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

Discussion in 'Hunting Forum' started by GlockRenegade, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. GlockRenegade

    GlockRenegade New Member

    First time hunter here and want to get some opinions. I live in south texas if that makes a difference
  2. Anna_Purna

    Anna_Purna New Member

    28 inch is the norm I believe

    You can shoot them with a HD shotgun barrel, but the longer tubes tend to keep the patter tighter for the farther shots.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2013

  3. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    There ARE some longer barreled duck and goose guns, but I like the 28 inch for upland birds and dove. Quail, dove and duck will require different loads. Quail and dove may both use 7 1/2s, but I like #6 for quail. Ducks will require the use of NON-LEAD shot- as do any waterfowl.
  4. Gatoragn

    Gatoragn Active Member

    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.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2013
  5. Fred_G

    Fred_G Active Member

    18.5" loaded with 00 Buckshot. Should stop any invading avians. Wait, you talking about hunting? Pretty much anything you have, but I agree with the above, 26" or 28" should do you right. :D
  6. JimRau

    JimRau Well-Known Member Supporter

    The bbl length of a shotgun past the legal limit (18 inch) makes no ballistic difference, unless you go past 36 inches, then it begins to loss velocity. The bbl length is a primary consideration when it comes to how it 'handles' or 'swings'. So it is what works best for you.:)
    26 and 28 are the most common.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2013
  7. DWT

    DWT New Member

    JimRau is right. A 28 in. barrel will shoot 2 inches more than a 26 in. barrel, using the same load.
  8. armsmaster270

    armsmaster270 New Member

    The Browning BPS youth model 20ga comes with a 22 inch barrel. Handles like a dream.
  9. cottontop

    cottontop Guest

    Barrel Length Myths

    Barrel length has nothing to do with the tightness of a pattern. Pattern is determined by choke.
  10. Intheshop

    Intheshop New Member

    An O/U or SxS with 28" tubes is going to be about the same overall length as a pump or semi with 26" brrl.

    Shotgun "fit" ranks up there in importance as anything in firearms world.See if there's a sporting clays/trap/skeet range in your area.Look for one with a "pro-shop".....see if they'll help you.But do a bit of reading on fit first(google)so you'll have an idea of what terms will be discussed.

    Go to a gunstore with a good used rack of shotguns.Take a tape measure if you have to.Try different models to see what you like.Then look at their new guns to possibly fill in some blanks,and add to the general "overview".But this is really only going to go so far.......shotguns need to be swung and shot.
  11. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 New Member

    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!
  12. limbkiller

    limbkiller New Member

    You nailed it.
  13. GlockRenegade

    GlockRenegade New Member

    Thanks again for the input guys
  14. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

    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.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2013
  15. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    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.