Shot sizes for different game

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  • Shot sizes for different game

    i have been reading a few threads in regards to what shots sizes for use with what type of game your shooting,

    i plan on heading out and doing a bit of shooting while on a mates property and i want to take my 12 gauge with me, but i am unsure on what shot sizes should be used or can be used on what game for the most effective kill. and i dont wanna drag out a heap of the wrong ammo and end up with an inhumane kill, just wanna be more prepared.

    so if any of the shotgun hunting gurus out there can help me out with a list of what you shoot and what shot size you use for it.

    maybe if we can make up a list of the shot sizes most suitable for different game and we can get it stickied for amateurs like me,

    ill start with my experience

    Clays - Sporting type - No.7.5, No.8, No.9 Lead shot,

  • #2
    What kind of game do you think you'll encounter?

    A lot of it is personal preference and experience.
    You can take rabbits with anything from 7s through to BB's
    One's at the light end of the spectrum, the other is overkill.

    I tend to load up to hunt something specifically.
    If I'm after foxes I load up with a heavy BB load.
    Whilst I might see rabbits during a fox hunt I won't use the heavy (Exy) load on them.

    Game birds - You're going to need Steel during the declared season.
    The rule of thumb is to go up two shots sizes when going from Lead to steel to have a similar amount of energy downrange.
    So if you like lead 6's, then use steel 4's or if you tend towards lead 4's then you'd select steel in 2's.

    Something like Quail - very light 9's
    Smaller ducks like Pinkies or Teal - 6's
    Larger ducks like Blackies - 4's
    Mountain ducks or Geese you might choose 2's
    (As stated above go up two sizes if using steel).

    Then you get into heavier shells for larger game.
    If you're after Pigs - most folks tend to favour SG's and Slugs.

    Then you get into the decision over what weight of load to use.
    It'll depend on the gun you're using and whether or not you can handle the recoil associated with various loads.

    The trend in target shooting over the last twenty years or so is towards lighter loads.
    In the late eighties everyone shot 1 1/8 (32 gram) of lead shot at most forms of clays.
    The 1oz (28 gram) load has become popular over and would be the standard size used by the majority of shooters these days.
    Lighter 24 gram and even 21 gram loads are now readiliy available.


    • #3
      A bit dated, it is from the 1960's but is probably still relevant (except for Ducks.) Shot sizes are English.

      The table also list each shot size available in each cartridge.
      Interestingly, the table lists #1 shot, which went out of production a long time ago.
      Similarly, SSG's are not mentioned, I have a 'Maximum' cartridge so loaded, and have seen a 'Grand Prix' loaded with #12, which is not listed. Of course, they could have been introduced after this was printed.

      This post may be fact or opinion, it is up to you to decide which.