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Gun Rack Survey: Do Semiautos Rule?

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March 26, 2012

Gun Rack Survey: Do Semiautos Rule?

By Phil Bourjaily

This time every year I get to participate in Aiming for a Cure, a local celebrity preserve hunt/sporting clays shoot that benefits our hospital’s pediatric oncology patients. It’s a great event for a very good cause. I look forward to it every March.

I took a survey of the gun rack at the lodge where we all milled around before hunting or shooting clays. Semiautomatics far outnumbered O/Us and Benellis were the most numerous brand by far. This was mostly a hunting--as opposed to target shooting--crowd, but I was still struck by the number of Benellis, every one of which had a synthetic stock. In my group there were two O/Us and four Benellis: two SBEs, an M1 and a Vinci. Maybe Benellis are only popular in eastern Iowa, but I suspect it’s the case all over.

Among the other semiautos, there was such a scattering I’m not sure I could pick a runner up in popularity. There were a few Berettas, a Browning Maxus, an SX3 and a couple of 11-87s. One of the Berettas belonged to Haley Dunn, Iowa’s best international shooter. Having switched from international skeet to sporting clays and teaching, Haley, who shot skeet with a Beretta DT10 O/U, was shooting her new sporting gun, a Beretta A400.

She loves it. She can shoot heavy, target-crushing loads without undue recoil, and it will go many, many rounds between cleanings. She said, “When my students start getting serious about clays and want to spend $10,000 or more on a high end O/U, then have it stocked for a few thousand more, I tell them to buy a semiauto instead and use the shim kit to get it close to a good fit. They can spend the money they save on ammo, targets and coaching.” That is sensible advice.

Rather than shooting clays with a hunting semiauto like most of the participants, I look at the event as an opportunity to take my O/U target gun into the field for its annual two days of bloodletting. If it weren’t so heavy, I would hunt with it. It’s nearly impossible to miss birds in open country with a smooth, steady 8 ¾ pound, 32-inch barreled shotgun.

That said, I had a spectacular miss on a long, low crosser. I put the muzzle way in front of the pheasant, and wasn’t terribly surprised to miss. I was very surprised when the pheasant flew ten more yards and crashed squarely into the trunk of a small tree, killing itself. After the hunt the guide joked, “We’re doing it wrong. We all shoot lead, Phil shoots trees in front of them.”

“It’s better for the environment that way,” I said.

Comments (55)

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from RipperIII wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Benelli does a far better job in marketing their guns.
I have a close friend high up in the Beretta group, I own a SPIII in 20 ga., I use it for clays, trap and skeet primarily to sharpen my skills for wing shooting.
My semi auto is a cheap but sturdy Stoeger entry level 12ga. I'll shoot it for a change of pace...can't tell which gun performs the best in terms of clays busted or birds dropped, by my SPIII is far more fun to tote and shoot.
I think, as does my buddy, that the Beretta guns are superior to the Benelli guns.

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from srlarson wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

for shooting clays or chasing ring necks, still love my side by side's love the sight platform it gives....you can have your semi-auto's and O/U's......guess that's why they make different models.....

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from srlarson wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

for shooting clays or chasing ring necks, still love my side by side's love the sight platform it gives....you can have your semi-auto's and O/U's......guess that's why they make different models.....

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from ishawooa wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Phil: There are lots of Benellis in Wyoming, Montana, and the Dakotas. I have four, didn't start out to own that many, it just worked out. Two are synthetic and two wood, two SBEs and two Montefeltros, old habits die slowly and hard. I've been looking at that A-400 thinking that it might be a really good choice given its weight and perceived capabilities. My son feels the same about his 32 inch Winchester trap gun as you insofar as hunting. He will take it a couple times then switch back to a 28 ga O/U or a 20 auto. His longest shot on a pheasant is with his trap gun. From where he stood to where the rooster was picked up (it dropped and didn't glide) was 76-78 yards. This was in front of witnesses with extra full choke and #5 Federal lead. My longest shot, on the other hand, is considerably less and will go unpublished.

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from Mark-1 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

It's a fade swing IMHO.
I thought O/U's were passe for target clays for some time. Competitive shooters were digging out their 1100's or bought Beretta or Benelli* autos...including me. I returned to a tweaked out 1100 12-ga. I began shooting clay targets with this gun in the '70's.
I think Beretta autos are quiet compared to 1100's. Benelli's I hedge owning since I like 12-ga 7/8 oz loads for skeet. I have doubts Benelli's cycle this light load.

What gets me is none of these auto loaders are cheap. A new one will eat $1k, plus.

*Why do Italian names end with a vowel?

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from NHshtr wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

You mean they sell $10,000 shotguns?

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

When Benelli came out with their "Inertia driven Black Eagle that would accept the 3 1/2" shells it totally won over the waterfowl market. A high percentage of serious waterfowl hunters had to have a Black Eagle, and the bought one. It's been a long, long time since I saw a gun model win over the market so well. And there upland bird models sold well also. I don't think it's a fad. It's the Timex watch thing...just keeps on tickin. A very "utility" thing. Very easy to clean as well.

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from jay wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I've always preferred beretta's to benelli's. I have just one currently, an Xtrema II. Now that both gun lines are owned by Beretta, I wonder what, if anything, will happen with the benelli line.

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from Mark-1 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Sayfu, Ya gotta point. I always have under estimated the waterfowl influence on shotgunning.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Mark..Sales were greatly boosted for the waterfowlers because the Black Eagle would take the 3 1/2" shell, and for geese especially the waterfowler thought this was a big advantage. Since then ballistic tests have demonstrated that the 3 1/2" shell does not have such added great performance...a lot of xtra money wasted.

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from redfishunter wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I think Benellis are overrated pieces of crap. There's a lot of them down here too. Most guys have em cause their neighbor does. Or they think it's a status symbol. I've shot several and had several jam on me. Never been a fan of em.

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from redfishunter wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Sayfu is right about the 3 1/2 inch shell. I can't get it to pattern as well as the 3 inch. I guess if I was goose hunting I'd use them. By the way, I'll trade a legitimate turkey hunt or redfish on fly rod for a real deal goose hunt. Just in case anyone's reading.

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from Longhunter wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I own a SBE and it is an excellent shotgun. It handles 7/8 oz and waterfowl loads without any problems at all. I have never had it jam even a single time. I use it because it shoots better than most of my other shotguns. I do agree that the performance difference between the 3 vs the 31/2 inch load is minimal at best. That being said I would hate to see the semi autos rule the shotgun market. There are far too many fine SBS and OUs that deserve a second look.

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from larson014 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

i still like my SxS fox 12g... works for me and it will be 100 in 5 years!

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from Tim Platt wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

My best friend had to have a Super Black Eagle and I have never been impressed with it. Give me an 1100 or A-5 any day. I guess I am stuck in the 60's.

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from wolverine78 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I wise man once told me that "If God wanted us to shoot O/U's, he'd have made our eyes that way"

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from scratchgolf72 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

i pretty much exclusively carry an O/U when i hunt upland game birds. im actually going to sell my benelli this summer, i cant shoot it worth a $***...put tru glos on it, had the stock cut down, changed the cast, everything, just cant shoot it as well as i can other shotguns, no clue as to why.

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from Drew McClure wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I find that doing basic cleaning takes less time on this Citori vs these SBE2, 1187,870's, M2,1148,1100, less moving parts, less to go wrong. Cheers to low maintenance and dependable life partners.

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from z41 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Had an M1, excellent field gun, but, to me, trap shooting the recoil was sharp. I prefer gas autos a Browning Gold Hunter wood and blue of course. I can't take anything away from a 870 or model 12. Now that I think about it, I love guns.

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from buckhunter wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

The motor gave out on the duck boat one year and my buddy used his Black Eagle as a paddle. The gun never missed a beat. The guys that I know who shoot the Black Eagle have two things in common. They take their hunting seriously and they have higher than average incomes.

Phil, 32in barrel? Is all that extra steel really necessary?

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

My friend, a single guy up until recently, has been a duck hunting fool. He would get up at 2-3AM day, after day, after day. Him and his buddies would shoot hundreds of mallards in a season. The guy worked in a big Sporting Goods Store, and had discount access to all kinds of shotguns..price was not a consideration. He shot the Benelli Black Eagle, and would shoot nothing else. End of the day the gun stayed in the truck, and back at it again the next day. At the end of the season, he took the bolt mechanism out, and it was packed with crap behind the bolt. He stuck his finger in there, and wiped out lots of gunk in one finger insert....the gun never missed a beat all season long...and why he still shoots a Benelli auto, the last one he bought a Vinci.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

And buckhunter..."the swings the thing" on long crossing shots especially. I've got a DVD video on methods of shooting a shotgun by Bob Scott who designed that eye-cam video so you can see the lead they take, and Marty Fisher was the other guy that designs Sporting Clays courses. They shoot big pigeons, for one, in S. America, and they both are shooting a 32" barreled gun because of the long, crossing shots they often took. But it may not be necessary as well. All about that thing called "MO" when you swing on a bird...nothing to do with a sight plane.

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from Tom-Tom wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

@Sayfu--My Model 12 heavy duck is also my choice for most turkey hunting situations. Upon pattern testing I found that it prefered 1&5/8 oz loads over the 1& 7/8 oz loads. And the difference between #5 & #6 shot patterns was equally impressive. When steel became mandatory I retired the gun to turkey shoots and the occasional turky hunt. As for ducks I went back to my Model 12 with a modified choks.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

The 3 1/2" shell has not had good revues when it comes to patterning. Seems there is a limit to the amount of round pellet mass/wt. you can push at high speed, and produce an effective pattern beyond a certain distance. You just produce more recoil, while producing longer shot strings, and more "fliers" creating a poor pattern. I just read where a .458 elephant gun produces 65 foot lbs. of wallop to your shoulder...a 12 gauge "turkey load" produces 75 lbs. of wallop to your shoulder! Now how is the ave. dude going to head to the range, and pattern those loads? And that is probably why the gas guns that are vastly new and improved have had serious consideration that do not take the 3 1/2" shells. My waterfowl buddy went to the Vinci with its improvements in preventing blowback residue behind the bolt, and I do not think it takes the 3 1/2" shells.

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from Dad in PA wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

larson014 - My Fox 12ga SXS turned 100 in '09 still shoots great and is my favorite to take out bird hunting!

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from NorCal Cazadora wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Been shooting a semiauto the whole time I've been hunting (all of six years), and I'm starting to wish I shot a pump. So many moving parts in an AL, and having a bolt tube that can rust and turn your gun into a single-shot is just brilliant (cough cough Beretta!).

But I recently found a stainless steel bolt tube on the Brownell's website - maybe that will restore my faith in my autoloader. You'd think a gun that's commonly used in a marsh in fowl weather would've come with something a little more rust-proof.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Redfish, I have yet to shoot a turkey. Would love to do a tom someday. So many geese here it's hardly fun going out after them any more. Not a lot of hunters either, especially after moose opener first weekend of October. Come up and I'll show you how it's done. I certainly have enough dogs to get er done. But we'll have to stick to hunting and no talking politics.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I have switched from my 870 to original A-5 for pheasants. I'm much more deadly with the 870 but it's got a fixed full choke and will mess up the birds. The Browning Light 12 is lighter to carry and has modified barrel. Still trying to get adjusted to the change. It will come. Late in the season when the birds are spooky I'll sometimes switch back to the old pump. Like Phill, I find I shoot a heavier gun much better, especially for jump shooting. I really don't mind the extra weight either. Heck, I'm out there for the exercise in the first place. The more tired I get, the more pounds I have shed. Same reasoning behind why I always park in the lot as far away from the store as I can.

Shooting an auto is no big deal to me. I find that most hunters are much more careful with their shots if they're NOT shooting autos. A few years back I was hunting geese with a guy with a fancy new Bennelli (sp?). The honkers would come in and he'd rattle off three shots before I could get one ejected. By then the geese were nicely flared and it was a simple matter for me to knock down a couple. I was on my fifth and final bird and he still hadn't put a goose in the bag (he hit one good that I had to bring down). I missed only two shots all morning and even had a triple! Not bad for steel shot. The triple really cheezed this fella off. He got mad and left the set to sulk at the fenceline a quarter mile away. He was afraid if he stayed I'd start filling his limit. I don't believe in that crap.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Cazadora,

Find yourself an old Smith & Wesson (Howa) Super 1000 Waterfowler. Shoots all the time, lasts a long time. Digests everyting from trap loads to 3" hot loads with no adjustments, settings or jamming. Still blasting when the other guys are un-jamming their fancy new store-bought 10 Benjamin guns....

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from Mark-1 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Ontario Honker,

Three Dead in the Air? Geese at that? Whoa, I'm impressed! :-)

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from redfishunter wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Haha awesome. The season ends in a month down here so it's likely too late, plus I am completely out of vacation time, if you're going to make a trip I'd want plenty of time to be sure you get one. However if you want to fly to Jackson for a weekend feel free, maybe the turkey's will want to cooperate. Let's give it a few months and I'll bring it up again for maybe next year. You should be warned though, for each bird I kill I spend hours upon hours in the woods, and hike no telling how many miles. But there are times were everything goes just right and I'm done by 7.

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from redfishunter wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

And we will have a gentlemen's agreement not to speak about politics. I will also try to my best to refrain from Canadian jokes.

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from deadeyedick wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

ALMOST FORGOT TO ADD THIS . I HAVE FRIENDS THAT GO THRU SHOTGUNS LIKE CRAP THRU A GOOSE AND THEY NEVER SEEM TO GET IT. THE BEST PART OF ANY SHOT GUN IS THE PERSON SHOOTING IT

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Mark, a triple on ducks is harder I think. I have made a few triples on geese. A couple come to mind besides the one above. Haven't done it for several years. The key there is not to try for it. Just try to kill one bird. Then go to the next. And the next if you get the first two. Personally, I'm not a big fan of doubles or triples and for that reason I seldom rush my shots. I'd rather take one out of a flock or maybe two and wait for the next flock. I'm never in a big hurry to have to stop hunting. Case in point: one of the few days this past fall that I limited I actually had all five geese BEFORE the big flocks started coming in. I was frantically trying to pull up the decoys while the honkers were literally landing on me in the hundreds. Drove my poor dogs nuts. I also have the dubious distinction of nailing three honkers in one shot many decades ago. One of them was probably the biggest goose I have ever bagged. Back then two was the daily limit so I wasn't real thrilled with that accomplishment that day. Had to walk down the highway a couple of miles with them in full sight to get home. Glad I didn't get pinched but I don't leave game in the field.

Redfish, I'll be sixty in a few months but can still walk the pads off my hunting dogs ... and most guys I hunt with thirty years younger.

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from redfishunter wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

OH, go read my post on your photo titled "Birthday Honkers"

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from springerman3 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Hey Phil ! You know the love affair I have with my 20 gauge 1187 and yes it will jam when I am not dilligent in my cleaning responsibilities. However it negates recoil so much that I have become a much better shot since I started using it 5 - 6 years ago. It works on both live birds and clays equally well ( shooter possibly responsible ? )! I do prefer a sxs ( 20 gauge please ) in the grouse woods and hope that never changes. I have shot turkeys with a 20 gauge 870 with 1 oz of # 6 shot, I shake my head when I read about folks " needing " a 12 gauge with 1 1/2 oz of shot or more.
Looking forward to shooting with you this spring/summer and using my new reloads ( 3/4 oz # 8 )
Amen to deadeyedick on his last post:)

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from deadeyedick wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I APOLOGIZE FOR PUTTING MY POST UP 3 TIMES DON'T KNOW HOW I DID SO SORRY GUYS

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Here's an observation. I watch a lot of outdoor shows, bird hunting shows, and fly fishing shows on my dish. I bet of the last 20 waterfowl shows featuring a handfull of excellent gunners advertising the shell maker shells they are using etc... Phil probably has been on those shows. I don't think I have EVER seen a gunner that hasn't used an autoloader!! I just watched today, a bunch of excellent gunners working a pheasant field with blockers at the end, and they were promoting how food plots, and these incubators can enhance the pheasant,and quail population. They were dumping pheasants all over the place using good bird dogs as well...I saw ONE guy that shot a Benelli pump gun, the rest had autoloaders. Guys can fall in luv with their pet shotguns, old classics that fit them well, and they shoot them well, and not want to buy another shotgun, but the modern, new autoloaders are the guns shooters are preferring over the other models for good reason. The biggest sales at least.

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from larson014 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

deadeye why are you screaming at me?

dad in pa: glad there's another one like mine still out there... no MiM parts too! lol

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from buckstopper wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I shoot a Citori Steel Special that will take a 3 1/2" shell I use for waterfowl. But I got my son a Benelli SBE aka an Arkansas Purdley!

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from dodom wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Phil, as a Mainer, who loves duck and partridge hunting, i own a 12 gauge Benelli Montefeltro in left hand and an 11-87 in left hand. the benelli if for Partridge and the 11-87 for duck. I have used both in either world. However the lightness and ease of the Benelli in the hills if far superior than the Remington. My 11-87 on the other hand, sitting in my blind or at the bottom of my canoe, is perfect fit and balance of weight for Duck on the marsh or backwaters. Possibly why they came first and second at you shoot. Folks that bird hunt need 2 guns. One for sittin' one for brush bustin' Love em both want to get more!

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from Tim Platt wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I had an Ithaca 37 and an 870 Wingmaster. Pretty guns that shoot well but I am just not good at pumping and aiming and shooting. Semi-autos rule in my shotgun world. As soon as I got an 1100 I started dropping doubles and triples on quail.

I still mostly deer hunt with a single shot Ruger. That's all I ever need.

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from Basheer Benhalim wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

There is a reason why Benelli's are so popular, the go boom every time you pull the trigger. Cycle every time, drop them in muddy water, shoot them all day in the dry dusty heat and they keep shooting.

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from crowman wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I have shot a lefthand Rem 870 for 30 plus years but it never fit me that great on the stock when I mounted it because I have a long face and couldn't get down low enough on the stock to see a rib like you should. I always saw the rib as sloping uphill and I shot it like a trap gun and did very well but I had to adjust to the shotgun. When Benelli came out with a lefthand SBE and I threw it up for the first time and I could see the rib as you were suppose to so I bought one. Someone said Benelli just marketed better but I say they did their homework on how the fit would be with the 3 shims and it sold itself. Still have my 870 but with a shortened 18 1/2 inch barrel and it's job is an alley cleaner while my Benelli job is dropping birds.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Crowman, I have a long neck and had the same problem. Added a slip-on recoil pad to my 870 and that did the trick. In really cold weather when I've got about four layers on I'll slip it off.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Most days in the field I'm batting at least .500 with the 870. Less consistent with the Browning A-5 but on average probably about the same. Using the 870 I seem to get more game per round than the other guys I have hunted with who use autos. My cousin is one of the few guys who hunted with me and shot better but he too was using a pump. I haven't shot clays for maybe thirty-five years so can't make any comparisons there. With the old pump I usually don't get three shots off at pheasants but I rarely need to and I think there's something to that. If I was starting a young fella off hunting I WOULD NOT buy him an auto. Anyway, I'll say it again, shooting better than the next guy has never been that important. First of all, there's rarely a "next guy". Secondly, the longer it takes me to fill the bag the longer I'm in the outdoors and if I don't get it filled, well that's just a few birds less I have to clean and eat before I can be back in the field shooting more. Moral of the story: why is expert shooting so important? Mostly because the guys who sell the gear and guns tell you it is. Enjoy your time in the field. Killing stuff is just a bonus.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Redfish, forget about those 3.5" shells up here. Not needed. They do more damage to your shoulder and pocketbook than the geese.

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from tstep522 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Synthetic semi-autos are for hunting, Beretta A400 Xtreme, and O/U's are for clays in my opinion, Beretta 682 Gold E

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from RES1956 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Possibly the best I've ever shot doves was with a 325 Browning that sported 32" barrels. A great dog that didn't mind long retrieves really made the day with that gun.
However, I cannot dispute the sense in a gas operated semi for sporting or upland game. The Benelli's just have too much muzzle jump and every one I have shot patterned a full half pattern low at 40 yards. Contrary to some popular belief, the third shot in an auto IS valuable to me, as is the fact that an auto can be loaded faster and easier than a sxs or o/u. In the heat of the firefight, when birds are flushing fast and furious or doves are coming in endless waves, keeping the gun loaded is important.
Unless you shoot a lot, like at trap, skeet or sporting, at the end of the day, your shoulder will be glad you chose that gas operated auto.

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from Tigerbeetle wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I shot a Rem A5 from the time I was big enough to swing it when I was 11 or 12 on the farm in Iowa, until it was stolen while I was in college. Otherwise, I would probably still be shooting it. It was made somewhere around 1912 because I found an 2 Iowa hunting licenses (1912 and 1913) rolled up in one of the stock holes one time when I took the butt plate off. The licenses were lost in a fire. A real part of history I still wish I had. I acquired a Win Mod 12 heavy duck gun (circa 1954)in 1961 for the princely sum of $40 that I used on through college and in Montana after graduation, for ducks and pheasant. I also have an Ithaca Mdl 37 in 20 ga. and an Ithaca 100 SKB S/S in 20 ga. that I have had since the late '60s/early 1970s. I shot the 37 on doves for several years and even got a 28 in. modified barrel for those days when the birds were flying a little higher. Then I got my Ithaca S/S in 1971. It is still my all time favorite for doves... 28 inch full and mod with 3 " chambers. I still have some of the only box of 3 inch shells I ever bought for it. Steel shot became mandatory the next year, and I never carried it duck hunting again. My father-in-law gave me a Rem 1100 12 ga. in the mid 70s for a birthday present. It had a 26 in. modified barrel which I had bored out for screw-in chokes around 1980. I really like to shoot skeet with it and occasionally for doves. I used it on ducks this past January in Arkansas with steel shot and a Skeet 2 choke. I shot an unbelievable number of doubles (for me, anyway) over the two days we shot. Stuttgart is an amazing place to hunt ducks and geese.

My F-i-L also gave me a Rottweil 720 Super Trap single barrel that surprised me no end. He wasn't able to stay afoot long enough to shoot anymore because his knees gave out on him. I shot 2 rounds of 23 the first time I took it to the range. He also gave me a Browning Mdl 12 in 20 ga.for Christmas one year. He had a steller collection of shotguns of which I was fortunate enough to get a couple.

My general go-to gun for dove and skeet nowadays is my Citori in 12 ga. I had always wanted an O/U and this one caught my eye when I had just happened to save up enough money to get a used one at a LGS.

Now between age, and mostly location, I just don't have the time and places to go shoot all of them every spring/summer/fall/winter. I hate that! I love to shoot and hunt even more, and all those great guns are vying for my time.

I have a bunch of rifles and pistols that also try to get out of the house with me. Time sure does fly when you get old. There absolutely are fewer days and weekends in every year that comes along. I guess I should be quiet and quit complaining. At least the years are still coming and going. That beats the alternatives. Life is good.

Memories are worth more than anything I can think of off hand. Except getting out in the field or range with a shotgun/rifle/pistol. And I really don't care if it is a semiauto, S/S, pump gun, O/U or single barrel. Now, what was the question? Tigerbeetle (Go Mizzou!)

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Tigerbeetle, where did you hunt in Montana and where did you go to college? I did my BA at Missoula, class of '78.

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from New Age Bubba wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Well there I was getting all excited about the Rem 1100 50th ani. Guess I should buy a Fiat Cinquecento for my next RV too! Not!

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from billerooo wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I have shot a SBE for 10 years. And have shot 3.5" shells since they came out. I say I believe in the load when it comes to geese and turkeys - but in honesty most of the time I probably do not need that extra bit. Now over the last few winters I have been shooting a cynergy steel with 3.5s. I don't miss that third shot very often. And like Ontario says - the joy of being in the field is what it is all about - if I shoot a double then I am happy. I bought my son an M2 in 20ga but in the goose field he shoots my old SBE. Nobody else in my group likes my heavy cynergy but thats fine by me. Everyone else shoots Benelli autoloaders.

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from Pray- hunt-work wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Dodom- Maine sportsman show is being held at the Augusta Civic Center starting today at 1 pm and going on until 4 pm sunday. Thought I'd give you a heads up being another Mainer and all.

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from MReeder wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

As usual I'm behind the times and out of the loop and kind of enjoy it that way. I own an O/U, a couple of side-by-sides and two pumps. The only semi-auto in the house is my wife's little Weatherby SA-08 youth 20. She's barely 5-feet tall and only started shooting a couple of years ago, and I figured a semi-auto would give her less to think about and less recoil. Having never owned a semi-auto of any kind before, I was impressed by its function and soft kick but put off by how much trouble it is to clean the darned thing. However, I only shoot a couple of rounds of skeet or trap once a month or so at most until dove season starts getting near, and I don't do any competitive shooting. If I did -- or if I did much goose hunting -- I might be temped to pick up a semi-auto myself.

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from wolverine78 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I wise man once told me that "If God wanted us to shoot O/U's, he'd have made our eyes that way"

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from srlarson wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

for shooting clays or chasing ring necks, still love my side by side's love the sight platform it gives....you can have your semi-auto's and O/U's......guess that's why they make different models.....

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Mark, a triple on ducks is harder I think. I have made a few triples on geese. A couple come to mind besides the one above. Haven't done it for several years. The key there is not to try for it. Just try to kill one bird. Then go to the next. And the next if you get the first two. Personally, I'm not a big fan of doubles or triples and for that reason I seldom rush my shots. I'd rather take one out of a flock or maybe two and wait for the next flock. I'm never in a big hurry to have to stop hunting. Case in point: one of the few days this past fall that I limited I actually had all five geese BEFORE the big flocks started coming in. I was frantically trying to pull up the decoys while the honkers were literally landing on me in the hundreds. Drove my poor dogs nuts. I also have the dubious distinction of nailing three honkers in one shot many decades ago. One of them was probably the biggest goose I have ever bagged. Back then two was the daily limit so I wasn't real thrilled with that accomplishment that day. Had to walk down the highway a couple of miles with them in full sight to get home. Glad I didn't get pinched but I don't leave game in the field.

Redfish, I'll be sixty in a few months but can still walk the pads off my hunting dogs ... and most guys I hunt with thirty years younger.

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from srlarson wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

for shooting clays or chasing ring necks, still love my side by side's love the sight platform it gives....you can have your semi-auto's and O/U's......guess that's why they make different models.....

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from Mark-1 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

It's a fade swing IMHO.
I thought O/U's were passe for target clays for some time. Competitive shooters were digging out their 1100's or bought Beretta or Benelli* autos...including me. I returned to a tweaked out 1100 12-ga. I began shooting clay targets with this gun in the '70's.
I think Beretta autos are quiet compared to 1100's. Benelli's I hedge owning since I like 12-ga 7/8 oz loads for skeet. I have doubts Benelli's cycle this light load.

What gets me is none of these auto loaders are cheap. A new one will eat $1k, plus.

*Why do Italian names end with a vowel?

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

When Benelli came out with their "Inertia driven Black Eagle that would accept the 3 1/2" shells it totally won over the waterfowl market. A high percentage of serious waterfowl hunters had to have a Black Eagle, and the bought one. It's been a long, long time since I saw a gun model win over the market so well. And there upland bird models sold well also. I don't think it's a fad. It's the Timex watch thing...just keeps on tickin. A very "utility" thing. Very easy to clean as well.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Mark..Sales were greatly boosted for the waterfowlers because the Black Eagle would take the 3 1/2" shell, and for geese especially the waterfowler thought this was a big advantage. Since then ballistic tests have demonstrated that the 3 1/2" shell does not have such added great performance...a lot of xtra money wasted.

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from larson014 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

i still like my SxS fox 12g... works for me and it will be 100 in 5 years!

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from Tim Platt wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

My best friend had to have a Super Black Eagle and I have never been impressed with it. Give me an 1100 or A-5 any day. I guess I am stuck in the 60's.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

The 3 1/2" shell has not had good revues when it comes to patterning. Seems there is a limit to the amount of round pellet mass/wt. you can push at high speed, and produce an effective pattern beyond a certain distance. You just produce more recoil, while producing longer shot strings, and more "fliers" creating a poor pattern. I just read where a .458 elephant gun produces 65 foot lbs. of wallop to your shoulder...a 12 gauge "turkey load" produces 75 lbs. of wallop to your shoulder! Now how is the ave. dude going to head to the range, and pattern those loads? And that is probably why the gas guns that are vastly new and improved have had serious consideration that do not take the 3 1/2" shells. My waterfowl buddy went to the Vinci with its improvements in preventing blowback residue behind the bolt, and I do not think it takes the 3 1/2" shells.

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from NorCal Cazadora wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Been shooting a semiauto the whole time I've been hunting (all of six years), and I'm starting to wish I shot a pump. So many moving parts in an AL, and having a bolt tube that can rust and turn your gun into a single-shot is just brilliant (cough cough Beretta!).

But I recently found a stainless steel bolt tube on the Brownell's website - maybe that will restore my faith in my autoloader. You'd think a gun that's commonly used in a marsh in fowl weather would've come with something a little more rust-proof.

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from deadeyedick wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I APOLOGIZE FOR PUTTING MY POST UP 3 TIMES DON'T KNOW HOW I DID SO SORRY GUYS

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from larson014 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

deadeye why are you screaming at me?

dad in pa: glad there's another one like mine still out there... no MiM parts too! lol

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from RipperIII wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Benelli does a far better job in marketing their guns.
I have a close friend high up in the Beretta group, I own a SPIII in 20 ga., I use it for clays, trap and skeet primarily to sharpen my skills for wing shooting.
My semi auto is a cheap but sturdy Stoeger entry level 12ga. I'll shoot it for a change of pace...can't tell which gun performs the best in terms of clays busted or birds dropped, by my SPIII is far more fun to tote and shoot.
I think, as does my buddy, that the Beretta guns are superior to the Benelli guns.

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from ishawooa wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Phil: There are lots of Benellis in Wyoming, Montana, and the Dakotas. I have four, didn't start out to own that many, it just worked out. Two are synthetic and two wood, two SBEs and two Montefeltros, old habits die slowly and hard. I've been looking at that A-400 thinking that it might be a really good choice given its weight and perceived capabilities. My son feels the same about his 32 inch Winchester trap gun as you insofar as hunting. He will take it a couple times then switch back to a 28 ga O/U or a 20 auto. His longest shot on a pheasant is with his trap gun. From where he stood to where the rooster was picked up (it dropped and didn't glide) was 76-78 yards. This was in front of witnesses with extra full choke and #5 Federal lead. My longest shot, on the other hand, is considerably less and will go unpublished.

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from NHshtr wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

You mean they sell $10,000 shotguns?

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from jay wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I've always preferred beretta's to benelli's. I have just one currently, an Xtrema II. Now that both gun lines are owned by Beretta, I wonder what, if anything, will happen with the benelli line.

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from Mark-1 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Sayfu, Ya gotta point. I always have under estimated the waterfowl influence on shotgunning.

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from redfishunter wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I think Benellis are overrated pieces of crap. There's a lot of them down here too. Most guys have em cause their neighbor does. Or they think it's a status symbol. I've shot several and had several jam on me. Never been a fan of em.

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from redfishunter wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Sayfu is right about the 3 1/2 inch shell. I can't get it to pattern as well as the 3 inch. I guess if I was goose hunting I'd use them. By the way, I'll trade a legitimate turkey hunt or redfish on fly rod for a real deal goose hunt. Just in case anyone's reading.

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from Longhunter wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I own a SBE and it is an excellent shotgun. It handles 7/8 oz and waterfowl loads without any problems at all. I have never had it jam even a single time. I use it because it shoots better than most of my other shotguns. I do agree that the performance difference between the 3 vs the 31/2 inch load is minimal at best. That being said I would hate to see the semi autos rule the shotgun market. There are far too many fine SBS and OUs that deserve a second look.

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from scratchgolf72 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

i pretty much exclusively carry an O/U when i hunt upland game birds. im actually going to sell my benelli this summer, i cant shoot it worth a $***...put tru glos on it, had the stock cut down, changed the cast, everything, just cant shoot it as well as i can other shotguns, no clue as to why.

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from Drew McClure wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I find that doing basic cleaning takes less time on this Citori vs these SBE2, 1187,870's, M2,1148,1100, less moving parts, less to go wrong. Cheers to low maintenance and dependable life partners.

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from z41 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Had an M1, excellent field gun, but, to me, trap shooting the recoil was sharp. I prefer gas autos a Browning Gold Hunter wood and blue of course. I can't take anything away from a 870 or model 12. Now that I think about it, I love guns.

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from buckhunter wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

The motor gave out on the duck boat one year and my buddy used his Black Eagle as a paddle. The gun never missed a beat. The guys that I know who shoot the Black Eagle have two things in common. They take their hunting seriously and they have higher than average incomes.

Phil, 32in barrel? Is all that extra steel really necessary?

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

My friend, a single guy up until recently, has been a duck hunting fool. He would get up at 2-3AM day, after day, after day. Him and his buddies would shoot hundreds of mallards in a season. The guy worked in a big Sporting Goods Store, and had discount access to all kinds of shotguns..price was not a consideration. He shot the Benelli Black Eagle, and would shoot nothing else. End of the day the gun stayed in the truck, and back at it again the next day. At the end of the season, he took the bolt mechanism out, and it was packed with crap behind the bolt. He stuck his finger in there, and wiped out lots of gunk in one finger insert....the gun never missed a beat all season long...and why he still shoots a Benelli auto, the last one he bought a Vinci.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

And buckhunter..."the swings the thing" on long crossing shots especially. I've got a DVD video on methods of shooting a shotgun by Bob Scott who designed that eye-cam video so you can see the lead they take, and Marty Fisher was the other guy that designs Sporting Clays courses. They shoot big pigeons, for one, in S. America, and they both are shooting a 32" barreled gun because of the long, crossing shots they often took. But it may not be necessary as well. All about that thing called "MO" when you swing on a bird...nothing to do with a sight plane.

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from Tom-Tom wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

@Sayfu--My Model 12 heavy duck is also my choice for most turkey hunting situations. Upon pattern testing I found that it prefered 1&5/8 oz loads over the 1& 7/8 oz loads. And the difference between #5 & #6 shot patterns was equally impressive. When steel became mandatory I retired the gun to turkey shoots and the occasional turky hunt. As for ducks I went back to my Model 12 with a modified choks.

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from Dad in PA wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

larson014 - My Fox 12ga SXS turned 100 in '09 still shoots great and is my favorite to take out bird hunting!

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Redfish, I have yet to shoot a turkey. Would love to do a tom someday. So many geese here it's hardly fun going out after them any more. Not a lot of hunters either, especially after moose opener first weekend of October. Come up and I'll show you how it's done. I certainly have enough dogs to get er done. But we'll have to stick to hunting and no talking politics.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I have switched from my 870 to original A-5 for pheasants. I'm much more deadly with the 870 but it's got a fixed full choke and will mess up the birds. The Browning Light 12 is lighter to carry and has modified barrel. Still trying to get adjusted to the change. It will come. Late in the season when the birds are spooky I'll sometimes switch back to the old pump. Like Phill, I find I shoot a heavier gun much better, especially for jump shooting. I really don't mind the extra weight either. Heck, I'm out there for the exercise in the first place. The more tired I get, the more pounds I have shed. Same reasoning behind why I always park in the lot as far away from the store as I can.

Shooting an auto is no big deal to me. I find that most hunters are much more careful with their shots if they're NOT shooting autos. A few years back I was hunting geese with a guy with a fancy new Bennelli (sp?). The honkers would come in and he'd rattle off three shots before I could get one ejected. By then the geese were nicely flared and it was a simple matter for me to knock down a couple. I was on my fifth and final bird and he still hadn't put a goose in the bag (he hit one good that I had to bring down). I missed only two shots all morning and even had a triple! Not bad for steel shot. The triple really cheezed this fella off. He got mad and left the set to sulk at the fenceline a quarter mile away. He was afraid if he stayed I'd start filling his limit. I don't believe in that crap.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Cazadora,

Find yourself an old Smith & Wesson (Howa) Super 1000 Waterfowler. Shoots all the time, lasts a long time. Digests everyting from trap loads to 3" hot loads with no adjustments, settings or jamming. Still blasting when the other guys are un-jamming their fancy new store-bought 10 Benjamin guns....

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from Mark-1 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Ontario Honker,

Three Dead in the Air? Geese at that? Whoa, I'm impressed! :-)

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from redfishunter wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Haha awesome. The season ends in a month down here so it's likely too late, plus I am completely out of vacation time, if you're going to make a trip I'd want plenty of time to be sure you get one. However if you want to fly to Jackson for a weekend feel free, maybe the turkey's will want to cooperate. Let's give it a few months and I'll bring it up again for maybe next year. You should be warned though, for each bird I kill I spend hours upon hours in the woods, and hike no telling how many miles. But there are times were everything goes just right and I'm done by 7.

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from redfishunter wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

And we will have a gentlemen's agreement not to speak about politics. I will also try to my best to refrain from Canadian jokes.

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from deadeyedick wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

ALMOST FORGOT TO ADD THIS . I HAVE FRIENDS THAT GO THRU SHOTGUNS LIKE CRAP THRU A GOOSE AND THEY NEVER SEEM TO GET IT. THE BEST PART OF ANY SHOT GUN IS THE PERSON SHOOTING IT

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from redfishunter wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

OH, go read my post on your photo titled "Birthday Honkers"

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from springerman3 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Hey Phil ! You know the love affair I have with my 20 gauge 1187 and yes it will jam when I am not dilligent in my cleaning responsibilities. However it negates recoil so much that I have become a much better shot since I started using it 5 - 6 years ago. It works on both live birds and clays equally well ( shooter possibly responsible ? )! I do prefer a sxs ( 20 gauge please ) in the grouse woods and hope that never changes. I have shot turkeys with a 20 gauge 870 with 1 oz of # 6 shot, I shake my head when I read about folks " needing " a 12 gauge with 1 1/2 oz of shot or more.
Looking forward to shooting with you this spring/summer and using my new reloads ( 3/4 oz # 8 )
Amen to deadeyedick on his last post:)

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Here's an observation. I watch a lot of outdoor shows, bird hunting shows, and fly fishing shows on my dish. I bet of the last 20 waterfowl shows featuring a handfull of excellent gunners advertising the shell maker shells they are using etc... Phil probably has been on those shows. I don't think I have EVER seen a gunner that hasn't used an autoloader!! I just watched today, a bunch of excellent gunners working a pheasant field with blockers at the end, and they were promoting how food plots, and these incubators can enhance the pheasant,and quail population. They were dumping pheasants all over the place using good bird dogs as well...I saw ONE guy that shot a Benelli pump gun, the rest had autoloaders. Guys can fall in luv with their pet shotguns, old classics that fit them well, and they shoot them well, and not want to buy another shotgun, but the modern, new autoloaders are the guns shooters are preferring over the other models for good reason. The biggest sales at least.

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from buckstopper wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I shoot a Citori Steel Special that will take a 3 1/2" shell I use for waterfowl. But I got my son a Benelli SBE aka an Arkansas Purdley!

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from dodom wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Phil, as a Mainer, who loves duck and partridge hunting, i own a 12 gauge Benelli Montefeltro in left hand and an 11-87 in left hand. the benelli if for Partridge and the 11-87 for duck. I have used both in either world. However the lightness and ease of the Benelli in the hills if far superior than the Remington. My 11-87 on the other hand, sitting in my blind or at the bottom of my canoe, is perfect fit and balance of weight for Duck on the marsh or backwaters. Possibly why they came first and second at you shoot. Folks that bird hunt need 2 guns. One for sittin' one for brush bustin' Love em both want to get more!

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from Tim Platt wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I had an Ithaca 37 and an 870 Wingmaster. Pretty guns that shoot well but I am just not good at pumping and aiming and shooting. Semi-autos rule in my shotgun world. As soon as I got an 1100 I started dropping doubles and triples on quail.

I still mostly deer hunt with a single shot Ruger. That's all I ever need.

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from Basheer Benhalim wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

There is a reason why Benelli's are so popular, the go boom every time you pull the trigger. Cycle every time, drop them in muddy water, shoot them all day in the dry dusty heat and they keep shooting.

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from crowman wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I have shot a lefthand Rem 870 for 30 plus years but it never fit me that great on the stock when I mounted it because I have a long face and couldn't get down low enough on the stock to see a rib like you should. I always saw the rib as sloping uphill and I shot it like a trap gun and did very well but I had to adjust to the shotgun. When Benelli came out with a lefthand SBE and I threw it up for the first time and I could see the rib as you were suppose to so I bought one. Someone said Benelli just marketed better but I say they did their homework on how the fit would be with the 3 shims and it sold itself. Still have my 870 but with a shortened 18 1/2 inch barrel and it's job is an alley cleaner while my Benelli job is dropping birds.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Crowman, I have a long neck and had the same problem. Added a slip-on recoil pad to my 870 and that did the trick. In really cold weather when I've got about four layers on I'll slip it off.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Most days in the field I'm batting at least .500 with the 870. Less consistent with the Browning A-5 but on average probably about the same. Using the 870 I seem to get more game per round than the other guys I have hunted with who use autos. My cousin is one of the few guys who hunted with me and shot better but he too was using a pump. I haven't shot clays for maybe thirty-five years so can't make any comparisons there. With the old pump I usually don't get three shots off at pheasants but I rarely need to and I think there's something to that. If I was starting a young fella off hunting I WOULD NOT buy him an auto. Anyway, I'll say it again, shooting better than the next guy has never been that important. First of all, there's rarely a "next guy". Secondly, the longer it takes me to fill the bag the longer I'm in the outdoors and if I don't get it filled, well that's just a few birds less I have to clean and eat before I can be back in the field shooting more. Moral of the story: why is expert shooting so important? Mostly because the guys who sell the gear and guns tell you it is. Enjoy your time in the field. Killing stuff is just a bonus.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Redfish, forget about those 3.5" shells up here. Not needed. They do more damage to your shoulder and pocketbook than the geese.

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from tstep522 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Synthetic semi-autos are for hunting, Beretta A400 Xtreme, and O/U's are for clays in my opinion, Beretta 682 Gold E

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from RES1956 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Possibly the best I've ever shot doves was with a 325 Browning that sported 32" barrels. A great dog that didn't mind long retrieves really made the day with that gun.
However, I cannot dispute the sense in a gas operated semi for sporting or upland game. The Benelli's just have too much muzzle jump and every one I have shot patterned a full half pattern low at 40 yards. Contrary to some popular belief, the third shot in an auto IS valuable to me, as is the fact that an auto can be loaded faster and easier than a sxs or o/u. In the heat of the firefight, when birds are flushing fast and furious or doves are coming in endless waves, keeping the gun loaded is important.
Unless you shoot a lot, like at trap, skeet or sporting, at the end of the day, your shoulder will be glad you chose that gas operated auto.

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from Tigerbeetle wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I shot a Rem A5 from the time I was big enough to swing it when I was 11 or 12 on the farm in Iowa, until it was stolen while I was in college. Otherwise, I would probably still be shooting it. It was made somewhere around 1912 because I found an 2 Iowa hunting licenses (1912 and 1913) rolled up in one of the stock holes one time when I took the butt plate off. The licenses were lost in a fire. A real part of history I still wish I had. I acquired a Win Mod 12 heavy duck gun (circa 1954)in 1961 for the princely sum of $40 that I used on through college and in Montana after graduation, for ducks and pheasant. I also have an Ithaca Mdl 37 in 20 ga. and an Ithaca 100 SKB S/S in 20 ga. that I have had since the late '60s/early 1970s. I shot the 37 on doves for several years and even got a 28 in. modified barrel for those days when the birds were flying a little higher. Then I got my Ithaca S/S in 1971. It is still my all time favorite for doves... 28 inch full and mod with 3 " chambers. I still have some of the only box of 3 inch shells I ever bought for it. Steel shot became mandatory the next year, and I never carried it duck hunting again. My father-in-law gave me a Rem 1100 12 ga. in the mid 70s for a birthday present. It had a 26 in. modified barrel which I had bored out for screw-in chokes around 1980. I really like to shoot skeet with it and occasionally for doves. I used it on ducks this past January in Arkansas with steel shot and a Skeet 2 choke. I shot an unbelievable number of doubles (for me, anyway) over the two days we shot. Stuttgart is an amazing place to hunt ducks and geese.

My F-i-L also gave me a Rottweil 720 Super Trap single barrel that surprised me no end. He wasn't able to stay afoot long enough to shoot anymore because his knees gave out on him. I shot 2 rounds of 23 the first time I took it to the range. He also gave me a Browning Mdl 12 in 20 ga.for Christmas one year. He had a steller collection of shotguns of which I was fortunate enough to get a couple.

My general go-to gun for dove and skeet nowadays is my Citori in 12 ga. I had always wanted an O/U and this one caught my eye when I had just happened to save up enough money to get a used one at a LGS.

Now between age, and mostly location, I just don't have the time and places to go shoot all of them every spring/summer/fall/winter. I hate that! I love to shoot and hunt even more, and all those great guns are vying for my time.

I have a bunch of rifles and pistols that also try to get out of the house with me. Time sure does fly when you get old. There absolutely are fewer days and weekends in every year that comes along. I guess I should be quiet and quit complaining. At least the years are still coming and going. That beats the alternatives. Life is good.

Memories are worth more than anything I can think of off hand. Except getting out in the field or range with a shotgun/rifle/pistol. And I really don't care if it is a semiauto, S/S, pump gun, O/U or single barrel. Now, what was the question? Tigerbeetle (Go Mizzou!)

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Tigerbeetle, where did you hunt in Montana and where did you go to college? I did my BA at Missoula, class of '78.

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from New Age Bubba wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Well there I was getting all excited about the Rem 1100 50th ani. Guess I should buy a Fiat Cinquecento for my next RV too! Not!

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from billerooo wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I have shot a SBE for 10 years. And have shot 3.5" shells since they came out. I say I believe in the load when it comes to geese and turkeys - but in honesty most of the time I probably do not need that extra bit. Now over the last few winters I have been shooting a cynergy steel with 3.5s. I don't miss that third shot very often. And like Ontario says - the joy of being in the field is what it is all about - if I shoot a double then I am happy. I bought my son an M2 in 20ga but in the goose field he shoots my old SBE. Nobody else in my group likes my heavy cynergy but thats fine by me. Everyone else shoots Benelli autoloaders.

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from Pray- hunt-work wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Dodom- Maine sportsman show is being held at the Augusta Civic Center starting today at 1 pm and going on until 4 pm sunday. Thought I'd give you a heads up being another Mainer and all.

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from MReeder wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

As usual I'm behind the times and out of the loop and kind of enjoy it that way. I own an O/U, a couple of side-by-sides and two pumps. The only semi-auto in the house is my wife's little Weatherby SA-08 youth 20. She's barely 5-feet tall and only started shooting a couple of years ago, and I figured a semi-auto would give her less to think about and less recoil. Having never owned a semi-auto of any kind before, I was impressed by its function and soft kick but put off by how much trouble it is to clean the darned thing. However, I only shoot a couple of rounds of skeet or trap once a month or so at most until dove season starts getting near, and I don't do any competitive shooting. If I did -- or if I did much goose hunting -- I might be temped to pick up a semi-auto myself.

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