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 Post subject: What is your favorite load for squirrels?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:55 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:45 pm
Posts: 32
Looking for advice on squirrel loads. Specifically for knocking them out of tall pine trees.




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 Post subject: Re: What is your favorite load for squirrels?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:26 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:06 am
Posts: 583
Try # 4, 5 or sometimes 6 from a full choked gun.


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 Post subject: Re: What is your favorite load for squirrels?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:41 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:52 pm
Posts: 78
Location: The Ozarks
I like 1.25 oz of #4 or #5 out of a tight full in a 12 ga, or 1 1/8th oz out of a 16. Those two are the best in my mind for knocking 'em out of the high trees. 20ga and 410 are best left at home when heading for big timber.

Mac


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 Post subject: Re: What is your favorite load for squirrels?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:03 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:45 pm
Posts: 32
Tight full? As in extra full? How much advantage does that give over a standard full choke- in yards?


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 Post subject: Re: What is your favorite load for squirrels?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:18 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:31 pm
Posts: 256
Location: Crystal River Florida
22 short hollow point. But if that wont work, #6 and full choke. I just hate biting into lead pellets..


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 Post subject: Re: What is your favorite load for squirrels?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:30 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:45 pm
Posts: 32
Of the few we have gotten, we only took one with #6 shot. With the 4's they all seem to penetrate conpletely or stop under the hide. At least in my limited experience.

When I fixed the jalapeno poppers the other day, I fixed the meat in a crock pot with a stick of butter so it would be easy to pick off the bone. It was only one fox squirrel, and one gray, but a fox squirrel has a good bit of meat on it.

Only one piece of shot out of the meat from those two squirrels, pretty sure it was the #6. The rest of the shot I think was under the skin or passed through


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 Post subject: Re: What is your favorite load for squirrels?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:30 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:52 pm
Posts: 78
Location: The Ozarks
regularguy11B wrote:
Tight full? As in extra full? How much advantage does that give over a standard full choke- in yards?


Pretty much, yes. As far as advantage, it doesn't give you much in yardage (~50 yards, more or less), but it holds the pattern better to that distance. You'll get more shot on target with a tight full than you will with a regular full. Example: with my old Model 12 16ga, I can shoot effectively to ~40 yards with it's tight full, and still put most of the shot in the head/shoulder area of the squirrel. My A5 12 will do the same at 50. That's not say you might not get a little shot into the rest of the squirrel too, but the tighter the choke (generally) the closer the gun will shoot, and the less shot you get in the meat.

Mac


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 Post subject: Re: What is your favorite load for squirrels?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:18 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:06 am
Posts: 583
To paraphrase one of the Eastwood characters “a man has to know his limitations”. Or in this case his shotgun, choke and load limitations . One good way is to test your shotgun with the choke and load that you want to use at various distances on paper targets. If you don’t get the results you are looking for then make change to the choke or load to get the results at the distances you are shooting squirrels.


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 Post subject: Re: What is your favorite load for squirrels?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:36 am 
Utility Grade

Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:32 am
Posts: 1
Where I hunt squirrels, rabbit and grouse are plentiful as well. I usually use a modified choke and 1oz of #6 out of my 12 gauge. If it’s going to be exclusively squirrels I’ll shoot 1.25 of #5 or 1 1/8oz of 4s.


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 Post subject: Re: What is your favorite load for squirrels?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:05 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:45 pm
Posts: 32
Now I am trying to figure out one all purpose load for us. Where we hunt most often, we are restricted to #4 shot and smaller. A new place I recently stumbled across has a good squirrel population but also a lot of waterfowl! After getting buzzed by wood ducks, and most recently a goose, while squirrel hunting I decided to switch to steel.

Gonna need a different choke for the 835. The steel #4's pattern so tight through the standard full choke, it pretty much ruins squirrels. I figured the "normal" full would be fine but I was wrong. A solidly hit squirrel looks fine on the outside, but inside a different story! Lost about half of it. I suppose the steel makes a big difference in pattern density too, from what I have read.

Another thing I have read, is to choose shot 2 sizes bigger for steel, so I expected it to perform similar to size 6 shot. Seems to penetrate about the same as 6 shot, although the steel shells are much higher velocity.

So I am pretty much looking for the most economical #4 steel shells I can get, for busting squirrels and bunnies with the occasional wood duck. Right now we are using Federal Speed Steel that I picked up at Gander Outdoors. It was the only #4 steel load they had, something like $11 for 25 so not much more costly than the heavy field loads but I bet I could do better for the money, any pointers?


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 Post subject: Re: What is your favorite load for squirrels?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:15 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:52 pm
Posts: 78
Location: The Ozarks
Go up to an improved modified or modified choke and pattern your steel again. Steel will pattern tighter than lead, generally. Consider ordering cartridges from academy sports or midway, as both usually run a free shipping deal over a certain amount. Also, buy cartridges by the case rather than the box if you can. Its usually cheaper that way.

Mac


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 Post subject: Re: What is your favorite load for squirrels?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:29 pm 
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Location: 35 miles from Normal, Illinois (as close to normal as I'll ever be)
My preference would be either .22LR standard velocity target ammo or a patched 32 cal roundball. But an old Missouri hillbilly I used to squirrel hunt with always favored a full choke Model 12 and 1-1/4 oz of 6's to roll 'em out of tall timber.

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 Post subject: Re: What is your favorite load for squirrels?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 2:22 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:06 am
Posts: 583
regularguy11B wrote:
Now I am trying to figure out one all purpose load for us. Where we hunt most often, we are restricted to #4 shot and smaller. A new place I recently stumbled across has a good squirrel population but also a lot of waterfowl! After getting buzzed by wood ducks, and most recently a goose, while squirrel hunting I decided to switch to steel.

Gonna need a different choke for the 835. The steel #4's pattern so tight through the standard full choke, it pretty much ruins squirrels. I figured the "normal" full would be fine but I was wrong. A solidly hit squirrel looks fine on the outside, but inside a different story! Lost about half of it. I suppose the steel makes a big difference in pattern density too, from what I have read.

Another thing I have read, is to choose shot 2 sizes bigger for steel, so I expected it to perform similar to size 6 shot. Seems to penetrate about the same as 6 shot, although the steel shells are much higher velocity.

So I am pretty much looking for the most economical #4 steel shells I can get, for busting squirrels and bunnies with the occasional wood duck. Right now we are using Federal Speed Steel that I picked up at Gander Outdoors. It was the only #4 steel load they had, something like $11 for 25 so not much more costly than the heavy field loads but I bet I could do better for the money, any pointers?


I use Winchester XPERT Steel ($ 10.00-12.00 a box.) # 4 for squirrel and jump shooting ducks. Seems to work ok. i use a an IC or modified choke with steel.


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 Post subject: Re: What is your favorite load for squirrels?
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 10:14 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:18 pm
Posts: 126
I killed the most squirrels with #6 out of a mod single shot 20ga. I've never had to pick shot out of my squirrel either.


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 Post subject: Re: What is your favorite load for squirrels?
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2019 3:32 pm 
Shooting Instructor
Shooting Instructor

Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2004 5:41 am
Posts: 16291
Location: Cadiz,Ky
Standard velocity .22 long rifle solid.

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 Post subject: Re: What is your favorite load for squirrels?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:06 pm 
Limited Edition

Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 7:26 pm
Posts: 321
Location: Southern Illinois
1 - Mach 2 17 cal.
2 - Winchester 22 Power Points
3 - CCI Mini Mags
4 - Aguila - Super Extra Subsonic


If in a Shotgun only area 1 oz. of 5's out of a 20 ga.


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 Post subject: Re: What is your favorite load for squirrels?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:23 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue May 26, 2015 5:27 pm
Posts: 7188
Location: southern Ohio
Counting early season still hunting and chasing them with mountain cur squirrel dogs later, I kill over 100 a year. I use 1oz of hard 7.5s I handload for my 20ga. I use my turkey guns and run an Indian ck.555 turkey choke in them.

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 Post subject: Re: What is your favorite load for squirrels?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:24 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:45 pm
Posts: 32
I appreciate all of the pointers. Getting ready for hunting season this fall :)

I might just leave the mossberg 835 behind. That is the gun that throws that tight pattern. Take my beloved (hated by everybody else) baikal single shot instead.

Any yall know a good source for lead BB loads? I have only seen a couple, only on line and priced high.


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 Post subject: Re: What is your favorite load for squirrels?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 10:30 am 
Utility Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2015 10:46 am
Posts: 7
In the past, it was the 100 round Value-Pack 7.5s from Wal-Mart. They work but I prefer a little more range. This season I switched to #4 lead and a modified choke. I may tighten it up to a full as I had one at 40 last time out that wasn't knocked dead and required a follow up.


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 Post subject: Re: What is your favorite load for squirrels?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2019 12:29 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2019 11:09 pm
Posts: 22
In order of preference, my favored 12 gauge squirrel loads are
1.Remington Premier Nitro 7.5 Sporting clays
2.Winchester AA 7.5
3.Remington Shur Shot Heavy Dove 7.5




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