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 Post subject: L4s nontoxic shot and choke for pheasants!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 7:19 am 
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Haven't posted in a long time and still enjoying the L4s I bought largely on Randy Wakeman's recommendations on here several years ago - lol, haven't seriously thought about another 12 gauge since then, which is saying something.

Had to do quite a bit of preserve hunting last year, but decent, strong flying birds. Only catch is nontoxic shot is required. So I experimented with some 3 inch Black Cloud TSS 1 1/4 3-9s and some 2 3/4 inch Bismuth 1 1/16 oz. 5s.

Now hunting with a pointing dog for the first time in my life (pic included!). Maybe it's the shells, maybe it is getting used to letting birds get out, maybe it's the choke (sorry, don't have it handy, but I think I have the IC equivalent in the inner HP in the barrel) --- but with the TSS in particular, it just shreds some birds, literally had one land with no head (and the breasts on that one were fine :wink:

Just wondering with nontoxic shot what combos of shells and chokes for the L4s are others having success with?

Edit: the birds in the pic were some across the border Minnesota roosters that were his first wild birds pointed last season our first time out one nice October evening (his first full season)!


Thanks!

Image




Last edited by Flanagan77 on Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:37 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: L4s nontoxic shot and choke for pheasants!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 7:43 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:04 am
Posts: 2861
Wouldn`t be surprised if Randy Wakeman has chased more pheasants with an L4S than anybody else on here.

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Fabarm L4S Initial Hunter
Remington 870 Super Magnum Turkey
Remington V3 Walnut
Remington 870 Express (Realtree Xtra camo)


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 Post subject: Re: L4s nontoxic shot and choke for pheasants!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:18 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:11 am
Posts: 4242
Location: Western Tampa, FL
TSS is a not necessary or even desirable due to its expense. I am sure some will come along with experience using steel but it sounds like you just need some economical steel loads in proper shot size. I would say probably #3s or #4s.


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 Post subject: Re: L4s nontoxic shot and choke for pheasants!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:34 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:15 pm
Posts: 46
oyeme wrote:
TSS is a not necessary or even desirable due to its expense. I am sure some will come along with experience using steel but it sounds like you just need some economical steel loads in proper shot size. I would say probably #3s or #4s.


It was definitely expensive, but I bought a few boxes and thought it would be worth checking out, and based on the experience last year, I won't be using it this season for sure.


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 Post subject: Re: L4s nontoxic shot and choke for pheasants!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:37 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:04 am
Posts: 2861
For some reason, I want to say that all Fabarm chokes are steel rated, regardless of constriction, but better verify.

Lord, I love setters! So beautiful in the field.

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Fabarm L4S Initial Hunter
Remington 870 Super Magnum Turkey
Remington V3 Walnut
Remington 870 Express (Realtree Xtra camo)


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 Post subject: Re: L4s nontoxic shot and choke for pheasants!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:41 am 
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Tidefanatic wrote:
For some reason, I want to say that all Fabarm chokes are steel rated, regardless of constriction, but better verify.

Lord, I love setters! So beautiful in the field.


I do, too. Hunted behind a Springer and then my now 13 1/2 year old retired Golden for almost 25 years - they were awesome dogs, but decided to try a setter and he is coming along great.

Yes, the inner HPs are steel rated and not necessarily looking to change chokes. I know Randy in particular seems to do a fair amount of testing of shells, and with the HP chokes, so thought he might be willing to share some insights on combos that work well, but always interested in hearing from anyone on here.


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 Post subject: Re: L4s nontoxic shot and choke for pheasants!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 10:47 am 
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Location: Plainfield, IL


The Black Cloud / TSS loads are the best no-tox loads I've tested for wild pheasants, ducks, etc. They are not nearly as expensive as pure TSS loads that are more associated with turkey loads, as they are 40% steel: "40 percent FLITESTOPPER Steel." Use the 3 / 9 for mallards and pheasants, and the BB / 7 for geese.

The BOSS bismuth loads are likely the best bismuth loads out there, but bismuth still disintegrates and makes a mess. Although somewhat improved, bismuth still tends to fracture into dust where lead does not.

Most folks are interested in the best-performing pheasant loads, not the minimum that might kill a bird. Here in Illinois, the limit is two roosters a day making ammo cost trivial. I generally use lead here, and the best lead pheasant load (easily) is Winchester Rooster XR.

Killing pheasants instantly and cleanly is the whole idea, isn't it? I'm not into scrimping on ammo. Even with preserve shoots, how many shots are you talking about and what is the total cost of the day?

If you think the Federal Black Cloud / TSS shells pattern too good for you, just use less choke.

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http://randywakeman.com/


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 Post subject: Re: L4s nontoxic shot and choke for pheasants!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 11:41 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:04 am
Posts: 2861
RandyWakeman wrote:


The Black Cloud / TSS loads are the best no-tox loads I've tested for wild pheasants, ducks, etc. They are not nearly as expensive as pure TSS loads that are more associated with turkey loads, as they are 40% steel: "40 percent FLITESTOPPER Steel." Use the 3 / 9 for mallards and pheasants, and the BB / 7 for geese.

The BOSS bismuth loads are likely the best bismuth loads out there, but bismuth still disintegrates and makes a mess. Although somewhat improved, bismuth still tends to fracture into dust where lead does not.

Most folks are interested in the best-performing pheasant loads, not the minimum that might kill a bird. Here in Illinois, the limit is two roosters a day making ammo cost trivial. I generally use lead here, and the best lead pheasant load (easily) is Winchester Rooster XR.

Killing pheasants instantly and cleanly is the whole idea, isn't it? I'm not into scrimping on ammo. Even with preserve shoots, how many shots are you talking about and what is the total cost of the day?

If you think the Federal Black Cloud / TSS shells pattern too good for you, just use less choke.


Interesting. Probably not coincidental that the best lead turkey load is the Winchester Longbeard XR, at least through my gun and chokes.

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Fabarm L4S Initial Hunter
Remington 870 Super Magnum Turkey
Remington V3 Walnut
Remington 870 Express (Realtree Xtra camo)


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 Post subject: Re: L4s nontoxic shot and choke for pheasants!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:57 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:15 pm
Posts: 46
RandyWakeman wrote:


The Black Cloud / TSS loads are the best no-tox loads I've tested for wild pheasants, ducks, etc. They are not nearly as expensive as pure TSS loads that are more associated with turkey loads, as they are 40% steel: "40 percent FLITESTOPPER Steel." Use the 3 / 9 for mallards and pheasants, and the BB / 7 for geese.

The BOSS bismuth loads are likely the best bismuth loads out there, but bismuth still disintegrates and makes a mess. Although somewhat improved, bismuth still tends to fracture into dust where lead does not.

Most folks are interested in the best-performing pheasant loads, not the minimum that might kill a bird. Here in Illinois, the limit is two roosters a day making ammo cost trivial. I generally use lead here, and the best lead pheasant load (easily) is Winchester Rooster XR.

Killing pheasants instantly and cleanly is the whole idea, isn't it? I'm not into scrimping on ammo. Even with preserve shoots, how many shots are you talking about and what is the total cost of the day?

If you think the Federal Black Cloud / TSS shells pattern too good for you, just use less choke.


It is the Federal I was using, and the 3/9 version. I just unscrewed the choke and it was the 2/10 as I suspected, so I may give the skeet (1/10) a try and see what I think. I'm still thinking it might also just be taking a couple of birds too quickly as well. Longer shots with the TSS and the IC choke are okay and it knocks birds down for sure.

So maybe I'll experiment and not ditch the ammo quite so fast.

Thanks for the info!


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 Post subject: Re: L4s nontoxic shot and choke for pheasants!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 7:41 pm 
Shotgun Expert
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Location: Plainfield, IL
It depends what your version of longer shots is . . . or shorter shots. The cost isn't prohibitive, as you can get a $75 rebate on 100 rounds or $150 on 200 rounds. https://promotions.vistaoutdoor.com/EN/ ... Brand/1091 .

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http://randywakeman.com/


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 Post subject: Re: L4s nontoxic shot and choke for pheasants!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:56 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:15 pm
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RandyWakeman wrote:
It depends what your version of longer shots is . . . or shorter shots. The cost isn't prohibitive, as you can get a $75 rebate on 100 rounds or $150 on 200 rounds. https://promotions.vistaoutdoor.com/EN/ ... Brand/1091 .


Wow, that's news I can use! I owe my daughter a rematch in Scrabble and as soon as she likely beats me again, I'll be on that - thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: L4s nontoxic shot and choke for pheasants!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2020 1:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
Posts: 5360
Location: Hemingway, S.C. 29554
There is no such shell that works better for close flushing birds and long shots as well! Density rules for pass shooting, period! TSS is the densest but hitting birds at extreme range ain't easy. It can be mastered, sort of, with a lot of practice but when you go afield with a load tailored for 80 yd. shots, what are you shooting at ranges where you shoot the other 99% of the birds you hunt? Bismuth #5's will kill 90% of the ducks I get a shot at if I hit them! Tungsten shot types (alloys & composites) will kill further than I can consistently hit anything & I consistently kill birds further than anybody else I hunt with! It will kill any duck or goose I would want to shoot at! I killed a flying turkey stone dead at some 60 yds. with a load of bismuth #2's. The only time I ever saw bismuth come up short was shooting Canada geese one day that it was very, very windy & cold. Tungsten definitely reigned supreme that day! Steel killed nothing! However, we are talking about pheasant here. The duck & goose bit was just for comparison & to set a standard. Yes, I know you get long shots at pheasant, especially when everything is frozen & they are flushing wild but at what range are the vast majority killed? I would venture a guess that if you can't kill a pheasant with an appropriate load of bismuth, you probably shouldn't be shooting at it with anything!




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