Michigan Sportsman Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,016 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't have much experience grouse hunting (but a lot of quail pheasant hunting) and am hoping to get up north to do some this coming weekend (along with a little bow hunting).

I'll be hunting with my vizsla and wondered if you guys have a preference for a 12 gauge or 20 gauge for early season? I have a small, 20 ga Browning SxS that comes up real quick and I shoot pretty well or would I be better suited shooting my 12 ga O/U that shoots a heavier load of shot because of the foliage?

I don't really have a preference either way as I like both guns and feel comfortable shooting either one....the debate is that the 20 is 2" shorter and swings a little faster, but the 12 shoots more "bullets".

thanks!
Chris
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,734 Posts
I would lean towards the 20ga. I hunt with a 28ga SxS with skeet / imp cyl for most pat/woodcock.
This is more than enuff for close flushing birds, especially over a dog.
Later as the foilage drops and the birds get a little wiser do i jump up to a bigger gun.
I guess it boils down to what you feel most comfortable shooting.
The side by side will definitely be suited for tight cover and does not seem to weigh you down on a long day of hunting.
wint
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,320 Posts
I have a small, 20 ga Browning SxS that comes up real quick and I shoot pretty well...

Chris
Sounds like you have more confidence in your ability with the 20.
That's half the battle right there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,483 Posts
Take some advice from someone who came of bird hunting age long before opinions (many of questionable value) were elicited over the " Fountain of Information - the Almightly Web," or even - dare I say - before anyone ever heard of a computer.

Whether you hunt grouse/woodcock with a 12 ga., 16 ga., 20 ga., or 28 ga., and whether you shoot these gauges early in the season, mid-season or late-season and whether you shoot these gauges in these various seasons with #6, # 7 1/2, or #8 shot will in the end not matter a whit in your "bag" at the end of the season or hopefully in the enjoyment you garner. Be thoughtful in your selection - you will kill just as many birds over time with an 1oz. of shot from a 20 ga. as compared to 1 1/8 oz. of shot from a 12 ga. but if you have a 12 ga. you like - then by all means use it. As an aside I recently read a John Gierach book on trout fishing in which he wrote a passage that went something like this: "If you want to cast a trout fly a long way take half of what you're willing to spend on equipment and spend it on fly casting lessons." What he was saying is: What's important is not so much the equipment you use as your ability to use whatever equipment you happen to have on hand. Get the drift of this?

Find a shotgun you like and one you have confidence in and go out with your four-legged hunting buddy and have some fun and stop trying to micro-manage your sport - believe me you'll be a lot happier and a lot $$$$$ in the long run. :coolgleam Hope this helps.

Hoppe's no.10
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,757 Posts
Good advice! I shoot a 12 O/U -- it's the only gun I've ever owned and I like it. It's heavier than a lot of guns, but after a few weeks of sore arms I got used to it. It swings a little slower, but I bag my fair share share when my buddies are out there with their 20s. As for the "bullets," the 12 will give you a DENSER pattern, but I'm really not sure what that's worth. It only takes one or two to take down a bird. I guess you have a slightly better chance of a couple of them slipping through the cover. If you're more comfortable with the 20, I'd try that first.

My advice -- take them both! If you get out there and your shooting's lousy, switch guns. If nothing more it might give you a little psychological pick-me-up!

KW
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,008 Posts
As long as it goes bang when you pull the trigger.........that's all you have to worry about. 12-20 or 16 ga I don't think it matters that much.

What did people do before the internet and Michigan-sportsman? I can only imagine they ask question to Fathers, brothers, friends, uncles etc. Unfortunately I didn't have that option as I haven't seen my Father since I was 8 years old (30+ years ago) and my other relatives didn't hunt or fish. So if I ask any silly questions please don't be offended.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
837 Posts
At the present I am hunting with a side by side 410. It is lightweight, short and very easy to swing in the dense areas I am hunting. Plenty enough pattern to cover the short range shots I anticipate with this much foilage and hunting with the dogs. Later when the leaves go off I shall once again break out the ole reliable 12 but as for now the 410 is just fine with me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
296 Posts
Agree generally with what's posted above. Given what you've said, the choice is pretty easy for this time of year - go with the short, light 20 gauge. I can't say I hunt grouse/woodcock as much as others here, but one thing I've learned - the cover is heavy and the walking is hard. Short and light are more important - you don't need 12 ga with 1 oz of shot to put a bird down, you just need to hit the target. if your tired or can't get the gun up in the thick, you won't hit anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,016 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the opinions, guys!

I like the idea of taking both! Duh! Heck, maybe I should use this as an "excuse" to buy a new shotgun....maybe a sweet little 28ga? The conversation would go something like this...." But honey, the guys on MS.com said I really NEEDED a 28gauge for hunting grouse in early October. Anything else would be unethical"......

Thanks again, everyone. Have a great, safe season!

Chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
226 Posts
I hunted grouse with a 20 ga BSS sporter for years. One of the best all around guns I have ever owned or shot. You will have to look long and hard to find a better gun, period. Forget using a 12 ga - you just don't need that much gun.

If you shoot your BSS well then don't waste time looking for another gun. As I have already said, that is a hard gun to beat. (I did sell mine and put the money toward a Parker Repro 28 ga. 2-barrel set otherwise I would still have the BSS).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
337 Posts
The 28 ga won't disappoint you, may even surpirse you a little.
But a word of advice, if you go that route and plan to shoot it fairly often get a reloader!
Fox
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,016 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I agree...I love my 20ga BSS. I don't know why they quit making it. It is a sweet little shooter for sure!

My grandfather bought 3 of them in the late 70's or early 80's....one for himself (which he shot very well for many years even after his right eye got shot out while quail hunting and right handed!) and he bought the other two so that his two grandson's (me and my cousin) would always have a "nice, side by side shotgun". Thank you, Papa........you are missed.

Chris



I hunted grouse with a 20 ga BSS sporter for years. One of the best all around guns I have ever owned or shot. You will have to look long and hard to find a better gun, period. Forget using a 12 ga - you just don't need that much gun.

If you shoot your BSS well then don't waste time looking for another gun. As I have already said, that is a hard gun to beat. (I did sell mine and put the money toward a Parker Repro 28 ga. 2-barrel set otherwise I would still have the BSS).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,853 Posts
As an aside I recently read a John Gierach book on trout fishing in which he wrote a passage that went something like this: "If you want to cast a trout fly a long way take half of what you're willing to spend on equipment and spend it on fly casting lessons." What he was saying is: What's important is not so much the equipment you use as your ability to use whatever equipment you happen to have on hand. Get the drift of this?

Hoppe's no.10
As usual, Ruger 1 offers sage advice........

And another quote along these same lines comes to mind: the famous golfer, Lee Trevinio was quoted as saying about golf clubs:

"Its the Indian, not the arrow":coolgleam

NB
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,885 Posts
Grabbed the case with my 28 Red Label in it and took it north last Saturday by mistake. Thought I had grabbed the case with my 20. Shot 3 grouse and a woodcock in 2 hours.

I like the 20 Montifeltro for grouse even though it is a semi auto (nice weight), but man that 28 Red Label shot well for me. :)
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top