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best shot size and choke please answer one of each
#4 5%  5%  [ 7 ]
#5 30%  30%  [ 43 ]
#6 17%  17%  [ 24 ]
improved cylinder 10%  10%  [ 14 ]
light modified-skeet 2 11%  11%  [ 16 ]
modified 26%  26%  [ 37 ]
Total votes : 141
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 Post subject: Best Shot size and choke for pheasants 25-40 yds
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 9:51 pm 
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hey i am fairly new to shotgun hunting and would like some suggestions on what shot size and choke to use on pheasants. i've heard that #4, #5, #6 are the best. since the #6's are smaller ive heard it is easier to hit them because there is so many more bbs. does this make a significant difference. i am a fairly good shot so i'm not really worried. i just want clean kills but not completely destroyed birds. thanks :)


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 Post subject: Re: Best Shot size and choke for pheasants 25-40 yds
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 7:49 am 
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I like a SXS bored IC & mod. or IM., #6 in the right (IC) barrel & #5 in the left barrel.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Shot size and choke for pheasants 25-40 yds
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 11:03 am 
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Much of this depends on how you hunt pheasants. If you use good dogs in cover and get reasonable shots (<40 yards) it doesn't take that much to kill'em if you can put the pattern on their front end, but if you hunt with large groups of hunters in large grain fields larger pellets and tighter chokes may be better. You have to adjust to your situation.

To me, a 1 1/4 oz. load of lead #5s (approx. 210 pellets) @ 1,220-1,250 fps is a great pheasant load. Yes, lead #6s will kill'em too but a littel extra pellet energy is a good thing on wild pheasants since they don't always let you get too close.

If you are using steel shot then a 1 1/8 oz. load of #3s (approx. 170 pellets) @ 1,300-1,400 fps will put them down too.

If you are using a 20ga, you can reduce each of these loads by 1/8 oz. and still have good pheasant killin' patterns if choked properly for the distance. Of course, it is best to keep this 20ga shooting inside of 40 yards.

As far as choke, I would be shooting whichever choke gave me about 100 of those pellets in a 30" pattern at my max distance regardless of the gauge.

Good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Shot size and choke for pheasants 25-40 yds
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 4:18 pm 
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It depends on when you want to hunt them. Early in the season they will sit tight and I use 7 1/2's with a improved cylinder and a modified (shooting an O/U with the IC first barrel). As the year goes on they get spookier and you need to take longer shots so I progress to bigger shot 6's then maybe 5's in LATE January. I also progress to tighter chokes (Mod and Full). I know alot of people here shoot bigger lead (5's or 4's) but I'm telling you that you don't need to. I will bet anyone that I can kill just as many shooting my 7 1/2's as they can with their 4's. The key is shot selection. Know your range and stay within it. Don't take wasted shots...you just end up mad or worse crippling a bird.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Shot size and choke for pheasants 25-40 yds
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 7:18 pm 
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I love for my 20ga. citori impr cyl on the bottom and fullchoke up top #6 in the ic and #5s in the full both 1oz shot reloads with Longshot recipe and i will tell you that full choke #5 is deadly!


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 Post subject: Re: Best Shot size and choke for pheasants 25-40 yds
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 9:40 pm 
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5's through a cylinder and or a improved cylinder.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Shot size and choke for pheasants 25-40 yds
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 10:00 am 
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pheasent89 wrote:
I love for my 20ga. citori impr cyl on the bottom and fullchoke up top #6 in the ic and #5s in the full both 1oz shot reloads with Longshot recipe and i will tell you that full choke #5 is deadly!


Where I hunt pheasants, I seem to always get put on a main excape route where I get a lot of long shots. I have been shooting 1.25 oz. #5's in the left barrel of two different guns, one is IM & the other is full. The one I used this year is a Merkel sidelock bored IM & FULL. I was shooting 1 1/8 oz. #6 in a PC POST spreader wad in the rt. bbl. & 1.25 oz. #5 in the lt. bbl. #6 out of a open choke will kill about as far as it will maintain good pattern density. Beyond that, you need more choke & bigger shot. I was glad I had the full choke on more than a couple shots. I also like Longshot.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Shot size and choke for pheasants 25-40 yds
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 2:52 pm 
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Preserve pheasants I use .002 and .004 and #7 right barrel (7/8 oz in a 2 5/8-inch shell) and either the same or #6 in the left barrel. 12 ga.

Doesn't trash the meat

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 Post subject: Re: Best Shot size and choke for pheasants 25-40 yds
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 9:18 am 
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I use a 7/8 oz load of #6 for my 28 ga and 7/8 ounce load of #6 for my 20 ga almost always choked IC. I did vote for the #5 since it is probaly a better all round load but the pellet count gets too low in the 28 and very close in the 20.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Shot size and choke for pheasants 25-40 yds
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 6:09 pm 
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25 to 40 yds is pretty much what I see at the preserve. These are all scratch birds.

One ounce to 1 1/4 oz US#6 will work right to 40 yds. The problem is that sometimes range estimation fails me. On balance, my favorite shot size is US #5.5 (B&P #5) if I'm using a 12 or 16. They get me out to 50 yds so that I have some wiggle room.

I want an imp modified pattern at 40 yds. Some premium loads will do this in guns with LM. Most barrels stamped "Mod" will get it done with premium loads.

Sam


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 Post subject: Re: Best Shot size and choke for pheasants 25-40 yds
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 7:08 pm 
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#6 in both barrels (I hate trying to keep track of two sizes) or in the semi-auto. The six gives me a few more pellets in the air and at times I really need them! ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Best Shot size and choke for pheasants 25-40 yds
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 7:23 pm 
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I shoot a 12ga Benelli Ultralight-

For Pen Raised birds:
1) Over dogs I use Improved Cylinder
2) Without a dog I use Modified
3) When steel is a requirement I use #4 Hevi-Shot for Pheasant.
4) When I can use Lead I use #5 Fiochi Nikel Plated

For Wild Birds:
1) Modified with #5 Fiochi Nikel Plated and over a dog. Hunting wild birds without a dog tends to be a track meet and the birds win.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Shot size and choke for pheasants 25-40 yds
PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 4:58 pm 
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In general, it is good to match the size to the choke, so that the pellet's effective range matches the choke's effective range. I figure it about like this:
For 12 ga.
IC and #6 ideal for 20-35
Mod and #5 for 25-40
Full and #4 for 35-50

Joe Hunter mentioned my favorite load - maybe a tad hotter than that. 1-1/4 oz 5s at about 1250 is what I shoot.

I know some use 7-1/2s but... I sometimes kill birds with 5s that end up having 7-1/2s in tow from previous shots. Head shots are one thing. Quartering and straight away shots at 30+ are very iffy on pheasants with small shot. I can understand using it on the skeet side of a double when the bird cooperates.

Jeremiah

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 Post subject: Re: Best Shot size and choke for pheasants 25-40 yds
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 2:38 pm 
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Generally speaking I use

7/8oz #6's in a 20ga...although I have used 1oz #6's quite a bit.
1oz #6's in a 16ga
1-1/8oz #6's in a 12ga

Seem to work pretty well.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Shot size and choke for pheasants 25-40 yds
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:38 pm 
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I would make a clear distinction between pen and wild birds. Pen birds I haven't been impressed witht heir strength or tenacity. Wild birds are sometimes encased in teflon.

For my one choice- I put down 5s and light modified. BUT I only end up suing that half the time. In my sxs 12, I pack 3 loads in the truck:
1-1/8 #7 @ 1300
1.25 #5 @ 1330
1.25 #4 @ 1400+

The first load is first barrel for the first half of the season, backed by 5s. I then go to the 5s in both for the remainder of the season. When conditions get ugly (last few days) I use the 4s. I've been working on the same box of 4s for about 4 years now.

My key point is to keep up velocity. My rule is over 1300fps.

Chokes- no rules, but I tend to keep more open than most. Its still amazing how far away IC will drop something, and I'll often use CYL in the first week. I can count on one hand the times I've used FULL.

Now I'm focusing on the 20ga. again for the first time in awhile, keeping the 1300fps rule. So alot of new lessons to be learned on that, but I think I've got a setup for the 12s that works great for me...


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