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870 28-Gauge or....

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:55 am
Am thinking about a 28-gauge shotgun to tote around during what passes as bird season up here. Not ducks mind you, but ptarmigan and grouse. I'm torn between a cheap 28-Ga over-under, or an 870 in 28-Ga. I have 2 870's so I have a lot of experience with those, but an o/u breaks down into a smaller package for back-packing than a pump.

Anybody have an 870 in 28-Ga that has any experience to relate? Or perhaps even .410?
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:30 pm
I've never even laid hands on a 28 gauge that I can remember.

I learned how to hunt using a 410. It's just as capable as any other shotgun, but your effective range is greatly reduced. Even more than 20 gauge.

Less powder and less shot charge. Even the 3 inch shells.

Don't be fooled into thinking they're terrible choices though, as long as you know their limitations. We've taken some pretty big turkeys with 410 gauge. It's not like they're wearing suits of armor.

But I do know a few folks who consider the 410 gauge as more of an "expert" gun.

I am biased that I feel the 16 gauge is probably the best bird gun that was ever made. I can say that I have taken more game with my 16 gauge than probably everything else in my safe combined.

But you'll mostly be restricted to handloading them. I see a few boxes pop up at our local walmart every fall, but they're not produced in anywhere near the same quantities as the other shell sizes.

There are a pretty good sized group of guys who really like their 16's. They carry well, swing well. Just overall good shooting guns most of them.

Sorry for the threadjack. I know you didn't even mention the 16, but I couldn't resist singing the praises for mine. I love hunting with them.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:04 pm
I've never had a 28 either, but lots of folks love them. I have single-shot break-action 16 and 410's, but those aren't really "packable". The 16 was a gift from a long time ago and was my first-ever shotgun but I've never been in love with it. Oddly, Sportsman's Warehouse here has a LOT of 16-ga shotshells from several different ammo companies.

The o/u is the most packable, but I do love the 870 action system.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:52 pm
My 870 and 1100s are gone now, but both were a lot of fun. The 870 was quite svelte and an excellent pointing gun. Out to 35 yards I never felt I needed more gun.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:10 pm
Virginian wrote:My 870 and 1100s are gone now, but both were a lot of fun. The 870 was quite svelte and an excellent pointing gun. Out to 35 yards I never felt I needed more gun.


My 870-20 is an excellent pointer, but I went ahead and put on layaway a TriStar Setter o/u. Reasonably priced, and I was able to heft one at a LGS to try the face-cheek weld.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:08 pm
I like my setter. My wife bought it for me for Christmas about 3 years ago.

Pattern it and mix and match chokes to however you want it to shoot. They're good guns.

But they do have a bit of a kick. Don't know why because it's one of the heavier shotguns that I have, but even low brass will let you know it.

Mine is the 12 gauge.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:42 pm
John A. wrote:Mine is the 12 gauge.


Good to know. Mine is a 28-GA. I have two o/u's in 12-GA and I don't notice the kick all that much. The 28 Setter will be a woods carry gun for ptarmigan and grouse.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:45 pm
Very cool. let me know what you think of it.

I know mine shoots really good. Though like I said, she's got some bite to her bark.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:14 am
I just don't like O/Us. To each their own.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:01 pm
Virginian wrote:I just don't like O/Us. To each their own.


Yup, there's something for everyone. I started shooting trap originally with my 870 Wingmaster, and it can be done, but doubles are a biyatch. An 1100 would be much better. But where the o/u rules is having each barrel choked for a specific distance to help on that 2nd shot on doubles.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:33 pm
That is true.

I actually have both of my barrels choked up to put the maximum number of pellets on a paper plate at 25 yards as it will, and with as little spread as possible because I don't get to do any kind of bird hunting anymore and I like a tight choke for those squirrels in the top of those old growth oaks that are on the property.

As I said, one is an extended choke and the other is flush, but I don't particularly care about how it looks. How it shoots is much more important to me.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:38 pm
I have extended chokes on all my o/u's just because they're easier to access, and the barrel ends don't take a beating like a woods/fowl gun does. But in trap my upper-barrel-first-shot is an IMP MOD choke, and then for doubles or Handicap 20-yd+ shooting the bottom barrel is LIGHT FULL or FULL choked to keep the shot cloud together longer at longer distances.
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