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Smaller Shotgun Needed


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#1 pecci

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 08:49 PM

I'm looking for one that I can use, mainly for desert jackrabbits, but also for cottontail, dove, quail, or perhaps fox calling. It must be light, easy to swing and affordable. A barrel under 24" long would be a good thing and I do not want a single-shot. I already own a (12gauge) 870, and an old Browning semi-auto (12 gauge). I want something smaller. I don't know if a .410 will be enough for my needs (above), but perhaps perhaps a 28 or even a 20 gauge would suffice.What do you guys & gals think?

#2 Yodel Dog

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 09:39 PM

I'd look at the 20ga, still a pretty good payload for jacks and fox. For the rest a 28ga should suffice.

#3 pecci

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 10:09 PM

Any specific guns I should be looking at?

#4 Jeff

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 10:42 PM

A youth model 20 gauge 870.
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#5 Baja_Traveler

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 04:39 AM

I have the 20ga 870 special field, and it is one awesome upland shotgun. Super light and maneuverable, and it can be carried around all day no problem. Unfortunately it is no longer made and a little bit rare, but they can be found - Here is a 20ga magnum version on Gunbroker. I believe there is an 1187 being made now somewhat like it - alot lower quality though...This and my Ruger 28 (english stock - another rare one) are my go-to upland guns, and I've taken everything with them up to big Jacks and alot of Pheasant. Of course the nice thing about the 20 is that ammo is so easy to get - finding 28 on the shelf is very hit and miss (luckily I have a MEC Sizemaster set up for it).

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#6 Moe

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 07:13 AM

Before you look at a 28 or 410 take a look at the cost of shells. You'll find the 20 is a lot less expensive and far easier to obtain. I like an O/U for upland work and my favorite is the Beretta Silver Pigeon but there are other good shotguns out there for a lot less money. It's hard to tell you what to look for but if it were me I'd start shopping around. Hit some gun shops and see what they have.
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#7 ShooterJohn

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 08:53 AM

I also agree with Moe on the 20ga. as the shells can be found almost anywhere and there price is much more reasonable.

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#8 yote9999

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 09:06 AM

is a 20 good on yotes too, or is it too under powered?

#9 dabob

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 09:17 AM

I would go with longer barrels than 24". In a 20 ga 26" or 28" are great on pumps or semi-autos. On O/U's 30" 20 ga barrels are a good length. Longer barrels will give you a smoother swing and they are plenty quick enough. Trap, Skeet and Sporting Clays shooters have all gone to longer barrels on their target shotguns than what they used 30 years ago. It is better to be quick and smooth than fast and jerky with a shotgun.
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#10 Old timer

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 09:18 AM

A 20 hits as hard as a 12 just less bbs the range is the same for the 12 or 20 using the same type shells I have an Ithca punp feather weight that is light and a good shooter
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#11 Baja_Traveler

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 09:28 AM

A typical 20 gauge load of #3 buck is 20 pellets leaving the muzzle at 1200 fps (typical factory ammo). #3 buck is .25 caliber and weighs 24 grains if it is pure lead, and would do the job quite nicely given a proper shotgun range shot. If you reload, you can make your own with any size buckshot you want for alot cheaper than the $1+ a round it costs off the shelf.

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#12 Moe

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 03:40 PM

A 3" 20 guage will shoot 1 1/4 oz of lead shot which used to be the standard load for ducks out of a 12 gauge. I've killed a whole bunch of ducks with my 20 gauge O/U Ruger Red Label with lead when it was legal. They used to make a 1 1/4 oz load of Bismuth shells that came 25 to the box but I haven't been able to find them in a long time. I used them for hunting pheasants on some of the state hunting land in eastern Oregon. Deadly. If Danny were still around he'd tell you that the famous old time caller, Sam Dudley out of Arizona, used a 20 gauge shotgun loaded with lead 2's for killing hundreds of coyotes. He bent the barrel on it when he hit a coyote over the head with it and learned to shoot it that way. He named the shotgun Singing Sally. I'm fond of a 26" set of barrels on an O/U used for upland. In Washington and here in Oregon I've killed tons of Quail, Chukar, Hungarian Partridge, doves and pheasants with mine and never once felt like I gave up anything by not shooting a 12 gauge. I even shot a rattlesnake's head off with it. lol The lighter 20 and shorter barrels make it lighting fast for getting on the target.
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#13 Dutchman

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 12:28 PM

From what you describe, a 20ga should fit the bill.If you like to hand load, a little MEC press can make 28ga or .410 affordable to shoot.

#14 clampdaddy

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 08:14 AM

Two lightweight autos I'd check out would be the Franchi 48 and the Browning Silver 20. They're both great twenties that don't weight much. You can get the Franchi in 28 gauge too if you want the gun a few ounces lighter.
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