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BrentD, ClapperZapper, Imperdix, liverwort, Stanton Hillis
Total Likes: 7
Original Post (Thread Starter)
#610936 02/11/2022 6:29 PM
by liverwort
Hello, I have a 1913 12 gauge Fox Sterlingworth and decide to use it for pheasant this past season. I loaded a low pressure load for it that pushes a 1 ounce load to 1125fps by the data. I used #6 shot. I had a couple of hit birds run and, wanting to keep using the same load, I'm wondering if I go to 5s or even 4s that will improve things, or do I just need more velocity? Each bird was hit using modified choke normal ranges, stocked birds. My previous hunting was with a 20ga 1 oz #6 load at 1220 fps which was fine. Thanks for any helpful advice.
Liked Replies
by Stanton Hillis
Stanton Hillis
I would be very reluctant to base any indictment of #6 shot on the wounding of just two birds. Two birds do not constitute a valid statistical sampling in any kind of reasonable comparison. I'm inclined to be thinking the Fox isn't shooting to the same POA that the previous 20 ga. did. A patterning session will tell the tale. I'm a hard sell that the problem is the 75 fps difference.
2 members like this
by Hal
Have a budy who prides himself in not driving pellets up the rear end of pheasants. Remarkable how many he kills with head and neck shots. So 'knowing where your pattern is" is his key to success. He prefers 6's over smaller shot. Conversely, he still uses BBB's and even T's on cranes, swans, and giant Canadas, while I maintain that going for head and neck shots with 1's results in fewer lost birds.
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by ClapperZapper
If you are shooting stocked birds at normal distances and they are running off, it’s not the pellets.

An ounce of sixes is plenty of pellets for density, and plenty of energy for penetration.

You can pump the pellets up to 1200 if you like, and see if there’s a difference.

I would probably investigate via necropsy, skin a bird, and see where I hit it.

If the holes in the bird make no sense, you might pattern that load/shotgun combination. It might not be hitting where you’re looking.
1 member likes this
by Mark II
Mark II
An ounce of sixes properly placed will kill wild birds all day long. Lower velocity at the muzzle will usually keep patterns from being blown. It could be your patterns are tighter than you think and you didn't get as good a hit as you thought. If you pattern the gun and it is thin use 1 1/8 of sixes. If you go to #5's I'd go to 1 1/8 load around 1100 fps. Pheasants are a big target with a lot of area that doesn't produce a clean kill. They also have lots of feathers that can produce a big poof that doesn't do much.
1 member likes this
by oskar
When I was shooting birds for hunt tests my goto load was Rem Handicap 7 1/2's and for the Master dogs we would intentionally let them fly quite a ways to get good retrieves, "No Bird" was expesive for the club and tough on the dog.

My goto load for wild pheasants is B&P 2 1/2" High Pheasant 1oz 6's, works just fine.

MT wild birds
[Linked Image from imagizer.imageshack.com]

My goto for waterfowl is 7/8oz of ITX 6's in my 12ga
[Linked Image from imagizer.imageshack.com]
1 member likes this

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