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Old January 4, 2012, 02:10 PM   #1
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Looking Pheasant load recommendations

I have been shooting skeet, trap, five stand and a bit of sporting clays since I picked up my Beretta 390 this summer. Very much fun.

I've been learning with a buddy, and we are thinking of going to a nearby pheasant/chukar "reserve" and go for a shoot. I'm a bit confused about which shells to use.

I'm not reloading, and have been mostly shooting Rem Gun club 8s and 9s with a few boxes of Federal's target loads as well.

From what I've read so far, it seems that I should be using #6 for the pheasants. The question is - is it worth the money to go from the Remmington Game loads, which sell for around $6/box to a high brass shell, which will put me in the $15 or so/box range?

These will be pen raised birds, but the house is away from most people and they have room to fly indoors. I'm told that I should expect to get them in the air, and not on the ground, particulalry if it is cold out.

So, what would you use - and since I can't reload, we have to stay commercial here.

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Old January 4, 2012, 02:48 PM   #2
Dave McC
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Preserve pheasants bear the same relationship to their wild relations as the butterball in your freezer bears to a 20 lb wild tom with a 9 inch beard. Or hatchery trout compared to a nocturnal hook jawed monster that eats minnows, smaller trout and the occasional baby muskrat.

For wild ringnecks, I like 6s, 5s and 4s. 4s for late season and longer shots.

But preserve ringnecks are easier to kill. All I've used were 8s and 7 1/2s and the birds went down like submarines. Use an open choke and have fun...
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Old January 4, 2012, 02:59 PM   #3
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Especially if you are using a dog - you do not want to shoot them on the ground, but it is also a matter or principle, ethics, and etiquette.
I have hunted wild, plantation and preserve. For maximum effectiveness, in like the Fiocchi line of Golden Pheasant ammo - Not necessarily the cheapest, but then you don't fire a lot of it anyway. Depending on the birds, I'll use 5 or 6s
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Old January 4, 2012, 03:19 PM   #4
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Anything from #4 to #6 should work good. A "reserve" I go to on occasion requires and provides #4 steel which does the job. I prefer #5 lead on wild birds, but they are few and far between in Michigan.
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Old January 4, 2012, 04:17 PM   #5
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I use Winchester game loads (I believe they are called Duck & Dove) for pheasant, usually #5s or #6s in lead shot. If I am feeling flush, or if the price is right, I will pick up Remington Nitro in #5. If I have to use steel, it is #4s for me.
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Old January 4, 2012, 04:38 PM   #6
Jack O'Conner
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16 gauge: I shoot low base #6 in right barrel and high base #4 in left barrel. This outfit has been successful for me.

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Old January 4, 2012, 06:23 PM   #7
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If I am feeling flush, or if the price is right, I will pick up Remington Nitro in #5

Same here. I think no. 5 shot is the best compromise for most of my pheasant hunting. I shoot over a pointing dog (English Setter) and generally use a modified choke. I look for sales when buying my preferred "premium" grade shotshells.
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Old January 4, 2012, 06:55 PM   #8
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Pen raised birds with a 12ga mod choke, usually 7 1/2

Wild birds with 12ga, mod choke, usually 6's with a pointer and 5's with a flusher.
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Old January 4, 2012, 07:01 PM   #9
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In your circumstances, I'd probably choose #6 though IC choke. As for brand, I've used Remington Nitro Pheasant and they pattern well in guns I have.
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Old January 4, 2012, 07:11 PM   #10
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Go to the gun store and pick the box of ammo with the picture of a pheasant on it.
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Old January 5, 2012, 12:44 PM   #11
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Fiocchi Golden Pheasant 6's will suit you well.
Modified or IC choke.
Have fun.
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