Pheasant Loads

Best Shells for Pheasant?

Fiocchi Golden Pheasant
22
27%
Federal Premium Prairie Storm
18
22%
Kent Ultimate Fast Lead
4
5%
Winchester Super X High Brass
14
17%
Remington Nitro
7
8%
Other
18
22%
 
Total votes: 83

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moneysshot
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Pheasant Loads

Post by moneysshot » Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:15 pm

I know the saying that it isnt the gun/shells, its the person behind the gun, but just curious as to what everyone else shoots?

I personally shoot Kent or Prairie Storm and shy away from the Fiocchis, as they seem to leave a lot of residue in the barrell and get stuck when shooting out of my side-by-side. Sorry if I left any off of the list. Thanks for everyone's input

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by Red » Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:25 pm

I use Rio and B&P, both around 1250fps...
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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by Neil » Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:46 pm

More important to me than the brand as long as it is known maker, is that it be premium 1 1/4 oz of 5's in 12 ga. I have shot all the major brands and their top shells all perform well.

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by deseeker » Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:07 pm

I load my own and save more than half what a factory box would cost. They have a velocity around 1380 fps(2 3/4 - 12 gauge). I use magnum shot(hard shot). I pattern them to find loads with nice even patterns(no holes). I found I kill just as many with them as I do shooting premium high dollar shells. Besides if I miss I can blame it on reloads :roll: :lol:

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by Mountaineer » Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:05 pm

16-1 1/8-5s
16-1 1/4-4s
12-1 1/4-5s
12-1 1/2-4s

Maker unimportant, in the extreme.
Actually, not much does not work when pointed correctly and choked appropriately. :idea:

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by jimbo&rooster » Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:35 pm

On the rare occasion that we go north and shoot wild phez I will shoot a " heavy game" load usually federal of #4s 1 oz out of my 20ga or 1 1/4oz from my 12ga. For pen raised chickens I have killed just as many with light target loads as anything else. I'm inclined to believe my choice in choke and my shooting has more to do with it than how much I spent on a box of shells and the pretty picture on the side.

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by moneysshot » Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:55 pm

deseeker wrote:I load my own and save more than half what a factory box would cost. They have a velocity around 1380 fps(2 3/4 - 12 gauge). I use magnum shot(hard shot). I pattern them to find loads with nice even patterns(no holes). I found I kill just as many with them as I do shooting premium high dollar shells. Besides if I miss I can blame it on reloads :roll: :lol:
Sweet man, I've thought many times about trying to load my own shells, but never get too far into researching it. How much would the initial investment be for a nice reloader? How hard/how much time does it take to pattern the loads?

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by RyanGSP » Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:56 pm

This polls cracks me up, full of expensive ammo.

Expensive ammo doesnt kill birds, you know what kills birds? Consistency.

I shoot more birds a year then most people see and guess what, its the cheap stuff from Walmart. Winchster xpert 1 1/8 load, 2 3/4" #6s.

Now why is this? Its because in the spring and summer when we go out shooting clays I am using Winchster xpert 1 1/8 load, 2 3/4" #6s. When I am out hunting I use the exact same shells. The only time I have problems is when its -15C or colder and the cold start effecting the primer and powder burn rate.

Shoot the same shells, doesnt' matter what it is, and you will put more birds on the ground than those city boys with their $30/box ammo.

Also I shoot #6s because it packs enough punch to bring down a rooster yet is light enough not to tear up and little Hungarian Partridge. We find both birds in the same areas and this is the shell I find works best for both.

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by nikegundog » Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:54 pm

I shot cheap walmart loads for about 15 years, remington heavy game loads and such about $5 a box on pheasants, I can't tell you how many times we pulled feathers and they continued to fly away. I am a firm believer now in premium ammo, I've never spent over $12 a box on it most of the time pick it up for about $8 after season usually go with 1 3/8oz or better copper plated lead, in #4,#5, or #6.

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by RyanGSP » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:05 pm

That tells me you werent making good shots.

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by nikegundog » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:13 pm

RyanGSP wrote:That tells me you werent making good shots.
I disagree, a 40-50 yard shot is a really easy bird with quality ammunition, that same bird with the cheaper ammo seems to pull feathers off the tail end and keep on flying.

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by RyanGSP » Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:02 pm

The idea is to shoot them on the front end not the tail end. :lol: YOu guys do it different down there I guess.

Dont matter what your shooting. If you shoot'em in the butt instead of the head they will keep flying.

Now if your guns patterns one type of shell better than the other that will make a difference. But consistency is what kills birds, not the price tag on the box.

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by nikegundog » Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:21 pm

RyanGSP wrote:The idea is to shoot them on the front end not the tail end. :lol: YOu guys do it different down there I guess.

Dont matter what your shooting. If you shoot'em in the butt instead of the head they will keep flying.

Now if your guns patterns one type of shell better than the other that will make a difference. But consistency is what kills birds, not the price tag on the box.
Down here the birds generally fly away from us being flushed from 30 yards out, maybe 20 years from now I'll get my chance at blocking. :D

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by campgsp » Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:08 am

Winchester high brass #6 and super speed #6s. Just depends on what's in the ammo bag between the two.

Its your accuracy that's more important then lo
ad. I've brought down phez with #8s load. If you ca. Hit them right you'll bring them down even if its in the tail. More then most my shots are placed here and very few get away. By hitting them right i mean putting more bbs in the bird. Expensive ammo is only a name to me doesn't make it better or worse. "Getting what you pay for" in the ammo world isn't sufficient.

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by moneysshot » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:04 am

nikegundog wrote:
RyanGSP wrote:That tells me you werent making good shots.
I disagree, a 40-50 yard shot is a really easy bird with quality ammunition, that same bird with the cheaper ammo seems to pull feathers off the tail end and keep on flying.

I agree with nike 100%...especially hunting wild birds...getting up 40-50 yards ahead...but like I said in the initial post:
I know the saying that it isnt the gun/shells, its the person behind the gun, but just curious as to what everyone else shoots?
Just curious buddy...no need to go on a rant.

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by vartz04 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:18 am

I always have used the winchester 100 round packs of pheasant loads the sell at dicks for $34. Never had an issue. 12 gauge loaded with #5s.

I use better stuff when I use a 20 gauge.

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by Red » Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:20 pm

full of expensive ammo.
Really? Where?

You must me referring to me. Gun cost, 1,600, dog 1,700, training for dog-1,500, fuel to go hunting and training, 50.00 round trip, so 8 bucks for a box of ammo doesn't seem all that expensive to me... :)
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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by ACooper » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:31 pm

I would be curious to see if there is any correlation between what ammo a person uses and if they are hunting wild or released birds.

Whats up with the survey one allowing one choice? Do people really only shoot one brand of shell? I have at one time or another probably shot everything on the list. I generally buy whatever is on sale, with a preference for Federal Premium (not prairie storm) I can usually get it at wal-mart for around $12.

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by Mountaineer » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:34 pm

I use an 1 1/8 with #6 for released pheasants...16 or 12 gauge.
Not many instances when more would be called for and less would surely work.

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by moneysshot » Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:30 pm

ACooper wrote: Whats up with the survey one allowing one choice? Do people really only shoot one brand of shell? I have at one time or another probably shot everything on the list. I generally buy whatever is on sale, with a preference for Federal Premium (not prairie storm) I can usually get it at wal-mart for around $12.
Sorry man I should have re-phrased it to "your favorite" shell to shoot. I have shot everything off the list too, but figured everyone had their personal preference. Thanks for your input

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by ACooper » Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:31 pm

moneysshot wrote:
ACooper wrote: Whats up with the survey one allowing one choice? Do people really only shoot one brand of shell? I have at one time or another probably shot everything on the list. I generally buy whatever is on sale, with a preference for Federal Premium (not prairie storm) I can usually get it at wal-mart for around $12.
Sorry man I should have re-phrased it to "your favorite" shell to shoot. I have shot everything off the list too, but figured everyone had their personal preference. Thanks for your input
Just giving you a hard time.

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by tdhusker » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:27 pm

ACooper wrote:I would be curious to see if there is any correlation between what ammo a person uses and if they are hunting wild or released birds.

Whats up with the survey one allowing one choice? Do people really only shoot one brand of shell? I have at one time or another probably shot everything on the list. I generally buy whatever is on sale, with a preference for Federal Premium (not prairie storm) I can usually get it at wal-mart for around $12.
Exactly. There is a huge difference between a pen raised and a wild bird. Also, the colder the climate, the tougher the bird. Hunt where it gets really cold late in the season and the birds have a denser coat of feathers, are tougher to kill cleanly.

I also prefer the Federal premiums, or the Winchester golden pheasant. 1 oz loads in the 20 and 1 1/4 or lighter in the 12ga. Those 1 1/4 oz, 3" 20 ga shells are a joke.

I'm not impressed with the prairie storms. On our south Dakota hunts, I'd bet over half the guys hunting are using those now. Real loud, kick real hard, more cripples. I haven't seen one shot on a pattern board but maybe they don't pattern good?

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by orbirdhunter » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:19 pm

I shoot whatever is on sale the cheapest 1oz of #6 in the 20 and 1 1/8 or 1oz out of the 12....Usually remington or Federal cheapo's...occasionally Estate....
Wild birds over pointing breeds...

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by RyanGSP » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:46 pm

If you guys would pull a little more on the birds you wouldnt have to worry about the feathers.... the head is wide open.

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by moneysshot » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:32 am

RyanGSP wrote:If you guys would pull a little more on the birds you wouldnt have to worry about the feathers.... the head is wide open.
Who are you Tom Knapp?! Not sure what birds you are shooting at, but wild roosters flushing 40+ yards ahead of you dont always stare at you when they fly away.

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by Mountaineer » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:39 am

Always shooting experts out and about trying to set the masses free by the benefit of their experience.

It is true that price tag does not equate to perfect....it does equate to marketing and trying to fill coffers.

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by cjhills » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:09 am

2 steel in whatever brand is handy. don't have to change when hunting water fowl areas. Don't fill the prairies full of lead. Cj

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by ACooper » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:46 am

moneysshot wrote:
RyanGSP wrote:If you guys would pull a little more on the birds you wouldnt have to worry about the feathers.... the head is wide open.
but wild roosters flushing 40+ yards ahead of you dont always stare at you when they fly away.
That was my thought. If I can get crossing shots I tend to shoot them in the lips, but most are getting up and going away from me.

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by rkappes » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:50 pm

What is everyone’s favorite Non-Tox brand/load for wild pheasants?

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by millerms06 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:49 am

tdhusker wrote:
ACooper wrote:I would be curious to see if there is any correlation between what ammo a person uses and if they are hunting wild or released birds.

Whats up with the survey one allowing one choice? Do people really only shoot one brand of shell? I have at one time or another probably shot everything on the list. I generally buy whatever is on sale, with a preference for Federal Premium (not prairie storm) I can usually get it at wal-mart for around $12.
Exactly. There is a huge difference between a pen raised and a wild bird. Also, the colder the climate, the tougher the bird. Hunt where it gets really cold late in the season and the birds have a denser coat of feathers, are tougher to kill cleanly.

I also prefer the Federal premiums, or the Winchester golden pheasant. 1 oz loads in the 20 and 1 1/4 or lighter in the 12ga. Those 1 1/4 oz, 3" 20 ga shells are a joke.

I'm not impressed with the prairie storms. On our south Dakota hunts, I'd bet over half the guys hunting are using those now. Real loud, kick real hard, more cripples. I haven't seen one shot on a pattern board but maybe they don't pattern good?
I like the Federal Pheasant Forever Wingshoks in a #5. Been using them all year and really like the consistency of them.

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by RyanGSP » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:14 pm

moneysshot wrote:
RyanGSP wrote:If you guys would pull a little more on the birds you wouldnt have to worry about the feathers.... the head is wide open.
Who are you Tom Knapp?! Not sure what birds you are shooting at, but wild roosters flushing 40+ yards ahead of you dont always stare at you when they fly away.
Nope. Just a guy that knows how my gun patterns and makes time to practice atleast once a week during spring and summer.

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by nikegundog » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:47 pm

rkappes wrote:What is everyone’s favorite Non-Tox brand/load for wild pheasants?
Don't have one for pheasants, but for geese I hand load #7 non-plated steel shot because I am unable to find #9 steel shot.

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by topher40 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:52 pm

Whatever is cheap, I ALWAYS kill more birds than anyone in my hunting party and usually shoot 7.5's out of my 20 ga. with a full choke. Its not thed shell, its the shooter.
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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by moneysshot » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:01 pm

jimbo&rooster wrote: I'm inclined to believe my choice in choke and my shooting has more to do with it than how much I spent on a box of shells and the pretty picture on the side.

Jim
RyanGSP wrote:But consistency is what kills birds, not the price tag on the box.
campgsp wrote: Its your accuracy that's more important then load.
topher40 wrote:Whatever is cheap, I ALWAYS kill more birds than anyone in my hunting party and usually shoot 7.5's out of my 20 ga. with a full choke. Its not thed shell, its the shooter.
I think it is pretty clear that it is not the shells, but the shooter.......
RyanGSP wrote:
moneysshot wrote:
RyanGSP wrote:If you guys would pull a little more on the birds you wouldnt have to worry about the feathers.... the head is wide open.
Who are you Tom Knapp?! Not sure what birds you are shooting at, but wild roosters flushing 40+ yards ahead of you dont always stare at you when they fly away.
Nope. Just a guy that knows how my gun patterns and makes time to practice atleast once a week during spring and summer.
Practice training wild roosters to fly toward you/look at you when they flush? Not trying to discard your shooting abilities, but I hunt a lot of late season wild birds, and there is a HUGE difference in the amount of cripples when shooting the same gun with the same choke at birds 40+ yards if using High Brass "city boy" shells as opposed to the "cheap walmart" shells. Sure, you may down a couple, but why risk cripples when for a few more $

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by moneysshot » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:36 pm

rkappes wrote:What is everyone’s favorite Non-Tox brand/load for wild pheasants?
I personally don't have a specific load, usually whatever I have around for waterfowl...usually Black Cloud

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by rkappes » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:45 pm

nikegundog wrote:
rkappes wrote:What is everyone’s favorite Non-Tox brand/load for wild pheasants?
Don't have one for pheasants, but for geese I hand load #7 non-plated steel shot because I am unable to find #9 steel shot.
#7's seem light for geese? I have no idea, I've never hunted them but I would've guessed something different....interesting.

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by rkappes » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:46 pm

moneysshot wrote:
rkappes wrote:What is everyone’s favorite Non-Tox brand/load for wild pheasants?
I personally don't have a specific load, usually whatever I have around for waterfowl...usually Black Cloud
How do you like Black Cloud? What size do you use?

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by nikegundog » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:54 pm

rkappes wrote:
nikegundog wrote:
rkappes wrote:What is everyone’s favorite Non-Tox brand/load for wild pheasants?
Don't have one for pheasants, but for geese I hand load #7 non-plated steel shot because I am unable to find #9 steel shot.
#7's seem light for geese? I have no idea, I've never hunted them but I would've guessed something different....interesting.
They have a long necks, plus they are most of the time decoying in so we shoot everyone of them in the eye. :roll: Anything larger than #9 shot is overkill on them, but since I can't find #9 steel shot, I go with #7. The only hunters that would dream of using anything larger on ducks or geese are the ones to lazy to learn to use a call them in or to dumb to put out a proper spread of decoys. :roll:

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by rkappes » Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:09 pm

nikegundog wrote:They have a long necks, plus they are most of the time decoying in so we shoot everyone of them in the eye. :roll: Anything larger than #9 shot is overkill on them, but since I can't find #9 steel shot, I go with #7. The only hunters that would dream of using anything larger on ducks or geese are the ones to lazy to learn to use a call them in or to dumb to put out a proper spread of decoys. :roll:
Huh, thanks for the info. I thought people used #2’s, BB, BBB or T shot for geese. Learn something new every day.

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by RyanGSP » Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:33 pm

moneysshot wrote:
Practice training wild roosters to fly toward you/look at you when they flush? Not trying to discard your shooting abilities, but I hunt a lot of late season wild birds, and there is a HUGE difference in the amount of cripples when shooting the same gun with the same choke at birds 40+ yards if using High Brass "city boy" shells as opposed to the "cheap walmart" shells. Sure, you may down a couple, but why risk cripples when for a few more $
I am not saying we dont have cripples because we do have a few every year but we dont get anymore cripples than when we tried the expensive ammunition.

With the amount of shells that runs through our guns in a year even a $2 difference is a few hundred dollars.

rkappes wrote:
nikegundog wrote:They have a long necks, plus they are most of the time decoying in so we shoot everyone of them in the eye. :roll: Anything larger than #9 shot is overkill on them, but since I can't find #9 steel shot, I go with #7. The only hunters that would dream of using anything larger on ducks or geese are the ones to lazy to learn to use a call them in or to dumb to put out a proper spread of decoys. :roll:
Huh, thanks for the info. I thought people used #2’s, BB, BBB or T shot for geese. Learn something new every day.
This is what I use. When we are pss shooting and its really windy (geese fly lower with more wind) I will shoot #2s.

When its calm or we are shooting those big northern Canada geese I will go up to a BB.

Always 3".

If we are hunting from a coffin blind I will go down to #5s or even #2's if they arent wanting to come close or the Northerns are here.

Ducks is always 5.

Once again always 3" and Winchester Xpert (Grey box with a mallard)

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by Red » Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:38 pm

IMO, high brass, low brass means nothing these days, look at the dram's of powder and FPS...

BTW, the Rio ammo I use has higher brass than any US shell i've seen but the loads are 1 oz @1250 fps
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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by deke » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:17 pm

I use kent fasteel 3 in 4's, and if i shoot my 20 i use blackcloud 3 in 4's. I shoot kent because it is the cheapest shells around here at around 8 bucks a box.

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by deke » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:17 pm

I use kent fasteel 3 in 4's, and if i shoot my 20 i use blackcloud 3 in 4's. I shoot kent because it is the cheapest shells around here at around 8 bucks a box.

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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by buckeyebowman » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:09 pm

Neil wrote:More important to me than the brand as long as it is known maker, is that it be premium 1 1/4 oz of 5's in 12 ga. I have shot all the major brands and their top shells all perform well.
True that! I clicked Remington Nitro on the survey, but actually I use Remington Express long range, 1 1/4oz, #5 shot. I don't know what it is about #5 shot! I fell into it by accident many years ago. As a young hunter, around here it was just an article of faith that rabbit and pheasant hunting called for #6 shot. Well, I needed shells, but the store was out of 6's so I bought 5's. Next thing you know I'm just whacking the crap out of everything I pulled the trigger on! I have no explanation for it. Back then, we had wild pheasant around here and it did the job just fine. Nowadays we shoot stocked pheasant because there are no more wild birds!

fishvik
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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by fishvik » Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:47 am

I load my own 12 ga. (1 1/4 of 5's 1250 fps) and use Remington 1 oz 5's in my 20 ga.

fishvik
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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by fishvik » Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:22 am

Nike wrote
they have a long necks, plus they are most of the time decoying in so we shoot everyone of them in the eye. Anything larger than #9 shot is overkill on them, but since I can't find #9 steel shot, I go with #7. The only hunters that would dream of using anything larger on ducks or geese are the ones to lazy to learn to use a call them in or to dumb to put out a proper spread of decoys.

Amen, on the difference between shooting and hunting. If I was making waterfowl rule for public marshes it would be nothing larger than 2 3/4" non toxic, and you can only take in 25 shells. Then folks would have to hunt instead of just blast away.

Rod W
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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by Rod W » Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:00 pm

As stated, any manufacturer, just buy the good loads--for Pheasant,-- Now for duck, we need at least 600 FPS for enough retained energy to penetrate to the vital area, if your load will still have this, at 35- 45 yards, go for it! The only one that I know shooting the very best, Heavi Shot, is a friend who is also a champion trap shooter, many times over! Pa. State shoot---600 straight. Wi. High Gun for the (?)year--.9914. I too, reload my own, since about 1966, as a youngster I couldn't afford the shells. I can now but chose a few years back to start loading my own duck loads not satisfied with what was on the market and not willing to pay $2 pr/shell In about '06 Ballistic Products came out with soome loads for a new powder--Alliant Steel, Some of these loads are sailing along at 1800 fps. Boy do they kick, they also bring down ducks out to 60 yards. Since this time, Remington had come out with their Hypersonic load, so their is no need to reload. Reloading steel is a lot more of a hassel than loading lead.
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AlbertaChessie
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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by AlbertaChessie » Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:59 am

#7's seem light for geese? I have no idea, I've never hunted them but I would've guessed something different....interesting.[/quote]
They have a long necks, plus they are most of the time decoying in so we shoot everyone of them in the eye. :roll: Anything larger than #9 shot is overkill on them, but since I can't find #9 steel shot, I go with #7. The only hunters that would dream of using anything larger on ducks or geese are the ones to lazy to learn to use a call them in or to dumb to put out a proper spread of decoys. :roll:[/quote]


Im curious to know how often you actually part take in goose shoots?

Or is this more tongue in cheek?

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nikegundog
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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by nikegundog » Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:22 am

AlbertaChessie wrote: Im curious to know how often you actually part take in goose shoots?

Or is this more tongue in cheek?
Don't know the exact number of goose hunts but I would guess its in the neighborhood of 800+.
And yes tongue and cheek, with that said the average geese I shoot are closer than the average pheasants I shoot.

AlbertaChessie
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Re: Pheasant Loads

Post by AlbertaChessie » Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:32 am

lol gotchya. Id agree, a good waterfowler generally doesnt call the shot until the Canadians are well within 20 yards. For me, if your birds are flaring at 30+ yards you need to adjust your dekes or put away the call for the day and let the spread do the work.

I shoot 2's on all the big birds up here (Geese), and 4's on my ducks past September 15th.

Early season (September 1st - 15th) I shoot 5's on local ducks.

Target load on upland up here.

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