Which short double for grouse in the thick stuff?


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Jason_W
April 6, 2013, 06:14 PM
I'm leaning toward a short barrel double for my next purchase (if anything is available ever again) for grouse hunting without a dog in Maine. I've narrowed it down to two that fit all of my requirements.

The escort silver synthetic shorty
http://www.legacysports.com/over-under

and the Stoeger coach gun supreme
http://www.stoegerindustries.com/firearms/stoeger-coach-gun-supreme.php

The stoeger is the nicer looking of the two guns and I prefer a double trigger to a barrel selector switch.

And just to head off the inevitable thread ending tangent: I'm fully aware that all double guns that can purchased for less $100,000 are raw garbage and if you can't afford what the upper crust shoot, you have no business going hunting and should report to the nearest Dickensian workhouse immediately:rolleyes::D

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bejay
April 6, 2013, 07:58 PM
what thats it 2 choices as long as your looking at garbage might as well look at baikals,CZ, and tri star also any of them will probably last forever grouse hunting but as soon as it sees a clay is bound to break.

Jason_W
April 6, 2013, 08:02 PM
Those are the only two models that have all the features I want.

jaguarxk120
April 6, 2013, 08:14 PM
I'd go with the Stoeger double and a can of Mothers Mag Wheel Polish for the nickle finish.

Frank Ettin
April 6, 2013, 08:30 PM
Let me suggest not to choose a shotgun on features alone. You'll want a gun that fits you and swings well for you. And to figure that out, you'll need to handle the gun.

So if you're really set on one of those two, find examples and handle them. See which one mounts better and more smoothly for you. See which one fits you better.

Of the two, it looks like the Escort might have an edge. First, it appears to offer some ability to adjust the length of pull. Second, the 28 inch barrels will usually swing more smoothly than a shorter barrels.

In a shotgun for wingshooting fit and swing count for a lot.

Frank Ettin
April 6, 2013, 08:33 PM
Let me also add that I have a Stoeger coach gun that I used to use for CAS. While it was fine for that purpose, I'm not real thrill with the way it swings and wouldn't choose it for flying targets.

Jason_W
April 6, 2013, 08:52 PM
I'm actually completely unconcerned with how the gun swings. The area I hunt is very, very, thick with trees and brush. When a bird jumps, there is no time for things like leading. Usually, you have just enough time to point the gun at the bird and get a shot off, if you're lucky. A vast majority of the birds I shoot are the ones that make the mistake of letting me see them on the ground.

A short overall length is a real advantage when picking through the woods. I figure two barrels will give me the option of stoking one with a close range load and the second with a larger shot load for grounders at longer ranges.

ball3006
April 6, 2013, 11:38 PM
Buy a used double shotgun and cut the barrels down. I have an old Stevens I cut down to 20 inches for cowboy action that is great for quail......chris3

Jason_W
April 7, 2013, 07:58 AM
Buy a used double shotgun and cut the barrels down. I have an old Stevens I cut down to 20 inches for cowboy action that is great for quail......chris3

That could work, but it seems like it would be more expensive than just buying a coach gun or short barrel o/u. Especially after having it threaded for choke tubes.

Kingcreek
April 7, 2013, 08:49 AM
If its close and quick enough to need short barrels, I would think choke tubes unnecessary, and gun fit and handling even more important.

Jason_W
April 7, 2013, 09:02 AM
If its close and quick enough to need short barrels, I would think choke tubes unnecessary, and gun fit and handling even more important.

I'm more about versatility than ergonomics.

Last season, I noticed I encountered two situations when hunting a new and grouse-laden area. The first scenario was the bird that exploded from my feet, startling me, and if I was I was lucky, offering a split second window to take a shot. For this scenario, a wide open choke and a small shot load is ideal.

The second scenario I encountered were birds that were sunning, dusting themselves, and eating gravel off of abandoned logging roads. Some of these shots were a little on the long side making a full choke and larger shot size ideal.

I like the idea of being able to quickly adapt to either scenario, either by flipping a switch or pulling one trigger over another.

When hunting grouse in northern New England, it's not the guy who has the most ergonomically correct shotgun or is the best wing shot who will bag the most birds, it's the guy who is best at spotting them while they're on the ground or perched in trees.

danez71
April 7, 2013, 11:52 AM
If you're open to a hammer version, you might be interested in the USSG Baikal MP220F. Its its a SxS coach that has chokes too.


You know what they say about trash and treasure....

Fred Fuller
April 7, 2013, 11:57 AM
I'm a fan of two triggers on a double. And I agree that an open choke on the right and a tighter choke on the left is a good idea for a knockaround hunting shotgun. In tight cover hunting quail sometimes I've had to put a load of shot in a space where the bird would be when the shot got there :D. But I never found 26" barrels a handicap in 'point and shoot' wingshooting. Overly short barrels on a double tend to make the gun feel butt heavy and slow moving - good balance is a feature too important to ignore in the kind of hunting it seems to me you have in mind.

Good luck and good hunting...

COK
April 7, 2013, 02:53 PM
I hunt in the same conditions you describe and after a number of years (40) trying different combinations settled on a 20ga, 25 inch single trigger that does it for me, I found a nice used SKB 100 that works. I am sure you will try a few before you find that “perfect grouse gun”.

Good luck !

Jason_W
April 7, 2013, 02:55 PM
I am sure you will try a few before you find that “perfect grouse gun”.


Ah, I'll never have perfect. I'm just shooting for good enough.

Jason_W
April 7, 2013, 02:58 PM
I can probably get away with a barrel longer than 20 in a double since they have a shorter OAL per inch of barrel length. I know that I find my other small game gun, a 20 gauge 870 with a 28" barrel to be a bit cumbersome in some situations.

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