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 Post subject: Best 20ga load for wild pheasants
PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2016 7:37 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2016 6:12 pm
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Location: Colorado
Hey alll,
Just looking for some expert opinions, I've gone down the rabbit hole of 20ga. What would you all suggest as a good 20ga round for wild Kansas pheasants?




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 Post subject: Re: Best 20ga load for wild pheasants
PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2016 7:40 pm 
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Location: North Dakota
If I have a 3" chambered gun I use 3" magnum #5. I also use #5 shot in my 2 3/4" guns.


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 Post subject: Re: Best 20ga load for wild pheasants
PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2016 8:59 pm 
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I would agree, if I could only have one load for my 20ga it would be my 3" 1 1/8 oz (reload) or 1 1/4 oz (factory) with #5 lead. If you don't have a 3" gun then 2 3/4" 1 ounce loads with #6 or #5 lead will take care of reasonable pheasant shots.

Here are two reloads and a factory load I've use on pheasants and some of my pattern numbers.

Patterns from 20-gauge and 12-gauge Browning Citoris with 28" Invector-plus barrels and Briley flush chokes (patterns average of five, 30" post-shot scribed circle, yardage taped muzzle to target, and in-shell pellet count average of five).

20 GA 2 3/4" RELOAD (STS, R209, BLUE DOT, WAA20F1)
1 oz #6 lead (233 pellets) 1,200 fps
30 YARDS – SK / pattern 147 (63%)
40 YARDS – IM / pattern 163 (70%)

20 GA 2 3/4" REMINGTON PHEASANT LOAD
1 oz #5 lead (177 pellets) 1,220 fps
30 YARDS – SK / pattern 104 (59%)
40 YARDS – IM / pattern 109 (62%)

20 GA 3" RELOAD (REM, R209, BLUE DOT, WAA20)
1 1/8 oz #5 lead (190 pellets) 1,220 fps
30 YARDS – SK / pattern 140 (74%)
40 YARDS – IM / pattern 147 (77%)

Good luck.


Last edited by Joe Hunter on Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Best 20ga load for wild pheasants
PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2016 9:15 pm 
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Clayandroosterjunkie wrote:
Hey alll,
Just looking for some expert opinions, I've gone down the rabbit hole of 20ga. What would you all suggest as a good 20ga round for wild Kansas pheasants?


Image


Of the eight loads we looked at, there was a very pleasant surprise, a load we hadn't patterned before: the Kent #K203TK36-5 “Ultimate Diamond Shot” lead turkey load. It is a 1-1/4 oz. 1300 fps #5 lead shotshell that patterned better at 40 yards with the Trulock Precision Hunter choke tube than many, many generic 1-1/4 oz. 12 gauge combinations we've evaluated in the past. Best of all, this Kent shotshell is a bargain: it goes for about $4.99 per box of ten, about fifty cents a shell for a high performance 20 gauge rooster stomper.

Of the other shells, our long-time favorite Federal 1-5/16 oz. #5 shell and the Federal 1-1/8 oz. #7 Heavyweight 2-3/4 inch shells were the tightest patterning. Actually, too tight at 40 yards, so going with an even lighter constriction of .010 inch or so would be in order for 35 – 40 yard work. For longer ranges, 50 – 55 yards, these would be two of the best shells to work with. Both of these loads have Federal's Flite Control wad which seems to slow the opening of the pattern, even with light constriction chokes.

If you use lead, the Kent 1-1/4 oz. 1300 fps load and the Federal 1-5/16 oz. 1185 fps loads are both very strong loads. If “no tox” is needed or desired, the Kent Tungsten Matrix 1360 fps 1-1/8 oz. load or the Federal Heavyweight #7 1-1/8 oz. 1100 fps shells are top selections. Kent Tungsten-Matrix loads are safe for “lead only” barrels and choke tubes. The Federal Heavyweight #7 1-1/8 oz. shell is extremely soft-shooting as well, as you might surmise from its lighter payload and 1100 fps muzzle velocity.

For general purposes and for the sake of economy, the Remington 1-1/4 oz. three inch Nitro Turkey #5 buffered shells do a fabulous job, within the limits of lead's density as a pellet material. All the following wild roosters were taken in 2014 with Remington Nitro Turkey #5 lead shotshells.


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 Post subject: Re: Best 20ga load for wild pheasants
PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2016 7:13 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2016 6:12 pm
Posts: 34
Location: Colorado
Thanks for the great info. I currently have some of the Kent upland #5 in 2 3/4 20. Haven't tried it yet (all we shoot in 12). Does anyone know where I could grab a few boxes of the Kent turkey loads this week? I have sportmans warehouse, cabelas,dicks, bass nearby.
Thanks all!!


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 Post subject: Re: Best 20ga load for wild pheasants
PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2016 9:22 pm 
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Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
I've had good luck with the Herter's brand pheasant loads in #6 shot out of my AYA SxS. I hunt over dogs but I have never felt under gunned. They pattern well in my gun and I have killed a lot of wild roosters with them. I also like Kent FastLead with the diamond shot in #6. Both of these are 1 oz loads at about 1330 fps.
I have never found the need for 3" 20b shells.
AM

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 Post subject: Re: Best 20ga load for wild pheasants
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 11:53 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2004 6:08 pm
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Location: minnesota
I rarely shoot a 20 at pheasants. My brother murders them with a Benelli 20 ga. He uses 3" Fiocchi Golden Pheasant, with nickel plated #5.


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 Post subject: Re: Best 20ga load for wild pheasants
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 11:53 am 
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Location: minnesota
I rarely shoot a 20 at pheasants. My brother murders them with a Benelli 20 ga. He uses 3" Fiocchi Golden Pheasant, with nickel plated #5.


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 Post subject: Re: Best 20ga load for wild pheasants
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 10:17 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:50 am
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What df said, Fiocchi Golden Pheasant #5's Nickel Plated, 2 3/4" over Pointing dogs and 3" over Flushing dogs. Can't go wrong.


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 Post subject: Re: Best 20ga load for wild pheasants
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 11:25 am 
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Taken a lot of them with a 20 3" and a handload of 1 1/8 copper plated 6's and 5's and prefer the 5's. Experience is pretty much what Irish said.

DP


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 Post subject: Re: Best 20ga load for wild pheasants
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 12:35 pm 
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I'll second the use of #5 shot in the 20 ga, I would prefer at least 1 1/8 oz as a minimum. If going to #4 shot then an ounce and a quarter would be the starting point. Any of the loads already mentions would work well and I can't add any better of my own.

Its been a while since I relied on #6 shot for wild pheasants, I stopped using it as I was getting more cripples than I liked. I seemed to get a lot of shots as they are going away when hunting by myself. When there were enough birds to conduct drives #6 was a good choice, especially when blocking, as many shots were frontal or broadside. The smaller #6 shot is not as sure at anchoring birds when much of the bird needs to be crossed to reach the vitals.


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 Post subject: Re: Best 20ga load for wild pheasants
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 4:21 am 
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1oz was plenty for me in a 20 . May as well stick to the 12g otherwise.
Image

Just my opinion.

R.

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 Post subject: Re: Best 20ga load for wild pheasants
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:32 am 
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Clayandroosterjunkie wrote:
Best 20ga load for wild pheasants


If you want the "best" (lead load) you'll need at least a quality 1-1/4 oz. (or slightly higher payload) shell of buffered, spherical #5 shot.

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 Post subject: Re: Best 20ga load for wild pheasants
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:03 am 
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When I see a good bird dog posed alongside a pheasant I always feel that the dog got the pheasant and the hunter was just happening to carry a 20 gauge etc. Had one dog that brought back a couple of broken wing birds that got away from other hunters and one that tried to outrun him in a pine wind break. Did not fire a shot at them.
I have hunted over dogs and got by fine with 1 1/8-1 1/4 oz loads. Tried some 1 3/8 and bit in to too much shot. When they get wilder toward the seasons end then the heavier loads work fine. But sometimes they start prefer very heavy cover and shots get closer. Some of my best hunting occurred when it was cold, and the swamps frozen over such that you could walk out and hunt the clumps you could not get to before. Conditions and cover is everything.

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 Post subject: Re: Best 20ga load for wild pheasants
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:56 am 
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#5 or #6 will work fine . You have a 26" or 24" barrel ?


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 Post subject: Re: Best 20ga load for wild pheasants
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:30 pm 
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I use the 2 3/4" 20 ga Golden Pheasants with #5 shot... reliable penetration on the going away shots that are common over my pointer.

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 Post subject: Re: Best 20ga load for wild pheasants
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 1:17 am 
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Federal load #P258, it is 1 1/4 oz of buffered shot. I think you can still get it. 5's and 4's have worked good for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Best 20ga load for wild pheasants
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2016 5:57 pm 
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Having just returned from a week in Iowa on wild birds, I can attest to the effectiveness of Winchester Super Pheasant 3" 20 ga 1-1/4 oz #5's. And my buddy was nearly perfect w/ 3" 20ga Winchester Turkey loads, 1-5/16 oz # 5's.

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 Post subject: Re: Best 20ga load for wild pheasants
PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:40 am 
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I have had good luck with Remington Nitro 20ga 3 inch and 6 or 5 shot 1 1/4oz. Truth is I hunt pheasants more with a 12ga than any other but do use my 20ga & 28ga as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Best 20ga load for wild pheasants
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 11:20 am 
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I have had good luck Federal 2 3/4 5#, 6# or Fiocchi Golden Pheasant 2 3/4 5#.




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