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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Lyons, CO
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    3,027

    Default Upland shotgun selection: confusing recommendations!

    Hey all,
    So I've been wanting to get into a 20-gauge for dove, grouse etc. I'm a new shotgunner and want an intro-level, not too expensive gun for recreational clays and light hunting. After a fair bit of research online I was going to get a Stoeger Condor combo, which is an inexpensive over-under (with interchangeable barrels 12/20 is the combo bit) that has pretty good reviews overall. But when I went down to Bass Pro all the staff in the gun room and then in the hunting department firmly discouraged me from it and steered me towards semiautos. Talked themselves out of a sale, though I appreciated their candor.

    Now I'm not necessarily opposed to a semi; the recoil moderation would be nice (though I shoot my 30-06 flinch-free and am not recoil-averse, yet , and shoot my 870 12-gauge OK), but my thought with the double is ease of cleaning and having different chokes for the first and second shot. Doubles don't seem to weigh much more than the semis. I don't really care about the whole "fine gun" thing; I'm looking for an entry-level field piece I can get a scratch on and not freak out, and I'll never be a thousand+ rounds a year shooter. I'd love to spend around $500 and a used gun would be fine, though I don't know enough about shotguns to evaluate one very accurately.

    So what are y'all's thoughts: why am I getting pushed to the semis? Anyone recommend a shotgun that sounds like what I'm looking for? Anyone have/use a Stoeger Condor that can share a review? For the price, and for someone who just wants an entry-level gun, could they really be that disappointing for my purposes?
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,027

    Default Re: Upland shotgun selection: confusing recommendations!

    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    437

    Default Re: Upland shotgun selection: confusing recommendations!

    Ben, you need to get the gun that you are comfortable with.
    If that Stoeger fits you and feels good, then do it.
    If you haven't already, check out a few other doubles before you buy.

    Have always wanted a nice O/U but the ones I like are all in the 2 grand range.
    Can't justify spending 2k for an O/U.
    So I went with a Rem 1100 Premier Sporting in 12ga
    All it needed was a shell catcher for trap and am very happy with it.
    I can use it for rabbits or pheasant if I want but usually use a 16ga side by side for that.

    For guns and camera equipment, I like to buy once and cry once rather than having to spend even more money after something didn't live up to expectations.

    A friend recently purchased an SA20 Mossberg auto and likes it btw.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,678

    Default Re: Upland shotgun selection: confusing recommendations!

    I'm very happy with my Grandfather's 20GA Parker DHE - though it is tight choked for skeet.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Lakeland FL
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: Upland shotgun selection: confusing recommendations!

    don't go with the 1400 i know that a few years ago in Field and stream it made there list of top three shotguns not to buy. I have one it is broke lol. I also have a 20ga condor it is a nice gun you can tell it is cheaper made but for the price i love it. My next gun will be a 20ga semi auto i just like semi autos not sure why.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,027

    Default Re: Upland shotgun selection: confusing recommendations!

    I guess another question (or an implied question) is: apart from "your preference", what are the pros and cons of semi vs. double for this use? No home defense (that's the 870 and his pals ), strictly upland and recreational clays. Or is it really just what you end up liking?
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaston, SC
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: Upland shotgun selection: confusing recommendations!

    I was given a Fox Savage 20 ga double barrel when I was 12,, 50 yrs ago,, it still shoots like new,, and is the best skeet, trap, and hunting gun I have (unless I need to reach WAY up for duck),, LOVE a double,,

    and YES I have a Stoeger,, they are good guns,,

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Tulsa, OK
    Posts
    3,413

    Default Re: Upland shotgun selection: confusing recommendations!

    Why 20 ga instead of 12? When I hunt doves, I need every pellet I can get.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
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    3,027

    Default Re: Upland shotgun selection: confusing recommendations!

    Seems like the 12 would just about turn a dove onside out? Anything left to eat? My thoughts are weight and less damage to small game.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    mineral county,Montana USA
    Posts
    798

    Default Re: Upland shotgun selection: confusing recommendations!

    i shoot a benelli supernova pump for ducks, geese, grouse, turkey, and hopefully pheasants this year. it was 500 bucks, is tough, fairly light and cleans easy. never dove hunted.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    437

    Default Re: Upland shotgun selection: confusing recommendations!

    Ben, do you reload?
    You can always use a light 12ga load for doves.
    But, some autos may need a heavier load to cycle properly so that should be taken into consideration.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Posts
    131

    Default Re: Upland shotgun selection: confusing recommendations!

    My $.02

    I started hunting ruffled grouse on an Ithaca 20 Ga. Dad used his 16. We never had a problem with either grouse or woodcock. Both pump actions. The way I always understood it was a semi was really more of a pheasant gun. Three rounds in the choke was plenty for the small birds, learn how to lead the bird and you only need one shot anyway. Doves: I never hunted them, so I can't comment. Now then, I got shot in the leg in the Marines some 20 years ago, and that has put a damper on long-walk hunts, and I also haven't kicked up a grouse in almost 15 years, so I quit hunting them long ago. I stick with the turkeys and deer now. 12 Ga single shot breach open and Win .308 respectively.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Tulsa, OK
    Posts
    3,413

    Default Re: Upland shotgun selection: confusing recommendations!

    With the right choke and loads, a 12 ga is fine for doves. Use a looser choke and more pellets and you'll, on average, get more birds.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    699

    Default Re: Upland shotgun selection: confusing recommendations!

    I have been looking for a 20 for the kid. I will need to take a look at the model. Sporting clay friend took me gun shopping a few years ago. We would ‘mount’ without our eyes closed and then open them and see where I was on the stock. Of all the $1k-$2k SG we tried I walked out with the $400 Stoeger. I have shot a few hundred of light trap rounds days through it without fail. It did not load on two back to back occasions but it turned out to be stuffed with straw from the goose laydown blind. Bottom line: Stoeger good, model you are referring to unknown but I am going to take a look.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gilmer,TX USA
    Posts
    1,830

    Default Re: Upland shotgun selection: confusing recommendations!

    Used my Mossberg 500 on dove this weekend, I would not buy another shotgun. Beats the Remington 870 any day.
    Mike
    Please check out the new kingfisherapiaries.com!
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  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
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    3,027

    Default Re: Upland shotgun selection: confusing recommendations!

    NielV help a noob out: what load? 1 oz #7 ish? I do want to eat them, meat hunter all the way.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
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    Default Re: Upland shotgun selection: confusing recommendations!

    AND... apart from being heavier, the S/S seems to be comparable to the O/U. Same price, the S/S comes in the double trigger if you like. Apart from maybe a broader sight plane, what's to prefer one way or t'other?
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,920

    Default Re: Upland shotgun selection: confusing recommendations!

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Dewey View Post
    I'm very happy with my Grandfather's 20GA Parker DHE - though it is tight choked for skeet.
    I belive the majority of the choke on this gun is near the end of the barrel. Just cut about 1/2 inch at a time off with a hacksaw till it opens up like you want, problem solved. If you sent it to me I'll fix it ( I have a sawz-all)

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,367

    Default Re: Upland shotgun selection: confusing recommendations!

    The best gun is what ever you feel the most comfortable with. Try a few out and go from there.
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Grayson, KY
    Posts
    274

    Default Re: Upland shotgun selection: confusing recommendations!

    A lot of these sound perfect for quail.

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