20 gauge shell recommendations

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20 gauge shell recommendations

Postby quack-quack » Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:23 pm

So I'm looking to get a new 20 gauge. I've seem some 2 3/4" and some 3" barrels.
If I went with the 2 3/4" barrel could I still hunt rabbit and occasional pheasant?
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Re: 20 gauge shell recommendations

Postby micneador » Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:14 pm

Rabbit, yes. Bit idk about pheasant, with a 20 I shoot the rem 3" nitros.
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20 gauge shell recommendations

Postby quack-quack » Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:30 pm

Yea that's what I was thinking. I always used 12g 2 3/4" #6 and it was perfect in a mod choke. This 20g is throwing me though!
Keep in mind we don't have real wild pheasant so it's not the same as Dakotas and all the real pheasant states.
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Re: 20 gauge shell recommendations

Postby micneador » Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:10 pm

If they are pen raised over points, throw out the 20 and grab the 410.
I won a 40 bird hunt a few years back, all chucker and pheasant. Shot nothing but #6 410.'s all day long.
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Re: 20 gauge shell recommendations

Postby mawtrfowler » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:10 pm

For pen raised pheasant you'll never need anything more than a 2 3/4" #6. 7.5's are usually more than enough.
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Re: 20 gauge shell recommendations

Postby quack-quack » Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:03 pm

I'll use my chessie so no pointing there, so I guess the 20g 2 3/4" should be ok?
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Re: 20 gauge shell recommendations

Postby mauserfan » Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:01 pm

I've only hunted wild birds and a 2-3/4", 7/8 or 1 oz load of larger shot(4,5,6) works well. Shoot a mod or full and head shoot the birds. I actually handload a 7/8 oz load at 1375fps and it is extremely efficient. I prefer 5 shot and a tight choke. Hope this helps. Mauser
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Re: 20 gauge shell recommendations

Postby MNGunner » Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:31 pm

My go to pheasant gun is a 20ga O/U IC/Mod chokes shooting 2.75" #6 (I use the 1-1/8 Federal loads usually but I have used 1oz loads). This is what I use for wild birds hunted with labs (flushers) probably 80% of the time. For very windy days or really late season, I'll switch to a 12 and shoot #6 and #5.

For game farms I use a 28 ga. This was with my 8 month old pup. Put out 5 hens so the other 5 were scratches/wild. 12 shots with a 28 gauge:

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Re: 20 gauge shell recommendations

Postby Cobbhead » Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:01 am

I'm always puzzled by those that buy a 20 ga. and immediately try to turn it into a 12(and most of us already have a 12). Shoot 7/8 or 1 oz., 6's or 7.5's in the 20, that is what they were designed for. I use a 20 for most upland, cheat a tad by buying Winchester Whitewings that come in true #7's. Forget the 1 1/8 oz. loads, 3" loads, etc. They were designed for and meant to shoot the lighter loads and do just fine, especially on preserve birds.

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Re: 20 gauge shell recommendations

Postby MNGunner » Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:56 pm

Cobbhead wrote:I'm always puzzled by those that buy a 20 ga. and immediately try to turn it into a 12(and most of us already have a 12). Shoot 7/8 or 1 oz., 6's or 7.5's in the 20, that is what they were designed for. I use a 20 for most upland, cheat a tad by buying Winchester Whitewings that come in true #7's. Forget the 1 1/8 oz. loads, 3" loads, etc. They were designed for and meant to shoot the lighter loads and do just fine, especially on preserve birds.

Steve


20's are also lighter to carry all day long so I can see why some, as you say, try to turn them into 12 gauges.
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Re: 20 gauge shell recommendations

Postby Jimmy82 » Wed Mar 05, 2014 4:37 am

I killed wild pheasant in NE growing up with a hand load my dad made in 2-3/4, 1 oz of #6. I don't know the velocity. Usually we rocked IC/Mod early season and move to Full late season. That was back when there was a lot of quail too and he got tired of blowing up quail with a 12 ga. We had the occasional runner, and some brought back alive, but well over half would be dead to rights. Early season he and his buddies do a 28 ga competition to see who gets the most birds. The only reason he still doesn't use his hand loads is because Winchester stopped making the powder he used and he didn't want to go back to the drawing board for a new load.

IIRC he since moved to 12 ga Federal field loads with copper plated #5's and most birds are dead on arrival now. But he has gotten a couple new guns since those days too, lighter and less recoil. And quail is pretty sparse.

I use 20 ga on ruffed grouse until all the leaves are gone and I can start getting farther shots, then I up to a 12 with #7's or #6's to buck brush and small sticks. Not as big as phez, but in early season I have had great success with plain old Federal Target loads with #8's. Every grouse I've killed with those except for one was dead on arrival. I blew up a Woodcock two seasons ago with a Federal target load in 12 ga #8's. That or someone snuck a buck shot round into my vest.

Edit: If it kills a phez, it'll kill a rabbit.
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Re: 20 gauge shell recommendations

Postby KRB » Fri Mar 14, 2014 3:02 pm

For wild pheasants have used Fiocchi golden pheasant 1 ounce at 1245 plated shot through IMOD choke with good results. Grouse and woodcock win AA super sports 7/8 ounce of 7 1/2's. Grouse don't take much to stop. Hitting them is another thing
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Re: 20 gauge shell recommendations

Postby MNGunner » Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:16 am

KRB wrote:For wild pheasants have used Fiocchi golden pheasant 1 ounce at 1245 plated shot through IMOD choke with good results. Grouse and woodcock win AA super sports 7/8 ounce of 7 1/2's. Grouse don't take much to stop. Hitting them is another thing


I've been using 7.5s 1oz 20 ga for grouse in MN (with woodcock mixed in) for years. In my semi, I usually use SK choke. In and O/U SK/IC typically.
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Re: 20 gauge shell recommendations

Postby KRB » Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:31 pm

MNGunner wrote:
KRB wrote:For wild pheasants have used Fiocchi golden pheasant 1 ounce at 1245 plated shot through IMOD choke with good results. Grouse and woodcock win AA super sports 7/8 ounce of 7 1/2's. Grouse don't take much to stop. Hitting them is another thing


I've been using 7.5s 1oz 20 ga for grouse in MN (with woodcock mixed in) for years. In my semi, I usually use SK choke. In and O/U SK/IC typically.

I hunt northern Maine, in the o/u I like sk/lt mod and in the auto had good luck with a Pure Gold ic. I used 1 ounce for years and then pattered the SS's in the PG choke. Love the stack barrels but find myself hunting with a 5 1/2 pound auto these day's. I like the third and fourth shot if needed. Grouse have been a 35 year addiction for me. :beer:
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Re: 20 gauge shell recommendations

Postby micneador » Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:59 pm

KRB wrote:
MNGunner wrote:
KRB wrote:For wild pheasants have used Fiocchi golden pheasant 1 ounce at 1245 plated shot through IMOD choke with good results. Grouse and woodcock win AA super sports 7/8 ounce of 7 1/2's. Grouse don't take much to stop. Hitting them is another thing


I've been using 7.5s 1oz 20 ga for grouse in MN (with woodcock mixed in) for years. In my semi, I usually use SK choke. In and O/U SK/IC typically.

I hunt northern Maine, in the o/u I like sk/lt mod and in the auto had good luck with a Pure Gold ic. I used 1 ounce for years and then pattered the SS's in the PG choke. Love the stack barrels but find myself hunting with a 5 1/2 pound auto these day's. I like the third and fourth shot if needed. Grouse have been a 35 year addiction for me. :beer:


Benelli ultralight 20, problem solved.

I happened upon a killer woodcock spot in NE Oklahoma a few years back while scouting for ducks on a large reservoir.
With the 3-4 convey of bobwhite plus jumping 10-15 woodcock on this island makes for some fun hunts and happy dogs.
Never hire a plumber to do a pipe layers job.
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Re: 20 gauge shell recommendations

Postby KRB » Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:41 am

micneador wrote:
KRB wrote:
MNGunner wrote:
KRB wrote:For wild pheasants have used Fiocchi golden pheasant 1 ounce at 1245 plated shot through IMOD choke with good results. Grouse and woodcock win AA super sports 7/8 ounce of 7 1/2's. Grouse don't take much to stop. Hitting them is another thing


I've been using 7.5s 1oz 20 ga for grouse in MN (with woodcock mixed in) for years. In my semi, I usually use SK choke. In and O/U SK/IC typically.

I hunt northern Maine, in the o/u I like sk/lt mod and in the auto had good luck with a Pure Gold ic. I used 1 ounce for years and then pattered the SS's in the PG choke. Love the stack barrels but find myself hunting with a 5 1/2 pound auto these day's. I like the third and fourth shot if needed. Grouse have been a 35 year addiction for me. :beer:


Benelli ultralight 20, problem solved.

I happened upon a killer woodcock spot in NE Oklahoma a few years back while scouting for ducks on a large reservoir.
With the 3-4 convey of bobwhite plus jumping 10-15 woodcock on this island makes for some fun hunts and happy dogs.

Make's me think of last Oct. Sitting on the porch of our cabin on a small remote lake in N Maine woodcock kabobs on the grill, cold one in hand listening to loon's as the sun goes down. Good stuff. :beer:
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