New upland shotgun?

Gobbler

New member
I am looking to buy a new bird gun and have narrowed it down to either a Benelli Ethos or a Berreta A400 Uplander. This will be a gun to hunt wild roosters with but weight is a factor.
What are everybody's thoughts on 12 versus 20 gauge on wild pheasants and any experiences good or bad, with either of these brand shotguns
 

goldenboy

Well-known member
I prefer a 12 gauge over a 20. Your range is a bit longer with the 12. Last year I shot my 16 almost exclusievly because I had some many opportunities on birds on Iowa and SD. But usually my go to gun is a 12. Good luck finding the right gun for you.
 

westksbowhunter

Well-known member
Benelli Montefeltro in a 20 or a Browning A5 Sweet 16. Both under 6 pounds and closer 5.5. I hunt with the Monte 20 but have an A5 on order. Both super reliable and easy to clean. Basically zero recoil on the 20.
 

Wolfchief

Active member
Gobbler: Others have said this and I will reiterate that a very workable answer to your "12 vs. 20" question is a 16 gauge gun--particularly for pheasants. I have used both a Merkel 1620 side by side weighing about 6 lbs., and in the last two years, a Browning (new) A5, also weighing just shy of 6 lbs. on pheasants, and also ducks, with very satisfying success. You'll find that these and other 16's with similar characteristics (for example, a Winchester Model 12 with 26" barrel or an Ithaca Featherlight Model 37 16 gauge) are easy to carry, won't slow your swing, and will shoot either 1 ounce or 1 1/8 ounce loads of #5 or #6's from Remington, Federal or whoever with the authority to hit the birds hard---assuming , as with any gun and load, the birds are hit solidly. Of course the Model 12 and Ithaca Model 37 would be used guns but there are plenty of those around.
I'm seeing Federal, Remington and Fiocchi ammunition offered this fall at the Rural King, Runnings, Bass Pro and Cabela's outlets and, once in a while at Wal Mart. If you happen to be a reloader, that would also be a good way to go and you can tailor your loads for hunting, skeet or other clay games as you wish. If you hunt ducks, the Bismuth and Boss loads are costly but they work fine. Federal also makes a 15/16 ounce 16 gauge steel load that I've used for jump shooting and decoying ducks. I have 5 16 gauge guns and they continue to be used frequently because they are very practical and effective sporting guns. Best of luck with your decision.
 

5 stand

Well-known member
12 gauge will be your best option. There will be a wide variety of 12 gauge shells to choose from, at cheaper prices. If a store sells ammo they will have 12 gauge on the shelf.

You'll be able to kill roosters with either one of those shotgun.
 
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Matt D

Active member
Not getting in to which of those two are better as both are good. One thing to consider is safety location. For that reason for me it is Benelli. Now having said that 16 gauge is tough to beat for wild roosters IMO.
 

benelli-banger

Well-known member
I have a beretta AL 391 20 gauge that i won at an NRA banquet in 2001; I shoot it really well, but I don't like the safety location. I have had some incredible runs with this gun on wild roosters...for some inexplicable reason (boredom) 2 years ago I restocked it with custom wood from Coles...it is gorgeous. I too think that a 12 gauge is a better go-to gauge for roosters, but plenty of guys use a 20...if you're on, the bird's going down. I use #4 or #5 lead when I can...my run that I once had was using 2 3/4" Hevi Shot #6...crazy lethal! I am selling my AL 391...asking $1300...you need to see the wood! I have been shooting my ever-increasing collection of side by sides...I use my benelli ultra light 12 for most of my pheasant hunting...a real wand!!! good luck!!!
 

benelli-banger

Well-known member
my hunting partner is a competitive shooter...amazing shot. He shoots the beretta you are considering...loves it. has a few of them. Handle a few different guns...see/feel what you think...enjoy! his wife is in the Mn trapshooting hall of fame...she shot 100 straight at age 12 with a .410...her older brother has the world record for skeet targets killed consecutively...2586...yup...2586...so, my cousin/hunting partner married into the right family as it relates to learning to shoot! He's good, his wife is REALLY good, and the bro in law is legendary! Again, my cousin loves his A400'S...no guarantees! I love my BUL 12 gauge...just comes up nicely...lethal on birds...I am not a frequent clays shooter...
 

Munster927

Well-known member
Im sure a Beretta is nice as well but in my small circle of the world, everyone I know that's had a Beretta shotgun has had issues with it cycling. Again, my small corner of the world. Another corner it may have been the Benelli. I'm sure either will do you justice.
 

BRITTMAN

Well-known member
Young man just won the North Central Region sporting clays event with the A400 Beretta. He is also on Team USA. Young man was surrounded by 100s of older people shooting O/Us .... many running $10K+
 

mutthunt

Active member
I really really wanted to get an a400, but just came across too good of a deal on an ethos 20 gauge. So far it shoots pretty good, still kind of getting the feel for it. I'm usually a mid-40s on sporting clays, and the first time out with that gun I shot a high 30s so I'm not sure if it's the gun, the fit or just need to get used to it. Being a light gun it's certainly swings faster than what I'm used to. I shoot best with my 686 12 gauge and my SX3 12 gauge, which both have silky smooth swings.

I only shoot wild birds, and start the season with a 28 gauge even on pheasants. I have no worries about the 20 gauge being able to handle mid to late season birds. That being said I will probably switch over to my 12 gauge late season, just because when I'm in the middle of a cattail sea I want every gram of extra power. I also shoot over 75% of my birds over points, if I was hunting over a flusher that might change things.

In regards to recoil, I shot a round of sporting clays with the ethos and a round a sporting clays with my duck gun an SX3 12 gauge. The ethos certainly had more kick to it, but that's kind of comparing apples to oranges. When I shoot my ethos dog training on live birds I never even notice the kick.

I'm very much looking forward to carrying the 28 gauge franchi and the 20 gauge ethos in a few weeks when I go out and chase sharptails, weather permitting.
 

sjohn

Active member
I too shot a Berretta A400 extreme. I have gotten used to the safety location. However, I always keep my finger on the safety which after several hours of doing this my finger does get stiff from being stretched out in order to reach the safety which is on the front side of the trigger guard.

I have found I have to clean it way more than what the manufacturer claims to keep the action working properly. Otherwise it turns into a single shot. Before the Berretta, I used a Browning Gold Hunter. It was also a very good gun and never gave me any issues. Many others in the collection, which is getting smaller as I am now slowly giving them to my son in law and only keeping the guns I regularly shoot.

Gun weight has never really been an issue for me. I have carried some heavy guns over the years and the A400 is, I think, over 7 lbs. I don't ever recall blaming a miss on the weight of my gun.
 

20super90

Member
I shoot a older benelli m1 20 gauge.... it had a few hiccups early in its life in colder weather with bolt not closing completely,but put a heavier wolf spring in and it hasnt let me down since. Pry 7 or 8 boxes of federal 1 1/4 5 shot a year and not 1 issue.

The ultra lights are nice little guns and 1 day I'll have 1 but I believe they only can hold 2 shells in the mag compared to my 3 with 1 in the hole... I know I know. Very rarely use that 4 shell... but never know when ya bust up a big group after a big snow and the 1st 2 shots are basically wasted.. better make 3 and 4 count.

1 have 3 benellis and 1 20 and 2 12. I have now switched to basically 20 gauge for all hunting. Super sport for trap. Old sbe for snows only just cause got a tube on it.


Long story short. I'd get the 20 gauge. Shoot heavy loads. Dont look back
 

Gobbler

New member
Boys...I am a new member to this forum and I couldn't be more impressed or more appreciative of all the information I have gotten here in just a few weeks. I put the shotgun question out there and have learned a ton in just a few days. For example, the safety location on the Berreta versus the Benelli also the availably of 12 gauge shells versus 20 gauge at least this year. All great, great stuff. Thanks for the great feedback and the great forum.
 
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