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 Post subject: Re: .410 or 20 gauge O/U for squirrel, rabbit, and dove?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:14 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:46 pm
Posts: 1710
Location: SW Missouri
20 for all the above reasons.




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 Post subject: Re: .410 or 20 gauge O/U for squirrel, rabbit, and dove?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:26 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:11 pm
Posts: 1025
20 , but I love my 28


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 Post subject: Re: .410 or 20 gauge O/U for squirrel, rabbit, and dove?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:41 pm 
Diamond Grade
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Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:58 am
Posts: 1585
Location: Omaha, NE
Why an O/U? Seems like a perfect scenario for a pump.

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 Post subject: Re: .410 or 20 gauge O/U for squirrel, rabbit, and dove?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:05 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:46 pm
Posts: 1710
Location: SW Missouri
EricB wrote:
Why an O/U? Seems like a perfect scenario for a pump.


My reason for a double (either O/U or SxS) is three fold. First, 2 chokes instead of 1. Can be an advantage in hunting situations when game presents itself at any and all ranges. Second, ability to have two different loads at your disposal without having to rack a round out of the chamber. For instance, if hunting small game but also may encounter something bigger I might want to shoot such as a coyote, I can have smaller shot in one barrel and larger shot (buckshot) in the other barrel and can immediately choose the load I need when the opportunity presents itself. Lastly, if you reload or just don't want to hunt for shells to avoid littering, it is much easier to recover your shells with a double.


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 Post subject: Re: .410 or 20 gauge O/U for squirrel, rabbit, and dove?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:02 am 
Diamond Grade
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Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:58 am
Posts: 1585
Location: Omaha, NE
I suppose those rationalizations look ok on paper. I’ve probably used those arguments myself in an effort to angle for a new gun. I’ve never gotten around to loading two different types of ammo and my barrel selector hasn’t moved since I bought any doubles. Having two triggers on my side by sides makes barrel selection very easy, yet the front trigger gets pulled first every time. There could be a case for recovering empties. We can all stand to do better at keeping nature natural.
Definitely get the 20 instead of the .410.

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 Post subject: Re: .410 or 20 gauge O/U for squirrel, rabbit, and dove?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:32 pm 
*Proud to be a*
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Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2005 7:25 pm
Posts: 9005
Location: Louisiana
EricB wrote:
I suppose those rationalizations look ok on paper. I’ve probably used those arguments myself in an effort to angle for a new gun. I’ve never gotten around to loading two different types of ammo and my barrel selector hasn’t moved since I bought any doubles. Having two triggers on my side by sides makes barrel selection very easy, yet the front trigger gets pulled first every time. There could be a case for recovering empties. We can all stand to do better at keeping nature natural.
Definitely get the 20 instead of the .410.


They also work good in the squirrel woods. If I'm hunting with a double gun, I always use a light load/open choke in one barrel for close shots and a heavy load/tight choke for long shots, to good effect. That said, a pump or autoloader with modified or improved modified also works very well.


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 Post subject: Re: .410 or 20 gauge O/U for squirrel, rabbit, and dove?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:51 pm 
Shooting Instructor
Shooting Instructor

Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2003 8:29 am
Posts: 2907
Location: Southern part of Emanuel Co., Ga.
double20 wrote:

ability to have two different loads at your disposal without having to rack a round out of the chamber. For instance, if hunting small game but also may encounter something bigger I might want to shoot such as a coyote, I can have smaller shot in one barrel and larger shot (buckshot) in the other barrel and can immediately choose the load I need when the opportunity presents itself.


Also check state game regs for having correct size shot shotgun shells for game hunted. Some states small game-furbearer require #2 or smaller size shot. Having buckshot out of big game season might be frowned on.

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 Post subject: Re: .410 or 20 gauge O/U for squirrel, rabbit, and dove?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:57 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:46 pm
Posts: 1710
Location: SW Missouri
dovehunter wrote:
double20 wrote:

ability to have two different loads at your disposal without having to rack a round out of the chamber. For instance, if hunting small game but also may encounter something bigger I might want to shoot such as a coyote, I can have smaller shot in one barrel and larger shot (buckshot) in the other barrel and can immediately choose the load I need when the opportunity presents itself.


Also check state game regs for having correct size shot shotgun shells for game hunted. Some states small game-furbearer require #2 or smaller size shot. Having buckshot out of big game season might be frowned on.


Good point as some states have stupid laws on the books. In Missouri, no law limiting shot size on coyotes so buck shot is fine. #4 buck is used by many folks out here.


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 Post subject: Re: .410 or 20 gauge O/U for squirrel, rabbit, and dove?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:41 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
Posts: 5166
Location: Hemingway, S.C. 29554
I killed tons of squirrels, rabbits & marsh hens as a kid with my .410. It did fine as long as the range was modest. I didn't have such great luck with doves. Then Pop started letting me shoot his old lightweight 12ga. LC Smith bird gun. I remember thinking, I can actually kill flying birds with this! Most folks find it hard enough to kill doves with a 12 ga.! When I was a kid, the standard 3" .410 load was 3/4 oz.,(now 11/16 oz.) with 7/8 oz. for the 20. The 20 is much more effective with it's 7/8 oz. load than the .410 with 3/4 oz.. It is not a linear relationship. The 20 is more efficient for a number of reasons, it patterns better for starters. I have always wanted a 28 ga. SXS but it looks like that will never happen. I never shot one but folks tell me it is closer to a 20 than a .410. I have 20's, 12's & 10 ga. guns. I have killed more game with my 20 ga L.C. Smith than all the rest combined, including big ducks & pheasant. I can score almost as good with it on doves as I can with Pop's old bird gun. Pop is gone but I still shoot his old bird gun. I don't know what the weight difference between the 20, 28 & .410 usually runs but I never heard anybody complain that a 20 was too heavy. Should you want lighter loads, the 20 will accommodate you if you reload. 20 ga. 3/4 oz. load data is not hard to find if you want it. My standard go to load for the 20 is 7/8 oz. but I have used the 1 1/8 oz. loads. I have two 3" 20s but haven't popped the cap on a 3" 20 since early 1970 something nor more than a half dozen in my life!


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 Post subject: Re: .410 or 20 gauge O/U for squirrel, rabbit, and dove?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:10 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:36 pm
Posts: 872
Location: Endless Mountains of PA
HuntingDixieLand,

Good advise given here already, I will add this for you to think about. The .410 is a good gun for dog training, however for Dove shooting the 20 gauge is a lot more versatile and if you want to make it even more sporting I agree the 28 is a great gun. Although the 28 is going to cost you more money, both for the gun and the shells. The 20 gauge is less expensive all the way around, and gets the job done well.

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man

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 Post subject: Re: .410 or 20 gauge O/U for squirrel, rabbit, and dove?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:38 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2007 2:36 pm
Posts: 1629
Location: Northeast Ohio
Absolutely a no brainer. 20 gauge.


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 Post subject: Re: .410 or 20 gauge O/U for squirrel, rabbit, and dove?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2020 4:09 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:11 pm
Posts: 1025
Of your two choices I would recommend a 20.
But Im with one ounce




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