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freakshow10mm
09-21-2011, 22:14
Those few of us that handload shotgun shells for hunting, do you load one shot size that covers everything you hunt or do you make different loads for different game?

I hunt grouse and rabbit. Generally "they" say #6 on rabbit and #7.5 on grouse. I may pop a squirrel or two if they are within range, but usually the .22LR is the tool.

Would be swell if I could load to cover both grouse and rabbit. Gauge doesn't really matter, but it's 20ga. I also don't hunt with dogs, just myself.

10mmbob
09-22-2011, 11:24
I used to shoot trap twice a week, so I went through a ton of 7 1/2 shot. I always used my trap shells for small game. Geese and ducks are a different game altogether, requiring more powerful loads and larger shot, but squirrels and grouse or even pheasants close in are easily handled by 7 1/2 trap loads. Hope this helps.

Tom in Arizona
09-22-2011, 12:58
I doubt there is size shot that fits all well, pattern density, range, penetration and cover will all fit into the situation. Now when you decrease the shot load to 7/8 or one ounce in a 20 the choice becomes more difficult. However I would go with #6 as a general size.

justinsaneok
09-22-2011, 19:55
I want a good load with unique and 6 - 7 1/2 shot. AA hulls not sure about wads and powder checks. Target loads and small game are the goal. 12 gauge 2 3/4

Hoser
09-23-2011, 11:20
I went on a bit of shotshell reloading bender before Dove season and the last Sportsmans Team Challenge.

I dont think there is a one size fits all size, but 7.5 is close.

The different colored hulls tell me what is in it. Red, 1 oz of #9 or 8.5 target and dove ammo. Green, 1.125 oz of #7.5 for all around. Grey, 1.125 oz of #6 for hunting. Gold, 1.125 oz of #5 for hunting and IPSC. I have 3 buckets of 28 gauge and one bucket of 410 up in the garage that I didnt feel like moving. 28 and 410 hunting ammo gets #7.5 or #8 shot.

http://i890.photobucket.com/albums/ac105/puebloshooter/Reloading%20Stuff/DSC02770.jpg

justinsaneok
09-23-2011, 18:01
I went on a bit of shotshell reloading bender before Dove season and the last Sportsmans Team Challenge.

I dont think there is a one size fits all size, but 7.5 is close.

The different colored hulls tell me what is in it. Red, 1 oz of #9 or 8.5 target and dove ammo. Green, 1.125 oz of #7.5 for all around. Grey, 1.125 oz of #6 for hunting. Gold, 1.125 oz of #5 for hunting and IPSC. I have 3 buckets of 28 gauge and one bucket of 410 up in the garage that I didnt feel like moving. 28 and 410 hunting ammo gets #7.5 or #8 shot.

http://i890.photobucket.com/albums/ac105/puebloshooter/Reloading%20Stuff/DSC02770.jpg

:wow: What are you loading these with? lol I have a mec jr. lol

Hoser
09-23-2011, 18:34
:wow: What are you loading these with? lol I have a mec jr. lol

Spolar Hydraulic. Between 700 and 1,000 rounds an hour.

justinsaneok
09-23-2011, 19:33
Spolar Hydraulic. Between 700 and 1,000 rounds an hour.

Never even heard of it, looks like I have some research to do.

justinsaneok
09-23-2011, 19:53
Spolar Hydraulic. Between 700 and 1,000 rounds an hour.

Wow that thing is ridiculous! :faint:

freakshow10mm
09-23-2011, 22:01
I have a mec jr. lol
Me too. I do about a case an hour (250rds).

Oh, sweet. Woodcock season opens today (Saturday) too.

freakshow10mm
09-25-2011, 10:17
The boy and I are heading to the farm for our first father-son hunt (he'll be 5 on Oct 12). Going for grouse, woodcock, and rabbit. Got 16.5gr of WSF pushing 7/8oz of #7.5 shot from AA hulls lit by a Federal primer. Wish us a good, safe hunt.

Gunnut 45/454
09-25-2011, 10:32
For you and using a 20 ga I'd go with #6, yes a few less pellets but that little extra punch with the bigger shot is a plus. You could over come the less pellets by going to a 1oz loading. I'd pattern both loads and the one that patterned best is what I'd load. What choke you using , shot distance you normally shoot at? Of the few Grouse I've shot they seem like a pretty stout bird and you don't want them running off- ours are the Mountain variety and running up and down our mountains will ruin your day fast!:supergrin:

freakshow10mm
09-25-2011, 11:08
I run a single shot 20ga with modified choke. Average shot is 20y or longer. I don't hunt over dogs (my dog is half stupid and half useless).

I'd like to pick up a 20ga repeater, like an 870 or 1100.

Gunnut 45/454
09-25-2011, 23:35
freakshow10mm
Yep I'd go with #6. With a good hit they should be right where you shoot them! Learned that lesson hunting quail with out a dog! After having some run off with 7.5 I move up to 6's and they stopped running off! :)

freakshow10mm
09-26-2011, 00:04
Well, no luck. Started out for rabbits and squirrel with the .22. Saw a few grays but couldn't get a shot. Went to grab the shotgun (20ga) and try for some grouse. Jumped a few woodcock on the way down the field. Jumped a doe after that then two grouse. Followed them a bit into the woods, but no dice. Dropped Mason back off because he was tired. Jumped 3 woodcock at once, shot once, no hits. Better luck next time. Saw a lot of great spots to set some traps.

First time out with Mason hunting so it was more about the teaching than the kills.

Gunnut 45/454
09-26-2011, 10:34
freakshow10mm
Agreed time in the field with the boy is way more important then getting game! Sounds like you had fun!!:supergrin:

freakshow10mm
09-26-2011, 11:36
I think it would have been more fun for him if we got something, but he's young still. More opportunities in the future. He's pretty excited about trapping though.

nitesite10mm
09-26-2011, 14:00
Freak, I'm going to say I'd opt for #6 shot as an all-around 20-ga load, and probably try for a 1-oz wad. If it weren't for the rabbits I'd probably suggest #7.5s for most of your hunts.

freakshow10mm
09-26-2011, 22:08
I'm thinking #6 too. Might be a bit big for woodcock, but the closest I shouldered the gun on some was maybe 25-30 yards. Need to have some energy at that distance to drop them.

I'd love to get an 870 or 1100, but an over/under means I don't have to mess with a plug for woodcock, although the "extra" round in the 870/1100 might be nice. I'd like to know the history of that rule. So stupid.