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RGSER

Reloading for Pheasants

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RGSER

Going after some pheasants -- a mix of preserve and wild birds. I'm takeing my 16 ga O/U Merkle (no problem with that/lots of ammo) I want to reload some 1oz 20 ga - I have recipe for long shot at 1200fps & 1275 fps, loaded with #6 lead shot. The 20 ga ou that I want to try weights 5lb,6 oz, so I want to shoot a load that is sufficient for the birds and as easy as possible on me (being an old codger). Do I need the extra speed?

If there are other suggestions for a recipe, I would welcome the advice -- keeping in mind that I am limited to Green Dot, Universal Clays & longshot.

Cheers & Thanks!

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Guest

Personally I would not shoot an ounce at 1,275 through a sub-6 lb. gun if I had the choice of 1,200, even at wild roosters.  The difference in energy is small but the difference in recoil is substantial, esp. in a gun that light.  And speaking of "personally," I would load 7/8 oz. of 6's with enough powder to get me 1,150 or 1,200 fps and limit my range a bit if need be.  International Clays is great for 7/8 oz. and 1 oz. 20-ga. loads, if you can find that somewhere.

I think 1 oz. loads of 6's at either velocity are great for pheasants, but not in a gun that light, at least not for me.  Light guns are hard enough to hit with as it is  -- I sure don't want to throw a little flinch into the mix.  People will say they "never feel the recoil while hunting," but the best (which is to say, worst) flinches are subconscious and nearly impossible to detect until the shooter gets a misfire.  It does little good to have a super-lethal load if you're going to mis-center the bird's head by 3 or 4 feet.

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Samuel Hoggson

Int Clays is an excellent (probably the best) 3/4 oz 20 ga powder.  It is also good for 1100 to 1200 fps 7/8 oz loads (caution with tube sets).  I'm not aware of any 1 oz 20 ga data using Int; I don't think you can approach 1200 fps safely.  Usually, slower burn rates are suggested for the 1 oz 20.  So, given your powder inventory I'd suggest GD for 3/4 oz, Universal for 1200 fps 7/8 oz, and Longshot for faster 7/8 oz and all 1 oz 20s.  Use data from reliable sources, of course.

Powder aside, Cush's assessment and prescription for sub-1200 fps 7/8 oz #6 are spot on.  Such a load will work to just under 40 yds if you have some choke.  Most preserve/semi-wild birds can be handled just fine with this combination.  If conditions are exceptionally windy use something heavier.

Recoil perception is, admittedly, subjective.  In autoloaders of 5.5-6# I use 1300 fps 1 oz loads.  But in a fixed breech gun I like about 6.5#.  

My preferred all-around 20 ga load is a 15/16 oz 1300 fps factory load.  This stuff also goes with M12s and 21s like ice-cream on apple pie.  I do not run this stuff through my 5# 12oz Lang.  I pattern tested one round through a 5# 3oz Beretta O/U........won't do that again.

Sam

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Dakota Dogman

The difference between 1275 & 1200 is going to be negligable to me on either end of the gun.  Go which ever you prefer.

Don't know your hunting style etc. but 1 oz of 6's out of a 20 is a pretty light / soft pheasant load.  Use with caution on shots that you are confident you can pick a head on.

God Bless,

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Guest

Yes, thanks, Sam, you can go up to 7/8 oz. with Int'l Clays but not to 1 oz.  Use Longshot for 1 oz.

I agree with you, DD that one ounce out of a 20 is a "soft pheasant load."  However, for me that is primarily because I cannot be trusted to center the bird's head with one of my light 20-gauges as often as I will with a heavier 12-ga.

Therefore, while I like 1 oz. of 6's at mild velocities, my recommendation would be to shoot them out of a 7 - 8 lb. 12-gauge (or 16-gauge) unless you are sure you can shoot the light gun just as well, and so it is a simple matter to move up to a bigger shell if they are flying wild that day.  But that wasn't the question the gentleman asked!   :O

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Guest

Speed Kills !

I don't reload my own but have always believed in spending a little extra money and shooting the best shell possible to eliminate cripples. Myself I shoot Remington Nitro Pheasant  12ga. 2 3/4", 1 1/4 oz 5 shot at 1400 FPS in lead and for public ground where non-toxic is required I then switch up to a Reminton Nitro-Steel HV Magnum 12ga. 3",  1 1/4oz 4 shot 1450 FPS. But of course I shoot a Benelli M2 on those tough wild Iowa birds, no preserves.

Reach out and touch something..... Speed Kills !

No Cripples 7.gif

bird

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bobeyerite

I also reload 20 gauge with Longshot. I have recipes for 1220 tops. I would love to know where you got or get a Longshot 1 ounce load going 1275. I have the Hodgdon 2007 manual and they list nothing like that.

But let me say I shot the 1 ounce 1220 loads at wild pheasant and kill them very well with them. I use only 2 sizes of shot 7's and 6's early season and 6's and 5's late season.

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Guest

RGSER

Are you sure you did not mix the numbers up when stating the weight of the Merkel 16 ga. They normally weight closer to 6lbs,6oz to 6, 8 oz.,  in the O/U models

Lenard

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parshal
Speed kills when it comes to aerodynamic bullets but not a round lead pellet.  While a faster load has more retained energy at shorter distances most pellets of the same size have nearly the same retained energy beyond 40 yards, regardless of starting velocity.  Beyond 40 yards is where you want more energy.  If 200 fps makes only a neglible difference beyond 40 yards why bother pounding yourself with the recoil?  The key is to use a large enough pellet and actually center the bird.

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RGSER
RGSER

Are you sure you did not mix the numbers up when stating the weight of the Merkel 16 ga. They normally weight closer to 6lbs,6oz to 6, 8 oz.,  in the O/U models

Lenard

Lenard

I did not say the 20 ga was a Merkel - the 16 ga Merkel weights 6 lb 7 oz. The 20 is the lighter gun.

Anyway, thanks for the input -- I loaded some 6's at 1150 and 1225 -- I'll have to judge for my self on how they preform.

I'm also shooting Kent Ult/upland 1 oz #6 and some TM upland pheasant #6

Cheers!

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RGSER
I also reload 20 gauge with Longshot. I have recipes for 1220 tops. I would love to know where you got or get a Longshot 1 ounce load going 1275. I have the Hodgdon 2007 manual and they list nothing like that.

But let me say I shot the 1 ounce 1220 loads at wild pheasant and kill them very well with them. I use only 2 sizes of shot 7's and 6's early season and 6's and 5's late season.

Got it from the Hodgdon website:

Fed target hull

Fed 209 primer

Fed 20s1 wad

20.3 grns Longshot

Pressure 11,800 fps

1275 speed

Cheers, John

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bobeyerite

Yes, I tried those John and forgot about them. I don't like the way those Target Fed's crimp. Maybe I'm to fussy, but they just did not impress me. I rather shoot the 1220 loads out of Remington Gun Club cases and have a much better shell that works just as well for me.

Thank you for the reply.

Bob

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WindyHills
Takes a bit of doing to kill a late season wild rooster with lighter loads when going away from you.  Dakota Dogman's recommendations match mine.

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RGSER
Yes, I tried those John and forgot about them. I don't like the way those Target Fed's crimp. Maybe I'm to fussy, but they just did not impress me. I rather shoot the 1220 loads out of Remington Gun Club cases and have a much better shell that works just as well for me.

Thank you for the reply.

Bob

I have no crimp issues on my mec jr with Fed target hulls - don't change anything from AA hulls which are better -- Lots of 12 ga Gun Club available but no 20 ga GC in this neck of the woods.

Cheers, John

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gselkhunter

I am still running 540 powder[Winchester 15.5grs] in a 1oz load, you can load the same load with HS6. Very good load for a 1220'/sec load. If your loading anyway make up some 5s as well as your 6s. I shoot 6s for the first shot and 5s for the second. Been deadly for years.

Gselkhunter

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