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doverham
October 20th, 2010, 02:50 PM
I just bought a 28 ga. barrel set from Joel Etchen for my 20 ga. Beretta 687EELL. The gun fits me perfectly and I love to shoot it, so I figured it was easier to work with something I knew rather than getting a new 28 ga. gun set up. The gun will weigh a hair over 6lbs, which seems pretty good for a 28 ga OU.

I will be taking the gun to GA soon for the maiden hunt. I have shot only clay targets with a 28 gauge, so I would appreciate any thoughts on chokes and loads for quail. All things being equal, I would prefer to use 3/4 oz, 1100-1200fps loads - would cyl/IC with 8s be an effective 28 setup, or does the smaller payload require tighter chokes? Obviously, I have not patterned the gun, so I will have to work with generalizations for now.

Thanks in advance, Doverham

TwiceBarrel
October 20th, 2010, 03:21 PM
A lot depends on the birds. Is this a "Plantation" hunt with released birds or is this a wild bird hunt. Released birds are usually "softer" than wild birds and a lighter charge of smaller shot is more appropriate while in my experience strictly wild birds flush at a longer range and require a bit more heavier shot for clean kills. Having said that good dogs that hunt up cripples well will make up a bit for lack of clean kills.

When in doubt use a 16 gauge.

doverham
October 20th, 2010, 06:56 PM
These will be wild birds over professionally handled pointers.

Don Moody
October 20th, 2010, 08:49 PM
A 28 gauge Double or O/U makes a fine quail gun for wild quail. You won't be able to tell any difference in it or a 20 gauge. 3/4 ounce of shot is plenty. I like SK/SK or IC/M.

Voutsi
October 20th, 2010, 08:50 PM
I have not owned a 28 ga. But I have shot more than few at skeet.

My opion is that 3/4 oz of 8's will be just right inside 30 yards on quail size birds.I am not so sure on the Cyl choke with that amount of shot. Inside 30 yards IC and Mod would be my choice for the occasional bird outside thirty yards.

Did you get the barrels in 30" or 28" .

jfon
October 20th, 2010, 08:57 PM
I mostly use CYL/IC or SK/IC. Modified is also fine for the second shot, especially on wild birds. I need a pretty open choke for the first barrel as I tend to shoot quickly.

gunbroker90
October 20th, 2010, 09:54 PM
I've had several 28ga Berettas and they were fantastic quail guns. I hunted a lot of wild, early released, and day released quail with them. I used Winchester AA sporting clays loads. They worked fine for both wild and released quail. I prefer cylinder/skeet for released quail and skeet/improved modified for wild quail.

If you're hunting wild birds with dog handlers, I am assuming you're hunting a South Georgia plantation. Do you mind if I ask which one. I spend 75% of my hunting time in Southwest Georgia. Can't think of a better place to be during quail season... except for maybe Texas or Mexico!

Adam

doverham
October 21st, 2010, 12:06 AM
I had flirted with getting 30" barrels for the 28 ga, but I will be using this gun for woodcock and grouse too, so the shorter barrels seemed to be the better compromise. That said, the gun came with 30" and 28" barrels in 20 ga. and I find that I like the 30" barrels better. I haven't had a chance to shoot doves with those 30" barrels, but I am really looking forward to it.

We are going to Rio Piedra outside of Albany - our first trip there. It has been a long time since I last shot quail, so this will be a treat.

glocksig
October 21st, 2010, 09:27 AM
My 28 gauge sxs is my go to quail gun, it's choked skt1/skt2, that's plenty of choke for what you'll be doing. I always shoot 3/4 oz 7 1/2's of good quality, (target loads, B&P, RST) and it works perfectly.

I used to have a 28 gauge o/u that I shot quail with choked cylinder and IC. The cylinder was great if you were hunting alone and knew you'd have the first shot, pretty much anything to 20 yards was in the bag.

I'm not a big fan of #8's for quail, I see more birds "dusted" with 8's than 7 1/2.

I think you will find that in the quail fields is where the 28 gauge really shines.

Voutsi
October 21st, 2010, 09:43 AM
I had flirted with getting 30" barrels for the 28 ga, but I will be using this gun for woodcock and grouse too, so the shorter barrels seemed to be the better compromise. That said, the gun came with 30" and 28" barrels in 20 ga. and I find that I like the 30" barrels better. I haven't had a chance to shoot doves with those 30" barrels, but I am really looking forward to it.

We are going to Rio Piedra outside of Albany - our first trip there. It has been a long time since I last shot quail, so this will be a treat.

My opion is the 28 ga tubes on a 20 gauge frame will tend to be a bit light on the front end. The 30" tubes may help ballance the swing and help get you on taget smoother. That's why I asked.
Thanks.

dhlaw74
October 21st, 2010, 12:13 PM
I have a Beretta Silver Pigeon II in both 28 and 20. It is a very nice shotgun for quail and preserve pheasants/chukar.

I have not been overly pleased with the skeet chokes and have relied on the IC/M chokes for even preserve birds. The STS or AA Sporting Clay loads in 7.5's will serve you well.

I do use skeet in the first barrel when I rely on the 20 ga.

You can certainly experiment some and have fun doing so. It only takes less than a minute to change chokes if you have them with you.

Dennis

doverham
October 21st, 2010, 03:30 PM
I have not been overly pleased with the skeet chokes and have relied on the IC/M chokes for even preserve birds.

Interesting. Is your skeet choke a factory Beretta flush choke? Choke information I got from their website indicated that their flush skeet choke was 0.556, while the flush Cyl choke was 0.545 and nominal bore was 0.545. In other words, Beretta's factory flush skeet choke is actually 0.011 more open than the bore and the flush Cyl choke. Briley's Skeet choke by comparision is 0.540 - 0.016 tighter.

The choke constrictions listed by Beretta for the Optima extended chokes are different. Also, this not limited to 28 ga. The 12 ga. flush skeet choke was listed as 0.007 more open than nominal bore (0.723), and the 20 ga. flush skeet choke was listed as 0.011 more open than nominal bore (0.629).

Here is the link to the table where this came from:
http://berettausa.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/berettausa.cfg/php/enduser/popup_adp.php?p_sid=TP1M5Ilj&p_lva=&p_li=&p_faqid=43&p_redirect=&p_created=1081886216&p_sp=cF9zcmNoPSZwX3NvcnRfYnk9JnBfZ3JpZHNvcnQ9JnBfc m93X2NudD0yNTUsMjU1JnBfcHJvZHM9JnBfY2F0cz0mcF9wdj0 mcF9jdj0mcF9zZWFyY2hfdHlwZT1hbnN3ZXJzLnNlYXJjaF9ub CZwX3BhZ2U9MQ**

I vaguely recall reading somewhere that some European "skeet" chokes were reversed choked or whatever the technical term is for more open than the nominal bore. Whatever the merits of that might be with a 12 ga 1 1/8 oz load, it doesn't seem to make much sense for a 28 ga. 3/4 oz load.

bogtrotter
October 21st, 2010, 04:37 PM
3/4 oz. of shot and skeet chokes worked fine on wild quail last weekend.

Doug Lewis
October 21st, 2010, 07:17 PM
I shoot quail in Georgia all winter.

SKT/IC, SKT/SKT are good combos. I have a fixed choke SxS in IC/MOD that is very effective. I do have to let the birds get out a bit before I shoot with this gun.

I shoot 28ga only and use 7 1/2 light target loads..

The birds can be fast and tricky, but they are soft. Doesn't take much to kill them.

The Wings Of A Dove
October 21st, 2010, 09:42 PM
Doverham,
Are you sure you will be hunting wild birds at Rio Piedra? Just asking...didn't know they offered wild bird hunting. Either way...hope you have a great hunt!

glocksig
October 21st, 2010, 09:46 PM
They're early release birds at rio piedra. There are few wild birds in south Georgia and those are contained mainly on private plantations. Either way skeet1/skeet2 works fine!

doverham
October 21st, 2010, 10:42 PM
Are you sure you will be hunting wild birds at Rio Piedra?

They are a little careful in their wording but claim that, because they are part of a large quail habitat made up of several dozen contiguous private plantations and hunting lodges, wild quail migrate throughout the habitat during the winter. As noted by another post, they supplement with some early release but rely the indigenous quail as much as posssible.

I will let you know in a couple of weeks what that really means when you are actually following the dogs.

glocksig
October 21st, 2010, 10:46 PM
You"ll run into some on the property, I've hunted there before. They're easy to tell apart, the wild ones bust and go the others take their time.

James Bauman
October 21st, 2010, 10:49 PM
Doverham,
I also purchased a 687 two barrel set from Joel. I simply love this gun.

Vousti posted that the thought the 28ga barrels would be lighter on the front end but I do not see that at all. My 28 ga. barrels are significantly heavier than the 20 gauge barrels...... To me they also seem have more weight out front also. This is comparing 30” to 30”.

I have very good luck using my 28ga in sporting clays tournaments much better than the 20Ga. As a matter of fact I have shot a few 20 gauge events with the 28ga.

I notice that you posted about optima chokes in the 28 Gauge?? I was under the impression 28Ga was mobile choke only.
I use skeet and IC most of the time..... if I need choke I switch to Mod in one barrel. I cannot say how it would work on quail but it works well on clays and dove.

Good luck hunting!

gunbroker90
October 22nd, 2010, 01:01 AM
Rio Piedra is like most other high end preserves in SW Georgia. They all do early releases but they constantly supplement their populations to keep the numbers up. Some places do it everyday and some do it a couple times a week (Rio Piedra supplements a couple times a week I think). The birds you will see will fly well. Most coveys will be in the 6-12 bird range. But you may get a "flopper" or two. Rio Piedra, like most of the high volume plantations, doesn't have enough land to let the courses rest long between hunts. Because of this, wild birds aren't going to be seen much. You might pick up a covey or two if you're lucky. When they are hunted like they are, they get down into the thick stuff where they know they are safe. Rio Piedra tries to focus on a more "realistic" hunt so it will be better than most. Rio Piedra is surrounded by other plantations, some that hunt birds and some the hunt released birds, but I wouldn't go expecting to see many true wild coveys. But you will have a blast, nonetheless. It's the next best thing to a wild bird hunt. Enjoy your trip!

Adam

Doug Lewis
October 22nd, 2010, 08:52 AM
I have hunted Rio Piedra for the past 5 years and will be there next weekend. They release their birds pre-season and augment the population as birds are taken out. There may be some truly wild birds in the mix. I find the birds fly well. A purist may say wild birds fly harder, but these birds are excellent. As of last year, they have started using English Spaniels alongside the pointers. Our Spaniel, Jack, was a joy to hunt with. He truly energized every flush.

The food is wonderful as are the accommodations.

The guides are the best and their dogs are extremely well trained.

Every aspect of the operation is fine tuned to optimize the guest experience.

The owners, Bill and Annie, are good people who love what they do.

I live in Georgia and have hunted many of the quail operations. In my opinion, Rio Piedra is the best. Orvis agrees as they have awarded their lodge of the year award to Rio Piedra multiple times.

doverham
October 22nd, 2010, 09:26 AM
I notice that you posted about optima chokes in the 28 Gauge?? I was under the impression 28Ga was mobile choke only

I am just going on what was listed by Beretta. The table shows Mobil and Optima chokes for all gauges. The 28" barrels I am getting are mobil-choked though - Joel confirmed that.

Doug - glad to hear that your stays at Rio Piedra have been so enjoyable. That is certainly consistent with everything else I have heard. It looks like we will just miss each other - we will be down there 11/7-9. Enjoy your hunt.

Doug Lewis
October 22nd, 2010, 09:40 AM
Doverham,

We will try to leave a few birds for you.

doverham
October 22nd, 2010, 12:14 PM
Doug - pm sent. thanks, Doverham

gunbroker90
November 3rd, 2010, 11:01 PM
So Doug, how did the trip go? How about a report? Got any photos? I know we'd all like to hear about it... especially Doverham!

Adam

Doug Lewis
November 4th, 2010, 07:11 AM
No photos, too busy shooting quail.

We arrived about noon, ate a wonderful lunch on the patio, and then suited up for the afternoon hunt. Early in the season, snake chaps are a good idea.


Our foursome, had a great time. It was very warm (lower 80s) the first afternoon. We hunted an area not hunted yet this year.
Lots of birds with some coveys of 20 birds or more. Birds flew hard! Our guide, David, ran 4 sets of dogs with none on the ground more than 20 minutes.
Jack, the English Cocker, hunted with us all afternoon. We hunted with Jack last year when he was 6 months old and all feet and nose.
He was obviously going to mature as a great dog and he has done so. I've hunted with lots of dogs and Jack is truly outstanding. I shot my 20Ga Fox and had a satisfying
kill ratio to shots fired.

We returned to the lodge for cocktails and then dinner. The steak was as good as any of the fine Atlanta steakhouses.

We retired to the patio and watched the stars and sipped some adult beverages.. You can actually see the MIlky Way from there! Then to bed.

Southern breakfast was followed by the morning hunt. Shot my Fox 28ga. Started off lukewarm, but then started hitting well. Birds were excellent as was
our Jack. Fortunately, the morning started off cool and we were not too warm until around noon.

I brag about Jack, but all the dogs were excellent.

Our foursome shot all the birds we could possibly want, ate too much, but had a wonderful time.

Rio Piedra will continue to be an annual event for us.

doverham
November 4th, 2010, 11:24 AM
Great report, Doug. We head down Sunday morning, it looks to be a little cooler than when you were there. Needless to say, I am thinking about little else right now!

doverham
November 19th, 2010, 10:33 AM
Just returned from Rio Piedra, where we enjoyed an experience very similar to Doug's. Excellent accomodations, beautiful cover and lots of game to hunt. Our weather was a bit cooler, which made the hunting easier for the dogs (and worked just fine for me as well). We found the birds to be very similar to what Adam described - a mix of early release, recent release and a fortunately for us a few wild coveys. It was pretty clear when we came across those wild coveys - they did not stick around long!

We also used cockers to flush birds, and they did excellent work. It was very entertaining to watch them working in thick stuff - so much so that I found myself getting distracted watching them instead of keeping my eyes up and ready for a flush.

The 28 gauge worked beautifully - I am hooked. The B&P Extra Rossas through Sk1 and Sk2 did the trick every time I did my part.

If you go with a group of four, ask to stay in one of the cabins - they provide a great venue for post-hunt and late night bs'ing.

Here are a few pics:
http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a438/doverham/Rio%20Piedra/IMG_0322.jpg?t=1290176075

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a438/doverham/Rio%20Piedra/IMG_0328.jpg?t=1290176075

dudley bishop
November 22nd, 2010, 06:20 AM
One of the best shooters on Mr Bob that I have known has shot primarily with a 410 and still uses one for dove shoots too. If you are actually shooting quail over good pointing dogs , it won't matter much which gun you choose as long as you can hit these fast birds. There aren't many wild quail left in the southeast to shoot at , so if you actually find some , enjoy every ounce of time you spend for your money and enjoy every ounce of meat if you get any.-they cost big bucks per ounce.

Larry Brown
November 22nd, 2010, 08:55 AM
Vousti posted that the thought the 28ga barrels would be lighter on the front end but I do not see that at all. My 28 ga. barrels are significantly heavier than the 20 gauge barrels...... To me they also seem have more weight out front also. This is comparing 30” to 30”.



You beat me to it, James. 20/28ga 2 barrel set built on a 20ga frame, the 28's almost have to be heavier, assuming the same length. Chamber walls have to be thicker on the 28ga to fit the 20ga frame, than if they were on a true 28ga frame.

doverham
November 22nd, 2010, 09:20 AM
I weighed the 28 ga barrels and they are ~4oz heavier than the 20 ga barrels for this gun (which are fixed choke). With the 28 ga barrels the gun is a bit under 6.5 lbs. More importantly, the gun's balance does not change so (for me at least) I don't notice any whippiness.

It makes for a fun skeet gun too . . . .