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Is 28-gauge worth a look?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by WVGunman, May 27, 2019.

  1. WVGunman

    WVGunman Member

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    I don't mean in general, but for a specific purpose. I'm looking at getting a secondary gun for trap shooting to loan to first-time shooters that is light and has low recoil. (The first-timers would be shooting at hand-tossed targets) I may occasionally use it myself with my own pigeon thrower for a challenge. I was looking at 20 gauges and noticed that a half-decent 28-gauge can be had for not a lot more money; a CZ pump 28-gauge is only $360 at CtD.
    I know the ammo is not cheap, but this gun would be used rarely enough that the cost isn't a big factor. Probably only a few boxes a year will be shot through it at most. But I'm worried that 28 gauge is just TOO small and light, and might throw patterns that are impossible to hit anything with except for someone much more experienced than anyone who might shoot this gun.
    So, anyone have any experience in this realm?
     
  2. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    I had a 28 gauge for a bit and I got rid of it because of ammo availability and price. However, when I had ammo it was a joy to shoot so I wanted to keep on shooting it but the ammo was too pricey. I ended buying a 20 gauge on compromise and I have been in love with the 20 ever since b

    I think you will find that even though you think you will only be shooting it infrequently, you will find you want to shoot it all the time. 28 gauge is for someone who is committed fully to 28 gauge and either has the means to buy tons of ammo or reloads.

    In this regard I think you may be better served by that 20 gauge.
     
  3. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    The difference in recoil and performance is pretty insignificant, imho. In fact you can duplicate the 28 ga loads with 20 ga.
    The price and availability of 20ga is better.
    Having said that, the 28ga is a sweet little gun, especially if it is built on a bv 28ga sized frame.
    Get what you like, just know that you will spend a little more on ammo....like say. ... $5-10/box more?
    Best wishes.
     
  4. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I'm a big fan of the 28 gauge. It was the first shotgun that my Dad put in my hands and I shot it alot growing up. But I agree with Armored farmer.

    A twenty gauge can be loaded to duplicate the 28 gauge loads. The guns are similar in size and weight. Ammunition is more available.

    My 5'-2" wife shoots a 26" barrel 20 gauge Browning Citori in skeet with no problems. She shoots skeet mostly to just humor me and make it a family outing.:)
     
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  5. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    The vintage 3 barrel Citori skeet set is almost the same at skeet in 20 ga @ 7/8 oz & 28 ga @ 3/4 oz. The 20 has a little more recoil then the 28 . The 20 may pick up an extra bird with a fringe hit. More shot the better.
    The 20 ga in a 3" chamber can be more usefull for hunting, later.

    When you miss a bird at skeet , its not the gauge being used. The 410 would make a huge difference. Not for a novice/beginner.

    For a new shooter, a 20 ga gas gun would be my choice. Less recoil.
     
  6. kudu
    • Contributing Member

    kudu Moderator Staff Member

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    The 28 is a joy to shoot and an all a round fun shooter, I have several of them in different styles, but for a newer shooter the 20 will probably be better for new shooters. I shoot 7/8oz loads in my 12 gauge guns mostly, and can reload 3/4oz if I really want low recoil, the same as a 28ga standard load. I load 3/4oz in my 20 gauge shells, once again the same as a 28ga load. As for the 28ga, I still load 3/4oz, because it just works as a payload. I have run numerous 25 straights with the 7/8oz in trap and skeet in 12 gauge and back in the day when I shot registered skeet my 28ga was my highest average for some reason but it is still an expensive shell to shoot, but I think everyone that has multiple shotguns needs one to play with.
     
  7. RedLeg105

    RedLeg105 Member

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    Having been a skeet shooter for decades, I found that I can break nearly as many birds with my 28ga. O/U as I can with with any of my 12ga. guns.. With only 3/4 oz. of shot, in the standard 28ga. shell, shots taken at any longer ranges would result in a very sparse pattern, and missed birds, making the 28ga. less than optimal for trap shooting. Factory 28ga. ammunition is fairly expensive, as compared too 12 or 20 ga., but 28ga. shells are cheaper to reload -less powder and less shot - once you get the hang of reloading them.
     
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  8. WVGunman

    WVGunman Member

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    Whoah. That's ... a bigger differential than I expected. $10 a box more is not viable, even on an occasional basis.

    What about .410? These WOULD be hand-tossed targets at short range.
     
  9. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    WW AA 20 GA - $9.99 The 28 ga -$10.79 Both have a rebate at Midwayusa.

    Buy a case . Look for best price here. https://ammoseek.com

    Other brands - 20 ga -$.20 each. The 28 ga- $.28 each. Plus shipping.

    .08 x 25 = $2 a box (25) more for 28 ga.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
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  10. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    No 410 . 28 cents each.
     
  11. farm23

    farm23 Member

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    The 28 and 16 are the best pattering guns in my safe. I bird hunt with both but do not do much skeet shooting. I really like the 28 and am looking for another in SxS. The cost of ammo is not that much for me since I reload, but if you around and online you can find 28 at some savings. For me the 28 is my favorite but I do not use it to hunt geese.
     
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  12. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Walmart 20ga box $5.48 (25) Rem.

    28ga - ww aa $9.87 no shipping.
     
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  13. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    The only practical advantage of a 28 gauge is it can be built on a much smaller receiver like the Ithaca 37 https://ithacagun.com/product/model-37-28-gauge/.
    I have a BPS 28 that is built on the same receiver as the 20 and 16 gauge. Not a practical choice but I bought it new for $400 after a rebate. I also just wanted a 28 but not enough to spend Ithaca money on one.
    If you want a 28 buy it, for an occasional shooter ammo cost isn't going amount to much.
    I'm also a firm believer in the need to have all the gauges.
     
  14. Milkmaster

    Milkmaster Member

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    I love shooting my 28ga Beretta 686 and my 28ga A400. I say scrounge for the ammo on sale and enjoy it. Federal 28ga target ammo is on sale at WalMart now for 6.97/box.
     
  15. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Perhaps my $5-10 estimate was too high. Prices must have come down. I havent bought any for a few years as I reload them.
     
  16. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    I have 2 28's, a Red Label OU and a BPS.

    Both are a lot of fun to shoot, recoil is nil and they pattern well. On the down side, one thing they're very good at is pointing out when I make a mistake with my swing and follow through! ;)

    I have 2 20's, a Baikal OU and an 1100. (I also was given a D/U 870 banquet gun that hasn't been shot, so that doesn't count.)

    With target loads these, too have little recoil and the patterns are also good, especially the 1100. These guns are a bit more forgiving to my less-than-prefect shooting form.

    Yes, 28 ammo on the shelf is at least 3-4 bucks a box more than 20, often 5+. Also, the ability to ultimately "graduate" a shooter to a larger payload+increased recoil is a whole lot easier with the 20, so I would stick to a good fitting 20 over a 28 for beginners. I love the 28, but (to me, anyway) it's more of a seasoned hunters/shooters tool than a beginners gun. (I prefer the 16 over the 12 as well...I guess I'm a bit of an oddball)

    Avoid the .410 like the plague :eek:. A lot of us cut our shotgunning teeth on an old single shot .410 and got frustrated pretty quickly. The 20 is a whole lot friendlier to actually hit clays with and it is much less expensive to shoot (Often .410 is over 15 bucks a box for 3" to feed my 1100 .410 at Wal Mart, though I have occasionally found Federal for 10!) This, coupled with a much higher chance for success hitting flying clays, leads me (and the other posters) to not recommend a .410.

    Stay safe!
     
  17. Milkmaster

    Milkmaster Member

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    I agree. The 28 ga is what we would like the .410 to be. The .410 has its place but not shooting clay targets IMHO.
     
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  18. Jack Ryan

    Jack Ryan Member

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    If you get one, get a MEC reloader for it the same day.

    I inherited a 410 double and decided, "I have this, I'm going to shoot this thing and enjoy it." That MEC is the best investment in guns I've made. The 410 and 28 are both very similar in the 1/2 ounce load is probably the most popular in both of them. I do NOT own a 28 gauge though. I now have both my fathers 410 double and an uncle's old H&R 410 single. I've also got a Topper trap gun with 410, 20, and 12 gauge barrels for it. I probably shoot my dads old 410 more in one day than all the other people who ever owned it before me all added together.

    These 410 guns get shot at LEAST TEN TIMES AS MUCH as about all the rest of my shotguns in the last 5-10 years I've had them. Just EVERYONE loves shooting them. My guess is it would be the same way with your 28 gauge. They are just flat out fun.

    I'll take a lady beginner who has never touched a shotgun and have her breaking half the first 25 she has ever shot at, from my electric trap machine thrown, the first time she ever shoots at flying birds with my father's old 410 Stevens double gun that just about every one has learned on since my uncle sold it to my father 60 years ago.

    I've done it, over and over and over again. Granted now, these are easy birds I've set up specifically for beginners. Turn that machine down a little slower and give it a high angle to see them easy against the blue sky. But breaking clays is what hooks people of the "breaking clay sports". Missing just shows them they don't like it.

    In my experience, I'd say you can hit anything on the skeet range with a 410 or 28 gauge half ounce load that you would have hit with any other shotgun of any gauge. On the trap range is going to be a little different story as the birds are leaving the trap 16 yards away and probably doubling that most of the time before you hit them. Now shooting them at home from hand thrown, it won't make a bit of difference. You will love it.

    Next suggestion is I would not get a pump or a semi-auto for what you are planning. Get a break action, prefer a double. Last if you can swing it would be like hitting the jack pot, screw in chokes for both barrels, but all of my 410s are fixed, full choke.

    Last if it were me starting over with what I know now but no gun and going looking to buy one, I'd get a 20 gauge like I've described above. A break action O/U sporting gun with screw in chokes. You can easily clean the whole gun after shooting it all day long in 5 minutes and it is a lot easier to keep control of all that is going on with students learning and beginners you are loaning it to.

    The reason being if you get a reloader you can load those down to 410 and 28 gauge levels, 1/2 oz. If you CHOOSE you can bump them up to 12 gauge levels, 1oz or may be 1 1/8 oz I think. I believe you can even buy target loads at all those levels as well and the cost of shells is a lot less than either 410 or 28 gauge.

    If it were me, going out to buy a gun to do what you described you want it for, I would buy this Weatherby right here. Orion Sporting with the adjustable comb, in 20 gauge. I know around here you can order that gun brand new and buy it from an LGS for less than $850.

    Right now 410 and 28 gauge AA shells are $10 a box at Walmart give or take a quarter and Winchester has a $2 rebate on them per box. 20 and 12s I believe are $7 a box with and also have a $2 rebate.

    Remington target loads are similar in the final cost.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
  19. Mosin Bubba

    Mosin Bubba Member

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    About six months ago, I stumbled on some 28 gauge shells at Cabela's for $6.50 a box. I think it was that Herters house-brand Russian stuff.

    I don't shoot 28 gauge, but my dad does, so I grabbed all the boxes I could at that price and made it a Christmas gift for him. Haven't been back into Cabelas since, but if you have one nearby, I would take a look.
     
  20. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    When I was shooting competitive skeet, I'd practice periodically with the .410, mostly for an attitude adjustment. It would point out some of the bad habits I picked up periodically shooting the larger gauges.

    For a new shooter, .410-2-1/2" is a real exercise in frustration when shooting at clays. There just is not much shot in a half ounce shot load. Things are a little better with .410-3" as the shot load 11/16 ounce or 3/4 ounce. But some folks feel that the effective pattern diameter is a bit smaller than a 3/4 ounce 28 gauge. This means you'd have to be more precise with your leads to get reliable hits with the .410.

    I shoot skeet only sporadically these days. No way I'd show up with my .410 without shooting many rounds of skeet before hand with a larger gauge.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
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  21. George P

    George P Member

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    Light gun and low recoil are mutually exclusive terms, so for targets, get the 28 built on a 20 frame, like Browning O/Us are.

    As to ammo cost:
    Buy Winchester AA target loads from Academy Sports for $8.99/box. Do it while Winchester is having a $2/box rebate (Academy ships free on orders over $25) - Now, you are down to $7/box. Save the once-fired empties because they are worth .12-.15 EACH to a serious 28 ga shooter. Even at the low end of .12/each, that knocks another $3 off each box, so now you're shooting top tier ammo for $4/box - you can't do that shooting 12 or 20. The Winchester rebate is good for up to 5 flats so 50 boxes.
     
  22. entropy

    entropy Member

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    You are better off getting a gas operated semi auto in 20 ga for beginning Trap shooters. The two best options are a Remington 1100 LT-20 and Beretta A400 Lite Synthetic. There are less expensive options. I got a Tri-Star Raptor 20 ga. for the beginning shooters in 4-H, and it worked quite well. The 28, when used for Trap, even 16 yd., is an expert's "show off gun" and even then the best shooter at our club entered a sub-gauge shoot with his 28 ga. Rizzini, and lost to a kid with a 20 ga. Mossberg pump.

    When you are standing next to the Trap, yes. Not at 16 yards.
     
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  23. George P

    George P Member

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    Please post a video of this, because - quite frankly - I do not believe it. The Stevens was a horrible gun, both in quality and fit and the anemic .410 is more of an expert's gun. That lack of pellets, the poor patterns and the subsequent lousy success rate do nothing ton help a new shooter build confidence.

    Get a new shooter to handle a 28 or 20 from station 7 shooting only the low house to begin with, then the high house; once they have mastered station 7, move to station 1 and repeat. Then start working your way to the middle.

    For trap, get an empty field and set the machine for only straight away shots and have them start right behind the house and move back a few yards at a time until they hit the 16 yard mark.
     
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  24. Jack Ryan

    Jack Ryan Member

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    I'd never take a fresh beginner who has never even handled a shotgun out to the shoot from the standard positions on a trap of skeet field. That is nothing but a recipe for failure and giving them a beating with a 12 gauge so an amateur instructor can show off how good they are to a beginner.

    I don't see much difference between walking up behind the trap at the range and doing the same right here from my trap. I can duplicate every shot you mentioned and then some right here from my own trap and we can move as quickly or slowly as a student prefers.

    Nothing builds confidence faster and makes a student want to advance faster that blowing a dozen nice fat easy "ducks" out of the sky. First it is the big grin, then this isn't as hard as I thought, and we are off, what next?

    We'll work our way around the clock until they miss a few and wind up the day with a few from the 20 gauge at the last station they shot the 410 from. Any one in the class that doesn't walk out grinning can have their money back for the whole day clays and shells included.

    If you don't want to believe it the don't. I don't care.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
  25. entropy

    entropy Member

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    I coach SCTP High School, and coached 4-H, and George P. knows a lot more about it than I do. We've been there. Your method works out in the back 40, and yes can also be valuable. I got my start doing it your way, and was lucky to have the best wingshot I've ever known teach me. (Not my Dad, his best friend.) Re-read George P.'s post, you'll find it's closer to your method than you realize. I however would never have been able to break 25 on the Trap range without a very good Trap coach coaching me on an actual Trap range. (And I shot my first 25 from 22 yards.)
     
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