Over/under vs Pump for Ducks

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by GreenWing, May 15, 2020.

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  1. GreenWing

    GreenWing Member

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    I've been duck hunting for around 6 years now and I've always used a pump action shotgun. I've never really liked semiautomatics, I don't really know why. Recently I've started looking at over/unders and side by sides. Was looking for comments/experiences with a double barrel and maybe using a modified and IC choke since I'd have two barrels vs one. I've realized that I very rarely use all three shots before reloading. Thoughts?
     
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  2. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    Depends on type of hunting you do.
    If walking/wading for woodies like we do in middle Georgia, the beating a waterfowling piece gets suggests that a beater pump is the way to go. Imagine firing a barrel with mud in the muzzle? $400 up to replace a barrel set, vs $100 for a used Rem 870 remchoke barrel.

    Secondarily, non lead shot (except bismuth or polymer matrix) is hard on barrels, and can ruin both barrels of an expensive twin.

    When I was marauding waterfowl, I used a Rem 1187SP (camo) as my primary, with a pawn shop picked up Rem 870 Express as a backup. I have multiple barrel sets for both.

    I later aquired for $125 a Charles Daley 20ga pump that I use to hike into beaver swamps with a bag of decoys. I hurt a LOT of feelings with that little gun with it’s rattle can camo job and #6 tungsten loads...

    Imagine the looks I got the next time I showed up with my CZ Golden Pheasant 20s/s and Bismuth loads wearing a tweed shooting jacket and Orvis vest (I got for $15 at GoodWill!)...
    Too bad the ducks/geese didn’t show.

    I say just stick with the pump...
     
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  3. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Are you used to shooting doubles? Reason I ask is that they take a bit to get used to, especially SxSs. Being able to quickly and easily choose which barrel(choke) to shoot first means you need a gun with double triggers. Once standard on SxSs they are now hard to find and impossible on O/Us. This means you end up with a barrel selector, which are difficult at best to change barrel selection when in a hurry on a flying bird. I grew up with SxSs with double triggers. For upland game they are the cat's behind. For pass shooting over decoys, I would think the difference between having two different chokes as opposed to one is moot. Nice thing about doubles is you never forget to put the plug in. Wardens won't ask you to unload and reload your gun when they check you waterfowl hunting, and in a scenario where you might chance upon a woodcock when hunting grouse/pheasant, you are still within Migratory regs. O/Us are popular because the lower barrel(which most folks shoot first) makes so recoil is lower in your shoulder and reduces barrel flip, giving you a quicker and more accurate second shot(so folks say). Kinda why so many trap shooters use them. For the average hunter, it really depends what fits you and what you like. Nuttin' more classic that a good ol' SxS slung open over your shoulder at the end of the hunt. That's another reason I prefer doubles to pumps/semis, ease of unloading, especially when crossing fences.
     
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  4. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    As the other's said, depends on the type of hunting you do.

    I've used all 3 for ducks/geese.

    I wouldn't use a nice double on waterfowl, just due to the normal conditions. While 2 chokes are cool, I get more use out of them upland hunting when you have the flush, and 90% of the time the next shot is at a greater distance. You can get the same effect in a single barrel to some extent by varying your shot size.

    After being a died in the wool pump guy, I switched to an auto (Benelli SBE) for waterfowl when I moved back to the Midwest as I spent more time in both layout boats and blinds. Can't tell you how many times I short-shucked a pump on a crossing target while sitting and swinging right to left. My doubles and even triples increased on honkers dramatically while hunting over decoys with the SBE. Ducks stayed about the same, but they have a better ability to "get out of dodge" when the shooting starts.
     
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  5. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Not a very experienced duck hunter, but I would use a pump over a double. I use a Moss 930 w/ 3". I also have a 870 express 3" I could use.
     
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  6. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    I've duck hunted for 45 years with a Rem 870 12 ga. before switching to an 1187 20 ga. I wouldn't dream of taking my Zoli O/U out on the water. Doves and quail, yes .. ducks, no.
     
  7. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

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    Which one is a better swimmer?
     
  8. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I hunted for years with a beautiful, but fortunately cheap Spanish built double. Years of salt marsh and riding in boats and it weren't so pretty anymore. I surely would NOT treat a shotgun worth anything like that again, would revert to one of my Mossbergs. :D I do like semi autos, though. Their relatively soft recoil with heavy loads is great. I have a cheap old Winchester that still works great for this. If I was still able to hunt ducks, I think I'd be looking for another semi auto, maybe a Remington, maybe a Benelli or something. But, my duck hunting days are at least on hold if not over due to cancer. I'm very anemic and am waiting on MD Anderson to consult for a bone marrow transplant. Even if I can whip the cancer, I'm older than dirt. I'll turn 70 in a few years, so just how long can I do anything this athletic? Wading in a salt marsh is a young man's activity, hard on bodies as well as shotguns. :D
     
  9. rabid wombat

    rabid wombat Member

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    In the mid 80’s, I bought a Mossberg pump, because it was the cheapest I could get to fill the bill...it replaced a Rem 11, my friends said was too nice. I have removed the broken safety in a blind, thrown the empty shotgun to a friend when I got stuck in the mud (he threw me a bag of decoys to give some displacement to get out), I have dunked it to wash off the duck blood, what ever scratches and dings walking in...it works.

    i would love to be at a level where I could afford a double for the same use. At the time, $100 was forever. Use what you want, what you shoot well, and don’t lose sleep over what happens to it. It is a tool that helps bring you joy in sharing a hunt with people you want to be around....
     
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  10. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I got a CZ Redhead Delux some time back. It's never shot a duck and will never go duck hunting. It's my dove gun, pretty gun. I sit on my dove stool when hunting and just admire it. :D It's never been in a boat, either, LOL.

    As for bird hunting, I started out with my Grandpa hunting doves about age 10. I started duck hunting at 14. I've always preferred waterfowl, but older I get, I find doves a lot more relaxing and less strenuous. And, being able to chat with friends and not being wet and cold, well, it has its advantages. :D I do miss the calling, but I can live without it.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2020
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  11. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    Yup, cause it's going to happen. I grew up hunting salt marshes in RI and CT, I've had guns go overboard, knocked over by retrievers, gotten dunked when I fell over, etc. etc. Salt water is extremely hard on guns. Completely breaking down a gun after it's gone for a swim is a PITA. I wouldn't use a gun I wasn't prepared to replace.

    Good friend of mine uses an 870 that he just repaints with Krylon after the season. I had my BPS parkerized and my SBE has a factory dipped camo finish with a chrome lined bore. My Brownings, SKB, Parker, and AH Fox are reserved for doves, quail, and ditch chickens.
     
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  12. George P

    George P member

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    I'll be the Fuddy Curmudgeon - get the SxS or O/U (whichever one FITS) and do the hunting like our great/grandfathers did. I might opt for something slightly tighter, depending on the distances and the non-tox ammo being used..............most importantly, have fun and take up the challenge!
     
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  13. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I really like a SXS for upland hunting. I see the O/U as the better gun for playing the clays games. At any rate a decent double regardless of barrel position is going to be expensive. And the cheap ones ain't gonna be a decent gun. For about 1/3 the cost of a decent double you can get a world class pump action. And there will be times when you appreciate the 3rd shot.

    Duck hunting can be the hardest type of hunting for a gun. There could be times where the best way to initially clean one is to hose the mud off in the yard before bringing it in the house at the end of the day. Not many people willing to abuse a $1000+ double like that, but a $300 pump will take it and come back for more the next day.
     
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  14. garandsrus

    garandsrus Member

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    I really like a semi auto for ducks. Late season you are bundled up pretty good and not having to rack a shell is a good thing. I have used pumps and O/U and both work. I would hate to trash a nice O/U in a duck marsh.
     
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  15. DocRock

    DocRock member

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    I believe there have been some Browning Cynergy done in a camo wrap or cerakote with composite stocks. The Cynergy is a decent gun, despite the heavy triggers, but never recovered from the initial hate over its "radical" design, so is priced under what it really should be in the market. You may want to websurf for a deal on NOS or look, carefully, at the GB for used.
     
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  16. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    I started with a pump, used an O/U for many years and now mostly a semi auto. Thinking back on more than four decades of duck hunting memories, the guns are irrelevant. Being on the river before daylight, in all kinds of weather, with my dog and those that have passed is what I remember and why I go.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2020
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  17. T.R.

    T.R. Member

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    I've had very good luck with my double barrel shotgun as it fits me well and balanced quite good, too.

    TR
     
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  18. GreenWing

    GreenWing Member

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    So I was looking mostly at a TriStar O/U which is at academy for about $450. I realize the conditions are tough on a gun but my I got my Nova on sale for $510. A lot of people use the SBE and it runs higher than $1500. Definitely don't want an expensive gun for duck hunting. Would really like a synthetic stock like on my Nova. Anyone have a TriStar O/U?
     
  19. DocRock

    DocRock member

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    A $450 o/u is crap. You probably don’t want to
    hear that but it is simply impossible to make a decent double gun that can retail for $450. Pot metal internals, probably extractors only, poorly regulated barrels, poorly affixed ribs. Won’t last a season in the duck blinds.

    A little looking may turn up a used Miroku made Charles Daly, possibly an SKB, or even an older Win 101 (check for fit) in the $500-$600 range.
     
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  20. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    Check this out.
    https://simpsonltd.com/skb-model-51-o-u-z39917/

    Z39917B__82231.1551295315.jpg
     
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  21. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I got my camo Mossberg 500 for less than $300 in the early 90s and it still shoots well. It's been on many duck hunts in the salt marsh, has had mud and salt water dunks over the years that didn't seem to phase it. I like the plastic stocks it came with. I shimmed the stock so that it would fit me, works really well. The painted camo dip seems to really shed the rust monster. When I hunted at least twice a week during the season, nearly every day I had off, that Mossy was always there. :D I had a Mossberg built shotgun labeled "Revelation M310" up until I got the camo Mossberg to replace it. I really didn't need to replace it. It'd been used so much, fired so many rounds, it was smooth as silk and practically pumped itself. It didn't cost me, but a motorcycle frame I wasn't using, didn't want. I just saw that camo gun and liked the finish. :rofl: And, it was a deal. It's held up much better than my poor old Sarasqueta Spanish built double.
     
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  22. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    If you do get a O/U or SxS for duck hunting, I learned this on this board in the shotgun forum. WAX it before the season with paste wax, good old Johnson's paste wax. Wax the wood AND metal. That has really helped on my old Winchester 1400 semi auto. It has kept the corrosion away. When I was hunting a lot, I would clean and rewax before the season. After I saw how well it protected the Winchester, I waxed my pumps and even my SxS Remington Spartan even though it wasn't used in the marsh. Heck, it ain't that much work to wax a gun and it really helps with blue/wood guns. :D

    No matter what you're hunting with, lube and pull and clean the chokes when you get home as a matter of routine.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2020
  23. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    The ability to use two different chokes make be an advantage over decoys, otherwise I like a pump or automatic. Duck hunting takes the nice right off a gun in about three seasons or less.
     
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  24. George P

    George P member

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    Remember to wax EVERY part, so take the gun down and get to those areas as well.
     
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  25. GreenWing

    GreenWing Member

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    I don't have a problem with pass shooting, but I'd take two ducks over decoys vs four pass shot ducks any day. Nothing quite like watching them lock up over decoys.
     
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