Advice for quail


November 20, 2012, 09:09 PM
So I'm in the market to buy a reasonably priced (under $1,000) SxS for quail hunting.

Would you guys give me suggestions as to which brand & caliber I should test drive and buy.

If you enjoyed reading about "Advice for quail" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
November 20, 2012, 09:27 PM
Ain't gonna get top quality for a grand. Real quality SxSs can be had for about 3 to 4 times that. However, I do own a rather cheap Remington Spartan 20 gauge SxS coach gun. I hunt doves with it and it's quite effective. It's a bit whippy, but nothing I can't concentrate with and swing on high birds, yet it's VERY quick up close around tanks and I'd think this little toot would be a deadly quail gun. It ain't much to look at, no adornment, pure working tool. I had to shim the stock as much as it'd go down and left as it has right hand cast to it and i shoot lefty. I got it about cast neutral and it's much better now. Fit is important. Being a lefty sux with doubles as most of them has some right hand cast to them.

Main reason I got a coach gun is I wanted something that would break down and store in the saddle backs of a GoldWing I owned at the time. It stores nicely in a back pack, too, very handy little gun. It shoots, it is decently regulated with a bit over overlap at 40 yards, but not enough to throw you off and it's dead on regulated at 30 yards which is where most doves are shot.

Buddy of mine has a CZ made in Italy, not Turkey. THAT one's a shooter, but it's an O/U. I've looked at Yildiz O/Us, didn't like the fit much, but did like the quality and the fact that warranty and repair work is done at Briley in Katy, Texas, not too far from me. It's sold through Academy stores. I've not looked at the Yildiz SxS, not really in the market, but I know the O/U has a good rep. Yeah, it's Turkish built, but seems of decent build.

What irks me about the more affordable guns when you mention them on gun boards, the snobby shotgunners will cut 'em down as not being durable. That's probably so if you're going to shoot 100,000 rounds at clays a year. BUT, I shoot maybe 10 boxes through the Spartan in a dove season, MAX. That's only 250 rounds. I might pop a few more at clays informally through the year. My gun will out last me twice over at THAT rate. I wouldn't worry too much about durability of the gun for hunting, you just don't shoot 'em as much as a serious clays shooter shoots his. I like my Spartan a lot, seems well made, if a might ugly, and it was only 300 bucks. It is my favorite dove gun at this time, my go to. I have a nice autoloader I like, but while it swings well (28" vent rib barrel), it's not as quick on close birds over tanks. It's light enough to be decent, better than my Mossberg pumps, though. It's a Winchester M1400 I bought 25 years ago and was my primary dove gitter until I got the Spartan. What you need on quail is a quick pointing gun, so I'd pick the Spartan first out of my available shotguns for a quail hunt.

Remington imported the Spartan from Biakal (Russia). You can find the Biakals, think they're being imported again. An oft recommended gun is a used Savage/Stevens 311. Most of the older guns are fix choked and are choked too tight for quail hunting. Too, those old guns handle like a 2x6 plank, too heavy for upland hunting IMHO. My Spartan came with four chokes, cyl, IC, Mod, and full. I choke it IC/Mod for doves, would probably go Cyl/IC on quail. I/C is deadly at 25-30 yards. Past that and a quail is gone, anyway.

This is all JMHO. Others will add theirs. First and foremost, mount the gun in the shop and see if it fits. Fit is everything in wing shooting.

November 20, 2012, 09:36 PM
BTW, as to gauge, I'd go with a 20. 12 gauge SxSs are heavier and they can kick pretty bad even with the weight. MY next gun may well be a 28 gauge if I can find one on a true 28 gauge frame, will be a O/U as quality O/Us are more affordable and usually come with single selective trigger and selective ejectors. Most affordable SxSs will be extractors and double triggers. The double triggers do offer an instant choice of choke, but the trigger guard can beat your middle finger up a might even in 20 gauge with a double trigger reaching for that front trigger. I put a bumper pad on mine which helps.

Your cheap ammo will be in 20 or 12. 28 gauge stuff runs more.

Bumper pad....

November 21, 2012, 07:03 AM
Look for a used SKB 100/200. Reasonable relative to a SxS is a bit higher than your budget. And it is not just pretty wood and fancy metal that is different.

November 21, 2012, 07:28 AM
you'll want a 20 or 28 for quail, on a properly scaled receiver. A GOOD 20 will weigh right about 6-6.25#, a 28 should be 5.75-6#.
Ugartechea is a Spanish maker whose used guns can be found on places like for your budget range.
The SKB above is well made, albeit a little heavy for my personal tastes.
You can find the S&W Elite Gold (and now the Dickinson) through places like CDNN for right about your 1K or maybe 200 more - an excellent gun - even though made in Turkey, it is a round action triggerplate gun modeled after the John Dickson and Son Scottish guns

November 21, 2012, 08:27 AM
20 ga is hard to beat. Shells are cheap and available. If $1000 was my limit I would probably go with a CZ. Their Ringneck and Bobwhite models are nice.

November 21, 2012, 02:20 PM
I go quail hunting several times per year. Mostly walking behind a dog but some just jumping out of the jeep to shoot blue quail in West Texas.
I used to shoot my O/U Browning 12ga. Recently, I borrowed my buddies Yildiz 20ga. O/U and it was surprisingly nice gun to tote and shoot. It set up just right for me and was extemely light...just north of 5lbs.
Seems to have nice Turkish walnut and is mechanically tight on lockup.
Mechanical triggers, aluminum alloy receiver with replaceable steel breechplate and 5 choke tubes, wrench completes the package. The thing I notice is the weight. I can walk all morning without my back or shoulders aching from carrying an 8lb. twelve gauge.

It's rather spartan appearance doesn't compete with my G6 brownings, Athena Weatherby or Berettas but it's not ugly--just not fancy. The aluminum receiver could get dinged up if one isn't careful. It's meant to be a field gun and not a safe jockey. Check out the Yildiz line---I think they sell for around $500 at Academy.

November 21, 2012, 02:20 PM
I use both 20 and 410 for quail.

You can get a good condition used SKB or equivalent for 1K if you look around a bit.

November 21, 2012, 10:04 PM
I used a SKB 200E years ago and have kicked myself for ever trading it.

Found this doing a quick search.

November 21, 2012, 10:53 PM
Another vote for you trying to find a 20 ga Ithaca/SKB Model 100 or 200. They are around, are very good-looking and fine-shooting guns. Mine is a 200E, single trigger, modified choke/improved cylinder. I stumbled on it at an auction years ago, paid about $650. I see them at Michael Murphys occasionally, as well as 12 ga (but they are noticeably heavier and unnecessary for quail). The SKB over/unders are also fine guns. My recollection is that Weatherby shotguns are actually made by SKB. I have a 20 ga SKB o/u that cost right at $1K but I've had used ones that came for between $600 and $800.

November 22, 2012, 01:42 AM
I use a 12 gauge Winchester Select O/U with 1 oz 71/2 target loads and it is deadly on Quail.

November 22, 2012, 09:22 AM
If a man is looking for a SxS, the last thing that is going to scratch that itch is an O/U.

December 1, 2012, 03:40 PM
+1 for the CZ. Be sure to handle both 20 and 28 before deciding.

December 2, 2012, 02:22 AM
Personally, I prefer .410 for quail. There really isn't all that much bird there and if they flush close it's either wait or theres no bird left with larger gauges. .410 does cost more, usually, than 20 or 12 guage, but less than 28, and it's a lot easier to find than 28 guage.

I'm not sure why you specified SxS, but you might look at a pump gun. They generally cost a bit less, and weigh less as well. And, I've found they handle better.

Anyway, that's my two cents.

December 2, 2012, 05:18 AM
I am a big Ugartechea fan and own a number of them but last trip home I was fiddling with the Dickinson's at Cabelas and they look to be a fine gun at around your price point. The SKB's are nice as well, I have a couple, but I prefer two triggers.

If you enjoyed reading about "Advice for quail" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!