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hunting Vs. target loads - shotgun

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by rajb123, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. rajb123

    rajb123 member

    What is the difference between a factory target and factory hunting load?
  2. redbullitt

    redbullitt Well-Known Member

    FWIW I havent had to switch from what I usually shoot for when I hunt. Then again, I do not hunt birds that often. Often you cannot legally use lead shot, which is cheaper and what "practice" ammo probably is. Steel shot is usually considered the hunting type.

    Im sure someone will jump in with a bit more info.
  3. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    In general, hunting loads have more powder and more shot than the usual skeet or trap loads.

    Waterfowl hunting, nowadays, mandates non-lead shot by law. A very few places have that restriction on upland birds. Skeet and trap don't. Most dove and quail areas allow lead shot.
  4. Rich223

    Rich223 member

    Well, my 'target' loads are Estate #7.5 shot, 1 1/8 ounce, fired @ 1145 fps. My 'hunting' loads are ... let me check.. 1 1/2 ounce #4 shot @ 1260 fps - Remington Nitro Mags. I got some #4 1 1/4 ounce 1300 fps laying around too. Really wish i could find some #5. The higher the # the smaller the pellets, the lower the # the larger the pellets.
  5. interlock

    interlock Well-Known Member

    in the uk we tend to use 28gr (1oz) 7.5 shot for clay shooting. soe loads are also available in 21 and 24 gramms (3/4 and 7/8).

    game loads vary quite widely. we can still use lead except on duck or over wet lands. i use 32 grammes (1 1/8 oz)of 6 shot. i use this for just about all hunting applications. pheasant, pigeon, rabbit, hare, crows. i use heavier stuff for geese of fox.

    i think our shot sizes are different to yours. I read american forums where shooters use different cartridges for different barrells.... i tend to think that i know well how these cartridges perform and stick with them. I load my own.
  6. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    For dove and quail I use the same target loads I use for sporting clays - they work just fine and are less expensive than hunting loads. If I want something larger, I'll reload my target hulls and use #6 or #5 shot
  7. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Well-Known Member

    I haven't bought shotgun shells in years as I load my own. But if you're comparing, say Dove & Quail loads with 1 oz. of 7.5 or 8's to Trap/Skeet loads with 1 oz. of 7.5 or 8's, there's LOTS of difference.
    Shotshell target loads are loaded with high antimony (harder) shot. This typically means more even patterns. Also, many of the D & Q loads use cardboard wads and plastic sleeves instead of shotcups and wads.
    Remember, manufacturers of target shotshell loads sponsor shooters and teams so it's in their best interest to assemble high quality shells.
  8. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    And then there's the somewhat specialized stuff. For instance, in hunting blue quail here in the desert, shots are commonly around 40 to 50 yards. They run before they fly, so it's a case of shoot through grass, quite often. Shots at birds in flight are common at 50 yards.

    So, my usual load is the Winchester hi-brass. 7-1/2 shot. 3-3/4 dram equivalent powder, 1-3/4 oz. of shot. FWIW, from my full-choke Model 12, it accounted for a one-shot, DRT kill on a bobcat at 25 yards.
  9. Sunray

    Sunray Well-Known Member

    Depends on what you're hunting, but the velocities are different. Remington Hi-Speed steel shot waterfowl loads run between 1365 and 1500 fps. Their pheasant loads, 1220 to 1330 fps. Their 'Heavy' dove loads, 1165 or 1255 fps. Upland lead runs 1220 to 1290 fps.
    Their 'Gun Club' brand target loads run 1145 to 1200 fps. Gold Sporting Clays ammo runs 1300 and 1350 fps.
  10. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    Where I live and have lived, shooting a bird that flies while on the ground is just "bad form" and will not get you invited back.....if they are flying at 50, then choke accordingly and shoot the tighter chokes for success. I have never had an issue with wild quail, chukar, or grouse where something in the 7.5 to 5 range wouldn't work

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