What's your favorite dove gear?

Discussion in 'Upland Game Forum' started by Out of focus, Aug 3, 2019.

  1. Out of focus

    Out of focus Refuge Member

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    It appears I am surrounded by experts.
    Since dove season is approaching, what is your favorite shotgun, choke and ammo for blasting doves during a hot afternoon? I use a 20 gauge 1100 LT-20 with a fixed modified choke and Winchester 7/8 oz #8 lead dove loads. In Louisiana we can still use lead for doves on private lands. I've never tried any steel upland loads yet.
     
  2. Joe Hunter

    Joe Hunter Senior Refuge Member

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    Nothing wrong with that combo for dove.

    Of course, load/choke selection depends on the type of dove hunting (water hole, feed field, pass shooting, roost shooting, etc.) you are doing and the normal distance of your shots.

    Here are a few of my pattern numbers to give you an idea of the kind of performance you might get from both lead and steel 20-gauge chokes/loads.

    Pattern results from a 20-gauge Browning Citori with 28" Invector-plus barrels using Briley flush chokes (patterns average of five, 30" post-shot scribed circle, yardage taped muzzle to target, and in-shell pellet count average of five).

    20 GA 2 3/4" WINCHESTER AA TARGET LOAD
    7/8 oz #8 lead (356 pellets) @ 1200 fps
    30 YARDS – SK / pattern 230 (65%)
    30 YARDS – IC / pattern 257 (72%)
    30 YARDS – M / pattern 318 (89%)
    40 YARDS – IM / pattern 225 (63%)
    40 YARDS – F / pattern 240 (67%)

    20 GA 2 3/4" REMINGTON SHURSHOT HEAVY DOVE LOAD
    1 oz #7 ½ lead (349 pellets) @ 1165 fps
    30 YARDS – SK / pattern 221 (63%)
    30 YARDS – IC / pattern 249 (71%)
    30 YARDS – M / pattern 298 (85%)
    40 YARDS – IM / pattern 221 (63%)
    40 YARDS – F / pattern 243 (70%)

    For dove hunters that need or want to shoot steel loads, here are a few of my steel load pattern numbers to give you an idea of how they perform.

    20 GA 2 3/4" WINCHESTER XPERT STEEL LOAD
    3/4 oz #7 steel (327 pellets) @ 1325 fps
    30 YARDS - SK / pattern 221 (68%)
    30 YARDS - IC / pattern 242 (74%)
    30 YARDS - M / pattern 272 (83%)
    40 YARDS - IM / pattern 197 (60%)
    40 YARDS - F / pattern 213 (65%)

    20 GA 2 3/4" WINCHESTER XPERT STEEL LOAD
    3/4 oz #6 steel (231 pellets) @ 1325 fps
    30 YARDS - SK / pattern 173 (75%)
    30 YARDS - IC / pattern 181 (78%)
    30 YARDS - M / pattern 204 (88%)
    40 YARDS - IM / pattern 155 (67%)
    40 YARDS - F / pattern 165 (71%)

    Good luck!
     
    Out of focus likes this.
  3. Soggy Socks

    Soggy Socks Senior Refuge Member

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    Nice work as usual Joe. Wish we could hunt doves here in the northeast, I do shoot pigeons and re- load 20 ga. to same velocity as Winchester Super sport 7/8 oz. which I like the best of any factory load works great on high flyers.
     
  4. Winchester 1897

    Winchester 1897 Elite Refuge Member

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    My favorite dove set up is 1 1/8 7.5 or 6 going 1250-1300 out of my 16 or 1 1/4 ounce 7.5 outta my 12 but I can't hunt with those anymore in California.
     
  5. widgeon

    widgeon Elite Refuge Member

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    I shoot a 20 ga side by side. In the early season I use the cheap dove loads #8. I switch to 7 1/2 high brass for the late season.
     
  6. Ravenanme

    Ravenanme Elite Refuge Member

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    Close to where I hunt
    Finding Steel Shot loads with any kind of assortment of shot sizes for upland birds in Calif. might take some fuel to find them ?
    What ever you find , don't be afraid to use your IC or Mod chokes.....even the .030/.035 full chokes work well , if you can shoot straight .
     
  7. Curt Gibson

    Curt Gibson Refuge Member

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    12 Guage SBE I use it for everything!! I usually shoot what I can find but they have to be 1/1/4 with 3 drams to cycle reliably.
     
  8. thatguy2

    thatguy2 Elite Refuge Member

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    Small Town USA
    Franchi instinct bottom barrel IC top barrel mod. Winchester AAs 7.5
     

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