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Discussion in 'Upland Game Forum' started by SOUTHBAYMAN, Mar 22, 2011.
What is it 12?/20? Thanks
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!
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.
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.
12 ga 1 1/4 fed premys,100s of dead birds cant say different,,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Excellent choice GB!