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Old December 13, 2011, 06:18 PM   #1
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Shot size for Quail?

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?

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Old December 13, 2011, 06:44 PM   #2
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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.
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Old December 13, 2011, 06:58 PM   #3
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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.
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Old December 13, 2011, 07:11 PM   #4
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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.
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Old December 13, 2011, 09:37 PM   #5
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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.
Shot placement is everything! I would rather take a round of 50BMG to the foot than a 22short to the base of the skull.

all 26 of my guns are 45/70 govt, 357 mag, 22 or 12 ga... I believe in keeping it simple. Wish my wife did as well...
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Old December 13, 2011, 09:44 PM   #6
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Once upon a time in Iowa.

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. ....

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

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Old December 13, 2011, 09:47 PM   #7
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The Wife uses 7 1/2s. I'm a lousy bird shooter, I just throw rocks at them
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Old December 13, 2011, 10:00 PM   #8
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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.
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Old December 14, 2011, 07:48 AM   #9
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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.
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Old December 14, 2011, 10:18 AM   #10
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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!! 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
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Old December 14, 2011, 10:25 AM   #11
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6 or 7 1/2 work best for me.
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Old December 14, 2011, 10:40 AM   #12
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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.
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