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Best close range small game/varmint load?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Craiger12, Jan 29, 2013.

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  1. Craiger12

    Craiger12 Member

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    Location:
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    What size shot would you recommend for small game or varmint hunting with12 or 20 gauge? I realize this is a very broad question and I really don't have any specifics to add at this time. I'm just looking to gather as much knowledge as possible and appreciate all input. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Chevelle SS

    Chevelle SS Member

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    I prefer #6 for Rabbit. #7 1/2 for squirrel.
     
  3. drcook

    drcook Member

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    I have been using #6 for rabbit and squirrel. The gentleman that I hunt with, only hunts squirrels with his dogs, uses 5 and 4's (when he can find them) for knocking squirrels out of the tops of big oaks. We have been hunting an area full of pin and other species of oaks and shag bark hickories that are pretty tall.
     
  4. n5odj

    n5odj Member

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    For critters that I don't intend to eat, I use #4 buckshot. For edible types, squirrels, etc, I like #6 shot.

    Robert
     
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    In 12 ga, #5 gives the best balance of retained energy per pellet and pattern density per charge.

    Those two things together puts the most energy on target per pellet, at the longest range possible for bird-shot.

    Smaller varmints like rats may require smaller shot and more pattern density to get enough shot on target.

    Larger varmints like coons and coyotes my require larger shot and less pattern density to get enough penetration per pellet.

    You gots to know your varmints.

    rc
     
  6. n5odj

    n5odj Member

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    RC, I agree with your statements. I wasn't going to mention my specific "varmint", but I will now to clarify my recommendation of #4 buckshot. I'm talking about stray/wild cats.
     
  7. 303tom

    303tom member

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    2`s or 4`s...................
     
  8. Boattale

    Boattale Member

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    Hard to beat an ounce and a quarter of #6 shot at 1400 FPS for a top notch feral cat load. 4's or 5's would be fine too. For a shop shotgun load where I might see a cat or a coyote, I keep Remington's duplex #2 x #4 hevi shot in the chamber.
     
  9. greyeyezz

    greyeyezz Member

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    BB shot.
     
  10. SenecaGunner

    SenecaGunner Member

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    Location:
    sovereign seneca territory
    varmints #4 shot & bigger #6 for small game
     
  11. rszwieg

    rszwieg Member

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    I use 2 3/4" #5s for rabbit and squirrel...and the rare pheasant. 3" BBs work great for coons and canines.
     
  12. ZVP

    ZVP Member

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    Ask whoever is feeding the cats to stop because you are killikng them and I bet the problem goes away!
    In this day and age people just walk away from houses and just leave the pets to fend for themselves. Sure is a low statement towar human kind's humanity.
    Many Strays are sick and/ or dying and you are doing them a favor.
    ZVP
     
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