12 replies [Last post]
Offline
Location: new brunswick
Joined: 12/07/2006
Posts: 429
WHATS THE BEST GAUGE FOR PARTRIDGE(RUFFED GROUSE)

just thought i'd create a debate over the best shotgun to hunt partridge with. i myself started with a 20 gauge before moving into a 12 gauge at the age of 16. i never really looked back since. the 12 is ok as long as you can hit them in the head everytime or there'll be nothing left of the bird. yes i will admit its a little on the over kill side for partridge. even though i dont use it anymore i will always believe that the best gauge for partridge hands down is the 20!! Thumbs up

Don Fischer's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3177
WHATS THE BEST GAUGE FOR PARTRIDGE(RUFFED GROUSE)

I asume that your speaking of forest grouse? If so, I don't think theres a best guage although I've used a 16ga for many years now. But I've used the 12ga and the 20ga also. More important than guage in my opinion is the shot charge and the gun. The gun should be fairly light and should point rather than swing. The two best grouse guns I ever had were a 12ga Browning double auto with a 26" skeet barrel using 1 1/8th oz loads of #6 shot and a Rem. 870 Special Field 20ga with a 24" barrel bored out to skeet using 7/8th oz loads of 6 shot. Now I shoot pretty much everything with a 16ga AyA SxS bored IC/Mod. with 28" barrels.

I said a gun that points rather than swings as the grouse I've shot have been in fairly tight cover and I need to get on the bird fast and snap shoot. A gun that swings tends to be a bit front heavy and not as quick, for me anyway. I also found that what I like for forest grouse does not work well for open country partridges, chucker and hungarian, as I tend to stop the barrel when I should be swinging thru due to the lack of weight out front. Tried using my Browning on ducks years ago and it was miserable, wouldn't swing thru. Same thing happened with my 870 S.F. when I used it on chuckers and huns and on quail, didn't follow thru with my shots and missed a lot.

I've tried 7 1/2 shot and found that if I was hunting chuckars and huns and a phesant got up, the 7 1/2's were leaving me with more cripples than I should have. For phesants I've found 5's or even 4's to be better shot size. But I also don't like having a lot of different loads around so I found 6's to be my best compromise for all birds except quail, where I do go with 7 1/2's.

The 1 oz loads in my 16ga and the 1 1/8th oz loads I like in the 12 ga even the 7/8th and 1oz loads in 20 ga all do very well. They are easy on recoil and 6 shot is 6 shot no matter what ga it comes out of. I have seen many people that opt for 1 1/4oz loads of 12ga and they work well but they can also be awful distructive if a bird is centered to well. And the recoil is noticeably greater. I shot a lot of birds when I trained dogs and recoil was a factor I had to deal with.
I delt by reducing the shot charge but getting the same velocity. Again, a #6 shot coming out of any guage doing 1200fps is still doing 1200fps and just as deadly.

With the forest grouse, range is not usually a factor as a grouse flying thru the trees is gone befor it get's out of range. Therefore getting on the bird with a shot heavy enought to quickly down the bird is more important that sending a denser pattern designed for longer range.

12, 16, 20, even 28,,,not a lot of difference. It's the gun and the shot size, not the guage.

Offline
Location: new brunswick
Joined: 12/07/2006
Posts: 429
WHATS THE BEST GAUGE FOR PARTRIDGE(RUFFED GROUSE)

most of us around here just use single shot break open shotguns for grouse. theres no real need for a pump or semi or dbl. usually only come across one bird at a time so theres no sense carrying a big shotgun for nothin

Offline
Location: MA
Joined: 12/18/2006
Posts: 31
WHATS THE BEST GAUGE FOR PARTRIDGE(RUFFED GROUSE)

I always stick my 20 gauge Remington Special Field with the 26" barrell. Super light and short gun. Great when putting on the miles.

Offline
Location: Washington's Back Country
Joined: 06/25/2005
Posts: 316
WHATS THE BEST GAUGE FOR PARTRIDGE(RUFFED GROUSE)

I my self stick to the old trusy 12 gauge......Double barrel.....shes ancient.....most of my ruffed grouse hunting is done from the truck....I will admit that its kinda cheating but.....extreamly effective.....see this is how.....Drive around EARLY in the morning a first light and right before dark......spot bird in road filling up on gravel......stalk bird.....spook bird to fly....then execute bird in mid air....This works very well....I usually use some old handloads that consist of 9 shot.....works wonders

Offline
Location: Southern NH
Joined: 09/13/2006
Posts: 379
.22

.22 LR....in the head

Oh, it says gauge....then I guess it would be 12 gauge. You gotta throw some shot to get through the brush. Either that or my 20 gauge Ithaca Buckbuster single shot with rifle sights and 3" magnum 6 -shot. That'll work too.

ADKBEAR's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Central NY
Joined: 09/16/2003
Posts: 823
WHATS THE BEST GAUGE FOR PARTRIDGE(RUFFED GROUSE)

What ever you can hit them with 410 to 12ga. I tend to carry my Browning B-80 in 20 ga but have killed many with my 870 12ga. Tasty mmmmmm.

Offline
Location: Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Joined: 01/13/2007
Posts: 368
WHATS THE BEST GAUGE FOR PARTRIDGE(RUFFED GROUSE)

My favorite Grouse gun is a Browning Citori in 16 ga. It took a lot of years before I could afford that gun --years in which I used 12 & 20 gages. Other than for Goose hunting, I prefer that 16. It is also a deadly Pheasant gun as well, especially when loaded with Kent Tungsten Matrix 5'S.

Offline
Location: New Brunswick
Joined: 08/07/2006
Posts: 20
WHATS THE BEST GAUGE FOR PARTRIDGE(RUFFED GROUSE)

I use a single shot 16 gauge with #6 lead shot and love it… Why contemplate between the 20 and 12 when you can have a little bit of both… Wish they had more ammo in the stores though. Plan on hunting with a 410 this year but it will be hard staying away from the 16... It just feels so good shooting with it all day. Yes

tim
Offline
Location: north idaho
Joined: 06/11/2004
Posts: 601
WHATS THE BEST GAUGE FOR PARTRIDGE(RUFFED GROUSE)

I know it asked for gauge, but i have shot alot of grouse with a .22

Offline
Location: pennsylvania
Joined: 01/27/2007
Posts: 131
WHATS THE BEST GAUGE FOR PARTRIDGE(RUFFED GROUSE)

28 gauge is all you need i use it for pheasent and everything worth hunting with a shotgun. Thumbs up

Related Forum Threads You Might Like

ThreadThread StarterRepliesLast Updated
Ruffed Grouse hunting around farson wyomingRobert Norrell005/20/2009 10:13 am
Best shotgun setup for ruffed grouseBigTyler1110/30/2005 16:44 pm
Western Wyoming AntelopeRobert Norrell105/21/2009 02:50 am
Partridge(Grouse)atomikall3710/12/2008 13:06 pm
2008 Michigan Ruffed Grouse ReportMike Girolami010/28/2008 12:41 pm