Non Toxic 20 gauge loads

bakgar42

New member
I’m sure this has been discussed numerous times but what has everyone had luck with for 20 gauge nontoxic loads for pheasant? I’ve bought a couple different brands but they don’t pattern well. Trying to figure out what brand I’m going to buy for my trip to South Dakota this year. Thank you!
 
Kent Bismuth 5 ‘s have been a good performer and tested well on the pattern board for me ; Heavy Metal 3’s one ounce in 3inch solid performer as well #3 Winchester Drylock

Price no object #6 Hevi-shot original 12 gram one ounce of that stuff pure poison on ducks and pheasant in a 2 3/4inch load .
 

A5 Sweet 16

Member
Kent Bismuth 5 ‘s have been a good performer and tested well on the pattern board for me ; Heavy Metal 3’s one ounce in 3inch solid performer as well #3 Winchester Drylock

Price no object #6 Hevi-shot original 12 gram one ounce of that stuff pure poison on ducks and pheasant in a 2 3/4inch load .
While I prefer abject overkill, flinging an entire ounce of bismuth 5's (Kent) via 16 gauge, killing roosters way harder than I should, my buddy LOVES the Hevi 6's in his tiny 20. They kill birds hard from his S&W SxS.
 

mgorvi

Member
I have been using Federal Heavyweight 7s 2 3/4s in my 20 with some success. They are really soft shooters. They’re tight tho; been using IC bottom and Skeet 2 on the top. Bad thing is they break the bank when you miss. They will allow a 20ga to really reach out, tho.
 

CGD

New member
I would like to try out the Kent Bismuth this year, torn between weather to shoot 5's or 6's though in my 20 GA
 

waterdog09

Member
I really like shooting prairie storm 3" #3's or the new Hexi-X tungsten #3's in my A400 20ga both will kill birds out to 45-50yds
 
I can't afford those expensive loads, because I shoot too much, but if I buy steel, I try to get Remington in bb, or 2. They sell for around 13.
 

Olden Cranky

New member
I really like the Kent Bismuth 1 oz. load of #5's out of either my 20 Ga. or 16 Ga. The Kent TungstenMatrix work great too, but they are "pricey". If shooting steel (seldom), I use the 3" load of #3's.
 

A5 Sweet 16

Member
I really like the Kent Bismuth 1 oz. load of #5's out of either my 20 Ga. or 16 Ga. The Kent TungstenMatrix work great too, but they are "pricey". If shooting steel (seldom), I use the 3" load of #3's.
Just so people know, Kent discontinued T-M in 16 gauge a couple years ago. Sad day. Spendy stuff, but it hit hard.
 
I have a couple of thing to add to this thread. I do not hunt with a 20 gauge but use a 16 gauge sxs. I hunt pheasants exclusively with steel shot. I often use handloaded 7/8 oz of #4 or #3 steel at a published velocity of 1550 fps.

I really think that #3 steel is the sweet spot for pheasants.

I recently obtained two boxes of 15/16 oz of #3 steel from Sporting Ammo. Their performance on pheasants is solid. I have hit and killed 5 pheasants with that load this fall and not one of these birds was able to move after being hit.

Sporting Ammo II is on Facebook and they make a 20 gauge 7/8 oz load at 1475 fps that is available in #3 and #4 steel.

https://www.facebook.com/sportingammo/

I cannot imagine that this would not be a good pheasant load.

Also, Rogers Sporting Goods carries 20 gauge Black Cloud in #3 steel.

https://www.rogerssportinggoods.com/ammunition/shotgun-shells/steel-non-toxic-shells/federal-steel/federal-premium-blackcloud-ii-fs-steel-high-velocity-waterfowl-shotshells-with-new-flitecontrol-flex-wads-20ga-3-1oz-1350fps.html
 

A5 Sweet 16

Member
I often use handloaded 7/8 oz of #4 or #3 steel at a published velocity of 1550 fps. I really think that #3 steel is the sweet spot for pheasants.
If you must shoot steel, then I agree. #3 is the sweet spot. And I think as long as you're over 1400 fps or so, they're plenty for pheasants. If for whatever reason what you're shooting is slower (which would be uncommon these days), I'd go w/ 2's.
 
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