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Are you hunting preserve birds? Are you over pointing or flushing dogs? When I hunt on a preserve I'll use 7 or 7.5 for the first shot and a 6 for the 2nd (pointing dogs) I've done the some thing when hunting the gamelands without any problems. If you're behind flushing dogs 5 and 6 shot would probably be a better choice.
 

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6 is fine for anything you'll encounter here in PA. 7 1/2 is even big enough for close flushing preserve birds. Out on the prairies some folks go to 5's or even bigger especially on windy days, which is 364 days a year out there. I never went bigger than sixes, but I hunt over pointing dogs and don't take long shots.
 

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Big Don- Scott Berg posted a series of pictures of offspring from his breeding program on another group site.

One of the pictures is of a very nice looking tri-color setter you own. This must be the gem that we read about from time to time.

Enjoy your dog and keep up the good work with the typewriter.
 

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I think the dog you're referring to is another Berg Brothers dog with the same name. All the ones I've seen have been nice dogs though, which has little or nothing to do with shot size for pheasants, but what the heck...
 

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I always shoot Golden Pheasant 3" shells in 5 shot. It patterns nice out of my gun and the pellets are easier to find before eating.
 

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Prefer 5's but use 6's as well. 2 3/4's Kents have always done the job for me.
 

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Mad Hunter brings up an excellent point that isn't given enough consideration, in my opinion and that's how a particular load patterns in your gun. A lot of folks never bother to pattern their guns. Unfortunately, I'm guilty.
 

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Big Don is correct. Many people don't pattern there guns with what choke and load they want to use. I'm guilty of not doing it until a couple years ago. Since then my birds killed has gone up across the board( upland and waterfowl). Some loads and choke shoot horrible out of one gun but on another of the same model it works great. Every gun is different even if the same model.
 

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Shot size?...#4 -# 7 1/2

Patterning re pheasants is pretty much irrelevant.
Clays can be a different issue but with a scattergun pointed correctly and possessing a decent amount of choke for the distance of the shot...patterning is irrelvant with any scattergun. More of a feel good deal than anything else re pheasants.
Especially patterning as most often practiced on the equivalent of the old round oil can thrown in the road ditch.

The old Lubaloy was nice and helped penetration but the copper washes now used make little difference...perhaps, a tad less feather pull.
Nickle is often a joke....most bagged nickle I have seen is very soft lead under the shiny nickle. Factory loads with nickle over hard lead can work ok....hardly worth the freight for Pa. pheasants though.

Shaken down in 1 1/8 ounce or more, #4s are tough to beat.
1 ounce and under, then #5s.
But, as noted, little will not work pointed and discharged correctly.
 

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OldDublin said:
Shot size?...#4 -# 7 1/2

Patterning re pheasants is pretty much irrelevant.
Clays can be a different issue but with a scattergun pointed correctly and possessing a decent amount of choke for the distance of the shot...patterning is irrelvant with any scattergun. More of a feel good deal than anything else re pheasants.
Especially patterning as most often practiced on the equivalent of the old round oil can thrown in the road ditch.

The old Lubaloy was nice and helped penetration but the copper washes now used make little difference...perhaps, a tad less feather pull.
Nickle is often a joke....most bagged nickle I have seen is very soft lead under the shiny nickle. Factory loads with nickle over hard lead can work ok....hardly worth the freight for Pa. pheasants though.

Shaken down in 1 1/8 ounce or more, #4s are tough to beat.
1 ounce and under, then #5s.
But, as noted, little will not work pointed and discharged correctly.
So what your saying is that it is pointless to pattern your gun with a certain choke/load combo unless you are shooting clays? Well to each their own.
 

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MadHunter86 said:
So what your saying is that it is pointless to pattern your gun with a certain choke/load combo unless you are shooting clays? Well to each their own.
Nope, but there lies the greatest value in trying to manipulate pellets into the annular ring for a more even pellet spread.
Patterning for point-of-impact is important as can be patterning for pattern spread rather than density...such as a woodcock load at 18-20 yards.
It can also be valuable in evaluating speader loads, especially in a tigher constriction....or the reverse in trying for a super tight constriction for turkey.
Generally tho, patterning the standard birdgun in IC or M will most often find sufficient density and distribution to do the job with any factory load not at some extreme of some manner.
We never, imho, miss/wound because of shell chosen or pattern delivered...we miss because we missed....from a mistake in some fundamental....or a lucky bird.
 

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Back in the day, when pheasants were king, anything more powerful than 7 1/2 trap loads tore them up too bad out of my full choke Model 12.
 

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Winchester 2 3/4" 6 in the improved barrel and a 5 in the modified barrel of a Browning citori with selectable barrels does a fine job.
 
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