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What would be a good barrel length and 12g load for quail/dove/duck?

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Old 08-01-2013, 11:41 AM   #11
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Longer is great but heavier to lug but if your sitting in a blind, NBD; polychokes fill the bill if you cant afford a different weapon for each type of foul, shot is variable for foul based on lots of factors. Type of bird, method of stalking, terrain and anticipated distance of engagement are variables that can spawn change of the gun and the loads.

When I hunted Geese, the first would be a lighter load and the second and third would be heavier. I never hunted Doves but would imagine a lighter load would be best otherwise all your gonna get is a poof of feathers and pick up something that looks like it went through the grinder! Grouse are fast little buggers and around here, if you dont shoot them immediately, a heavier load wont help, they will be long gone. You wont kill a flying bowling ball (Turkey) with a light load unless its in a cage 5' in front of you.

Experiment, in the areas you tend to hunt, carry a few different options until you get comfortable with setting personal standards and good luck!

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Old 08-02-2013, 09:32 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Gatoragn View Post
With the advent of screw in chokes, I prefer 26 inch barrels, either improved cylinder or modified choke for dove, quail and pheasant. Early season, I.C., late season modified.

For dove & quail, I grew up shooting #9 shot, but it is hard to find these days, so I would go with #8.

However, finding a truly wild covey of quail is as elusive as the end of a rainbow these days.

If I was a serious duck hunter, I would get a dedicated steel shot choke, along the same lines of dedicated turkey shot chokes. Otherwise, likely would use a modified for duck.
You nailed it.

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Old 08-03-2013, 04:03 AM   #13
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Thanks again for the input guys
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Old 08-03-2013, 06:19 AM   #14
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One more thing about duck hunting that trips up hunters. You have to use steel shot even if you are in a corn field miles away from any wetland. We pass shoot ducks and geese in one of my pastures late in the evening for Thanksgiving. We were using lead shot. A game warden stopped to see if we had any luck. Due to the nature of his stop he only gave us a warning and a lecture on game laws.

A 28" barrel is considered an all purpose barrel. a 28" barrel has an adequate sight plane and it creates even patterns with little shot deformation. When using steel shot use a size larger than you would with lead shot. If there is a good chance I will encounter geese I use #2 shot or BB. Large shot work well on ducks. Only a couple shot hit the duck, ruining very little meat.

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Old 08-03-2013, 01:24 PM   #15
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Never did any duck or geese but for upland my O/U 20 gauge imp & mod 26" was great. Having a good German Short Hair helped a lot.

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