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 Post subject: The Third Shot
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 12:44 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2021 1:55 pm
Posts: 80
Location: So Cal
I have my dad's Beretta semiautomatic shotgun stored in my gun safe. I believe it's an AL-2, but that's a guess. It's a fabulous shotgun. I cannot remember it malfunctioning. It's a precision made work of art. I'd use it except for lead shot restrictions. It's more of a museum piece, an artifact of a hunter's favorite gun.

Waterfowl was my dad's favorite bird hunting. Upland game is my favorite bird hunting.

Truth be told, as is evident by my moniker, I love old school pump actions such as the Model 12 and Wingmaster.

I've hunted Rocky Mountain big game for decades. 10 times out of nine, I'll load 3 rounds in my rifle. The reality is if I miss with the first shot, there won't be a second. Spooked Rocky Mountain mule deer, antelope, and elk ignite afterburners. When they decide to head for thick cover, they'll put an additional hundred yards on hunters by the time it takes to chamber another round.

I love the challenge of jump shooting quail. From memory alone, if the second shot doesn't drop flushed quail, the third is a wasted round.

I had given a lot of thought to buying a Beretta A400 semi. Beretta seems to have mastered the craft of manufacturing semiautomatic shotguns. Reality is personal preference will almost always dictate gun purchases. I do love the beautiful lines of Beretta's O/U shotguns. SxS is my preference (I'm old school), but I couldn't justify 5k for a shotgun. So I have a deposit on a Beretta O/U.

My question for semi hunters is this: how often will the third round matter when dropping a bird? I can see the utility of a third shot when targeting another bird after dropping one. But here's my reality learned the hard way. I've made the mistake of dropping a quail double in thick sage. The last one took a few minutes to vest. Finding the first one took a lot of time to find, time I could have spent chasing the covey. I've leaned that for me, it's better to get one in a vest before shooting another. I've also learned the reality of downing a bird in a flushed covey. After picking one and shooting, if the first shot missed, the bird was usually at the extreme range of the second shot. I cannot remember ever dropping a bird with a third round fried from my Wingmaster. By round three, a bird was well beyond the distance of my ammo.

What I'm looking for is help with my take on especially upland bird hunting. Am I hasty by excluding a semi? My dad loved his Beretta semi. I was standing next to him when he killed his last game animal. He killed a pheasant with his beloved Beretta semi.

The Beretta A400 is a gorgeous shotgun. I'm sure it's 100% reliable. Knowing me like I know me, considering a single bird, firing round three at a bird flying at full ramjet speed would be a waste of money. Depending upon game and field, I might press my luck trying for a double. I can tell you that a double in thick sage means a lot of time wasted retrieving the first quail.

Based upon my recognized limitations, I've decided to go with the gorgeous appearance of a Beretta O/U. But I'm primarily a hunter. Should I rethink my purchase? Have I given the A400 short shrift?




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 Post subject: Re: The Third Shot
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 1:04 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2019 2:15 pm
Posts: 94
Location: Texas
What you need is a good Lab, put the birds on the ground and let the dog bring 'em in...1cas


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 Post subject: Re: The Third Shot
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 1:06 pm 
Crown Grade
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Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 7:19 pm
Posts: 2035
Location: Indian Head Country Wisconsin
Big advantage to new semi is to fit the gun exactly to you with the shim kit and often two different thickness recoil pads available. If a standard beretta or browning OU fits, then opt for a 20 gage and have a nice handling bird gun. For grouse or other gunning with lots of obstacles that third shot is not much of a help. I personally shoot a Tristar bronze 20 gage with a 1 and 1/4 ounce 3 inch shell for pheasant. Yes the third shot comes in handy on second birds if you oppps one in between and if the stars align I have taken a limit of 3 without reloading the mag. Base the gun on fit and handling. Not so much number of shots in my opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: The Third Shot
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 1:20 pm 
Diamond Grade
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Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2006 9:04 pm
Posts: 1542
Location: Upstate NY
I hunted with pumps and semis for many seasons and then decided to carry my Beretta 686 one fall. I switched back to a Beretta 390 after a couple of good shooting days in the marsh... YMMV.

Besides the lack of a third shot, the duck hunting was a little rougher environment than I wanted to put the 686 through. Again, that would depend on the way you hunt.

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"The freaks can't be normally formalized, nor can we be formally normalized. What we want is complete weirdification."
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Member: NRA, New York Rifle and Pistol Association


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 Post subject: Re: The Third Shot
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 1:22 pm 
Crown Grade
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Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:46 am
Posts: 8581
Location: Colorado Springs, Co
I like a SA for hunting!


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 Post subject: Re: The Third Shot
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:51 pm 
Limited Edition

Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2019 7:22 pm
Posts: 463
Location: NE South Dakota
I shoot pump, semi’s and over/under.

I harvest about the same number with all 3, but shoot a higher percentage with my over/under.

It’s about what works for you and what you enjoy.


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 Post subject: Re: The Third Shot
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:56 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:04 am
Posts: 3202
If I don`t hit a bird ( dove, usually ) with the first shot, my chances of success drop WAY down. I might as well not load a third round ( but I do anyway ! ).

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Fabarm L4S Initial Hunter
Remington 870 Super Magnum Turkey
Remington V3 Walnut
Remington 870 Express (Realtree Xtra camo)


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 Post subject: Re: The Third Shot
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 3:06 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:50 pm
Posts: 2745
Location: SE Ohio...where ruffed grouse were
Gene Hill once addressed "the third shot" in a column using his wonderful Hillian Way.

What a shame no one has been able to express so well the various twists and turns we all consider when afield.


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 Post subject: Re: The Third Shot
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 3:32 pm 
Crown Grade
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Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:58 am
Posts: 2093
Location: Omaha, NE
Am I the only one that’s going to say it? You need semi autos AND over unders, pumps and side x sides. Who only has one gun anymore?

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The people in government want to disarm you because they intend to do things to you that would get them shot.


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 Post subject: Re: The Third Shot
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 3:36 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:31 pm
Posts: 1548
I hunt with pumps. The third shot is there for the birds that are hit but not dead in the air. Mostly waterfowl hunt these days and if a bird is going down head up I whack it again. And yup I hunt with a trained retriever.


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 Post subject: Re: The Third Shot
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 3:50 pm 
Diamond Grade
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Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:49 pm
Posts: 1023
Location: Moncks Corner, SC
I've hunted ducks almost exclusively with a double of one sort or another for 35 years. Granted, I hunt solo but I think, at least to the way I hunt, the presence of a possible third shot messes up what we do with the second shot.

I've come to believe that average time that a flock of ducks presents itself for an optimum shot is slightly less than the average human can squeeze in three shots. Either the human adjusts and takes two quality shots or they rush the shots trying to make sure to have time to shoot three times. The first shot is usually a quality shot and probably drops a bird, especially if it's the first shot of the draw. Then, all heck breaks looks - birds and hunters both panic. The hunter with two additional shots desperately searches for a new target, trying to pick out a nice drake amongst the ciaos - this is when things get rushed because the shooter knows that once this load is launched, they'll have to re-target all over again. This makes for a less than quality second shot.

With only one shell remaining, shooters get deliberate again. What's left of the flock in range quickly gets parsed for gender and species before the final pull of the trigger. The third shot is usually at a more deliberate target but it's usually further and has its back to the shooter reducing the effectiveness of this final shot despite it being a more deliberate pick.

Now, make the second shot the final shot. The shooter is again deliberate and the flock is closer and hasn't fully reacted to the shooters so many are still offering large-profile side shots. This is a way better scenario than racking a bird across the back at an additional 7 yards.

Just my opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: The Third Shot
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 3:58 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:04 am
Posts: 3202
Multiflora wrote:
Gene Hill once addressed "the third shot" in a column using his wonderful Hillian Way.

What a shame no one has been able to express so well the various twists and turns we all consider when afield.


IMHO, Gene Hill was simply the best at his craft. And that`s not a knock on other excellent outdoor writers. The man absolutely ruined me on dog stories, his were so touching. Hell, I start tearing up when I just SEE a dog story! If you can get through Tears and Laughter without choking up, well, I`m not at all sure you would be the kind of person with whom I would care to associate.

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Fabarm L4S Initial Hunter
Remington 870 Super Magnum Turkey
Remington V3 Walnut
Remington 870 Express (Realtree Xtra camo)


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 Post subject: Re: The Third Shot
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 4:05 pm 
Presentation Grade
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Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2004 8:09 pm
Posts: 790
Location: Oklahoma
Quote:
I've hunted Rocky Mountain big game for decades. 10 times out of nine, I'll load 3 rounds in my rifle. The reality is if I miss with the first shot, there won't be a second. Spooked Rocky Mountain mule deer, antelope, and elk ignite afterburners

I used to agree with this 100% I but have to say, that is not always accurate from my experience. In 2016 I shot a scored 160 3/8 whitetail and didn't hit him until the fourth shot from a bolt action Remington. It was 100% on me and I was so nervous that I couldn't stop shaking. He did 'trot' about 50 yards after the first shot and stood still but didn't move after that. I acknowledge this was poor shooting on my part and definitely an anomaly but it made me a believer in filling the mag in my ADL.

As a side note, yes the gun was dialed in where it needed to be, I just missed.


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 Post subject: Re: The Third Shot
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 4:11 pm 
Presentation Grade
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Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 9:38 pm
Posts: 683
Location: South Florida
desmobob wrote:

Besides the lack of a third shot, the duck hunting was a little rougher environment than I wanted to put the 686 through. Again, that would depend on the way you hunt.



As on this day, we hide and brush the boat, then stand in sawgrass/cattail patches. Water depth not convenient for over/unders, unless you don’t mind dipping your barrels in the marsh when unloading.

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 Post subject: Re: The Third Shot
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 4:41 pm 
*Proud to be a*
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Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2003 4:59 pm
Posts: 1908
Location: Minnesota
Hi,

My In-Laws that work for Federal Cartridge tell that they would like to thank all shooters that take that third shot............

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 Post subject: Re: The Third Shot
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 4:52 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2003 12:52 am
Posts: 5774
Specklebelly wrote:
Quote:
I've hunted Rocky Mountain big game for decades. 10 times out of nine, I'll load 3 rounds in my rifle. The reality is if I miss with the first shot, there won't be a second. Spooked Rocky Mountain mule deer, antelope, and elk ignite afterburners

I used to agree with this 100% I but have to say, that is not always accurate from my experience. In 2016 I shot a scored 160 3/8 whitetail and didn't hit him until the fourth shot from a bolt action Remington. It was 100% on me and I was so nervous that I couldn't stop shaking. He did 'trot' about 50 yards after the first shot and stood still but didn't move after that. I acknowledge this was poor shooting on my part and definitely an anomaly but it made me a believer in filling the mag in my ADL.

As a side note, yes the gun was dialed in where it needed to be, I just missed.


Ain't it funny how deer don't always drop right away when hit with the first shot? :)

Back to shotguns,

I typically use an O/U for hunting but there are times I appreciate having a third shot for upland birds. It may not be very practical for woods birds but I have tripled on prairie grouse, ptarmigan, quail, and pheasants often enough that I don't get too excited over the feat. Triples are much more frequent when waterfowling, especially when field hunting.

Much more important than triples is having that extra shot in the event of only crippling the bird. Having that third round allows an extra shot or two to anchor the bird. That makes the retrieve easier even if using a dog.

In spite of the advantages of the semiauto (or pump), I still use an O/U an overwhelming percentage of the time. I just can't bring myself to leave hulls in the field if I can help it. Littering bugs me but being a reloader and a "hull whore" has more of an impact on my psyche.


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 Post subject: Re: The Third Shot
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 5:06 pm 
Presentation Grade
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Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:32 pm
Posts: 775
The birds also get a vote in how things go. Sometimes a third shot means a triple. I've never felt undergunned with a double barrel but I've only shot tripples when I carry a pump or SA.

ETA- Thinking about triples. Years ago I shot a triple which included a scotch double on banded geese with a SxS. Finished the day with a five goose limit with four bands...don't know how I forgot about that one.

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Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire. -Gustav Mahler


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 Post subject: Re: The Third Shot
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 6:13 pm 
Diamond Grade
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Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:49 pm
Posts: 1023
Location: Moncks Corner, SC
I'm committed to not needing a third shot...

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 Post subject: Re: The Third Shot
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 6:46 pm 
*Proud to be a*
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Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 8:20 pm
Posts: 14466
Location: Williamsburg, Virginia
I use semi autos, pumps, and SxSs. A Remington 1100 or Wingmaster for 58 years, or a 20 gauge BSS Sporter these days. Can't abide 99.9% of O/Us. The third shot has been very useful waterfowl hunting, especially when you see a bird going down but not dead. A good dog is a necessity in my opinion for not wasting any game. Nothing to argue about. Others do their thing, I do mine.

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 Post subject: Re: The Third Shot
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 6:56 pm 
*Proud to be a*
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Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:54 pm
Posts: 12545
Location: Kansas
For upland. I load two in my semi auto. If I don’t connect with the second shot, then it wasn’t meant to be and I wish the bird Godspeed



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