Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Benelli Forums
toddpreble

upland game rounds

Recommended Posts

I am a new owner of the 12g ultralight and would like to know if anyone has any suggestions on what ammo load I should try for hunting pheasant?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am a new owner of the 12g ultralight and would like to know if anyone has any suggestions on what ammo load I should try for hunting pheasant?

 

I shoot 1 1/4 4 shot max dram. I don't have dogs so my range could be out to 40-50 yards.

 

Novaking

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends.

 

If you're hunting pheasants at a game farm over dogs, target load 7-1/2's will work.

 

If you're hunting wild birds, and/or without dogs, like Novaking said, I'd recommend at least 1-1/4 ounces of shot, and as fast as you can get.

 

Fiocchi Golden Pheasant Loads, Remington Pheasant Loads or Nitro Pheasant Loads, Winchester Supreme Loads or Super Pheasant Loads, or Federal Game Shok Loads or Wing Shok Loads all work well.

 

I prefer 5 shot or 4 shot, but early season or close flushing birds, 6 works fine.

 

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Novaking and Splash have it right for wild phez. I just returned from a pheasant/deer/antelope trip to MT. My 12 gauge Ultralight ate a lot of ammo for pheasants-- mostly 1& 1/4 oz loads, but a few 1 & 1/2 oz loads as well, all 2 & 3/4". No one needs 3" for pheasant, even 50 yarders in a high wind. They'll just make a good shot look bad because of the kick-- I bet Tom Knapp would agree. And I love copper plate loads, they pattern so well.

 

No bones about it, mag loads are gonna kick a bit more than your shoulder might like when you use the Ultra than, say, my M1 or any heavier gun... but toting that light weight makes it worth it in my opinion. I have never been bothered by kick anyhow. But take note if you don't care for kick-- the Ultra kicked more than my .300 Win mag bolt when I stuffed it with those mag loads.

 

The Ultra is one long range capable, hard hitting, smooth operating beauty. You will LOVE it!

 

Oh.. I should mention, I just used the .300 for the hoofed animals! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We shoot #5 or #6 heavy loads (Kent, Winchester Supreme), but learned a lesson last year about the wind. In S.D. hunting with a local farmer, the wind was blowing 25 - 30 mph, he has knocking birds down, we were hitting them but not knocking them dead. He told us to switch to 4s with the wind blwoing hard. It worked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We shoot #5 or #6 heavy loads (Kent, Winchester Supreme), but learned a lesson last year about the wind. In S.D. hunting with a local farmer, the wind was blowing 25 - 30 mph, he has knocking birds down, we were hitting them but not knocking them dead. He told us to switch to 4s with the wind blwoing hard. It worked.

 

I agree 100%. 4's have big time knock down power for roosters-- I remember when we would have to hunt in Iowa without dogs from time to time as a younger guy, and I knew the 4's would anchor a rooster even if the shot wasn't fully centered-- a few pellets in the bird would give me time to retrieve that rooster. He'd be where he fell. I can say that we lost fewer birds than most folks --very few-- and a big reason was those #4 pellets. :)

 

Most of the time, I like #5 copper plated pellets. Copper is the way to go in my book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Copper is the way to go in my book."

 

I'm not convinced of that. To a large degree, I believe copper plated shot is a marketing ploy.

 

Here's why: The idea of copper plating is to have a harder surface on the pellets so they don't get as deformed in the gun barrel, and round pellets are "supposed" to give you better patterns than deformed pellets (but then again, hevi-shot patterns great, and its far from round and uniform...)

 

(And contrary to popular wisdom, testing shows most of the deformation happens between the time the primer pops and when the crimp on the shell opens, not as the pellets are passing through the choke.)

 

Many companies who advertize copper plated pellets are really only giving you "copper washed" chilled lead shot, which is almost exactly the same hardness as chilled soft lead shot.

 

If the brand you're buying is really giving you copper PLATED pellets, you might be getting better patterns. If its really just copper washed, you're probably not getting any better patterns than plain old chilled lead shot.

 

Unfortunately, I don't know who is, and who isn't offering truly plated shot. So I don't worry about it.

 

In my experience, if you use number 4 shot or 5 shot, and you don't take ridiculously long shots, and you hit the pheasants in the lips, it really doesn't matter that much.

 

My dad hunted with a 16 gauge Ithaca 37 with a full choke, in the days when pellets were pretty darned soft and wads were made out of cardboard. He seldom missed. Back then, shotshell technology was nothing compared to what we have now. Even the cheapie shells of today perform better than the premium shells of that day and age.

 

Guys, its the indian, not the arrow.

 

Your mileage may vary.

 

Tim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Its the Indian not the arrow" Couldnt be better said.

 

I shot 20+ pheasants last season along and never once did my #5 shot 20 ga hand loaded shells let me down.

 

Center the bird with your shot pattern and it will be yours. Rarely will you ever find a well placed shot end with a lost bird.

 

Dont buy into the hype.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Rarely will you ever find a well placed shot end with a lost bird. Don't buy into the hype."

 

Maybe if the bird falls into a fast river current, or someone's bonfire, you wouldn't be able to retrieve a bird killed with a "well placed shot"... but that's not what I was talking about, right? I was talking about shotgun loads (copper 4's) that enabled me to retrieve birds that were not centered in the pattern, which happens to us all. Hevi Shot works the same way, better actually-- but they both get lots of penetration. And the copper plate/washed shot are not as deformed as the lead or lead alloy shot in my experience, timb99.

 

Copper plated or copper washed shot has served me well on countless occasions over the last 39 seasons and a whole lot of field time in prime country. Call it hype if you want. I call it paying attention to my hunting observations and responding to them. That works for me.

 

To each their own and good hunting--

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I won't debate further whether copper plated lead shot or copper coated lead shot is more effective than plain, uncoated lead.

 

What I will say is this - I'm willing to bet money that your success as a bird hunter has much more to do with your ability as a wingshooter than what kind of shells you use.

 

"To each their own and good hunting--"

 

Agree with that 100%

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am in agreement with both of you to some degree. Every man for himself, and if it flies it dies.

 

Good luck and good shooting gentlemen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"Its the Indian not the arrow" Couldnt be better said.

 

I shot 20+ pheasants last season along and never once did my #5 shot 20 ga hand loaded shells let me down.

 

Center the bird with your shot pattern and it will be yours. Rarely will you ever find a well placed shot end with a lost bird.

 

Dont buy into the hype.

 

same here. ive shot 7.5s at about everything,turkey,pheasants,ducks,quail, dove,and the occasional trespasser, with no problems.i think some times switching shot size repeatedly only serves to keep you screwed up. pick an all purpose size that you like and stick with it.youll be amazed at how you will improve. each size shot patterns different, and you cant say on a visual pattern if its constantly changing.

 

p.s. yea them 3" mags do pack a whallop, dont they.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now that you mention it, if someone said, "you can only use one shot size for all bird hunting" I would go with 7.5's as well. I remember liking them a lot for two things-- late season ruffed grouse 20 gauge 2.75" loads, snow hunting in MN. I always looked for one ounce loads rather than 7/8ths, but not trap loads.

 

Also for early pheasants- also 20 gauge but 1.25 oz 3" loads in my Browning SS double-- we'd get closer flushing shots then. They folded 'em nice.

 

I still like the idea of heavy 4's or 5's for the windy long range late season hunting. And the penetration was essential (back in the lead days) for late season mallards, geese and diver ducks. They get that migrating plumage on, and it's like armor!

 

Best wishes for great late season hunting (for us northern boys!)

 

Wish I could get down south for quail!:D

 

Birdbrooks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We also reload all our shells and to make it easy we only reload 6 shot for pheasants and quail. That is out of a 12 and 20 gauge. We also have pointing dogs so that helps but I have dropped roosters dead at 40yds with 7/8oz 9 shot out of my 20 gauge. If you center the bird it wont flop. To many people blame the choke or the shell when it is them hitting them with the edge of the pattern.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I had to pick one shot size for birds, It would be 6's. All around you might say. But thats what is great about all of us. We can do whatever the **** we want.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

as far as wind, direction has as much to with it as anything. if its blowing in your face, lead your target more, if the wind is blowing in the same direction as your target is traveling, then your target is likely moving a little faster than usuall.again lead it more. if its blowing the exact oppisite of your target, then he is going to be moving slower. lead it less. like John Wayne said "windage and elavation":p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Windage and elevation for shotgunning! ... I was having a tough enough time figuring that for rifle hunting! Actually I did get a nice buck antelope this year in MT at 335 yds but the .300 Win Mag took a lot of the guesswork out of the drop equation!:)

 

Seriously, I do agree with what you are saying, splashtx556ftw, about the wind. I think we are arriving at the same conclusion on determining lead-- I'm just focusing on distance and target speed. If I took the time to recheck the wind direction as I was prepping to shot I'd be all bolloxed up. No time for that, and the South Dakota wind shifts constantly.

 

I have been using those Winchester #5 copper /1.25 OZ/ max dram /1450 fps loads on those Dakota rocket roosters and they're doing the trick. Boy, do I love my Benelli for longer range shooting.

 

Going back on Wednesday to North Dakota, unless there's another blizzard!:D

 

Happy winter hunting, everybody...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well, im not saying you can adjust for it, just that it plays a major roll in the accuracy of the shot. and heavier shot will buck the wind a little better than small will. i have shot 7.5 at everything. toward the last few weeks of the season i go to 6s but not often.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heading to North Dakota early tomorrow to chase late season pheasants.

 

Weather has been fairly mild but minus degree temps and wind are forecast for the next several days. What would a December Dakota hunt be without that?! :D

 

So, if it gets windy--and it will-- I'll blame any misses on that!:o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did real well in ND for two days filling out and a few bonus Huns, Timb99, but then the blizzard did hit starting Saturday afternoon. It was -17 degrees where we were when we quit at sunset Saturday and the wind was just picking up. Then it really got cold! I'm talking -22 and gusting to 30 mph winds; the windchill was -50. That is, of course, extremely dangerous. So, Sunday was spent holed up. The whole state was shut down Sunday.

 

There were a bunch of pheasants all through the midwest and near west this year... probably as many as I've seen in 40 years of hunting, and that's a big bunch of pheasants. We had party hunts in tree groves and food plots where we pushed 1000 birds out-- more than one time.

 

But how many will survive at least in the Dakotas (or MN, which has been enjoying a real resurgence in pheasants) until spring is unknown. The ranchers and farmers I've talked to say the blizzards this season already are the worst since the '96-'97 winter, when hundreds of thousands of livestock and untold numbers of wildlife were wiped out.

 

Monday we went out to scout- still -22 in the morning- but only to scout a bit and visit our farmers before heading home. They opened I94 from the Montana line through to Fargo by midday Monday. Roads okay until MN and then the icy patches made for a slow run home.

 

Gotta love that late season pheasant hunting!:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...