Now that deer season is over in Pennsylvania, many hunters are breaking out their shotguns for upland bird hunting. Winter makes grouse, pheasant, dove and other upland birds an exciting alternative to sitting in a tree stand for hours on end. Let’s make sure we have the right gun for the job.
For starters, you should know that a good upland gun must not be heavy as you will need one that you can carry around for miles and miles of trails, laurel, and through acres of dense thickets. When you notice the birds at your feet, the gun you have been toting the entire time must swing, mount and shoot with barely a conscious though on your par. In this article we are going to recommend what would be a good choice for an upland bird gun.
First of all, let’s start with the action. Basically, a pair beats a flush in the uplands but you should know that a third shot can taken down the birds that you have missed with the first two. However, the two-barreled guns have a lively feel that only just a few repeaters can offer. Of course, two barrels means two chokes, which means that you will get a wide spread of shot for the flush and a tighter pattern for the follow-up shot. In addition, there is another advantage to take into consideration: the hunter can easily open a break-action with a flip of the lever in order to safely jump creeks, fences and slide down banks.
Side-by-side or over & under? It is up to you to decide this one. The hunters that are used to shot with autos, pumps and those that have done some clay-target shooting prefer looking down the narrow plane of an over & under’s vertical barrels, while others enjoy the sensation of peering across the broad expanse of a side-by-side’s paired barrels. You need to know that due to the popularity of the over and under’s, there are more stackbarrels than doubles to take your pick. The side-by-sides weighs less in comparison to over & unders and their shallow frames nestle low in the hands of the hunter for natural and easy pointing. In order to take full advantage of the instant choke selection that the two-barreled has to offer, the hunter must shoot a two-trigger gun, which in most of the situations is a side-by-side.
Moving on to the gauges. You need to understand that an all-around upland gun has to be capable of handling loads from 7/8 to 1-1/4 ounces of shot, which means that only a few gauges can qualify for this. Your best bet would have to be anything between a 12 and the 16. Some say that the perfect upland gun would have to be a proper 16 that is built on a small frame, which means that it will be nearly equal to the ballistic of a 12 gauge and also approximately one pound lighter, making it a lot easier to carry around the hunting field. However, not many of the 16s amount to anything more than 16-gauge barrels stuck on the 12-gauge receivers. As far as the 12 is concerned, it patterns an ounce of shot as well as or better than just about any other smaller gauge and you also have the possibility to load it up to 1-1/4 ounces if you need the extra reach. Make sure to check out great deals on shotgun ammunition here before you trudge off into the woods.
Join us again for the second part of the article where we will continue to offer a few instructions about choosing efficient guns for bird hunting.
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