double barrel or semi-auto to have that 3rd shot


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sernv99
August 27, 2008, 08:42 PM
I had asked this on another forum but wanted to ask here as well to get more variety of opinions:

I'm wanting to hunt ducks this year, in VA, probably west of Rt. 95 so I don't think I'll be playing with salt water and such. I currently have a Remington 11-87SP with 30" barrel. This sucker weighs like a pig. I recently got into sporting clays. trap and skeet and found a born again love for the O/U (I currently shoot a Browning Citori 12 gauge with 28" barrels for the clays game).

just wondering, for ducks, if you really need that 3rd shot or will a double barrel suffice? Also, in general, I see from the threads on duck hunting, it could get a little messy out there so just wondering, from the folks who shoot an O/U, what kind of O/U do you shoot and do you switch out the nice wood glossy stock for a plain jane wood stock? I'm thinking to get a used Beretta 686 Black Onyx. What would be a good barrel length for an O/U just for ducks? I don't plan to hunt geese.

Thanks.

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chas08
August 27, 2008, 10:33 PM
I've hunted ducks for many years with all types of shotguns s/s. pump, auto, SxS & O/U. I still own all the different styles but I prefer the "three shooters" for waterfowl in general. Not so much for the third shot on flying birds, But for killing cripples on water. A wounded duck can cover a lot of distance in short order. With little practice you can train yourself to load and fire without taking your eye off the swimming duck or the gun from your shoulder. O/U's, SxS's, & S/S's usually require the taking down of he gun from your shoulder, breaking it open, reloading, and returning it to your shoulder. At some point the loaded gun is going to be inside the duck blind or boat and not pointed in the safest direction for most average folks. Add a hunting partner or two, and a dog... You can see where I'm going with this. I've hunted with fellows who can load and fire doubles from the shoulder all the while keeping the muzzle out of the boat and not dropping shells in the water. but they are the exception (most have been CAS shooters) For me the three shooters are just easier to handle in cramped quarters. As for barrel length mine, vary from 26 - 28 in. With todays modern powders barrel length is more a matter of convenience and preference. As for the conditions being hard on guns, it is. But more duck guns are ruined by abuse than use. Hope this helps, happy waterfowling. :)

dunnsguns
September 16, 2008, 11:43 AM
I think it is a personal preference issue. I like my SxS, but can certainly see the obvious benefits of the Auto........

Off subject
What good public areas are there in VA for duck hunting? I've been here a little over a year and would imagine it wouldn't be too hard to find a good place but I haven't met anyone that duck hunts.

I'm SE of 95 but can travel.

MCgunner
September 16, 2008, 11:58 AM
It was a sad day when I had to retire my old SxS 12 due to steel shot laws. I really prefer doubles to repeaters, much less problems and upkeep in salt water environs. Repeaters can get crusty chambers, take constant attention to keep cycling well. I've run into some loads that wouldn't cycle in my 870 or 500s. Winchester Expert tends to hang up. In the past, 3" Remington would hang up on the ejection port, a little too long once fired. I had to switch brands. You never run into that with doubles.

To each his own. I still teal hunt with a 20 gauge SxS which is steel compatible, but I hunt bigger birds with either my Winchester 1400 (auto) or my Mossberg 500. In my old age, I've grown an affection for the Winchester. Its gas operated action doesn't beat me up near as bad as pumps and doubles, something to think about when shooting heavy waterfowl loads. Since I've shimmed the Mossberg's stock, though, it's not near as bad. It fits me well, now. That old double only weighs about 6.5 lbs and it was a bit much in recoil, though when I was younger, I bragged about it. :rolleyes:

Up to you. I don't need the third shot, never use a third shot, or rarely anyway. It's only the recoil thing that really endears me to gas operated autos. That Winchester is just plain sweet. :D

dawei
September 16, 2008, 08:10 PM
Well as an upland hunter I prefer a SxS or O/U. I would rather have two shots with two chokes than three shots with one choke. Waterfowl hunting is a different thing altogether. I've used that third shot to dispatch cripples a lot. In waterfowl hunting you are also shooting the heaviest magnum loads, repeatedly. It does'nt take long for your shoulder to feel it either! A good GAS OPERATED autoloader then becomes a godsend. If it were me, I'd go with an SPR453 from Remington® (Baikal®).

Dave McCracken
September 16, 2008, 10:18 PM
My favorite waterfowling tool is Frankenstein, a parts 870 I built in the 80s. I too like that third shot for cripples. Old posts of mine will show why.

My choice, go with whatever you shoot the best....

blitzen
September 16, 2008, 10:44 PM
I've hunted with a field grade Citori with 28 inch bbls since I was 14 years old. (that would be 30 years ago). It has the same shinny stock and deep blue finish that it had the day I got it. Hunt hard but take care of the gun. It'll last a lifetime. If it gets some bumps and bruises along the way, well, don't we all. I wouldn't change a thing about my old friend.

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