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pheasent - shot loads


pj4

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im new to phesant hunting and was wondering if 3 inch mags are needed or will 2 3/4 6 shot be enough? we are going to a game farm , if that makes any diff.also i am using a 12 guage.

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I like to use 3" mags myself. 2 3/4 is fine but I use the 3 in. so I can take my time shooting the bird. I always feel rushed using the shorter ammo it seems. Using the mags allows me to wait a bit longer and take a better first shot. I have a GSP and usually end up kicking the bird up so I like to waite till the bird gets further out. It seems to do a bit less damage. Try a #4 shot with the Rem. Nitro Mags I think you will like it.

Hunt em up!!
ShortHairguy

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I've been shootin a 20 for the last 2 years.I hunt public lands including WPA's which you can't have lead even in you pocket.So i only shoot steel,3" #4's now as the birds flush at longer distances I will change to 3"#2's. So far this year I am 8 for 8 with the 4's.

[This message has been edited by BDR (edited 10-20-2003).]

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If you're hunting Game Farm Phesants you can easily kill them with regular Game Loads, 3 and 3/4 Drams of Powder #4's or 6's.

Game Farm birds aren't real tough and they rarely flush wild.

GSP--If you shoot a 2 3/4" Mag. it's a much faster load with better knock-down power at longer range. 3" Mags have more pellets and the Max. Dram of powder will be faster pushing fewer pellets (in a 2 3/4") versus a 3" Mag.

Just a thought if you're interested. I switched about 6 years ago from Lead 3" Mags to the 2 3/4" and I know I'm killing more Phesants now than before--I absolutley hate chasing-down wounded birds!

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Chells

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For game farm birds 2 3/4" lead #6 should be fine. On wild birds I use 2 3/4" #5 and #4 lead. If I shoot steel I use 3" #2.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Like chells said, The 2 3/4" shells generally have higher velocities(Knock down power) than 3" loads. They generally just have less shot than the 3" shells(1/4-1/2 oz diff.).

Like others have said for game farm birds 2 3/4" high power loads will be more than adequate. I like #5 or #4 shot just because it result in less shot in the meat to pick out.

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I have fallen in love with #5 2 3/4 inch. It has taken care of my 10 minute internal debate "4 or 6, 4 or 6". I have bought Kent Impact shells and they have 1 1/2 shot in a 2 3/4". Its dram is still as high as premium Federal and Winchester. I have been hitting the best I have in years. It can't be me so its either the gun or the shells.

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Dano,
ND did a study a couple years ago on the effectiveness of steel shot size for killing pheasants. Compared 6, 4 and 2. Number #2 was far the most effective as it's larger diameter did not ball-up with feathers as bad as the smaller shot and the penetration was better.

Or you could try #6 or #4 heavi-shot.

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I like to use the Federal Steel #3's. I've found that its a nice "tweener" shot. I get a nice pattern and still have good knock down power at moderate to long distances.

FI

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I haven't shot steel since years ago when i duck hunted in ND. All i can remember is that year they changed that law to where you can only use steel, we didn't seem to hit as many ducks. Does steel pattern different or what?
I was wondering what load would be comparable in steel, to the lead shot I use for pheasant which is 2 3/4 #5 , with a modified choke.
thanks

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Dano, If you do a search on Steel Shot in this forum you'll probably find a lot of reading.

Yes, Steel patterns totally different than Lead. You want to use a "Choke-down" method for Steel. If you are looking for a Full-choke pattern with steel then use your modified choke and Steel of choice. I shoot nothing but 3" Mags in Steel because it isn't nearly as powerful ballistically as Lead, Bismuth, Tungston or Heavy-shot. You need that more dense pattern and extra "umpf" on Waterfowl from a 3" Magnum Steel.

Steel is light and it looses its knock-down power the farther away it gets from your barrel after the shot. Lead, maintains its kock-down power, and it also changes shape on contact with the traget, which increases damage and hence, killing power.

------------------
Chells

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

I load 1 3/8 oz. 5# Copper plated 2"3/4
4 drams @ 1330 fps. This is the same load I use for Spring Turkey.
The copper plating gives less shot distortion upon ignition thus tighter/consistent patterns. I can easily reach out and knock down ringnecks @ 50 yards with this load. If your buying shells look for "buffered" 5# copper plated shot 4 drams (max load) and yes 2"3/4 is faster then 3".

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i've made my choice. 2 3/4 3 3/4 dram and 4 or 6 shot, leaning to 4 shot, and if i can find, copper coated.
i dont like chasing wounded birds,picking pellets out of meat and im hard of hearing in both ears so birds tend to get out further before i pick them up.
hoping to get ge out this weekend, let you know how it goes.

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It puzzles me that 2 3/4 would be faster than 3 inch. I guess it woould make sense if they both had the same amount of powder and the 3 inch had a much heavier shot load- but if the 3 inch had the same, or only slightly heavier shot load, wouldnt it have more powder and therefor be faster? my buddy has been shooting federal premium 3 inch 6s, which are like 19 bucks a box or some unbelievable amount- with a mod. choke, and he's hit the longest shots I've ever seen. I swear one was at least 65 yards.

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It's simple ballistics.

Same amount of powder in each shell, the MAX Dram, fewer pellets = lighter shot load in the 2 3/4" shell and that equals a faster load.

------------------
Chells

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ohhhhh, so longer shells cannot have extra powder? I guess I really never have had any idea what DRAM is. I assumed that max dram was the maximum amount of powder that would fit in a shell of specified length containing specified shot load. Apparently this isn't true and it is something that is consistent regardless of shell length and shot load. what is it?

[This message has been edited by jwilli7122 (edited 10-31-2003).]

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Before modern powders black powder was used and measured in Drams. We don't measure modern powder in Drams any more but we use Drams Equiv to compare the load to the old black powder.

The limiting factor on weight vs speed with any load is Pressure. Then you throw barrel length, primers, powders, wads and hulls into the mix. Theres fast burning powder and theres slow burning powder. A slow burning powder doesn't mean you'll have a low FPS however. I can load 1 1/2 ounce into a 2 3/4" hull and a 3". They will take different wads, primers and powder measurements. Speed can be the same but if I made a 1 3/8th ounce load it can go faster then the 1 1/2 once load. Remember Pressure, you have to stay within a safe range. A max load is the maximum velocity for the ounce shot your using. So you can have a 4 Dram equiv Max load for a 2 3/4" 1 3/8th ounce, 1 1/2 ounce or 3" 1 1/2oz and so on. When you buy shells FPS is rarely printed on the box so you look at the ounce shot and Drams equiv. and the Max load means speed vs ounce.
Different loads will pattern different and different guns with the same load will pattern different thats one reason why reloading is a major plus. You cant count on buying a box of shells and expect to get the same pattern results with the next box you buy.

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thank you surface tension - that helps. so pressure, and not capacity is what limits energy

[This message has been edited by jwilli7122 (edited 11-04-2003).]

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