Best 12 gauge ammo for Pheasant?

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illbell

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Jul 20, 2022
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I shoot #6s early and #5s later. However, that depends on what ammo I can find at a reasonable price. I normally find Kent Ultimate FastLead at reasonable prices. 2 3/4" in 1 3/8 or 1 1/2 oz lead. (1475 and 1420 fps). I like Federal's Pheasants Forever load at 1500 fps in the same size but the price on them has gotten stupid.

I'll shoot lighter, 1300 fps, if that's all I can find, especially early season.

Maybe I'm hunting harder pressured birds or maybe my shooting just sucks, but I'd have an awful lot of runners in the late season with loads lighter than that.
Stopped by Cabelas to see what they had in stock. No FastLead in 5 shot, they had it in 4 shot though. I ended up with the 1500fps 5 shot for just a few bucks more than the FastLead.

If I see FastLead in 5 or 6 shot at some point, I'll grab that to try too.

The 1500fps Federal stuff was only in 1 1/4oz, so slightly less pellets than 1.5oz but I'll take it. Just wanted some sort of box on hand for this season, as I think I'm not going to use my Herter's stuff I have stashed from last season. Just didn't perform great (probably my shot just sucks :) )
 

hobbes

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Stopped by Cabelas to see what they had in stock. No FastLead in 5 shot, they had it in 4 shot though. I ended up with the 1500fps 5 shot for just a few bucks more than the FastLead.

If I see FastLead in 5 or 6 shot at some point, I'll grab that to try too.

The 1500fps Federal stuff was only in 1 1/4oz, so slightly less pellets than 1.5oz but I'll take it. Just wanted some sort of box on hand for this season, as I think I'm not going to use my Herter's stuff I have stashed from last season. Just didn't perform great (probably my shot just sucks :) )
That 1500 fps is good stuff even at 1 1/4 oz. I just like all the shot that I can get
 
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illbell

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That 1500 fps is good stuff even at 1 1/4 oz. I just like all the shot that I can get
I hear that. I did look for something with a larger load but that's all they had. Just glad I have a box "in stock" now. I'm looking really hard at this Boss stuff now. Bismuth , though lead free is not required at the WIA spots I go to, seems to be some good stuff. Too many options nowadays!
 
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Prairie storm #6 and #5 or Federal upland premium. My experience with Federal using the praire storm and upland premium has resulted in less birds running when they hit the ground.
 

2ski

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Fiocchi golden pheasant is what I look for. I don't have tons of experience with it but it seems to work well from when i have used it.

I've been thinking about going lead free and am going to try a few boxes of the steel 6's I have. It says it's an upland load so we'll see.
 

manitou1

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Prairie Storm #5s. You are welcome!

Seriously, we used to hunt SD every year. When I switched to Prairie Storm all my (five) group went to town looking to buy some. They switched and never shot anything else after trying it. It kills that good.
 
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illbell

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Prairie Storm #5s. You are welcome!

Seriously, we used to hunt SD every year. When I switched to Prairie Storm all my (five) group went to town looking to buy some. They switched and never shot anything else after trying it. It kills that good.
Damn! Good testimonial from you guys. Hopefully I can find some in #5 before the season kicks off!

Lead or Steel Prairie storm? seems they have both?
 
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TheWhitetailNut

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Dec 5, 2020
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Hey guys,

Just wondering what you guys like to shoot at pheasant with? I've gone the steel route, the lead route, been thinking of trying that Kent Bismuth stuff, but it's pretty spendy. Just looking for ideas of what the general consensus is for Pheasant up in CO?

4 shot, 5 shot, 6 shot?

Thanks!
Copper Plated 5's
 

2ski

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The box with the lowest price tag.
Man i did that once the first time I bought shells for myself and not my dad. I wondered why I sucked so bad shooting 8's at birds. Hey a case at Walmart was like 5 per box.

In all honestly, a huge part was my form and technique. After much much practice of "move mount shoot" I've come a long way to the point I'm pretty confident in my shot. But no so confident that when I was at a bachelor party and we jump shot some geese, when I shot two and heard the bachelor say "I got it"...I said nothing.....
 

Superdoo

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Man i did that once the first time I bought shells for myself and not my dad. I wondered why I sucked so bad shooting 8's at birds. Hey a case at Walmart was like 5 per box.

In all honestly, a huge part was my form and technique. After much much practice of "move mount shoot" I've come a long way to the point I'm pretty confident in my shot. But no so confident that when I was at a bachelor party and we jump shot some geese, when I shot two and heard the bachelor say "I got it"...I said nothing.....
To be more clear…
The cheapest box of shells with the correct shot number for your intended target and style of hunting.
 

AbSandy

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Apr 23, 2020
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Hey guys,

Just wondering what you guys like to shoot at pheasant with? I've gone the steel route, the lead route, been thinking of trying that Kent Bismuth stuff, but it's pretty spendy. Just looking for ideas of what the general consensus is for Pheasant up in CO?

4 shot, 5 shot, 6 shot?

Thanks!
kent fastlead no. 4!!! If you can find it buy it up!!! Absolutely cripples birds at distance
 

Battletoad

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Dec 29, 2013
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You should really pattern your shell/choke combinations at different yardages to find what works best in your gun. Some shells may be higher quality than others and some people have preferences for shot size based on time of year/shot distances. But you’ll never know if you don’t put it on paper.
 

Unclecroc

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Jun 22, 2020
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Any game load that’s 6-4 shot that’s at least 1 1/8 ounce. My pet load is fiocci golden pheasant #5 1 3/8oz. Very effective to about 50 yards or so. I hunt over dogs so it’s rare to get shots that far but in the event one presents itself I like to be prepared.
 

ragin-cajun

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Sep 19, 2022
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2 3/4 6 shot Federal, Winchester, Fiochi is all u need w/ a good Mod. choke and if u can shoot...
Bismuth or TSS would be great i'd bet but the price $$$. whew
 

Jack321

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Apr 15, 2020
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Only time I pheasant hunt is a family tame bird hunt the week of Thanksgiving. We pay $20/bird to release them. So I opt for 3" Prairie Storm in 4s 5s or 6s.

I figure at $30/box if it kills one more bird that I wouldn't get if using standard 2-3/4" lead loads, it's paid for itself cuz a bird didn't get away.

That being said, any 2-3/4" lead 4s 5s or 6s will kill any pheasant.

I shoot em with my 28ga lead loads just fine.

It's more about being on target and swinging thru the birds than ammo.

I'd rather be a better shoot with standard 2-3/4 lead loads than a crappy shooter with premium ammo.
 
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