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Author Topic: Patterning and shot size  (Read 7202 times)

Offline 7mmstalker

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Patterning and shot size
« on: January 06, 2013, 11:20:22 AM »
Looking forward to bagging a Turkey someday soon.  Though I grew up in Spokane, wife from Yakima, we haven't lived on the east side for many years. Visit family in Yakima and Spokane pretty often, though none of my extended family hunts. In the mid 1980's, when I started hunting, seemed that nobody I knew hunted gobblers, and the whitetail herd wasn't as large either.
My young son, however, has the wide-open, anything goes plan when it comes to when and what we hunt.  So we are going to try to bring home one or two of those birds we see so often when in the northeast corner.
We put a proper choke on an 870 12ga. , now I'm excited  to check how it patterns.
Wondering what the experienced hunters are using for shot size. I see the regs. dictate #4 or smaller, trading more hits with #6 for bigger hits using #4 has me wondering.
He has been getting a few pintail and similar sized birds. Using steel, of course, #6 doesn't seem as lethal as #4.
Yes, I'm over-thinking this, but loosing  wounded game, or slow death are near the top of the list for fouling a hunt and the memories we are building.
     Thanx to all who can share some experience.

     7mmS
Hunting- 99% waiting walking listening and looking, 1% stalking and shooting.  Just do it!

Offline ellensburgpo

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Re: Patterning and shot size
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2013, 11:26:44 AM »
I use hevi-shot in either size 5 or 6. I did use remington lead turkey loads with good success as well. Hevi shot is expensive, but it patterns better out of my shotgun. It also has more energy than lead. Plus when you are only using one or two shells a year the price isn't so bad.
KCCO

 The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.
Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms, 1929

Offline turkeyfeather

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Re: Patterning and shot size
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2013, 11:39:14 AM »
I use the Federal Premium magnum turkey loads in a #5 shot. With a Jellyhead choke in my 870 I put 13-14 pellets in the head at 50 yrds.
I refuse to have a battle of wits with an un-armed person.

Offline dawei

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Re: Patterning and shot size
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2013, 12:16:17 PM »
If I could only have one shot size, 12-20ga; it would be #5 Pb.
David

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1. Jesus Christ
2. The American Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine, and Coast Guardsman.
One died for your soul; the other for your freedom.

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Offline Dhoey07

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Re: Patterning and shot size
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2013, 12:33:58 PM »
Don't fall for the "turkey load" advertising. You will end up paying twice as much for the same thing. That being said, any high base between 4-6 will kill turkeys.  :tup:

Offline turkeyfeather

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Re: Patterning and shot size
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2013, 01:08:38 PM »
Don't fall for the "turkey load" advertising. You will end up paying twice as much for the same thing. That being said, any high base between 4-6 will kill turkeys.  :tup:
I have to disagree with you a bit. It's not a huge difference, but I do think a magnum turkey load packs a bigger punch than a standard shot load.
I refuse to have a battle of wits with an un-armed person.

Offline 7mmstalker

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Re: Patterning and shot size
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2013, 02:22:22 PM »
I use the Federal Premium magnum turkey loads in a #5 shot. With a Jellyhead choke in my 870 I put 13-14 pellets in the head at 50 yrds.

That seems pretty darn good.
Using the factory Rem. "extra full lead shot only" ported choke for starters. I'm quite happy to spend a few bucks more on shells, 1 box may last years! Getting a head start with some recommendations so I don't have a shelf full of expensive shells that give average performance. Nor a collection of tubes, though I have 2 870s so, again, hoping to find some shells that are good for both of us.
Sounds like a 3" load of #5 will be a good load to try couple of brands.
We don't bird hunt every weekend, I still get frustrated with the limits of steel shot performance, especially wingshooting. 3" steel loads don"t provide the "bump" that I remember from the days of old when lead was legal!
As rank amateurs at locating and calling, I need to be getting good range/pattern from our guns.
Maybe we will be lucky, and get great patterns from standard 3" lead loads..........surely my boy will have a good time testing!
Hunting- 99% waiting walking listening and looking, 1% stalking and shooting.  Just do it!

Offline packmule

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Re: Patterning and shot size
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2013, 07:54:30 AM »
Patterning turkey shotguns has turned into a sport unto itself with lots of opinions and beliefs, etc.  See the following site and you can drive yourself crazy!

www.oldgobbler.com

There are many downloadable targets on the web.  I like the following one the best because it is the closest in size to a real turkeys head and neck. 

http://nssf.org/hunting/news/turkey-target.cfm

I've read that studies have shown that at least 3 pellets have to hit the head and neck of an adult turkey to result in an instantaneous kill so once you shoot at this target a few times you'll get a good idea of how various load choke combinations are working.  Personally I look for a setup that will give me 10-12 head/neck hits consistently so that I'm certain to make a clean kill.  A lot of this has to do with range as well (i.e., 30 yards is better than 40 yards). 

Personally I've found 3" loads of 5 shot from Winchester and Federal to be perfect for my turkey hunting.  The 3.5" loads give you more shot, more recoil, and maybe a bit more range.  I'm happy to have less recoil and wait for closer shots. 

Shot quantity is also a variable that can affect your patterning.  I tend to like the 2 oz loads but testing last year showed that Winchester 1 7/8 oz loads and 1 3/4 oz loads also patterned very very well.  Less shot doesn't necessarily mean poorer patterns. 

Good luck!




Offline turkeydancer

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Re: Patterning and shot size
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2013, 08:40:26 AM »
 :yeah:

You want to try 4, 5, & 6's to see what patterns best with your shotgun and your choke.  Three identical setups can yield different results.  In addition one manufacturer will yield better results in one shotgun while another manufacturer yields better results in another identical setup.   Try at least every 5 to 10 yards between 15 yards on until you find out what works best in your shotgun and what your effective range is ... NWTF says 6 hits minimum, but I perfer 10 - 12 as mentioned above (never depend on the "BB gods" to guide a magic pellet into the brain pan).
 :twocents:

Offline 7mmstalker

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Re: Patterning and shot size
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2013, 06:54:03 PM »
Looks like a thorough job will leave a few extra shells left over,  kinda suspected that.
Hunting- 99% waiting walking listening and looking, 1% stalking and shooting.  Just do it!

Offline Lcl 66 Tinner

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Re: Patterning and shot size
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2013, 10:03:12 PM »
And start shooting from the position you will be in turkey hunting. Like sitting and across your body, etc. They dont always come straight at you.

Offline Gobble Doc

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Re: Patterning and shot size
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2013, 10:26:52 PM »
Fun stuff.  I tried lots of different brands and the Remington Nitro Turkey worked well for me. 

Offline yelp

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Re: Patterning and shot size
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2013, 07:29:53 AM »
There is a lot more to patterning a shotgun.  You must feel comfortable with it as well as your son.  Some loads and chokes kick.  I have seen adults cry patterning some loads.  :chuckle:  Also remember a good tip is once you figure your comfort range or best distance for kill.  30-35 yards.  put a stick in ground out that far or a decoy if you use one.  That way you know how far that bird is.   Concentrate on close effective shots.  My goal when I hunt turkeys is to see how close they can get.  Some gobbler will hang up and it is nice knowing I can shoot out to 50 if needed.  But to be honest most of my kills have been at 30 yds or less.  Another tip is use a sight that is adjustable so that you can be more accurate.  I use the Tri-Viz sight by Hi-Viz  on my turkey guns.  http://www.hivizsights.com/products/shotgun-sights/triviz.html     

It focuses your eye to the target and by inserting a different angled light pipe it will bring your pattern up or down and it has windage adjustment. 

I use #5's for all my hunting.  I shoot 3.5" however.
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Offline turkeydancer

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Re: Patterning and shot size
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2013, 01:54:16 PM »
Good stuff Yelp ...

I found my eyesight was starting to make either my front or rear sight fuzzy looking/blurry, so I went to an adjustable open reflex sight with 4 different reticles and 7 light settings.  I use the simple dot (that projects onto the "screen") which allows me to just put the dot on where I want to hit without any worry about parallax ... this is in lieu of lining up the front and back beads and then onto the turkeys head/neck ... it's fast and deadly accurate, only cost $50, and it allows me to watch the turkey walk into where I want to shoot (just like having a little TV sort of).  My friends daughter was missing a lot trying to get everything aligned, so I showed him what I had, he set her up, and now she's deadly accurate.

As far as shot size, better knock down power with #4's, more BBs with # 6's, and 5 is a great compromise between those two ... but I would still go with what patterns the best.   I have had really good luck with Federal #6 flight controls, but I had one close shot that left the shot cup sticking out of the bird's neck just below  his head ... that was definitely different.
 :twocents:   

Offline packmule

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Re: Patterning and shot size
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2013, 02:54:02 PM »
but I had one close shot that left the shot cup sticking out of the bird's neck just below  his head ... that was definitely different.
 :twocents:   

That's funny!  I hadn't used those FliteControl Wads until last season, when I started testing them.  I can believe what happened to you.  They are very tough and are quite a projectile in and of themselves.

 

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