View Full Version : Why 28ga?

September 7, 2002, 11:57 PM
After seeing several posts lately about 28ga shotguns I got to thinking...:eek:

Is there really a need for this gauge? I know that a guy never really needs an excuse to get a new gun or caliber :D but I just don't know what I would use this for. Between the 20 and 410, I just can't imagine a need for another caliber.

So what are you guys using them for? Do you think they will catch on big time, or just be more of a fad? I'm not dissin' (yo yo yo homie) the 28 or anything, but inquiring minds want to know.



September 8, 2002, 06:10 AM
.28 does for me all I might want from a .20, without the weight and recoil of the .20.

.12 is for HD.
.28 is for fun.
No use for a .20 or a .410.

Many may want or need .20 and/or .410, but that does not change the fact that .12 and .28 suit me best and meet all my shotgunning needs.

To each his own, and may we always have our favorite choices.

Dave McC
September 8, 2002, 06:12 AM
The 28 gauge is the smallest gauge that can humanely take smaller game birds. In fact,it wacks them deadernh*ll. The shot string is short,more shot hits at the same time, so the cumulative effect is occuring withint a smaller time frame.

The 28 works very well as a small bird, close to medium range,small shot, shotgun. it's just enough and no more. It's also been a standard at skeet, thus ensuring its survival as a using gauge.

And 28s are wonderful to carry through hill and dale. Many are very pretty, and upscale.

Compared to the 20 gauge in actual upland use, it's close to as effective. Compared to the 410, it's much better,even with similar shot loads.
Finally, a 28 gauge properly fitted, makes a great starter shotgun for a kid or adult beginner.


The ammo is limited in selection/availability. It's also more expensive.

3/4 oz of shot is 3/4 oz of shot. Fine under 30 yards,but longer shots are not a good idea.Many 28 gauge fans have great dogs, there's a connection there.


September 8, 2002, 06:57 AM
The ammo is limited in selection/availability. It's also more expensive.
But not too much so.

The selection is quite adequate for the usage (in my case, squirrels and clays). No shortage of anything I might want or need from cheaperthandirt.com.

Re price, consider this excerpt from the link provided above by Geoff:

A related myth about the 28 that shows up frequently, is that if and when you do find 28 gauge shells, they are limited in variety and over priced. Again, I just haven't found this to be the case. In addition to the standard 3/4 oz. skeet load of #9 shot, several manufacturers offer 3/4 oz. 28 gauge loads in #6, #7 ½, and #8 size shot. There are also some 1 oz. loads available from Winchester, again in sizes #6, #7 ½ and #8. On the issue of price, the question is, "Twenty-eight gauge shot shells are over priced with respect to what?" Certainly, if you compare the price of a box of most 28 gauge shells with the price of a box of 12 or 20 gauge discount or so-called "promotional" loads, there is a considerable difference. However, these loads usually contain relatively soft lead shot and have fiber wads rather than plastic shot cups. They are also generally recognized as poor performers in the field. On the other hand, most 28 gauge shells are loaded with hard lead shot and have a plastic shot cup. These loads closely resemble the more expensive high quality 12 and 20 gauge shells that contain hard lead shot and perhaps have a granulated buffer in the shot column. If you compare the cost of 28 gauge shells with that of the premium quality 12 and 20 gauge shells, you find that the cost difference is not nearly as great.
I like Estate Cartridge High Velocity Hunting Load #6 for squirrels, and Winchester AA #9 for clays.

September 8, 2002, 07:22 AM
Finally, a 28 gauge properly fitted, makes a great starter shotgun for a kid or adult beginner
Ah, yes. 'Could not have been better:


September 8, 2002, 10:15 AM
Thanks for the insight, guys. And my wife thanks you as well, because now I WANT one. :eek:


September 8, 2002, 12:43 PM
I have owned a Browning Feather XS 28ga. for almost two years now and am absolutely sold on the gauge. I reload my own, so am not at all hampered by the cost factor. Since obtaining this gun, the 12ga. and 20ga. siblings do not go to the skeet or sporting clays range nearly as often.

I would love to get a nice quality SXS in 28ga. in a small frame. Can't wait to see the new Weatherby Orion SXS with screw-in choke tubes for the 28.

September 8, 2002, 01:24 PM
The 28 gauge bug is nipping at me these days but I just haven't yet found the gun that lights my fire.

There are two primary concerns: The first is the frame size of most 28s is the same as the same gun in 20 gauge. The exception is Ruger and the higher end Berettas, Perazzis and such.

I own the same gun as retired squid -- Feather XS only in 20 gauge. I'm hard pressed to get the identical gun in 28 because I wouldn't gain anything but would give up the wider variety of loads including slugs and buckshot. I often take the little 20 with me when I walk our dogs in our woodlot and like to have a couple of buckshot rounds in the event we run into an errant coyote or porcupine. For these reasons I prefer the 20.

That doesn't mean there isn't room for a 28, I just haven't found the one that I want AND can afford.


September 9, 2002, 11:22 AM
The more people who shoot this gauge the more interest the manufacturers will have in producing cheaper ammo and more guns.

28 is far superior to the 410, which is an abomination and should be banned.

You can shoot 28 all day and not get a sore shoulder or headache, which is nice for the ladies to know.

28 has a usable pattern that can actually hit targets consistently, unlike the 410.

28 uses less powder and shot, cheaper per round to reload.

It is just fun to use the little gun and outshoot guys using 12s.

There are a surprising number of 28 ga guns out there.

Dave McC
September 9, 2002, 03:56 PM
I've run across a few 28 gauge fans, and they are universal in their praise. Hunting with one, a buddy wacked pheasants and chuks just as dead and just as fast or faster as I did with a very good 12 gauge double, possibly the best upland shotgun I ever had.

It does demand better control for centering with the sparser pattern, but that's good training.