By Reid Wilson
How to easily buy shotgun shells from an older man
Walking into the ammunition aisle for the first time is overwhelming. I remember it and I remember yesterday when it still was. All the aisle said to me was, “Hi I have boxes that look very similar. I also have lots and lots…and lots again.” Not the friendliest aisle for the starting outdoors(wo)man. After the migraine had passed from overwhelming choice, I found some help and left with three knowledge bits.
There is a Difference between Target and Game Loads
I was told by an older gentleman that you have to know what you are shooting. He gave me some questions. Are they clay and orange? Then you need to get a target load, size 7 or 8, which packs more bb in a shell. This gives you more opportunity to hit the always getting smaller pigeon. Are you shooting something with wings, like a pheasant? If you are breathing way to hard and missing too much for your liking, then yes. Here you need a Game Load, sizes, 3 to 6 for pheasant, which has a lower bb amount, but bigger bb’s for killing power. Don’t you wish you could have about 1000 bb’s and have them each an inch big? Sorry that is called getting your pheasant and shooting the cake too, or something like that.
Know the brand may matter to you
The ammunition aisle is like the toothpaste aisle. Brand, brand, brand on boxes. Due to powerful insights from the hunting gods, which are aged established men who don’t want their age said, I know that brand makes a difference, like golf clubs make difference. Once you reach a certain tier, it is all in your superstitious belief center. Good brands to start on a friendly budget are Winchester, Remington, Federal (shooting lab info here), and Fiocchi. Remember though, ammunition is less effective on teeth than the toothpaste aisle.
2 ¾” regular does the job
Along with my helpful gentleman hunting god, I could see that in the ammunition aisle there are different shell sizes. 2 ¾” will do the job for clays and upland birds. You may have to grab a three incher for duck or a really angry, weather toughened pheasant. Facing you will also be high speed labels and premium loads. On a budget regular ammunition seems to work well. The forefathers didn’t have mach speed loads and shots connected well.
Leaving the ammunition aisle knowledgeable and ready to fire will help you be ready for your target. Our local store, Scheel’s, has great help on the ammunition, making the experience less overwhelming. Although the biggest key to great ammunition, seems to be finding an older and salty gentleman.