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Old August 3, 2012, 12:53 PM   #1
bjones870
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What loads to hunt with?

I'm planning on going dove/quail hunting in September. I have a Remington 870 20 gauge express magnum. So I can shoot the 3" shells. What loads would you recommend I shoot on such a hunt? Thanks!
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Old August 3, 2012, 12:59 PM   #2
PetahW
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I would shoot 2-3/4" shells with #8 shot, or whatever patterned best at the ranges expected.

IMHO, a full/even pattern that shoots to POA (yeah, I know a shotgun's not aimed) is more important than power.

.
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Old August 3, 2012, 01:04 PM   #3
oneounceload
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NO need for 3"
The cheapest #8 you can find at walmart will do the job - just be sure to buy enough - most folks need a lot more than one or two shots per dove.....
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Old August 3, 2012, 01:21 PM   #4
bjones870
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That's been my worry, is getting out there and not having plenty of shells and/or getting out there and realizing I am underpowered. Thanks for the input!
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Old August 3, 2012, 01:50 PM   #5
Dave McC
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7/8 oz, 2 3/4" shells chock full of 8 shot will be plenty for dove, quail,rails, woodcock,etc. Just insert any 3 of those 350 pellets into the vitals and the bird will be past all pain when it touches earth.

3" loads here would be counterproductive.
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Old August 3, 2012, 02:46 PM   #6
.300 Weatherby Mag
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Any 20 gauge, 2 3/4", 7/8 oz load of 8's or 7.5s at 1200 Feet per second or better is more than adequate for doves....

Quote:
Most folks need a lot more than one or two shots per dove.....
The national average is around 7 shots per bird... Many people need a lot of shells... Best I've ever done for a limit of 10 birds was 18 shots...
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Old August 3, 2012, 03:21 PM   #7
oneounceload
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according to a gun writer friend of mine. ATK - the maker of federal - makes more quantity and more money from hunting ammo than target ammo - he said the typical dove/quail promo load is the single largest item they produce - kinda proves those dove are hard to hit!

OP -bring twice what you need - if you have extra, visit your local trap/skeet range and have some fun
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Old August 3, 2012, 03:54 PM   #8
BigJimP
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I would just shoot a relatively standard load ....7/8 oz # 8's .../ like someone else said, talk to the guides or host ...and take at least twice as many shells as they recommend unless they have a source for shells close by.
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Old August 3, 2012, 05:08 PM   #9
couillon
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Locally whatever promo #8 loads are on sale. Mail order I really like the Rios. The 2 3/4 20 ga sells are one ounce and usually a little more fps than the typical promo loads and will run well in finicky autoloaders. 7.5 for most dove hunting. Shop around the usual distributors, they are not too bad on price.
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Old August 4, 2012, 08:21 AM   #10
LSnSC
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I prefer 7.5 shot in a 1 oz load out of my 20's for doves. You'll get less cripples with the 7.5's. Add in some wind and birds that have been shot a few times and the larger shot will pay off. Remington and Winchester sell Heavy Dove Loads.
I take two boxes (50 rounds) when I go to a shoot, with the goal of filling my limit of fifteen birds with less than one box.
If you are going on a dove shoot in a field with other hunters there is some etiquette.
Dont shoot low birds. This is a big time no no and will get you un invited to future shoots.
Dont skybust. If you can clearly see his beak, hes in range.
Keep and eye on the bird you shot so youre not wandering around flaring birds away from other hunters tring to find your kill.
Dont set up on top of another hunter. We try to have at least 100 yds between hunters at our shoots.
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Old August 4, 2012, 12:41 PM   #11
Dave McC
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This may seem counter intuitive, but.....

Instead of using Dove and Quail loads on Dove and Quail, I use target loads.

Why? Premium components, including round, HARD shot that not only stays in the pattern better, but carries more energy into the target, ensuring quick and humane kills. A little more costly, a lot more effective...

Also, if you've not been on the clays range with your dove gun, now's the time.

I suggest not only using your dove gun, but wearing the togs you'll be sporting for the opener. Trust me....
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Old August 4, 2012, 01:01 PM   #12
a7mmnut
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NEVER shoot the cheapest ammo if you want to eat your game. The 20's I have always perform better on pass shooting doves with the one ounce loads of #7 1/2 shot and either Skeet II or modified tubes. These loads usually fall within the $5.00-7.00/box range. Light 7/8 ounce loads of # 8's or 9's will be fine for quail with a cylinder tube. Lotsa luck,

-7-
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Old August 4, 2012, 01:51 PM   #13
.300 Weatherby Mag
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Quote:
Instead of using Dove and Quail loads on Dove and Quail, I use target loads.
I do the same thing when I shoot the .410 at Doves.. I use the Remington STS Sporting Clays load with a 1/2 oz of 8s at 1300 fps... Kills them stone dead and generally passes through...
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