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Old 09-21-2011, 22:14   #1
freakshow10mm
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Shotgun reloaders: All around shot or tailored?

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.
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:24   #2
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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.
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:58   #3
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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.
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Old 09-22-2011, 19:55   #4
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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
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:20   #5
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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.

Reloading
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Old 09-23-2011, 18:01   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hozer View Post
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.

Reloading
What are you loading these with? lol I have a mec jr. lol
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Old 09-23-2011, 18:34   #7
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What are you loading these with? lol I have a mec jr. lol
Spolar Hydraulic. Between 700 and 1,000 rounds an hour.
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Old 09-23-2011, 19:33   #8
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Spolar Hydraulic. Between 700 and 1,000 rounds an hour.
Never even heard of it, looks like I have some research to do.
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Old 09-23-2011, 19:53   #9
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Spolar Hydraulic. Between 700 and 1,000 rounds an hour.
Wow that thing is ridiculous!
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Old 09-23-2011, 22:01   #10
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Quote:
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I have a mec jr. lol
Me too. I do about a case an hour (250rds).

Oh, sweet. Woodcock season opens today (Saturday) too.
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Old 09-25-2011, 10:17   #11
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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.
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Old 09-25-2011, 10:32   #12
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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!
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:08   #13
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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.
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Old 09-25-2011, 23:35   #14
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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!
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Old 09-26-2011, 00:04   #15
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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.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:34   #16
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Agreed time in the field with the boy is way more important then getting game! Sounds like you had fun!!
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Old 09-26-2011, 11:36   #17
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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.
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Old 09-26-2011, 14:00   #18
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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.
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Old 09-26-2011, 22:08   #19
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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.
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