Use a social account for faster login or easy registration.

Finding Pheasant Loads?

  • bullcans
    Participant
    Lake Mills, IA
    Posts: 1663
    #2059430

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Netguy wrote:</div>
    No need to be afraid of steel shot for pheasants. Just need to use the right load. I use steel all the time for pheasant since I am primarily a waterfowler and don’t want to have to learn the different lead with lead loads. Also if a duck flies by close enough, I can take that too.

    Lead is much denser than steel and studies have shown that it has a higher kill rate because of it. That’s why I prefer it. Bismuth or other non-toxic rounds are still too high priced even though they have the density of lead.

    I don’t waterfowl hunt anymore and I don’t hunt on public land that requires it, so I use lead 100% of the time. I realize that if I started hunting ducks again or if I hunted in a waterfowl parcel like you I’d have to use a non-toxic shot, but for right now I don’t so there’s no reason to burn that bridge.

    I agree with you that lead is denser than steel. However as Netguy said you have to match up the right load.
    I will take #2 Steel Shot in a 3″ version and would be hard pressed to tell the difference when shooting it against #4 lead. Especially when you can get “hot” loads of steel up to 1550fps.
    Give it a try, you will be surprised. I was in your same way of thinking until I tried it. Same comparison if you went with #5 lead, then go with #3 steel. 3″ of course.

    gimruis
    Participant
    Plymouth, MN
    Posts: 7859
    #2059445

    3″ of course.

    I don’t shoot 3 inchers through my pheasant shotgun. Its too lightweight and the recoil is awful. 2 3/4 inch shells only.

    suzuki
    Participant
    Woodbury, Mn
    Posts: 16544
    #2059449

    We all use 2 3/4″ lead or 3″ steel depending on the location. No problem in auto-loaders except you end up with one less round in the gun. Some of our group are abandoning lead more and more since the big steel does a great job and its a pain switching up throughout the day.

    gimruis
    Participant
    Plymouth, MN
    Posts: 7859
    #2059451

    I only keep 3 rounds in my montrefeltro. I keep the plug in there because I don’t like the added forward weight of having 2 more rounds in the magazine up front. When I tried it, it threw the shotgun off balance and affected my accuracy. I only hunt private land so there is no need to be using a non-toxic shot.

    I have a different Benelli I use for waterfowl than I do for pheasants. It has a longer barrel, a better recoil system, and its camo. That’s the shotgun I use for bigger loads on ducks, geese, and turkeys.

    Another item to consider is that not every choke can tolerate a steel shot. I have several chokes that specifically state “no steel shot” right on the outside of the choke.

    I may have gone a little off topic from this thread. I hope everyone finds some ammo for the upcoming bird season.

    tornadochaser
    Participant
    Posts: 740
    #2059716

    I agree with you that lead is denser than steel. However as Netguy said you have to match up the right load.
    I will take #2 Steel Shot in a 3″ version and would be hard pressed to tell the difference when shooting it against #4 lead. Especially when you can get “hot” loads of steel up to 1550fps.
    Give it a try, you will be surprised. I was in your same way of thinking until I tried it. Same comparison if you went with #5 lead, then go with #3 steel. 3″ of course.

    Steel has come a long ways and definitely has a place in the upland fields nowdays, but if I had to choose lead or steel, I’ll take 2 3/4″ 1 3/8oz 1500 fps lead 4’s over 3″ 1550 1 1/8oz steel 2’s for pheasants any day, every day, no hesitation if I have the choice. 40-50 more pellets in the pattern, patterns tighter, and energy retention downrange all in favor of the lead 4’s. 1 3/8 to 1 5/8 oz of high velocity lead 5’s or 4’s through a patternmaster is just flat out bad medicine on roosters. And the looks you get from the other guys after you knock down a 50 yard quartering away bird after their benelli went boom boom boom click is always enjoyable. woot

    Netguy
    Participant
    Minnetonka
    Posts: 1335
    #2059800

    Another item to consider is that not every choke can tolerate a steel shot. I have several chokes that specifically state “no steel shot” right on the outside of the choke.

    When shooting steel you use a more open choke because the pellets don’t deform so they stay tighter together. I use improved cylinder when shots are out to 35 yards and modified for longer shots. Modified is the tightest choke to shoot steel out of in my Benellis.

    but if I had to choose lead or steel, I’ll take 2 3/4″ 1 3/8oz 1500 fps lead 4’s over 3″ 1550 1 1/8oz steel 2’s for pheasants any day, every day, no hesitation if I have the choice.

    If I was pheasant hunting my first 2 shots would be 3-inch steel 6 shot at 1550 fps follow by 2 shots of 3 inch steel 4 shot at 1550 fps.

    dirk-w.
    Participant
    Minnesota
    Posts: 408
    #2059804

    Steel has come a long ways and definitely has a place in the upland fields nowdays, but if I had to choose lead or steel, I’ll take 2 3/4″ 1 3/8oz 1500 fps lead 4’s over 3″ 1550 1 1/8oz steel 2’s for pheasants any day, every day, no hesitation if I have the choice. 40-50 more pellets in the pattern, patterns tighter, and energy retention downrange all in favor of the lead 4’s. 1 3/8 to 1 5/8 oz of high velocity lead 5’s or 4’s through a patternmaster is just flat out bad medicine on roosters. And the looks you get from the other guys after you knock down a 50 yard quartering away bird after their benelli went boom boom boom click is always enjoyable. woot
    [/quote]

    How did you end up with a paternmaster? Upland? I’d hate to drop 100$ and find out my gun doesn’t like it.

    Netguy
    Participant
    Minnetonka
    Posts: 1335
    #2059806

    I tried a Patternmaster when they first came out for steel shot. No significant difference from the similar size choke my shotgun came with.

    crawdaddy
    Participant
    St. Paul MN
    Posts: 824
    #2059859

    pattern master=gimmick
    ported choke=gimmick+increased deafness

    Nice Fella
    Participant
    Hudson, WI
    Posts: 415
    #2059861

    The Man Mall (FF) in Hudson ammo shelves are pretty bare except for 20 ga slugs an 3” 12 ga bismuth for $60/box.

    Gitchi Gummi
    Participant
    Posts: 1204
    #2059914

    Turkey loads are now coming out with mixes/blends of shot load. For example, a blend of 3s, 4s, and 5s. I’m surprised no pheasant loads have been introduced as blends, at least as far as I know. Has anyone ever seen an upland blend? I know if someone sold a blend of 4s, 5s, and 6s, I’d be all over it for pheasants. I’d also love a blend specific for grouse.

    Reef Whooligan
    Participant
    Posts: 1610
    #2059945

    Turkey loads are now coming out with mixes/blends of shot load. For example, a blend of 3s, 4s, and 5s. I’m surprised no pheasant loads have been introduced as blends, at least as far as I know. Has anyone ever seen an upland blend? I know if someone sold a blend of 4s, 5s, and 6s, I’d be all over it for pheasants. I’d also love a blend specific for grouse.

    Federal Prairie Storm is a blend of two different types of shot but not different sizes. That’s all I’ve seen. Remington Duplex had a #4 & #6 if those are still made, I think those were advertised as turkey loads though.

    I don’t understand what the advantage would be when you have such a range of loads available, especially in 12ga. Why not just use a heavier load for more pellets instead of mixing in smaller ones for more? At longer ranges where the heavier ones help wouldn’t your pattern be terrible if all the smaller ones have fallen behind by then?

    tornadochaser
    Participant
    Posts: 740
    #2060115

    How did you end up with a paternmaster? Upland? I’d hate to drop 100$ and find out my gun doesn’t like it.

    I bought it and patterned dozens of loads through it, and compared patterns to the same loads through my factory invector plus chokes. For many of the loads I prefer to shoot based on cost and velocity, the PM out patterned the factory chokes. Example, (30″ circle, 40 yards) with the original federal heavy high velocity steel loads (orange box) I was getting 92% or better patterns with the 3″ 1 1/4 oz 1’s, and the 3.5″ 1 1/2 oz 2’s. With factory mod, I never saw better than about 80%. But I don’t just look for how tight a pattern is, I look for how even it is as well; which is why I shoot heavy lead loads with it too. I saw better overall pattern coverage vs the mod & full factory chokes at longer ranges. And whether because the wad is retarded from the shot at barrel exit, or the wad petals are crimped over the shot at barrel exit, my observation is that it appears that more pellets are hitting the bird at the same time, especially vs a factory full choke. May be science, may just be bias confirmation. Been shooting the choke for over 10 years, thousands and thousands of rounds through it from #9 to 00 buck. It works for me. I won’t however, say that anybody should immediately go out and buy aftermarket chokes. For a while I was a pattern/shotshell nerd and I put a lot of time into shooting paper. I shoot factory extended chokes in my Citori, I shoot either factory chokes or a Briley EXT in my 870 supermag, and I shoot the PM in my SX2.

    TheFamousGrouse
    Participant
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts: 9529
    #2060119

    Ya that’s just completely ridiculous. Last year when ammo started being bought up quickly (pandemic, civil unrest, upcoming election cycle, etc), I never thought that hunting ammo would get snatched up quickly too. I think a lot of new firearm owners couldn’t find specific ammo for their new home or personal defense weapons, so they bought hunting ammo instead. I personally know a couple friends who bought home defense shotguns but they couldn’t the ammo for it, so they bought bird shot instead

    Also layered into this is the number of people who have never shot 100 rounds per year in thier lives, yet they went out and bought 100, 500, or 1000 rounds because they heard everyone else was doing it too. I wonder how many millions of rounds that were sold over the last year are just sitting in closets and shelves and won’t get shot for years or decades.

    I have seen several mentions in Facebook groups of guys going out and buying ammo for guns they MIGHT buy in the future. The logic–if you can call it that–is that if they don’t buy the gun, they seem to think they will be able to sell the ammo years from now and make a profit. Nice.

    As with past blitzes on ammo and components, I’ll scratch by, but it would be really nice if people would NOT make the situation worse by hoarding and speculative buying.

    Reef Whooligan
    Participant
    Posts: 1610
    #2060319

    If you were thinking of getting a 16 or 28 gauge this seems to be a good time with what’s actually on the shelves.

    Reef Whooligan
    Participant
    Posts: 1610
    #2060331

    I shouldn’t have even thought that because I googled 16ga and the Stevens 555E looks pretty nice… shock

    Jeremy
    Participant
    Richland County, WI
    Posts: 575
    #2060339

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>gimruis wrote:</div>
    Ya that’s just completely ridiculous. Last year when ammo started being bought up quickly (pandemic, civil unrest, upcoming election cycle, etc), I never thought that hunting ammo would get snatched up quickly too. I think a lot of new firearm owners couldn’t find specific ammo for their new home or personal defense weapons, so they bought hunting ammo instead. I personally know a couple friends who bought home defense shotguns but they couldn’t the ammo for it, so they bought bird shot instead

    Also layered into this is the number of people who have never shot 100 rounds per year in thier lives, yet they went out and bought 100, 500, or 1000 rounds because they heard everyone else was doing it too. I wonder how many millions of rounds that were sold over the last year are just sitting in closets and shelves and won’t get shot for years or decades.

    I have seen several mentions in Facebook groups of guys going out and buying ammo for guns they MIGHT buy in the future. The logic–if you can call it that–is that if they don’t buy the gun, they seem to think they will be able to sell the ammo years from now and make a profit. Nice.

    As with past blitzes on ammo and components, I’ll scratch by, but it would be really nice if people would NOT make the situation worse by hoarding and speculative buying.

    I was guilty of this 20+ years ago. Walmart would have a sale on bulk 22lr ammo and I would buy a 550 round box. Then the 17HMR came out in 2001-2002 and I bought a few thousand rounds of that when it was $6/50 at some online seller and I have less 17HMR from then compared to 22lr now as the 17 is a better small game cartridge

Viewing 17 posts - 31 through 47 (of 47 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.