12 or 20 gauge for pheasants

paulc

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my son got his first hunting lisc this year.. he submitted an application for a jr pheasant hunt.. should he use a 12 or a 20 gauge.. i do not have a 20 and would rather not buy one but i do have 2 younger kids that can use it later if i do.. he does have access to a remington 870 12 or a single shot 12 gauge... what do you recomend.. i will be taking him for clay pigeons shortly and planned on trying the 12 gauge.. thanks for any help..
 

Fubar

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Paul  My congratulations to your son for getting his first license. I would like to know how big he is. If he is big enough to handle the 870 maybe you could get him some practice with that. The planted pheasants dont require the heavier loads the wild birds might. A single shot is usually lighter and packs a little more recoil. I have a 20 ga I use for upland game and I like it very much. You may consider buying one for your sons to use. I am sure you plan to take them on future trips. Sounds like you may need another gun anyway. If you opt for a 12 guage go with a lighter load in the 12. I think you are required to use 7 1/2 shot anyway. Good luck to your son.          Fubar

(Edited by Fubar at 5:01 pm on July 29, 2001)
 

grtwythunter

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paul- Congrats to your son! We need to get more kids into our ranks. I agree with fubar. If your son can handle the weight and recoil of a 12 there is no need to buy another gun(like we ever NEED one!) My nephew started hunting when he was 12 and never had a problem with a 12guage. 20 guage is plenty of gun for pen raised birds. I worked at a pheasant club when I was kid and killed plenty with my 20 and 7-1/2's. Good luck to you both.    Scott
 

paulc

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thanks fubar and grtwythntr... i will try him with the 12 gauge on the clay pigeons.. i was suprised you could use 7 1/2 shot on pheasants.. i figured you needed at least 6...  i have him a j14 deer tag and he is excited about it and the wild pig he shot but he seems even more excited about bird hunting... when i watch the outdoor channel he also likes the bird dog show the best... i aint gonna run out and get a bird dog though..
thanks again for your help...
 

Mel Carter

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Hey Paul,
 Congrats on your son getting his license. Where is it you will be hunting for the pheasants? I'm not sure how far I live from you, but I have a 20ga and an excellent Brittany. If your interested, I would love to give you and your son a hand on making his hunt as memorable and succesful as possible. Just let me know and i'm there.

Talk to ya later!

Mel
 

QALHNTR

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I agree with FUBAR.  My daughter is eleven. Last year she used a friend's 28 GA and did well.  The gun is not available this year so I was presented the perfect opportunity to buy a new shotgun.  We're picking up her (our) new 20 GA on the 3rd.  If she ever fades from the hunting scene, I got a neat 20 for the long hikes.
 

ghrousseau

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The 20 is fine for pen raised pheasants and chukkar.  I have a 870 pump 20 gauge which I love.  With practice you can hit as well as a 12.  It's also a lighter in the field.  Good dove gun as well and easy to maintain.  
 

Pasco

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I posed a similar question a while back on the Guns and Gear forum here.  I recieved a number of very insightful responses, you may want to check there for more.  (post is: shotgun for a rather small 12 yr. old)
Good luck.
 

paulc

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mel, thank you very much for your offer... we have  not yet got the results back from the special drawing yet... i will keep in touch with you and let you know where the hunt is located.. if it works out for you as far as dates and location we would really appreciate going with you.. thanks

thanks to everyone for your insight on the 20/12/16  gauge question..
paul
 

Mel Carter

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Hey Paul,
 That sounds good, just keep me informed of the date and location. If i'm able to make it i'm there.

Mel
 

buckhunter

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I started with a 20 but it seems like in a year the kid will be asking for your gun when the wind is blowing and the pheasents are out there aways. I would go with a 12 gage 6's 7.5's they do fine. good luck
 

paulc

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again thanks for all the help.. i took my son shooting today.. he shot about 20 rounds out of my 12 gauge remington 870... his arms are a little short but he said the kick was no problem... i had him shoot first from a single shot 12 that is a light gun with no stock pad.. he didnt like that.. he didnt believe me that the heavier gun would kick less and didnt want to even try it but after he did he was set.. he had an awsome time..
let me pose another question.. big 5 had a remington 870 that handles 3 1/2 magnums for 229.00 can this be right.. isnt this a great price.. now i am tempted to buy this one and let him shoot my old one..
is it a deal i cant pass up.. what do you think>.
paul c
 

BigDog

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That is a great price Paul. If I were at home, I would be finding out where and be running there. But, if you go to 3 1/2, then you may be getting too much for the boy.  Unless you are planning on giving him yours.
Hey, would ya mind buying me that 3 1/2...lol
 

Wild Turk

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Nice to see that parents still see hunting as a great experiance for their kids.  My recommendation is to go with the Rem 870.  It is a heavy gun, which will be a little tougher to carry, but will absorb much of the recoil.  Dove loads are a great way to get a small framed shooter used to a gun that they will need to grow into.  The way that kids grow, he will probably be handling the 870 like a pro in a season or two.
 
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