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20ga or 28ga which is better

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by mbm5770, Oct 13, 2012.

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  1. mbm5770

    mbm5770 Member

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    IM looking to get a gun for hunting pheasents/grouse? Which would you guns with more experience recommend for this the 20 or the 28ga? Thanks for your input in advance.
     
  2. AEST BOSS

    AEST BOSS Member

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    How good of a shot are you?
    How wild are these birds?

    You will put more birds in your bag shooting a 20 GA.
    You will cripple more birds with a 28 GA.
     
  3. Pull & Mark

    Pull & Mark Well-Known Member

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    I love to shoot my 28 gauge gun, to me its far more comfortable to shoot multiple rounds per day and these guns just pattern fantastic. "But" there are multiple negatives about this gauge!!! First the less shot thing that will mess with most shooters heads and maybe rightly so with a larger bird like Pheasents? Second the guns themselves are more expensive and harder to find than 20's, and third the ammo is much more expensive as well. So with that said the 20 gauge will cost you less to buy and shoot, and will put a few more pellets downrange as well. I do suggest you try shooting a 28 gauge for a few days and then make up your "own" mind. Its the only way you can really figure it out yourself. Good Luck and break em all. Jeff
     
  4. handlepuller

    handlepuller Well-Known Member

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    I can't imagine hunting wild pheasants with a 28. I feel at least a 20 is necessary to kill them cleanly.
     
  5. Bob_K

    Bob_K Well-Known Member

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    Very good commentary, Pull & Mark. To me, the 28 ga is more elegant. The 20 ga is more versatile.
     
  6. john ellis

    john ellis Member

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    I love to shoot the 28--but for hunting,20 gauge is super and cost less for ammo.
     
  7. Setterman

    Setterman Well-Known Member

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    Save your money and buy a 12 ga. w/ 1 1/4 oz unless they're club birds.
     
  8. oleolliedawg

    oleolliedawg Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    Pointed preserve birds and the 28 ga will serve you well!!
     
  9. mbm5770

    mbm5770 Member

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    I have lots of 12's. I'm looking for an excuse to buy a new gun. Im wanting to hunt wild birds.
     
  10. Bruce Specht

    Bruce Specht Well-Known Member

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    You need to know your limitations and that of the gun you choose. With 28 you need to be closer and use every shot charges.
     
  11. teddy34

    teddy34 TS Member

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    I have hunted wild pheasants in SD for 55 years, the only smaller than 12ga. that will kill cleanly with lead at long range is 16 ga. It is a magnificent guage with lead. With steel, 12 is better. 20 works well with lead, but does run out of steam at long range. 28 is a wonderful guage, but most wild pheasants are shot at 35+ yards and are hard to stop. Any guage will work over a pointed pheasants, but even with the best dogs, many pheasants flush and do not hold for the point.
    Some say they only shoot over a point, but they will not shoot many birds unless
    in an extremely good area or on planted birds. Go with 12 or 16. Gary
     
  12. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    Neither. Treat yourself to a 16ga Citori Lightning. You'll thank me later.

    -Gary
     
  13. Ross

    Ross Well-Known Member

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    You don't say where you'll be hunting. If you're hunting wild pheasants over good pointers "not" pen raised shooting preserve birds go with the 20ga --26"--IC--1oz--#5 lead, "walking them up" wild ones--20ga--28 or 30"--mod or full--1oz--#4 lead. This combo worked very nice for me in northern Iowa for many years until 79 or 80 when we had real bad winters ie freezing rain and a lot of way below 0 temps that decimated the pheasant population. You need heavy shot to bring these birds down you have a lot of feathers to get through and unless you break bones they will sail off and die a cripple with blood poisoning and you sure don't want that. Ross Puls
     
  14. mbm5770

    mbm5770 Member

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    Western PA....there not wild birds, there released birds on state game lands. Number 4 shot...wow,...ok didn't think I needed something that big but ok I'll give it a try
     
  15. superxjeff

    superxjeff Active Member

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    Wild Birds deserve enough gun. I have a load of 3/4 of an OZ of #3 lead shot that shoots a 100% pattern at 40 yards. It will put 70 #3 lead pellets in a 30 inch circle. Lots of 12ga guns with the wrong choke and poor shot won't do that.

    That is a 28ga full choke Remington 870. When lead was used for ducks this was what I used over the decoys. You could ruin a Mallard at 30 yards with this load.

    When things go wrong you want all the gun you can get. I am not a fan of a 20 ga mor the 28ga for wild birds. I am also not a fan of open chokes and small shot.

    There is nothing sporting about shooting a bird with a small bore. What is sporting is to use enough gun. Between the morons who use 7 1/2's in a 12ga and the "sportsman" using steel 6's in 20's you can cover a field with cripples in no time.

    Nothing wrong with a 20ga. Just use a 1 1/4 load of copper 4's and they will work just fine. Jeff
     
  16. mooster1223

    mooster1223 Member

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    If you're looking to buy a true scaled gun, you'll love the feel of the 28 when your carry it. I'd recommend the 20 and load it down to 3/4 oz loads for reduced recoil if you'd like. You'll never get 1 oz in the little 28.
     
  17. little gambler

    little gambler Active Member

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    You can buy 1 oz 28 ga shells from winchester 1200 fps, RST 1300 fps, and even 1 1/16 fps unknown from B&P. You will get 1 oz in a 28.
     
  18. sernv99

    sernv99 Active Member

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    20 gauge, full choke, with quality ammo (nickel/copper plated shot) and you are set for pheasants. 20 gauge, mod or IC and quality ammo (does not have to be nickel/copper plated, just quality shot) and you are set for grouse. Go to Randywakeman.com, he loves his Browning B-80 20 gauge and Trulock Hunter Improved Mod choke for pheasants.

    I would skip a 16 gauge unless you reload or you load up before the seaosn on commercial ammo and make sure you have enough stock on hand for the entire season. One of the best gunshops in my area stocks all kinds of hunting ammo, from the premium stuff to the cheap stuff and one thing they lack is 16 gauge...maybe like 3 boxes of some crap stuff, while 12 gauge and 20 gauge premium stuff is plentiful on the shelf. So if I ever find myself short unexpectedly on 20 gauge or 12 gauge hunting ammo (and I don't have time to order it online), I can go to my local shop and pick some up without a hassle....might be wise to look around in your local area to see what the availability of 16 gauge is like just in case you find yourself in a jam with ordering online..

    If you stick with 12 gauge, you can order the B&P High Pheasant shells. Quite a few hunters I have come across on hunting forums are shooting these for pheasant and skipping the thumper pheasant shells of 1 & 1/4oz.
     
  19. oleolliedawg

    oleolliedawg Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    28 GA with 1oz. loads and skeet chokes will turn pointed preserve birds into pillows-personally proven!!
     
  20. Steve W

    Steve W Well-Known Member

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    The only reason I would want a 28 GA is if it's on a true 28 GA frame (The most sexy shotgun in this setup). If it's on a 20 GA frame, I'd just use 20 GA.
     
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which shoots a better pattern 28ga or 20ga