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Old August 4, 2011, 11:45 AM   #1
Antique Shooter
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Dove Loads

Around here, Dove season opens up on September 1st. I have spent a lot of time this summer practicing with clay birds, so I should be able to hit them. For practice, I have just been using Federal walmart value packs. This year I would like to try something other than the cheap walmart ammo. I have been reading up on dove ammo, and I am going to go with 7 1/2 shot. The brand however, I have no clue. In one article I read it said as long as the shot is "magnum", it would be a good choice. I think that magnum means harder? How do you know if it is magnum when purchasing? Obviously I don't want magnum turkey or goose loads.

The brands I have been thinking about are: Remington Nitro 27, Peters target loads, and Winchester AA. Right now, Peters would be my first choice, because they have the cool blue hulls just like they used to. Would the Peters be fine, or is there something better about the other brands.
Thanks for the help, Antique Shooter
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Old August 4, 2011, 12:16 PM   #2
Doyle
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For 12 ga, any 7 1/2 or 8 shot load will work. Some people like to shoot light and go with a 1 oz target load. Others (myself included) need to throw more lead in the air and go for a 1 1/8 or even a 1 1/4 oz load. In any case, pick the cheapest you can get and take several boxes (they can be blasted hard to hit and you can burn through 3 boxes in an afternoon if you are like me).
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Old August 4, 2011, 12:21 PM   #3
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I use any 12 gauge 7 1/2 shot That's the cheapest! Most of the time it's Winchester or Remington!
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Old August 4, 2011, 05:28 PM   #4
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I'd go with the cheap stuff. You're going to use a lot of them. Dove don't fly straight like a clay will. 6 or 7 1/2 short brass or heavy dove loads doesn't really matter. They won't care.
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Old August 4, 2011, 07:40 PM   #5
Dennis1209
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I'm also looking forward to Sept. 1st if it's not still an oven outside. Like shooting those little missles. My average sure drops from the skeet and trap range though
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Old August 4, 2011, 08:47 PM   #6
Dave R
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I shoot the better of the cheap stuff. That is, the value packs at Wal-Mart or equivalent. I patterned the Federal and the Winchester in my shotgun, and the Win. patterns much more uniformly. So that's what I use. Your shotgun may prefer another brand. Only patterning will tell.
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Old August 5, 2011, 06:23 PM   #7
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I shoot the cheap stuff, or lately my dad's reloads. Maybe it's just my lousy shooting but 7 1/2 and 8 shot don't seem to kill them as well as #6. The few times I've shot #6 shot the birds were consistently dead when I got to them. I have a lot of runners with #7 1/2 and #8. But I could be just hitting them bad.
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Old August 5, 2011, 07:09 PM   #8
RaySendero
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Dove Loads w/ Magnum Shot

Quote:
Antique Shooter asked:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Around here, Dove season opens up on September 1st. I have spent a lot of time this summer practicing with clay birds, so I should be able to hit them. For practice, I have just been using Federal walmart value packs. This year I would like to try something other than the cheap walmart ammo. I have been reading up on dove ammo, and I am going to go with 7 1/2 shot. The brand however, I have no clue. In one article I read it said as long as the shot is "magnum", it would be a good choice. I think that magnum means harder? How do you know if it is magnum when purchasing? Obviously I don't want magnum turkey or goose loads.

The brands I have been thinking about are: Remington Nitro 27, Peters target loads, and Winchester AA. Right now, Peters would be my first choice, because they have the cool blue hulls just like they used to. Would the Peters be fine, or is there something better about the other brands.
Thanks for the help, Antique Shooter
Shooter,
Your looking for a handicap trap loads in 7 1/2s. Rem, Peters, Win and Rio all load the hard magnum shot in their handicap trap loads.
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Old August 5, 2011, 08:08 PM   #9
M.O.A.
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sense you have been useing the cheap feds. stick with them. u have to remember that the average is 1 bird for every 5 shots fired, so it gets costly trying to feed $7to $8 doller a box loads in to the air .
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Old August 5, 2011, 08:30 PM   #10
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I like the Remington Sure-Shot in the orange and green boxes. They are loaded with 1 1/8oz shot. I usually start the season with 8's and switch to 7 1/2's or 6's later when the birds are more leary.
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Old August 5, 2011, 08:34 PM   #11
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Dove are one of the easiest birds to kill when you hit them - using heavy loads just bruises your shoulder. Any basic target load of 8 or 7-1/2, 1oz will do the ob nicely
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Old August 5, 2011, 09:57 PM   #12
Antique Shooter
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Ray, are these Peters loaded with magnum shot. They are new one's, not the old one's. These have Remington on the headstamp.

Yes, you could throw a rock and kill a dove if it was close enough, but if it is farther, you are going to want the better shells with the better shot. The heavy loads will also give you more range.If I find that the "better shells" arn't performing any better than the cheap ones, I will just go back to them.

Huntinaz, I might put a 7 1/2 in the first tube, and a 6 in the second. I read some where that a size 6 pellet has more energy at 40 yds than a size 8 does at 25. Don't know if it is true, just something to think about if you use size 8 shot.

Thanks for the input, Antique Shooter
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Last edited by Antique Shooter; August 5, 2011 at 10:10 PM.
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Old August 5, 2011, 10:49 PM   #13
JerryM
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Doves are small, and I found that a #9 skeet load worked great.
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Old August 8, 2011, 12:38 PM   #14
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Antique,
If you are looking to use the Nitro 27's or AA handicaps, your leads may change and so will the impact on your shoulder and Wallet if you are shooting a pump or Over under, unless if you have a nice recoil pad on. They will be going about 100 fps faster. Might help you catch up to those little grey ghosts. 8's will work fine on dove, and pick your shots. No need to be taking 40 yard shots on doves. If they are skirting or flaring from you, hide. Go to wally world and pick up the Federal 1 oz game loads at 1290 as they will put a serious hurt on dove, if you are on and they are a little cheaper per box than the Promo packs. Right now, I am reloading 8.5's and 8's at 1400 fps with 7/8ths of an ounce for my wife in 12 gauge. Myself, I will be shooting the old standby, 1/2 oz of #9's in .410 for them little b#$%#ds. Love it and if the Eurasians and pigeons come by, I have a 1400 fps 1 1/8 of #7's for them out of my old trusty Model 12 with a full choke. I will take the 40 yard shot at the pigeons.
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Old August 8, 2011, 02:50 PM   #15
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Quote:
I am reloading 8.5's and 8's at 1400 fps with 7/8ths of an ounce
How is the pattern at that velocity. IME, very fast ammo has a doughnut pattern with a big hole in the middle of it

At that speed, in a 7.25# field gun, you're generating 17.69 ft-lbs of recoil. My 7/8 oz target loads in my 8.25# gun generate 11.25# - quite a lot less. Just something to think about
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Old August 8, 2011, 06:49 PM   #16
Antique Shooter
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I hunt ducks and geese and shoot loads that generate 39.4-42.7 foot pounds of energy. I've shot turkey loads that generate 50.1 foot pounds,(I know you don't shoot a whole box of them in a night), so my point being, I don't buy ammunition based on recoil.

Sometimes, around here, it seems like the doves are more leary than late season canadian geese, and will skirt for no reason at all. That is why I was looking for some heavier loads.

Thanks for all your input
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Old August 15, 2011, 07:18 PM   #17
publius
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The cheap stuff works OK but I think the better loads like remington shur shot and Win AA are worth it. When I use a 12 for doves it is a handload of 1 1/8 oz of quality #9 shot.
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Old August 15, 2011, 07:33 PM   #18
ZeroJunk
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A little expensive, but I use Shurshot 3 1/4 1 1/4 in 7 1/2. Had to special order the last case, I guess they are still available.
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Old August 15, 2011, 07:38 PM   #19
langenc
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Magnum loads for dove??

Just get any 1 oz 7 1/2 or 8s. They are not thick skinned-=8s do fine esp if you dont 'sky bust' em. Let em come in 5 more yards and all will be well. Short shots -less than 25 yards need an IC or skeet choke-or less.
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Old August 15, 2011, 09:47 PM   #20
Antique Shooter
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Magnum shot, not magnum shells. Big Difference. I plan on shooting longer shots than 25 yards, or is that sky busting? Is it considered skybusting if you can consistantly kill the birds at farther ranges?

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Old August 15, 2011, 10:17 PM   #21
Dave McC
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Last year I went once, using a 20 gauge choked M/F and 7/8 oz target reloads with 7.5 shot at 1200 FPS.

9 dove,17 shots.

Year before, similar results with a 12 gauge using 7/8 oz reloads and 7.5s.

Loads have Magnum shot, top components,shoot tight patterns.
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Old August 16, 2011, 04:41 AM   #22
swopjan
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Quote:
Right now, Peters would be my first choice, because they have the cool blue hulls just like they used to.
don't know anything about doves, but i'm glad to see someone else makes decisions the same way i do.
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Old August 16, 2011, 06:31 AM   #23
ZeroJunk
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Quote:
Right now, Peters would be my first choice, because they have the cool blue hulls just like they used to.

That reminds me, the first shells I ever bought in bulk were when I was 13 or 14 years old and were Peters high brass blue number 6's. I used them for everything. There were 20 boxes in a case back then and I bought the whole case from Doc's ESSO for $80.
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Old August 24, 2011, 12:48 AM   #24
publius
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Those Peters hulls are pretty good for reloading too.
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Old August 27, 2011, 08:55 AM   #25
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No need to overthink it, doves are easy to kill. A couple of 7.5's or 8's will bring them down. Shot larger than 7.5 is prohibited on our public fields and a definite non no on the private ones we plant.
I usually shoot reloads. If I shoot factory, its usually Gun Clubs or Top Guns.
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