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One load for everything?

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15 October 2015, 17:19
lal
One load for everything?
Just received a few thousand hulls from a friend and I'm trying to simplify things a little. I shoot lots of Dove and lots of Egyptian Geese and I'm trying to decide whether or not to stick to 1oz loads for both. All the years I have been using 1oz 7's for everything except geese. I'm loading 11/8 oz 3's for these guys. Think I could getaway with loading 1oz 3's for geese and 1oz 7's for dove etc? I'm shooting both over decoys so distances are reasonably short. What do you guys think of the 1oz 12ga load for an all rounder? Thanks in advance
15 October 2015, 18:53
elk hunter
I've shot thousands of 7/8 oz and 1 oz 12 gauge loads with US 7 1/2 shot at targets and smaller birds and liked them.

An oz of 3's will have a pretty low pellet count. I'd try it on paper to see how it patterns at decoy range. I've not shot Egyptian Geese so can't say how hard they are to bring down cleanly.
16 October 2015, 03:03
Scota4570
Lead shot??

Then no, #7 is too small for geese. I 'd be using #4 as an all round waterfowl load. 1 1/4th of 1 3/8 oz powered by blue dot. Steel shot, BBS or 2s. I am shooting heavy shot #4 on water fowl. Doves/quail get #8 lead or #6 or 7 steel.

A single load is not going to work out. Even if it did kill cleanly you would be picking a gillion small pieces of shot out of your goose meat. I lost a tooth that way. I prefer the pellets to exit the bird so I go larger.
16 October 2015, 03:20
lal
Lead shot is what I'm using. I have over 12k 1oz wads and about 400 of the 1 1/8 oz so I guess I was wondering if I should order more or just use one type as an all rounder. I will be loading 1oz 3's for geese and 7's for the doves. I have never gone on a goose hunt with light weight loads so I was just wondering if I will be much under gunned? Distances are usually short so that's a good thing I guess. Shot is home made and varies in size one up or down but close enough.
16 October 2015, 23:10
mart
You should be good with one ounce of #3 shot. Don't push them hard. You'll generally get better patterns at 1100-1200 fps than you will at 1400-1500 fps regardless of the choke. At least that's been my experience. When I was younger I thought I had to run my shotgun loads as fast as possible and often opted for the hod rod loads. When I slowed them down I found I got more even patterns and better field results.

Where you're shooting close, your load should work fine. One of the best pieces of shooting advice I ever got on geese was to focus on the head like I was shooting at a dove and forget about the rest of the bird. It works.


"...I advise the gun. While this gives a moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprize, and independance to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks." Thomas Jefferson
17 October 2015, 03:25
lal
Thanks Mart. When I started loading shotgun I chronographed my 1oz load, that was many years back and the average velocity was 1170 fps as you say! I left the powder and shot bushing in the machine and haven't taken them out since, except when I switched to goose loads. I have fantastic patterns with 1oz 7's so will be loading up some 3's for my outing next week. I suppose I just am at the point now where I'm too damn tired of fiddling around with shotgun loads. They should never in my mind take up my time as much as rifle loads should I suppose. Regards
18 October 2015, 21:58
mart
You are right in the keeping it simple thought. Reloading for shotguns can be mind boggling with the myriad options in any one gauge. It takes a truly analytical mind to evaluate loads and patterns. I done a fair amount of it but a little pattern counting goes a long, long ways. It doesn't take long to peg out my funometer when evaluating patterns. I try to limit my loads anymore to one or two proven loads in any particular gauge and live within their performance means.


"...I advise the gun. While this gives a moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprize, and independance to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks." Thomas Jefferson
19 October 2015, 11:01
eagle27
After taking on trap and skeet shooting back in the early 80's and then using my trap reloads for gamebird hunting I have never used anything else for duck and other gamebirds we have.

My favourite 12 gauge load is 32 grams lead #7 (#9 for quail) driven by 22 grains super clean burning Vectan AS powder in WW compression formed cases. This load chronographs at an average 1310fps from my 28" barrels.

I also take our paradise duck (technically a species called Shelduck, a goose like duck) and black swan with this load. Many think they need #2 or #3 for these birds as well as canada geese and possibly for pure body shots yes this is true, but every bird flies with its neck and head extended and a well patterned charge of #7 and good velocity will knock any of these birds down with #7s in the head and neck but you need a good consistent pattern to do this.

You would do poorly on clay birds with #2 or #3 shot because there would be too many holes in the pattern (not enough shot) for the target to fly through but #7 (or now #7.5) shot has the pattern needed for clay targets and for head and neck shots on game birds.

When out with other shooters I have often gotten comments that I seem to have a good hit and kill rate on gamebirds and when told I'm using only 32grams #7 I think they don't quite believe.

I also only use 1/4 choke in the bottom and 3/4 in the top barrel and bring down a high proportion high flyers with the 1/4 choke barrel. I do have a brilliant fitting and pointing U/O gun which helps too.
19 October 2015, 22:58
mart
Your results don't surprise me a bit. Back when I carried a 12 gauge for everything (only could afford one shotgun at the time) one of my favorite upland loads was the standard Winchester AA trap load with 1 1/8 ounce of 7 1/2's. I was told at one time the AA target loads used harder shot than the standard field loads. Don't know if that's true but the traps loads sure worked well on all upland birds, including late season pheasant. I've always shot either skeet and improved or improved and modified in my O/U 12 for upland.


"...I advise the gun. While this gives a moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprize, and independance to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks." Thomas Jefferson
19 October 2015, 23:55
eagle27
quote:
Originally posted by mart:
Your results don't surprise me a bit. Back when I carried a 12 gauge for everything (only could afford one shotgun at the time) one of my favorite upland loads was the standard Winchester AA trap load with 1 1/8 ounce of 7 1/2's. I was told at one time the AA target loads used harder shot than the standard field loads. Don't know if that's true but the traps loads sure worked well on all upland birds, including late season pheasant. I've always shot either skeet and improved or improved and modified in my O/U 12 for upland.


Sounds like your experience mirrors mine even to the choice of choke. I also make use of the skeet chokes for quail and even often for duck when shooting birds coming in to land amongst cover around creeks and drains. A friend of mine, also a clay target shooter who used his trap loads for duck, accidentially left the choke out of his Winchester semi after cleaning it and had a very successful evening taking mallards when walking up drains and creeks. He couldn't believe how well he was shooting until he returned home and discovered he had been shooting with no choke. He was a believer after that.

It is always a hard sell to convince shooters to try using open chokes, many think the choke makes the gun hit harder. I'm convinced quality of pattern is the important factor for success.
20 October 2015, 01:14
mart
You're right on the money. An even consistent pattern with no holes is what kills the best in my opinion. Unfortunately few shooters pattern their shotguns and have no clue what their gun is doing with any given load.

I worked at a huge sporting goods store back before the big box sporting goods giants had really gotten established. I had a gentleman come in one day wanting to trade his 12 gauge 11-87 in on the same gun in 20 gauge. I asked him why as I had only recently sold him the gun and thought he would be happy with it. He claimed it was tearing up his pheasants to much and he felt the 20 would not be so bad.

I knew he had a new bird dog that hunted very close and was probably getting him closer shots than his old dog who had like to range further out. I asked him what choke he was using as the gun had interchangeable chokes. He replied he was using a full, that's what he had always used and felt it was needed for pheasants. I asked him about how far his shots were and he said around 20-30 yards. I told him I'd give him a skeet choke if he'd promise to try it for two weeks and report back. He looked at me skeptically but said he would try it. I promised if it didn't work out I'd treat him well on a trade for a 20 gauge.

He came back after two weeks and was grinning ear to ear. He said he had never killed so many birds so soundly in all his years of bird hunting. He insisted on paying for the choke and was happy to keep his 12. I was just pleased that I helped open his eyes to some new possibilities. He came in often after that and discussed all manner of shotgunning with me and was one of those customers you always looked forward to seeing.


"...I advise the gun. While this gives a moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprize, and independance to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks." Thomas Jefferson
30 October 2015, 08:09
N E 450 No2
If I was going to stockpile one load for bird hunting it would be a High Brass load of No 6 shot.

If I hunted mostly bigger birds I would go with No 4 shot. I am speaking of lead shot of course.

If I had to use steel shot, I would go up two shot sizes in each case, or use Bismuth.
I have used Bismuth shot in my Drillings, and MUCH prefer it to Steel shot.


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11 November 2015, 06:21
lal
Thanks for all the helpful replies. I have been offline due to various commitments. Thanks again. Regards
14 December 2015, 01:50
Heym SR20
Was reading Capstick last night - an article he wrote in the early 1970's talks about using small shot size for every thing. Key U.S. Getting pellets to hit vitals. On a goose even large shot can struggle to get through to heart and lungs. Much better in his opinion is to use a dense pattern of no 7, and treat the head of a goose as a woodcock or other small bird.

I use a 1oz or 1 1/16 oz load of 6s or 7s for just about everything. And have used on geese as well And they have dropped stone dead.
16 December 2015, 03:18
enfieldspares
For driven game Payne Galwey in 1900s 'On High Pheasants' said cylinder and 1oz English 7s killed best at 40 yards

But in 1890s in his 'Letters to Young Sportsmen' he recommended 1 1/8 oz English 6s and modest, improved cylinder, choke.

Lords Walsingham and Ripon. Probably Britain's greatest game shots. One shot over 200,000 head of game were exact oposites. One used cylinder bored guns the othet heavily choked guns.

Both, I belive, used English 5s. Either a high velocity 1oz load or a 1 1/8 oz load.

You decide! But, I think, US #7 is English #6. US #6 is English #5.
23 December 2015, 03:21
Peter
enfieldspares, presumably this was in the British 2 1/2 " 12 ga?
Peter.


Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright, that God may love thee. Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong;
24 December 2015, 03:11
Idaho Sharpshooter
ounce and a quarter of #6's for everything.
24 December 2015, 06:56
npd345
for m it would be 1 3/8 5's as fast as can get them to go
28 December 2015, 02:24
Angus Millar
I think it may have been Capstick who advocated 6's for virtually everything that flies.
In the U.K I had been a one load for everything flying for a considerable time. I shot one and one eighth of lead six shot forward of a fibre wad at geese and snipe. When I was 'on' they went down. Now we have laws forbidding lead shot at waterfowl whether over water or land and we have to consider alternatives but for many folk lead sixes were the go-to cartridge for for many years.
I know many folk doing sterling service with 7/8th ounce lead in 20 bore at Greylag geese. pheasant and snipe. I would not hesitate to shoot duck or geese with your proposed loads. It always pays to remember when shooting geese we are not shooting the 12lb body but the 6oz head. In effect we are shooting a smaller target than a duck which we treat as a whole target. The whole larger shot size for geese argument is somewhat misleading, as we are not treating the targets like-for-like.
19 January 2017, 14:22
floor guy
I shoot trap and hunt doves with one load that I like. 12ga load is: AA hull w/ win or clay buster wad, win209 primer, 18.5grs 700x and 11/8oz shot. I always use new shot, have never used reclaimed. Never chronographed but book claims 1205fps.