what size and shot for pheasant

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what size and shot for pheasant

Postby paduckkiller » Fri Oct 24, 2008 7:39 am

I have been pheasant hunting quite a few times and took quite a few birds, but I only make it out about 3-4 times a year, because of waterfowl hunting. Every year I seem to use a different size and shot of ammo. Some years I take a few birds and then others it seems that I just go out and shoot my gun alot with little success. What size shell and shot size should I be using?
Thanks for the info.
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Postby dukhnter7 » Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:12 pm

I carry several different loads with me. It really depends on how the birds are flushing. My favorite load is a 2 3/4 inch 5 shot but I have used a 3in 4 shot if they are flushing way out front.
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thanks

Postby paduckkiller » Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:18 pm

Tomorrow is the first day, so they should flush relatively close.
This is good info, thanks.
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Postby dukhnter7 » Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:48 pm

Good luck! We're still 2 weeks away.
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Postby hovey » Fri Oct 24, 2008 4:04 pm

I usually start out with 2 3/4" 6 shot. the federal copper plated ones are some of my favorite. Later in the season we go to 2 3/4" 5 or 4, and put a 3" 4 nitro in for your last shot. Maybe depending on where you hunt and how they're flushing, try a different choke. I prefer modified. have gone to full
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thanks

Postby paduckkiller » Fri Oct 24, 2008 4:57 pm

Thanks, they should be in pretty tight tomorrow. It is suppose to rain and they haven't been hunted yet, so I'm thinking they'll stay on the ground longer. I'm not taking my dog tomorrow, because it gets pretty crowded later in the morning and I don't want anyone shooting at moving weeds and hitting him. So I'm hoping they are going to stay tight. I think I might go with the 2 3/4, 6 shot. Thanks again guys I appreciate it. Good Luck when your seasons come in.
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thanks

Postby paduckkiller » Sun Oct 26, 2008 9:24 am

Thanks guys, I got one and my nephew got one. We're only allowed to shoot two in my zone, so one apiece isn't too bad.
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Postby PL_duckhunter12 » Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:33 pm

a little late but..........

5 shot lead is the only load i shoot at phesants, unless its non-toxic shot only(WPA) then 4 shot steel

for lead there's no reason to use 3", i can maybe see it with steel but i only use 2 3/4 for phesants no matter what
let 'em go, let 'em grow
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thanks

Postby paduckkiller » Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:36 pm

Thanks, I went with the 2.75 inch #5's and they seemed to do the trick.
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Postby gunhills » Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:01 am

:rofl: 2 3/4 english No5 with 1/4 & 1/2 choke :thumbsup:
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Postby cjg » Mon Dec 22, 2008 12:38 am

I use 2 3/4" 1 1/8 oz #7 1/2s IC choke early when there's a chance of getting woocock and switch to 6s later in the season.

All we have is stocked birds so most of the shots are close slow and easy early. Fun for the dog.
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thanks

Postby paduckkiller » Mon Dec 22, 2008 8:49 am

Thanks, we did pretty good with the 2 3/4 inch 5 shot.
Line em up and watch em fall.
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Postby cjg » Tue Dec 23, 2008 2:13 pm

Back in the "Good old days" thats all we ever used for ducks, 1 1/4oz 2 3/4" #5 lead
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I

Postby paduckkiller » Tue Dec 23, 2008 6:43 pm

That was a little before my time. Sometimes I wish I had a pocket full of them in the blind.
Line em up and watch em fall.
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Postby ATBob » Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:15 pm

I used 2.75 #5 last year and 2.75 #6 this year.
Did not see any difference. Used a Benelli M2 12 Ga.
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Re: what size and shot for pheasant

Postby MinnesotaDan » Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:53 am

I prefer lead 5's, maybe 6's if some premium stuff. I don't care what if its 3 inch or not. Steel I shoot 3 or 4 normally.
Nobody cares about your season totals.
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Re: what size and shot for pheasant

Postby gary79 » Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:31 pm

2 3/4 high brass 4's & 5's !
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Re: what size and shot for pheasant

Postby berettaguy17 » Tue Mar 17, 2009 12:21 pm

if im using steel i will have a #2 3" in for the first and back it up with 3" BB, lead i like #4 or #2 if you can find it. we have alot of longer shots to take where i hunt. they arent hand raised
Why not shoot all 3 shots, they make more shells everyday.
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Re: what size and shot for pheasant

Postby Johnnyrad » Sat Oct 31, 2009 11:24 pm

I just returned from Montana Pheasant hunt and the local that I was with said to go with a 2 3/4 High base 7 1/2 lead
12 gage 28 inch barrel Full choke He was using 20 gage 2 3/4 high base (He had some 3" mixed in )7 1/2 lead if it has to be steel then change to modified using # 6s. The reasoning or theory is smaller the projectile the better pattern but also as the pellet enters the feathers it balls onto pellet slowing and stopping penetration into bird almost acts like a pillow. The English were using 12 shot ?and getting the birds. 6's and 4's seemed to tear up the bird?
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Re: what size and shot for pheasant

Postby Joe Hunter » Tue Nov 03, 2009 7:18 pm

When using a 12ga with 1 1/4 oz of lead shot go with #5s or #4s. Yes, lead #6 and even lead #7 1/2s will kill'em if they are close but any pheasant that the 6s or 7 1/2s would have killed would have also been killed with the 5s or 4s and the larger pellets give you a little more effective range for when the birds aren't holding tight. And, choke them appropriately for the distance you take most of your shots.

When shooting a 20ga I would go with lead 6s or 5s and hold my shots to 40 yards max with the appropriate choke.

When shooting pheasants with steel, go with #3s or #2s. In a 20ag I use the 3" 1 oz load and in a 12ga I go with a 1 1/8 oz load. The research shows these larger pellets were best and there was no advantage to using the smaller steel pellets. See the below link for a write-up on the research conducted in North Dakota.

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/fwt/back_iss ... icle5.html

Good luck.
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Re: what size and shot for pheasant

Postby cbass12 » Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:16 am

My dad and I reload all of our shells for upland hunting. For 20 ga. we go with 2 3/4" with 1 ounce of #5. We'll sometimes load #6's when we are in areas that hold both pheasant and quail. I also like #4's simply because they tend to break bones and knock birds down much better. For 12 ga. we load 1 1/4 oz. of 4's and 5's.
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Re: what size and shot for pheasant

Postby Sagebrush » Thu Nov 12, 2009 10:02 pm

Back in the "Old,old days" , we were lucky to have 7 1/2's !!

Then we got to upgrade to #6 lead....what a difference.

#4 lead was a 70 yard duck load but it would kill ringnecks at maximum distances if you were
out running fields with out cover,where they would not stay tight.

As with all pellet size, a propper choke and pattern is where it is...........to drop game.
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Re: what size and shot for pheasant

Postby Francis J » Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:50 am

im from pa too. i hunt the same birds.high velocity 5 maybe 6 if it on sale.ic choke. if you use 8 or 7.5 you'll be picking 235 pellets out of your bird or get lead poison from eating them.
I'd leave my gun home before I left my GSP home !!
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Re: what size and shot for pheasant

Postby Wirehair1 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:50 pm

12 ga. 1 1/4 ounce of #5's is the best all round pheasant load. Early in season I use an improved cylinder, later I switch to modified. 20 ga. 3" #4's is my favorite when I decide to switch to the little 20ga.
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Re: what size and shot for pheasant

Postby wingseeker » Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:58 pm

I am a big fan of the HeviShot Pheasant shells in #6's in the 2 3/4" shells
They will lack their butts for sure.
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