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20 and 28 guage Quail Reloads

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Gofaster454, Oct 10, 2011.

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  1. Gofaster454

    Gofaster454 Member

    Jan 1, 2008
    A good buddy and I are planning a trip to AZ for some Quail. I am looking for some quail reload recipes that I can start working with. I have been shooting 20/28 powder, win 209, AA wads and hulls with 7 1/2 or 8 for skeet, and sporting clays. That load comes out at ~1200fps. I was thinking if I could find something like 6's or 7's at ~1300. 7/8 for the 28 ga, and 1 oz for the 20ga. I would like to use the same powder (whatever it may be) in each reload, but not an absolute.
  2. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

    Jun 29, 2008
    North Carolina
    If you go to www.alliantpowder.com and follow the guide, they will show some loads, although you won't get 1300fps with 20/28 powder in 28ga. Their Pro-Reach powder will do it though. Just follow the recipes.

  3. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    FWIW; Increasing the speed of a shotshell isn't going to improve the reach. Increasing shot size and payload will.

    Winchester has loaded a 1oz load in the 28ga for many years. I can even remember reading some magazine articles written by Jack O'Connor about using the 1oz 28ga load for hunting pheasant with John Olin.

    I've used an equivalent load from the 28ga but only for shooting squirrels and once for wood ducks back before lead shot was outlawed for waterfowl.

    In the 20ga, my "go to" load has always been a Remington SP20 wad and 1oz of shot over 16.0gr of Unique. 15.8gr of Universal works just as well.

    For both the 28ga and 20ga, I use LongShot now, if I reload. It works. For no more than I shoot shotguns anymore, I just use factory ammo. Lately I've been shooting a .410 o/u and will from now on use it for quail, ect... Only for waterfowl will I pull out the 20ga and I might as well sell the 12ga for as little as I shoot them.....

    I too suggest you go to www.alliant.com and www.hodgdon.com for your hull/wad/powder recommendation.

    If it was me, I'd just use the same load you've been using with #7.5 and call it good. 1/8oz of shot and 100fps ain't gonna make any difference....Changing from an improved cylinder choke to a modified choke WILL make a difference. If you need more than a 1oz load of #7.5 for quail, get a 12ga and shoot the 1-1/4oz #7.5 3-1/4dr eq. load (1,140fps). If this won't work, quit while you're ahead.....For me, the 1/2oz #8 is splendid for quail, and not "overkill" when hunting the pen-rasied birds.

    My older brother was stationed in Alamagordo, NM back in the '80's. He was "broke" and his only gun was a Winchester M1300 pump. He used a 1-1/2oz load over a light charge of Unique from the Winchester AA-Red wad for everything in a 2-3/4" AA hull. Only changed shot size for different game. He said it probably chrono's only ~1,000fps. It went "poof" instead of "bang" as he put it, but it was "death" on the Gambel's and Valley quail as well as Hungarian partridge and grouse he hunted with an english setter....even if they got up at 40yds or more....
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2011
  4. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

    Oct 19, 2010
    East TN
    As GooseGestapo said, if you have been shooting a particular load, stick with it. Just change the shot size for the game you are shooting.

    If you hit clay targets well with it, why fix it if it ain't broke.

    As an aside, my first pheasant was taken with my Dad's childhood 28 ga when I was about 12. I still like the 28 ga.

    Enjoy your hunt.
  5. Steve C

    Steve C Member

    Jan 5, 2006
    No need to change your load at all. A 7-1/2 shot trap load is all I ever used to hunt quail and anything else doesn't work any better. The birds are not that big so heavier shot isn't required. Range is generally close since they generally hold pretty tight until you bust up a covey.

    If you never hunted quail before you will find that there will be fewer wing shots than ground shots since quail would rather run than fly. If you wait for them to fly like you would if hunting pheasants you won't get many birds if any.
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    The same loads you shoot skeet with are perfect for quail.

    Quail are not hard to kill if you can hit them with some small shot.
    And #7 1/2 or #8 shot gives better pattern density that they are unlikely to find holes in.
    ( A quail flying straight away from you is a mighty small target if you disregard the feathers.)

    Larger shot, especially in the smaller gages, will leave you a pretty spotty pattern at longer ranges.

    All I ever used for over 50 years is a #8 Trap & Skeet load.
    If pheasant season happens to be open at the same time as quail, I may switch to #6.
    But #6 or #5 is way better for big pheasant then little quail.

  7. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    West GA
    I like #8 or #9 lead for quail in both 28 and 20ga. The only reason to use larger shot is if steel is required and then I've used #7.
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