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Thread: Preferred Shotgun for Pheasant Hunting

  1. #1

    Default Preferred Shotgun for Pheasant Hunting

    Good morning everyone - I continue to try to learn as much as possible about pheasant hunting, only getting into it now in my early 30s. I'm assuming that this has been discussed ad nauseum but my question is, what is your preferred shotgun for pheasant hunting, in terms of both style and gauge? If you feel like responding why you like that style/gauge, that could also be very insightful. I'm trying to figure out which direction to go myself.

    Thanks again,

    Brian

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    TX Panhandle
    Posts
    1,772

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    Be prepared for many unique and different answers to this one so I'll get it started. Personally my old A5 Sweet Sixteen drops birds like a hammer but in all honesty I prefer to carry a Browning Cynergy Field in 20 gauge. The gun carries light, swings great and drops birds. That's all I need.
    JMc
    Fritch, TX

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Parker, Colorado
    Posts
    358

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    There are many fine shotguns to choose from. The one will be the one YOU shoot best whether it is an auto, double or pump. If it fits you and you can hit with it consistently that will be the one. Be prepared to buy and sell a few without remorse when they don't work for you or go the custom fit route with a gun you really like.

    Personally I have always shot O/U Citori Superlight's. They fit me the best and I shoot them well. I have used pumps, autos, and even SXS's but always come back to my Citori's. I do have to admit I am trying to use a SxS now as I think it is pretty classic to kill birds with a side-locked 12ga similar to an AyA #2. If I can't get it to shoot for me it will go on the block.

    12 gauge is my preference as I handload all my shotshells and can tailor loads to the particular game I am chasing from light to heavy. You really can't go wrong with a 12. They have a lot of advantages. You can almost always find pheasant loads everywhere. I know of a gas station in Nebraska that sells them. Most of the guys you'll be around shoot 12's so if you run short you can borrow some or you can find two freshly lost shells in the road like I did last Saturday (Fiocchi #5 1-1/4oz).
    I do have the 20ga Citori I started hunting birds with. It has seen many miles and killed many birds. It has even been reblued once. It is a great gun but I like my 12's.

    Barrel length will also be a consideration. I run 24" and 28" Citori's. I really like my 24". It's short and mounts like a dream. Love it for early season birds with open chokes. Tremendous grouse gun. My later season gun is a 28". The extra 4" of barrel make my swing easier in heavier clothing shooting at birds that are farther out. The 28" also patterns better with the heavier loads I use in Dec and Jan. Longer barreled guns tend to swing easier than short barreled guns.
    Inter changeable chokes will be a key component. It is great feature to go form open to tight when the situation or season calls for it. When I start shooting grouse in Sept I have a cylinder choke in the bottom barrel and an IC in the top. As season progresses I slowly tighten up the chokes until I have light modified in the bottom barrel and modified in the top (combination I am currently using).

    No matter what you pick just make sure it shoots for you otherwise it is nothing more than a walking stick that goes "boom"....
    Last edited by Uplandhunter67; 01-25-2018 at 05:34 PM.
    "When I am not hunting I am thinking about hunting. Hunting is on my mind because it is in my blood."
    -- Jim Shockey

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Castle Rock, Via OHIO
    Posts
    12

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    I hunt with a browning maxus and have also used my beretta. For some reason nothing beats my grandpa’s Remington wing master it seems to be the straightest shooting shotgun I own.

  5. #5

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    I have been shooting a light 20 ga SxS double trigger 20 gauge , it has choke tubes and 3inch chambers , We encounter both Quail and pheasant on our hunts ,I normally run lead 7,or 6’s in my Ic tube and lead 5’s in the modified tube , If running steel 5 ‘ in the open tube and steel 3’s in the modified tube , I really enjoy the instant choice of choke and load ,I was blocking for a buddy on a set of old railroad tracks this lacs weekend and had a Rooster get out long I quickly selected the tight tube loaded with 5 Praire Storm and he went tumbling , Make mine a light 20ga SxS with two triggers :

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Lafayette, Colorado
    Posts
    315

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    Quote Originally Posted by KSBrittman View Post
    I have been shooting a light 20 ga SxS double trigger 20 gauge , it has choke tubes and 3inch chambers , We encounter both Quail and pheasant on our hunts ,I normally run lead 7,or 6s in my Ic tube and lead 5s in the modified tube , If running steel 5 in the open tube and steel 3s in the modified tube , I really enjoy the instant choice of choke and load ,I was blocking for a buddy on a set of old railroad tracks this lacs weekend and had a Rooster get out long I quickly selected the tight tube loaded with 5 Praire Storm and he went tumbling , Make mine a light 20ga SxS with two triggers :
    I do the same thing with my 20 gauge sxs. If you're hunting roosters with pointers the shots came be really close and the 7's or 6's in the IC is all it takes.

  7. #7

    Default

    The variety of answers is very interesting. Thank you all, keep em coming!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    2,256

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    hunting over a pointing dog, 20 gauge, flushing dog, 12 gauge.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    135

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    I shoot a Browning Maxus. I'm 6'3" so its nice that it comes with spacers to add to the LOP. Most firearms feel too small. My 6'5" son shoots a Winchester SX4 which also allows to add to the LOP and is very light. I carried it afield and it was a joy to carry and shoot and about $500 cheaper than the Maxus. Both are 3.5" guns since we do a lot of waterfowling as well

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    South Dakota / Arizona
    Posts
    6,100

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    I'm like JMc. All I carry in the pheasant fields any more is my 1960 Belgium Sweet Sixteen. 26" vent rib barrel choked IC. If I do my job it does everything my 12's use to do and it's the "Sweetest" shooting shotgun I've ever had.
    Janee's August Breeze - Bree
    7/6/2016
    http://gundogcentral.com/view_pedigr...&generations=5

    Godfather's Dakota Elle - Elle
    1X NSTRA Champion
    11/16/2008 - 11/22/2016
    http://gundogcentral.com/view_pedigr...&generations=5

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