View Full Version : what shot size for 20 gauge for pheasant?

November 4, 2001, 09:45 PM
shotgun i will be using is a 20 guage that can take 2 3/4 and 3 inch mag. but probably wil be using 2 3/4 because we are having low numbers anyway and they are alot cheaper-i will probably be buying some federal bulk packed of 100 that are for 16 dollars at walmart (thinking thier 7 1/2) but am wondering what do u guys recommend. It says upland, trap, skeet etc on the box...


Al Thompson
November 4, 2001, 09:55 PM
Yaer before last I used 4 shot for pheasants - I was surprised to find pellets that had rolled up in feathers with minimal penetration. One of the guys with us was using either 7 1/2s or 6s and they seemed to work better.

I would get a couple of boxes of trap loads (either size) - harder shot and better quality.


November 4, 2001, 10:09 PM
I'd try 6s first cause they handy. Check the patterning of your loads tho. Every gun is an entity unto itself regarding loads liked.


November 4, 2001, 10:12 PM
I'd consider either 5 or 6 shot. At least, that's what I used on ringnecks when I lived in Nebraska. Smaller shot such as 7-1/2 is better on quail.

November 4, 2001, 11:49 PM
i think i'll use the federal bulk stuff first cus its hte cheapest and is target and also is listed as upland-then if it paterns good i will use it for competitions in the spring and pheasant/quail

November 5, 2001, 04:22 AM
See if you can find number 5 shot----a pheasant will drop like a brick when I use them in my 12ga.

Dave McC
November 5, 2001, 05:39 AM
Pop had close working GSPs, and sued a 20 ga SKB with good effect. First shot up was 7 1/2s, 6s for the backup shot. I used the same in a 12 ga, and sometimes 5s for late season.

You didn't mention choke, which is part of the equation. Depending on range, IC to Full is needed. I'd rather thave too tight a choke than too loose.

old hawk
November 5, 2001, 07:05 AM
i tend ta use 6 to 7 shot myself in my 12 no sweat at all,drops em good.

Al Thompson
November 5, 2001, 07:35 AM
Forgot to mention - I used a 20 with no problems.


November 5, 2001, 05:14 PM
My preference is #6 shot for pheasant. I have used 7-1/2 and it didn't seem to penetrate adequately particularly on later season birds.

The 20 is perfectly acceptable for pheasant. I've used 1 ounce loads with good results.

November 8, 2001, 08:16 PM
Modified or improved cylinder boring I would use 5. full choke i would use 6.

November 11, 2001, 10:16 PM
i got some Winchester Super X #6 shot today at Galyans in KC- pretty cheap-much cheaper than the wally here.... they were 4 dollars regularly and they were on sale for like 3.20 i bought 75 :)

actualyl cheaper than their bulk packs of 7 1/2-i didnt get home early enough so i am going to try out shooting it this weekend on saturday and might go pheasant hunting sat or sunday

November 12, 2001, 01:55 AM
I'd go with 5 or 6...

Will Beararms
November 12, 2001, 06:18 PM
Do you want to kill birds? Use the 3" Magnum and forget about economics. You only live once. I prefer 4's from a 12 Gauge but 6's are good as well. Definitley go with the 3" Magnums. The 20 is a great weapon for phesants provided you do your part.

November 12, 2001, 09:12 PM
ok i am going to be shooting these shotgun shells at the range and havent really shot a shotgun alot in my life-i am going to get into trap shooting and dont really want to get a flinch-the magnum 3 inch just adds more shot into the pattern-people shoot birds and trap with .410-it all depends on ur shot-a 3 inch magnum has more kick and is louder-it may put more shot in the pattern but most of my shots are going to be within range of the 6's in 2 3/4

November 12, 2001, 09:40 PM
I've shot alot of skeet with a .410 but, unless you stand in front of the trap house, it's dang near impossible to shoot trap with a .410. Only 1/2 oz vs 1 oz for a 12 guage.

2 3/4" shells are fine for any bird hunting if you have lead shot. I don't like steel whatsoever. My dog died before the ban on lead so I haven't felt the need to test these shells.

I used to reload a bit too. Got tired of having my shoulder banged a couple hundred times a weekend by commercial loads. I used PB powder (I think) which reduced the recoil due to its slower burning coefficient or some such factor. Try to hook up with the guys at the range. You might be able to get some softer feeling reloads.

Will Beararms
November 13, 2001, 12:49 AM
Got it. I lived in Wichita for 2 years and hunted in Dodge City and Anthony for Pheasant. When they get up in front of you, I learned that they fly straight up before flying off and I always countred to three before shooting. Otherwise, I always shot above em'.

Good luck, wear orange, get good boots and wear shooter's classes.

November 13, 2001, 11:14 PM
ya they'll do that-my freidns dog chased a bird head on to him-he got it :) lol-he was using 3 inch magnum loads-i hope it was a few yards away :)

November 14, 2001, 12:09 AM