28 gauge for early season pheasants

A5 Sweet 16

Member
Not my cup of tea. Not sure why a person would put that type of limitation on his/her hunt. But....you put 3/4 oz of lead 5's or 6's at around 1300 fps in the right spot at the right time....it'll kill roosters. No problem. To a point. (like maybe 30-35 yds max, before pattern density gets thin)
 

jmuller19

Member
makes sense. I was just wondering what people thought. I was thinking its was to small a gauge for normal pheasant hunting. Thanks for your input.
 

dag

New member
Gentleman i hunt with in South Dakota only uses a 28 ga and absolutely murders them at anytime of the season.
 

A5 Sweet 16

Member
Gentleman i hunt with in South Dakota only uses a 28 ga and absolutely murders them at anytime of the season.
It's definitely doable, but there's no doubt that for most people, a 28 gauge becomes a significant limitation at some point.
 

hunter94

Active member
It's definitely doable, but there's no doubt that for most people, a 28 gauge becomes a significant limitation at some point.
the 28 throws a very efficient pattern, as someone said, 30 yards is about tops and inside is even better....a good pointing dog will give better results as well.
i have a 28, it is a great gun to carry.
 
I have shot many wild roosters with a 28. Instead of IC/Mod chokes when using my 16, Mod/imp Mod seems to do the trick with the 28.
 

AtTheMurph

New member
I don't think it limits you at all. Just know your limits and a 12, 16, 20 or 28 will all drop cocks.

I myself prefer a 20 and 28 for all types of upland birds. I'll use my 28 SxS early and sometimes late depending on the wind. If it's calm I will use the smaller gauge.
 

benelli-banger

Active member
I know a guy who brings all gauges on his opening weekend hunt, from a 410 to a 10 gauge...he shoots a bird with each...so, sure, a 28 can kill a rooster...having said that, I have lost LOTS of birds over the 27 years I have been hunting pheasants intensely and most of those years have been with a 12 gauge throwing 1.25 oz of 5's at 1300+ fps...and a good % that come back to me are alive...I don't want to make it harder than it already is. But I love my 28's! shot a lot of sharp tails this year with them...and a few huns...and a ruffed grouse yesterday...magic little wands!
 

jmuller19

Member
I agree that a 28 gauge is on the lite side but was curious on what people thought. I will stick with my 12 gauge most likely. Thanks for all the input.
 

Goosemaster

New member
In eastern Montana, I usually use a 12 gauge. In the Roy Montana area, I always use a 20 gauge. No wind.Around Sumatra, I use a 10 gauge Browning.
 

jstevens

New member
Gentleman i hunt with in South Dakota only uses a 28 ga and absolutely murders them at anytime of the season.
I have shot a bunch in SD in late Nov/early Dec with a 28 ga and 7/8 or 1 oz loads of 5's or 6's. I usually concentrate on killing all the ones up close and let the 50 plus yards ones continue on. The 28 will kill them dead at 35 yards, which is most of the ones killed.
 
I started shooting a 28 about 4 years ago, thought I would give it a try one day. Haven't gone back since. A load of #5 or #6 will put um down DOA if you point it correct. #6 works fine for quail and pheasant areas. At the end of the day or several days your shoulder will thank you too
 
I have several hunting pals that have gone to smaller gauge guns. They have all opted for
higher end shells to make up the difference. I picked up a Beretta O/U 20 gauge and
some 20 gauge HEVI BISMUTH.
 

Goosemaster

New member
I started shooting a 28 about 4 years ago, thought I would give it a try one day. Haven't gone back since. A load of #5 or #6 will put um down DOA if you point it correct. #6 works fine for quail and pheasant areas. At the end of the day or several days your shoulder will thank you too
I disagree.A 28 gauge, is not big enough for montanaMontana.
 

mutthunt

Member
Not sure why Montana birds would feel pellets any differently than Minnesota or Dakota birds.

Franchi Instinct L in 28 gauge. Hand loads with 1/4 oz of #9 TSS-18 and 9/16oz of #3 steel. ~180 pellets per shell. Cyl/Imp Cyl choke keeps >75% in 30 inch circle out to 40 yards (TSS/steel patterns super tight). Using non-tox cuz i bounce between state/federal/private land too much to bother with switching out shells all the time.

May try handloads of HW13 #6 next year...see how it goes this year. Dog trained all summer with this gun (#7 steel loads), so I know my range. Benefit of having a pointing dog is that most shots are close...found myself waiting for birds to get away last year. And before anyone says anything...I only hunt wild birds in MN/SD/ND.

$1.25/shell...try not to miss.
 
A #5 pellet going 1300 fps out of a 28 gauge is no different than one coming out of a 12 gauge tube. So yeah-it is enough to get the job done!
The question is-is the shooter's aim efficient enough to get it done. You kind of owe it to the birds to make an effective decision on which to use. Missing and crippling is no fun anyway.
I 've killed a ton of wild quail with my 28 but when I'm chasing roosters I opt. for a 20 gauge. Good or better ammunition is a must also.
 
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