hello i got invited to go on my first dove hunt today the only problem is that it is at a conservation area where you have to use steel or other non toxic shot. iam looking for some good steel or other non-toxic loads for doves. i do reload my shells so hvi-shot or others would not be a problem. what size shot would be good for doves? i have very little knowledge of steel or other non toxic shot. i will be using a rem 870 so steel should not be a problem. thank you.
If your going to be using a 16 ga then you have very few chioces for factory ammo, the Federal steel loads are about your best bet. I believe the smallest shot size they come in is #4 but that will work well for Doves.
Ballistic Products has some very good Hevi shot loads using the 16 ga Multi Metal wad in their 16 ga manual. I wouldn't use anything larger than #7 Hevi shot for Doves, Use the Blue Dot loads and keep your velocities under 1400 fps with them, anything over 1400 fps with Hevi shot and patterns break apart due to Hevi shot not being round. BP also has some steel loads in the 16 ga manual.Remember also with Hevi shto use one choke size down from what you would normally use, if you normally shoot a modified for doves then use an IC choke, Hevi shot patterns extremely tight so th emore open of a choke the better.
If your shooting a 12 ga then you have more options in shot size and types of loads. I would go for the Winchester Expert or Kent Fasteel steel loads in the 1550 fps 1 1/16 oz loadings in either #5 or 6 steel shot. With this type of load I would go with a Light Modified or even a full choke for best patterning results, with fast steel you go up in choke constriction to get better patterns.
What Hoa stated is about what I was thinking also, I reload steel for my 16 ga but I enjoy doing it and I go duck hunting 15 -20 times a season so it's worth it for me. The 16 ga makes a great gun for decoying ducks, think the biggest thrill I get with the lighter gun is being able to swing it fast enough to double up on crossing Teal or smack a big fat mallard down in the decoys with it.
Another option I forgot to mention are the Kent Tungsten Matrix loads for the 16 ga, they are cheaper to buy than it is to make your own Hevi shot reloads and give about equal performance.
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