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Old October 31, 2012, 09:40 AM   #1
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Shotgun for quail and grouse.

I previously only owned two shotguns, a 16 gtauge Win model 12 and an LC Smith side by side 12 gauge. I sold the model 12 for a hefty profit and the LC smith is a bit much for quail (Full choke w/ 32" barrels). I'm contemplating just picking up an H&R or NEF single shot crack barrel in 20 gauge or 410. I know the .410 ammo costs a little more, but I'm only going to go through a couple boxes of shells a year. Also, there will be a good chance to get some rabbits while I'm out. Is the 20 gauge a significantly better choice? Thanks in advance.
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Old October 31, 2012, 10:28 AM   #2
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Yes, the 20 gauge is a better choice. Not that a 410 can't kill a quail, the pellets from each will have the same energy, but the 20 gauge just has a lot more pellets and is easier to hit with.

Rather than buying a cheap 410, take a look at used 20 gauge shotguns. I picked up a used Remington 1100 2-3/4" 20 gauge a few years ago for just about nothing. Most people want the 3" 20 gauge magnums, and all those perfectly good 2-3/4" 20 gauges are just sitting around gathering dust. Shells are cheap, and they are a pleasure to shoot.
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Old October 31, 2012, 04:52 PM   #3
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+1 for scorch

I have use of a .410 from brother and use it for squirrels when I want to drive myself crazy. At least in my area, it is very difficult to find .410 ammo in anything but #4 shot. There aren't many pellets in those shells and my .410 being full choke shoots more like a rifle.

Otoh, a nice 2 3/4 load of #8 in 20 guage makes a very nice pattern for old bob white. Scorch is also right about there being quite a few good used 2 3/4 inch 20 guage guns available for reasonable prices.
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Old November 1, 2012, 10:37 AM   #4
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If you used the 16ga 2 3/4" shells you be pretty close with the 20ga 2 1/2" shell.

Shame you sold the 16ga but I can understand that been offered good price for mine. I also have 20ga model 12 and at time I wish it had 3" chamber so if your only shooting few boxes a year I get the 20ga 3" chamber if they have that.

If your hunting over dogs 410 or 28ga be a good choice.
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Old November 1, 2012, 01:10 PM   #5
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It was not the prettiest model 12, some rust and not too good of blue, but it was amatching serial number set with two barrel/forarm assemblies. I paid $300 for it in 1996 and was offered $950. honestly, I mostly used it for hog hunting with slugs before I bought a 30-30.

I looked into 28 gauge, the ammo is expensive!! Also, it looks like most of the loads are identical in velocity and shot load to the 20 gauge so I don't really get what niche it fills?
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Old November 2, 2012, 03:55 PM   #6
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If its a choice between 20 ga and .410 then go with the 20. Using a .410 can be very challenging. Especially with quail. Little buggers are tiny and fast. .410 dosnt carry much shot and spread pattern seems to be tighter ( smaller exit bore).
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Old November 2, 2012, 10:40 PM   #7
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For flushing birds I use a double sidexside, 2 triggers, 2 chokes..... 1st improved, 2nd modified. This really helps with flushing birds. I don't often get a 3rd shot kill anyway.
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Old November 3, 2012, 11:45 AM   #8
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My local Wal-Mart has Mossberg model 500 20ga pumps for around $270. 26'' Vent rib Barrel, wood or synthetic stock. Having a quick follow up shot is priceless when a covey of quail flushes.
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Old November 5, 2012, 08:59 AM   #9
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Between the 410 and 20 gauge,I would go with the 20 gauge for quail and squirrels. I personally like a 12 gauge w/imp cyl. for quail and mod. choke for squirrels.
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Old November 6, 2012, 08:48 AM   #10
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Best luck with squirrels is an open choke 12 or 20. The shot spreads out enough to make the damage minimal, even at close range, but has a good enough pattern to make shots out to about 30 yards on the little guys. Grouse around here get the same treatment, as it's so thick, hitting them with a modified choke takes chunks out of the breast meat with #8s.
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