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 28 gauge vs. 20 gauge
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woodyd70
Junior Member

USA
246 Posts

Posted - 02/27/2003 :  11:24:51 PM  Show Profile
I know the ammo is harder to track down and more expensive for the 28 gauge, but other than that, is there a significant difference in the two guns for hunting purposes. I mean, if I put the bead on a quail, chukkar, or pheasant, am I at a noticable disadvantage with the 28 gauge? I'm really into a sporting chance for the birds and would really rather miss a few times than just "poof" them with like a 12 gauge. I regularly hunt the upland game with my 1187 20 gauge, and would like a little more challange, will the 28 provide this for me or not.

Thanks,
woodyd

bambihunter
Advanced Member

USA
9554 Posts

Posted - 02/27/2003 :  11:59:56 PM  Show Profile
Of course anytime you reduce the number of pellets or the amount of powder behind it theoretically it makes it harder. 28 Gauge is easier to find and some people say they are easier to reload but I don't reload so I don't know about that one.
Don't forget about the baby shotgun - the .410 if you really want challenge. I skeet shoot with a 1100 Remington .410 and have been looking for a full-choke barrel for it. If you can hit skeet with a .410 regularly, then my friend, you're on target.
I have used them a lot on rabbits, squirrels, doves and quail. I wouldn't use them for anything bigger than those however or there might not be enough to cleanly take them every time.

It doesn't matter what you shoot, just shoot it well...
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rsnyder55
Advanced Member

2576 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2003 :  12:27:23 AM  Show Profile
Until I got an all guage skeet set, I never would have considered a 28 guage, but after shooting all the guages in the set, I have settled on the 28 guage to be my favorite.

When shooting and comparing the 28 guage and the 20 guage, I notice (at least with my barrels) that while the 20 guage will break birds, the 28 guage seems to hit harder. It does a better job and consistantly breaks them and into many smaller pieces meaning more shot hit thant the 20 guage.

It may be that the 28 guage throws a more consistant string while the 20 guage has gaps or that the 28 guage has a faster muzzle velocity.

Most people just pattern their shotguns against a board, but you have to remember that all the shot doesn't get there at the same time.
I know this is hard to explain but if you were to swing a shotgun over water while firing, in the water you would see a string of splashes. Any gaps in the string of splashes would be a gap in the string of shot and where a skeet or bird could fly through.

Just my experience.

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Old hickory
Senior Member

1261 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2003 :  08:36:25 AM  Show Profile
woodydyd70, If you want a challenge why not through softballs, bow and arrow, ice cubes?... These are live birds were talking about, not clay pigeons! I did use a 28 guage in the 1979 season, because I could hit clay birds so well with it BUT in the field it's different. Unless you limit your shots to under 35 yards you'll do much better with a 20 all other things being equal. I had many instant kills below 30 yards
( used 870 IC 28 and one ounce loads ) but by the end of the season I was back to a Model 12 16 IC and 1 1/8 OZ. Shoot some patterns at 40 yards with the 28. It's not a question of hitting or missing, it's about adequate pattern. Good luck. Oh, and on quail the 28 is great but pheasants are big birds!

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timbroman
Senior Member

USA
1107 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2003 :  10:11:55 AM  Show Profile
Old hickory is right on, but I would add that there is no room for "sporting chance" in wing shooting doves, ducks, quail, etc. where gauge and shot size are concerned. The concept of "sporting chance" may preclude baiting, live decoys and night-hunting, but let's don't under arm ourselves thinking we're doing any favors for the sport. Woody, in the field, the whole point of firing the gun is to KILL and to do it cleanly and efficiently. A hunter had ought to shoot what he feels like he can consistently kill with. There is a huge area of cripples and poorly shot, unretrievable game between the "poof" kill and the clean miss when you're talking about wing shooting. I think that anyone out there in the field who isn't doing his very best to KILL everytime he pulls the trigger ought to consider photography, catch & release fishing, or range shooting. What big game hunters are there that would consider it "sporting" to hunt any of the large deer with undersized rifles? I and several members of my family and hunting friends shoot 20, 16 and 12 gauge shotguns, but we NEVER shoot a 20 so we can kill less game than we would with a 12. That's the function of the bag limit. Oh well, I just had to vent at that idea.

timbroman@aol.com
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He Dog
Advanced Member

Australia
36644 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2003 :  10:22:59 AM  Show Profile
I think Timbroman said it very well, and I agree. That said, the 28 is a fine quail gun out to 30 yards. I have to admit, I find a 12 gauge sporting enough.
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woodyd70
Junior Member

USA
246 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2003 :  10:28:18 AM  Show Profile
timbroman, thanks for your input, I'm not sure I worded my question exactly right when using the "sporting chance" verbiage, but all I was really trying to find out was this: For the quail and chukkar especially, will I experience a tremendous disadvantage moving from a 20 to a 28 gauge shotgun? I couldn't agree more with you on the fact that a good clean kill is of maximum importance. This is why I shoot a 300 WSM for whitetail, and a Super X2 3 1/2 inch mag. with high powered custom loads for turkey. The reason I'm interested in a 28 gauge and other smaller bores for hunting birds is pretty simple, normally the lighter the gauge, the lighter the gun, and definitely the lighter the ammo. I'd like to shoot the smallest gauge possible while still having the opportunity to practice good conservation. I hope you will at least commend me for "asking the experts" to get some opinions on that which I "do not" know, before just going out and doing whatever my heart desires. I respect the opinions of the fella's on here and that's why I asked the question. Let me rephrase my question for you, Do you believe that I can KILL and do it CLEANLY and EFFICIENTLY with a 28 gauge, using high brass loads? Sorry for being a little defensive, maybe I worded my question incorrectly, but could you reply to my last question here in the preceeding sentence.
Have a great and prosperous day,
woodyd
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giff6
Starting Member

23 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2003 :  11:44:00 AM  Show Profile
I'm a fan of both gauges. I load 28 guage and there are some great loads available for 28ga, Most are 3/4 oz but I've loaded 7/8 oz. While the 20ga can put more shot in the air, most 28ga loads pattern extremely well. In fact many, myself included, feel that percentage wise it is the best patterning of all gauges. This helps offset to some degree the lesser amount of shot. If you shoot 1oz 20ga loads, I contend there is virtually no difference between that and a 28ga 3/4oz load. The 28ga seems to hit very hard. I'm talking factory loads and very generally. There can be many other variables involved. If a 20 ga (not counting 3in and/or steel) is suitable for the game you hunt, IMHO you will be just as effective with a 28ga. Fun guage!

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andersk
Advanced Member

Canada
3724 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2003 :  2:52:08 PM  Show Profile
If you want to give the birds more of a chance (rather than just poof them, as you say) why not save yourselfe a pile of money by still using the 20GA and use a lighter load. I am a big 20 GAA fan, so I may be biased as well.

But maybe your really NEED a 28 GA!

As someone else said, it may mean that you will be giving them more of a chance ... to fly/limp away with a little lead in the behind!

Ken
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LABWILD
Member

USA
524 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2003 :  6:15:38 PM  Show Profile
I have read some articles that claim the 28 gauge is very efficient. By that they seemed to indicate that for the powder charge, shot weight, and shell size you get a good pattern and reduced recoil. I enjoy the challenge of hunting with my Remington 1100 28 ga. and when used at upland game ranges (25 - 30 yds max), I do not see any reduction in stopping power. Just my $0.03 (inflation).
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bambihunter
Advanced Member

USA
9554 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2003 :  6:26:22 PM  Show Profile
I have (and regularly do) take my 1100 .410 quail hunting. Of course it has its limits, I currently use a modified choke and 7's (6'd if it's windy) on a 3" shell. I have no trouble at all dropping them with it. I don't know the exact range, but they are closer than I'd shoot them with a 12 gauge. Doves are much more difficult, but nowhere near impossible. You have to be well hidden so they don't flare out of it's short range. I haven't (nor would I) use the .410 on the other game you mentioned. I just brought up the .410 post again because I wanted to emphasize that it is possible to humanely take birds with small-bores. It all requires common sense to limit your shots to effective ranges, and to choose good shotshell, pellet size, and choke constriction...
And of course the 28 gauge has more powder and shot than a .410.
I agree with the posting about trying the lower power/less shot loadings for your 20 gauge first. However, it might not cycle your 1187 properly.

It doesn't matter what you shoot, just shoot it well...
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