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I'm thinking about loading some 3" 7 or 7 1/2 shot field loads for hunting pheasants next season. I want the 3" loads for the k

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  • I'm thinking about loading some 3" 7 or 7 1/2 shot field loads for hunting pheasants next season. I want the 3" loads for the k

    I'm thinking about loading some 3" 7 or 7 1/2 shot field loads for hunting pheasants next season. I want the 3" loads for the knock down power, but I want the 7 or7 1/2 shot so that the birds don't get torn to pieces. 2 3/4" shells have always done a great job, but I want to experiment and try something different. I hunt a lot of ditches, CRP, and stubble fields, so my shots range from close to long. Does anyone have any experience with a load similar to these?

  • #2
    I haven't done anything with 3" shells but I have been doing some experimenting with 2 3/4". I use Red Dot powder with a #30 MEC bushing with 6 shot. That is a little hot for Red Dot but it hasn't torn the pheasant up. The problem comes in when you get into quail. These loads will tear a quail up pretty bad so I try not to use them for anything smaller than pheasant. I don't know about your gun but my doesn't cycle 3" as fast so that might be something to take into consideration but good luck with what ever you decide.

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    • #3
      I've always used 3" 6 shot for pheasants. It works good at long range, but I understand what you mean about it tearing up the birds. All I do is when they get up close give them a second or two to fly. It gives me more time to aim and let's the bird get a little ways away so you don't destroy it. More time to aim increases accuracy and saves shells too.

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      • #4
        you shouldn't have to worry about the power because i have killed several pheasants with 20 gauge 2.3/4 with 7 shot. oh also with a skeet barrel. you should be fine with what you had and spare your shoulder

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        • #5
          I hunt pheasants in Illinois with the 3" 7 1/2 and I have killed about 15. That is also what the outfitter recommends too. If availiable try Fiocchi shells. They are more expensive, but they are geared primarily for wingshooters and they have a pheasant line.

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          • #6
            I use 3" 7.5 and have done well with them.

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            • #7
              3" #6 with an improved cylinder or modified choke. If the birds are close and also far, try a 4x6 by Remington. If you need faster ammo, go with Golden Pheasant ammunitioni by Fiocci (which is nickel-plated lead) I have tried the #7 1/2 Fiocco nickel-plated lead in 2 3/4" for pheasant, but felt the bird was closer than most. Try different brands and see what your gun likes most.

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              • #8
                I grew up in South Dakoata and have shot hundreds of pheasants by now. I would never shoot a 3" shell at them for the following reasons:
                a) puts too much lead in the bird and they are difficult to eat
                b)too much recoil, why knock yourself out for a measely pheasant
                c) shells are too heavy to carry in the field
                d)too expensive... wasting lead that is not required

                I wouldn't shoot size 7 1/2 shot at them because:
                a) I would not want to get all that shot in my teeth nor would I like to take the time to pick all those little pellets out of the meat
                b) Range is limited to about 20 yards and most of our pheasants are hit at 30-40 yard range sometimes 60 yards
                c) They don't knock pheasants down... they seem to be great for pen raised birds but the wild ones are tough and keep flying.

                I shoot 2 3/4" hot field loads with size 4 shot. I wait until they are at a nice 30 yard range to shoot but can drop them effectively at 60 yards if necessary. Most pellets that hit them go clear through so I don't bite into them at dinner. The pellets are big enough to pick out of the meat if some remain. I like to hunt with guys who shoot 7 1/2s because I get to shoot most of their birds as well as mine.

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                • #9
                  i would have to agree with dakota man #4 in 12 ga. 2 3/4" is my choice as well. i have been hunting pheasant since i was a kid and even in my old .410 my dad insisted on #4 shot.i have watched guys using high-brass #6 knock down bird after bird only to have the bird either run off in the brush or fly off from behind them, and the ones they did kill outright the breast was full of shot. those are the guys that want to trade birds because theirs has the breastfeathers blown off and they want a good mount.(i just smile and walk back to the truck)

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