Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • Brad Eden

      TO THOSE REGISTERING FOR MEMBERSHIP ON UJ   01/06/2018

      To the Guests who have decided to register for Membership. PLEASE read Terms of Service, not just checking it off. This is covered there: Add more info than just "hunting" or "Upland hunting" or "birds" or "outdoors" or similar nebulous terms in the required INTERESTS field. Despite this Boards strong spam filtering function, some Spam registrations do sneak through. I need an inkling that you are a human being not a Spam Bot tagging onto key words. Also please do not use a business name as your User Name. Thank you.
Sign in to follow this  
RGSER

Reloading for Pheasants

Recommended Posts

Larry Brown

1220 is the velocity of the old "live pigeon" load (12ga, 1 1/4 oz) which is a very good all-around formula for pheasants.  Speed will help some on long crossing shots, but it won't do much for you in terms of added penetration.  For that, you need to use larger shot.  And going larger than 6's in a 20ga, you run into a problem with pattern density.

Over good dogs, until later in the season, an ounce of 6's should be deadly.  If you drop down to 7/8, you might consider using 7's.  But keep in mind that they're going to run out of energy at a max of probably 35 yards.  However, if you're in good pheasant country, you will get a lot of shots inside 35 yards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
franchi

Hi Gang:

     Last year I loaded 1 3/16 oz. of shot sent on its way by a charge of 540.  The mv. is 1170fps. and is a real joy to use in my Franchi 48 AL.  It killed pheasants and chuckers very well!

      This year, I will use up a supply of 2 3/4" magnum sixes that my wife's uncle gave me.  Perhaps I will get o :) ut the Beretta 303 for these shells.

                                            Franchi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dakota Dogman

From the link... “That’s the big mystery,” Hollinger laughs. “It flies in the face of all ballistics knowledge."

Seems not everyone agrees with this. The one professional Ballistics guy I have met anyway, who gets paid for his opinions recognizes larger pay loads for pheasants than this guy on this site wants.

Personally I have used most every combination in 20 of 4,5,6's in 2.75 & 3" shells.  While my answers may not be completely scientific I have come to a conclusion personally that does not agree with him either.

God Bless,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gselkhunter

I been shooting 1220ft/sec for years in a 1oz load. Using 540 Winchester powder, although it is no longer made. But HS-6 will make the same load. 22.5grs matched with a win 209 primer and a winchester wad or remington sp wad. I load these in 6s,5s,4s and have killed pheasants with all of them. And they aren't hard on my shoulder.

Gselkhunter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

From Jigman's article:

Interesting. Very interesting. So what is the ideal load for hunting shotguns? “For a 12-gauge gun, 1 ounce of shot and 3 drams of powder,” Hollinger says. “For a 16-gauge, 15/16 of an ounce of shot and 2 ¾ drams of powder. For a 20-gauge, 7/8 ounce of shot and 2 ½ drams of powder.”

Great advice, especially in a light hunting gun.  A lot of people have technique problems (flinching or head-lifting) with big, hard-kicking loads and never even know it.  The have problems bringing the birds down dead and think the solution is to buy bigger, harder-kicking loads.

All they do is make the poor dogs go deaf.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dakota Dogman
Great advice, especially in a light hunting gun.  A lot of people have technique problems (flinching or head-lifting) with big, hard-kicking loads and never even know it.  The have problems bringing the birds down dead and think the solution is to buy bigger, harder-kicking loads.

All they do is make the poor dogs go deaf.

he he he... we are never going to agree on this one are we Cush?  

Dogs going deaf because of 1/4" of shell?  Now I'm only chasing this one because it is funny... Has anyone ever done a test or know of a decible test?  Which is louder a 12 with 2.75 or a 20 with 3"?  Does the shot size make a difference?  If it deals with preasure it seems to me that the wad / powder choice could be the issue...

The other alternative is to run your dog ragged with fringed birds from too light of shot & powder.  Nothing like spending 20 minutes looking for a bird with an obviously dropped leg while the party stands about waiting for your dog to get his job done...

Lets see... oh yeh... we are talking about reloading for pheasants... did I mention that I now have 12 boxes loaded that I fully expect to use up this fall?  12 guage 2.75; 1.25 oz # 4's at 1440... If that doesn't break all the rules but boy does it kill the birds dead.

Hey.. It's Wed.  (Thurs. Fri.)  SAT & we are at it again!!  Halleluah!

God Bless,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
Its funny - 2 years ago found me loaded up with Federal Premium Copper loads #5 & #6 at 1500FPS 1 1/4oz. It flat out knocked every rooster i pointed it at dead before I pulled the trigger! Then I got into older sxs guns that I had to treat like the geriatrics they are, meaning to go easy on them with lighter loads. Then at the same time I stumbled in to Bob Bristers book "Modern Shotgunning The Art & Science. I read the book. I loaded light loads with hard shot. I killed roosters stone dead. I scratched my head. I did the math. I studied more. I learned about balanced loads. I now know less can be more. Or, I can elect to be hard on my head, gun, shoulder and ears. I chose the obvious. I was hard-headed, but came around. It wasnt easy to believe, and at first glance, didnt make sense either. But neither does the 28GA 3/4oz load killing as good as it does make sense either (at first glance). there are scientific reasons behind all these things, but they aren't obvious. And, American ammo MFG do nothing to dispell the myths, or reinforce the facts. Its up to each one of us to find the truth, or not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Greg Hartman

Well, I am not a member of the “speed kills” fraternity.  In my experience, 1,200 fps or so works quite well for most all wingshooting with lead.  I have seen sub-1,200 fps loads fail to consistently penetrate on straight-away shots on big birds, so I don’t like to get under that velocity level either.

BUT, after my recent experiences in trying to stretch the 20 gauge for western hunting, I would say that when you are getting out to the far edges of the envelope (about 40 yards on big birds), the 20 gauge very quickly becomes marginal and needs all the help it can get.  Therefore, I use one ounce 20 gauge loads which travel at approx 1,300 fps.  Not sure I’d want to shoot 200 of those cartridges at clays in one session, but given the number of shots that are taken at upland birds, I have zero issues with the recoil of those loads in 6 pound guns.  I can’t say that they kill any better than 1,200 fps loads at the same distance because I don’t have enough direct comparison experience, but since recoil is not an issue, why not add a little more velocity?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
I'll tell you why...Because when you add more velocity you start to marginalize patterns. In other words there is a point of diminishing returns. With heavier loads plus higher velocity two things can happen: 1. The higher velocity slams all the shot together with enough power to incite pellet-on pellet deformation to the extreme, which in turn corrupts any chance for a uniform pattern (as out of round pellets basically fling out all over the place. 2. On top of the pellet deformation from fissionary mechanics, you also deform pellets due to bore scrub (pellets slamming into the bore walls). Number 2 can be somewhat inhibited by making sure your shot is well contained within a good wad, but you will still get number 1. In the end its all about finding the perfect balance of velocity and pattern uniformity. That's why the term "balanced load" exists. Its not a mythical term, rather an exact term. Now, if you can get ultra hard shot loaded up into those high velcocity heavy loads, then the pellets may fly true. But getting shot hard enough is the key there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gselkhunter

Why not go up in shot size to gain impact and reduce the need for speed? Then you have pattern and WHACK.

Gselkhunter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SODAKer

gselkhunter,

Larger shot, slower speed. That is exactly what I have been thinking!

Just out of curiosity. For wild birds (pheasant) say at a max of 35 yards would sub 1200 velocity be an effective load in 1 oz number 5 lead or tungsten shot?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hub

Jigman....you are just generalizing when you say that speed leads to poor patterns.  I'm sure your assumptions are right in some cases, but in some they are definitely wrong.  Good wads and slower developing powders can still produce great speeds while diminishing the effects of set back.  Buffering loads can also greatly diminish deformation on set back and tighten patterns.  Plated shot can tighten patterns as well.  We haven't even mentioned hevishot yet. There is more than one way to skin a cat, even if the cat is going 1500 fps.

I for one get even desirable patterns at 1400 fps out of standard reloads utilizing quality wads, longshot powder, and magnum 5 shot.  I'm sure I could push that faster if I wanted to do more tinkering, but the pheasants I shoot are just as dead as I want them.

I've mentioned this before, but most guys who poopoo high speed shells are shooting light game guns.  Some of these guns can't handle the pressures of these fast shells.  Sometimes even if the gun can take the pressure, the shooter doesn't want to deal with the recoil or the wear and tear on their high dollar gun.

For the legions heading out with heavy pumps and autos pressure isn't as much of an issue and the effect of recoil is greatly reduced by the weight and type of the guns.  If recoil or pressure is not an issue, why not take the small added benefit of increasing velocity?  I'm not saying that velocity should be substituted for picking the proper shot size for the distance you plan on shooting.  What I am saying is that every little bit helps.  On the fringes of my effective range I can tell the difference betwen a 1200 fps and 1400 fps load of 1 1/4 oz 5's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

he he he... we are never going to agree on this one are we Cush?  

Well, you never know.  I've seen a lot of people go through the same "education" process the Jigman went through (and that I did, too, many years ago.)  So there's hope for you yet.   :D

Dogs going deaf because of 1/4" of shell?  Now I'm only chasing this one because it is funny... Has anyone ever done a test or know of a decible test?  Which is louder a 12 with 2.75 or a 20 with 3"?  Does the shot size make a difference?  If it deals with preasure it seems to me that the wad / powder choice could be the issue...

I didn't say anything about 1/4" of shell, I just said bigger, faster loads, and anyone who doesn't know that big, fast loads are substantially louder, and cause more hearing loss (given proximity) than light loads with moderate powder hasn't spent much time shooting the two different kinds of shells.  Squat down to where you are where the dog is at and have someone fire over your head, first, a 12-ga. 1 oz. load leaving at 1,200 fps, and then a 12-ga. 1-1/4 oz. load leaving at 1,300.  The first makes your ears ring, but the latter is actually painful to your inner ears.  That pain is hearing loss.  Ask any vet who sees a lot of hunting dogs what a sustained diet of those big, fast loads does to a typical dog's hearing.

The other alternative is to run your dog ragged with fringed birds from too light of shot & powder.  Nothing like spending 20 minutes looking for a bird with an obviously dropped leg while the party stands about waiting for your dog to get his job done...

The idea that you will necessarily get fewer "dropped leg" birds by going to something bigger, faster or with larger pellets (than, say, an ounce or 1-1/8 oz. of 6's leaving at 1,200 fps), for the average pheasant shot, is a myth.  I can't even begin to count the number of pheasants I've seen fly off with a leg dropped after being shot at 25 - 30 yards with big, fast loads of 5's or 4's.  Will the big, fast loads of larger pellets kill better at long distance?  Absolutely, but the average hunter shouldn't be taking those shots anyway, because he has too little chance of hitting the bird well at that distance.

Lets see... oh yeh... we are talking about reloading for pheasants... did I mention that I now have 12 boxes loaded that I fully expect to use up this fall?  12 guage 2.75; 1.25 oz # 4's at 1440... If that doesn't break all the rules but boy does it kill the birds dead.

If you can shoot those and like them, great, but for most people (including me) those are uncomfortable in a breaking gun, and esp. in a lighter, hunting breaking gun.  They will cause a lot of people to either flinch or head-lift.  And for what?  Good shots who know how to hunt and have decent dogs have no problem making an ounce of 6's work just fine on wild roosters.  In my opinion, based on examinations of shot birds, 5's are overkill on wild roosters until you get out past 35 yards.  Shooting super-high-speed, like 1,440, is silly, because it is way more velocity than you need for the more common distances, and at long distance (because the faster pellets lose velocity so much faster) there is very little difference between high velocity and moderate velocity.  With super high velocity, like 1,440, you are getting pounded for only the slightest gain in actual killing effectiveness, even at long range.

What you have loaded up is a load that is ideal for killing roosters at 60 yards (no exaggeration.)  Okay, but I have no desire to shoot roosters that far out.  Moreover, when you use a load that is ideal for 60 yards you have necessarily sacrificed effectiveness at 25 - 35 yards, where we should be shooting birds, and where the vast majority of shots are in fact taken.  If you are such a good shot that you can center the heads on all those 25 - 35 yard shots, fine, your cannon shells will certainly kill every bird at that range.  But very few hunters are good enough shots to do that.  The vast majority are better off shooting a load that is ideal for something like 30 yards, and that sure as heck isn't 1-1/4 oz. of 4's at 1,440.  It is an ounce or 1-1/8 oz. of 6's leaving at 1,150 - 1,200 fps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
flopez

Speed seems to be the hot topic of discussion this year.  The truth of the matter is that the down range velocity is only marginally better with fast (over 1300fps mv) cartridges.  And while many people tout the use of premium high speed shells on big birds, it is the fact that they are using premium shells to begin with.

If we took a box of discount shells, say 1 3/8oz soft #5 shot at 1200fps, and compared it, based on visual inspection of birds being hit at 35 yards and better, to a box of Fiocchi Golden Pheasant 1 3/8oz nickle plated #5s at 1400+fps, which will yield better results?  Without even looking, the Fiocchis are going to out perform the discounts.  But, what is the reason?  Many people are wrongly attributing the increase in killing power to the increase in speed.  In fact, the Fiocchi's harder, plated shot, better wadding and progressive powder do a lot more in providing better performance than does the increase in speed.  A lot more!

If one could obtain Fiocchi's, identical in every respect except one having a muzzle velocity of 1200fps and the other 1500fps, I'm pretty sure there would be no decernable difference in down range performance.  What the slower load lacks in down range per pellet energy, it will more than make up in total energy due to the increased pattern density.  As hard as the Fiocchi pellets are, they are still lead and deform to an extent, so there will be a loss.

High velocity shells have always been a marketing ploy in this country.  After all, this is America, bigger is always better, and so is faster.  The ammunition manufacturers are always willing to exploit the market in order to make a buck.

Of course, with steel, all bets are off.

Frank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×