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#568995 - 04/03/20 01:09 PM More on 2 3/4" 1 1/4 oz loads
L. Brown Offline
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Registered: 01/01/02
Posts: 10775
Loc: Iowa
Unfortunately, the previous topic on the subject got derailed when there was a good bit more to be said.

For example, when discussing gun weight, we never dealt with the subject of recoil--and how all 2 3/4" 1 1/4 oz loads (I'll stick with lead to keep it from becoming too complicated) are not equal.

I count myself fortunate to have lived in Iowa back when, in more years than not, it was the #1 pheasant state in the nation. During most of those years, my schedule was flexible enough that there weren't a lot of days when I couldn't hunt if I chose to do so. And I had access to a lot of high quality private land, back when Iowa still had numerous large fields set aside in the CRP program.

There are a bunch of different ways to hunt pheasants. I prefer small groups. And outside of the years when I was a regular participant in the Iowa Governor's Pheasant Hunt, that's the way I've hunted pheasants for most of my life. Often alone (because of my flexible schedule) or with maybe just one or two companions. I've always been more comfortable with the idea of shooting my own birds, and have never been very anxious to shoot anyone else's. Unless you're doing the drive and block drill, it's relatively easy to play by those rules. And because I always had dogs (sometimes THE dog) in the group, I would have been walking anyhow.

All of which pointed me in the direction of a relatively light gun (6 1/2# or so). I never felt discomfort from recoil as long as I stuck with 1 1/4 oz loads in the 1220 fps range. Shooting no more than maybe 5 shots in a day, that worked fine for me. But with some ammo makers now touting 1500 fps lead loads as their "premium" pheasant loads, we're talking about a whole lot more recoil. Personally, I never found myself undergunned with the slower loads. And if it's additional energy/penetration you're looking for, you will gain a lot more by going from 6's to 5's than you will from adding a lot more velocity (and a lot more kick!) If you're going to those very high velocity loads, then you'll almost certainly want a gun heavier than 6 1/2#.

Re the point raised by Mark II--about how not all SKB's are equal: the Ithaca SKB's, made in Japan, had a very good and reliable single trigger. I've dropped snap caps in several Turkish-made SKB's, and they also seem to have a good trigger in terms of pull weight. I've tried other Turkish guns--with snap caps and/or testing them afield--with triggers that are far too heavy. My trigger pull gauge stops at 8 pounds, and I've found some that are off the scale. I would never buy a Turkish gun without checking the trigger pull. I don't consider myself particularly sensitive to trigger pulls, but when they're a good bit heavier than the weight of the gun in question, that doesn't work for me.

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#568996 - 04/03/20 01:18 PM Re: More on 2 3/4" 1 1/4 oz loads [Re: L. Brown]
BrentD Offline
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Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4596
Loc: Iowa
Larry, since the OP was interested in specifically Bi loads, I don't know of any factory loads that in the 1500 fps range. The Kents that I have are 1350 and that's more than enough, yet the recoil is quite unremarkable. When I reload Bi, I'm down in the 1200-1250 range.

The Japanese SKB 100s would weigh what? 7ish? I wouldn't think they are much more, but I've never scaled one. Those in my safe at the moment are all 20s.
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#568999 - 04/03/20 01:52 PM Re: More on 2 3/4" 1 1/4 oz loads [Re: L. Brown]
Shotgunjones Offline
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Registered: 02/16/03
Posts: 3654
Loc: Michigan
I had an Ithaca import SKB 200E 12 ga. that was 7 pounds even.

They got heavier when they started with the choke tube barrels.

Watch out for added recoil pads if you're looking for light weight.

That's an extra quarter pound.
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#569007 - 04/03/20 02:37 PM Re: More on 2 3/4" 1 1/4 oz loads [Re: L. Brown]
L. Brown Offline
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Registered: 01/01/02
Posts: 10775
Loc: Iowa
The later SKB imports--under their own name rather than for Ithaca--were definitely heavier.

I had to dig back quite a ways to come up with anything on 12ga Ithaca SKB Model 100's. I had a 200E made for the European market, but with a splinter FE like a 100. It weighed 6/10. And a standard 28" Model 100 at 6/13. Both with 28" barrels.

Two Webley & Scott 700 12's I had, both 28", weighed 6/7 and 6/8. So a few ounces lighter in favor of the Brits.

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#569031 - 04/03/20 10:42 PM Re: More on 2 3/4" 1 1/4 oz loads [Re: L. Brown]
oskar Offline
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Registered: 04/16/13
Posts: 532
Loc: NM
I shoot a light little Bernardelli Elios 12ga 25" barrels at 5 lb 15 oz and it has been the hammer of Thor on wild MT bird, phesants, sharptails and huns. It is a pleasure to carry, lightning fast and choked IC/IM. I've been using B&P High Pheasant 1 oz 6's and 7/8 oz ITX 6 handloads.



Never could see the uses for 1 1/4 oz in good handling shotguns for upland birds. But I also hunt over good dogs.



Edited by oskar (04/03/20 10:50 PM)
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#569032 - 04/03/20 11:24 PM Re: More on 2 3/4" 1 1/4 oz load [Re: L. Brown]
old colonel Offline
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Registered: 03/05/09
Posts: 1790
Loc: Topeka, Kansas
I hav found that 1oz pattern put on target from a 16 does the job more often than not


Edited by old colonel (04/03/20 11:27 PM)
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#569053 - 04/04/20 11:52 AM Re: More on 2 3/4" 1 1/4 oz load [Re: L. Brown]
L. Brown Offline
Sidelock
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Registered: 01/01/02
Posts: 10775
Loc: Iowa
I'd have to go through a lot of notes, but I expect that I've killed more roosters with a 16 than a 12 as well. And I've had several short chambered British 12's through which I never used anything heavier than 1 1/8 oz. But I've shot quite a few birds with the more modest 1 1/4 oz 12ga loads as well.

One interesting fact about the old 1220 fps Super Pigeon load is that it receives high praise from three late shotgun gurus: Bob Brister, Gene Hill, and Michael McIntosh. With most pheasant hunters shooting 12's chambered at least 2 3/4" if not 3", I think it's a good choice. In McIntosh's book "Shotguns and Shooting", the chapter "Gunning John Ringneck" contains the following quote:

" . . . From experience I have to say I wouldn't object too strongly if someone described a 12 gauge 3 1/4 dram 1 1/4 ounce charge of hard No. 6 as the ultimate all-around pheasant load."

I've patterned that load against higher velocity options. And while the results only showed a fairly slight advantage over the 3 3/4 dram 1 1/4 oz 1330 fps load (which is the original Super-X formula), it printed far better on paper than the 1400 fps version--and with significantly less recoil. But the ammo makers know their business well enough to realize that they can always sell American hunters on loads that are either heavier or faster . . . or both.

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#569056 - 04/04/20 12:03 PM Re: More on 2 3/4" 1 1/4 oz load [Re: L. Brown]
BrentD Offline
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Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4596
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: L. Brown
In McIntosh's book "Shotguns and Shooting", the chapter "Gunning John Ringneck" contains the following quote:

" . . . From experience I have to say I wouldn't object too strongly if someone described a 12 gauge 3 1/4 dram 1 1/4 ounce charge of hard No. 6 as the ultimate all-around pheasant load."


Penultimate, Larry. Repeat that with #5 and you have The Ultimate. smile
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#569095 - 04/05/20 07:46 AM Re: More on 2 3/4" 1 1/4 oz load [Re: BrentD]
L. Brown Offline
Sidelock
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Registered: 01/01/02
Posts: 10775
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: BrentD
Originally Posted By: L. Brown
In McIntosh's book "Shotguns and Shooting", the chapter "Gunning John Ringneck" contains the following quote:

" . . . From experience I have to say I wouldn't object too strongly if someone described a 12 gauge 3 1/4 dram 1 1/4 ounce charge of hard No. 6 as the ultimate all-around pheasant load."


Penultimate, Larry. Repeat that with #5 and you have The Ultimate. smile



Ask and you shall receive, Brent:

"My own pheasant loads ended up being 3 1/4 dram with 1 1/4 ounces of either 5's or 6's . . . "

That's Gene Hill in the chapter "Of Pheasants and Things" from his "Shotgunner's Notebook".


Edited by L. Brown (04/05/20 07:48 AM)

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#569098 - 04/05/20 08:47 AM Re: More on 2 3/4" 1 1/4 oz load [Re: L. Brown]
BrentD Offline
Sidelock
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Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4596
Loc: Iowa
Perfect! smile I always did like Gene.

Sometime this week, I will probably be loading what I and a friend will need for this fall. So far, I am very optimistic about the coming season.
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...never pay Dave "one more dime" (thanks Stanlie)

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