Newbie shotgun hunting questions.

tubabucknuttubabucknut BannedPosts: 3,520 Senior Member
I have a couple of Mossberg 500's with 26 inch barrels, and a 930 with a 22 inch barrel. All can be choked. Everything is 12 gauge right now. I will be adding a 20 gauge soon. What are these good for. What length barrels do I need for various fowl.

Additionally what shot size for the various species?
It's because I hate Trump.

Replies

  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,379 Senior Member
    The 500s with 26" barrels in a standard configuration should be fine for just about any waterfowl, upland birds or other birds you choose to hunt. The only catch is that 26" is a little bit short, and you will notice with practice at a clays range that it can be a little bit tougher to maintain a smooth swing than with, say, a 28"+ barrel. It took a little practice to get used to my 26" upland gun in that regard versus my smoother swinging 28" waterfowl gun.

    That 22" 930 will kill a bird, for sure, but the super short barrel is going to be a real challenge to keep on the swing and the sights will be obtrusive.

    As for the gauges, as a broad generality, I use 20 gauge for upland birds and the 12 for ducks/geese/migratory birds. In my case, that would be a 26", 20-gauge over/under versus a 28" 12-gauge semi-auto. In reality, either gun would be up to either task, but the shorter-barreled 20-gauge is my preference when having to bust through tall grass all day. The bigger shot payload and smoother swing of the longer 12-gauge is my preference for knocking down ducks and geese crossing through the decoys with the larger #4, #2, or BB pellets.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • HAWKENHAWKEN Senior Member Posts: 1,688 Senior Member
    Luis has given you some sound advice. I prefer a 28" barrel for my 12 gages, either O/U or SBS, I use my semi auto or pump action 12 gages for ducks or turkey. For the 20 gage, a 26" barrel has a nice feel and swings freely, and it is my choice for upland game birds or squirrel. Some times I take my 67 gage for squirrels..........robin :cool2:
    I don't often talk to people that voted for Obama, but when I do I order large fries!
    Life member of the American Legion, the VFW, the NRA and the Masonic Lodge, retired LEO
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,982 Senior Member
    I personally prefer a 30" barrel for ducks and doves.

    28" is ok and seems most guns come with them if not a special purpose gun.

    Granted you asked about a 26", I used one in a borrowed gun once----I thought it was too short, though slug barrels are 26"
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,982 Senior Member
    you will find a shot size chart vs game here:
    http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=shot+size+chart&qpvt=shot+size+chart&qpvt=shot+size+chart&FORM=IGRE
    I tend to use shot on the larger end of the scale.

    Be sure and scroll down far enough for the info you want.
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • tubabucknuttubabucknut Banned Posts: 3,520 Senior Member
    Thanks guys. Good info.
    It's because I hate Trump.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,379 Senior Member
    I'm sort of the opposite of Ned in that I tend to go with smaller shot for the task at hand. For pheasants, I like #6 lead shot. For ducks (and just ducks) I like #4 steel. For geese, I use #2 steel, and for turkey I use #6 lead. I prefer a more dense shot pattern over overall striking power for a given weight payload, hence the smaller shot size.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • N320AWN320AW Senior Member Posts: 648 Senior Member
    I have a couple of Mossberg 500's with 26 inch barrels, and a 930 with a 22 inch barrel. All can be choked. Everything is 12 gauge right now. I will be adding a 20 gauge soon. What are these good for. What length barrels do I need for various fowl.

    Additionally what shot size for the various species?

    The primary difference between bores is the shot load. All shot shells are of the same approximate velocity. Magnum loads are with a heavier load of shot. In fact, studies have determined that the less velocity a shot shell delivers, the better the patterns.
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