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 Post subject: First hunt with a 28 gauge... I have questions!
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 1:49 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:31 am
Posts: 112
Had a slow work day yesterday so I went out to the farm for an afternoon dove hunt over the pond with the new CZ-USA Teal 28 gauge. I shot 8 birds which was pretty good for a rainy day and not much in the the way of nearby feed. I was shooting the Federal Top Gun shells out of M and IM chokes at birds that were flaring into a sandy spot at the south end of the pond-damn with a NNW wind. The shells were #7.5s and the box says 1330 fps.

(Now before the lead-shot police say something about shooting over water without non-toxic shot.. I wasn't putting shot out over the water, just across a weedy pasture)

I lay all this out so I can ask a question. This is my first 28 gauge and I am still learning the ins and outs of both the gun and the cartridge. I certainly didn't kill a bird with every trigger pull but I took a single box of shells and had about half a box left when I was done. For MY dove hunting that is pretty good! I was careful with my shots and only had to put a double on the same bird a couple of times. What I noticed when I cleaned my birds was that there were very few (if any) broken wings. Obviously the birds were dead but in the effort to make sure a shot bird is a down and dead bird, should I use a larger shot out of the 28?

I have always used a 12 gauge and #7.5s for dove and realize that a #7.5 pellet traveling at 1330 from a 12 is the same as one of the same size and speed from a 28. My dove loads for a 12 are usually one ounce or sometimes an once and an eighth. The 28s were 3/4 of an ounce.With the decreased pellet count, do I need to make sure each pellet is "worth more" by using #6s?

I have been shooting a lot of sporting clays with the 28 and using a mix of #9s, #8s and #7.5s to see how the gun performs. I DEFINITELY see a difference with the #9s on targets that have some distance or are either battues or rabbits. Choke has some advantageous effects but not as much as pellet size. The #9s absolutely DEMOLISH close targets (I like when they are there... and then they aren't, poof!).

It has been a long time since I was at this level of discovery with a shotgun and it is a lot of fun! I want to make sure I am doing my best to collect every bird I drop the hammer on and know all ya'll would have some good advice.

Thanks in advance,

OkKeith




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 Post subject: Re: First hunt with a 28 gauge... I have questions!
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:39 pm 
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Location: Minnesota
Hi,

Doves take no great amount of killing. So I wouldn't sweat the whole no broken wings thing too much. And #7 1/2 is generally considered a popular size shot for the 28ga. and is certainly adequate for doves at any sane range.

What you most likely noticed was loss of pattern density. That extra 1/4oz does matter in the end from your 12ga. There was not enough pellets on target to probably hit and break wings. Couple that with a bit of statistical randomness, it might not be all that surprising that you found no broken wings on the birds you dressed.

The question you might be better off asking is, "Did the birds I shot fall dead?" If they did, keep shooting as you were. If they did not, then changes must be made. Whether that involves shortening your shooting range, increased shot charge weights, tighter chokes, or some combination is something you will need to figure out.

I doubt you need larger shot. You need either tighter chokes, (shoot some patterns at paper!), or you need more shot to up the density of your patterns. I personally like 7/8oz out of my 28ga Ringneck. Recoil isn't as harsh as the 1oz Federals or Winchesters and my patterns are denser on target. But 7/8oz is a handload proposition. So you may want to try the 1oz factory stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: First hunt with a 28 gauge... I have questions!
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 5:42 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:31 am
Posts: 112
Thanks, Dalee100!

When I got the two sets of extended chokes from CZ in Kansas City I took them to the range and put some patterns on paper. All I could find at the time were #8s but I figure that they were pretty representative. I went through each choke in each barrel (checking barrel regulation as well) and all of the chokes, based on a 30 inch circle at about 20 yards, patterned just slightly tighter than I would have expected. The "evenness" of the pattern was what could be expected.

I did have to double tap a bird two times (two birds, four shots) but all in all if I squeezed the trigger a bird fell. The couple of times they didn't it was a clean miss (my fault). I guess I am just used to picking up mangled birds from using a 12 gauge.

I have a Buddy in Louisiana who hunts teal and snipe with a 28 and he favors #4 or #5s for the ducks and #6s for the snipe and prefers the bismuth shells. I don't think I am ready to spend $1.30 per shell just yet so will stick to the dove and later quail for now. I already have three 5 gallon buckets of hulls and a letter to Santa Claus asking for a MEC 600 jr is already being composed.

Do you (or anyone else) have any experience with the Fiocchi 3 inch 28s? They don't seem to be outrageously priced... yet.

Thanks again for the help,

OkKeith


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 Post subject: Re: First hunt with a 28 gauge... I have questions!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2020 8:50 am 
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Location: Just South of Indiana Gun Club!
6 doves with half a box of shells is pretty good, I see no problems. :D :D



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 Post subject: Re: First hunt with a 28 gauge... I have questions!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2020 10:45 am 
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Hi,

Isn't your Teal 2 3/4" only? Or is CZ offering a 3" 28ga these days?

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 Post subject: Re: First hunt with a 28 gauge... I have questions!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2020 1:37 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:31 am
Posts: 112
Thanks, cdb1097! I guess I should be happier about not tearing them up too bad.

Dalee100... My Teal is marked on the barrel "28 Ga, 3"". The Fiocchi Golden Pheasant is the only 3 inch shells I have found though and are around $20 a box (25).

OkKeith


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 Post subject: Re: First hunt with a 28 gauge... I have questions!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:38 pm 
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Location: Minnesota
Hi,

Well, slap my knee! The 3" 28ga revolution is gaining momentum.

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 Post subject: Re: First hunt with a 28 gauge... I have questions!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:18 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:31 am
Posts: 112
It looks like Fioochi makes a nickle plated shell and a non-plated shell. I might pick some up just to see what they are like. The plated shells look to be ounce and a sixteenth and the others are one ounce. My 3/4 ounce shells do great on clay targets though.

OkKeith


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 Post subject: Re: First hunt with a 28 gauge... I have questions!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:20 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:46 pm
Posts: 1704
Location: SW Missouri
With my 20 gauge CZ Mallard, I use 7/8 ounce #7 1/2 shot on doves and have no issues out to 40 yards or maybe a tad farther. If I am pass shooting (ie. longer shots) I use either modified and improved modified or improved modified and full. If I am hunting a food or water source (ie. closer shots) I use improved cylinder and modified. I would imagine that the pattern from a 3/4 ounce 28 gauge load of # 7 1/2s wouldn't give up much to the 7/8 ounce 20 gauge load especially at 30 yards and under. As was mentioned, you aren't limited to just 3/4 ounce in the 28 gauge. I think I have seen 7/8 ounce 28 gauge factory loads in the past but can't remember where and don't know if they are still available or not. They do have the 1 ounce loadings as well.

I would not go to #6s as it is unnecessary for doves and will thin your pattern out quite a bit. If anything, I would go to #8s for more pattern density but my personal rule is to not use anything smaller than #7 1/2 for live game. I think I would just stick with the combination you are using and keep shots to 35 yards or closer. You could also choke up to improved modified and full if you think you will be getting slightly longer shots (out to 40 yards).


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 Post subject: Re: First hunt with a 28 gauge... I have questions!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
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Location: Hemingway, S.C. 29554
I am not going to tell anybody what to shoot, as if they would listen anyway, but I like 8.5's for doves & 9's for snipe. I might go to 7.5's for late season birds when the shots get longer but then I would also go to at least 1 1/8 oz. if not 1 1/4 oz. loads. Pellet size is a poor substitute for pattern density. I normally shoot 8.5's in a open choked 12 ga. bird gun. I was thinking 8.5's were a tad small but when I got my first bag of 8.5's & saw how they were busting doves, I changed my mind. Historically, I always used 8's with 1 1/8 oz. in the 12 or 7/8 oz. in the 20. Actually, that's getting kind of nit picky. They will all kill doves if you hit them. Snipe are such a small bird, anything will kill them unless they slip through a hole in the pattern. I have always wanted a 28 ga. but any load you can shoot in a 28 ga. can be loaded in a 20, if not a 12 ga..


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 Post subject: Re: First hunt with a 28 gauge... I have questions!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 9:44 am
Posts: 387
Location: Murfreesboro, TN
I find the same results for real birds or clays with the 28ga. I have to get on the target a little quicker to shoot with the 28ga. Pattern density and range tend to be a little shorter than with my 12ga. I think it's a matter of less shot opening up sooner. 1 1/8oz compared to 3/4oz is what I mean. The speed is the same 7.5 shot. All that being said I have grown to love the 28ga more and more.

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 Post subject: Re: First hunt with a 28 gauge... I have questions!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:52 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:31 am
Posts: 112
Milkmaster-

I sure enjoy shooting my 28 as well. I wish I could be more competitive with it on the sporting clays course. I'm not a serious "pro-wannabe" but I do shoot at least 2 tournaments a month or so. Mostly just charity events but I prefer to do well. My scores with the 28 are not on par with my 12 gauge scores yet but I figure that is a matter of practice. I have the guns set up to shoot as closely the same as I can but there is just enough difference to impact me for certain target presentations. The clays course I shoot at weekly always has sub-gauge side matches. I'm not quite ready yet but it's good to have something to work towards.

As far as hunting goes, I plan to use the 28 for everything but waterfowl this season!

OkKeith




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