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jm1827

Pheasant Hunting ?

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In the past I have always used my 870 Wingmaster with an Improved choke barrel for Pheasant hunting. 

I now have an O/U with interchangeable chokes and was wondering how I should configure them.  I was thinking Improved or even Skeet for the first barrel and then Modified for the second barrel?

Also, does it matter which barrel you select to shoot first?  I have the top barrel selected to shoot first now.

Thanks!

 

 

 

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Thanks all- I typically go with a pointer, so should be closer.  I will give it a shot with Skeet over Mod!  

I need to get to the range and shoot a few rounds before I try and hunt.  I patterned the gun last weekend but haven't shot at any clays yet.

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I shoot top barrel 1st, I use skeet and IC for all my bird hunting.  over dog I use 20ga and 12 for tower shoot,  duck hunting over decoys I use ic and modified 12ga also. 

I just picked up 28 ga for bird hunting over dog going to use skeet and IC for that also and see how I make out. 

 

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1 hour ago, Danno said:

12ga. or 20ga. ? What size shot are you using? Barrel length? What choke tubes do you have ? A little more info may get you better answers.

Great point- gun is a 12 ga, usually use 7-1/2 shot but have used 6 at times, barrel length is 28".  I have Cyl-bore, Skeet, Improved, Modified and Full chokes but can pick up others if needed.

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A long, but funny story, years ago, I spent a lot of $$ to put pheasants on the ranch back home with the intent of hunting them. The bobcats and coyotes ate every damn one of them. 

Bastards!

When I have hunted pheasants, it’s beem with an o/u 20 gauge, modified and imp cyl chokes. 26” barrel, and (I think) #6 shot.

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1 hour ago, jm1827 said:

Great point- gun is a 12 ga, usually use 7-1/2 shot but have used 6 at times, barrel length is 28".  I have Cyl-bore, Skeet, Improved, Modified and Full chokes but can pick up others if needed.

I use modified in my bottom barrel and improved cylinder on top and shoot the bottom barrel first. If you want to get fancy  use 7 1/2 in the bottom barrel and 6 in the top. Good luck and have fun.

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15 hours ago, jm1827 said:

In the past I have always used my 870 Wingmaster with an Improved choke barrel for Pheasant hunting. 

I now have an O/U with interchangeable chokes and was wondering how I should configure them.  I was thinking Improved or even Skeet for the first barrel and then Modified for the second barrel?

Also, does it matter which barrel you select to shoot first?  I have the top barrel selected to shoot first now.

Thanks!

 

 

 

A lot would depend on terrain and style of hunting for pheasant. Are these pen-raised birds on a game farm or wild pheasants in the Dakota's? There is a difference. 

For pheasant over a pointing dog here in NJ during the semi-wild preserve season, you can use SKT/MOD in your O/U. IC/MOD is also fine. Under barrel should be used first with the more open choke. (Lower bore axis drives recoil straight back for quick recovery of second shot.) The bottom barrel is designed to fire first in an O/U. Find an O/U with a non-selective single trigger; the bottom barrel always fires first. BTW - Everyone should pattern their shotguns, especially double-barreled ones with their hunting & target loads. 

Hundreds of thousands of pheasant hunters go afield each year and just use a MOD choke and #7 1/2"s, #6's, #5's or #4's and bring home game without giving the issue or preparation too much thought. With a 12 ga. and the right loads, you'd be surprised at how you can take game cleanly under 40 yds. with just an Improved Cylinder choke. 

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14 hours ago, Parker said:

A lot would depend on terrain and style of hunting for pheasant. Are these pen-raised birds on a game farm or wild pheasants in the Dakota's? There is a difference. 

For pheasant over a pointing dog here in NJ during the semi-wild preserve season, you can use SKT/MOD in your O/U. IC/MOD is also fine. Under barrel should be used first with the more open choke. (Lower bore axis drives recoil straight back for quick recovery of second shot.) The bottom barrel is designed to fire first in an O/U. Find an O/U with a non-selective single trigger; the bottom barrel always fires first. BTW - Everyone should pattern their shotguns, especially double-barreled ones with their hunting & target loads. 

Hundreds of thousands of pheasant hunters go afield each year and just use a MOD choke and #7 1/2"s, #6's, #5's or #4's and bring home game without giving the issue or preparation too much thought. With a 12 ga. and the right loads, you'd be surprised at how you can take game cleanly under 40 yds. with just an Improved Cylinder choke. 

Thank you sir!  Great info, especially the rationale on why bottom barrel first.

I do need to stop over thinking it, I have used a 1964- 870 for years with an improved choke barrel and it has worked fine for pheasant and clays. 

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On 2/7/2019 at 11:58 PM, Danno said:

I see your point but I've destroyed some birds with 6 up close. I usually hunt over pointers.

As an 8th grade kid, armed with little knowledge back in 1969, I used to think bigger was better. I'd stuff a heavy classic pheasant load of Rem. Express 1 1/8 oz. of # 7 1/2's in the MOD barrel and a Federal 1 1/4 oz. of # 6's in the FULL barrel of my 16 ga. double. I used that same combo all through my years in high school. Recoil was stiff in that light gun, the loads were far killers, however anything hit up close on the button was murdelized. The tight chokes of that old double-gun were a hinderance and a blessing depending on how I deployed them. Fifty years later I'd like to think I'm a little wiser when it comes to choke & ammo selection. Gauge doesn't matter, but if there is a perfect shot size for pheasants under ALL conditions it would be #5's with #6's as a close second. JMO

Over a pointing dog that can hold birds close the loads I'll use now are with a max. of 1 1/8 oz. in the 16's & 12's, mostly 7/8 oz. or 1 oz.  in the 20's all with open chokes, no more than MODIFIED. I use light shotguns so I like to use light loads and I have been using tailored handloads for decades.   

 

On 2/8/2019 at 5:22 PM, Krdshrk said:

So let 'em fly an extra second or two :)

 

Agreed. 

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