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jbdragon17

Grouse Gun

50 posts in this topic

What do you like?

I am thinking of either getting an affordable O/U 20 gauge, or maybe even the Benelli M2 Semi Auto.

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My opinion? Unless you are a very good shot, I would go to something with a little bigger bore like a 12ga or higher so you have a fuller and larger shot pattern to work with. Shooting at grouse dashing through forest leaves a lot more room for error and blocked shot as they contact tree branches etc. than firing at pheasant in the open country.

20ga can work but why cut yourself short?

Heck, I used to use .22 because I couldn't hit a bird on the fly anyway.

Bob

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I agree! 20ga is very sporting but some times it pays to throw more lead out there,most importantly in the early season when the foliage is thick. I can't tell you how many times I've pulled the trigger on a bird that had just went out of sight, only to hear that reasuring thump of bird hitting the ground secconds later. I trust my 12ga pump with a 21'' barrel.....If you do go 20ga get the auto.....You never know when your dog will point a covey of five!!!!! Even more of a chance now with bird numbers on the rise......It's no fun to miss twice at the firt bird then watch helplessly as four more get up and laugh at you........Ask setterguy about that!!!!!

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I have an m2 12 ga. synthetic stock. Its an excellent gun for both grouse and pheasants. For grouse use an open choke like IC or skeet, 1 BB will knock them down. You might be lucky to get one shot, you wanta big pattern. My next gun is a 20 ga. however. I hit the same amount of targets at the skeet range with a 20 as the 12. You can use the 20 for pheasants to, just use 3 in. mags.

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I'll probably be the odd man out, but I think 12g is overkill. The majority of your grouse shots will be in the 20 yard range, a more open choke with rather than payload will increase your margin of error. Grouse don't need a heavy hit to bring them down, a few well placed pelets is all it takes. I also prefer to use #7 shot first and #6 shot second. Polywad spreader loads are also great medicine for grouse. I'm also getting to be more of a traditionalist when it comes to my gun choices. I believe CZ is comming out with a new 16g Side by side. 16g guns hit like a 12 and carry like a 20. If you hunt other upland birds like late season pheasants and also waterfoul then a 12g gun would be a good choice for all around shooting. Open chokes in a 16 or 20 guage SXS is the way to go for the kingbird!

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You are not alone, my preferred grouse gun is also a 20ga. I have a side by side with a full and modified barrels, I shoot 6's through the full when I have to reach out and 7's through the modified on the flush. No one talks about it but the best thing you can do when you get a new gun is go out and put some shells through it and learn how to shoot it. A 20 is more then enough gun for grouse hunting.

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Alot of it has to do in how you are hunting grouse. I walk down trails and i can get away using a 410 most of the time grouse just stand there or later in the season i get the 12 out. Also where grouse get more hunting and they fly a 410 is not very good choice. A 20 is fine but they shells cost as much if not more then a 12 gauge shells.

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I thought I updated my post, but guess not. I should have stated earlier that I do already have a 12ga pump, but want a lighter 20 which I can hand off to my son when he is ready. I was handling the M2 the other night and couldnt believe how light that thing is!

I hit a trail with my girlfriend and my #1 dog last fall. I had 18 shells and she had about 24. I ran out in about an hour and a half right after we flushed a covey of 5. I taged one with my last shot and she got another, but soon after she also ran out. We hunted one trail with around 40 shells and walked away with 6 birds. That was my favorite grouse hunt of all time (so far). It was almost like it was snowing grouse. We had grouse landing near us while we were shooting at some that were flying away!! No joke! I think the M2 might have helped...lol. grin.gif

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That Benelli M2 20 is a sweet,sweet handling gun.

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Mamohr686 has good advice. I started years ago with a 12, went to a 20 lighter - faster, hit more birds. Tried an O/U but went to a side by side with skeet 1 / skeet2 chokes. To me that broad sight plane on the s/s sure helped to pick up the birds quickly and in marginal light situations like thick cover it really helped, not to mention a s/s is really cool to handle and look at in the gun rack.

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I also like a 20 alot more than a 12 for grouse. I shoot a 11-87 Upland Special and love it. It's short and light and pulls up nice and fast, and I shoot it great. Started hitting alot more birds than with the heavy 12 gauge.

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The best grouse gun I ever had was an old hinge action single shot savage 12ga. with a 28" barrel. That was a light gun and with the short barrel it was balanced for fast shouldering and gave a nice quick spread of the shot pattern. It's only drawback was the single shot. As mentioned earlier, most shots are at close range and holding tight patterns isn't necessarily to one's advantage. Getting multiple shots, at least in the crap we hunted, was not a common situation. You typically just don't have enough time to get a bead on more than one.

Bob

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12 guage is overkill, but it is what i use, just put in skeet choke. I usually don't have acess to the 20 guages of my father and grandfather, but it i do, i would rather use it.

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It's not the gauge, it's the weight of the gun. I do a lot of one-armed gun carrying when grousing and a heavy gun is a detriment for me. For me a gun that weighs 6.5 pounds or less and is well balanced is the right gun. The gauge doesn't matter. I have a 12 sxs and a 20 o/u that both meet that criteria. For me the chokes need to be open and more open. Cyl and Imp Cyl with #8 for the Cyl bbl and #7.5 for the Imp Cyl bbl is what I use.

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beretta onyx 686 20 ga over under light weight gun very little recoil quick to pull up and get on traget like it alot!!!! laugh.gif under 1000$

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I picked up a Benelli Ultralight. It has the power and is the lightest weight semi auto I have ever held. It is hard to find and a little on the pricey side. But, after a day in the woods it is nice not to have the shoulders aching.

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Remington 870 special field. You pick the gauge I'm not going to argue that, but this gun is very short and with the english stock handles very quick. Put in the skeet choke and shoot from the hip if you feel the need, works for me cool.gif

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That is the same gun I use..........LOVIN IT!!!!!!!! my friends tell me havin a gun that short is like cheating..... i always reply if it were cheating it wouldn't be legal....Love the english stock for one handed gripping, it's key for fighting your way through tight cover......4 more weeks till the smell of damp leaves and the sound of dog bells.......Can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!! And just for the record the only thing I ever learned from Setterguy was how to shoot 15 shells and not bag one bird....

Good shootin ....Uplander

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Quote:

What do you like?

I am thinking of either getting an affordable O/U 20 gauge, or maybe even the Benelli M2 Semi Auto.


I just bought a Benelli Legacy and I love it so far. Its very light and well balanced. It will be interesting to find out how it handles the thick northern grouse woods in a couple weeks.

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I would agree with using an 11-87 upland special. It's got a shorter barrel that makes it ALOT easier for grouse in thick cover. If I remember right, it's got a 24 inch barrel and comes with the rem. chokes. I have an 1100 special field that I wish they still made. It's got a 24 inch barrel, old english stock (straight instead of pistol grip) and only holds 4 shells. When grouse hunting, or any hunting really, I know I don't need that 5th shot, and nor should you, especially grouse hunting. You're lucky to get 2 shots off, let alone 5. If you're emptying your gun on a bird, you need to take a look at your shooting. There's only been one occasion when I wish I had the fifth shell, and that was pheasant hunting in SD when we had birds flushing constantly. Even still, it only gives you more time in the field to enjoy the outdoors. Which is what it's all about. Back to the subject, the 11-87 upland special should be available in either 12 or 20. I'd go with the 12 just for the fact that you can use it for all your bird hunting, and not just grouse.

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anybody use 16 ga? that seemed to me to be a great grouse gauge but can rarley find one.

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How about a Mossberg Silver Reserve 20 ga? Has anyone ever shot one of those?

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I would take a 20 gage over a 16 as 20 gage shells are more common.

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Thanks Jstark... Dont ya think you could have walked the 5 feet to my office to tell me that? grin.gif

I specifically would like to know if anyone has good/bad to say about the Mossberg O/U's

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You know you don't need a Mossberg O/U as you need more that two shots to take down one bird!!! tongue.gif

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