View Full Version : Shot size for Quail?

December 13, 2011, 06:18 PM
Ok so I have my first quail hunt coming up next week and the guy who is taking me said # 8 or 9 shot is best for the range we will be getting most birds, being about the 15 to 20 yard mark with maybe with the odd long shot out to 30 - 35 yards.

I will be using a 12G U/O with 30” barrels and screw in chokes.

I ended up getting Some Federal 7/8 oz in #9 but now looking more into it I'm not sure as a lot of people recommend mainly 7.5 in 1 1/8 oz loads for a 12G so I’m having second thoughts on the light loads I bought.

Do you think #9’s will be ok?
Do you think 7/8 oz is enough shot?


December 13, 2011, 06:44 PM
I shoot #7 1/2 for quail. I like to have the energy coming out to make sure to knock down the birds. But at 20 yards, I don't know there's a big difference between them and #9's. I would bring a box of something bigger. Once you get the feel of what different shots will do, you'll figure it out. Some times it takes some experimenting. I use much smaller shot for ducks than most folks, but I knock 'em down all the same.

Enjoy. Quail hunting is one of my favorites.

December 13, 2011, 06:58 PM
7-1/2s or 8s, they will still have enough energy at 40 yds to down a bird. 9s are a little too light for the farthest birds but may work OK due to dense patterns.

Art Eatman
December 13, 2011, 07:11 PM
I don't know if your quail are near the same size as ours. I've always used #8 on the bob-whites, and for the larger, scaled (blue) quail I use 7-1/2. Either will work when the common range is no more than around 35 yards.

A quail is a point-and-shoot, rising bird. Don't try to actually aim, and don't shoot under them. :)

Deja vu
December 13, 2011, 09:37 PM
I use 6 shot but I use that for about every thing. If you don't have to make real long shots (for a shot gun) the 9 shot will work.

December 13, 2011, 09:44 PM
Been so long since I've seen any quail to shoot and the last covy I saw, I passed on. Just didn't have the heart. .... :mad:

I still have some 7-1/2 and 8's ...... ;)

Be Safe !!!

December 13, 2011, 09:47 PM
The Wife uses 7 1/2s. I'm a lousy bird shooter, I just throw rocks at them :D

December 13, 2011, 10:00 PM
I load my quail 12 ga shells with 1 1/4 ounces of #9 shot. I don't shoot past about 30 yards, but with that load and a skeet or improved cylinder choke, I usually hit the ones I do shoot at though.:)

December 14, 2011, 07:48 AM
8's or 9's will do on Mr. Bob White all day long. As said earlier its a point and shoot bird, you think too ling about the shot and you won't have one. Light, fast handling guns with shorter tubes are best, especially on a covey rise. I gues with 30" barrels, you can always swat them out of the air. My go to quail gun is a Browning Citori Superlight in 20ga, english stock and schanble forearm with 24" pipes. Light and fast.

December 14, 2011, 10:18 AM
Those things (quail) move too fast for me. I used to hunt with a guy about 6' 3" with long legs and he and his dog could cover ground like I've never seen. He must have took 10 yard steps!! :D His shotgun was the old Winchester semi-auto with the nylon barrel and metal sleeve in it... sawed off just legal. No choke. He'd shoot from the hip and never miss those things. I never got the gun up before those little rockets were gone.

Oh yeah. We used #7 shot size

December 14, 2011, 10:25 AM
6 or 7 1/2 work best for me.

December 14, 2011, 10:40 AM
I've used 8's, 7 1/2's, 6's, and even 5's on quail ....... but I don't usually set out to hunt quail specificly .....usually, I'm hunting something else (pheasants, turkeys, or even pushing deer to my kids) and happen to bust a covey ..... they are not hard to kill (like turkeys) or even hard to hit (like doves) .... the hard part is having the prescence of mind to get a good shot off after stepping on a "feathered landmine". I don't have a dog, so the fist indication that there are any quail in the tall grass is when they explode into the air from 2 feet in front of me.....

#9 shot .... I don't think I've ever even seen that outside of a skeet range.