I THOUGHT I WOULD GET THE BLOOD FLOWING BY ASKING WHICH TYPE OF SHOTGUN IS THE BEST FOR PHEASANTS ? O/U OR PUMPS OR AUTOS, 12 GUAGES OR 16 OR 20 IM SURE YOU ALL KNOW WHAT IS THE BEST AND IM SURE YOU ARE GOING TO TELL ME! THANKS! :sniper:
DK, I'll bite. The best one is the one you shoot the best. For years I used a Browning 12 BSS, improved and modified, 3". This is a good all around shotgun but heavier than needed. In 93 I bought a new Citori 12 o/u upland special-2 3/4" mod-imp and modified. This is a good upland gun, lighter than the standard Citori. This fall I was having shoulder problems so I used my wifes Beretta 20 o/u 3" improved and modified. I am going to stick with the 20 for upland. It was fast to handle and comfortable to shoot and carry. And it knocked 'em *** over teakettle.
Aside from being able to hit with the gun, I believe the shells you choose make a great deal of difference-clean kills and more confidence. I like the Fedral Premium Magnum copper plated shot. 6s in the first barrel, 4s in the second.
I am with Dick on this one, I used to shoot a 12 BPS for upland, but it was uneccesarily heavy. I switched to a 20 gauge, REM, and was happy with the results, lighter and quicker to shoulder. I didnt see any difference in knock down power either.
For all upland, I'm a 20 guy now. Haven't felt a single loss in perfornace after switching from a 12 2-3 years ago. Took me a long time to follow the lead of some hunting buddies, but would never carry 12 for upland again. Lighter gun, lighter/smaller shells and no performance loss. Doesn't seem right, especiailly for late season roosters, but I've been very pleasantly surprised.
I Prefer autos, but I do for everything else too. Like my benelli Monte, but hope they'll do the Super 90 in a 20 wood soon too.
Like the buffered/plated shells, as I think they provide for better patterns and better lethality. Like the Fed. Prem's, Win. Supremes, but the best all around and cost effective load I've found is the Fiochi Golden Pheasant in the 3 inch #5. I'm a big believer in speed, and this one's about the best in an 1 1/4 load. Sure would like to find a comparable 3inch 1 1/8 load though to pick up a little more fps.
For a 12, the best load I found was the Fed Prem. in a 2 3/4, 1 1/8 #6. Plated/buffered. At about 1500 fps, lots of range, but not many messed up birds.
I use to shoot with a Rem. 20 gauge, years ago when i was a young rugrat,
shot alot of ducks with it too.
Never even thought about a 20 gauge now days, I always figured that was something you start out young with and then move to a 12.
Now after reading the posts and thinking back to all the birds I shot years ago, it makes great sense.
Now I'm REALLY confused as to what to get for my next gun.
I like the way the rem. 11-87 felt the best so far, but I hear the winchester super X2 has performed flawlessly for many that shoot with one.
I may NOW have to look at a few 20's, as lightness is something I care about as well.
I am in the process of switching from a 12 to a 20 ga for pheasant. Both are WM 870's
I am making the switch to carry a lighter gun.
I am going to try the Estate 3 inch 1 ¼ oz shells at 1300, I will shoot mostly 6 shot and by a couple of boxes of 4 for windy days. I wish they would make 5 shot, I have heard the golden pheasant loads are great at 1 ¼ at 1200 they come in 5 and 6 shot I might try those as well I like shooting 1250 or better though for pheasant. The golden pheasant is nickel-plated the estates are not.
I was given both the 12 and 20 WM 870, if I bought a new gun it would be a Ithaca Ultra Featherlight pump in either 16 or 20 gauge.
Winchester makes a 1 1/8 at 1295 in 6 shot and golden pheasant come in 1 1/8 5 shot at 1310. for the 16 ga.
I don't know why no one makes a 16 ga 1 ¼ oz High Velocity load or more 20 ga 3 inch shells in 1 ¼ and 1 1/8 in the 1300 range.
I like 5 and 6 shot for pheasant. I like pumps because they don't jam and you have plenty of shots if you get into a bunch of birds.
I shot IC with my 12 ga I am not sure if I will shoot mod or IC with the 20 ga.
Some don't like magnum loads in light guns because the kick or call it over kill but recoil has never bothered me when shooting and I like the ballistic of the magnum shells for 20 ga.
Ok I will bite on this also I am a firm believer in a 12 ga. Weight is very minimal when you are hunting roosters. you only need the three in the gun. if you miss the guide will give you his birds. You also should be able to carry this gun for 45 min to a hour with out getting tired, if you do the guide will carry it for you.
I have not found a gun I shoot well in a 20 ga except a older 1100 Rem this gun weighs as much as my Berreta so I just as well have the extra shot in the air. I have switched to shooting only Fiochi steel 3" 3 shot at 1475fps. I like this from the point of view that I do not have to remember to take the lead shells out when I head out for waterfowl. This has been a very effective rooster load. I think it has advantages over lead because of the speed. I do not shoot at 40 yds and beyond so this works well for me.
I have been looking at some o/u 20's I do like the Berreta Silver Pigieon 20 but will have to wait a while.
If you hit a pheasant at 15-25 or maybe even 30 yards with 3 inch HV steel 3 shot do you have any bird left? I know when I hit ducks at 15-25 yards they are pretty torn up and they are much tougher than roosters. With that kind of load you should be able to kill a pheasant at 40 yards easy.
While I want to switch to the lighter 20 ga I will shoot it plenty to make sure I like it, I shoot my 30 inch barreled 12 ga 870 really well so I hope the lighter gun works for me, it does have a 28 inch barrel so I am hoping it will work out. I will admit if I could find a 12 ga in the 6 to 6 ¼ pounds I would use it on pheasant with 1 ¼ oz load at 1300. Unfortunately they do not make a pump or Auto that light only O/U. I do like how 12 ga patterns but I am willing to give up the pattering to go from my 7 ¾ pound 12 ga to the 6 ¼ pound 20 ga for pheasant.
We saw very little blown up birds. I do not shoot unless they are 20 yds or so. I have been using Mac 369 open choke tube. in my Berreta. This gives very good patterns.I wish that the company that made them was still in business. I just like the speed of these shells. I plan on using 2 3/4 this fall in HV shot. Not sure what size ?
Fattire, with the right gun/loads, you won't regret moving to a 20. Mine's in a 26", which seems to shoulder and swing nice, and makes it look proportional. Don't know what will show on paper, but I'd be surprised if you found range or lethality suffered a bit. You will compromise nothing by stepping down, so don't go grudgingly. like I said, this makes no sense until you've tried it.
When you hunt with guys with 12's, you will, however, get really fussy about making sure you take home the birds you shoot - they'll be the ones that dropped nicely but don't have more feathers driven into the breasts than left on the outside of the bird.
Fattire, before you buy a Ithaca Ultra Featherlight, try one out, borrow one or something. My first shotgun was 16 M37 Ithaca which I traded for a 20 Featherlight, which I traded for a 20 Ultra Featherlight and I did not like it worth a hoot. Used it on 2 grouse hunts and traded again. I'd have kept the old 16 but impossible to get loads easily. The Ultra Featherlight did not have the workmanship of the earlier models. Everything about it seemed loose or poorly fitted.
I am going to shoot the wm 870 20 ga this summer and if I like it I will use in next fall and just use my wm 870 12 for duck and goose.
Regarding the Ultra Featherlight, my neighbor has one and I shot it. It is a great gun. I looked at them at the shop to and they seem just as nice as the classic Featherlight. The Classic and Ultra are much nicer than the new 870 wm, BPS, or Winchester pumps.
I just cannot justify buying one right now, but might have to get one for my 10 month old and break it in for him. I would love to buy the 16 ga but the load selection is not very good, the 20 3 inch gets all the attention unfortunately. Winchester and Fiocchi have a good 1 1/8 load in 16 ga, I would buy a 16 ga in a second if you good get good 1 ¼ oz loads for pheasant, with Remington making the new 870 and 1100 in 16 ga maybe they will come out with some better loads. The Rem 16 ga is as heavy as a twelve because it is built on the same frame as a 12 ga. If Beretta and Franchi would come out with a 16 ga, I think you seen more loads follow, I really hope Remington comes out with some good loads.
Probably the best investment you can make for hunting upland game is a sling for your shotgun. Most people wouldn't think about doing all that walking without one on their deer rifle but see many without on their shotgun. I'm lucky enough to hunt many days so when I hunt with others I love my 870 with a full choke and 30" barrell so I can let everyone else have their chance and clean up at the end!! (Sorry about the boast !!! And my truly great companion and hunter extraordinaire, DJRooster who is my springer will always get his man, I mean rooster, that's right we are talking pheasants!!!
DJR, straight-up on the sling deal. The dreaded half-mile dead-head back to the truck is a lot more pleasant with the shotgun slung. All my field guns, even the pretty wood ones, get a sling. The only downside is that for waterfowl, I end up carrying all of my crap and half of everyone else's cause they're horsing around with their gun, while mine's slung around my whole body leaving both hands free. Such is life.
Dan sounds like you have smart friends! What type of slings are you guys using. I haven't found one that fits or feels good with my shotguns. I hunted with a friend in Wis. He was using a sling called Moutain Sling. I haven't seen one or I would have bought it.
For my waterfowl guns, I use those adjustable strap kind (don't remember brand). They aren't the greatest one-shoulder slings, as they tend to slide down, but while hunting, you can shorten them up so they don't get hung up on stuff or worse yet flip over the rib when you raise up real quick (I've sctually dumbed my way into a few birds with the sling directly in the line of sight before remembering to shorten it up - kept hearing Obi Wan telling me to let the Force guide me). When hiking in or out, adjust 'em wide open and you can get them around your whole body, freeing both hands (usually for pulling the plastic sled, which is a whole other little waterfowling back, time and sanity saver and trick).
For my upland guns, I use the nonadjustable neoprene padded kind with the rubber nobbies on the bottom. They difuse the gun weight nicely, and stay shouldered pretty well. I think those are the Mountain brand.
WHAT !!???? WHY WOULD I WANT A 20 GA. IM HUNTING WITH A 12 GA. AND THAT IS IT. A 12 IS THE BEST! I CAN SHOOT 30 -40 YARDS WITH IT AND KNOCK THEM BIRDS OUT OF THE SKY! AND WEIGHT? WHAT ARE YOU GUYS A BUNCh OF WIMPS? I THINK SO! AND SLINGS??! ARE YOU GUYS A BUNCH OF LITTLE GIRLS? IF YOU GET TIRED OF CARRING YOUR GUN AND YOU HAVE TO HAVE YOUR GUIDE CARRY IT FOR YOU --YOU ARE A *****! :rock:
The winchester 101 over and under 12 gauge is i think one of the best upland guns that was ever made, used it a couple of times this year and shot great with it. Its light and shoulders really nice. I dont think I will ever give up that gun.
DK-holy smokes. Its like the young bull and the old bull...... My good friend uses his .338 for deer hunting. His first word is always "WHAT?".
I use a sling too, M-16, without the adjustor snap. It is sewed at one length to go over the chest. Good for snowshoes.
A forum community dedicated to North Dakota fishing and hunting enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about safety, gear, tips, tricks, optics, hunting, gunsmithing, reviews, reports, accessories, classifieds, and more!