Considering a O/U 12 bore game gun...but which one?

Red Leg

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For hunting upland birds, I prefer 26" barrels, but 28" would be OK if the balance and weight felt right. Shotguns have so much to do with feel, weight and how well they fit. As your experience and skill level rise, these things become more and more obvious, or at least they have to me.

I have a friend with a Browning Citori White Lightning, English stye stock 12 bore with 24" barrels. It's not very often a bird escapes his aim. I'd say shoot what feels best for you.
Barrel length is very subjective. I won't own anything under 28". My two favorite quail guns are 30"s (it's the choke you know). ;) My favorite waterfowl gun is a 32. Anything less than 28 feels to me like trying to shoot a flyrod.

My current favorite new production upland guns are both 20's. My Rizini Br 550 is a SxS and the CSMC Inverness is an OU. Both have 30" barrels. Unless I simply want to use one of my classics - which I do a lot - these two handle any upland duty.
 

WAB

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Barrel length is very subjective. I won't own anything under 28". My two favorite quail guns are 30"s (it's the choke you know). ;) My favorite waterfowl gun is a 32. Anything less than 28 feels to me like trying to shoot a flyrod.

My current favorite new production upland guns are both 20's. My Rizini Br 550 is a SxS and the CSMC Inverness is an OU. Both have 30" barrels. Unless I simply want to use one of my classics - which I do a lot - these two handle any upland duty.

Agreed, my O/U’s sport 30” tubes (or something very close in metric for the European guns).

The only place I’ve seen an advantage to short tubes is the grouse and woodcock cover where we lived in New Brunswick. I shot a Greener ‘O’ frame with 25” tubes with great success. However that is pretty much snap shooting in incredibly tight cover.
 

Red Leg

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Agreed, my O/U’s sport 30” tubes (or something very close in metric for the European guns).

The only place I’ve seen an advantage to short tubes is the grouse and woodcock cover where we lived in New Brunswick. I shot a Greener ‘O’ frame with 25” tubes with great success. However that is pretty much snap shooting in incredibly tight cover.
Valid point. I have a wee little William Atkins 20 bore that would be very similar to your "O" frame. This one is a 26. Don't remember when I last had an opportunity to hunt woodcock. We would get a healthy migration of them into Southwest Louisiana every year and virtually no one hunted them. Back in the day, my griffon would retrieve ducks in the morning and then we would hit the woods behind camp after lunch and a nap. Great fun. Probably did that twice with the Atkin about 15 years ago.
 

jeanes

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Valid point. I have a wee little William Atkins 20 bore that would be very similar to your "O" frame. This one is a 26. Don't remember when I last had an opportunity to hunt woodcock. We would get a healthy migration of them into Southwest Louisiana every year and virtually no one hunted them. Back in the day, my griffon would retrieve ducks in the morning and then we would hit the woods behind camp after lunch and a nap. Great fun. Probably did that twice with the Atkin about 15 years ago.
Supposedly Williamson county is on the western edge of the Texas woodcock migration. At least the Grainger WMA lists them as huntable species. I've never hunted them, only read about it.
 

Red Leg

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Never seen them on my place, but likely not enough cover. The Granger WMA has a lot of classic thick stuff.
 

WAB

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Valid point. I have a wee little William Atkins 20 bore that would be very similar to your "O" frame. This one is a 26. Don't remember when I last had an opportunity to hunt woodcock. We would get a healthy migration of them into Southwest Louisiana every year and virtually no one hunted them. Back in the day, my griffon would retrieve ducks in the morning and then we would hit the woods behind camp after lunch and a nap. Great fun. Probably did that twice with the Atkin about 15 years ago.

You and I were likely hunting the same birds. I still have all the maps of my coverts, but that was 32 years ago! I wonder how many are still there.
 

Red Leg

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You and I were likely hunting the same birds. I still have all the maps of my coverts, but that was 32 years ago! I wonder how many are still there.
There always was a really big concentration north of Lake Charles around the Boy Scout Camp (Camp Edgewood). That whole area has been leased for deer hunting now, but I bet the birds still come. Last time I hunted them was in the early eighties. :oops:

The post duck hunt birds were on Little Chenier.
 

WAB

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We had amazing flights in September before they started your way. I can remember days in CFB Gagetown where we lost count of the flushes. We tried our best to thin them out so you wouldn't be overrun!
There always was a really big concentration north of Lake Charles around the Boy Scout Camp (Camp Edgewood). That whole area has been leased for deer hunting now, but I bet the birds still come. Last time I hunted them was in the early eighties. :oops:

The post duck hunt birds were on Little Chenier.
 

BeeMaa

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not many shops around me carry nicer shotguns so hard to get a feel of one. I'd like a lifetime gun one I can use for everything from early squirrel rabbits in winter to Turkey and duck if I ever find someone to go with. I'm looking a a Browning bps as well.
As you can see with @Red Leg and @WAB, they have specific shotguns for specific purposes. Even I (a self-proclaimed minimalist) admit that I need more than one shotgun for what I like to hunt. Turkey and waterfowl get the SBE2 with specific Turkey or waterfowl loads. I hope to have a O/U for upland birds, but truthfully should have at least 2 or 3 shotguns for that purpose. A 12 bore O/U will cover it all, but it is just too much gun for some of the smaller species of upland birds, so then I need a 20 bore as well. Even then, I'd get the side eye for showing up at a proper Southern Bobwhite hunt without having a pre-1950's SxS in at least 20 bore, or better yet 28 bore. By the same token, try going to Argentina and hunting Dove all day with an O/U or SxS...by the end of the first day your thumb will be so sore from opening the action that you won't be able to do so for the next two. In this case, a semi-automatic is the way to go. Different horses for different courses.

I try not to get too caught up in all the tradition of what I'm supposed to be using. I try to match the choke & load to the target game and that is a good start. Having an O/U that fits me well is another step in the right direction. I'll have to wait and see if I can land another set of 12 and 20 bores like my Berettas.

I called Cove Creek Outfitters and they have several Blaser F3's available for me to check out. They said they were sold out of the F16's at the moment, but have several Rizzini's I can look at. Taking a trip up there next weekend and maybe stopping at Hendershot's on the way back to look at a Caesar Guerini or two.
 
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Beretta391

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The wife has a F-3 and loves it. Another good thing is you can buy different caliber barrels and they just click in. She has a 20&28 barrel , if u like shooting the small gages!!Nothing to fit
 

425SCHADE

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My Franchi Phoenix. Certainly not a high $ item but proving to be a very good thing.
30" barrels, 5 x chokes, steel proofed, mechanical triggers, tasteful "engraving", game birds in "gold", multi year warranty (well passed now) for not much money in the shotgun world at least.
20170720_171721.jpg
 

IvW

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The Italians make some very nice shotguns...I would look at a O/U with 5 chokes(cylinder, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, full) and 28" barrels
Antonio Zoli and Renato Gamba come to mind....
 
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IvW

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And 2 triggers.....
 

BeeMaa

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And 2 triggers.....
Finding a quality modern O/U shotgun with double triggers is about as easy as locating hens teeth.
 

IvW

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Zoli and Gamba not sure if they are availible in USA
 

BeeMaa

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The wife has a F-3 and loves it. Another good thing is you can buy different caliber barrels and they just click in. She has a 20&28 barrel , if u like shooting the small gages!!Nothing to fit
I'm really looking forward to giving the F3 a close look. One of the most interesting things is the non-traditional closed shape of the pistol grip. Benelli did something similar with the grip on their 828U.
 

IvW

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I dont like the palm swell....
 

Red Leg

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I'm really looking forward to giving the F3 a close look. One of the most interesting things is the non-traditional closed shape of the pistol grip. Benelli did something similar with the grip on their 828U.
Will be curious about your impressions. One sees them a lot in the pigeon ring. I loved the way they handled. I would have owned one years ago, but would have been just silly to get a modern gun when I prefer my older ones for that sport.
 

BeeMaa

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Will be curious about your impressions. One sees them a lot in the pigeon ring. I loved the way they handled. I would have owned one years ago, but would have been just silly to get a modern gun when I prefer my older ones for that sport.
I'll be looking specifically at the F3 Competition Sporting (also called the Professional) with 28" barrels. This is the closest to a game gun as the F3 gets. If I go to the F16, the fit will be the same as far as the barrels and stock, but there are several upgrades that the F3 has over the F16 that I could deem necessary.
 

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