Author Topic: Shot sizes for hunting?  (Read 755 times)

Offline R.J.Bruce

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Shot sizes for hunting?
« on: May 23, 2019, 07:50:33 PM »
Greetings!

For those of you that hunt with a smoothbore, I would like to pose the following questions.

1. What gauge smoothbore/smoothbores do you hunt with?

2. What animal/animals do you choose to hunt?

3. What shot size/sizes do you pair up with what particular animal/animals?

4. What type of shot do you shoot with: chilled lead, magnum lead, copper-plated lead, nickel-plated lead, bismuth, tungsten, ITX,  steel, etc.

5. Are there any tricks/techniques applicable to your particular style of hunting, or the animals that you hunt?

Thanks for your responses,
                                                 R.J.Bruce

Offline rich pierce

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Re: Shot sizes for hunting?
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2019, 09:53:42 PM »
Greetings!

For those of you that hunt with a smoothbore, I would like to pose the following questions.

1. What gauge smoothbore/smoothbores do you hunt with?

2. What animal/animals do you choose to hunt?

3. What shot size/sizes do you pair up with what particular animal/animals?

4. What type of shot do you shoot with: chilled lead, magnum lead, copper-plated lead, nickel-plated lead, bismuth, tungsten, ITX,  steel, etc.

5. Are there any tricks/techniques applicable to your particular style of hunting, or the animals that you hunt?

Thanks for your responses,
                                                 R.J.Bruce

This is a little embarrassing but I have used a 20 ga shotgun for squirrels. I use 1 oz of #5 or #6 shot in a square load (equal volume of powder). Nothing special. Powder then overshot was then cushion was then shot then hard wad. Bang.
St. Louis, Missouri

Online Mike Brooks

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Re: Shot sizes for hunting?
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2019, 11:53:56 PM »
Greetings!

For those of you that hunt with a smoothbore, I would like to pose the following questions.

1. What gauge smoothbore/smoothbores do you hunt with?

2. What animal/animals do you choose to hunt?

3. What shot size/sizes do you pair up with what particular animal/animals?

4. What type of shot do you shoot with: chilled lead, magnum lead, copper-plated lead, nickel-plated lead, bismuth, tungsten, ITX,  steel, etc.

5. Are there any tricks/techniques applicable to your particular style of hunting, or the animals that you hunt?

Thanks for your responses,
                                                 R.J.Bruce
I have hunted with guns from 28 bore to 10 bore.
I have hunted mostly pheasants.
 I shoot #4's for all hunting.
 I don't know/care what my shot is made of as long as it's lead.
 My technique is don't miss. If I do miss often on a hunt I'll start making up tall tales to tell about why I missed so much.
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Offline hanshi

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Re: Shot sizes for hunting?
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2019, 01:11:34 AM »
My current gun is a 20 and does well with #4 shot.  In truth, so far the shot loads have only been used on targets and not on game.  The gun mostly devours ball  for taking game.    Just my experience but a swarm of tiny shot only works for very small feathered game.
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Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.

Offline Ridge

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Re: Shot sizes for hunting?
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2019, 03:20:01 AM »
I have used a 20 gauge fowler exclusively for squirrels and rabbits for almost 20 years now.

I made a mix of copper plated #4's and #6's that I have been using for a long time now.  I wish I hadn't done it, but when you toss a 25 pound bag of 4's into a bucket with 25 pounds of 6's....well, I'm not sorting it back out and I'm too cheap to toss it out. 

As I remember it was all the rage when I committed to it.  I have no idea if people still do it or not.  To be fair, it's killed a lot of game.

As for loading, I do 70 grains of powder followed by 2 over powder cards, then 70 grains of shot (1 oz?) and finally an overshot card.  The man who built my fowler suggested skipping the cushion wad and I've never found a reason to doubt him.

Offline Lobo

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Re: Shot sizes for hunting?
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2019, 04:19:39 PM »
Quote
Greetings!

For those of you that hunt with a smoothbore, I would like to pose the following questions.

1. What gauge smoothbore/smoothbores do you hunt with?

2. What animal/animals do you choose to hunt?

3. What shot size/sizes do you pair up with what particular animal/animals?

4. What type of shot do you shoot with: chilled lead, magnum lead, copper-plated lead, nickel-plated lead, bismuth, tungsten, ITX,  steel, etc.

5. Are there any tricks/techniques applicable to your particular style of hunting, or the animals that you hunt?

Thanks for your responses,
                                                 R.J.Bruce

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I've hunted squirrels, rabbits and turkey all with #5 or #6 lead shot in smoothbores of 28ga, 20ga, 16ga, and 12ga. As for tricks/techniques. move slow and use your eyes and ears...that's all you have against the superior defense abilities of the wild critters.

Offline OldMtnMan

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Re: Shot sizes for hunting?
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2019, 06:33:34 PM »
If you're the type that would only use pure lead for a round ball. Will do the same for shot.
Pete

Offline hanshi

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Re: Shot sizes for hunting?
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2019, 09:54:22 PM »
I used to have a very nice dbl 12ga percussion.  The gun was super fun to shoot and, as expected, great on birds with the proper shot.  But it was so disappointing on squirrels, even with #4, that I eventually sold it.  It just reinforced a lesson I'd learned back in the 1960s with modern shotguns.
!Jozai Senjo! "always present on the battlefield"
Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.

Offline okawbow

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Re: Shot sizes for hunting?
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2019, 10:10:07 PM »
I use the smallest shot that will still penetrate effectively at the farthest range my gun will pattern well. For turkeys, that is #6 shot. Smaller shot gives more chances to hit the brain or spine when taking a head/ neck shot on a turkey. #6 shot will kill out to about 40 yards. I use #7 1/2 shot for my cylinder bore matchlock, as my maximum range is only 25 yards.
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Offline Nordnecker

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Re: Shot sizes for hunting?
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2019, 02:00:47 PM »
Where I live, it is not legal to hunt squirrels with a rifle larger than a .22. Shotguns are the norm. I mostly use #6 for rabbits and squirrels, 7 1/2 for birds and 8 for clays.
I will be experimenting with different loads in my new .54 smoothbore. My old one didn't like anything larger than #5.
I am going to try smaller loads and 2ff powder next.

Offline bob in the woods

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Re: Shot sizes for hunting?
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2019, 04:29:32 PM »
1]  I hunt with a 20 and a 10 bore

2]  Partridge, rabbits, turkeys,  ducks, geese, deer, black bear, and moose

3]  I use # 4 lead shot for everything except ducks and geese.  Can't use lead for waterfowl here so I shoot bismuth -same   
     size .   Round balls are almost always in paper cartridges .  or sometimes just wadded.  I have molds in .600, .610
     .715 and .735 

4]   Tricks ?   get as close as you can,  I use at least 25% more shot [ volume ] than powder. Pattern your gun.             I've shot big game as far as  50 yards [ deer ] , but prefer 35 or closer. I would stretch that to 100 yards for moose under the right circumstances .   For bears I want 35 yards or closer.  I just harvested a large male bear { we have a Spring hunt here now ]  this past Tuesday ...distance was 10 yards. .600 ball went right through and he collapsed


Offline Ken Prather

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Re: Shot sizes for hunting?
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2019, 11:31:59 AM »
 I use a #4 and #6 combo load in my 20g smoothbore. I used to use lead shot, but the last 2 years I switched to ITX non-lead shot due to the CA hunting lead ban. ITX is very lethal and I get a nice pattern from it. I hunt squirrels, pheasant, quail and turkey. I have harvested quail, pheasant and squirrels with this load. Turkey? someday I will get one. working on my calling and technique!

Ken
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Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Shot sizes for hunting?
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2019, 09:02:09 PM »
My experience has been that the larger smoothbores donít pattern small shot all that well. That being said, the small gauges donít do too well with the larger shot sizes. This is all with cylinder bores of course, since jug choking hasnít been invented yet.

  Hungry Horse

Online Daryl

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Re: Shot sizes for hunting?
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2019, 12:51:27 AM »
Mostly 5's or 6's for upland birds, 4's and 5's for ducks until the lead shot ban.
Now, I don't hunt migratory birds because of that.
If I did, I'd likely use tungsten shot in size 4 or 5.
Daryl

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