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Thread: Grouse 12 ga shell questions

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Otter Point (Southern Vancouver Island) MU1-2&3
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    548

    Re: Grouse 12 ga shell questions

    The 20 I use is wingmaster 870 LW Field Special, 21” vent rib double bead sight, Remington interchange chokes.
    English straight stock, hard to come by these days.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Victoria
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    2,153

    Re: Grouse 12 ga shell questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Throwaway View Post
    I’ve never shot grouse with a 12. 12s are for pushing heavier pellets. Shooting 7 1/2s out of a 20 will pattern much better than a 12. Probably not too helpful to you now unless you’re looking for a reason to get a new gun.
    7 or 7.5s are normal trap loads, and most guys shoot 12 gauges. Pattern is about forcing cones and choke size, not gauge.
    OP, try a tighter choke, mod or improved mod.
    The only thing I like as much as trucks, is guns.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
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    102

    Re: Grouse 12 ga shell questions

    I’ve found shot ‘patterns’ better at lower velocities, I think the science agrees with me.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    105

    Re: Grouse 12 ga shell questions

    i was using target load shells last week. size 7.5 or 8 i think? low brass. i'm not a great shot while they are spooked and flying away, but when roosted it was easy enough to take them out by the head. haven't had to spit any pellets out yet. using 12ga, full choke.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Langley
    Posts
    4,973

    Re: Grouse 12 ga shell questions

    I use a 12ga with 2/3" shells, shot size #4-6 and 1 & 1/8 or 1 & 1/4 loads through a modified choke.

    It does pretty darn good shooting grouse on the ground, out of trees and out of the air.

    I love it, but I have had some of those "what the heck" moments where I shoot at a grouse 15-20 yards away and swear there is a grouse shaped gap in my pattern.

    A few notable episodes... last year for whatever reason I thought a 12 inch meatball sub would do me for the weekend. Got to camp and ate all on the Friday night. Oops! No more food for 36 hours. Woke up next morning to a thud. Looked out my windshield and see 3 grouse messing about just under 20 yards away. I quietly un case the shotgun. Find my keys for the trigger lock, pop the lock off, locate a few shells. Quietly open the door and step out, jack one in, line up bird #1... BOOM... Grouse flies into the next time zone. Line up grouse #2... BOOM... flies off.... grouse #3... BOOM... see ya later... flies off as I sent a hail mary shot above it over my head... no go. Let the fasting continue.

    I recall another time I shot at a snoozing grouse 3 times from 10 yards away before it took off, and another time I shot at one about 20 yards 3 times and hit it on the 4th time (i have that on video for some future blooper compilation)

    Just over a week ago I missed one 10 yards as it took flight. Saw it looking down at me from a branch. BOOM. Nope.

    It's really the rushed / pressure shots I miss. In hind sight, I'm not very thorough when it comes to form or lining up the bead. I have a mid sight and a front sight on a vented rail. I am sure if I was better about making sure the beads are lined up and the rail is flat for every shot I wouldn't have as many "miss" stories.

    On paper and and taking my time, the shotgun does what it's supposed to do every time. Now that guy being the trigger... he is known to malfunction from time to time.

    I just put on a fiber optic front bead just to change something up to make me a little more cognizant of pointing the shotgun properly.

    Back to shells... the reason I like #4-6 with lighter pay loads is there are not enough pellets to damage meat and when you do get a couple in the breast, they often pass right through, if not, super easy to locate.

    #7.5-8 is getting a bit on the light side for my preferences. I have used both and they both work, but I have run into lack of penetration or light penetration combined with more pellets than I would like to see. However, that does go back to practice and knowing your pattern. A lot of savvy shotgun shooters use it without issue.
    Last edited by caddisguy; 10-06-2020 at 03:06 PM.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    238

    Re: Grouse 12 ga shell questions

    I've tried all the combos and I use 7.5 shot through improved cylinder. Works like a charm - got 9 this weekend and one was at least 40 yards on the ground. Using a Remington 870 express which is perfect for the thickets. I always aim 2 inches over the head to minimize lead in the breast meat and it works most of the time.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Victoria
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    Re: Grouse 12 ga shell questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Throwaway View Post
    I’ve found shot ‘patterns’ better at lower velocities, I think the science agrees with me.
    I think you should do more research, the science doesn't agree with you. While velocity is certainly a factor, so is shot hardness, wad design, barrel length, forcing cone length, and choke.
    How fast are your 20 gauge shells anyway?

    Federal top gun 12 gauge 3 dram #8 is advertised at 1200fps.
    Federal top gun 20 gauge, 2.5 dram #8 is advertised at....1210fps.

    Gauge doesn't reflect velocity or pattern.
    The only thing I like as much as trucks, is guns.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    102

    Re: Grouse 12 ga shell questions

    Found this from OutdoorLife.com. Not exactly MIT but a somewhat reputable source.

    The most uniform patterns with lead shot typically come at slower speeds. With less of a starting whack from the powder gas, fewer pellets are crushed. Similarly, the shot will slip through the forcing cone, down the bore, and out the choke with fewer deformities. As a result, more pellets remain in the core of a pattern and you’ll have fewer fliers. This provides good pattern density and will help you to bring down more birds.’

    source:https://www.outdoorlife.com/3-reason...-bird-hunting/

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Victoria
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    2,153

    Re: Grouse 12 ga shell questions

    Well, I guess they know better than every top ranked trap shooter, and every ammunition manufacturer. I would guess that 95% of trap shooters shoot a 12 gauge with #7 or #7.5 shot. You get more shot, which creates a denser pattern, and 12 and 20 gauge rounds are fired at similar velocities. So other than lighter recoil, what's the advantage to a 20 gauge again?
    The only thing I like as much as trucks, is guns.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    1,005

    Re: Grouse 12 ga shell questions

    Things that make for a good pattern are good quality shells, and shotgun bore that is properly manufactured. Most higher end shells have brass vs steel heads, good powder and wads and 6% antimony shot. Out of a good bore they will shoot dense patterns. Most good Trap, Skeet and Sporting guns have the forcing cones lengthened, and honed bores. While shell speed could be argued, I have a hard time believing this reasoning unless you are using soft shot. Olympic Trap and Skeet shooters typically use 7/8 ounce of shot at 1300 or 1350 feet per second. The patterns on their guns must be dense in order to break the targets as they are harder and faster than american Trap & Skeet targets. Any of the 27 yd'er Trap shooters I know use the hardest shoot shot they can purchase, because they want uniform patterns when shooting back that far. The cheaper shells while good for general purpose stuff, will not pattern as well as the better stuff. The old you get what you pay for comes to mind in this case. Ever watch a guy with a Perazzi, Barreta, or Kreigoff shotgun on a trap line. Those guns powder targets with good shells for a reason. If pattern density is a concern, best to buy a better quality shell, or consider shells with copper coated shot. Another option is to get some barrel work done, buy a better quality gun and/or learn to shoot birds in the air. They are much easier to kill when flying vs sitting on the ground.

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