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neutron619

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OK chaps - this is a very contentious issue and one likely to inflame passions, so let me ask you to please read what I'm asking very carefully before you accidentally start the old "6 vs 7½" debate yet again.

 

Does anyone have any reference books, articles, links or other published content which discuss the use of extremely small (i.e. "too small") shot on game?

 

For example, we know from the historical record that Victorian taxidermists, trying not to damage the animal with which they intended to work, would use tiny charges of #9 and smaller shot to stun or kill the animal without materially damaging the carcass.

 

Again, for example, we also know that the Italians use small bore guns loaded with extremely small shot to protect olive groves from tiny pest birds - for example, sparrows - where there is a need.

 

Finally, for example, we can also infer that the so-called "garden gun" used to be a tool for the occasional dispatch of garden pests which often employs cartridges loaded with very small shot - e.g. #10, #11.

 

I think we can all agree that none of us are interested in replicating any of these practices, but I am looking for historical accounts which describe the use of this "dust shot" for a project I'm working on.

 

I'm particularly interested in the ethical side of things. I'd like to answer questions such as:

  • Was it simply accepted, in Victorian times, that one would always wound the quarry with a #12 loading, then despatch it by hand in a way that wouldn't spoil the "piece"?
  • Is it the case that the Italians use #12 shot on sparrows at 30-40 yards in the same way that we use #5 on pheasant at the same distance? Or not? Is the shot size used entirely related to the size of the bird, or it there simply a limit? E.g. "#12 will not kill anything beyond 10 feet, sparrow or pigeon or pheasant".

Once again - any references to published literature or websites which discuss these historical issues would be appreciated.

 

If anyone wants to give me their personal experiences or opinions, I suspect the moderators would prefer that to be done via private message.

 

With appreciative thanks for any information you can give.

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Gamebore used to load me some 12's, basically dust shot, but I only used those on very close clays!

 

*Hat tip*

 

Thank you. I'll message you with further questions.

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OK chaps - this is a very contentious issue and one likely to inflame passions, so let me ask you to please read what I'm asking very carefully before you accidentally start the old "6 vs 7½" debate yet again.

 

Does anyone have any reference books, articles, links or other published content which discuss the use of extremely small (i.e. "too small") shot on game?

 

For example, we know from the historical record that Victorian taxidermists, trying not to damage the animal with which they intended to work, would use tiny charges of #9 and smaller shot to stun or kill the animal without materially damaging the carcass.

 

Again, for example, we also know that the Italians use small bore guns loaded with extremely small shot to protect olive groves from tiny pest birds - for example, sparrows - where there is a need.

 

Finally, for example, we can also infer that the so-called "garden gun" used to be a tool for the occasional dispatch of garden pests which often employs cartridges loaded with very small shot - e.g. #10, #11.

 

I think we can all agree that none of us are interested in replicating any of these practices, but I am looking for historical accounts which describe the use of this "dust shot" for a project I'm working on.

 

I'm particularly interested in the ethical side of things. I'd like to answer questions such as:

  • Was it simply accepted, in Victorian times, that one would always wound the quarry with a #12 loading, then despatch it by hand in a way that wouldn't spoil the "piece"?
  • Is it the case that the Italians use #12 shot on sparrows at 30-40 yards in the same way that we use #5 on pheasant at the same distance? Or not? Is the shot size used entirely related to the size of the bird, or it there simply a limit? E.g. "#12 will not kill anything beyond 10 feet, sparrow or pigeon or pheasant".

Once again - any references to published literature or websites which discuss these historical issues would be appreciated.

 

If anyone wants to give me their personal experiences or opinions, I suspect the moderators would prefer that to be done via private message.

 

With appreciative thanks for any information you can give.

 

I don't know the answer to any of your questions but will say that the notion you can use 9's to kill but not damage the bird is not right, in fact I know of a case where a friend who ran out of ammo ended up killing a large portion of his days bag with clay load 9's over decoys and he said they killed perfectly well (not stunned) at the normal ranges of decoying. The logical thing would be to load such very tiny shot (10's and above) at fairly low velocities if the objective was to prevent over penetration and keep ranges very short.

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I don't know the answer to any of your questions but will say that the notion you can use 9's to kill but not damage the bird is not right, in fact I know of a case where a friend who ran out of ammo ended up killing a large portion of his days bag with clay load 9's over decoys and he said they killed perfectly well (not stunned) at the normal ranges of decoying. The logical thing would be to load such very tiny shot (10's and above) at fairly low velocities if the objective was to prevent over penetration and keep ranges very short.

 

Thank you for adding this observation.

 

I have sources also suggesting that #9's will kill at short range - I infer from "normal ranges of decoying" that you mean something like 15-30 yards. Please correct me if I'm wrong - I'd like to get as clear a picture on this as I can. Where I said "stunning", that was very much related to the smaller sizes - #12, #14, etc.

 

Going further, I understand that English lepidopterists used to pack small bore (e.g. < .410) cartridges with lead dust to stun and catch butterflies for their collections - but I have no primary source to back that anecdote up at present.

Edited by neutron619

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Thank you for adding this observation.

 

I have sources also suggesting that #9's will kill at short range - I infer from "normal ranges of decoying" that you mean something like 15-30 yards. Please correct me if I'm wrong - I'd like to get as clear a picture on this as I can. Where I said "stunning", that was very much related to the smaller sizes - #12, #14, etc.

 

Going further, I understand that English lepidopterists used to pack small bore (e.g. < .410) cartridges with lead dust to stun and catch butterflies for their collections - but I have no primary source to back that anecdote up at present.

 

I'd say anything over 20 yards and below 40 would be considered normal decoying yardage, logic would say that 9's at ordinary velocities would prove anything but subtle on tiny birds.

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If i remember there was one of our kings that used to shoot moths with a very small shot in the dinning room save damaging the plates and so on

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I shoot Quail each year in Croatia and Serbia and use a 32gr of 11 shot

 

I've also seen a bolting Hare shot with a 16b using 30g 9's on the same day- not condoning it but it happened and was killed cleanly.

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I'd say anything over 20 yards and below 40 would be considered normal decoying yardage, logic would say that 9's at ordinary velocities would prove anything but subtle on tiny birds.

 

 

If i remember there was one of our kings that used to shoot moths with a very small shot in the dinning room save damaging the plates and so on

 

Thank you both - I'll look into the moth-shooting king and see what I can find out. :)

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I shoot Quail each year in Croatia and Serbia and use a 32gr of 11 shot

 

I've also seen a bolting Hare shot with a 16b using 30g 9's on the same day- not condoning it but it happened and was killed cleanly.

 

Many thanks for these observations.

 

What would common ranges for quail shooting be? Out to 40 yards as with other quarry, or are shots taken much closer?

 

#9 for hare certainly seems on the small side, but at least the end result was satisfactory.

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If i remember there was one of our kings that used to shoot moths with a very small shot in the dinning room save damaging the plates and so on

Can't remember exactly either, but wasn't that with a miniature shotgun made by one of the 'names' with ammo to suit?

 

Edit: Here we go if this works;

 

http://imgur.com/gallery/DrmRB1F

Edited by wymberley

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Can't remember exactly either, but wasn't that with a miniature shotgun made by one of the 'names' with ammo to suit?

 

Edit: Here we go if this works;

 

http://imgur.com/gallery/DrmRB1F

 

 

some guys i talk to think i`m crazy with shotsize selection.

 

steel #9 and use the dog. seems to be quite common.

 

 

I've put birds down stone cold with a 9mm garden gun at 10 paces with 9 shot.

 

Many thanks to each of you - this is all great information which will contribute to an article (or possibly, a number of articles) I'm planning to write on historical usage of very small shot, very small bore guns (e.g. 9mm rimfire, 8mm rimfire, etc.) and on how they perform, if I can obtain examples / cartridges for testing.

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The cartridges I use in the 9mm are fiocci and they're excellent,I also have a tin of very old card cased cartridges that I'm guessing are pre war german and I've been tempted to try a couple out but don't know if they're collectable or not.My dad once told me when he was a kid they used to empty the shot out and load a single small round lead pistol ball which he said was good medicine on magpies etc.He was a bit feral when he was a kid!

 

 

 

Many thanks to each of you - this is all great information which will contribute to an article (or possibly, a number of articles) I'm planning to write on historical usage of very small shot, very small bore guns (e.g. 9mm rimfire, 8mm rimfire, etc.) and on how they perform, if I can obtain examples / cartridges for testing.

Edited by deadeye18

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Many thanks for these observations.

 

What would common ranges for quail shooting be? Out to 40 yards as with other quarry, or are shots taken much closer?

 

#9 for hare certainly seems on the small side, but at least the end result was satisfactory.

Between 10-40 yards. Some people used 8's but they are considered "big".

 

You'll find the continential makers produce quite large (30-42g) of small shot for migratory birds, Quail, Woodcock etc.

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If i remember there was one of our kings that used to shoot moths with a very small shot in the dinning room save damaging the plates and so on

True but it was a miniature purdey? no bigger than the palm of your hand.

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Between 10-40 yards. Some people used 8's but they are considered "big".

 

You'll find the continential makers produce quite large (30-42g) of small shot for migratory birds, Quail, Woodcock etc.

 

 

8 is just about right for a 'third's shot on quails when they set wings (about40-45 yds) with a MOD choke. Normally with the pointing dog you sould shoot 11, 10 & 9.

 

Woodcocks are normally shot with a dog too but in thick woodland cover so, 34 g of coarser shot (9-7) ensure you don't waste the bird at 10 yds whilst ensuing good patterns (through branches and foliage).

 

Heavier loads of smaller pellets are used on migratory birds as the 'pass' (migratory flux) is unpredicatable and involves a mix of woodies, woodcocks, blackbirds, thrushes, etc adn you can never forecast what's coming from the sea or from the mountains

 

So, it some sort of compromise: good patterns of smaller pellets can kill anything from thrus to woodie (if in range).

 

below table is loosely extracted from the one in the exam's book we go through to gain our shooting license (Italy):

 

sparrows, finches, skylarks 10, 11, 12, 13

thrushes, blackbird, starlings, quails 8,9, 10, 11

snipes, teals, woodcocks, patridge 7, 8, 9

Pheasant, Wood Pigeon, Mallard, crows, lapwing 4, 5, 6, 7

hare 2,3,4,5

fox 00, 0, 1, 2, 3

 

(sorry table didn't paste... :/ )

 

cheers,

Edited by Continental Shooter

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If i could only shoot one shot size at all quarry for the rest of my life 4’s would be my choice. However, recently there seems to me a trend towards smaller shot sizes and I’m not against that at all. Iv shot all my recent pigeons with 7.5 shot and a awful lot of game last year too. A nice load of 30 gram 7’s would be ideal for most game shooting but the manufactures seems to disagree.

 

True but it was a miniature purdey? no bigger than the palm of your hand.

 

Correct and the King gave up the calibre because it was ‘to dam expensive’.

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If i could only shoot one shot size at all quarry for the rest of my life 4s would be my choice. However, recently there seems to me a trend towards smaller shot sizes......... A nice load of 30 gram 7s would be ideal for most game shooting but the manufactures seems to disagree.

I would disagree, the 'modern' trend is for larger shot to increase 'hitting power' whereas in the past 28g to 32g of no7 was a very popular choice whether 12bore or 20b. Just look at Archie Coates (whose book was the go to for pigeon shooting advice).

 

If you also look at the number of serious pigeon shooters today there is still a strong market for 28g continental no7.5 (English no7) or english no7.5 for pigeons.

 

Part of the problem is that both shooters and manufacturers are defaulting to 28g to 32g of no6 as suitable for killing anything, however a pheasant and pigeon present different targets (12 square inches and 6 square inches vital area respectively) and no6 is really only applicable for the former, with more pellets being needed to get the same number of strikes on the latter to ensure a clean kill.

 

That is not to say both cartridges will not kill but the no7 will kill pigeon more effectively and have fewer runners than the equivalent loading in no6 within both pellets effective range.

 

No6 does have a greater overall range for being able to penetrate to do damage or kill but 1 pellet hitting a bird may or may not drop it, chances are it will be injured and not dead.

 

You would think in order to maximise their profits, manufacturers would produce pigeon cartidges in no7 to differentiate them from their 'game' loadings in no6 but the opposite seems to be the case with pigen sizes creeping up to no5.5 or even no5

 

I suspect in modern shooting a lot of people would be reluctant to use no7 on pheasants in case they missed out on that one in a hundred chance at a 'screamer' and would therefore pay the premium for 'game' no6 cartridges rather than accept a no 7 loaded cartridge that would still kill 99% of birds.

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I would disagree, the 'modern' trend is for larger shot to increase 'hitting power' whereas in the past 28g to 32g of no7 was a very popular choice whether 12bore or 20b. Just look at Archie Coates (whose book was the go to for pigeon shooting advice).

 

If you also look at the number of serious pigeon shooters today there is still a strong market for 28g continental no7.5 (English no7) or english no7.5 for pigeons.

 

Part of the problem is that both shooters and manufacturers are defaulting to 28g to 32g of no6 as suitable for killing anything, however a pheasant and pigeon present different targets (12 square inches and 6 square inches vital area respectively) and no6 is really only applicable for the former, with more pellets being needed to get the same number of strikes on the latter to ensure a clean kill.

 

That is not to say both cartridges will not kill but the no7 will kill pigeon more effectively and have fewer runners than the equivalent loading in no6 within both pellets effective range.

 

No6 does have a greater overall range for being able to penetrate to do damage or kill but 1 pellet hitting a bird may or may not drop it, chances are it will be injured and not dead.

 

You would think in order to maximise their profits, manufacturers would produce pigeon cartidges in no7 to differentiate them from their 'game' loadings in no6 but the opposite seems to be the case with pigen sizes creeping up to no5.5 or even no5

 

I suspect in modern shooting a lot of people would be reluctant to use no7 on pheasants in case they missed out on that one in a hundred chance at a 'screamer' and would therefore pay the premium for 'game' no6 cartridges rather than accept a no 7 loaded cartridge that would still kill 99% of birds.

+1 :good:

 

If it's any help, as of last Friday (Game Fair), Hull still have one pallet of Pro Game No 7s (360/oz) :whistling:

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I Was once lucky enough to go to Argentina shooting doves, we were given Remington blue Skeet 9s 1000s of them in mod choked Browning semi autos. The 9s worked up to 40 45 yards doves are not tough, we did try some 1oz game 7s we found for the longer shots found them less effective than the 9s and overall this seemed the best compromise mod choke and skeet 9s.

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At my local shops I find it hard to buy 7 shot game cartridges.

 

Everyone wants 4/5/6.

 

Look back to when most people used Winchester GB 6.5 or Rottweil 6.5 30gr.

 

Hull Parcous 1600fps 28gr 6.5 are great and I used many but the plastic wad is a killer for me

+1 :good:

 

If it's any help, as of last Friday (Game Fair), Hull still have one pallet of Pro Game No 7s (360/oz) :whistling:

I wonder why Hull don't advertise the Pro Game anymore

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At my local shops I find it hard to buy 7 shot game cartridges.

 

Everyone wants 4/5/6.

 

Look back to when most people used Winchester GB 6.5 or Rottweil 6.5 30gr.

 

Hull Parcous 1600fps 28gr 6.5 are great and I used many but the plastic wad is a killer for me

 

I wonder why Hull don't advertise the Pro Game anymore

+1 again :good: on all counts, except I used the Rottweil 1&1/8s. Getting on now and have lightened up to 1 or 1&1/16 of 7s and am obliged to use fibre. The Pro Game was a 'one off' to clear stocks of the shot. Being 'game', they do seem to shoot open in my guns and an ideal (for me) would have been to have loaded them to the High Pheasant spec'. I had a chat with someone on the Hull stand at the Game Fair but all he could say was that he agreed with the increase in shot sizes but didn't say who it was - shooters or loaders - who were making the charge in that direction. All I could get out of them was a brochure, a lapel badge and a bag to carry them in - in other words a walking advert.

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