Joined: 01 Dec 2008
Location: Topeka, Kansas
If you are indeed asking about using #2 shot on upland birds, don't.
#5 through #7.5 is the range you should operate within.
Reference the weight of load 1 1/8 vs 1 1/4 -- you need to account for the weight of your gun when considering the max heavy use hunting load. A commonly accepted rule for determining what you standard load should be is the so called "rule of 96" which postulates your gun should weigh 96 times the weight of your shot load. A 1oz load is suited to a 6lb gun, 1 1/8oz load to a 6 1/2lb gun, 1 1/4oz to a 7lb gun. Note that you can shoot lighter, say for a 6lb gun 7/8oz at targets instead of 1oz.
The rule works for heavy shooting at normal velocity (1150-1200). Shooting a box full of 1 1/8 oz shells in one sitting through a 6lb gun at dove will wear on you. This does not mean you can't shoot a heavy shot load through a light gun, but doing so has a price and repeatedly doing it will possibly result in a hell of a flinch. When young I used 1 1/4 oz loads in light guns, I could tolerate the felt recoil, but experience taught me 1oz loads are more than enough for preserve bird and for dove & quail. I normally draw the line at 1 1/8 oz for the few shells I shoot at pheasant.
The reason you don't see many 1 1/4 oz loads on the market for 16 is demand. Most 16 shooters know they don't need them. And there are not many of us anyhow.
He must be speaking of 12 gauge, Aguila doesn't make a 16 gauge #2 lead shell
No I am talking about number 2 Agulia ammo in a 16. Please have look at there website and too at Able Ammo, they carry it. It is about 93.00 a case. Agulia makes the load in a 1oz and 1 1/8 oz. From all I have read from the comments that are posted I will stick with the number 4 Federal.
Joined: 12 Mar 2005
As others have posted, 16 ga. one ounce loads of #6 and 1-1/8 ounce loads of #5 shot do well on pheasant under most conditions. 6 shot is best at ranges inside of 35 yards while 5 shot will do well out to 40 yards in my experience. Either shot load has right around 200 pellets or so which is the generally accepted minimum pellet count for game birds. 1-1/4 ounce loads of #4 shot have about 170 pellets which is well under 200. Even so, #4 shot hits harder, carries up better at longer ranges, reliably snaps wing and leg bones, and leaves bigger and deeper wound canals.
So a 16 ga. 1-1/4 ounce load of #4 shot can be very useful for longer ranges on tough days for tougher birds like larger cock pheasant. This applies to wild birds out in the mid-west and west, as well as for eastern holdover stocked birds from previous seasons. These older and wiser birds usually migrate to the swamps and fens outside of most WMA areas. They almost never hold well, even for an experienced bird dog. Holdover birds are also almost always runners and skulkers which usually seem to find a way of unexpectedly squirting out from under the noses of most dogs and flushing beyond 30 yards or more. Successfully hunting them requires heavier loads of bigger pellets.
Keep in mind that a 1-1/4 ounce load of #4 shot does pattern a bit thin out at longer ranges if the pattern cores are weak to begin with. Also, #4 shot is marginal in a 16 ga. bore. Some 16 ga guns with bore diameters on the smaller side won't pattern #4 shot well. I've found bore diameters over .662" help the loads to do better. Bore diameters of .668" to .670" seem to do the best with these big pellets. Choke constrictions over .025" (Imp. Mod.) also tend to over choke #4 shot patterns and cause them to open back up in my experience.
The other is that it was excellent goose medicine back in the day when you could use lead on waterfowl. There was even a time when BB lead loads were commonly used for waterfowl (and turkey). No lead for waterfowl, no need to make them, can't buy them.
The final reason #2 lead is iffy is safety. Those big pellets carry and penetrate. Back in the 70s Federal used to put out pocket-sized circulars which listed all the loads they made and sold, their suggested uses, and the maximum distance the pellets would fly. #6 lead would fly about 150 yards. This struck me as a good reason for PA's "Safety Zone" around buildings being set at 150 yards. You might shoot at a flying pheasant where a building could be downrange. At 150 yards, #6 might fall short. With #2, you might well do some serious damage. IIRC, #2 lead went about 350 yards on the fly. The nature of turkey hunting - where the shots are pretty horizontal - strikes me as why Maine forbids shot larger than #4. Too dangerous.
So, check your laws first.
_________________ ďA manís rights rest in three boxes: the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.Ē
Frederick Douglass, November 15, 1867, speech in Williamsport, Pa.
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