View Full Version : what can you hunt with #8 shot?

March 30, 2009, 06:51 PM
Can you hunt rabbits or squirrels? What size bird is okay to hunt with it?

What size shot do you need for squirrels and rabbits?

Why is #8 shot so much cheaper then other size shot?


March 30, 2009, 06:54 PM
You can hunt rabbit or squirrel with #8 shot, but I prefer 7 1/2 or 6, especially for longer ranges. #8 ,while it will work is better suited for dove or quail. Most stores sell the cheap promotional loads in both 7 1/2 and 8 shot. I usually buy equal amounts of each.

March 30, 2009, 09:24 PM
Doves,quail,rabbits,squirrels...etc. Some #8 is cheaper b/c the manufacturers primarily use #8 in their bargain loads.

March 30, 2009, 09:36 PM
It depends on the type of shot being used - whether it is chilled or magnum shot. 8's are great for dove and quail, even chukar at the appropriate ranges.....magnum shot will do better at farther ranges than the chilled, IMO, because they will deform less and pattern better

March 30, 2009, 11:05 PM
Wouldn't know a chukar from a chuck wagon. Dove and Quail I usually use 7 1/2s, but will use 8s if that's what I have. I mostly use 8s for skeet and sporting clays.

Squirrel and rabbit, I prefer 6s.

There won't be much difference in cost.

That's just what I do. Others will do different things. You should do what you find works best for you.

You can take a rabbit with 8s and you can take a dove with 6s (might be kind of ripped up, though). Part of the exercise is using large enough shot to carry the distance and cleanly kill the game without causing excessive damage to the meat. I don't shoot anything that I'm not going to eat.

March 31, 2009, 01:26 AM
Why is #8 shot so much cheaper then other size shot?
Shot is shot, and it priced by the pound. I suspect what you meant to ask is, why are some #8 shot shells cheaper. Publius is on the right track, what you're probably seeing are known as promotional loads, often called Dove and Quail (Bird and Bunny) loads. The manufacturers choose #8 shot because of its versatility and they advertise it for small birds and game.

In reality, you might be better off selecting your loads based on your intended conditions: If you're your shooting overhead dove on opening morning, then light loads of #9 will bring them down, but the following weekend you might be better off with heavy #7-1/2s because you'll be reaching out. The ammo manufacturers figure a non-discriminating hunter can get by using promotional #8s in both situations.

Don't make the mistake of thinking a promotional load of #8s is a bargain compared to target loads of #7-1/2s or # 9s. All it takes is one look into what goes into a promotional load versus a target load. First, they are usually 1/4-ounce less shot that a traditional target loads. That's an 20% savings to the shell maker. The shot used is lower quality, too. To me I looks similar the reclaimed shot available at gun clubs. The wad cup is also much thinner (and possible shorter) than normally used.

If you want to save money by shooting #8 loads, may I suggest that you shoot reloads made from quality components, or get target loads on sale. Of course, there are going to be many who'll say they've successfully used promotional loads for years. Ya pays yer money and ya takes yer choice.

Happy hunting,

April 2, 2009, 10:46 PM
I would not hunt squirrels, rabbits or pheasants with anything but #4 or #6.
I only use 7.5 for sporting clays. It may be ok for quail, but I never hunted any.

Old John
April 3, 2009, 10:08 AM
Quote: " I would not hunt squirrels, rabbits or pheasants with anything but #4 or #6.
I only use 7.5 for sporting clays. It may be ok for quail, but I never hunted any."

Yeah, same here. 7 1/2 or 8's are good for bird hunting, quail or doves.

But I like 4's or 6's for rabbits, squirrels or pheasants, also. They are better at stopping them and less trouble when you are cleaning your game. I hate digging out all that finer shot.