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killing doves and shot size
Unread 10-12-2019, 09:47 AM   #1
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Daniel G Rainey
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Default killing doves and shot size

The first dove season has ended in Mississippi and with it my 62nd year of shooting. the season was awful as few doves as I have ever seen. I only when on three shoots and killed 30 birds. Hate it but they seem to be going the same route as our quail. Last year and this year I shot my 12 CHE choked improved and full with RST 2 1/2 7's. after using 8's or 9's all of my life. It is my observation that you wound fewer birds with 7 shot. When my dog brings back the dove it is most always dead. All those years of shooting 8's or 9's I estimate 1/3 of the doves I knocked down were not dead when picked up. My shooting percentage is about the same. Years ago a dear friend from Alabama told me one the best dove shots he ever saw would use nothing but 6's. Wonder other shooters observations on shot size.
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Unread 10-12-2019, 10:09 AM   #2
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7.5's period! I would rather be overchoked than not.
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Unread 10-12-2019, 11:22 AM   #3
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I got away from shooting 9's years ago for any type of game, mainly because I felt I was crippling game with it. I had several experiences that I knew I had hit a bird well only to have it fly off to die a slow death.

Over the years I've simplified my thinking for game birds other than waterfowl and now shoot #5 for pheasants and #7.5 for almost everything else including targets. Keeping to those two shot sizes has worked well for me.
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Unread 10-12-2019, 04:26 PM   #4
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Do what you want say what you want , for dove I prefer 8ís then 9ís and then 7 1/2ís . I can guarantee you Iíve had more birds that I knocked feathers from and didnít find with 7 1/2ís then the other two combined . I have very rarely used 6ís in the late December season but I canít say Iím
An advocate of 6ís .
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Unread 10-12-2019, 04:56 PM   #5
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Last year I bought 2300 rounds of 2nds from my ammo supplier. These were 16ga 2 1/2” 7/8 oz and there were shot sizes 8, 7 1/2, 7, 6 and some 5. They were in bulk dumped in 10 box case boxes and the shot size was not identified but they had been separated by shot size. I was shooting 80% Eurasian doves and 20% pigeons and I shot all of the shells. During the whole lot my percentage on shooting was the same. If I buy new shells, I usually get 7 1/2 but I know from experience that shot size is not the critical factor.
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Unread 10-12-2019, 06:27 PM   #6
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7.5 shot, 1200+ FPS, mod/full for doves.
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Unread 10-12-2019, 07:36 PM   #7
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i like 7 1/2 shot size...charlie
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Unread 10-12-2019, 08:57 PM   #8
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Generally 8s. I seem to overestimate distances, so most of my shots are within 40 yards, so if I do my part, the birds are dead.

Having said this, my dove season this year constituted 1 dove with two shots, so I would not pay any attention at all to my recommendation.:
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Unread 10-13-2019, 10:49 AM   #9
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This year I have been shooting a 30" 16ga.Sterlingworth choked mod and full.I have been shooting 71/2s in the mod barrel and 6s in the full with great success.I started with the 6 shot because I got a great price on a flat of Remington dove and quail loads in #6.By the way,those Remington 16ga loads measure 21/4" when unfired and 21/2" when fired even though they are marked 23/4".They work great in the 25/8"chamber of the Sterlingworth with no excess recoil or pressure.
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Unread 10-13-2019, 02:14 PM   #10
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I like 7 1/2 shot out of all gauges for dove and quail. I'm not a proponent of speed and prefer less than 1200 fps.
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