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 Post subject: Steel Quail Loads,...Is there such a thing?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 4:18 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:32 am
Posts: 108
I feel like my question is going to stir up a hornets nest but I'll ask anyway.

The background is that Tejon Ranch, where I have my quail lease, is requiring non lead shot this season. This requirement is not the state of CA, which exempts shotshells, but strictly a Tejon mandate. My guess is they want to get on the good side of the tree huggers so they get less resistance as they try to develop some of their hundreds of thousands of acres.

I've hunted Valley Quail for fifty years and saw something yesterday that I'd never seen before. I shot a quail at about 20-25 yards with my BUL and a 1 oz load of Winchester steel 7s. Feathers flew but the bird didn't flinch and I fired a quick second shot. Same song, second verse, and lots more feathers. The bird just flew away, seemingly unharmed. I've seen wounded birds fall and run away, and tipped birds continue to fly. I have NEVER seen a quail take two apparently solid hits and just fly away. My guess is that the remaining energy of the #7 shot was not sufficient to kill the bird or break a wing. If the bird had fallen anywhere within 100 yards, I would have found him since it was an open area. I found plenty of feathers but no bird.

My question is, would a 1 1/8 oz higher velocity #6 so called duck load do a better job on these quail? I only lost one bird all last season and have already lost one this year. I shoot only over points and most birds drop within 25 yards.

Maybe one of the forum members has some experience with steel on quail or other small birds.




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 Post subject: re: Steel Quail Loads,...Is there such a thing?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 6:53 pm 
Tournament Grade
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Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 8:35 am
Posts: 151
Location: Gravois Mills, MO
Several years ago I was hunting in KS, they require non-toxic shot on public land (WHA), I asked the same question on another web site. The response I got was to use steel #6 for quail and steel #3s or #4s for pheasant (all in 2 3/4"). I shot 7 quail at ranges from 15 yds out to about 35 yds and then all dropped cleanly. Never got a shot off at a pheasant though.

FWIW!

_________________
Jack
----- ***** -----
“Aficionado of fine shotguns & good Tennessee Whiskey”
SFC, USA (Ret, 1971-93)
Life member NRA (1967)
Life member TSRA (1990)
Member USPSA (1990)
Member ATA (2008)


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 Post subject: Re: re: Steel Quail Loads,...Is there such a thing?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 6:57 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:32 am
Posts: 108
singleshot54 wrote:
Several years ago I was hunting in KS, they require non-toxic shot on public land (WHA), I asked the same question on another web site. The response I got was to use steel #6 for quail and steel #3s or #4s for pheasant (all in 2 3/4"). I shot 7 quail at ranges from 15 yds out to about 35 yds and then all dropped cleanly. Never got a shot off at a pheasant though.

FWIW!


Sarge,....that's good info. I had read the same thing here and there but got talked into the 7s. I will try the 6s on Tuesday and stick with them if it works. If they will kill a quail at 35 yards, they should do fine.

Jack


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 Post subject: Re: re: Steel Quail Loads,...Is there such a thing?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 7:00 pm 
Tournament Grade
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Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 8:35 am
Posts: 151
Location: Gravois Mills, MO
Setter Dog wrote:
singleshot54 wrote:
Several years ago I was hunting in KS, they require non-toxic shot on public land (WHA), I asked the same question on another web site. The response I got was to use steel #6 for quail and steel #3s or #4s for pheasant (all in 2 3/4"). I shot 7 quail at ranges from 15 yds out to about 35 yds and then all dropped cleanly. Never got a shot off at a pheasant though.

FWIW!


Sarge,....that's good info. I had read the same thing here and there but got talked into the 7s. I will try the 6s on Tuesday and stick with them if it works. If they will kill a quail at 35 yards, they should do fine.

Jack


Hey Jack,

Keep us informed as to how they workout.

Good luck!

_________________
Jack
----- ***** -----
“Aficionado of fine shotguns & good Tennessee Whiskey”
SFC, USA (Ret, 1971-93)
Life member NRA (1967)
Life member TSRA (1990)
Member USPSA (1990)
Member ATA (2008)


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 Post subject: re: Steel Quail Loads,...Is there such a thing?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 7:03 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 12:32 pm
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Location: Capital District, NY
I haven't tried steel on quail, but given how the #7 steel smokes skeet targets, I'm disappointed to hear it didn't work better for you. Keep us posted...


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 Post subject: re: Steel Quail Loads,...Is there such a thing?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 9:55 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 6:44 pm
Posts: 619
Location: So. Cal
Jack,

I really think that steel is better in #6 shot, but I have found that the kent TM works so much better. I just figure for the miles a Southern California has to put in his boots to find quail it isn't worth loosing a bird to inferior ammunition.


How's your season going? I am having a tough go of it, the dry spring seems to really hurt the quail in my spots. I am heading to AZ.

Best,
Brian


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 Post subject: re: Steel Quail Loads,...Is there such a thing?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 10:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:32 am
Posts: 108
Brian,

I've only been out once in CA, last Wed and Thur. I got tired of waiting for it to cool off and it was still miserably hot. It was 86 degrees by noon both days. We seem to have enough birds for a good season, not as many as some years but more than others. I try to shoot only over points so there will be enough birds to amuse me.

I'm going out Tue and Wed and expect to find some birds both days. The dogs are in good shape from Idaho and I'm managing the hills okay.

Is your dad hunting with you?

Have a great time in Arizona!

Jack


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 Post subject: re: Steel Quail Loads,...Is there such a thing?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:09 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:32 am
Posts: 108
Well, folks,......I can answer my question with confidence.

I was out yesterday and today for Valley Quail and the birds were numerous,....once I found them!

To the point, I got good shooting both days and am confident that I have found a good quail load. Yesterday, I shot 6 quail and every single one was dead in the air. As some of you may know, VQ are tough little critters and often hit the ground flapping and even running after what appears to be a solid hit. There was none of that. These six birds were dead in the air,....stoned.

Today I went out again and got into a lot of birds. It's a long season and I like to ration the quail so I shot only three birds. All were dead in the air. One took two shots, simply a clean miss on the first try.

I'll be really honest about this and I have nothing to sell. I'm a long time quail hunter and I have never seen anything drop birds like the steel load I was using. As bad as the 1 oz of 7s was on my earlier hunts, the 1 1/8 oz of 6s was amazing the last two days.

This is the Winchester X pert load of 1 1/8 oz of steel 6s at 1400 fps. The recoil from this load in the BUL was noticeable at first but after awhile I didn't notice it. This is a so called waterfowl load but, take my word for it, it is deadly on quail! I shoot over points but some of these shots were long, due to birds not holding long enough for me to get to the dog.

I have a lot of confidence in this load and ordered four more boxes today from my local dealer.


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 Post subject: re: Steel Quail Loads,...Is there such a thing?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:01 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:32 am
Posts: 108
To sort of complete my thoughts on the steel for quail thing,.......I'll add that my BUL with IC choke seems to pattern somewhat tighter than with lead. I've read this and the distance I cleanly dropped a couple of birds seemed to confirm it.

After cleaning out the birds, I could notice no difference in their condition. The larger shot didn't tear them up or mangle them in any way.

I hope none of you are forced to use non toxic loads on quail but if you are, I recommend the Winchester 1 1/8 oz of 6s at 1400fps.

Jack


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 Post subject: re: Steel Quail Loads,...Is there such a thing?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 9:55 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 6:00 pm
Posts: 192
Setter Dog, steel does pattern tighter then lead. An IC with steel will be like a Mod with lead.


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 Post subject: re: Steel Quail Loads,...Is there such a thing?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 11:16 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:32 am
Posts: 108
I've never used a CYL choke before but I screwed in that tube today, hoping it works out next week. I'm so happy to have found a load that really drops the bird,.....if it works through the CYL tube, I'll have it made.


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 Post subject: Re: Steel Quail Loads,...Is there such a thing?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2020 4:29 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:37 pm
Posts: 20
Please don't shoot pheasants with #4 steel, unless your loads are moving VERY fast, 1600-1700 fps!

I find so many gangrenous birds that were shot in the butt with factory, #4s.

Having said that, I've made messes with a 1700fps load of #4s.... Every bone broken and the inside was mush and that was with a skeet choke.

I shoot a 1425 fps, 1oz load of #2 steel and 1365fps, 1-1/8oz load of #1s for phez.

Big and slow pellets push right through the bird without turning the bones to dust and shrapnel. A bird can be overly-dead and the bird, wasted.

I'm planning on using #6 steel for quail.


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 Post subject: Re: Steel Quail Loads,...Is there such a thing?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2020 9:17 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:46 am
Posts: 8185
Location: Colorado Springs, Co
itskens wrote:
Please don't shoot pheasants with #4 steel, unless your loads are moving VERY fast, 1600-1700 fps!

I find so many gangrenous birds that were shot in the butt with factory, #4s.

Having said that, I've made messes with a 1700fps load of #4s.... Every bone broken and the inside was mush and that was with a skeet choke.

I shoot a 1425 fps, 1oz load of #2 steel and 1365fps, 1-1/8oz load of #1s for phez.

Big and slow pellets push right through the bird without turning the bones to dust and shrapnel. A bird can be overly-dead and the bird, wasted.

I'm planning on using #6 steel for quail.


Good update!


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 Post subject: Re: Steel Quail Loads,...Is there such a thing?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2020 10:29 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2016 3:34 pm
Posts: 5125
Yeah......12 years later:-)


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 Post subject: Re: Steel Quail Loads,...Is there such a thing?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2020 11:22 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:46 am
Posts: 8185
Location: Colorado Springs, Co
Rooster booster wrote:
Yeah......12 years later:-)


Still a good update.


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 Post subject: Re: Steel Quail Loads,...Is there such a thing?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2020 11:58 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2016 3:34 pm
Posts: 5125
You mean old stuff can still be good?:-)


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 Post subject: Re: Steel Quail Loads,...Is there such a thing?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2020 8:56 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:46 am
Posts: 8185
Location: Colorado Springs, Co
Rooster booster wrote:
You mean old stuff can still be good?:-)


Yes it can!




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