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 Post subject: Used gun advice
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 7:56 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2020 7:52 am
Posts: 5
I am looking to pick up a shotgun this year and will most likely go used. My question is should I let the fact that a gun has fixed chokes stop me from buying it? I will be using it mostly for pheasants in SE PA and the occasional trap/skeet shooting. My first choice would be a 16 gauge in either a pump or double gun.


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 Post subject: Re: Used gun advice
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:24 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:50 pm
Posts: 2439
Location: SE Ohio...where ruffed grouse were
No


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 Post subject: Re: Used gun advice
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:31 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2016 10:39 pm
Posts: 4831
No, but why a 16 gauge? Ammo is more plentiful and cheaper for 12 or 20 gauge.

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 Post subject: Re: Used gun advice
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:30 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:04 am
Posts: 2709
No, but if fixed, take into consideration the majority of anticipated shot distances. Dog vs. no dog immediately comes to mind.

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 Post subject: Re: Used gun advice
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:34 am 
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Might want to consider resale value also.

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 Post subject: Re: Used gun advice
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:51 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:11 am
Posts: 4080
Location: Western Tampa, FL
No, but I echo Zbigniew; why 16 gauge?

A pump gun with fixed choke can be used for what you are trying to do, but you will handicap yourself in the skeet or trap arena since those two games require opposite amounts of choke. However, if you find a double with two chokes available to you, say IC and Mod chokes; you could get by fine with that. It would be ideal for hunting and be only a little bit handicapped in skeet. You could use the modified choke for the occasional trap and that would be perfectly usable for that game also. Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Used gun advice
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 7:19 pm
Posts: 1898
Location: Indian Head Country Wisconsin
Not unless you hunt extreme changes in bird sizes. 90 percent of the time modified will reside in my SA. Good for pheasants with lead and ducks/geese with steel shot. When I hunt grouse, I will switch up to skeet or even cylinder depending on leaf coverage. Of course, for turkeys it’s extra full and a turkey specific choke. If you don’t have a 12 gage fill that out first or even a 3 inch twenty gage and then look to the 16 if you harken back to nostalgic things. Shotgun shell development in the others gages makes them much more desirable with many, many more choices for ammo. Older double guns with fixed chokes tend to be more lively since they have thinner struck barrels that don’t need to be thick enough to screw a small pipe in.


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 Post subject: Re: Used gun advice
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
Posts: 5133
Location: Hemingway, S.C. 29554
You can also adjust your patterns (chokes) with your loads. Some will naturally shoot different than the choke designation. I have a SXS Merkel choked F&M. The "FULL" is on the tight side so I often open it up by loading "PC POST" spreader wads. You can also remove choke pretty cheap but keep in mind, it is much easier to get a gun to shoot more open than to get patterns to shoot tighter. Then you can always have after market choke tubes installed!


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 Post subject: Re: Used gun advice
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2020 7:52 am
Posts: 5
Zbigniew wrote:
No, but why a 16 gauge? Ammo is more plentiful and cheaper for 12 or 20 gauge.


I am by no means dead set on 16 gauge. I just like the idea of a gun that has the power of a 12, but the weight of a 20.


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 Post subject: Re: Used gun advice
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:50 pm
Posts: 2439
Location: SE Ohio...where ruffed grouse were
Chip1975 wrote:
I am by no means dead set on 16 gauge. I just like the idea of a gun that has the power of a 12, but the weight of a 20.


That's funny. {hs#


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 Post subject: Re: Used gun advice
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 7:19 pm
Posts: 1898
Location: Indian Head Country Wisconsin
Chip1975 wrote:
Zbigniew wrote:
No, but why a 16 gauge? Ammo is more plentiful and cheaper for 12 or 20 gauge.


I am by no means dead set on 16 gauge. I just like the idea of a gun that has the power of a 12, but the weight of a 20.


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That’s an old saw but no longer true. A modern 3” 20 gage can shoot up to 1 and [[5/8]] 5/16 ounce loads surpassing anything you can stuff in a 16 gage and actually weighs as much as a 20 gage since it is one. For upland work, a modern 3” 20 gage performs like a 2 and 3/4 inch 12 gage but is much lighter and nicer to carry. I generally only use my 12 gage if no tox shot is required and I need to shoot a 3 inch shell. Otherwise I’m plenty good with my 20.

Edited for max payload in 20 gage.


Last edited by Patently Obvious on Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Used gun advice
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 7:15 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2016 10:39 pm
Posts: 4831
My 20 is a 2 3/4" Remington 1100LT, Improved Cylinder.

As often as not, I've used it for pheasants. Using 2 3/4" #5's, I can tell no difference between it and a 12 gauge. I'm sure others can; but I can't and neither can the pheasants.

Often when one tries to get the 'best of all worlds,' he ends up with something that doesn't work as well as either choice.

_________________
The root(s) of all evil:
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-Insurance
-Securitization
Take your pick.

Always make an even number of mistakes. One may cancel out another.

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 Post subject: Re: Used gun advice
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 7:25 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2020 7:52 am
Posts: 5
Zbigniew wrote:
My 20 is a 2 3/4" Remington 1100LT, Improved Cylinder.

As often as not, I've used it for pheasants. Using 2 3/4" #5's, I can tell no difference between it and a 12 gauge. I'm sure others can; but I can't and neither can the pheasants.

That’s great to hear. There are a lot more options out there in 20 gauge, I was just afraid it would be to light.

Often when one tries to get the 'best of all worlds,' he ends up with something that doesn't work as well as either choice.


An excellent point


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 Post subject: Re: Used gun advice
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:25 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:03 pm
Posts: 184
I have nothing against fixed choke guns; I own several. However, based on the types of uses intended by the OP and the vast amount of nice newer lightly used guns available with choke tubes, why even consider a fixed choke gun. Its different if you are looking at a specific make or collectible older gun that only had fixed chokes, but you did not indicate that was the direction you were going. Therefore, it my humble opinion you would be more satisfied with a gun with choke tubes based on your intended uses for the gun.


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 Post subject: Re: Used gun advice
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 11:13 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
Posts: 5133
Location: Hemingway, S.C. 29554
I doubt anybody wants to hear my opinion but here it is anyway. Choke tubes are great but my guns are generally for a specific type of hunting & I rarely change tubes. Some people seem to never stop changing tubes! You can alter patterns to a somewhat lesser degree by changing your loads but that requires work & pattern testing. About 16 ga. guns, what is wrong with a 16 ga.? I don't own one but I want to. The ammo. is harder to find but so what? I reload everything anyway so I couldn't care less! I never do anything because that is what everybody/somebody else does. Also, there is a lot more to a specific gun than what ga. it is. A 12 ga., as an example, can range from a heavy waterfowl magnum to a light bird gun designed for light loads & weighing close to a 20 ga.


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 Post subject: Re: Used gun advice
PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 12:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:01 pm
Posts: 542
16 ga is the way to go, if you reload and just love 16ga.

However, if I was to buy a single gun for hunting it would be a 20ga with removable chokes. There are enough out there at a decent price, where there is no need to be stuck with a fixed choke gun that is expensive to feed.

Im a 16 ga addict, and still wouldnt do it.

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 Post subject: Re: Used gun advice
PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 4:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:27 am
Posts: 3082
Location: North Central West Virginia
16 gauge Federal ammo is $7.47 a box at Walmart. Not a bad price.


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 Post subject: Re: Used gun advice
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:26 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:37 pm
Posts: 1006
Location: Colonie, NY
No expert here........but being in the game near 60 years, go 20GA or 12GA, I prefer the 12GA, weight and recoil be damned.

Action type is a personal choice, brand too, I may be the only one here who likes the Benelli Super Nova as a general purpose field gun, won one two years ago and can't ever leave it home.

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 Post subject: Re: Used gun advice
PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2020 12:38 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:36 pm
Posts: 864
Location: Endless Mountains of PA
Chips1975,

If you like the 16 gauge guns go for one. L.C. Smith makes a beautiful 16 gauge double gun, you can usually pick one up in great shape for about $1,200 - $2,000 depending on the grade gun you find.
I have killed a lot of Lancaster County Pheasants with mine, own several myself and love Pheasant, Grouse and Woodcock hunting with the 16 double gun. #6's & #5's for Pheasant.

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man

If you want a Best 16 gauge double gun L.C. Smith built a 16 Deluxe with Kraus Engraving that is pretty tough to beat.
Image

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Last edited by Pine Creek/Dave on Tue Jul 07, 2020 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Used gun advice
PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2020 12:46 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:50 pm
Posts: 2439
Location: SE Ohio...where ruffed grouse were
LC Smiths were designed to shoot 1 ounce max loads in the 16 gauge.....enough, at times for some pheasants and problematic at other times.

Same applies to the Elsie in other gauges.....too much shell can enhance the chance of the stock splitting behind the locks on the older ladies.

Respect any old shotgun and that applies to load choice, as a start. {hs#




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