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Best shotgun load for rabbits?

Old 03-10-2008, 10:46 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Lawrenceville, GA
Posts: 51
Default Best shotgun load for rabbits?

Just wondering what your favorite load is for bunnies? To keep it simple, let's limit it to 12ga.

Please be specific! plain lead, copper-plated, high velocity, 1.25oz, 1 & 3/8oz, etc........

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Old 03-10-2008, 10:54 AM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 38
Default RE: Best shotgun load for rabbits?

I just use Winchester Super-X 2 3/4" plain lead #6 for squirrels, would work find for rabbits too I believe, their not too tough. Its like 5 bucks for a box of 25.
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:18 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Default RE: Best shotgun load for rabbits?

Yep, any 12 gauge 2 3/4" in #6 lead will do. They crumple a snowshoe hare quite nicely.
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:43 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: kentucky
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Default RE: Best shotgun load for rabbits?

Plain old #6 shot in lead will work good on bunnies,rabbits are easy to kill if you can hit them!!
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Old 03-10-2008, 12:25 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 98
Default RE: Best shotgun load for rabbits?

I use #8 or 7 1/2. Usually whatever is the cheapest at Wal-mart. I run them with dogs, so I ususally get a close shot. I have never needed the longer range or brush penetration that you will get with #4. The smaller size does less damage in my opinion too. Although they will still tear up some meat if you get the rabbit close enough.
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Old 03-11-2008, 03:14 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: Titusville Florida
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Default RE: Best shotgun load for rabbits?

I like larger shot for rabbits.There's not as many holes in the meat that way, especially at close range. I know it's probably not legal in most places but as a teenager I even tried #4 buck for my first shot. No worse than hitting it two or three times with a .22.
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Old 03-11-2008, 04:26 PM
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Default RE: Best shotgun load for rabbits?

1oz #5's
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Old 03-11-2008, 08:44 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
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Default RE: Best shotgun load for rabbits?

Low brass # 6's , great bunnie buster. 2 3/4 is just fine.
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Old 03-12-2008, 07:22 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 321
Default RE: Best shotgun load for rabbits?

Like others have said, you want to use a good cheap low brass number 6 shot.
But that also depends on what choke you use and what part of the country you live in and what season you are hunting in.

The purpose of the low brass shot shells is that they expand their shot patternquicker than a high power shell. They cost less - which means you can shoot more for the same amount of money. Plus a rabbit is not dangerous game that has to be killed on the first shot.

Early fall, your shots will be close, because there is still foliage on the trees and the brush.

After Christmas, when the snow and the frosts has killed most of the vegetation - you have to go to a modified or full choke and a little better shell because the rabbits will see you sooner and your shots might not be as close - depending on what part of the country you live in.

I use the Remington Dove and Quail loads in the early fall and the Duck and Pheasant loads after Christmas - during our second season.

But I always carry some Duck and Pheasant loads, because you never know when you might run into some Pheasants.

I also carry some Turkey loads in the fall when Turkeys are in season.
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Old 03-12-2008, 08:31 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,085
Default RE: Best shotgun load for rabbits?

Rabbits are easy to kill, and there is no need forhigh velocityloads andheavy shot charges... This applies to cottontails and snowshoes...I've never hunted jackrabbits..

Like many previous posters, I prefer the cheapest low brass 6s I can buy...This would be a load of 1 or 1 1/8 oz. of 6s in a 12 gauge,often sold as promotional loads labeled "Squirrel and Rabbit Loads " or something similar..

I can sympathize with people who use #4 shot, because it kills well and leaves less pellets in the eatin' meat...However, the heavier #4 shot tends to drag more hair into each shot wound than smaller shot, hence my preference for the 6s... 7 1/2 shot kills cottontails effectively, but often leaves too many pellets in the meat...I like to EAT my rabbits...

All that said, I haven't hunted bunnies with a 12 gauge for years.. My most used rabbit gun is a .410 side/side, loaded with 11/16 oz. of # 6 shot.. My HEAVY rabbit gun is a 20 gauge side/side choked ic/mod and loaded with 7/8 oz. load brass 6s...
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