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Thread: Schooling Requested: 28 Gauge O/U

  1. #1

    Schooling Requested: 28 Gauge O/U

    The youngest (closer to teen than tyke) is not a fan of hard kickers but needs a shotgun. Twenty-eight gauge seems just the ticket despite limited load availability. So I just ordered her a Stevens 555 base model with extractors rather than ejectors to save the precious hulls. Handloading is very much going to be indicated, make top-off loading easy, and I don't like littering plastic in the hunting fields anyway.

    That said, I have zero experience with the gauge or doubles for that matter. Could therefore use a soundboard.

    Use: Hand-thrown clays, squirrel, hare, 'coon, ruffed grouse, crow, feral pigeon, turkey, and the like.

    Cover: Tight young growth in labyrinthine logging trails. Steep mountainsides.

    Seasons: Four but autumn, early winter, early spring for field use.

    Current Theory: Find the barrel which pri ts closest to POA and choke it more tightly. Other barrel choked more open with selector set to fire first for snap shots at ose flushing game with other selectable for longer shots. 28 gauge versus 410 bore for more shot, less shot stringing, and bit easier connection on the wing. Shells are also available right now. Double barrel for light weight and fit to youth with bonus break-action for ease of supervision. Shame 28 gauge single barrels are hens teeth with a price to match.

    Ammo: Ordered a bit of #6 and 275 rounds of #7 1/2. See if the six shot patterns respectably as a hopeful primary game load. Smaller shot as substitute-standard and practice unless it patterns notably better in which case default to it. Or would 7 1/2 in the open choke and #6 innthe tighter one make sense despite the added administrative thought involved?

    Not asking for validation in the purchase. But rather advice in running what has been bought within its intended usage. I'm sure someone here has spent some time swatting critters with a twenty-eight.

  2. #2
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    I can't speak about critters but I used to shoot a lot of 28 gauge at clay targets in sub-gauge Sporting Clays. There is something magic about 28 gauge that it hits above its weight class. I have a Remington 1100 Sporting Clays 28 gauge that I bought for my wife, had stock shortened but had spacer made for my length of pull. She shot it once so it spends it life set for my LOP. If it were not for price of shells - I would shoot it all the time.

  3. #3
    Back in the '70s, a fishing buddy of mine "shot his way" through college on a 5-man skeet team (4 shooters, 1 sub). Link below is a write-up of some of the team and individual records they set back then.

    https://shotgunsportsmagazine.com/blog/cosmic-cowboys

    Main point, in what is an objective skeet range setting (realism can be debated, but since shots are taken at fixed stations, distances, etc., differences between .410 and 28 gauge are pretty much gun-related (OK, and shooter-related).

    Numbers like: 497 x 500 with .410, a 386 run with .410 (friend Rick), 499 x 500 with 28 gauge.

    So, I think either would work, but the 28 might be a bit more versatile.

  4. #4
    Site Supporter farscott's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
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    Athens, AL, USA
    I am a fan of the 28-gauge, shooting it in everything from a Browning BPS and Citori to a Benelli Ultra Light. For small game or clays with an O/U, I prefer shooting the tighter-choked barrel first and using the more open-choked barrel for second shots. I would stick with the #7-1/2 shot for smaller birds and use #6 only for larger game or well-insulated game. I would stick to 3/4-ounce loads around 1200 fps if she is recoil sensitive.

    You are on the right path by patterning the gun. Varying the shot hardness can also impact perceived choke. Softer shot will provide a pattern akin to a more-open choke, and harder shot will tighten up the pattern. You also need to make sure it fits her as that drives POA/POI.

  5. #5
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    Dec 2014
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    Wax-Uh-Hah-Chee, Republic of Texas
    Its a fantastic gauge that throws a very nice pattern. I like it far better than 20 gauge, but that affection is derived from just leasure shooting, not in any competitive or hunting scenario. I always thought that trap and skeet should have adopted 12-16-28-410 instead of omitting 16 gauge and adding 20. There used to be buckshot loads for it, and I know there are still buckshot recipes. Every Walmart in Texas carries at least some 28 gauge, and the dedicated sporting goods stores offer more. I dont know what area you're in, but I hope its the same.

  6. #6
    Site Supporter Oldherkpilot's Avatar
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    Dec 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCCY Marshal View Post
    The youngest (closer to teen than tyke) is not a fan of hard kickers but needs a shotgun. Twenty-eight gauge seems just the ticket despite limited load availability. So I just ordered her a Stevens 555 base model with extractors rather than ejectors to save the precious hulls. Handloading is very much going to be indicated, make top-off loading easy, and I don't like littering plastic in the hunting fields anyway.

    That said, I have zero experience with the gauge or doubles for that matter. Could therefore use a soundboard.

    Use: Hand-thrown clays, squirrel, hare, 'coon, ruffed grouse, crow, feral pigeon, turkey, and the like.

    Cover: Tight young growth in labyrinthine logging trails. Steep mountainsides.

    Seasons: Four but autumn, early winter, early spring for field use.

    Current Theory: Find the barrel which pri ts closest to POA and choke it more tightly. Other barrel choked more open with selector set to fire first for snap shots at ose flushing game with other selectable for longer shots. 28 gauge versus 410 bore for more shot, less shot stringing, and bit easier connection on the wing. Shells are also available right now. Double barrel for light weight and fit to youth with bonus break-action for ease of supervision. Shame 28 gauge single barrels are hens teeth with a price to match.

    Ammo: Ordered a bit of #6 and 275 rounds of #7 1/2. See if the six shot patterns respectably as a hopeful primary game load. Smaller shot as substitute-standard and practice unless it patterns notably better in which case default to it. Or would 7 1/2 in the open choke and #6 innthe tighter one make sense despite the added administrative thought involved?

    Not asking for validation in the purchase. But rather advice in running what has been bought within its intended usage. I'm sure someone here has spent some time swatting critters with a twenty-eight.
    This may be more of a concern with 12 and 20s, but ordinarily the lower barrel is fired first to make recoil less of a factor for the second shot. I have heard nothing but good words for the.28. Glad to hear you're taking care of the next generation of shooters.

  7. #7
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    Jul 2017
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    I hunt with the 28 gauge and find it a joy to shoot. Be aware that beyond 35 yards effectiveness decreases. I urge you to put a skeet choke in the bottom barrel and an improved cylinder in the top barrel. This combination increases hit probability.The modified choke will be too tight between for the first 30 yards. The gauge is not suited for so called long range shots. The lighter shot charge produces patterns that are more sparse than 20's and 12's, and for this reason the 28 ga is best used at ranges of 35 yards and less. I have made shots at longer range but some luck was involved. Consider having a premium recoil pad installed, and at this time you may determine that reducing stock length by 1/2 inch or so will improve fit.

    Choke tube interchangeability charts are available should you decide to buy other tubes. Some break open shotguns reset the safety when opening action. Others do not. Ascertain what this model does and train the shooter appropriately.I urge you to send in the warranty paperwork to Stevens and keep your receipt. Determine early if barrels shoot off to one side or too high or too low. I give this advice regardless of brand. Stevens has a good customer service rep. Fioochi makes premium shells for this gauge. A tad of grease on the hinge is a good idea.You can find others at custom loaders. Google.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by willie View Post
    ...the 28 ga is best used at ranges of 35 yards and less...

    ...Fioochi makes premium shells for this gauge...
    Out grouse flush close, fast, and are behind hard cover in a blink. The range limitation will conveniently be enforced by our primary game. Given the overlap with squirrel season, we'll have to think about the choke in the second barrel after patterning since it'd be nice to knock one out of a tree. Second shots on grouse are very, very rare around here so a different game animal with overlapping season may trump two more open chokes. I'll start her patterning with your suggestion, though.

    And glad to hear about Fiocchi. Have 75 rounds of their Golden Pheasant #6 shot and 275 rounds of their Shooting Dynamics High Velocity #7 1/2. Nice to hear that fat chunk of change will likely work out well.

  9. #9
    14.5" pull will likely be a lot too long for the YL. Do not be bashful about cutting it to fit. Most good Trap, Skeet, SC clubs have a contact for a stock fitter who can figure the length and do a neat job with it. Include a substantial recoil pad, 5.5 lbs is a light gun even in a light gauge.
    Code Name: JET STREAM

  10. #10
    Site Supporter farscott's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
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    Athens, AL, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Watson View Post
    14.5" pull will likely be a lot too long for the YL. Do not be bashful about cutting it to fit. Most good Trap, Skeet, SC clubs have a contact for a stock fitter who can figure the length and do a neat job with it. Include a substantial recoil pad, 5.5 lbs is a light gun even in a light gauge.
    The light weight is a factor. My Benelli Ultra Light is a bit over five pounds. Great for carrying and for small-game hunting. Nice for a round of clays. After that, the recoil does take its toll.

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