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Thread: 20 Gauge Shot Size

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    Posts
    44

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    Great input from everyone. I have them scheduled for a preserve the first day to "get their feet wet" in a controlled environment and then wild birds after. My 12 year old has 50 lbs on my 15 year old, so he may shoot my montefeltro since it has such little recoil and my older son with with the 20 gauge. I plan to hit the range a few times before the trip shoot and figure out which gun is the right fit, but more importantly, hold the gun, load and unload and just get comfortable.

    Be grateful for public land in South Dakota, it is limited here in South Florida...

  2. #12

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    Sixes and maybe fives ... I have found nothing larger in size patterns very well in the couple of 20s that we own ... especially in 3 inch shells.

    Use 7.5s for grouse and steel 7s when I need to use steel shot.

    Maybe worth patterning

  3. #13

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    Edge -- Here's some info I've posted before on 20-gauge pheasant loads.

    If choked appropriately, 20-gauge 1- to 1 1/4-ounce loads of lead #6s or #5s should take care of any pheasant shooting out to about 40 yards. Here are a few of my pattern numbers from loads I've shot pheasants with to give you an idea of how a couple of my reloads perform, in my gun anyway!

    Patterns from a 20-gauge Browning Citori with 28" Invector-plus barrels and Briley flush chokes (patterns average of five, 30" post-shot scribed circle, yardage taped muzzle to target, and in-shell pellet count average of five).

    20 GA 2 3/4" RELOAD (BLUE DOT)
    1 oz #6 lead (233 pellets) 1200 fps
    30 YARDS SK / pattern 147 (63%)
    30 YARDS IC / pattern 168 (72%)
    40 YARDS M / pattern 146 (63%)
    40 YARDS IM / pattern 163 (70%)

    20 GA 3" RELOAD (BLUE DOT)
    1 1/8 oz #5 lead (190 pellets) 1220 fps
    30 YARDS SK / pattern 140 (74%)
    30 YARDS IC / pattern 149 (78%)
    40 YARDS M / pattern 138 (73%)
    40 YARDS IM / pattern 147 (77%)

    Some public lands require nontoxic shot, so if you need nontoxic go with 20-gauge 3-inch 1-ounce loads of either #3 or #2 steel. Steel shot lethality research on pheasants conducted by Tom Roster showed #2 steel to be more effective (at all ranges) than either #6 or #4 steel. Yes, you can kill pheasants with #4 or #6 steel loads, but a little extra pellet energy is a good thing on wild pheasants where shots tend to be going-away and can get on the long side. The research also showed #2 steel resulted in fewer cripples than both #6 and #4 steel; and Roster also speculated that the #3 steel pellet would be a good compromise between pellet count and downrange energy.

    Here are a few of my pattern numbers to give you an idea of how these loads perform, in my gun anyway!
    Pattern numbers from a 20-gauge Browning Citori with 28" Invector-plus barrels and Briley flush chokes (patterns average of five, 30" post-shot scribed circle, yardage taped muzzle to target, and in-shell pellet count average of five).

    20 GA 3" WINCHESTER DRYLOK SUPER-X STEEL LOAD
    1 oz #3 steel (145 pellets) @ 1330 fps
    30 YARDS -- SK / pattern 114 (78%)
    30 YARDS -- IC / pattern 123 (85%)
    40 YARDS -- IM / pattern 106 (73%)
    40 YARDS -- LF / pattern 110 (76%)

    20 GA 3" REMINGTON NITRO-STEEL MAGNUM LOAD
    1 oz #2 steel (118 pellets) @ 1330 fps
    30 YARDS -- SK / pattern 101 (86%)
    30 YARDS -- IC / pattern 105 (89%)
    40 YARDS -- IM / pattern 99 (84%)
    40 YARDS -- LF / pattern 102 (86%)

    Good luck!

  4. #14

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    I do not shoot a 20 gauge but I do use a 16 gauge most of the season for pheasants.

    I use steel shot almost exclusively. I have used some bismuth.

    For steel, I really like 7/8 oz loads of #4 for my right barrel. I use 7/8 oz of #3 in my left barrel.

    When it is really windy or the birds are flushing wild, I use #3 shot in both barrels.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Manhattan KS
    Posts
    771

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    1 oz of 6s

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    22

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    I hunt with #6 or #5 (if I can't find the #6) Federals, Ficcohi or Remington XLR

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