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View Full Version : Setting up a Dove gun....


Dave McC
August 2, 2000, 02:17 PM
This was inspired by a conversation with a long time buddy recently, and it was thought provoking....

Dove season will soon be upon us, and many folks will return large quantities of lead unto the earth, including me. So here's some opinions(repeat,OPINIONS) on what constitutes a good gun for dove and associated items like ammo.

Dove guns get shot a lot at a session, oft upwards of 100 rounds. This means the old body is taking plenty of kick. SO, a superlight grouse/quail gun may not be the best option, nor is a 10ga pump. Action type is not critical,but the ability of some autoloaders to soften the kick may appeal to you.I like a vent rib on dove guns, shooting is oft fast and the weather hot enough that mirage is a problem.

And yes, that Loudenboomer SP HD job with the Sidesaddle,extended mag,etc,can be used. Just remember that the Feds insist on a max of 2+1 capacity.

And this is a game where the smaller gauges are not a handicap. I've done good work with a 16 ga, some with a 20 ga, and if someone wants to loan me a 28, I'll be happy to try it out within its limitations.I regard the 410 as not enough to kill cleanly in most folks hands,so let's cut it off at the 28.

The ideal Dove gun should run a little on the heavy side of average for the gauge, swing smoothly, and have the weight balanced between the hands. Other that that,it's your call.

Shot:
Either 7 1/2 or 8 will do fine, but...
Most bbls pattern(there's that word again!) one much better than the other. Mine likes 7 12/s, and I think they hit a little harder than the 8s, so a marginal hit with 7 1/2s means a quicker, less painful death. But, check out your ammo of choice before the season.My favorite dove load for 12 ga is the AA heavy trap load. Costs a little more but the patterns and results are worth it.

NOTE: If I set up for incoming shots, I may use a Modified tube and nice cheap game loads. The ranges will be moderate, and the tighter tube offsets the more open pattern. For longer range shots, I like the harder, rounder shot to keep more shot in the pattern.

Chokes:
Which cannot be considered totally separated from load and typical distances. If you set up at a watering place and hammer 'em coming in, a Skeet I or IC choke will do fine. Pass shooting might work better with a Skeet II,modified, or even Impr Modified.
You folks with the double guns have the best approach here.Instant choices.

Pattern your gun/load/choke combo at say, 30 yards.For dove, I like the pattern to hit a bit higher than POA.

Once your shotgun is shooting where you want it to, a little practice is in order. For getting ready for dove season,any of the clay games will do, but shooting clays from a hand thrown trap is IMO best. One can concentrate on the shots that give one the most trouble. For me, that's crossing shots Right to Left.
Of course, be safe...