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bellasm Offline OP
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I am possibly heading to North Dakota late October for a pheasant hunt. A friend that I would be heading out with has been out many times and has four English Setters that we would be hunting over. He has told me how tough these birds are and he looked at me like I was crazy when I told him that I would be taking my Citori VI 20 gauge. He said that they were shooting 1 3/4 oz. 12 gauge loads of #5 shot. He told me that I would be pissing in the wind with 1 oz. of #5 shot. I politely told him that I would be heading out for the experience and not interested in taking shots beyond 40-45 yards. Am I being unrealistic? Everything else that I own is an American sxs that is 100 years old and will not be shot with a payload of over 1 oz. of RST ammo, that I cannot get anyway. I have settled on the Fiocchi 1 oz. #5 Golden Pheasant based on some reviews that I have seen. I would not be opposed to 1 1/4 oz., 3" 20 ga. Golden Pheasant loads but, would prefer the lighter recoil shell unless I hear some real world data between the two. Thanks in advance to anyone that replies.

David

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Better take 00 buck and bear spray sound like tough critters

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I agree with your friend; big country pheasants are tough birds, a real prize, and easily lost in the thick stuff if not dead in the air.
But over good pointing dogs and by picking your shots, you'll do fine with the 1 oz. 5s. I'd go with IC/Full.

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I’d borrow a 12 gauge, having had to finish off ( at 45 yards, #4 shot ) wounded pheasants that weren’t anchored by my companions who were using 20 gauge, #6 shot.

Since you will have plenty of dog-power, limiting your shots to flushing roosters would work with your 20. Don’t shoot at any pheasant that has reached “escape velocity”, locked wings, and started sailing away. Shoot them while they’re clawing for altitude.

I’d still rather have 12.
I wouldn’t bother with the 3” 20s.


Have fun; pheasants are a blast.

I agree with Drew’s choke advice.

Last edited by Tom Findrick; 08/07/21 06:44 PM. Reason: Agree with Drew’s choke advice.

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You'll be more than fine, it will be early on in the season. Lots of young birds. Inside 40 yds. which if the dogs are worth feeding you should be. I'd pick 7.5/6 in a mod choke personally as 5's usually do not pattern great in a 20, your experience may vary. Shot a couple truckloads of UMW phez with a twenty over many years.
Enjoy!

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watt findrick said...

why wound birds unnecessarily...

Last edited by ed good; 08/07/21 07:00 PM.

the selling season is here...selective consignments accepted...pm for terms...
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David,
I've "stoned" my share of N.D. pheasants with 1oz. # 5 RST with my 12 ga. SxS. Hunting with pointers and shooting mostly flushing birds at 40 yards or less with success.
Karl

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Ed, Ed, Ed! It's basic ballistics. The only difference in any Ga. shot guns's "lethality" is pattern density at distance. a #6 out of a 12 hits no harder than a #6 out of a .410. If the pattern density is sufficient then any Ga. shotgun is sufficiently lethal for game. If the OP keeps his shots within 40 yds. with his 20 Ga. shooting #5 or #6 shot his chance of needlessly wounding birds is no better or worse than his ability to hit them.
Chief

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The 3" GP #5 would be my choice in a 20 gauge Citori. I shoot that load in a 687L that weighs 6 pounds and a quarter and have no recoil problems.

It patterns fine, and anchors birds. You give up nothing to a 12 gauge and the gun carries MUCH easier.


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Nice Karl! October's just ahead!

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