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What shot size?


Dec 17, 2000
Bountiful, Utah
For Pheasant? Finally get to go out, but all I have is 7 (doves) steel shot (ducks/geese) and buckshot (for squirril hunting with my short barrel) :D While we are at it, any particular brand seem to work better? I know that each patters differently in each gun, so no comments on that please, just curious as to what works best.
I am sure many folks will go with #6's, but I prefer 4's. I am sure both will work fine. If you are hunting a preserve where you have to kick the bird, 6's or 7 1/2's.
A good allaround load for me is 1 1/4 oz. 2 3/4" 5 shot.

Anythting 6 shot or bigger with a load bigger than 1 1/8th should work just fine. Pheasants aren't the most difficult bird in the world to hit or kill.
6's and 4's are a good choice. 7 1/2's work good too, specially in early season. I don't like the amount of pellets you put in the birds w/ them though! My favorite shot size on pheasants would have to be #5's. For some reason they're just a dead ringer (or wringneck), however you wanna call it, out of my ol' 870... They've got the poop too put em' down "WAY" out there, if need be... They also work well on quail for me too. That's what I shoot anyway.
Thanks for the suggestions. Now I just gotta try to find the right shot in the stores. I hate trying to buy ammo after the season starts. Of course, when I get one or 2 birds I then have to debate all of the tasty looking recipes. Darn it, may have to do trial and error. More hunting.
I agree with the 5's or 6's, depending on what patterns best. I use 1 1/4 oz loads. A lot of places around here won't let you use anything bigger than 7 1/2's - which I do not like, especially on late season, early flushers.
I'm set on 5 shot as well. Maybe it is because once I started reloading shotgun shells, I could get a little picky about pheasant loads. I knew they would be a bit overkill on sharpies but could also pull down sage hens as well. 4's, 5's, and 6's are all good ---> just place the shot well and they won't go anywhere! Good Luck!!
Thanks for the info!!! :D I'm leaving next Wed for SD to chase Greater Prairie Chickens and Pheasants. I'll stick with the #4s. A bit much for chukar, but worked well on a sagegrouse.

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