Best Ammo for Wingshooting

Friday, May 17, 2024

Best Ammo for Wingshooting and Dove Hunting

Dove hunting has quickly become one of the most popular forms of hunting worldwide, with the America’s being one of the best destinations out there.

It is absolutely essential to pick the right dove ammunition. These birds aren't the toughest; they are sometimes hard to hit, but the wrong shot can easily ruin the meat.

Generally, having a smaller shot size, like a #7 or #8, will provide the best shot pattern and density. Wingshooting not only includes dove hunting but also includes hunting all flying birds. Be sure to have the correct type of ammunition for the kind of bird you plan on targeting.

Choosing the Right Ammunition For Dove Hunting

12 Gauge shotguns are usually the go-to gun for those individuals hunting doves.

There are plenty of ammunition options out there when it comes to 12 gauge. The most common for dove hunting is a 2.75-inch shell, with a #7 or #8 shot packed into the shell. These offer the best shot pattern and shot density to hit the birds without harming their meat. Traditionally, the material the ammo is made out of is lead.

However, hunters use steel shots in certain areas where this is restricted. Lead is used in areas where it is allowed because it packs more punch.

Understanding Shot Size and Pattern

Shot size refers to the diameter of the pellets that are filled in the shotgun shell. When hunting doves, this could range from 7 to 9. These smaller shot sizes create a shot pattern that is more dense than the larger pellets, but they pack less of a punch. By changing a shotgun's choke, you can adjust the optimal distance you are shooting.

The most basic advice would be to have an improved cylinder with #7 ½ for the early season and have a modified or improved modified for the late season. Throughout the season, you can change your choke and shot size to maximize their effects on shot patterns fully.

Material Choices - Steel Vs Lead

Lead shot is known for being better at penetration because it is a higher-density metal. However, it is restricted in many areas across the country because of its environmental toxicity concerns, especially in wetland areas.

Steel-shot is a great, non-toxic alternative that is environmentally safe. However, it has a lighter density than lead and less penetration force. There have been more regulations in recent years to push for non-toxic ammunition options. Other than steel, some materials include bismuth, tungsten, tin, and hevi-shot.  

Best Practices and Techniques in Wingshooting

It won’t matter what type of ammunition you use if you aren't hitting your targets.

Practicing proper techniques is important so you’ll always be successful in your hunts. One essential skill to focus on is how to lead your target. This technique involves aiming ahead of the bird's flight path to anticipate where the bird will be when the shot is fired.

Another technique is the swing-tough method. This is when the shooting starts with their aim behind the bird and swings the shotgun through the bird, firing as it passes over the bird.

Regular practice with the proper technique will pay off on your next hunt.

Gear and Equipment Recommendations

The most common shotgun types for dove hunting are semi-automatic, over-under, double barrels, and pump action. At the end of the day, it comes down to what you prefer when choosing a gun. Semi-automatic is one of the most popular choices due to its ability to fire quick follow-up shots.

There are so many other hunting components that you can tailor to yourself to make your hunt more enjoyable. Hunting vests are essential for carrying extra rounds of ammunition, and they offer storage for the harvested doves. Some other gear like hunting seats and portable hunting blinds all improve your overall hunting experience.

One of the most important parts of your gear and equipment is regularly maintaining it so that it works properly. Some tips on gun maintenance would be to clean your equipment and shotgun after every hunt.

Other things you can do to ensure your equipment will work properly and have a longer lifespan are to store it in a cool, dry environment, regularly inspect and replace worn-out parts, and store your ammo in a safe environment.

Doing these few things will increase the lifespan and keep your hunting gear working properly.

Some of the most popular shotgun brands include:


The A400 and 686 silver pigeon are two great options


Two reliable guns for dove are Maxus and Citori


One of the most popular shotguns on the market is the Remmington 870


The Super X4 is known for being a fast and reliable dove-hunting shotgun

Some popular shotgun ammunition brands and products for dove hunting include:


SuperX and AA Target Loads are both great options for dove


Game-Shok and Wing-Shok are highly regarded among dove hunters


Express Extra Long Range and Gun Club Target Load are the favorite ammunition from Remington.

Seasonal and Regional Considerations For Dove Hunting

Depending on your hunting season, this can affect your gear and setup for doves and other wing shooting. Dove migratory patterns influence the areas you can hunt, as these birds move through different regions at different times.

The early season starts around September, while doves are adamant and the migration season begins. This is one of the best times to hunt because the populations of birds are so high.

Generally speaking, for all wing shooting, the earlier you hunt in the season, the more populated the birds will be. It is common for hunters to use lighter shots at the beginning of the season since the birds are less wary. As the season goes on, the remaining doves become more cautious. This might require you to use heavier loads to ensure ethical kills.

Also, the first thing you should do if you are new to dove hunting is to check local and state regulations. These can vary state by state, so visit your game and state regulations site. This will have information on topics like what time of ammunition is allowed, toxic or non-toxic. Also, each species will have specific dates when bird seasons open and close, as well as bag limits.

Some things to consider closer to your hunt, like weather, can impact the type of ammunition you choose. You might choose a heavier shot type for windy and harsh weather conditions so you don't lose accuracy.

The area you are hunting in can also affect your kind of shot choice. Thicker vegetation may require a tiger choke and heavier load. Consider all the elements to ensure you hit your birds and your bag limit.

Staying updated on local dove populations and their health can help you choose suitable regions and times for hunting, maximizing your success and experience. Aligning your hunting strategies with these seasonal and regional factors can enhance your effectiveness, compliance, and enjoyment in dove hunting.


Selection of the best ammunition and proper hunting techniques are crucial for a successful bird hunt. Whether smaller shot sizes for denser patterns or non-toxic alternatives like steel or bismuth, these play a critical role in ensuring effective and environmentally responsible hunting.

The right technique, such as leading your target, is equally as important as choosing the right shot size, choke, and shot material. Ethical hunting practices go beyond legal regulations. It encompasses the conservation of bird and dove populations and their contribution to their sustainability.

Overall, a successful dove hunt combines the knowledge of ammunition selection and a strong commitment to practicing technique. This will ensure ethical kills and hunters are happy with their hunt!




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