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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For Dove shooting, I had an old timer recommend that if I wasn't going to reload my own "hot" shells for them, I should buy Winchester Super X $15 per box shells for Doves because they are fast (1330 or so) and great pattern quality.

Other than the Winchester Super X $60 per 100 shells, what do you gentlemen recommend that won't break the bank - I'm shooting with my 2 sons (12 gauges) as well = 3x$60 or $180 - ouch!?

Here's a couple of different ones I've bought in the past that were ok (some better than others)...

Remington Nitro Shells ($7.57 per box of 25)
Federal 100 bulk pack at Walmart $20.96
Winchester AA at Walmart $24.96
 

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I agree on the cheap shells. I went one morning last week with the Federal 100 round value pak shells you mentioned. Shot 7 times got 4 and the morning before that I used Estate heavy game loads. Shot 8 times got 6. All with the 20 :)

BTW got the Estates for $5 a box plus shipping. Same as the "value" Federal.
 

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There is a difference in shells. Remington Game Loads, for instance, produce far more cripples than their STS target loads or ShurShot Heavy Dove loads. Personally, if you've got the money to spend on other dove hunting equipment, splurge on some Shurshot shells, or the STS/AA brands.

BT
 

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Beginner Trap said:
There is a difference in shells. Remington Game Loads, for instance, produce far more cripples than their STS target loads or ShurShot Heavy Dove loads. Personally, if you've got the money to spend on other dove hunting equipment, splurge on some Shurshot shells, or the STS/AA brands.

BT
Darn right; the pattern board proves that. The question (they way I read it) was about the BEST dove ammo, not the cheapest or a race to compare sale or clearance prices.

AA's and Gold Medals have the hardest shot, and produce the best patterns. STS shells are a small notch back, but have the best hulls for reloading. If you want hulls, go STS. If you want the best patterns, go factory AA or Gold Medal in #7-1/2 shot.
 

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If you're going to use the cheaper shells try a tighter choke. One reason they are cheaper is softer shot. It deforms more and spreads more. In my guns when I've patterned it there's about a full chokes worth of difference. The higher quality shells pattern tighter.
 

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Some of you guys may think I'm crazy, but here's my opinion. I shoot cheap ammo at the range. When I hit the field, I use top shelf ammo. It doesn't matter if it's dove, turkey, deer or what. For dove, I use Winchester AA Sporting Clays (1300 fps) or Super Handicap (1250 fps) in 7 1/2. I don't use cheap ammo in the field, period. Remember, this is just my opinion, and worth what you paid for it. :D
 

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I hunted doves ten straight days to open the season. Nine limits and one field that had few birds. Used up a flat of ten boxes of $3.99 (bought three years ago) AA Sporting loads (1300 fps) 7 1/2's and some Wal-Mart promo 100-round box Federal loads in 7 1/2's. Shot them out of a Browning Gold Fusion that has had the forcing cone lengthened and the bore polished. I couldn't tell the difference in performance (kill ratio) between the two loads. Used Tru-Lock extended improved cylinder choke some days and a Wright's #4 (Light Modified) other days. I will be using the Federal 100-round packs in the future in # 7 1/2 size shot. Cheapest way to go. Chokes were more than adequate for the job at hand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Gentlemen,

Thank you for the replies...answered my question.

I patterned a couple of the aforementioned cheap rounds and all did ok and should do the job. However, I'm going to load up on some when they go on sale (usually after the Dove Season hits, they'll put them on sale) so that I can get the best for my money.

Looks like STS/AA's will be where I'm headed for most of my field use. The old timer (my brother's 70 year old father-in-law who's been hunting longer than I've been alive and looked at me with DISDAIN at the cheap shells) likes to reload and he likes the Remingtons for reloads so I can help him since we hunt his Dove fields most of the time early in the season.

I'm still going to buy a case of the Super X's for season 2 so that I can pattern them and compare for myself the difference and if there's a better result in the field ("cause we know its not my shooting or the Browning Golds"). :D

Again, thank you for the replies.
 

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smith5 -

Your best bet is to reload your own, then you KNOW what kind of quality you have. Big problem with the promo factory loads is that they are all 1 1/8 oz. shot. This is just too much lead for doves. Let's face it, doves are not hard to kill, but they can be very hard to hit.

I've been shooting 1 oz., 7.5 shot at approx. 1200 fps for doves for the last several years, with great success. I can usually scrounge all the Rem game load hulls I can pick up and they reload very nicely. I will be going to 7/8 oz. as soon as I get the new bar for my reloader. IMHO the primary benefit of the lighter loads is the lower recoil. I can remember days of shooting 1 1/8 oz. shot when I would come home with a shoulder that felt like someone had been pounding on it with a meat tenderizing hammer! No more. And let's face it, everyone can shoot better when the recoil is lower. The idea is to get lead on target.

Also, at least for me in both my 870 and in my O/U, the 1 oz. loads pattern much better. I find that the factory 1 1/8 oz., high-velocity (1250+ fps) loads tend to blow the pattern, leaving a hole with very few shot in the center.

If you really don't want to reload, I would suggest finding some of the Fiocchi 1 oz. loads or if money is not an object find some of the AA 1 oz.

Just my 2 cents worth and probably worth less than that.

Good luyck, have fun and stay safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Good information that leads me to two more questions:

1oz, 1 1/8oz, or 7/8oz?

Also, my patterns have been good (just did some more patterning this weekend with Trulock chokes versus Browning factory Inv + chokes with different shells) - which shot (1oz, 1 1/8oz, or 7/8oz) pattern most consistently?

Recoil is not a factor for me as I shoot Browning Golds, which are very soft shooters (after a lot of research and use, shouldering shotguns, and reading Mr. Wakeman's Father's Gold article - I am sold on Browning Golds) - they really take the recoil out of the equation. My 870 on the other hand isn't bad until the Doves quit flying and then I realize that after the excitement that my shoulder says ouch, but not bad enough to make me flinch, yet it does kick a lot more to me. I am not ready to reload yet...more time and experience will help me decide on that.
 

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Most heavy target loads in 12 Gauge are 1 1/8oz, as are the Rem Heavy Dove loads. Good enough for me.

BT
 

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IMO you should shoot 1 oz. For all the reasons I listed in my previous response.

I went out this evening for a couple of hours, conditions were poor, due to a 30+ mph wind. When doves fly 30 mph on top of a 30 mph wind, leading the bird becomes somewhat subjective for me! Despite the wind and doves that seemed to think airborne acrobatics were the norm, I managed to get 6 birds for 14 rounds fired. :) Not great, but not bad either. All were 1 oz., 8.5 shot, 1180 fps. My point in relating the above was simply to state that 1 oz. of shot is more than sufficient to bring down doves, even in less than ideal conditions.

I will load 7/8 oz. as soon as I get my new bar. I don't know if that will work well on late-season doves, but I'm sure it will in the first part of the season. I'll probably have to wait to try the 7/8 oz. loads until next season.

Also, you really do not need those "high-velocity" rounds. If you do the math, the difference in the time it takes the shot to reach the bird with a 1200 fps vs. a 1300 fps rounds is measured in thousanths of a second. All you do is add is more energy, thus more recoil. You surely don't need the added terminal energy to kill doves.

Having expounded at length, I now refute my own argument. Much of shotgunning is mental. If you are comfortable with the 1 1/8 oz. loads, by all means shoot them. Other than possibly tearing up birds shot at < 20 yds. a little more, it probably does no harm. One of the most important aids to accuracy is your confidence in your equipment, including the loads you shoot.

Don't know if this addressed your questions or not. Bottom line, decide what you like, what works for you, then shoot that load.
 

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tidmarshsmiths5 said:
Good information that leads me to two more questions:

1oz, 1 1/8oz, or 7/8oz?
1-1/8 oz. 1200 fps loads are ideal. You'll get a denser pattern, a larger effective pattern, or both.

There is a 1 oz. load sitting right on top of your 1-1/8 oz. load.
 

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IMO it usually gets down to how good a shot you are over anything else but I've seen good shots have bad days on doves. If you're on that day any standard dove load will drop the birds. If you're not, what you're shooting dosen't make much difference and neither will your confidence, it will be gone pretty quick.
 

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Hi
I am from Greece and this is my first post in this forum.
When you say dove, do you mean stockdove ? or just dove.
I like to know because I keep on readind the topic related with loads for doves. Here in my country we are permitted to shoot stockdoves only.
 

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Greece -

I'm not familiar with the term "stockdove". We don't use that term here in the U.S.

We generally have three types of doves here. The mourning dove, approximately 12 in. long, pointed tail and grey-brown in color; the White-wing dove, slightly larger than the mourning dove with a white patch on the wing, and a long moderately rounded tail; and lastly the Eurasian collared dove, approximately 15 in. long, grey in color, with a thin black band with a white border on the neck.

All are small, very fast, and sometimes erratic flyers. They are easy to kill, so 7.5 or smaller (U.S. shot size) shot is all that is needed. While they ARE easy to kill, they can sometimes be very hard to hit!

Hope this helps. Good luck.
 
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