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Posted: 4/22/2009 8:08:41 AM EDT
I stock up on 00 Buck and slugs, but was wondering what is the best all-around size for birdshot, an other words one that works for (almost) anything.I'm looking to stock up on some, and I want something that could be used for any kind of small game hunting for suvival purposes whether it's birds or rabbits, you get the idea, but I also want it to be able to work as a self defense round if nothing else was available. I was thinking maybe 6 or maybe 7.5  shot? Thanks for any replies......Tony!
Link Posted: 4/22/2009 8:10:49 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/22/2009 8:30:40 AM EDT
Agreed.  #6 is very good general purpose.  #4 is what I use mostly, but I like bigger shot.  

Plus you can use #6 as an awesome home defense round, much better than slugs or buckshot!





















Link Posted: 4/22/2009 8:55:50 AM EDT
For double duty? No smaller than #5 or #6. 7.5 and 8 are good for dove/quail, but not worth much on squirrels and such.
Link Posted: 4/22/2009 9:07:36 AM EDT
Well then, # 6 it is. Thanks.
Link Posted: 4/22/2009 9:39:36 AM EDT
7.5, 8 and possibly 9 shot are available in those nice 100 round packs at wal mart for around 20 bucks. I would suggest only using those in a pump though. They like to jam in single shots so I'm not sure how they will do in an auto-loader
Link Posted: 4/22/2009 9:41:01 AM EDT
Another +1 for #6. I shoot about everything small game wise with it.
Link Posted: 4/22/2009 11:34:17 AM EDT
Thanks for the replies. It'll be shot out of a moss. 590a1  18.5 barrel, my other shotgun is a benelli m2 slug gun that I  only use for deer hunting.
Link Posted: 4/22/2009 11:50:21 AM EDT
I used my 500 with a smooth bore 18.5" barrel once for rabbit hunting. It was a slow day deer hunting so I switched to #6 bird and took a walk. A couple dead bunnies went home for dinner that night. The pattern was pretty spread out so you have to get on them quick or you'll miss/wound them. The shorter barrel makes it easy to swing. I'm having choke tubes put in mine so I can change to Mod or Full for just such an ocassion. Just put the tubes in with what ever ammo youve stored for the gun and you'll have them when needed.
Link Posted: 4/22/2009 11:52:57 AM EDT
Originally Posted By cybersniper:
I used my 500 with a smooth bore 18.5" barrel once for rabbit hunting. It was a slow day deer hunting so I switched to #6 bird and took a walk. A couple dead bunnies went home for dinner that night. The pattern was pretty spread out so you have to get on them quick or you'll miss/wound them. The shorter barrel makes it easy to swing. I'm having choke tubes put in mine so I can change to Mod or Full for just such an ocassion. Just put the tubes in with what ever ammo youve stored for the gun and you'll have them when needed.


Good idea!
Link Posted: 4/22/2009 11:55:48 AM EDT
I bought some Federal game shock #6, is this stuff decent? I got it at wally world for 4.67 per 25 or is there better stuff to be had for about the same price?
Link Posted: 4/22/2009 12:52:54 PM EDT
cant say ive used it, but at that price its lower than the bulk crap at walmart. pattern it and let us know how it works
Link Posted: 4/22/2009 2:56:31 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Hendricks5150:
7.5, 8 and possibly 9 shot are available in those nice 100 round packs at wal mart for around 20 bucks. I would suggest only using those in a pump though. They like to jam in single shots so I'm not sure how they will do in an auto-loader


Depends on the dram equivalent, the Wal Mart value packs work on my Benelli M4, and its only had 100 shells through it using those value packs.
Link Posted: 4/22/2009 3:49:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By smokintonye:
I bought some Federal game shock #6, is this stuff decent? I got it at wally world for 4.67 per 25 or is there better stuff to be had for about the same price?


You'll need to pattern several loads to find what works best out of your barrel. Standard patterning distance is 40 yards. With an IC choke, you should see about 40 to 45 percent of the pellets inside a 30" circle. Look for the load that gives the tightest, most evenly distributed pattern.

As an FYI, most game loads have softer shot than target loads and consequently don't pattern as well.
Link Posted: 4/22/2009 4:34:14 PM EDT
I think it's 3.25 dram.
Link Posted: 4/22/2009 4:38:47 PM EDT
3.25 dram is pretty hot stuff, but it should be fine.  I'm a fan of Federal shotgun loads, I've never had issues with extraction like I have with Winchester and they are not as dirty as Estate and some of the cheaper stuff.

I'll 2nd the recommendation for chokes, it will make your little barrel a lot more versatile.
Link Posted: 4/22/2009 5:08:25 PM EDT
I've found the Federal #6 game loads sold in 25 round boxes are routinely cheaper per round than the #8 100 round value packs.  

One thing to consider, though, is that shot larger than 7.5 isn't allowed on many ranges.
Link Posted: 4/22/2009 5:11:14 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Gravity3694:
Originally Posted By Hendricks5150:
7.5, 8 and possibly 9 shot are available in those nice 100 round packs at wal mart for around 20 bucks. I would suggest only using those in a pump though. They like to jam in single shots so I'm not sure how they will do in an auto-loader


Depends on the dram equivalent, the Wal Mart value packs work on my Benelli M4, and its only had 100 shells through it using those value packs.


I've never shot an auto-loader using that stuff so I don't know if it will jam or not. Thanks for the info, atleist I know that it wont jam one auto haha
Link Posted: 4/22/2009 5:11:52 PM EDT
Originally Posted By eddiein1984:
I've found the Federal #6 game loads sold in 25 round boxes are routinely cheaper per round than the #8 100 round value packs.  

One thing to consider, though, is that shot larger than 7.5 isn't allowed on many ranges.


You shoot mostly indoor?
Link Posted: 4/23/2009 4:00:14 AM EDT
#4 here.  My dad likes #4 and #5 though.
Link Posted: 4/23/2009 7:11:37 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Hendricks5150:
Originally Posted By eddiein1984:
I've found the Federal #6 game loads sold in 25 round boxes are routinely cheaper per round than the #8 100 round value packs.  

One thing to consider, though, is that shot larger than 7.5 isn't allowed on many ranges.


You shoot mostly indoor?


I think he talking about skeet and trap ranges.

-X
Link Posted: 4/23/2009 10:53:36 AM EDT
I use high brass #5's for crow huntin  and they can get up high and hit em hard

I would stay with a 5 or 6 for all around use.
Link Posted: 4/23/2009 11:34:17 AM EDT
Originally Posted By eddiein1984:
I've found the Federal #6 game loads sold in 25 round boxes are routinely cheaper per round than the #8 100 round value packs.  

One thing to consider, though, is that shot larger than 7.5 isn't allowed on many ranges.


The exact opposite is true in Charlotte.  The indoor ranges don't let you shoot anything smaller than BUCKSHOT, and one range only allows slugs.

They don't want hundreds of pellets going out and possbily damaging the target wire conveyor system.
Link Posted: 4/23/2009 11:44:01 AM EDT
I would suggest getting the largest one you can find that is near the $20 per 100 price point.  Seems like #6 is the one most here have found to meet that requirement.
Link Posted: 4/23/2009 4:23:48 PM EDT
Is there a big difference between the stuff I'm talking about and a "Target load"........I gues one of you mentioned that a game load is a little softer, is that the only difference?
Link Posted: 4/28/2009 12:35:14 AM EDT
Originally Posted By SCW:
3.25 dram is pretty hot stuff, but it should be fine.  I'm a fan of Federal shotgun loads, I've never had issues with extraction like I have with Winchester and they are not as dirty as Estate and some of the cheaper stuff.

I'll 2nd the recommendation for chokes, it will make your little barrel a lot more versatile.


3.25 dram is honestly a pretty standard game load, not hot at all. I'd have to look it up to be sure, but IIRC that is around 1250 fps. A trap/skeet load is generally 2.75 dram equivalent, which is 1125 or 1150 fps IIRC. Comparatively speaking, my handloads are around 4.375 dram equivalent(1425 fps) and ARE hot.
Link Posted: 4/28/2009 12:37:35 AM EDT
Originally Posted By smokintonye:
Is there a big difference between the stuff I'm talking about and a "Target load"........I gues one of you mentioned that a game load is a little softer, is that the only difference?


Game loads tend to be loaded to slightly higher velocity than target loads. The actual pellets in most game loads are softer than those in target loads though.
Link Posted: 4/28/2009 5:06:25 AM EDT
Originally Posted By machinisttx:
Originally Posted By smokintonye:
Is there a big difference between the stuff I'm talking about and a "Target load"........I gues one of you mentioned that a game load is a little softer, is that the only difference?


Game loads tend to be loaded to slightly higher velocity than target loads. The actual pellets in most game loads are softer than those in target loads though.


Should I be getting target loads than, or should I stick with game loads?
Link Posted: 4/28/2009 2:22:27 PM EDT
That really depends on your use and what you want from them. If you want the best patterns, target loads are desirable.

I load my own(for hunting) and use target grade shot rather than the cheaper stuff.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 5:32:43 PM EDT
I have about 200 rounds of remington #4 game loads and 100 #6 game loads stashed away. PLUS a ton of steel shot from duck and goose hunting trips.

I do have about 300 rounds of trap loads sitting around, but it's just for target shooting, nothing more.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 5:44:52 PM EDT
Originally Posted By smokintonye:
I stock up on 00 Buck and slugs, but was wondering what is the best all-around size for birdshot, an other words one that works for (almost) anything.I'm looking to stock up on some, and I want something that could be used for any kind of small game hunting for suvival purposes whether it's birds or rabbits, you get the idea, but I also want it to be able to work as a self defense round if nothing else was available. I was thinking maybe 6 or maybe 7.5  shot? Thanks for any replies......Tony!


#6 is what I would use, big enough for most "small" game, yet not so big you get huge holes in the pattern.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 5:46:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2009 5:47:41 PM EDT by 12_gauge]
Originally Posted By KaseyK:
Agreed.  #6 is very good general purpose.  #4 is what I use mostly, but I like bigger shot.  

Plus you can use #6 as an awesome home defense round, much better than slugs or buckshot!






















I want to stop a home invader. If I were looking for "nice" alternatives to death/incapacitation, I would select coffee and creamer or maybe milk and cookies. Birdshot. It's all in the name. If you can't relaibly knock a goose out of the air with it, it isn't something I want to have to rely on against a 250# determined felon.

Link Posted: 4/30/2009 5:49:04 PM EDT
I use 7.5 or 8 for dove, grouse, and quail, 6 for pheasant, and 5 for turkey.

If I had to settle on one shot size, it'd have to be 6
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 7:57:08 PM EDT
Given your birdshot parameters, I'd vote for #4 over #6, since it offers a bit more mass. However, my fav all-purpose shotshell is BB, which is really nasty stuff up close if you ever had to go into self-D mode quickly and couldn't change over to #1 Buck or slugs.
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