I know there is tons of info on many other forums all over the web. However, I'm really not a fan of most other forums, this is my favorite!
So I'm looking to get a new shotgun; looking for a semi-auto, at least 3" chamber I don't know that I 'need' 3.5" but it'd be nice cause you never know - maybe I'll become a long range goose hunter!!! I want a gun that I can shoot clays and some water foul (the last couple years I have spent about 3-5days doing each), but most of the time I'll carry the gun up and down steep mtns. in colorado wandering around trying to find some blue grouse.
any ideas? personally suggestions? guns to stay away from? etc..?
Location: Sagauache County, Co...3170 sq miles, not a single stop light!
my personal preference for grouse is a lightweight over/under 410. grouse dont take much killing and are not very spookey....they will usually sit on the ground and let you walk right up to them. a couple yrs back i did a side by side comparison with a benelli, a beretta, and the cheapo charles daly from walmart. all 20 ga autoaloders.....i preferred the charles daly.....
a 3" 20 gauge is not giving up much to a 12 ga. that is what i have used for yrs hunting pheasants. unless you are doing a lot of goose hunting thats what i would get. AJ
3" 12 gauge and never look back. I bought a Remington 1100 SP Magnum in 1986, and it has been flawless ever since. I like shorter barrels that swing faster, so mine has a 26" barrel, with the rem choke setup. The 20 gauge is adequate, but given the use of steel, or other highly expensive alternatives, I think the 20 is a little light. Also, put a sling on your shotgun, they make carrying decoys soo much easier.
If you like your hunting rifle, you can keep your hunting rifle.
For geese a Browning Gold with 3 1/2 inches chambers is very effective. However, 1 7/8 oz of hevi shot will give you an instant headache. The gun is heavy and slow which tracks a goose well.
I would not recommend it for carrying up a mountain and trying to hit a grouse. As was mentioned, a light 20 ga with three inch chambers and 1 1/4 ounce loads does not give up much to a 12 gauge.
My opinion is get a dedicated goose and turkey gun and then get another shorter and faster gun for grouse and chukar. I have a a 11-87 20 gauge with three inch chambers that is pretty nice for birds and an older SKB 20 that is very very nice for birds.
Well, it won't be "new", but if you can find a 3" 1100, you can swap out barrels easily, and they won't cost an arm and a leg.
I know a waterfowler that goes down to Arkansas every year and the guides treat their guns rough - throw them in the back of the truck uncased, and they sit there 'till the next day. They prefer Beretta autoloaders, even over the Benelli, but I've never shot one so I can't say for sure.
I have a 3" 1100, and put a Stan Baker "Big Bore" barrel on it. It really groups the larger shot sizes tight, and the extra velocity with less perceived recoil is a plus as well.
As you probably know, gun fit is the most important aspect of shotgun shooting.
Good luck with your search! Let us know what you settle on.
Last edited by esshup; 05-12-2008 at 07:56 PM.
Reason: Added content
This is like using a 223 for everthing from PD's to Cape buffalo
A 410 would be great for grouse but not for turkeys or geese.
You will need two shotguns for this type of shooting.
My favorite type of shotgun is the over and under but for an
all out ass kicker and name taker as Essnup suggested I would
recomend the Xtrema 3 1/2 By Beretta for several reasons,
As Essnup mentioned they shoot when nothing else will and they
were purpose biult for 3 1/2" inch shells (Not a modified 3" as others
did ) and best of all they will shoot all sizes of shells from 1oz trap
loads to 3 1/2" -2 1/4oz turkey loads with out changing springs
or pistons .
I went looking for a waterfowl shotgun that would also double as
a turkey gun and having hunted in arkansas with the same kind of
hunters that treated theirs rough (Like walking in 4 or 5 feet of water
with the shotgun slung over there sholder and half under water) and
still function every time.
They all said for this type of hunting only a Beretta semi auto or an 870
wingmaster pump would not let you down.
So I bought one and proceeded to test the different shells in it and they
were right I loaded mixed shells 2 3/4 dove, 1 3/8oz-2 3/4 duck loads,
3" 1 5/8oz high vellocity , 3" 1 7/8 oz turkey, 3 1/2" heavy shot,3" 2 1/4oz
turkey and all sizes of buck shot and the damn thing did not fail to eject
and feed all.
The only thing I noticed was that when I shot the trap and dove loads
I could hear the action work but could not hear anything when shooting
the heavy loads.
I still use an over and under for dove, quail, grouse, pheasant ,etc. but when
I go duck,goose, turkey and in some cases where the land owner doesent allow
rifles, Deer and hogs I will allways carry the beretta and a mixed bag of shells.