View Full Version : Good 20 GA load for preserve birds

10-17-2010, 05:06 PM
Hi everybody,

I'm relatively new to pheasant hunting.

I have a 20 GA Browning O/U that I just love! I would really like to hunt with it.

Is an ounce of #6's @ 1220 ballistically potent enough for close flushing pen raised birds?

I know that the gun has to be patterned, but I want to be sure that I'm not wasting time/money patterning ammo that is throwing the shot too slowly.


quail hound
10-17-2010, 06:24 PM
Imo that is more than enough for preserve birds, I would even load a 7.5 for my first shot. Have fun.

10-17-2010, 07:04 PM

If you mean Remington Pheasant loads I used them last winter. My dog had to make 2 retrieves- one for the bird, one for the head. ;)

10-17-2010, 10:48 PM
I love 6's always my second shot in an O/U. Yes, they work very well on pheasant wild and Pen raised......Bob

10-19-2010, 12:45 PM
Thanks for the replies guys.

This is the second year my buddies & I have done a preserve hunt. Last year I used a 12 GA shooting Kent Fastlead 1-3/8 oz of #6. I went 4 for 4 on roosters. All birds were taken with my open barrel (IC). All of the crumpled in air and the dogs didn't have to chase cripples. None of them seemed torn up, which surprised me, because they all seemed close.

I've never shot anything but skeet w/ a 20. The birds seemed to flush so close that I felt overgunned with the 12. I'm confident I can hit birds with the 20 (my scores at trap & skeet are about the same with a 20 & 7/8oz of shot as they are with a 12 and 1 oz), I just wanted to make sure I picked ammo that would do the job.

Based on what I've read here, if I'm not killing birds w/ 1oz of #6 @1220; it's not the gum/ammo.

Thanks again.

10-19-2010, 01:12 PM
Yes, I agree that 1220 1 ounce 20 gauge load is a real killer. That is all I use on birds when shooting my 20 gauge. Do you reload them or are you buying factory? I reload them, if you want my recipe ask. It is an approved one straight from the Hodgdon Data website.......Bob

10-19-2010, 01:24 PM
I'm shooting factory at this point. I need to get a bigger place before I buy nay reloading equipment. I bought a box of Remington (1 oz @ 1220), a box of Federal ( 1 oz @ 1350) and a box of Kent (1 oz @ 1250). Plan to use what patterns best. May use the federal in my second barrel.

10-19-2010, 09:29 PM
Make sure you are using a skeet or I/C choke. Anything tighter and you will tear 'em up.

10-20-2010, 12:12 PM
I had planned on checking the gun I/C & MOD and carrying my Skeet & Full tubes.

10-20-2010, 12:43 PM
I think you are right on, in your planning. 1220 then a 1350 sounds great. The IC and Mod is fine, it works very well for me. I even go IC and Light Mod some of the time.......Bob

10-23-2010, 08:15 PM
The 20 GA Performed great!

I took shots at 4 birds and hit 3 of them; 2 Rooster Pheasants and 1 Chukar. I passed up shots at 3 other birds when it looked like they were headed to other members of the party, or were just out of range. The roosters were both crossing shots, one Right-to-Left, one Left-to-Right; both within 30 yards. They both just crumpled. The chukar was going away fast thru the brush and I only got him with a few pellets. The dogs found him quickly and gave him a shake.

I had the gun choked IC/M, but skeet may have been a better choice for the under barrel, given how close the birds flushed.

On the whole, I really like the 20 GA. It's 1.5 lbs lighter than my 12 GA and still kicks less with hunting loads. Since I like carrying the lighter gun, the 20 GA will become my go-to for bird hunting, unless there is a compelling reason to go with the 12. I haven't small game hunted in years. I may have to take my 20 on a walk looking for rabbits next weekend.

11-23-2010, 06:45 AM
I also have a 20 ga. Browning o/u and use it for alot of pheasant hunting . In the 20. ga I choke i/c and full I just think that the full in the 20 gives you that little extra edge when they get up a little further out or if you miss the first shot that say is 20 yds a rooster all out will be 40 yds before you get the 2nd shot off. I also use a flushing dog which makes alot of difference here. if using a a good pointer the more open chokes are more than suffcient.I love my browning 20 lightning with 28 in barrels O had a few guns and that is my favorite I use it from doves to rabbits to pheasants and alot of sporting clays