Favorite gauge for pheasants

Discussion in 'Upland Game Forum' started by SOUTHBAYMAN, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. SOUTHBAYMAN

    SOUTHBAYMAN Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    2,006
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Location:
    Southshore longisland ny
    What is it 12?/20? Thanks
     
  2. WABBIT-SLAYER

    WABBIT-SLAYER Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    350
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    Maryland
    I have been to South Dakota twice and used the 12 ga. with good results. I am planning on going again this year and taking both gauges. I want to see how well the 20 ga. will do on wild birds. I have 2 Citori's, one in each gauge. I think if choked properly the 20 ga. with 1 oz. of #5's will do the job if I do mine. I know the 12 ga. with 1 &1/4 oz. of #5's knocks the snot out of them!
     
  3. RedlegHunter

    RedlegHunter Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    336
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Location:
    Ft Sill, OK
    I love my Beretta 20ga O/U for carrying all day but normally switch to a 12ga for mid-season and late season wild birds. Will always use the 20ga on preserve hunts any time of year.
     
  4. jcneng

    jcneng Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    567
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2003
    Location:
    Wheat Ridge CO
    I have hunted wild birds in CO, NE, SD and KS for 43 years and always used a 12 ga until about three years ago. A friend of mine had always used a 20 ga and I decided to give my O/U a try for a full year. I now shoot the 20 all year long, however, I pay a little extra for the 1 1/4 oz. 3" shells.
     
  5. blklabs2

    blklabs2 Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    433
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    Location:
    wyoming
    12 ga 1 1/4 fed premys,100s of dead birds cant say different,,
     
  6. 2labs2

    2labs2 Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    153
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Got an old 4 generation Belgium Browning A-5 lightweight 12 that I love to shoot, but have also used an 870 wingmaster in 2-3/4" 20ga with no probs at all. I no longer have the 870, but would love to find an A-5 sweet 16 to use on ditch parrots.
     
  7. RCshooter12

    RCshooter12 Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    389
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Location:
    Kansas
    A ruger red label 20 has become my favorite pheasant gun over the last few years. I shoot 2 3/4" 5's (reloads) and they work very well.
     
  8. Squaller

    Squaller Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    18,772
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2003
    Location:
    Fresno, California
    Interesting question...

    Generally I prefer a 20 ga. for most upland hunting. For planted birds, quail, and even wild chuckar, I feel that the advantage of the lightweight of a 20 ga. is an advantage over a 12 ga.

    However, most of the wild pheasants I get to shoot are highly pressured, and tend to jump far. Lots of long shots (mostly over water luckily), and the close shots are usually through cover. On these birds I use 3" lead #4's with a mod choke, and they are one killin' load. A crippled wild bird on dry ground is a tough find for even the best of dogs, and I do think that the extra killing power of a 12 ga. is an advantage for many situations in hunting wild pheasants.

    I also enjoy shooting planted birds. Most of the places I hunt have "shoot-outs" in which they put out so many birds per hunter, and then we all race to find em'. I use my 20 ga with 3" #5's for these situations (LM choke). Planted birds are much easier to kill, and the cripples are an easy find for the dogs.

    I really like the Golden Pheasant loads from Fiocchi for almost all of the pheasant loads though. I also use them on wild chuckar (#6's Mod mod choke).

    For valley quail and mountain quail, I use a standard 1 oz #6 load in the 20 ga., with an IC. Sounds like over-kill, but recovering crippled quail in heavy cover or rocky terrain is a difficult task at best. Those #6's generally make a clean kill without destroying the birds.

    So to sum up for me:

    The advantage of a 20 ga. is that it is a lighter gun, and easier to get on the birds quickly, and less physically demanding to carry (especially in steep terrain or heavy cover).

    The advantage of a 12 ga. is that it has more killing power, more variety of loads, and good ammo is more accessible.

    Recoil is pretty much of a non-issue for most adults, as you are not doing high-volume shooting. And, those hot 20 ga. loads, kick pretty good in a light gun.
     
  9. Greybeard

    Greybeard Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    14,550
    Joined:
    May 16, 2000
    Location:
    Springfield,Illinois
    single shot Stevens. It's been doing the job for nearly 60 years now and my only desire to change would be if I found a fine old 16 S x S I could afford.
    Quail, Doves and Woodcock fall to my Savage 20 S x S and have been for over 50 years.
    I had an 870 "Cornsheller" but gave it to my youngest Son in the process of
    passing on some of my guns to all 3 of the Boys.
    My Legs and Lungs tell me that those glorious days of Fall, hacking and stumbling through the thickets, are past me now....and somehow.....I've become tolerant of that. One thing that helps me greatly through this "getting too damned old" thing is I can still Fly Fish if I don't challenge the current in a stupid manner.:tu


    P.S. I've been offered the first opportunity to buy an older Model A-5 12 Ga. from a friend and I'm going to add that to the youngest Sons gun rack within a few days.:yes
     
  10. 2labs2

    2labs2 Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    153
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Location:
    Nebraska

    Excellent choice GB! :tu
     

Share This Page