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I don't find shot in every quail my buddy kills, but when I do find one in a quail it is nearly always one he killed with his 9s.

Another thought I've been mulling over is why people want to use 9s. I can only assume it is for pattern density. I can think of no other reason to choose them over larger shot. Okay ....... if we accept that 9s have lost most of their punch past 25 yards, the question that then comes to my mind is why anyone needs more density, at 25 yards and under, than 8s can provide. Does anyone seriously think that 8s are so large that they give patchy patterns at 25 yards? I use .410s a lot, and pattern all my loads, before using them on game, on my grease plate. I've never yet seen a pattern of 8s that was too patchy to dispatch a dove, quail or woodcock cleanly at 25 yards. I even have had spectacular results on an early season dove field with 1/2 oz. loads of 8s. So, if 8s will provide all the pattern density needed to cleanly take small game birds, why go to a pellet size with much less energy, like 9s, or (heaven forbid) 10s?

Larry, I know you can extend the usefulness of a doublegun by using two different loads in the two barrels, and I've tried it in my type hunting, with mixed results. I'd rather use the same philosophy with choosing shot size that I do with choosing chokes. Go with one that will do everything, even if it is not perfect for some situations. I shoot tighter chokes than most people I know and shoot with. I punched into NSCA Master class in 2010 using my MX-8 with .020" fixed choke in each barrel. I reason that tight chokes will break birds at all distances, even though they may not be the popular choice for close-in, unpredictable targets, like rabbits. I'll drop a spreader in for the close rabbit, but that is a luxury that sporting offers that hunting does not, necessarily. Same deal with me for shot size ........... I want to use one that will do it all, near or far. All that worrying with different loads for different barrels is a good idea ............. choke tubes are too, for sporting. But, I find great freedom and a greater ability to focus on the task at hand if I keep it simple. YMMV.


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Stan, give it up. I have. I'm afraid to use my old axiom, "Learn to shoot", because it offends too many internet posters.

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I'm not trying to convince anybody else with what I believe, Bill. I just enjoy hearing others' justifications and trying to make sense of them. Good way to learn.

I do agree with your axiom. You can't buy or gain, success with a shotgun by arguing. It's like learning to drive an Allison on the pad. It takes lots of seat time.


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Stan, you're an outstanding shot and you work hard and consistently at being such; your skill level will not diminish regardless of the bore or shot size you choose to take afield.

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Sounds you have some special azz licking sauce....I bet John gave you his secret recipe.

Next debate is #9 shot better for ground swatting quail ?

Last edited by HomelessjOe; 08/02/21 10:41 PM. Reason: Only grandpappy knows for sure and his lips are sealed.
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"Sounds you have some special azz licking sauce....I bet John gave you his secret recipe. Next debate is #9 shot better for ground swatting quail ?"

Well Mr. HoJo, I did meet Brother Stan some years ago, found him to be an honest and sincere individual; and a man I could respect. I've no idea what impression I may have made on Stan, but can assure everyone here that there's no "azz licking" going on in whatever unknown relationship we may have developed. But to insure you understand Mr. HoJo, I have the greatest respect for Brother Stan; and I made the comment above because I witnessed first hand Stan's marksmanship with a .410 side x side. Now on the other hand I haven't met you (at least to my knowledge as I can't recall the names of everyone I've ever met), but I have no respect for you personally; and if we were ever to meet I don't think I'd like you at all based on your doublegunshop posts, most of which are clearly either asinine or represent personal attacks. And to set the record straight, I have indeed taken my share of flying bobwhite quail with #9 shot, which I've confessed I used regularly for several years; and if you were any kind of upstanding man at all, you'd avoid making baseless accusations implying that I, or someone else you don't know from Adam is guilty of "ground swatting" quail. Perhaps you sir are guilty of such behavior and this is an instance of the pot attempting to call the kettle black? At any rate I'll never be offended by comments from the likes of you, as you seem to thrive on negativity; and have already insulted a number of posters here who are far better individuals than I'll ever be. I'm sure you're a very intelligent double gun man and what a pity that you'd rather indulge in insults than in any meaningful discussions. And given the number of members who have you on ignore, I've no choice other than to believe you are mostly despised; but rather than being shamed by your behavior, you instead wallow around in twisted orgasmic delight. May God strike me dead if I ever devolve into the kind of individual you have become.

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Originally Posted by eightbore
Stan, give it up. I have. I'm afraid to use my old axiom, "Learn to shoot", because it offends too many internet posters.

Plenty of wisdom in that remark and skeet is a great game to learn how to do that, when its played as a low gun game and not w/a pre-mounted gun. That's where you'll see most 9's shot and they most certainly do have a use there.. and on snakes as Stan already mentioned. We [my bride & I] eat the dove shot here and that includes those 'breasted' and those picked and having their spines cut out being cleaned from the back and cooked 'skin on' and I don't like having a bird whose breast looks like the top of a salt shaker, regardless of shot size used to bag it. Honestly, I've found many more 8's or 7.5's in birds [dove & quail] than anything else. I don't know anyone personally that hunts game birds w/9's. Not saying that you can't; I just don't know anyone that does. I knew a flyer shooter of note that as his health deteriorated finally got to the point that he could only ride in a driven golf cart and shoot some planted pen raised quail w/a model 42. He told me that he was using AA skeet loads for that, but never mentioned if they were 8's or 9's & I never thot to ask. He did know how to shoot.

Fun, reading the remarks and comments. I use 7/8's oz. of 6's for dove, quail and feral pigeon in a 20 ga. When shooting factory ammo Federal field loads [the older ones] are my pref. even tho the hulls tend to split on some of them and flair the heads after some years of storage so one has to 'twist' them into a double gun or set them aside for dismantling, as those hulls that do that are unusable in a semi auto. When shooting reloads [all Winchester AA CF or Remington STS hulls], I use #6 or 7 lead shot for the same purposes and find it most satisfactory. Lead 6's & 7's don't oft stay in a dove or quail [Bob's].. from my observations. We don't eat feral pigeons, but do the Eurasian dove and there is no closed season as they are an 'invasive' species, so they may be taken year 'round and there is no limit. They are smaller than a rock dove/feral pigeon, but larger than a mourning dove, white-winged or white-tipped dove. You can find a pellet in one on occasion. I find the best rule when eating game birds is to do so w/caution, treating them the same as fish, sausages or crispy bacon. Probably more teeth have been broken eating chicken or pork chops than on shot. Dentist's would know more about that than I do.

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Some hunters and shooters are convinced that people go with open chokes because they're poor shots. In the case of woodcock, especially early in the season, you either take close shots or you don't shoot at all. No choke at all is plenty, except maybe in the 28ga, where you might need some to make sure the pattern isn't too thin. If you use anything tighter than IC, then you'd better be using a light load of larger shot or you're going to do the bird severe damage--even if the pellets pass through the meat. 7/8 oz 9's or 8 1/2's--a standard skeet load for the 20ga--is a good choice. A 25 yard shot is long, and what works for skeet shooters will work just as well for woodcock hunters. Not as true with quail, because you can often wait a little before you pull the trigger. But you can't do much waiting to shoot at woodcock until the leaves are down, other than the rare bird that allows you an unobstructed look for very long.

Interesting discussion. Making it clear once more than there are different strokes for different folks.

Last edited by L. Brown; 08/03/21 06:51 AM.
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Originally Posted by L. Brown
Interesting discussion. Making it clear once more than there are different strokes for different folks.

Indeed, when it comes to choke choices, barrel lengths, stock dimensions, etc. For example, the last day I had on woodcock was with my friend/mentor Gil and his two Brittanys. We had a super day finding birds. I was using, for the first time on woodcock, my 28 ga. FAIR Verona O/U. I had in it a skeet choke (btm bl) and IC (top bl). It has 30" barrels. Thirty inch barrels are not exactly considered the proper length for woodcock in thick cover, but it worked quite well. Both Gil and I got our limits. And, I guess how much lead pellets in your meat bothers you is a personal thing, too. Bothers me a lot, so I do what I can to prevent it. However, lack of energy at range is NOT a personal issue, or shouldn't be. Having been shot numerous times in my life by careless people on dove fields I can testify to the punch a 7 1/2 or 8 has at 35+ yards. Never been shot with a #9 (and hope I never will be, for that matter I hope to never be shot with anything again). That's all anecdotal I know, but the ballistics charts don't lie, and I carry with me a reminder. Got shot by a careless shooter several seasons ago. I didn't think it had even penetrated the skin but, at my last dental checkup they took x-rays and showed them to me. That no. 8 had penetrated my upper lip at roughly 45 yards. My stand was farther then that from the shooter, but I was walking out in his general direction to pick up a dove I had just shot when he swung, carelessly, on a low dove and one pellet nailed me. It still had so much punch that it deformed the lead pellet upon hitting the bone structure above my upper front teeth.

[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]


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I didn’t realize that you knew Dick Cheney.


The need to be right - the sign of a vulgar mind - Albert Camus
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