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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a nice stock of ammo for the bad times but now I'm stocking up on ammo for hunting
what do you think is the best shot for small game like squirrel or rabbit?
Lots of shotgun ammo on wallys shelf but it's mostly like #8 low brass for target or skeet
I was thinking like high brass 4 shot?
 

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It is funny that 12 guage is cheaper that .22 rounds atm, but stick with the small game loads at wallmart.

You don't need 4 shot to kill a squirrel or rabbit and they are the best buy.
 

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I personally wouldn't use anything smaller than #6 although I would much prefer #2 or 4 which I find about perfect for Rabbits and Squirrels. Since I reload...I am using BB's. Yeah that's right BB's, you know like Crossman, that you find in the air rifle section of Walmart. I use a wad that's for steel shot that holds about an ounce and I load it in a low brass Winchester AA hull. I just use a powder charge designed of 1 ounce field loads. I might go back to lead again since they have recently raised the price on the 6000 count BB containers by a dollar. Its still more economical than lead shot but not by much. Im glad I have 2 x 3 liter bottles full of it that I bought when it was much cheaper! Might go back to using lead shot and if I do it looks like #5 will be the shot of choice since its that or #7.5 or 8's. I guess I could always order a bag of shot in... I prefer the bigger sized shot so that I don't saturate the game with shot like you do with the smaller shot sizes. Its makes cleaning them and removing the shot much easier and less tedious as there aint too many things in this world I hate more that biting down an a piece of shot I didn't find! The larger shot sizes penetrate much deeper which on squirrels is really a non issue but sometimes that's needed on even Cotton Tail Rabbits.
 

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#7 1/2 for the non-existent ruffed grouse,#5 & #6 low/high brass for tree rats and hasenpffefer, #5 & #6 high brass for pheasant and duckys, #2 & #4 for duckys and geese

For you reloaders,the high brass doesn't make much difference except it's harder to resize.
 

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It all comes down to range. Set up some targets at different distances and experiment with different chokes and different # shot. You will understand shot pattern and what works best at what range. I could kill you with #8 or just really piss you off, just depends on the range.
 

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#6 for me, works for most things from pheasant to squirrel
 

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5 or 6 shot seems to work best for most upland game hunting situations.
Select a barrel choke for the pattern density you want to have at the range the game is typically encountered. A modified choke is a happy medium for most upland game.
The general rule of thumb is smaller birds smaller shot larger birds larger shot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I been watching at wally world and 7 1/2, 8,, or 4 is about I can find at a decent price.
 

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For defense use try to stay away from the steel shot and the target loads.
 

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I been watching at wally world and 7 1/2, 8,, or 4 is about I can find at a decent price.
Watch them closely in the fall at the start of dove season. Once the season is over you can usually find #6 shot for about the same price it would cost you to load it yourself! I personally picked up about a case of it a box or two here and there on my way to work a couple of times a week and I paid just under 5 bucks a 25 round box!!! Its there if your local walmart has any competition close by they have to compete with and they end the season with more ammo on the shelf than they want to carry all year long collecting dust till next season and taking up valuable shelf space! They don't usually stack it as deep on the shelf like they do #8 and # 7 1/2 but they almost always have it for a while after the season closes. I usually use it for next years Dove and Quail Season or for cheap range practice and then keep the hulls to reload later to replace the hulls that have seen better days and need to be discarded.
 

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In fact at the end of Duck Season I cashed in on 3 inch mag steel shot loads for about 40-45% of the normal price...needless to say, I am ready for the 2014 Teal season!!!
 

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Do you really need a shotgun to kill a tree rat or rabbit? Shotguns are for shooting birds out of the air. Use a 22 and shoot them in the head. Trains you to wait for a good clean shot and helps with marksmanship, discipline, etc. Blow them out of a tree with a 12ga, now that's sporting. Nothing like eating leads pellets.

Grandpa, WW2 Marine, and dad would give me 5 22lr shells when I went hunting. I was expected to come back with 5 critters, squirrels,rabbits, grouse etc. Dad demanded head shots only or I got yelled at. Of course the left over shells also if I only got 2-3. Learned one shot one kill at a early age.
 

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The shotgun is not limited to wing shots at birds - although it is very good for that. A 22 will go for about three miles if you miss that squirrel and the shot from a shotgun won't. Even if you hit the squirrel that bullet is going to continue on a lot farther than the shot from a shotgun. The shotgun can also be used for pests and varmints - that is why you have so many different size shot. I would bet that very few people use buckshot to kill birds. Slugs are for dangerous animals at reasonable ranges. The shotgun can handle 90% of the tasks in the woods and all the tasks in and around the home as well or better than most any other arm.
 

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Do you really need a shotgun to kill a tree rat or rabbit? Shotguns are for shooting birds out of the air. Use a 22 and shoot them in the head. Trains you to wait for a good clean shot and helps with marksmanship, discipline, etc. Blow them out of a tree with a 12ga, now that's sporting. Nothing like eating leads pellets.

Grandpa, WW2 Marine, and dad would give me 5 22lr shells when I went hunting. I was expected to come back with 5 critters, squirrels,rabbits, grouse etc. Dad demanded head shots only or I got yelled at. Of course the left over shells also if I only got 2-3. Learned one shot one kill at a early age.
I agree with you...I often use a 22 rifle myself. Yes using a small bore rifle for hunting them is far more sporting, Ill agree. However due to the range that even 22 long rifle ammo can pose sometimes its not really in the best interest of safety especially with the way there is so much urban sprawl these days. As such not only do I still sometimes use a shotgun, being and avid achery freak, I use a bow too in such situations where using a 22 of one flavor or another is not feasible.
 

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The shotgun has become more viable as a small game getter ever since .22LR ammo has gotten so flipping expensive and scarce. I think these days it's cheaper to shoot a shotgun than it is a .22 LR. never thought I say that.
 

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If it's not flying and will stay still for moment I can hit it with one of these. That with there cost, and capability of taking the game makes them one of the best if not the best there is. Just about anyone can handle a .22lr rifle also. People may have trouble finding .22lr locally but it's online.

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The shot doesn't get too far past the skin. Try it sometime. You will find that there is actually less shot in the meat then with 5 or 6 shot which is what I used when I first started hunting nearly 45 years ago. It almost seems as though it is the shock that kills them more then the shot. It works.
Probably does work if you are close enough, but if the pattern is spread a bit and you only get a few #8 shot into a pheasant he is going to shrug it off and keep on flying. He may die somewhere and feed the coyotes but probably not going to feed you.
 
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