With Quote
one of us
Picture of tomahawker
posted Hide Post
My favorite favorite shells, are the ones rolling around in the door panel and cup holder. No ink left and a lil green growing on the brass but there when ya need em.
 
Posts: 3050 | Registered: 27 November 2014Reply With Quote
one of us
Picture of loud-n-boomer
posted Hide Post
Another fan of the Fiocchi Golden Pheasant loads, and have used them in 12, 16, and 20-gauge. I prefer #6 shot earlier in the season and #5 later when shots tend to get longer.


One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I'll never know. - Groucho Marx
 
Posts: 3439 | Location: Eastern Slope, Colorado, USA | Registered: 01 March 2001Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
I use an ounce of 5s on preserve birds 28 gauge through 12 ga. I think I would go with 4s on late season wild birds.


Quick, Cheap, or Good: Pick Two
 
Posts: 1741 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: 18 February 2007Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
Foe me, pheasants are an incidental bird encountered when hunting Huns or sharp tails. I have killer a lot of them (wild ones) with 1 ounce of #7 shot in my sixteen gauge guns.
 
Posts: 482 | Location: S. E. Arizona | Registered: 01 February 2019Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
Late to the game here but I killed a lot of them with 1 1/8 oz of mag 6s from my 20's and a 1.1/4 of them in 12ga.

My hunting friends couldn't believe how far away I could kill them with my little 20ga.
 
Posts: 16035 | Location: wis | Registered: 21 April 2001Reply With Quote
one of us
Picture of Use Enough Gun
posted Hide Post
By the way, I've always used 4s, 5s and 6s in lead shot for pheasants. And Saeed is correct that the right choke makes a difference. tu2
 
Posts: 15266 | Registered: 04 April 2005Reply With Quote
one of us
Picture of subsailor74
posted Hide Post
First of all, the size if the brass (high or low) has NOTHING to do with the effectiveness of a particular load. Read Gough Thomas" book "Shotguns and Cartridges" if you would like to educate yourself on this subject. Best quality gun makers like Purdey, Boss, and Stephen Grant have been regulating their guns for 1 1/16 ounce of #6 shot for over 100 years. For high driven birds, a lot of Brits will go to 1 ⅛ ounce of #5. The Brits have been shooting walked up and driven pheasants and other game birds since long before the first pheasant graced the shores of the USA. They have a ton of knowledge and experience - the wise person seeks to obtain and understand it!
 
Posts: 1547 | Location: Virginia | Registered: 29 September 2011Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
Is not British shot size not a size smaller than US size?

British number 5 shot is equivalent to US 6?
 
Posts: 3414 | Location: Somewhere above Tennessee and below Kentucky  | Registered: 31 July 2016Reply With Quote
one of us
Picture of subsailor74
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by LHeym500:
Is not British shot size not a size smaller than US size?

British number 5 shot is equivalent to US 6?


yes - British shot sizes are smaller than our in the USA
 
Posts: 1547 | Location: Virginia | Registered: 29 September 2011Reply With Quote
  Powered by Social Strata Page 1 2  
 

Accuratereloading.com    The Accurate Reloading Forums    THE ACCURATE RELOADING.COM FORUMS  Hop To Forum Categories  Hunting  Hop To Forums  Bird Shooting    Best Shotgun Shells for Pheasant

Copyright December 1997-2020 Accuratereloading.com


Visit our on-line store for AR Memorabilia