The Shotshells I use Today . . . and Why
Those assuming that this is just about one brand of ammunition will be disappointed: no one company is all things for all applications. It is the same with rimfire, handgun CF, and rifle centerfire as well.
12 Gauge Clays and Dove
There were a few catcalls when Remington introduced their Clay & Field loads, partly because some folks assumed that Gun Clubs were going away (they aren't) and partly because retailers set the selling price, not Remington, so they appeared higher-priced than intended. Now, you can get them at $65 (or less) a case delivered, with no rebates to fool with, or even a bit less. They pattern just as well as my best West Coast 7-1/2 shot / Green Dot reloads, and are if you do reload, they have a compression formed hull that has at least the same reloading life as the STS / Nitro 27 line. If you don't reload, many folks will be delighted to take them off your hands. It is 4% antimony tower dropped shot and they pattern within a few percent of the top-of-the line STS loads.
12 Gauge Pheasant and Turkey
Nothing remotely competes with the performance of Winchester Rooster XR and Winchester Longbeard XR loads. They are that good, the best lead loads ever made.
20 Gauge Dove
Twenty gauge is ideal for moderate to long range dove, but only with the right shell. That means the Winchester AA 1 oz. @7-1/2 load, the best 20 gauge dove load there is.
20 Gauge Turkey
By far, the Federal Heavyweight #7 1-1/2 oz. load is the best 20 gauge turkey load that there is. Second place is the Federal 1-7/16 oz. “3rd Degree” load and 3rd place is the Winchester Longbeard 20 gauge 1-1/4 oz. lead load, #5 shot which is superb all-lead load.
12 Gauge Ducks
Kent Bismuth #4 loads, 1-1/4 oz. are the best bang for the duck. The shot diameter is British standard, closer to “American” #5 than #4 shot.
No, they aren't as good as Kent's Tungsten Matrix loads, those perform just like lead, but that performance comes with the price of tungsten. If you are not feeling a bit unflush, Kent Tungsten Matrix is performance worth the price.
20 Gauge Pheasant
I take a lot of wild pheasants. Remington buffered 1-1/4 oz. #5 loads are outstanding, and so are the Federal buffered 1-5/16 oz. loads #PFC258F #5. The absolute best, regardless of price, is the Federal 1-1/8 oz. #7 Heavyweight #7 load. It is a 2-3/4 inch 1100 fps unfolded length shell with surprisingly low recoil, but it is the best there is for wild pheasants which isn't high volume hunting . . . and, it is no-tox. It is a fabulous 20 gauge duck load as well, though you might find the price prohibitive . . . or not.
Finally, the 20 Gauge HD Load
Use Federal PD256 4B: 24 pellets of #4 Buckshot.
Copyright 2017 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.