Hunting with target loads - 12 ga?

Discussion in 'Hunting Forum' started by TrueNorth, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. TrueNorth

    TrueNorth New Member

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    Hi everybody!

    So, perhaps a dumb question, but I have a bunch of Federal 12 ga #8 target loads, and although I can't find it now for the life of me I swear that when I bought the case that it said "not for hunting" or "for target use only" or something like that.

    Is anyone familiar with that, and either way is there a reason that I wouldn't want to hunt with target ammo?

    I guess that it being lead shot that there are environmental reasons if I were waterfowl shooting as it would poison the water. (hence why steel shot is sold). Aside from that is the target lead not "food safe" or extra dirty as it is not meant for hunting?

    As always I appreciate the responses!
     
  2. Garadex

    Garadex New Member

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    Could be lower powered enough to be inhumane. If the manufacturer says not for hunting then don't use it for that.
     

  3. tri70

    tri70 New Member

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    They will still work for close range action on small size game.
     
  4. Gatoragn

    Gatoragn Active Member

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    Is it 12 ga 3 drams powder and 1 ounce shot? Small game, dove, squirrel, rabbit, etc. inside 30 yards, likely ok.

    I am 51 years old and have eaten game of all types shot with lead all of my life, no adverse effects on health so far. Well maybe those extra helpings of mashed 'taters and gravy were problematic.

    Target lead shot is no different than game loads. Some specialty loads may be coated with copper or something, e.g. Federal's turkey loads.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012
  5. Old_Crow

    Old_Crow New Member

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    If they are low recoil or handicap loads I wouldn't use them for hunting. The idea is to handicap shooters shooting clay, not to wound animals. Handicap loads are used for competitions to get a winner in a reasonable amount of time. If top shooters were allowed to use 1 1/8 oz loads they would shoot for days before you had a winner.
     
  6. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

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  7. hiwall

    hiwall Active Member

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    Perfect for ruffed grouse.
     
  8. Garadex

    Garadex New Member

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    Of course I can always be wrong.
     
  9. hiwall

    hiwall Active Member

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    Quail and grouse are very easy to kill and shots are almost always close. Low power loads are great.
     
  10. shadecorp

    shadecorp Active Member Supporter

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    I used my trap and skeet loads for dove.
     
  11. gmaster456

    gmaster456 New Member

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    They'll work fine on dove and small game.
     
  12. TrueNorth

    TrueNorth New Member

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    Wow,

    thanks for all of the responses! As far as anyone's concerned, I intend to follow the manufacturers directions, although these particular loads don't say anything about not hunting with them, maybe it was another box from a different brand.

    In any case, the ones I have currently are regular power 1 1/8 oz shot. As far as I can tell they'd be the same as regular shot, but they are sold as target loads.

    Where I am target shot is VASTLY cheaper than hunting shot, so I was thinking that there must be a reason for that. Aside from copper coated shot, or steel shot I can't think of why that is. If there is no real difference for hunting or target shots, then why is it so much cheaper?
     
  13. Old_Crow

    Old_Crow New Member

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    Shot Weight: 1-1/8 oz and at 1200 FPS they have at least 2 3/4 drams of powder if not 3 drams. That is a full bore low brass hunting load with a target label. True target loads are loaded with 9 shot. Larger shot sizes are to handicap shooters or make the ammo multipurpose. Smaller shot will always have a dense pattern and less deformation.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  14. TrueNorth

    TrueNorth New Member

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    Interesting stuff. Thanks, i guess judging from the comment that most "target" loads are just advertising, and can be multi-purpose. Provided that the user reads the label and makes sure of the shot and muzzle velocity to make sure that it's comparable to normal shot, and humane to hunt with.

    Does anyone know why target loads are so much cheaper, vs hunting rounds of the same shot size? One would think that they would be more comparable. I keep thinking that there would be some safety issue with the lead, like it's less refined/less food safe.

    I get that steel shot for waterfowl hunting would be more expensive as it could be produced in lower quantities.

    Any thoughts?
     
  15. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh Active Member

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    Target loads are low brass, and are suited to some upland bird hunting. The issue w/ lead and waterfowl is that birds like Loon actually eat the shot, or fish that have eaten the shot. Here in NH it is steel shot for waterfowl, even if you are miles from a body of water. You can hunt pheasant and geese in the same corn field, but can only shoot pheasant w/ lead. If you shoot a single goose and are even carrying lead your in trouble if the game dept. shows up.