Shooting smaller gauges.

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Re: Shooting smaller gauges.

Postby Willie T » Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:01 pm

orhunter wrote:The longest shot I ever made on a rooster was with a .410 and 7.5 shot, 75 yards. I was a dumb kid and didn't know I couldn't do it.

Orhunter, I wonder how many shells that 75 yard Hail Mary cost you down the road? All part of learning the ropes...
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Re: Shooting smaller gauges.

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:23 pm

stubblejumper wrote:
GONEHUNTIN' wrote:There's a couple of other things you have to consider when shooting a 28. First, you'll always have about one third less pellets than a 12 comparing 3/4 ounce 28 to 1 1/8 12. If you up the charge to 7/8 or one ounce, you end up with a blown pattern. Now, that's fine IF you shoot lead but if you're hunting public areas and using steel, you're going to cripple a lot of birds.

I think that unless a hunter can go to a skeet range and break 20-22 with a 28, you have no business shooting one on pheasant. Grouse and woodcock are different because they are so easy to kill. My two cents. Not a fan of the small gauges when the 12's are more efficient and on average, just as light.



If I only shoot 20-22 at skeet with a 28 gauge, I am having an extremely off day. :)


Then the 28's for you.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: Shooting smaller gauges.

Postby Willie T » Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:26 pm

AG, my point on the dog work is as I and most of the people I have hunted with have aged and gained experience, our bench mark for what we want and train for expands and gets better, and we judge our dogs with a more critical eye. As for the small guns, that's a personal choice for each hunter to make. I went to smaller gauges because I got tired of tearing birds up with a twelve and I enjoy carrying them. Most of the old guys I hunt with have done the same for the same reasons. As far as the guy with something to prove goes, life is too short to hunt with him more than once. To each his own....
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Re: Shooting smaller gauges.

Postby Densa44 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:56 am

To properly introduce Stubble, he is an expert with all gauges, he works at the gun club and shoots 30,000 shells per year in all gauges. He reloads, target shoots and hunts just about all game Alberta has available. The only shots I've ever seen him miss were the ones the judges told him to miss at out test. He is the best shot I've ever seen.

However he has a new pup, 1 year now, and Butch is a GWP and this is his first VDog and he will need help training his dog for the UT test this August.
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Re: Shooting smaller gauges.

Postby stubblejumper » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:48 am

Densa44 wrote:To properly introduce Stubble, he is an expert with all gauges, he works at the gun club and shoots 30,000 shells per year in all gauges. He reloads, target shoots and hunts just about all game Alberta has available. The only shots I've ever seen him miss were the ones the judges told him to miss at out test. He is the best shot I've ever seen.

However he has a new pup, 1 year now, and Butch is a GWP and this is his first VDog and he will need help training his dog for the UT test this August.


Actually, I shoot around 2000 rounds of shotshells per month from spring to fall, but a lot less in winter, as it just gets too cold at times, and two of the three clubs that I shoot at close for the cold weather. I am retired, so I am a volunteer at the local club, and I run the skeet program. I also volunteer with the local NAVHDA chapter as a gunner, which provides more practice on live birds. A couple of people were concerned when I showed up the first time to shoot for the club with a 28 gauge, but I haven't heard a complaint since. As far as shooting clays goes, the best bird shooters that I have hunted with, also shot a great deal of skeet or sporting cays. I have undergone fifteen eye surgeries in the past 20 years, and after having three detached retina surgeries, I started shooting the 20 gauge, and then the 28 gauge, which has become my go to gun for most of my shooting.
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Re: Shooting smaller gauges.

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:50 am

Yea I get it Willie.

I enjoy my dogs and others' good dogs immensely. I train to the standard I need when hunting and have fun with it.

My 12 gauges are so light that weight is not a valid reason for me to go small gauge. I enjoy my 28s on occasion while wild bird hunting. If the bird numbers in TX remain high I will take my 28s next year. I hope to hunt Sharptails a lot earlier in the season this next year and if I get into some easy birds I will likely use my 28 there as well.

On the dog work, I enjoy the retrieve part as well. My dog gets more retrieves when I hunt with a 12 gauge and I have no problems rendering birds inedible. Traveling around does not always allow me to hit things perfect in terms of weather and how the birds behave on long distance trips. The 12 gauge gives me huge versatility on what loads and chokes I can use to adapt, as needed. I would have been mostly out of luck on the Sharptails in ND with my 28 due to weather and jumpy birds. When I am training a puppy I think it is important to reward their points with birds hitting the ground. My trips to SD for Pheasants happen in Dec on properties that have been hunted hard before I arrive, with Roosters in fully feathered plumage. I don't feel over gunned with my 12.

I have no reason to care what others hunt with and don't. I just have too much time to respond to misinformation on the internet.

Heading out to Central Ks now to setup a couple of ground blinds. Archery Spring Turkey season just around the corner. Dog training Clinic later this week.

Take Care.
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Re: Shooting smaller gauges.

Postby orhunter » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:51 am

Years ago, I shot a lot of trap. It wasn't easy, I wasn't a natural, every shot was work but I was the competitive type so I did the work. It eventually paid off and I could shoot with the big boys. But, trap is not good preparation for bird hunting, in fact, it's lousy. I had a Model 42 for years and one day I got the crazy idea to shoot a round of skeet. I broke half the targets but came away thinking this skeet stuff seemed like it'd really pay off for the bird hunter. I thought it was fun too. I also thought it would be really be easy to master if a person set their mind to it and would become boring in time because it was so easy. Ho hum, another 100 straight. Maybe I'm wrong? Sporting clays is fun too, have shot a few rounds, I should do more of it just for grins. Kinda cool walking up to the shooting line packing an A-5 and out shooting the fellows all decked out in their fancy duds, custom Krieghoff Model 32's and such. Maybe I need another shotgun?????
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Re: Shooting smaller gauges.

Postby stubblejumper » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:12 am

orhunter wrote:Years ago, I shot a lot of trap. It wasn't easy, I wasn't a natural, every shot was work but I was the competitive type so I did the work. It eventually paid off and I could shoot with the big boys. But, trap is not good preparation for bird hunting, in fact, it's lousy. I had a Model 42 for years and one day I got the crazy idea to shoot a round of skeet. I broke half the targets but came away thinking this skeet stuff seemed like it'd really pay off for the bird hunter. I thought it was fun too. I also thought it would be really be easy to master if a person set their mind to it and would become boring in time because it was so easy. Ho hum, another 100 straight. Maybe I'm wrong? Sporting clays is fun too, have shot a few rounds, I should do more of it just for grins. Kinda cool walking up to the shooting line packing an A-5 and out shooting the fellows all decked out in their fancy duds, custom Krieghoff Model 32's and such. Maybe I need another shotgun?????


I agree that trap is poor preparation for shooting birds, personally, other than some doubles, I find it boring. Sporting clays is definitely the best simulation of wild birds, but it's just too expensive to shoot the volume that I would like to shoot, so I generally only shoot sporting clays once per week. As to skeet, I generally shoot doubles, and when the wind is blowing to the point where the targets from the high house are hitting the ground before the low house, it can be challenging to shoot doubles from stations 3,4,5 with a 28 gauge. At my former club we spent a lot of time shooting only doubles at stations 3,4,5, but at my present club, most people aren't interested in challenging themselves that much.
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Re: Shooting smaller gauges.

Postby oldtimer » Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:40 am

The problem with any type of clay birds is that you are shooting a target that is losing speed. Upland birds are usually accelerating.
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Re: Shooting smaller gauges.

Postby orhunter » Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:50 am

Stubblejumper: I've shot but a single round of Trap doubles simply because it was an event at the '72 Oregon State PITA shoot and I was shooting every event. I broke an 88 with a borrowed gun. That really killed my chance to win high gun overall for the for the four day shoot, think I came in 11th. My average for the rest of the shoot was around 97. Funny thing about that shoot. I was having a real slump before then and had no confidence what so ever. I paid for targets and didn't enter any of the pools, thinking it was a waste of money. Big mistake. Could have had a real payday. I was nervous enough as it was and to have to shoot for money would probably have been too much? Casual Trap is one thing but when you get competitive, you need nerves of steel because you simply can't miss and win lots of times. An old friend, Frank Simpson, was at Reno one time for some big event. He got in a shoot off with ties, breaking 100 straight. The shoot off lasted for 600 targets to declare a winner. You simply can't miss and win. I tried Googling Frank but can't find anything. I did find a vague reference that he might have won The Grand in 1963? Frank was also an inventor and is responsible for several patents on the Ponsness-Warren shotgun shell loader.
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Re: Shooting smaller gauges.

Postby Steve Anker » Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:16 pm

Sorry folks......I came in late to the party-

12 gauges are BEST for Ducking, shooting a big Tom, pheasant hunting in Indiana, but the kinder gentler shotgunner can make do with a smaller gauge not for fear of the report, but because they like to do as little damage to the MEAT as possible.

No kidding.....but I use a .410 for everything from shooting Dog Training pigeons to zapping pheasant. (in a New York, New Hampshire, New England type environment)
It hits pretty solid and on gamebirds and it leaves me something to chew on when finished.

My ultimate conversion from the USUAL 12 Gauge'r came some many years ago as a yonker, skeet shooting with my Pop. He taught me to point, lead and pull at a very young age using a 12 gauge at very first. Then, we dialed in with a smaller lesser gauge. (caliber .410)

When we had a target out in front of us on an away line.......with the .410.....I'd swear it would take forever to get zoned in on the bird. YES, in the beginning we missed terribly, more than with a 12. BUTT, through patience and TIME we worked our way to being able to hit targets with regularity.
It is this worry, this extra time we'd spend zoning in on targets that ultimately got our shooting game in order.

My Pop always said "There are TWO types of folks who shoot the .410.......EXPERTS and @$$Holes"
Last edited by Steve Anker on Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shooting smaller gauges.

Postby orhunter » Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:32 pm

My longest shooting streak without a miss is with a .410. Eleven doves and 1 pigeon.
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Re: Shooting smaller gauges.

Postby sns2 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:40 pm

stubblejumper wrote:I don't really care what other people use to hunt with, but after trying a few gauges on pheasant and upland birds, I have settled on the 28 gauge, because it works for me. I enjoy carrying a light gun, and shooting when my dog does his job and provides those close range shots. I do pass on some shots that I would probably take with a 12 gauge, but I still take more than my share of birds, and if I pass on a shot now and then, it's no big deal to me. In fact, I see many people trying to shoot pheasants and upland birds at ranges that I would pass on even with a 12 gauge, and they usually miss or cripple birds as a result. I often take friends hunting with me, and they usually take all of the birds when hunting with me. One fellow called me after his son and him hunted pheasants with me and asked how many pellets are in a 12 gauge and a 28 gauge shotshell combined, and after I told him, he replied that one rooster appeared to have been hit by at least half that number. We had set his son up for the shot when my dog had a bird pointed, and when the son missed, both the father and myself fired at once, and the bird pretty much exploded in the air.
I still soot waterfowl with a 12 gauge, but I don't shoot 3-1/2" magnum ammunition.


I remember that shot well. Instant ground pheasant!
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Re: Shooting smaller gauges.

Postby Bill in Oregon » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:55 am

This has been a rewarding thread to read.
I came into it thinking I should consider a 28, and after finishing, I am thinking a light 12 such as the Fabarm L4S shooting an ounce might serve equally well.
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Re: Shooting smaller gauges.

Postby Duckdon » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:36 am

I use a12ga because I shoot it best. I use a 10Ga on waterfowl, why, because the 8 ga is illegal.
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