View Full Version : #6 shot for dove, squirrel, rabbit......
Would number 6 shot work well for most small game animals like squirrel rabbit and dove? I've heard that it works well for squirrel and rabbit since it has greater penetration, but is it too heavy for dove? I went ahead and bought a few boxes of the 20 gauge heavy 1 oz. 6's since they were 3.20, but I might buy some 71/2's or 8 if the 6 is too heavy for dove.
08-20-2001, 09:39 PM
I believe 6's are to big for dove and they don't have the amount of pellets for good patterns on them fast little devils. They do a pretty good job on squirrels but I like 5's for rabbits for the brush you have to put up with.
08-20-2001, 09:42 PM
If you got the bucks I would probably go buy some 7 1/2 shot to use for Doves. I always rate my shot to game by how many pellets does it take to cleanly kill the animal or bird and how dense a patern do I need. On Doves it takes very few pellets to kill them but needs a dense pattern due to the size of the bird. So if you got the bucks buy some 7 1/2 shot for the doves. If not use what you have, it will work just fine.
08-21-2001, 07:37 AM
I agree with Commandrblack re. doves and Don re. squirrels. If you must use only one shot size for everything, I believe I would use 7-1/2's. I have used them successfully on both squirrel and rabbits.
When you buy your 7 1/2 for the doves, buy a bunch. :D I love shooting at them, and I think I do better than average, but the average ain't too good. I read somewhere that the national average for doves is 2 birds per box (25) shells!
What is your average everyone? I think I get probably 11-12 per box. Well maybe 10. I have hit 15 for 17 before with a three shot/ three bird run in about 5 seconds! But I have also had a depressing run of 3 for 64!
08-21-2001, 09:14 AM
I've used #6 on dove and was unimpressed by their performance. That being said, you can kill some dove with them, but most guns will throw sparse pattern after about 25 or 30 yards. But, if your gun patterns well with a load, use it. I prefer 1 1/8 oz. of #7.5 or #8 for dove in a 12. For squirrel I like #5 and #6's but I have even taken BIG jackrabbits with #7.5 so they will work up to about 35 yards.
This time of year dove loads should be cheap, too. Stock up if you find a sale at Wally-World.
08-21-2001, 05:13 PM
i use #6 shot for all small game (squrrel, rabbit, dove, grouse,bobwhite,phesant) it works fine. i especcially like federal Brand shotgun shells
08-21-2001, 06:47 PM
Federal 7.5's in the 4 box at wall-mart are on sale. They work great on doves, then pivk up a box of federal heavy field 6's for less than 5 bucks and have all the shells you need for a few days.
08-23-2001, 08:44 AM
For dove, rabbits and squirrel with one size shot I would say 6`s are your best choice. For doves alone 7 1/2, for rabbits and squirrel 5`s. with 4`s being my a better choice for squirrel at longer dictances useing mag. loads.
If I had to have 1 shell for all small game and small birds, the 6 would be my choice. I'd go with the 7 1/2 for birds(though I've killed quail with 2's). It's not a matter of being too heavy. It is a ? if you can hit em. For bunnies and squirrels 4,5,6. 5's are right in between and my favorite. (4's if you want more power, less hair, less crunching on lead, and the occasional trip to the dentist.
08-23-2001, 03:49 PM
One thing I try to do is rotate those shotgun shells. I am buying this year, but shooting shells I bought a few years back. I always date the boxes.
But to address the question, I vary the shot size and loading depending on several factors. For example, with Squirrels, I like heavier loadings in the early fall when the leaves are thick, and use lighter loads in the late season( or switch to a .22 rifle). Bunnies usually get the #6 heavy loads unless I am hunting in an orange grove, then they get the 7 1/2 loads.
One thing for sure, you need to pattern the gun. Don't forget to pattern each choke tube. There are several reference sources that tell you what you can expect for each constriction of choke.
For Dove and quail, I prefer 7 1/2 or 8's. 9's work well for some areas, and at certain times of the season when the birds are coming in closer. I like either a 12 or 20 ga., and use a Browning A-5 in 12 Ga, or Mossberg pump in 20.
08-24-2001, 10:35 AM
What in the world were you hunting with #-2 shot when you killed quail with it. Now I have killed a few with a .22 when rabbit hunting but never with a 2 lol.
08-24-2001, 12:08 PM
Is number 5 shot any good against big ol woodchucks? Out to what range?
When my grandpa was alive, #2 was all he used for rabbits. He loved the penatration through brush and less holes in the bunnies. I ran short on shells a few times and got some of his 2's. I flushed some quail and got lucky. :)
#6 is fine when you are hunting smallgame in general... but when you know your hunting just dove go with 7.5 and but plenty... I always take 4 boxes of shells with me when dove hunting cause you never know how the dove gawds are that day :D
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