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Tndeerhunter's picture
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What shotgun?

I haven't hunted birds as much as I'd like to the last few years, but after going through some pictures the other day I was noticing my usage of different shotguns on different days or hunts. I still have a few shotguns, but not as many as I once did. I have found that for a lot of walking, not unusual in pheasant or quail hunting, I do like a shotgun with moderate to short length barrel(s) and perhaps a tad on the lighter side.

One O/U I used to own was a Browning Citori Superlight 12ga with 26" tubes and I really liked it's weight and portability. Don't ask me why it no longer lives at my house though, as I cannot answer that! Another shotgun I do still have is a nice older Browning BSS 20 ga. I've always enjoyed carrying that gun and don't see it moving away, ever!

A Browning A-5 has seen a lot of use with me ever since I bought a nice 24" tube to replace the 28" one that came on it. I really like that shorter barrel! Even though it's the 2 3/4" light version, it ain't particularly light. I bought a Franchi 48AL in 20ga a while back and it hasn't seen much action as this is about when we lost most of our bird hunting areas. Nice light shotgun tho!

What's your choice(s)?? Confused

Don Fischer's picture
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It has been so long since

It has been so long since I've shot anything other than a SxS I'm not sure I could anymore. I got rid of a Browning Citori 20ga to get my Squirt and Bodie. Never shot it anyway. Also have a beautiful Ithica mod 37 16ga with a corn cob slide that I take out a lot to fool with but don't hunt with it. Last twenty years plus I have used either a 12ga Charles Daley, 12ga AyA or my 16ga AyA. This year the only gun I've carried has been my 28ga AyA. Something about SxS's I just love. I have 28" barrels on all them and don't care for a shorter one, a bit longer swings better for me. Years ago hunting grouse I used a Browning Double Auto 12ga with a 26" skeet barrel, only auto I would ever own again. Once you've had the best, nothing else will do. I also had an 870 Special Field 20ga I gave to my son. Very handy in grouse woods as I just threw it up and shot. Tried it on chukars and pheasants and didn't do well. Barrel was to short and it didn't swing well. I also have an AyA in 410 and I've come close to taking it out this year. I have a couple boxes of 1/2 oz #6's that should work fine on closer shots over a dog. Feels like a toy!

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favorites

I have a few favorites too including an old outside hammer side by side twelve gauge from the 1890s, and a fairly new Browning semi auto twelve gauge.  I've attached a photo of my Browning model B-80.  It seems to hit more birds with its 2 3/4 inch shells than my Charles Daly did with a 3 1/2 inch chambering. 

I usually give the Browning B-80 (which I think was made by Baretta believe it or not) to my son to use when we hunt together because I consider it the best shotgun I own.  As a result I usually use a semiautomatic twelve gauge made by Tristar (noep I've never heard of them either except for this gun).  This was a prize at a Duck's Unlimited banquet.  i didn't win but the fellow who did didn't need teh shotgun and sold it to me new in teh box for a used gun price.  I think that the semi automatics soak up recoil and are just as fast as any other action style.  I'd hunt with them all the time but the old side by side is just a pleasure to carry and I don't think I'll ever part with it.  i find myself looking for excuses to use it and end up carrying it every time I'm in the field with a shot-gun unless I am after water fowl.  When I'm chasing geese, I want the third shot to make sure that I knock down all the birds I can and that they stay down.

The second photograph attached is teh Browning again in a camo sleeve.  I was hunting alone that day so I got to use it.  I suppose that I really should pick up a second Browning so that my son and I can both hunt with one.  Anybody have a B-80 for sale?

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shotguns

I have a 26" Citori that I use the most. Had it fitted when I bought it and it's been good for me.  It shows the marks too, probably couldn't get $500 for it with all the dings and marks on it but that's my heirs' problem!   Recently I got an Ithaca 37 Featherlight in 12 ga. that has been shortened to 26" and had choke tubes put in it.  I've shot it some this season and probably will more as I get more used to it.  Big weight difference from the Citori but so far I shoot the Citori better.

If it was me I'd shoot that BPS until I found something else I had to have, nothing wrong with that at all!

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Ithaca Model 37 caution

lucky guy wrote:

I have a 26" Citori that I use the most. Had it fitted when I bought it and it's been good for me.  It shows the marks too, probably couldn't get $500 for it with all the dings and marks on it but that's my heirs' problem!   Recently I got an Ithaca 37 Featherlight in 12 ga. that has been shortened to 26" and had choke tubes put in it.  I've shot it some this season and probably will more as I get more used to it.  Big weight difference from the Citori but so far I shoot the Citori better.

If it was me I'd shoot that BPS until I found something else I had to have, nothing wrong with that at all!

        

 

Remember that the Ithaca model 37 has a slam back trigger.  This is an added bonus feature for those of us who know that it is there but a potential deadly liability for those who are unaware of it.  I know two people who have had accidental dischatrges of their Ithaca Model 37 shotguns.  

If you have the trigger depressed and work teh pump, the new shell in the chamber IMMEDIATELY fires.  This can be an advantage because it means that you can empty the gun at birds as fast as you can work teh pump while just holding the trigger down.  But it can easily lead to putting a load of birdshot through the ceiling as you load or unload before or after a hunt.                  

Always keep your finger off the trigger until you intend to shoot and always always always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.  Yes I know that you know this.  I've just got to say it again!                 

Mike

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shorter barrel

I like a 26 inch barrel for walking the fields for pheasant or for jump shooting on waterfowl.  I use either my 26" barrled Franchi Alcioni O/U or my 26 inch barrel Remington 870 Express for upland birds and like them very much.  I've been considering buying a Franchi semi-auto, the only thing that stops me is that I'm too attached to my 28 inch barrled Remington 11-87 for waterfowl hunting, so much so that a new Franchi probably wouldn't get used much.  I just can't justify buying a gun that sits in the safe unused.  Well, okay I could justify it, back when I was single and before the kids came along, but not now. God knows I already have plenty of other guns that sit locked in the safe unused.

Tndeerhunter's picture
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Franchi

I've looked at those Franchi O/Us for a while and they certainly look to be very nicely made guns, no doubt. The Franchi semi-auto I own I got because it is very light, I believe 5.5 lbs in 20ga with a 26" barrel. It is a very nice gun and is recoil operated like the old A-5 was. Of course, as you say, it's not worthwhile if it just sits in the gun cabinet and I've done little bird hunting the last few years unfortunately. Huh?

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I had been using a Lefever

I had been using a Lefever Nitro Special (30" sxs with double triggers and M/F chokes) that my Grandfather bought new for $26 back about when I was born in 1947 and it's now worth some bucks.  The bluing is all worn off, but it is as tight as the day it was made and the wood is excellent.  I retired it because it rusts so easily and went to a Zabala (28" sxs with double triggers and M/F chokes) for about 10 years until this past season when my Dad gave me his Beretta Silver Snipe (30" O/U with single trigger and M/F chokes).  I have never been much of a wingshot, but that gun came up so nice that I fell in love with it on my trip out to North Dakota.  I had two runs of like 11 birds altogether with only 13 or 14 shots, by far the best I've ever done on pheasants.  I think now the Zabala is also being retired, LOL!   

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