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Pheasants - Maximum effective range for UK lead shot sizes.


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There seems to be various differing views on the humanely effective range for different size UK lead shot sizes and I am still trying to decide myself what actually is effective.

My method of testing is to cover a 10% gelatine gel block with a layer of pheasant skin with feathers over the gel block using 3% antimony shot in a 20 guage.

The level of penetration varies with shot size and range of course.

I am interested to hear others views as to what depth of penetration they would class as effective and why, for both No. 6 shot and No 5 shot.

Obviously my testing is restricted to ranges over 40 yards as below that range there is little point in testing.

All replies gratefully received.

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Trouble is there are so many different things to consider one pellet may still have the penetration at a certain distance but perhaps by then the pattern has failed.Then of course what about going up a few sizes for maximum range bb or ones increase charge weight to one and half oz game shooters don’t but it would have been standard on the foreshore.

Then of course the human factor and ability of the individual shooter.

some of the old books byGreener ,Gough Thomas etc have done the subject extensively.

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3 hours ago, holloway said:

Trouble is there are so many different things to consider one pellet may still have the penetration at a certain distance but perhaps by then the pattern has failed.Then of course what about going up a few sizes for maximum range bb or ones increase charge weight to one and half oz game shooters don’t but it would have been standard on the foreshore.

Then of course the human factor and ability of the individual shooter.

some of the old books byGreener ,Gough Thomas etc have done the subject extensively.

Those darned variables…..again! 

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It could be interesting, not only the penetration of the pellets but also how many hit the block, presuming its pheasant sized or course. The much claimed 100 yard screamer should be illuminating with 4 or 5 shot. I'm guessing not that much penetrative and few hits. 

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I revert back to an earlier post how can you actually ***** how high you quarry is in open sky we ain’t all Dave Carrie ! Or mr Digweed. 

affective kill pellets will differ on  different game and presentation under, from the side and up the bum.

I will choose a different shell for tidy up / walked up days where I will be shooting game going away usually flipping the bird into the pattern. But again always over dogged for quick retrieve and dispatch if required.

Atb Agriv8

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On 22/11/2021 at 18:31, Shotkam said:

There seems to be various differing views on the humanely effective range for different size UK lead shot sizes and I am still trying to decide myself what actually is effective.

My method of testing is to cover a 10% gelatine gel block with a layer of pheasant skin with feathers over the gel block using 3% antimony shot in a 20 guage.

The level of penetration varies with shot size and range of course.

I am interested to hear others views as to what depth of penetration they would class as effective and why, for both No. 6 shot and No 5 shot.

Obviously my testing is restricted to ranges over 40 yards as below that range there is little point in testing.

All replies gratefully received.

Payne-Gallwey did it years ago with what he said were Petit's Pads for penetration and also with dead throttled pheasants hoisted up the top of a long gibbet or similar device. Which I assume were a pre-runner of today's Post-It notelet blocks?

His opinion was when he wrote "High Pheasants in Theory and Practice" that one ounce of English #7 would get the job done. He seems to say that the shot pattern is enough even if it doesn't kill the bird dead in the air it is to stun it and bring it down and the impact when it hits the ground then kills it.

Now having just written that elsewhere in "Letters to Young Shooters" he was an advocate of 1 1/8 ounce of English #5. Given that "Pheasants" was written in 1913 and "Letters" in 1892 I'd guess that over some two decades he changed his mind based on trying this, or trying that.

Deciding that for him at the distances that he shot that one ounce #7 in an open bored gun worked best for what he wanted to achieve. Best game shot that ever saw used pretty much the same. Hull Cartridge one ounce #7 in his own Purdey bored right TRUE and left IMPROVED in its barrels. 

Edited by enfieldspares
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22 hours ago, Old farrier said:

Is your gelatine block travelling towards you?

surely you need the combined speed at point of impact to get a true penetration measurement 

When the shot is travelling at you circa. 400mph at point at impact and given that the vast majority of driven Pheasant in my region are shot at approaching 90 degrees wether overhead or long crossers, bird speed is for practical purposes insignificant.

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1 hour ago, Shotkam said:

When the shot is travelling at you circa. 400mph at point at impact and given that the vast majority of driven Pheasant in my region are shot at approaching 90 degrees wether overhead or long crossers, bird speed is for practical purposes insignificant.

Maybe for testing however in the real world it makes a difference 

 

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39 minutes ago, Old farrier said:

Maybe for testing however in the real world it makes a difference 

 

Assuming a run of the mill No 6 at some 45 yards with an oncoming pheasant doing, say, 30 mph at that distance, what is that difference in the real world?

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22 minutes ago, wymberley said:

Assuming a run of the mill No 6 at some 45 yards with an oncoming pheasant doing, say, 30 mph at that distance, what is that difference in the real world?

The difference is it’s travelling towards you at 35/40 miles per hour not stationary 

the thread is about extreme ranges and variables

 in my word if I walk into a stationary car it’s a bump if that car is travelling at 40 mph I’m probably dead

Please note I use 32 gramm 5 shot cartridges and 3/4 choke this should take some of the assumption out of your calculations 

 

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26 minutes ago, Old farrier said:

The difference is it’s travelling towards you at 35/40 miles per hour not stationary 

the thread is about extreme ranges and variables

 in my word if I walk into a stationary car it’s a bump if that car is travelling at 40 mph I’m probably dead

Please note I use 32 gramm 5 shot cartridges and 3/4 choke this should take some of the assumption out of your calculations 

 

The rate at which I am shedding brain cells means that calculations are out of the question and so if I haven’t got a nice easy table I’ve had it. Fortunately, as any findings for shotgun are by necessity based on averages. Sometimes a bird will be coming and sometimes going so on average it’ll be neither so no practical difference. Simples.

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9 minutes ago, wymberley said:

The rate at which I am shedding brain cells means that calculations are out of the question and so if I haven’t got a nice easy table I’ve had it. Fortunately, as any findings for shotgun are by necessity based on averages. Sometimes a bird will be coming and sometimes going so on average it’ll be neither so no practical difference. Simples.

Nothing simple at all the thread is extreme 

I only shoot at birds coming towards me and the preferred point of aim is out in front anything directly overhead or going away is left 

its called driven bird shooting for a reason 

Anything other than coming to you is going to someone else in the line therefore not your bird to take a shot at 

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6 minutes ago, Old farrier said:

Nothing simple at all the thread is extreme 

I only shoot at birds coming towards me and the preferred point of aim is out in front anything directly overhead or going away is left 

its called driven bird shooting for a reason 

Anything other than coming to you is going to someone else in the line therefore not your bird to take a shot at 

For several decades my shooting has been just walked up game and decoyed pigeon/covids so as anything can happen there is no definable difference. You have the advantage of a definable target and are aware of a difference. Using your preferred shot figures, what would it be?

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This thread I started is about maximum effective range, I have no interest in extreme  (or out of range shooting ).

If you are a 'driven' game shooter there will be plenty of high crossers at each end of the line and depending on a shoot layout, plenty within the line.

I think it is accepted on these types of shoots that going away shots don't look good.

Not all guns are in a straight line along a grass field as we know.

Having been beating and shooting on plenty of shoots I can say with certainty that the majority of shots are fired around 12 oclock if you average out all the shots taken on any given day, despite what people claim.

Views will differ as always and these are just my observations.

Edited by Shotkam
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21 minutes ago, wymberley said:

For several decades my shooting has been just walked up game and decoyed pigeon/covids so as anything can happen there is no definable difference. You have the advantage of a definable target and are aware of a difference. Using your preferred shot figures, what would it be?

Ahh so most of the pheasants you shoot are going away probably the majority?

a totally different aspect of the pheasant shooting sport 

I won’t comment on pigeon or corvids as the thread is about maximum range for pheasant 

 

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21 minutes ago, Old farrier said:

Ahh so most of the pheasants you shoot are going away probably the majority?

a totally different aspect of the pheasant shooting sport 

I won’t comment on pigeon or corvids as the thread is about maximum range for pheasant 

 

Yes, indeed and because they're going away it's not sensible to push things to the limit. Consequently, what may be termed as the maximum effective range was of no consequence to me. However, it is what the thread is about. Some years ago I put some tables on here which I'd knocked up when the interest in steel shot for pheasant kicked in. Just for info, assuming a Gamebore  Super Game No 5 at c45 yards and with a driven bird at the distance and coming in at some 30 mph, then the additional penetration for 20% ballistic gelatin above that for a stationary target would be 0.23"ish. However, for now, this does not include the effect of the boundary layer and threshold losses which to calculate now would probably addle my brain. As already indicated, of no real consequence.

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40mph is a tad over 58ft\sec, pellet speed at impact at 50 yards for no6 is around 550ft\sec for a modern game cartridge.

 

So going away or oncoming changes +- 10% from parallel or about 5 yards in nominal terms.

However, the difference in penetration between 500ft\sec and 600 ft\sec is 1 inch v 1.28 inch in gel.

 

For No5 at 50 yards it is the difference in penetration. Between 1.22 inch and 1.53 inch and at 60 yards 0.9inch and 1.28 inch

Hence the importance of pattern and multiple strikes as you need to hit brains, vertebrae, wing bones etc to kill at range when pellets are failing in energy and penetration as they will struggle to penetrate breast and breast bone to enter chest cavity.

 

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i really dont understand this buisness about shooting long range pheasants......i over many years shot a traditional game day...where pheasants are usually presented...in a sporting shootable fashion for everyone.........you leave the low ones ...and you leave the extra high ones.....

i know there are specialist shoots that concentrate on high birds...........and people pride themselves using a standard english game gun.........whereas what they really need is a bloody foreshore 3" chambered gun

stick to an english game shoot...enjoy the birds /...leave some take some...eat lots of sausage rolls drink sloe gin in champers....and enjoy they day and leave the extra high birds as they will provide the breeding stock for next years birds

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6 hours ago, ditchman said:

i really dont understand this buisness about shooting long range pheasants......i over many years shot a traditional game day...where pheasants are usually presented...in a sporting shootable fashion for everyone.........you leave the low ones ...and you leave the extra high ones.....

i know there are specialist shoots that concentrate on high birds...........and people pride themselves using a standard english game gun.........whereas what they really need is a bloody foreshore 3" chambered gun

stick to an english game shoot...enjoy the birds /...leave some take some...eat lots of sausage rolls drink sloe gin in champers....and enjoy they day and leave the extra high birds as they will provide the breeding stock for next years birds

This, There's some seem from what I view on You Tube to view live animals as little more than they'd view clay pigeons with feathers stuck on. As mere targets. 

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