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View Full Version : 16 ga. Loads for Pheasant


Dakotazeb
02-24-2009, 04:42 PM
I posted this question in the thread about "Best Shell for Pheasant Hunting" but I'm afraid it probably will get lost so I'm starting a new one.

Now that I'm in the process of buying a new Browning Citori White Lightning 16 ga. what do you guys that shoot the 16 think is the best load for pheasants in both lead and steel?

For lead I'm thinking about the Federal PF 1 1/8 oz. load at 1,425 fps or the Fiocchi Golden Pheasant 1 1/8 oz. load at 1,310 fps. Both in #5 or # 6 shot. Only concern I have about the Federal is the added recoil with the increased velocity.

I'm quite undecided with steel.

I probably hunt an equal amount of private and public land so maybe I should just find a really good steel load and stick with it whether I'm hunting private or public land. I just have a tough time not using lead when I can. Also bear in mind that I'm hunting over pointing dogs, Brittany's.

Do you ever think that sometimes we put too much thought into this process? When I was a kid you grabbed a box of shells and went hunting. Didn't much matter the brand or anything else. About all we looked at was the size of shot. And we did just fine. :)

Thanks, looking for your suggestions.

JMc
02-24-2009, 05:29 PM
My dad shoots a 16ga Browning Feather; for pheasant he uses 1 1/8 6's and for quail he drops back to 1oz with 7 1/2 or 8. Birds drop when he hits them.

Prairie Bird Hunter
02-24-2009, 10:16 PM
Last year was my first year using a 16 gauge Superlight and I used the Gold Pheasant #5 and it worked just as good as the 12 gauge GP #5 I used when I was hunting with the 12 gauge.

As for the steel loads ... they all suck. I hunt USFW land a lot so I have to use nontoxic. I started the season using Federal #2 steel then tried the #4 but I think I like #2 better. (I wish Kent loaded a 16 gauge shell in #3 as I like their 12 ga #3 steel) With that said I decided to pick up a couple boxes Hevi shot #6 which is expensive but everyone says it works. I got it late in the season and it worked great for the few shots I took with it.

FWIW - I was hunting over a pointer most of the time and I don't take long shots so like I said in the other post if you shot straight it won't matter what you use. The shooting straight part is what gets everyone :D

Good Luck I think you'll love the 16 gauge.

Uncle Buck
02-24-2009, 11:11 PM
DZ love your last paragraph.
Other than shot size, there was a standard load that everyone shot. 6 for pheasants and 4s for ducks and waterfowl. If geese you shot 4's and mag loads to 1.5, then 3" when they came out and if you could afford to buy a new gun.
Most of you would not beleive how many geese were shot with #4 lead, and at ranges we would not think about with anything less than steel T these days.

I reloaded in those days and the slow burning, fine powders(ALCAN#5) required to push the magnum lead loads would sift thru your reloader like snow thru a 4 wire fence in a 35 mph. What a mess, but a great shell with a fragrance when fired thru a paper hull is something to be missed greatly.

I was junior in high school, 1964 when I got my hands on the new Winchester Mark Five shells, the first with a plastic shot collor. They went at a modest premium, and definitely shot tighter patterns. I was popping them thru my Grulla sxs with f&m chokes. As this evolved into full cups and wads as we now know them, I prefer ic and mod in my barrells.

Also grew fond of 5 shot for pheasants overall. In the old days they were not often found. In '72 I started loading them. Fed and Winchester made some over the years, but I believe Fiocchi made them a popular.
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Dakotazeb
02-25-2009, 01:09 PM
Buck, we should really get together this coming fall and chase some "Rudies". It appears we think alike. Probably because we are about the same age. Think I have you by a year, I graduated in '64. :)

JayhawkJ
02-25-2009, 01:36 PM
Dang, I thought I was old! :thumbsup:

Browning_145
02-25-2009, 03:23 PM
I shoot Federal Magnum Lead #5's through my Browning 16 525 Field. I love that load, they cost a little more, but I think there worth it. I have tried Fiocchi's 16 ga, #5's and they were ok, but dirtier than the Federals.

Dakotazeb
02-25-2009, 06:04 PM
Thanks JayhawkJ. Way to make a guy feel good! :)

You should pay more respect to your elders. :D

Uncle Buck
02-26-2009, 12:43 AM
Buck, we should really get together this coming fall and chase some "Rudies". It appears we think alike. Probably because we are about the same age. Think I have you by a year, I graduated in '64. :)

'66 Dude. Looks like you have 2 years on me. I agree. Lets get together this fall.
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Uncle Buck
02-26-2009, 12:46 AM
'66 Dude. Looks like you have 2 years on me. I agree. Lets get together this fall.

ps musta been "65 when I was a junior-now that I think about it.
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DennyJ
03-10-2009, 08:44 PM
I reload for my 16 and what I have been using for pheasants is the following:

Federal purple hulls( This is an open invitation for anybody who doesn't reload to send me their purple hulls. I'll pay the postage:D)

Blue Dot powder
Rem sp16 wad
1 1/4 oz 5 shot lead.

They hit as hard as a 12 and I am really happy with the performance.

bobeyerite
03-10-2009, 10:20 PM
Geez. you guys make me feel xxxxxxx. I graduated from HS in St. Paul, MN in 1952. Left immediately for the Korean war in the US Navy.---Bob

Uncle Buck
03-11-2009, 06:15 PM
I reload for my 16 and what I have been using for pheasants is the following:

Federal purple hulls( This is an open invitation for anybody who doesn't reload to send me their purple hulls. I'll pay the postage:D)

Blue Dot powder
Rem sp16 wad
1 1/4 oz 5 shot lead.

They hit as hard as a 12 and I am really happy with the performance.

How many grains of Blue Dot?
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DennyJ
03-11-2009, 09:43 PM
How many grains of Blue Dot?

25.5 and a federal 209 primer.

Disclaimer:

I make no claims of this being a safe load for all firearms. Make sure to test all loads personally.

bobeyerite
03-11-2009, 11:57 PM
I am a fussy reloader and in my book that load of Denny's reads.

Winchester Case
Winchester Primer
25.5 Blue Dot
Rem SP16 Wad
1 1/4 ounce of shot

That is according to my Lymans Book so I know it should work. To me it is a little slow at 1170FPS.. I like my Pheasant loads to be over 1200FPS---Bob

DennyJ
03-12-2009, 06:00 PM
I am a fussy reloader and in my book that load of Denny's reads.

Winchester Case
Winchester Primer
25.5 Blue Dot
Rem SP16 Wad
1 1/4 ounce of shot

That is according to my Lymans Book so I know it should work. To me it is a little slow at 11760FPS.. I like my Pheasant loads to be over 1200FPS---Bob


That load packs in too tight in the Winchesters that I tried and it is way too much for the RGL black hulls, so I use the purple federal hulls.

I like the faster loads too, having used the 1500fps federals in my 12g for several years, but I guess this one worked for me and it killed the birds so I didn't sweat the numbers.

Do you have any recipes for the federal hulls that bump the speed up to the 1300-1400 fps range?

bobeyerite
03-12-2009, 08:23 PM
Denny there is no such critter for 1 1/4 ounce load in 16 gauge. You will have to come down to a lighter shot load like I did with my 20 gauge to get those speeds. With 1 ounce loads in a 20 all I can get is 1220. But with 7/8 ounce I can get those higher speeds.---Bob

GoBadgers
03-23-2009, 09:49 PM
I've been shooting a Remington 870 Express 16 for the past 3 years. I wish I would of gotten the 870 wingmaster, to late now. I've found the Remington Express Long Range 4 shot and Fiocchi Golden Pheasant 5 shot hit hard and fill the bag. The Fiocchi has a velocity of 1310 fps and the Remington has a velocity of 1295 fps. I can't speak about the steel shot, but you will pay for it. You don't get much variety shooting a 16 gauge, but they are great guns.

Uncle Buck
03-24-2009, 05:00 PM
Denny there is no such critter for 1 1/4 ounce load in 16 gauge. You will have to come down to a lighter shot load like I did with my 20 gauge to get those speeds. With 1 ounce loads in a 20 all I can get is 1220. But with 7/8 ounce I can get those higher speeds.---Bob

Yes, Virginia, there is a 1,25 oz. 16 ga commercial load--Federal Wingshot Magnum. Hard to find, but I do have a box, all 25. Check their website and maybe you can ask who is retailing them.
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Dakotazeb
03-24-2009, 08:33 PM
Buck,

I was going to make the same post about the Federal 1 1/4 oz. loads but after re-reading the previous posts I think Bob was saying there is no 1 1/4 hand load that will get you 1,300-1,400 fps. Federal rates the Wingshot Mag at 1,260 fps. Maybe Bob can clarify his post.

Zeb

bobeyerite
03-24-2009, 09:00 PM
DZ,In all the books I have. I found only 1 formula for 1255 Fps and that uses 30.5 grains HS-7 powder in a Federal Paper Base case. That powder has not been made for years. It has been replaced by Longshot pretty much. That is why I said you have to reduce to 1 1/8 ounce to get the speeds you want. Longshot produce's to much pressure to be produce a safe heavy load like 1 1/4 ounce in 16 gauge. The book I found that formula in was printed in 1995, so It really tells a story there.---Bob

Dakotazeb
03-24-2009, 09:14 PM
Bob,

I understand that. What I was attempting to point out was that Buck thought you were saying there was no such critter as a 1 1/4 oz load in 16 ga. That's why he mentioned the Federal Wingshot Magnum. But I realized you were talking about reloads with a higher velocity.

Is this getting confusing? Is everyone on the same page now? :)

DZ

bobeyerite
03-24-2009, 09:50 PM
Yep sure am. You did read me correctly. Those loads 1 1/4 ounce loads are there but they only have speeds of 1165, 1175 etc.. In my 20 gauge, I hate 1165 loads for Pheasant I can cripple them but I cannot kill them. Unless I get lucky and get a head shot.---Bob

Uncle Buck
03-25-2009, 10:26 AM
Guess I am an ol' timer. The speed issue has never spun my prop and I do not reload anymore. Not up on the powders anymore. In the old days you used denser, slower burning powders to push the heavier loads.
I have mentally trained myself to see the spot on the spot re pheasants and waterfowl, that being the head. The hand follows the eye.
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landman
03-25-2009, 10:54 AM
Guess I am an ol' timer. The speed issue has never spun my prop and I do not reload anymore. Not up on the powders anymore. In the old days you used denser, slower burning powders to push the heavier loads.
I have mentally trained myself to see the spot on the spot re pheasants and waterfowl, that being the head. The hand follows the eye.

That's about the way I see it too. I just shoot the standard loads and try to get them on sale for under $10 per box. I don't worry too much about shooting pheasants stone dead either because chasing downed running birds is my dog's job.

Futhermore, I find that hitting a pheasant is relatively easy, which I suppose comes from hunting them for so many years. So for me paying more for fancy shells doesn't improve the game any, if at all. Besides at my age, I prefer to spend my money on comfort items like good quality clothing, light guns and so forth. I'm thinking that I may need to hire someone in a few years to carry my extra gear, shells and pheasants just to make it through the day.

LM

bobeyerite
03-25-2009, 05:02 PM
Uncle Buck; those high speed shells, "Don't turn my Prop" either. I do believe the standard high brass loads should be used. 12ga. 1/1/4 ounce shot 1330 FPS. That shell was the standard back in the 50's when I started hunting. I now shoot a 20 gauge and the standard is 1220FPS one ounce of shot. I have tried those cheap 1165 Sport or Game loads and the stories I can tell about them. All I will say is NO WAY.---Bob