View Full Version : Single, Sidebyside, Over/under, Pump, Autoloader?
02-20-2007, 11:45 PM
Just wondering what all of you would use if you were only hunting Grouse.....
I currently own a 12 Ga. Single as my only shotgun. I used to hunt Grouse and ducks about 10 years ago but stopped because my wife-at-the-time gave me such grief that I stopped. Oh ya... she gave me grief about the hunting too! hahah... anyway... in 2.5 months i'm getting married again... in Jamaica and this girl has no issues whatsoever with pretty much everything - including hunting. So i'm resuming my love of hunting and things are fitting into place. I pick up my Brittany this coming Sunday. Can't wait as my last dog, a wonderful Labrador Retriever, passed away in 2003 and I have been without since. I also decided to take the firearms course and refresh things - and change from a POL to a PAL. So that's in the mail and now I want to upgrade my shotgun collection. So... after my longwinded background - what do you recommend? I wasn't overly impressed with the recoil on that 12 - but it's old and it was cheap. I'm sure there are 12's out there now that are better at dissapaiting the recoil. I also thought about changing from 12 to 20 gauge as I wouldn't mind a little weight savings and think the 20 might be better for Grouse etc. Though if I went for ducks, it's probably on the light side. I also don't know if I should get a pump or a sidebyside etc. I like the fact the pump only has the one barrel and I think sighting is easier - might sound dumb as the barrels on a sidebyside are pretty close to each other.
I posted another question about pumps regarding the number of shells in a shotgun while hunting. The law states no more that 3 shells are allowed including the chamber and the magazine. So I found out there are dowels/plugs made to reduce the size. Then why bother with the pump if you're taking the design away? May as well go with a sidebyside with a double trigger and be a quicker and more accurate shot.
Ok... i'm gonna end my question/rant and come up for air.
02-21-2007, 12:48 AM
congrats on your #2 wifey.I love using a .410 single shot for grouse.
02-21-2007, 12:56 AM
Yup... knew her before wife#1. 'missed it by thatttt much'.
I shot a .410 a few times and enjoyed it too. And damn light. I just hear the shells can get expensive?
02-21-2007, 12:58 AM
shells are average about $10.00 for a box of 20.That is lead shot.
02-21-2007, 08:09 AM
If I was you I would be looking at a O/U. Probably cost you more to get a mid range price O/U than a pump or semi. Stay away from the cheapest shotguns once you decide if you want a O/U, pump or semi. If you plan to use this gun for the rest of your life get the one you WANT not the one you think you can afford.
02-21-2007, 09:03 AM
Have both pump and o/u in 12 and I by far prefer the o/u. Why go with a 20 when you can have a 12?
02-21-2007, 09:04 AM
A 20g SxS just says upland birds to me.....a 12 isnt needed and the lighter weight 20 is nicer to carry, and doesnt hammer birds as hard, and a 410 is just a bit light in the prairies from what I've found.
20g is hard to beat for upland IMO....
16g is WAY too expensive to enjoy....
02-21-2007, 11:03 AM
You had some concern about recoil. If that's a problem, go with a semi-auto, preferrably gas system. MY Beretta is great for that. I also personally like the quick follow-up shot capability a semi gives, but that's mostly 'cause I'm a lousy shot. O/U or SxS also give you that capability, to lesser degree.
If you were SURE you were only gonna do upland, take the advice of others here and get a 16 or 20. However, if you want a gun that gives you more options for hunting, stick with the 12.
7 REM MAG
02-21-2007, 01:28 PM
the 20 ga. will work on both upland and waterfowl. You can get hevi shot and other premium shot that will plant the big honkers just like a 12 ga. if you can shoot good enough
02-21-2007, 01:50 PM
Okotokian is right I beleive Beretta Extrema 2 has the least recoil but once again its a little more money. After the extrema the Benelli would come next.
Tough to beat the remington pump shotguns for just plain never giving up, and never jamming. We've 2 -12ga, and one 20ga youth model. I'd never shot anything but 12ga until my son started shooting clay at about 11 with the 20. That is one NICE gun. Light, very little recoil. He's pounded a swack of ducks and huns with it.
Once had an offbreed coach gun(side by side). Cool, but very, very, heavy when you're used to carrying a pump. Wouldn't have another one.
My dad has a beautiful Belgian Browning auto. Prettiest shotgun I've ever seen, lot's of scrollwork. Could never get the darn thing to not jam when it's cold, or wet, or Tuesday, etc.
Course that's not to say I haven't requested dibbs on it.
If I was to buy a brand new shotgun on my budget, I'd buy a vented barrel Remington Wingmaster in 20ga. If the same one a different budget, I'd look for either a Franchi(spelling), or Browning over/under with lot's of scrollwork.
But then I'm a sucker for pretty guns.
02-22-2007, 02:38 AM
See my post on the poll.
No need for a 12 for grouse, esp. over a pointing dog. I shot a pump for many years and since switching to the SxS I have never yet missed having the third shot. The tradeoff in less weight, carrying comfort (broken open over an arm or shoulder) and safety (carry it open until moving in for the flush) and reliability are tremendous for that odd chance you may be able to make effective use of a third shot.
I don't know what your budget is, but anything decent in O/U or SxS is going to cost you more than pump or semi-auto. As suka alludes to there are some cheap doubles that really don't make much sense as they are heavy, cumbersome and slow to swing, and don't look/feel very nice. Better to have a nice pump than one of those. Suka, check out the Guerini on my other post (I think there is a reason they don't post any prices on the website - if you have to ask.....)
There is some merit to your sighting plane concern with the SxS. The O/U afficianados make a lot of mileage over it. I have never found it to affect my shooting however. The Beretta Silver Pigeon is probably my favorite O/U on the (reasonable) market right now. If you could find a deal on a used 20 ga. BSS (Browning Side by Side) or a Winchester 21 you would have a real nice field gun.
02-22-2007, 02:45 AM
again... amazing info. So glad I found this site. What would we do without forums...
02-22-2007, 07:12 PM
I have a Stoeger Condor Combo gun. It cost me a little over $700 bucks at P&D and it came with a 20 guage and a 12 guage barrel. The 20 guage barrel is shorter and lighter, which I hunt chickens with. It has removable chokes and is very easy to change thew barrels. The quality is O.K. not cheap, but not excellent. I dream of owning a real nice and expensive scatter gun someday, but this is a great starter gun. Besides, it is fun to buy and sell guns!
02-22-2007, 08:54 PM
ya I do like that set up. I saw it on Wholesale's site for $699. Definitely within budget and I can admire your wish for one day owning a fine English made (perhaps) shotgun. Some of those pieces are custom made to the user taking almost a year to create. But so nice and what a piece to hand down one day.
02-23-2007, 01:45 AM
Rookie you have it all wrong. Its fun to buy guns but is never fun to sell guns.
02-23-2007, 02:13 AM
Really guys the most important part is a well fitting shotgun. It will handle better and most importantly it will allow you to shoot better. I have yet to be properly fit for a gun at any of the large retailers. I donít think they know how to do it.
I had a chance a few months back to try out a gun worth approx $15,000 I couldnít hit a clay with it if my life depended on it. It wasnít the guns fault, it just didnít fit me. My gun on the other hand fits like a glove and I shoot it like a dream. Thatís why I am so hesitant to sell it. Until I get one that fits as well I cant let it go.
Northern Hunting Mom
02-23-2007, 04:50 AM
A double may not be as safe as you think. I've heard from people that it happened to that if you trip, drop the gun and if you have live shells in it, it can bump closed and fire.
A double will have a heavier forearm than a single. For some, it actually helps with shot placement and follow through. For others, its just too heavy to be comfortable swinging. Could you perhaps go to a gun range and try a few different guns out to see how they feel during live firing?
02-23-2007, 08:57 AM
Jamiehunt is right on with the fitting comment. One of the problems with many 20 ga pump/auto guns is the makers put them on a scaled down version including a shorter length of pull. Tough to shoot a shotgun that doesn't fit. That is what smurph alludes to when he mentions taking a year to custom make a gun as it is made to specifically fit you. Costs money though.
NHM what makes you think that if you trip and fall you will be any safer while carrying a pump or autoloader. I would far rather be carrying a cracked open double than a closed round on either of those when falling with/on my gun. A good double is the most perfectly balanced and most natural swinging of any of the shotguns, cheap doubles are cumbersome as you mention.
02-23-2007, 10:44 AM
A good double is the most perfectly balanced and most natural swinging of any of the shotguns
Everyone is entitled to thier own opinion.
Personally I like the pumps and autoloaders because of that third shell.
02-23-2007, 08:11 PM
What does the third shell have to do with balance and swing?
We each have our opinion. The numbers tell us that very, very few people can effectively use their second shot on a covey rise. Must be nice to be able to make all those doubles on a rise and still have time to look around for somewhere to put the third one. How many times have you made effective use of the third shell?
02-23-2007, 09:19 PM
No no read what I said again. I said not everyone likes an over under hence the to each his own. Then I said I persoanlly like the autoloader and pump for the use of a third shell
The third shell has landed me birds many of time. Miss on the first down a pheasant or partridge with the second, dog goes in to retrieve and suddenly another bird pops up. Happens all the time.
Or when shooting geese or ducks. Losts of time you are lucky enough to have an oppritunity with that third round which you dont have with the SxS or O/U.
Dont get me wrong I love the looks and feel of an SxS or O/U infact I am dealing on a Yildiz now but for the choice of a second gun buy a autoloader or pump and make sure you can throw 3" shells in it. This way you wont have to buy yourself a goose gun later. Hunting alberta many of time you have the opritunity to shoot both in a 5 minute period especially if you hunt pheasants in the cattails along a lake or pond.
02-23-2007, 10:16 PM
Don't get me wrong Ryan. On the poll thread I indicated how a 12 ga pump or auto would be good if you were an opportunistic hunter taking a variety of game in any outing, but this thread leads off with the specific supposition that we are hunting Grouse ONLY. Any reference to the utility of the gun for waterfowl is inadmissable.
As to the value of a third shell in the circumstance described, I have two more follow up shots for your one because I will have already reloaded. And I am not just saying that - it is how I operate while hunting in the field. The birds flush, I shoot, bird is down, I crack gun and reload while sending dog to retrieve. Any late flushers are facing full chambers.
When do I miss the third shot? If I make a kill with the first and a cripple on a close in bird with the second it would be nice to have a follow up third on that bird to lob a hail mary with the off chance of putting it down rather than making an extended retrieve effort. I think I remember it working once when shooting my pump. Then there are the on report flushes that occur once in a blue moon where I let fly at the covey with two shots and a late flusher goes with the report of the second shot. I don't have a third shell to follow up on that bird. Late flushers who wait for the movement of the dog to go have already been covered before.
The obvious paucity of opportunity to use the third shot became so abundantly apparent to me that for the last few years of carrying my pump (prior to affording a SxS double gun) I carried it with an empty chamber and two shells in the magazine for the incredible safety factor this afforded - equal to carrying the open double. Chambering a round while approaching the dog on point got me locked and loaded.
Personally I do not like the O/U because they need to break so much further to reload and they are impossible to make as light as a SxS because of the bulk of steel required for the reciever. I feel that these two factors are not even close to the benefit of a narrow sighting plane - others mileage may vary.
02-24-2007, 10:38 AM
Just another quick note, a well fitting shotgun doesnt kick near as hard as one that doesnt. (Feel)
But if recoil is your issue, then a semi is the only way to go.
02-25-2007, 01:26 AM
Another excellent point about the fitting that keeps the custom makers in business. But the issue of recoil is oversimplified.
As has been stated you can reduce recoil by going to a smaller bore, however the felt recoil can still be there because the other part of the smaller bore advantage is the reduction in weight of the shotgun for ease of carrying, speed of mounting and swing. This also increases recoil velocity and thereby the sensation of recoil. Especially when shooting over pointing dogs there is sufficient pellet count in 1 oz of shot to create effective pattern density. The efficacy of the 20 ga. gun is testimony to this. This leaves us another option for reducing actual recoil and certainly felt recoil while upland gunning. Shoot 1 oz loads from the heavy 12 ga. pump gun. I handloaded 1 oz of 6 shot for pheasant and sharptail for a few years before moving to the double and was every bit as effective with those shells over my pointing dogs as with the 1 1/4 oz monsters I used to think were necessary.
So, while the auto loader does reduce recoil, it is not the only way and quite likely not the best way for many.
hmmmmm.........if you're ONLY going to hunt grouse, I'd say................a sling shot.
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