I am so overly excited to finally get my 26" SBE II. In hopes to answer some questions on chokes and size and some other useful tips?
Use # 4, 5 & 6 Lead Shot.
Use # 4 Lead Shot, for field shooting where long shots are typical.
Use # 5 Lead Shot, for over dogs shooting.
Use # 6 Lead Shot for average hunting conditions.
Improved Cylinder Choke, for close cover.
Modified or Full Choke for long field shots.
Use # 71/2, 8 & 9 Lead Shot.
For early season shooting on small quail, use # 9 Lead Shot.
Larger Quail and longer shots, use # 71/2 or 8 Lead Shot.
Improved Cylinder Choke or Modified Choke are the most effective.
Ducks & Geese.
Use # T, BBB, BB, 1, 2, 3, 4 & 6 Steel Shot.
For ducks at normal ranges # 2 and 4 shot are the most popular.
BBB shot is the most effective for geese.
Improved Cylinder Choke, for small ducks up to 45 yds.
Modified Choke, for medium and large ducks.
Full Choke, for geese and large ducks beyond 45 yds.
Grouse Chukars & Partridge.
Use # 5, 6, 71/2 & 8 Lead Shot.
On smaller grouse or partridge, use the smaller shot.
Use larger size shot for heavier ounce loads and larger birds.
Improved Cylinder Choke or Modified Choke, for brush.
Full Choke, for open ranges
Doves & Pigeons.
Use # 6, 7 1/2, 8 & 9 Lead Shot.
For normal ranges, use # 7 1/2 or 8 shot for light shooting.
For longer ranges, use heavier loads of larger shot.
Modified Choke is the most effective
Use # 2, 4, 5 & 6 Lead Shot.
The longer the range, use heavier ounce and larger shot size loads.
Full Choke - Super Full Choke are the most effective
This is just some of my run-ins and what I have used in the past. I hope this answers some of the questions out there in what to use. Happy Bird Hunting! Here are some more "Tips" for Everyone.
For Late Season hunts I have read up on and learned trial by error:
Heavily hunted birds get edgy, often flushing much farther out than during the early part of the season. For that reason, you'll need heavier loads and tighter chokes than you used earlier inn the season on partridge.
Where size 6 shot suffices for close-in work during early autumn, try a full choke and No. 5 loads during late season. During winter I sometimes shoot a tight full choke on chukars. If you're shooting double guns, try full and modified. For pumps and autos, choose one or the other and then mix your shell selection. Often I shoot modified with two rounds of No. 5s followed by a "duck load" of No. 4s.
For ruffed grouse, stick to open chokes, either improved or modified, depending on the cover. Unlike partridge, ruffed grouse tend to stick tight for close-in flushes -- or they bust well out of range. Tight flushes and heavy cover demands open shot patterns. No. 6 shot -- even 7 1/2 in tight confines -- does the job.
Blue grouse offer every imaginable type of shot, from under your feet "heart-attack" flushes to mad downhill dashes from the tops of fir trees. During the late season, when the birds get a little edgy, opt for a modified choke and No. 5 or No. 6 shot, a combination that gives you a fighting chance at long-range treetop flushers.
Early or late in the season, valley quail demand small shot sizes, typically No. 7 1/2. Anything else risks ruining perfectly exceptional table fare. My only concession to late-season quail is a modified rather than improved-cylinder choke. The modified choke delivers a better shot pattern on birds flushing a little farther out than usual.
I hope you all can better from this - Some might use different load/shot and choke config. Feel free to reply to and add what has best worked for you. I am in Colorado and hunt the surrounding states as well and this is what I have used. Here is a link for the "greenhorns" on cleaning a Pheasant:
[ 12-03-2005, 10:30 AM: Message edited by: Bonedesign ]