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 Post subject: Re: 20 Gauge "do it all" gun / gauge
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2020 3:46 pm 
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Location: Hemingway, S.C. 29554
Dave,
The biggest problem is there are not enough birds around here in huntable numbers, except for doves & marsh hens (clapper rails). Bobwhite are making somewhat of a comeback but are a long way from their former numbers. We do have woodcock & snipe but not in abundance. I have killed pheasant with the 2 3/4" 20 ga. & the 1 1/8 oz. load of #6's. It worked well in Lemoore Calif. but I was glad I had a 12ga. in N. Dakota. I really enjoyed hunting Valley quail with my 20 ga. LC Smith. I would really love to have a hammer SXS 16 ga. but it is going to have to wait for the piggy bank to get a bit fatter. The only grouse I ever killed were Sharptail, along with some Hungarian partridge. I believe the sharptail were a little bigger than the pheasant. I don't think my knuckle headed dog is ever going to be a bird dog. He looks like a shorthair but hunts like a hound. He does hunt close like a bird dog. I know of an island named "Rabbit Island". I think it is called that for a reason. I plan to take him out there this coming season & see what happens. I prefer birds but like Pop use to say, "any port in a storm!" It is a well accepted fact that bigger bores pattern heavier shot charges better, at least with lead & soft shot. There was a discussion of using the 20 with 1.5 ounces of a high density shot on turkeys. My thoughts are that would be a horribly unbalanced load for a 20. I think logic says, if you want to shoot a 12 ga. load, buy a 12 ga.! Should you design a 20 for 1.5 oz. of shot, it doesn't seem likely that it will be a light 20 ga.!




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 Post subject: Re: 20 Gauge "do it all" gun / gauge
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2020 5:41 pm 
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geometric wrote:
It is a well accepted fact that bigger bores pattern heavier shot charges better, at least with lead & soft shot.


It isn't a fact at all, much less a 'well-accepted' one.

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 Post subject: Re: 20 Gauge "do it all" gun / gauge
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2020 8:02 pm 
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I beg your pardon, it most contently is a fact but just because you are wrong doesn't mean you are not entitled to your opinion. What did Randy say, something like "my reference is experience". where did you get all that experience that is contrary to about 200 years of shotgun development? The only time shot column height doesn't matter, at least as much, is when you have a pellet that doesn't deform. You have been reading something one of your professors wrote again. According to the graduate engineering students where I went to school, "the definition of a college professor is somebody educated far beyond their I.Q.". That was said somewhat tongue in cheek but there is a little truth in almost everything!


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 Post subject: Re: 20 Gauge "do it all" gun / gauge
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2020 3:03 pm 
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Location: Endless Mountains of PA
Gentlemen,

I have different way of looking at all this, unless the 20 gauge gun can deliver a real nice killing pattern at 25-40 yards on a repeat basis, with enough shot in the 30" circle, I will continue to use my 16 and even my 12 gauge guns more often than I do my good 20 gauge guns, when the foliage is heavy in the woods. No matter what the engineering indicates, I need a certain repeat pattern when gunning Grouse, dense enough to kill birds in the forest. Experience in the gunning of wild birds has no substitute. You can compile all the engineering data you would like to help prove your point, experience in what actually works while hunting is way more important.

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man

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 Post subject: Re: 20 Gauge "do it all" gun / gauge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2020 6:38 am 
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Location: Phoenixville PA
Dave said it right. Birds in the open, (like pheasants, doves, etc.) are a different case than birds in close, thick, dense cover (like ruffed grouse, woodcock, etc.)

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 Post subject: Re: 20 Gauge "do it all" gun / gauge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2020 9:30 am 
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I too agree with Dave. Theory is for scientist but theory doesn't become fact until it is proven. Every time you go hunting you are adding a small amount of proof or disproof to your memory bank on what works & what doesn't work. I have learned a lot by listening to what hunters & sportsmen have said & written in an effort to take advantage of their experience. I learned quite a lot from authors like Don Zutz, Bob Brister & many others. Some were engineers & scientist but all were hunters & shooters. There will always be disagreement, particularly among experts, so we often have to decide according to our own experiences & what we learn. We all have our preferences but I am a "Do what works" guy. It is hard to argue with success!


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 Post subject: Re: 20 Gauge "do it all" gun / gauge
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2020 9:38 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:36 pm
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Location: Endless Mountains of PA
geometric,

If you would like to read more about the 20 gauge double gun and its actual usage while hunting, pick up Michael McIntosh's book Shotguns & Shooting (Three) he does a real nice job explaining the 20 gauge double gun. He liked using his 20 gauge to hunt Grouse and Woodcock here in Pa quite a bit. He shot the gun well and killed Grouse most every time we were out, his opinion was more realistic than some of the others like Zutz. We discussed Fox & L.C. Smith 20 gauge guns quite a bit and I respected his knowledge when it came to his favorite Box Lock double gun.

Dave B - L.C. Smith Man

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 Post subject: Re: 20 Gauge "do it all" gun / gauge
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2020 8:41 am 
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Thanks Dave,
I learned a lot from reading Don Zutz but I definitely didn't agree with everything he said. My philosophy has always been, "Show me somebody that always agrees with anybody & I'll show you somebody that doesn't do his own thinking." Constructive debate on things we don't agree on is one of the ways we learn.


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 Post subject: Re: 20 Gauge "do it all" gun / gauge
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2020 10:21 pm 
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The HTL pellets have made the smaller gauges relevant for waterfowl as they perform feats in the field that lead pellets could only dream about. My 16 gauge shotguns are now the “big bores” and the 28’s are quickly becoming favorites. If I did have to kill something flying in the stratosphere, the SP10 with 1 1/2 ounce of #5 TSS is the ticket.

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 Post subject: Re: 20 Gauge "do it all" gun / gauge
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2020 12:46 pm 
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Location: Hemingway, S.C. 29554
mea culpa,
Good point, they also make it feasible to load lower velocity shells with lighter loads, producing long range killing effectiveness without jaw breaking recoil. Cost is, of course the down side. Lead & lead substitutes still work great for much of shotgun hunting at upland game ranges at greatly reduced cost. Even steel will work in close, even though I hate the very thought of shooting steel! Bismuth works well for most waterfowl hunting although on very windy cold days, I have had tough Canada geese that were well hit fly a considerable distances before dropping. I have killed plenty of ducks with a 20 but haven't used one for ducks since the steel shot fiasco became law. My pretty much standard duck loads are 1.25 oz. bismuth or hevi shot (or equivalent) in the 12 ga. with whatever hull works. When 10 lb. geese are the game (or sand hill cranes), I use heavier loads of bigger shot with roughly lead shot equivalent loads or #2 hevi shot (13gr./oz. density). I like the buffered 1.5 oz. 10 ga. load at about 1200 fps..
You don't need 1400+ fps loads with heavier than lead shot. I find the old live pigeon load of 1.25 oz. of lead @ 1200 +/- fps. in the 12 ga. to be great for pheasant


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 Post subject: Re: 20 Gauge "do it all" gun / gauge
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2020 10:37 am 
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Location: Pennsylvania
I like my 20s when I'm walking a lot like for rabbits or grouse but when it's waterfowl, or turkeys I want my 12. And although I believe a 20 is quite capable with the right loads for taking most of what a shotgun is used for I don't consider it a do-it-all in MY hands.


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 Post subject: Re: 20 Gauge "do it all" gun / gauge
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2020 1:33 pm 
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mea culpa wrote:
The HTL pellets have made the smaller gauges relevant for waterfowl as they perform feats in the field that lead pellets could only dream about. My 16 gauge shotguns are now the “big bores” and the 28’s are quickly becoming favorites. If I did have to kill something flying in the stratosphere, the SP10 with 1 1/2 ounce of #5 TSS is the ticket.


Who can afford to hunt waterfowl with $5 a shell TSS?


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 Post subject: Re: 20 Gauge "do it all" gun / gauge
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2020 10:59 pm 
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lossking wrote:
mea culpa wrote:
The HTL pellets have made the smaller gauges relevant for waterfowl as they perform feats in the field that lead pellets could only dream about. My 16 gauge shotguns are now the “big bores” and the 28’s are quickly becoming favorites. If I did have to kill something flying in the stratosphere, the SP10 with 1 1/2 ounce of #5 TSS is the ticket.


Who can afford to hunt waterfowl with $5 a shell TSS?



Trust fund babies paying retail for commercial loads which is why I
load TSS for ~$2.39/round and HW-15 for ~$1.89/round in one ounce loads for 20 & 28 gauge. The cost is a few cents more for one and one eighth ounce 16 gauge loads.

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 Post subject: Re: 20 Gauge "do it all" gun / gauge
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:39 pm 
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lossking wrote:
mea culpa wrote:
The HTL pellets have made the smaller gauges relevant for waterfowl as they perform feats in the field that lead pellets could only dream about. My 16 gauge shotguns are now the “big bores” and the 28’s are quickly becoming favorites. If I did have to kill something flying in the stratosphere, the SP10 with 1 1/2 ounce of #5 TSS is the ticket.


Who can afford to hunt waterfowl with $5 a shell TSS?


LOTS of people. Why do you think TSS loads are made?

An enthusiastic waterfowler may well have a $10,000 SxS ATV, a $2000 trailer to pull it, $1000 in decoys and calls, another $1000 or more in waders, boots, jackets, gloves, $5000 (or more) invested in a couple of dogs, and might take it on on the road with a $50,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk. You probably want a hunting license and a shotgun as well. With gas, food, vet bills, insurance, regardless of how you add it all up, it can be a big fat chunk of change. Then, there are blinds and perhaps a boat. That's why some don't view ammunition cost as a large percentage of total hunting costs. If traveling to South Dakota for pheasants, with a limit of three roosters a day, ammunition becomes a very small factor indeed. Your mileage and your costs will vary.

Nor are all TSS loads $5 a shell. These Federal loads are half of that figure: https://www.rogerssportinggoods.com/fed ... 450fps-3-9 .

Nor are crummy steel loads free. If you are mallard hunting here, it is 4 birds per day. (The daily duck bag limit is six (6) and may include no more than four (4) mallards (two hens), three (3) wood ducks, three (3) scaup, two (2) redheads, two (2) black ducks, two (2) canvasback, two (2) pintail, and one (1) mottled duck.)

If you hit what you're shooting at, that's ten bucks a day for ammo . . . still ten bucks short of a decent pizza.


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 Post subject: Re: 20 Gauge "do it all" gun / gauge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:09 am 
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:lol: :lol: :lol:

Nobody hits all of the ducks they shoot at. In fact, with the possible exception of dove hunting, more shells per duck are probably expended than any other form of bird hunting. And don't tell me it's because most hunters shoot steel for waterfowl, because the same was the case when lead was legal.

TSS is far more popular for turkey hunting than waterfowl and with good reason. Most of us aren't "fat cats" who can afford the stuff. Plus, if you can shoot halfway decently, steel does a good job over decoys. There's really no need for TSS in a blind unless you prefer shooting a subgauge.


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 Post subject: Re: 20 Gauge "do it all" gun / gauge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:04 am 
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Yea, TSS is kind of pricey. I haven't gone to that level yet but I do shoot heavier than lead shot. Not everything I hunt requires that level of performance. So you take a 6 lb. 20 ga., load it up with as much TSS as you can cram in a 3" hull & what have you got? It might be a pretty good turkey gun if the recoil doesn't give you a nose bleed but what kind of follow through will it have for pass shooting geese?? Ask any competition clay shooter that shoots a 12 ga. why he shoots a 12 ga.. I doubt many will tell you it is because it has a heavier shot charge or because it will brake clays at a greater distance. It is not all black or white. When I spend $500 in gas & who knows how much else in other cost to travel 1,600 or so miles to hunt, I want to shoot decent ammo, but there is the old point of diminishing returns thing. There are applications for TSS shot but I am not sure I have one in my hunting portfolio. My needs have peaked with 13 gr. per cm tungsten alloy. Bismuth will do about 95% of what I need & I still shoot a lot of lead. If I did shoot TSS, I would shoot it in a gun with good handling qualities for pass shooting, like adequate weight & good follow through!


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 Post subject: Re: 20 Gauge "do it all" gun / gauge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2020 10:34 am 
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Hi,

What this all boils down to is the fact that we have more choices in shot types than at any other time in history. And for the shooter, it comes down to making the correct choice of shot type for the task at hand.

Choose wisely, and you will have success. Choose poorly, and you will not have all the success that could have been had.

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 Post subject: Re: 20 Gauge "do it all" gun / gauge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:24 pm 
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Dalee100, Well said! I would say use common sense if only sense were common!


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 Post subject: Re: 20 Gauge "do it all" gun / gauge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2020 2:48 pm 
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Two sensible comments in a row. Is this SGW or a dream? :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: 20 Gauge "do it all" gun / gauge
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2020 4:34 pm 
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Gentlemen,

No matter how much I happen to love my 20 gauge L.C. Smith double guns, seldom will I shoot Ducks with them. Every once in a while in the old days, I would take a wood Duck with my silver breech L.C. Smith double 20 gun. I was very careful taking the Woodies with it, as I jump shot them along Pine Creek or Laurel Hill Creek. I hate to see wounded Woodies, it goes against every thing I hold ethical. Killed many more Woodies outright with my 16 gauge guns, and have never lost a Woody especially when Sampson my SM was alive to retrieve them. Now for a Mearns Quail gun I love my L.C. Smith 20 gauge double guns, can't beat them in the high AZ mountains, along the Mex border. Great guns for grouse after the leaves have mostly fallen, love the light weight and perfect swing of those balanced 20 gauge guns. Would love to acquire a 30" barreled L.C. Smith 20 gauge for Mearns Quail hunting, in fact I am still looking for a nice one.

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man

Ofcourse there is not much that beats my #2 L.C. Smith 20 gauge, sleeved for 28 for hunting Mearns Quail. Heck of a Grouse gun also.


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