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I have been shooting for about 4 years, starting at my local shooting ground using various brands of 71/2 cartridges.Over the last couple of years I have developed a passion for pigeons and I use mainly 6 's .

 

However the more I try to improve my skill and knowledge, I am finding that there appears to be contrasting information when it comes to using the correct cartridge size for pigeons. I found a back article in Shooting UK (2016) recently which showed comments from 11 shooting experts including Digweed, Garfitt, Parffitt and others recommending to use cartridges of 5, 6, 7/12 with various choke sizes.

 

For pigeons and Game I shoot a William Ford Sidelock 12g. at cyl and full, and an AYA 12g 400E at 1/4 and 3/4, both side by sides.

As an investment I have a Stephen Grant 12g,dated 1896.

 

I buy my cartridges usually depending on price, but after visiting my local gunshop today I now have size 6 at 32gram.My previous supply was 6 at 28gram.

 

Can anyone throw some light on what is the best cartridge to use.

 

Thanks.

Hillside 1945

 

 

 

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For me personally I use a fast trap cartridge. ( pro one / F3 piston or something along those lines ) normally in 24 upto 28 gram max in a 7.5 through 3/4 and full choke. Works for me out to 50 yards no problem.

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This debate has been raging since Victoria was on the throne and we're still no closer to a definitive answer. I am surprised though that 2 of the equally, if not more so, useful sizes are missing from the list given: namely 6&1/2s and 7s. If it were me, I'd open up the Full on the Ford to 1/2 and use 7s in it and leave the AyA alone and use the 6&1/2s in that. It really is a case of you pays your money and takes your choice, though.

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Your no6 32gm loads will do the job ok and deal with the odd carrion etc, but a 32gm load will have a fair bit more recoil in a sxs.

 

As stevo says any decent trap shell will kill pigeons. A 28gm no 7 {2.4mm} would be my choice in your guns but maybe try and pattern a few different shells. You might well be suprised!

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I think it's fair to say anything from size 7.5 to 4 and from 24g to 36g will do for pigeons with varying degrees of recoil as the weight goes up and varying degrees of pattern loss as the size goes up.

Outside those weights/size it's either way too much or not enough.

Size 7 and 28g through cylinder is good to 35/40 yards where pattern fails before penetration.

Size 6 will do to 50 yards if you can hit them (I cant) and yiu give it a bit of choke.

Find one thats soft on the shoulder and don't make your teeth rattle ans your halfway there.

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I mainly use the cheapest cartridges I can for pigeons. An ounce of 7 or 7.5 is my usual choice. These WILL easily kill to 50 yards and more. I find there is little point in using more, unless the pigeons are consistently over 50 yards. There really is no need to debate.

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I do not dispute any of the above info but on a couple of occasions Ive tried shooting pigeons with clay cartridges and My shooting goes to cock.

I think it's because I don't believe in the smaller shot sizes.

I kill better with 6s or 5s I'm certain it's because I'm confident in their ability and shooting is 90% psychological.

Shoot whatever your most comfortable with and trust.

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I normally shoot #5 and change the propellant, load and choke depending on situation as 5 will cope with all shooting; i change to #3 for inland geese.

 

In 20 bore i'd go 26 gr for decoying, 27-30 for roosting/ducks and 30+ for geese

 

Because i reload my own shells, i find it easy to keep one size in the dispenser and just change the load as i go along.

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anything from 7.5-5s.try a few and you will find one you like.most 'pigeon cartridges' are 6s which are wholly suitable.for decoying when pigeons are playing ball and you can get through a lot of shots clay loads work and are comfortable./affordable to most..remember pattern is most important so if you want to shoot comfortable loads through your old s/s and use @ 1oz then personally would favour 7s over say 5s...32g 6s will be v effective but for me a bit much via an old s/s if shooting a lot..if you search this topic comes up ALOT.....opinions vary why not try a few different ones yourself..

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The traditional 1 1/16 oz or 30g 6 shot game load wasn't arrived at by accident, they are probably the best compromise and the best all-rounder. So they are what I would advise most people to use, especially a relative beginner using a side by side.

Having said that because I use a heavy O/U recoil isn't an issue and because I like clean kills at longish ranges I use 32g 6 shot for most of my live bird shooting, only straying from them for specific reasons.

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