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O/U or Semi-auto for upland bird hunting?


Where is everyone? Did I make everybody mad ???? When one stops and thinks about hunting any wild animal, we probably should hunt with a single shot like our great grandfathers. That way we would be forced to learn to shoot accurately and there would be less wounding of animals and birds. The makers of autos, pumps, O/Us and SxSs would not be happy - but wouldn't it be more sporting? Should you own one of these multi-shot firearms, next time you and your buddies are in the field, why don't you challenge them to loading only one shell at a time?


For those who regularly hunt pheasant, grouse, quail, etc., I'm interested in a discussion on pros/ cons. I have both and like the 3rd shot I get with the auto, but HATE the extra weight. I also am so incredibly tired of the cleaning regime for auto loading shotguns. It's a serious PITA. I can clean my O/U in about 10 minutes. The auto has a strap which is somewhat handy for carry for long walks, but I don't use it much for it's intended "bracing" purpose. What are your thoughts?
"Strap". I like that. :D
My thoughts on a gun for upland hunting is one that you can pack along comfortably all day long and one you can shoot comfortably all day long.
It should be easy to swing quickly, but heavy enough in the muzzle to aid in aiming.
It should be reliable in any condition and most of all.....you should be able to shoot it competently at the drop of a hat....every....time.
What type of action it is, is irrelevant.
When I was a teen, I had a Stevens 511 20 ga. choked modified/full (the 511 was a SxS).
I could drive nails with that gun at 50 paces, but carrying it in the field was like walking around with a 6 lb., 3.5 ft. long 4x4 in my hands.
I didn't want to mount a sling on it (sling on a shotgun? Shirley, you jest!), so after the first season, it spend most of the next 20 years I owned it sitting in the gun case and I rarely shot it.
Around the same time, my father gifted himself with a Remington 1100 Lightweight. 20 ga., modified choke (his first!). He ended up liking it so much, he shelved the 12 gauge Remington 11-48 (full choke) he'd been carrying for the 25 years prior.
At the time, both of those auto's seemed cumbersome and overly long to me. I didn't shoot them well (same for the JC Higgins Model 20 I sometime used), so I didn't shoot either of them very much.
A few years ago, I was invited to go shooting with someone I met at another forum and I brought along my H&R single and the 1100.
What a difference 35+ years made! I was dropping clays like they were on the take, with that auto. I really surprised myself! It is now one of my favourite guns.
As I just mentioned, I also have an H&R break action single shot. 20 ga. full choke.
I got the gun as payment for helping a friend move some furniture, as I had always wanted one of those and he didn't want his anymore.
There was a part broke, so I had it repaired and asked them to open the choke up to modified while they had it.
Total cost was about the same I'd have paid for a used one in much worse shape than my gun was in, so I figured, in the end, I made out!
When I took it out to shoot I found it was a very different affair than my brother's Stevens-Savage 94 that I had also shot, growing up.
What I ended up discovering was that the stock had been cut short and I wasn't able to snug it into my shoulder like I should be able to, so half a box of Rabbit & Squirrel's would pound my shoulders into submission.
I shelved the gun while I thought about how I was going to approach a new buttstock (because, of course, that's what it needed!)
One day I ran across an announcement for a new product called a "Limb Saver", which was a recoil pad made from somekind of "space age" rubber that was supposed to work better than any other pad on the market.
I kept that in mind and one day, while out screwing around, I decided to drop into a sporting goods store and lo and behold, there it was...and the price was not too bad! (under $20 in those days!)
It was a slip on, so I slid it on and went shooting. What a different that made!
It increased the length of pull to almost the exact correct length for my frame and coupled with the modified choke, I've been very deadly with that gun since then (that is, when I'm not shooting over it :rolleyes: ).
Also, the pad works as advertised. My high brass Duck and Pheasants feel like a .22 rimfire with that pad on.
It really works!
Anyway, my point with all these boring old stories is that those guns were all very different from each other and I shot them all very well...so obviously the type of action doesn't matter, when it comes to marksmanship.
So to break it all down into a nutshell; when going out for upland birds, take the most reliable gun you can shoot well, that you don't mind carrying around all day.

...hope that helps. =)

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Some of you may be wondering about those four shotguns from the auction. Was never able to coordinate a trip to the range with my grandson so I went by myself. I don't think I have ever shot any .410 shotgun and I definitely could not shoot that AyA SxS .410! Only hit 1 of 15 Trap targets! The 20ga SxS with double triggers turned out to be SWEET and is definitely a keeper. A big surprise was that the heavier 12ga SxS kicked like a mule; it will definitely go to my favorite gun dealer to be put on consignment. The 2nd 12ga SxS will have to be shot more before a decision as to its future. There were a couple small mechanical problems between the four shotguns that I think I have corrected. Proxibid Auction's policy is something like: you bought the problem - it is now your problem. One has to remember that he is buying, more or less, sight unseen (except for photos) and without the opportunity to handle or examine the firearm prior to purchasing the firearm. [Most sellers do not offer a 3-day inspection period like GunsAmerica does.] So, there does not seem to be any recourse that I am aware of. I'll just consider it an expensive lesson learned - over $1,800 - and not participate in any future auctions. I'll also advise others to be extremely cautious so they decide to buy through any on-line auction sites.


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