#4 shot in a 16ga.

Hunt1GSP

Active member
I agree with LM in general. But your gun/ choke might prefer I/C or Mod. The only way to know is to shoot some patterns.
 

5 stand

Well-known member
To use the full potential effective killing range of your #4 lead and keep your pattern density where it needs to be. I think you will have to shoot modified or improve mod, maybe even full. As mentioned above the pattern board will give you your final answer.
 

remy3424

Well-known member
Hunting with flushers or pointers? Quick on the draw or not so much? The distance you will typically be squeezing off the first shot at will be good to know when you do the patterning. You might have to try to determine that distance in the field.
 

870-Lefty

Member
Hunting with flushers or pointers? Quick on the draw or not so much? The distance you will typically be squeezing off the first shot at will be good to know when you do the patterning. You might have to try to determine that distance in the field.
Hunting with flushers and pointers, but mainly flushers. I am 69 so not so quick on the draw.
 

Dakotazeb

Well-known member
What is the best choke to use in a 16ga. when shooting 1 &1/8 oz. of #4 lead shot for wild pheasants?
We really need to know the distance at which you are generally shooting. Too open of a choke can lead to holes in your pattern with #4 lead. An once of #4 lead has 135 pellets vs an once of #6 that has 225 pellets. Pattern density is what you are looking for and the only way to see that is to pattern your gun with various chokes at your normal shooting distance. I've always preferred #6 shot with #5 a close second in a 16 ga.
 

870-Lefty

Member
We really need to know the distance at which you are generally shooting. Too open of a choke can lead to holes in your pattern with #4 lead. An once of #4 lead has 135 pellets vs an once of #6 that has 225 pellets. Pattern density is what you are looking for and the only way to see that is to pattern your gun with various chokes at your normal shooting distance. I've always preferred #6 shot with #5 a close second in a 16 ga.
I am a poor judge of distance, but I would guess most of my shots are about 30-35 yards. I agree with you on the #6 & #5 shot, but I have a bunch of #4's I want to use up this coming season. Once I use them up I will stick with the #6's & #5's.
 

birddude

Well-known member
My two cents would be that first of all no matter what anyone says, you will be handicapped with a 16. Having said that it is my favorite gauge. My experience has been its not so much the choke or the shot but more about you knowing your gun and its limits. After a while with any gun, you will develop an instinct as to what is killable or marginable. So just do what D.Z. said and go with what you like. personally, If I'm where quail are its mod. or imp. mod. If not its full.
 

Dakotazeb

Well-known member
I am a poor judge of distance, but I would guess most of my shots are about 30-35 yards. I agree with you on the #6 & #5 shot, but I have a bunch of #4's I want to use up this coming season. Once I use them up I will stick with the #6's & #5's.
If your shots are within 30-35 yards you should be able to use IC or Mod. When we start talking IM or LM we are really splitting hairs. I'd pattern your gun at 35 yards with both the IC an Mod chokes with your #4's and see what looks best. You are certainly not handicapped with the 16 ga. It's been all I've shot for the past 20 years. But I'm sure you know that already. :)
 

benelli-banger

Well-known member
I’d shoot up the 6’s early, then 5’s, then 4’s…I’ve been using up my #4 lead in my 16’s, happy with it. Most of my doubles are Skt1/Skt2, have used IC/M as well. Some of my ammo is 1.25 oz loads.
 

5 stand

Well-known member
If you are shooting the #4's to just use them up. Post # 41 good advice.
 

benelli-banger

Well-known member
I rarely use #4 lead in 12 gauge, but I will…later season, cattails, other tough cover for bird recovery. 16 gauge with 4 lead has worked well, but I haven’t shot hundreds of pheasants with that combo…tens and tens, not hundreds and hundreds. I can say with some authority that my combo of 12 gauge, 2 3/4” lead #5’s (1 1/4 oz) at 1200 fps using IC choke has worked well for me for decades…probably 750 days afield with that combo. Not perfect, but I couldn’t be persuaded to shoot #6’s…unless there was no other option. Probably the most lethal load I’ve ever used was 2 3/4” 20 gauge hevi-shot #6’s…can’t recall if it was 1 oz?…anyway, I shot 20 roosters in Dec 2001, late in the month, recovered 19…had one dog…birds were stone dead. Not my experience on average with 12 ga # 5 lead, but I won’t pay $4 per shell! 😆
 

airmedic1

Active member
I shoot a 16 almost exclusively and with the exception of my Citori and A5 Sweet they all have fixed IC/M chokes. I start with 6’s and around the middle of December load a #5 second. Later in the year, depending on where I’m hunting and how cold it’s been I will shoot a #5 first and a #4 second. Don’t know if it’s right or not but it’s been working and I think it gives me a little more range because my reflexes aren’t what they used to be.
 
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