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 Post subject: Re: Best all around shot shells for small game ?
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 12:03 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:12 am
Posts: 57
For the past 22 years I have shot all them critters. With the exception of ducks I used #5 lead on all and nothing else, and I shoot more species than you listed. The waterfowl got #1 or #3 steel.

#5 seems to bee good from tree critters, coons and squirrels up to crows on some long shots. Even my upland bird shooting is done with #5 from grouse to pheasant.




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 Post subject: Re: Best all around shot shells for small game ?
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 5:05 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Sun May 06, 2018 7:49 pm
Posts: 5
I carry high brass number 6 shot. I carry either a Model 11-48 or a 20 ga sxs for rabbits and load both the same way. It's also my go to load for any type of woods activity all year as it will kill anything I need killed other than wild hogs, and I carry a P30L .40 cal for that.


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 Post subject: Re: Best all around shot shells for small game ?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:56 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:36 pm
Posts: 865
Location: Endless Mountains of PA
Gentlemen,
7's are great Grouse and Woodcock shells no doubt about it, for Pheasants give me #6's or even #5's for the wild birds. However many times here in Pa I shoot hold over Pheasants here in Potter/Tioga, Pa with #7 Fiocchi shells while I am hunting Grouse & Woodcock. Some of these birds are big tough hold overs and are not killed out right, if you are going to shoot these kind of Pheasants with #7's I suggest you have a good dog that tracks and retrieves well.

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man

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L.C. Smith Man
Pine Creek Grouse Dog Trainers
Charlton Heston NRA Speakers Bureau Member
NRA Life Member/NRA Instructor


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 Post subject: Re: Best all around shot shells for small game ?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:13 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 4:24 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Boston, Ma. USA
Pine Creek/Dave wrote:
Gentlemen,
7's are great Grouse and Woodcock shells no doubt about it, for Pheasants give me #6's or even #5's for the wild birds.

I suggest you have a good dog that tracks and retrieves well.



Dave, last season, prior to my reloading venture, I shot #6’s all season, being it was the only fiber wad ammo I could find. I generally have thought #6’s too stout a pellet for woodcock, and the first barrel for grouse, but was quite pleased to find that they did not tear up smaller birds, nor WC. I just haven’t seen the need for the kind of energy they carry, and believe #7’s to be the perfect size.

As for shooting them at pheasant, my experience being uninspiring released pheasant, and driven pheasant, #7’s is plenty. If I were to make a trip to Kansas or some pheasant destination I would probably load something a bit more stout.

...and the tracking and retrieving skills of my number one springer b***h (no longer trialing, but just my gun dog, now) are certainly up to the task. It’s something I believe to be vitally important in a gun dog, and a skill set I work on from a very young age (and has at times been a detriment to our trialing).

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 Post subject: Re: Best all around shot shells for small game ?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 12:03 am 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:36 pm
Posts: 865
Location: Endless Mountains of PA
Flairball,

I agree with you and I do like the #7 Fiocchi shells also in the 1st barrel of my L.C. Smith guns, the #6's I use in the 2nd barrel of my Grouse gun on a pretty regular basis. I use the #6 in the 1st Barrel of my guns choked C for wild Pheasants, the 2nd barrel often has some Golden Pheasant #5's, especially when hunting Montana wild Pheasants. All depends on the gun I am using and the bird being hunted.

When I was talking about having a good dog it was for the gentlemen who want to hunt with light shells and have no dog of their own. I am a big believer in the fact that all bird hunters should own and hunt with a good gun dog. Training Grouse Dogs is part of our business here at Pine Creek.

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man

Without a serious gun dog, hunting is just a nice walk in the woods.
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L.C. Smith Man
Pine Creek Grouse Dog Trainers
Charlton Heston NRA Speakers Bureau Member
NRA Life Member/NRA Instructor


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 Post subject: Re: Best all around shot shells for small game ?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 1:44 am 
Diamond Grade
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Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:19 pm
Posts: 1398
Location: NSW Australia
All round shell's would be probably be 34gm #6 shot, although I never use them, Super X 36gm #4 are my pick, same in #3 for foxes and seeing as I include foxes in my small game hunting I will stick with the 36gm #3 shot, but if hunting them at closer ranges say out to 40 yards then 36gm #4 is my all round load.
There is no small game that you can't hunt with it just fine. But I also like when using 36gm shell's to have some 32gm shell's as well, they throw a wider pattern for close country so you can change your shotgun spread and damage done without changing chokes, I learnt that by shooting with fixed choke guns most of my life.

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 Post subject: Re: Best all around shot shells for small game ?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 11:14 am 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:36 pm
Posts: 865
Location: Endless Mountains of PA
Shotgunhunter225,

I agree with Randy, no one size fits all to this one. It also depends on what kind gun you are using and the chamber size of the gun. In my case I use a lot of RST & Poly SpredR shells in my Classic American and Best German double guns, these shell cost a little more money but work perfectly in my old guns. If you own a Semi-Auto you need a shells that will cycle your gun properly. Lots of different factors to consider.
What birds and small game you hunt will determine the size shells you should use. The better shells will cost you more money.

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man

_________________
L.C. Smith Man
Pine Creek Grouse Dog Trainers
Charlton Heston NRA Speakers Bureau Member
NRA Life Member/NRA Instructor


Last edited by Pine Creek/Dave on Mon Jul 13, 2020 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Best all around shot shells for small game ?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:15 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
Posts: 5147
Location: Hemingway, S.C. 29554
Shells very far removed from ideal will often take game efficiently on occasion. I have killed big ducks with #8's back in the lead shot days. I don't hunt ducks with 8's but that is what happened to be in the gun when the shots were presented. I don't shoot steel but I like #5 bismuth & #6 in the heavier tungsten alloys for decoying ducks & when the range is not great. Pass shooting & geese get heavier loads of bigger shot. I have killed at least a zillion & a half gray squirrels & many ducks with 7/8 oz. #6 lead loaded in all kinds of 20 ga. hulls with card & fiber wads over 13 gr. of red dot. More demanding conditions could benefit from heavier loads of larger shot. 8's are the traditional shot size for Bobwhite quail & doves where I live. I don't see a lot of need to go to larger shot & even like 8 1/2 for doves. Anything that will kill quail will kill woodcock. Larger shot at close range where pattern density is not a problem has the advantage of making fewer holes. A lot of people shoot rabbits with 7 1/2 shot. #4's will kill them just as dead & make a lot less of a mess out of the rabbit if you like eating rabbit! I have killed pheasant with everything from a .410 with 7.5 shot to a 12 ga. with #5's. I like 6's for normal range. I have used 6's with good results in the 2 3/4" 20 ga. & with the 1 1/8 oz. load in 12 ga.. When they are flushing wild, I like the 1 1/4 oz. live pigeon load of #5's. Ditto for Sharptail! I used the traditional #8 shot size for marsh hens (clapper rails) with the same 20 ga. load I used for squirrels but with #8 shot instead of 6's. I hunt by myself as apposed to having somebody push the boat for me so I wind up shooting at greater ranges, as a rule, particularly when it is windy. I shot 8's for decades but have found #7.5's & # 7's produce far fewer cripples. Actually, they are bigger than a quail so I see no reason that 6's won't work well!


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 Post subject: Re: Best all around shot shells for small game ?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 1:33 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:36 pm
Posts: 865
Location: Endless Mountains of PA
geometric,

Got to admit I used some #6's when shooting Mearns Quail with my 20 gauge L.C. Smith. The 26" barreled gun is choked M/F, and did a great job on the Mearns Quail especially taking the birds out at over 35- 40 yards as they banked behind the small trees for safety. Because of the performance of the 6's I use 8's under the 1st trigger for the closer shots, and 6's under the 2nd trigger for the longer shots. My shooting true doubles on Mearns Quail rose to a nice percentage, I was very happy with the 6's for shooting Mearns Quail. I use the same set up when shooting Pa Grouse.

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man


Recently picked up a pre 13 L.C. Smith 20 gauge with 28" barrels for my Mearns Quail and Grouse hunting. Can't wait to try it with some #6 Poly SpredR's.

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Pine Creek Grouse Dog Trainers
Charlton Heston NRA Speakers Bureau Member
NRA Life Member/NRA Instructor


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