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steel shot size


jasongp99

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I am wondering what shot size a guy uses on land that uses non-toxic shot. I was hoping to stumble on some pheasants this up coming weekend. I am using a 12 gauge remington 870 express and no dog all by my lonesome. I normally shoot Kent steel. Anyone also have tips for walking without a dog. I heard stopping frequently and slowly moving kicks them up. Or do it the hard way and step on them by accident. grin.gif

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When hunting non toxic areas for pheasants I like to use 3" #2 steel since it is the same load I do a lot of duck hunting with. It gives fairly good range for pheasant. #3 also would work.

If you really want to kill the birds solid though, even if they are pushing 50 yards, go with Federal Hevi Shot #6. I started using this this fall and won't go back to steel in non toxic situations. I like that I don't lose birds from just wounding them like steel does more often. With hevi shot, the birds are dead when I pick them up and the effective range is so much better than steel.

ccarlson

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You guys shoot #2's and #3's? I have never heard of that. The lowest I ever go for roosters is #4.

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With steel I usually drop down two sizes for pheasants from the lead shot size I use. I use #5 lead, so typically #3 is what I shoot.

I hate steel, it cripples more birds and definitely doesn't knock them down like lead.

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I find that with hevi shot, I shoot a lot less shells to kill the same number of birds.

With only being able to shoot two or three a day (depending on where you are), that's only a few shells a day if you kill them in one shot. Hevi shot does this much more often than steel shot for me and I can honestly say I shoot twice as many shells to kill the birds when shooting steel than when shooting hevi shot.

So, in other words, hevi shot doesn't cost that much more than steel since you are shooting less.

Remember, "It only costs a LITTLE more to buy the very best."

And to me, losing less cripple birds is worth that extra little cost.

I still haven't made the switch for ducks yet though. I miss too many passing ducks to justify the cost of the hevi shot although losing the cripples from the dang steel is making me think that through.

ccarlson

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There was as a study in NoDak a couple years ago on the most effective steel shot size for pheasant. They tested #2, #4 and #6 on live birds, varying distances, etc. I don't have the article anymore but the conclusion was that #2 penetrated the best (said the smaller shot tended to ball up with feathers).

I don't mean to say one can't use a shot smaller than #2, just wanted to mention the study - it was pretty interesting reading. Also, I was using #2 before I read it, mainly because that is what I use for ducks.

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I'm on the Hevi shot band wagon. I'm still shooting some steel just to git rid of it. Once you try #6 hevi shot on birds you will not go back to steel. Very few if any cripples. The only complaint is it patterns tight and you can mangle birds. For steel I would use fast steel in #2 or #3.

Mwal

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I shoot a 20ga. Depending on how the birds are holding, I shoot 5's or 2's. I have been using only steel for about 4 years now. My percentages have been very good with birds retrieved.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Quote:


There was as a study in NoDak a couple years ago on the most effective steel shot size for pheasant. They tested #2, #4 and #6 on live birds, varying distances, etc. I don't have the article anymore but the conclusion was that #2 penetrated the best (said the smaller shot tended to ball up with feathers).

I don't mean to say one can't use a shot smaller than #2, just wanted to mention the study - it was pretty interesting reading. Also, I was using #2 before I read it, mainly because that is what I use for ducks.


The MN DNR did a simuliar study and the result were the smae. I think I posted it here last year. I'll do a quick search to see if I can find it.

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I shoot 2 steel all the time on pheasants, I don't want to be shooting lead on private land and then swap over to a WPA and forget to get rid of the lead. Plus I feel that lead and steel will shoot differently, it will affect how I shoot. #2 kills pheasants just fine, I just don't take the long shots, thats where you end up with cripples.

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I shoot 3" deuces or #3's when using steel. I will be using other non-toxics in the future though, hevi or tung/poly/matrix works better IMHO.

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