Scheel's Pheasant Max loads

Bird Buster

New member
Has anyone tried Scheel's Pheasant max loads on pheasants? Got a gift card with them I was debating getting some to try. Thanks-
 

A5 Sweet 16

Member
I'm thinking these are probably Fiocchi's "High Velocity" or "Optima Specific" loads (same thing), but in a special box for Scheel's. Couldn't guarantee it, but....the price suggests it, & if it were somehow different than High Velocity, it'd be Golden Pheasant, which are more spendy. I've been shooting High Velocity in 16 gauge for several years & really like them. 1-1/8 oz. @ 1300 fps. They pattern well in my guns & kill well w/ #5's.
 

Labs

New member
It's 5 months until season rolls around, so I would buy some and road test them. Me being me, I would chronograph them, pattern them with different chokes, shoot clay birds, then beat on the pigeons in my neighbor's barn...
 

Bird Buster

New member
I bought some #5 and #6 shot, they are made by Fiocchi for Scheel's and only difference is they are regular lead shot and not copper plated from what I can tell. I will pattern them against what I normally shoot and see how they perform. I bought the 1 3/8 ounce shot at 1485 FPS as they have another lighter load at 1 1/4 ounce shot at 1330 FPS.
 

Dakotazeb

Active member
I bought some #5 and #6 shot, they are made by Fiocchi for Scheel's and only difference is they are regular lead shot and not copper plated from what I can tell. I will pattern them against what I normally shoot and see how they perform. I bought the 1 3/8 ounce shot at 1485 FPS as they have another lighter load at 1 1/4 ounce shot at 1330 FPS.
You might want to try the 1 1/4 loads and pattern both. You might find that the lighter load at 1330 fps pattern better. Some times the higher velocity blows the patterns. 1 1/4 oz at 1,330 fps is all you need for pheasants.
 
Here's are some of my patterning numbers, that I posted before, that may be helpful.

Are you really getting any benefits from the more expensive “Premium” or “Super” pheasant loads on the market?

Well, let’s see what the pattern board can tell us about some of these loads and how they perform in my gun and chokes.

Patterning results from a 12-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).

12 GA 2 3/4" FEDERAL GAME-SHOK HEAVY FIELD LOAD
1 ¼ oz #5 lead (224 pellets) @ 1220 fps
30 YARDS – IC / pattern 173 (77%)
40 YARDS – Mod / pattern 145 (65%)
50 YARDS – Full / pattern 109 (49%)

12 GA 2 3/4" FEDERAL PREMIUM UPLAND HIGH-VELOCITY LOAD
1 ¼ oz #5 lead (216 pellets) @ 1400 fps
30 YARDS – IC / pattern 152 (70%)
40 YARDS – Mod / pattern 126 (58%)
50 YARDS – Full / pattern 84 (39%)

12 GA 2 3/4" WINCHESTER SUPER PHEASANT LOAD
1 3/8 oz #5 lead (234 pellets) @ 1300 fps
30 YARDS – IC / pattern 186 (79%)
40 YARDS – Mod / pattern 149 (64%)
50 YARDS – Full / pattern 113 (48%)

It’s obvious from the pattern numbers that the Game-Shok load shot tighter patterns (IC / +7%, Mod / +7%, and Full / +10%) than the Premium Upland high-velocity load with the chokes tested.

Now, the Winchester Super Pheasant 1 3/8-ounce load started out with 10 more pellets than the 1 ¼-ounce Game-Shok load; and it did put a few more pellets (IC / +13 pellets, Mod / +4 pellets, and Full / +4 pellets) in the patterns than the Game-Shok load. The question you have to ask yourself is… are those few extra pellets in the 30-, 40- and 50-yard patterns really providing any noticeable benefit to killin’ pheasants?

It’s clear to me that you could save some money and reduce recoil by shooting the relatively slow 1220 fps load and not really forgo any pheasant killin’ effectiveness. Heck, the slower Game -Shok load put 24 more pellets (a 29% increase) in the 50-yard pattern than the Premium Upland load and had only 4 fewer pellets than the heavier Winchester Super Pheasant load. Just because they are labeled “Premium” or “Super” loads, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are “better” at killin’ pheasants!

That’s my take, now you can be the judge!
 

goldenboy

Active member
Here's are some of my patterning numbers, that I posted before, that may be helpful.

Are you really getting any benefits from the more expensive “Premium” or “Super” pheasant loads on the market?

Well, let’s see what the pattern board can tell us about some of these loads and how they perform in my gun and chokes.

Patterning results from a 12-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).

12 GA 2 3/4" FEDERAL GAME-SHOK HEAVY FIELD LOAD
1 ¼ oz #5 lead (224 pellets) @ 1220 fps
30 YARDS – IC / pattern 173 (77%)
40 YARDS – Mod / pattern 145 (65%)
50 YARDS – Full / pattern 109 (49%)

12 GA 2 3/4" FEDERAL PREMIUM UPLAND HIGH-VELOCITY LOAD
1 ¼ oz #5 lead (216 pellets) @ 1400 fps
30 YARDS – IC / pattern 152 (70%)
40 YARDS – Mod / pattern 126 (58%)
50 YARDS – Full / pattern 84 (39%)

12 GA 2 3/4" WINCHESTER SUPER PHEASANT LOAD
1 3/8 oz #5 lead (234 pellets) @ 1300 fps
30 YARDS – IC / pattern 186 (79%)
40 YARDS – Mod / pattern 149 (64%)
50 YARDS – Full / pattern 113 (48%)

It’s obvious from the pattern numbers that the Game-Shok load shot tighter patterns (IC / +7%, Mod / +7%, and Full / +10%) than the Premium Upland high-velocity load with the chokes tested.

Now, the Winchester Super Pheasant 1 3/8-ounce load started out with 10 more pellets than the 1 ¼-ounce Game-Shok load; and it did put a few more pellets (IC / +13 pellets, Mod / +4 pellets, and Full / +4 pellets) in the patterns than the Game-Shok load. The question you have to ask yourself is… are those few extra pellets in the 30-, 40- and 50-yard patterns really providing any noticeable benefit to killin’ pheasants?

It’s clear to me that you could save some money and reduce recoil by shooting the relatively slow 1220 fps load and not really forgo any pheasant killin’ effectiveness. Heck, the slower Game -Shok load put 24 more pellets (a 29% increase) in the 50-yard pattern than the Premium Upland load and had only 4 fewer pellets than the heavier Winchester Super Pheasant load. Just because they are labeled “Premium” or “Super” loads, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are “better” at killin’ pheasants!

That’s my take, now you can be the judge!
I hear all the time guys talking about shooting slower loads and finding more pellets in the kill zone. Here are a couple of observations I have and questions I would like to ask of you guys. If I am shooting a slower load that means I probably have to lead the bird more correct? since so many people shoot behind a pheasant wouldn't that cause more misses than fewer pellets but getting there faster? Also nothing is ever shared about the shot string. We all know that all those pellets don't hit the board at the same time, so my question is, How long is the shot string on a slower load versus a faster load? I would assume there is a difference but how do you measure a shot string? These are the things I think about when I can't shoot birds! I am interested in what people think.
 

Dakotazeb

Active member
Joel, I think the time that it takes a pellet to travel 30 or 40 yards whether it's traveling at 1,220, 1,300 or 1,450 fps out the muzzle is so minimal that the difference in lead is really insignificant. But for your question about the length of the shot string on the various loads I don't have a clue. But again it's probably minimal.
 
Joel -- Many have done work on those topices and I would encourage you to google "shotshell velocity and target lead" and "shotshell string length" and read some of the work done on these topics by Brister, Lowry, Burrard, Jones, Roster, etc.

"I am interested in what people think." -- OK, I'll give some of my thoughts, but I'll defer to the ones that have done the real testing for facts.

"If I am shooting a slower load that means I probably have to lead the bird more correct?" -- Technically that is correct, but in reality the difference in lead is just a few inches at normal shotgun ranges and the 25-30" pattern spread should cover that. Obviously, the closer the target/bird the less lead difference there is.

"Also nothing is ever shared about the shot string. We all know that all those pellets don't hit the board at the same time, so my question is, How long is the shot string on a slower load versus a faster load?" -- First off, all shotshells have a shot string and it is often reported that their lengths can run from 6-12 feet at 40 yards. I don't know how much difference there is between a slow (how slow) and a fast (how fast) load. Just remember, lots of things can affect the length of the shot strings including: shotshell payload, shotshell velocity, shot size, shot hardness, shot sphericity, wad type and construction, buffer or not, internal barrel dimensions, choke, distance to target, etc.

Secondly, I believe all agree that shorter is better. One question is... what can you do about it? I think most agree that using hard spherical shot and then protecting it from in-the-barrel pellet deformation (wads, buffer, etc.) results in the shortest shot strings. That begs a couple of other questions though... how much shorter does in make the string and does it really matter? I believe most think it is insignificant since the shot string is traveling so much faster than the target/bird and it is minimal or negated on straight-away and shallow-angled targets/birds. The only exception may be really long (60 yard) crossing targets/birds where it basically dilutes the pattern density making the pattern less effective.

Hope this helps. good luck!
 

goldenboy

Active member
Zeb,

I agree it is probably minimal on both parts, but when I was shooting sporting clays on a regular basis changing your shot speed did effect your lead on clay targets. I also noticed that when I switched to faster loads that I tended to be more accurate because my lead, while minimal was less. The faster loads took out some of the guesswork in how far to lead a target, especially long range arching targets where you have to compensate for drop and lead. I don't know if we will ever have the answers to these questions but it is fun to talk about. Wish we could sit around a fire drink a beverage, maybe smoke a cigar and pontificate for hours on this one!
 

Bird Buster

New member
Interesting results on your patterning, I shoot a Benelli Montefeltro 12 ga and have previously patterned 5 loads using an Improved Modified choke. At 40 yards all of my loads were over 75% in a 30 inch circle. I don't care so much about the faster load selling point but the extra BB's you get to me can be helpful. If you figure a typical pheasant is hit usually with 3 BB's and sometimes as few as one, having those extra ones may help bring more birds down. Hevi Shot patterned the best out of these 5 loads with an average of 90% in a 30 inch circle at 40 yards. I don't shoot that load as much only on lands that require non toxic shot.
 

Mill Creek

New member
I want to come to the fire, but I'll keep my mouth shut on loads. Heck the first couple of weeks of the season I have heavy 7/12's in the top barrel, but I'm in quail country also.

See the bird...shoot the bird. I pass on 60 yard crossers, although I've seen some hero shots further than that.
 

goldenboy

Active member
I want to come to the fire, but I'll keep my mouth shut on loads. Heck the first couple of weeks of the season I have heavy 7/12's in the top barrel, but I'm in quail country also.

See the bird...shoot the bird. I pass on 60 yard crossers, although I've seen some hero shots further than that.
Mill Creek, when I lived in Nebraska we used to carry heavy shot 7 1/2's for when you came across a covey of quail. We would switch loads and then go hunt the singles. Okay you can come to the party as well!
 
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