Shot size?

Guns, ammo, and more! What do you shoot, and why?
User avatar
Cut N Run
Posts: 2194
Joined: April 12th, 2008, 2:32 pm
Location: central North Carolina

Shot size?

Postby Cut N Run » May 10th, 2009, 4:40 am

I'm curious as to what shot size most turkey hunters prefer and why.
I shoot Federal 3"  2 oz. of #6's because they pattern well out of my gun.  A friend & his father both use Winchester 3" 1 & 3/4 oz. of #6's for the same reason.
I've never had that load fail (unless I missed) though I've heard of guys shooting birds in range (with that same size shot) & rolling them or cutting feathers and not collecting the turkey.
Opinions please.
Luck Counts, good or bad

User avatar
Moonshine Gobbler
Posts: 70
Joined: April 19th, 2009, 7:03 am

RE: Shot size?

Postby Moonshine Gobbler » May 10th, 2009, 4:48 am

I agree, shoot what patterns well out of your gun. I have shot #4 lead, #5 lead, #5 hevi shot, and #6 heavy weight.
There is also #8, #9 tss that I would love to try. It just seams weird using something that small, but the #6 fed's heavy weight hit harder than #4 lead in my penetration test.

As for now I shoot Fed #6 heavy weight 3 1/2"


Posts: 445
Joined: January 28th, 2009, 8:54 pm

RE: Shot size?

Postby icdedturkes » May 10th, 2009, 6:46 am

If lead sixes have the energy to kill a bird 100% of the time at ethical ranges than why not shoot it??? It is a rare case anymore where 4s or 5s will put more pellets on target than sixes so basically you are waisting energy and pattern density.
I switched to Hevi 7s this year they have enough energy to kill birds beyond where my pattern disinegrates and provide a nice even pattern.

CB on the run
Posts: 90
Joined: March 19th, 2009, 1:56 pm

RE: Shot size?

Postby CB on the run » May 10th, 2009, 6:50 am

I shoot a Remington 1100 20ga with a Rem SF turkey choke and the new Federal HW FC #6's.  They pattern better than the EM Hevi-shot waterfowl #6's that I used to shoot.  I have patterned them to 37 measured yards and killed a bird on 5/4 at 40 yards.  He went down clean. 
I will be testing the Federal HW FC #7's sometime before the fall.  Before I switched to the 20ga I shot a Benelli BE 12ga with Winchester Extends #5's but that gun gave me a headache every year sighting in.  If we ever get a new contract at work(4 plus years w/o) I may treat myself to another 1100 but in 12ga and have my gunsmith 'tweek' it like my 20ga.

Charlie Belle

User avatar
Posts: 80
Joined: April 21st, 2008, 6:01 am
Location: Olympia, WA

RE: Shot size?

Postby dawei » May 12th, 2009, 7:18 pm

[color="#0000ff"]I use two guns and three loads............

Mossberg® Mdl 500C 26" barrel w/.570 Hastings™ Choke - Hevi13™ 1¼oz #6
Mossberg® Mdl 500C 26" barrel w/.555 Swarm™ Choke - Federal® Mag Shok™ 1 5/16oz #6 (Pb)
Remington® Mdl SPR220 26½" barrels w/.570 & .575" Colonial Chokes - Remington® Nitro Turkey™ 1¼oz #5 (Pb) [/color]
Only two defining forces have ever died for you:
1. Jesus Christ.
2. The American Soldier, Sailor, Airman, & Marine.
One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.

1Cross + 3Nails = 4Given

User avatar
Posts: 933
Joined: April 15th, 2008, 12:33 pm

RE: Shot size?

Postby grizzly » May 13th, 2009, 12:31 am

over the years i've try many differant shot sizes and shell lenghts and i always seem to come back to a three inch number six as being the around best for the way i hunt

User avatar
Fan Club
Posts: 1387
Joined: April 13th, 2008, 5:24 am
Location: Calhoun County, Michigan

RE: Shot size?

Postby Fan Club » May 13th, 2009, 7:06 am

Back in 1994, I started out with Remington 3 in #5s because everyone told me they were a good compromise between #4s and #6s. I missed the first turkey I ever shot at... a bit on the far side it turned out, at about 40 yards.
I was determined not to let that happen again and began a full on quest to learn as much about shotgun ballistics (at least as they applied to turkey hunting) as possible. I read everything I could get my hands on, primarily articles by Jay Langston, former shooting editior of NWTF Turkey Call and contributor to T &TH. Jay constantly emphasized the importance of downrange energy for killing turkeys, even at the partial expense of pattern density. I switched to Federal 3 in #4s which made sense, given the open pastureland that I hunt in Missouri.
Do #6s pattern better out of my Winchester 1300? Slightly. But what may be misinterpreted as a "better" pattern may just be that there are 30% more pellets involved. The #4s still pattern well and I saw marked improvement in that about 5 years ago when Federal introduced their Flite-Control wad. Too tight a pattern is not always better for turkeys as anyone who has missed a 10-yard shot can attest.
It turns out that Jay's research on down range energy foreshadowed the Hevi-Shot revolution. More importantly, I have not missed a turkey in the ensuing 15 years and have made two kills at over 50 yards.
Hunting habitat and conditions should be a consideration when selecting shot size. I know Cut' n' Run hunts thick vegetation where shots are seldom longer than 20 yards or unobstructed, so in his case #6s probably make more sense. For the pastures of Missouri and farmland of Michigan that I hunt, #4s are the ticket.
"The joy of living is his, who has the heart to demand it." Teddy Roosevelt

Posts: 481
Joined: April 26th, 2009, 11:36 am

RE: Shot size?

Postby nhtrkybstr » May 13th, 2009, 12:36 pm

Three inch #4 federal mag-shok. I love how they pattern from my gun! The turkey I killed this year took the entire load right in the neck and head at 30 yards. He never knew what hit him!
You can't kill'em sittin' on the couch!

Posts: 99
Joined: November 17th, 2008, 7:22 am

RE: Shot size?

Postby NEbeardhunter21 » May 14th, 2009, 2:24 pm

Evening all,
     I also tried the 3 in. Federal #4 mags this year and LOVE THEM. I used winchester loads last year with OK results and decided this spring to try something different. The Federals were the first ones I tried with great results. 3 big Toms this spring, 2 at 40 yds and 1 at 35 yds, nocked flat. Very clean kills. By the way, I have a Remington 870 with the shur-shot stock. 
May your shells be live and your Toms be monsters

Return to Shooting

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests