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16ga, 20ga, or 28ga shotgun for geese?

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16ga, 20ga, or 28ga shotgun for geese?

Old 12-18-2017, 08:32 AM
  #1  
Spike
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Default 16ga, 20ga, or 28ga shotgun for geese?

I'm a small girl (5"1') looking to start waterfowling. I have a muscular upper body, so gun weight is not an issue, but recoil is my biggest concern. Will a 28ga kill a goose or do I need the 20ga with the stronger bite? Might I even need a 16ga? And can anyone recommend a good-quality, but affordable shotgun under $500 (in the gauge you chose) that I can use, considering that I'm a complete beginner?

Also, is a retriever really necessary? Do dead birds float long enough for me to go out in a kayak to get them, or should I just dish out for a dog?

Finally, do I really need decoys? If so, what is the minimum number I have to get (and of what types: motorized, still, etc.) to be effective? I'm on a low budget here.

Thanks,
Riverhawk

Last edited by riverhawk; 12-18-2017 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 12-18-2017, 08:59 AM
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If you drop below a 12 the only real choice for waterfowl would be a 20. I don't even know if you can get non-toxic shells for the 16 and the 28. I used to love a 16 ga Belgian made A-5 for upland game but shells got hard to find and it turned into a safe queen. I sold it off.
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Old 12-18-2017, 09:20 AM
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Don't even think about a .28 gauge for geese, it is too small. If you can shoot a 12 ga that is the gun to buy, if you are worried about recoil buy a semi auto gas operated. 16 gauge shells are very expensive as are the .28 ga shells and you more than likely would have a problem getting non tox shot for both. Winter geese are heavily feathered and big birds that absorb a lot of shot. If you donlt want the 12 ga. go for a 3 inch chamber 20 gage which would not have much less recoil than the 12 ga with 2 3/4 inch shells. Try shooting a 12 gauge before you buy, remember hunting geese in the winter if you don't live in the south you will be wearing heavy clothing which helps to absorb some recoil. The most important thing is that the gun fits you, an ill fitting gun will cause a lot more felt recoil than one that fits.
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Old 12-18-2017, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by flags View Post
If you drop below a 12 the only real choice for waterfowl would be a 20. I don't even know if you can get non-toxic shells for the 16 and the 28. I used to love a 16 ga Belgian made A-5 for upland game but shells got hard to find and it turned into a safe queen. I sold it off.
I could load steel shot into 16 shells if I really had to, the question is does it have much less recoil than a 12 or much more recoil than a 20 that would justify buying it over a 20?
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Old 12-18-2017, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Oldtimr View Post
Don't even think about a .28 gauge for geese, it is too small. If you can shoot a 12 ga that is the gun to buy, if you are worried about recoil buy a semi auto gas operated. 16 gauge shells are very expensive as are the .28 ga shells and you more than likely would have a problem getting non tox shot for both. Winter geese are heavily feathered and big birds that absorb a lot of shot. If you donlt want the 12 ga. go for a 3 inch chamber 20 gage which would not have much less recoil than the 12 ga with 2 3/4 inch shells. Try shooting a 12 gauge before you buy, remember hunting geese in the winter if you don't live in the south you will be wearing heavy clothing which helps to absorb some recoil. The most important thing is that the gun fits you, an ill fitting gun will cause a lot more felt recoil than one that fits.
Do you think a 12 with a recoil pad would do well? Should I get a pump or a semi-auto? And do I need decoys/dog?
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Old 12-18-2017, 10:27 AM
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I think before you buy a recoil pad you should shoot a couple of shotguns of different actions to see if you really mind the recoil. A gas operated semi will reduce recoil where a pump or double barrel will not. There are recoil pads that work very well but again shoot a pump and a gas operated semi and see if you do the difference. There are also things that can be put inside the buttstock of a shotgun to reduce recoil but they are a bit expensive. I really recommend you try a few shotguns before you buy so you don't have regrets later. So far as decoys and a dog, unless you want to pass shoot which I would not recommend for a novice I suggest you buy at least a dozen shell decoys or full body, shells are less expensive, you could also throw in some silhouette decoys or make them. So far as a dog, if you are going to field hunt for geese while it is nice to have a retriever it isn't necessary and it will be just one more thing you have to worry about. If you are hunting water and have a boat, I would give the same advice. Then later on when you know what you are doing get a dog so you are not trying to learn everything at once. Start in stages, learn one thing well, then move to something else. Waterfowling is expensive if you try to buy all the equipment at once it will cost a while lot of money and if you find you don't like to hunt waterfowl you will have spent the money for nothing. At some point you will want to learn how to call, bit to start I recommend just hunt over the decoys and leave the call at home til you learn how to use it. Bad calling will not help you and I have see it chase birds away. Join Ducks Unlimited and try to get on a committee, you will meet lots of die hard waterfowlers who will be happy to help you.
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Old 12-18-2017, 12:47 PM
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well here is some food for thought
a HUGE part about recoil is HOW well a gun fits you or not and shooting form, I have trained many many shooters(used to do it as a job) I have seen 80 lb women shoot 12 gauges just fine and some larger women that couldn;t handle recoil, everyone handles it differently
BUT a when a gun fits right and shooter has good form, recoil is way more tolerable
MY advice to you would be go to a few sporting clay, trap, skeet ranges, I would bet a large penny, as you being a woman, MANY MEN would be willing to allow you to TRY there guns for FREE, giving you some pointers along the way
on skeet trap /sporting clay ranges you will find a GOOD mix of all sorts of shotguns in many gauges

NEXT and also a HUGELY important suggestion, is get to a GOOD shotgun store, one that carry's a LOT of HIGH end over and under shotguns, and the reason I say it like this and NOT just your run of the mill gun shop is, , folks that INVEST in carrying a LARGE selection of high end shotguns, understand FITTING a gun to shooter WAY better and ain;t just trying to sell you a gun!

think of it like this, trying to walk far in shoe's too small or large, as to one's that fit right!(sorry figure most women understand shoes better than guns LOL)

NOW< as for a 28 gauge , yes lower recoil BIT what few folks seem to know is a 28 gauge has about the same power as a 12 gauge, just way less SHOT in the round,
so a 28 gauge will kill geese just fine, IF you can hit them and harder finding GOOD LEGAL ammo to shoot in the guns, MOST 28 gauges are meant for up[land game and or targets, NOT waterfowl

next as for killing geese, there BIG bird, folks tend to mis judge range and why many use the bigger 10 gauge, or 3.5 inch 12 gauge rounds they can handle and afford, to allo for longer shots and more power, steel shot looses energy(killing power) almost twice has fast as lead loaded like rounds, so, having ALL the power you can handle is a HUGE help in waterfowl hunting, due to steel shot and like legal loads(hevi shot and such) are NOT the best for killing as lead, due to they just loose energy so much faster!
but lead is toxic to water and as such illegal to use on waterfowl
SO as for guns, you being small, again its going to be what fits you best, DON"T look at price tags at first(a gun that doesn;t fit you you will in short time spend more money on misses, than what you would /could have paid for a better fitting gun, costing a little more)
yes price I knwo matters, but JUST try guns for fit, don;t have to buy them, so you know the difference's in FIT
odds are a YOUTH gun is going to be a better size fit for you here
ALL BRAND gun makers make good guns today, Rem, 1100 would eb at the top of MY list, but many many others again TRY and see them all and see what feels best and fits you best
mossberg sa-20, Franchi Affinity Compact Semiautomatic (little over your price range bjt good gun here , again for FIT, try one)

TRI STar Viper G2 youth, weatherby SA-08 Synthetic Youth,winchester SX3 Compact


NOW as for a dog, I think you should NOT consider a dog at this time, as your just not experienced enough to TRAIN one, to know how to safely handle one, and could end up being a lot more than your can handle

dead ducks, geese will float for a long time before sinking 99% of the time, if your OK worth using a boat or like devise to recover them, I'd say go that way

as for are decoys needed, NO and YES< all depends on set up, and type of geese, SNOW geese, I say MOST likely, there way too smart for what they are LOL
they get shot at once or twice and there as smart as anything out there, and tend to live in large groups of like smart birds
NO dog, NO decoy, a lot of this hunting IMO tends to come down to using more skill, and sneaking up on them
or waiting and CALLING them to you in places they want to be

ALL hunting is a skill, the more you learn before doing going out, the better your likely hood wlll be of being successful, and successful doesn't always mean KILLING something
hunting is also a never ending skill, more you hunt, more you will learn, animals are living creatures and they do there part to adapt all the time to stay alive and out smart us humans,and we , also have to adapt and keep learning new ways to hunt them, due to there never ending changing ways

IF down the road, you really enjoy hunting and want a DOG< and take the time to LEARN how to raise and train and care for a dog, a GOOD hunting dog is a priceless thing to have, and will bring you more joy than you can imagine ALL yr, and NOT just hunting season, which is WAY short as to NON hunting time, but a dog is a BIG responsibility, please don't take getting one lightly, we have way too many dogs that don't have good homes or owners!
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Old 12-18-2017, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by mrbb View Post
well here is some food for thought
a HUGE part about recoil is HOW well a gun fits you or not and shooting form, I have trained many many shooters(used to do it as a job) I have seen 80 lb women shoot 12 gauges just fine and some larger women that couldn;t handle recoil, everyone handles it differently
BUT a when a gun fits right and shooter has good form, recoil is way more tolerable
MY advice to you would be go to a few sporting clay, trap, skeet ranges, I would bet a large penny, as you being a woman, MANY MEN would be willing to allow you to TRY there guns for FREE, giving you some pointers along the way
on skeet trap /sporting clay ranges you will find a GOOD mix of all sorts of shotguns in many gauges

NEXT and also a HUGELY important suggestion, is get to a GOOD shotgun store, one that carry's a LOT of HIGH end over and under shotguns, and the reason I say it like this and NOT just your run of the mill gun shop is, , folks that INVEST in carrying a LARGE selection of high end shotguns, understand FITTING a gun to shooter WAY better and ain;t just trying to sell you a gun!

think of it like this, trying to walk far in shoe's too small or large, as to one's that fit right!(sorry figure most women understand shoes better than guns LOL)

NOW< as for a 28 gauge , yes lower recoil BIT what few folks seem to know is a 28 gauge has about the same power as a 12 gauge, just way less SHOT in the round,
so a 28 gauge will kill geese just fine, IF you can hit them and harder finding GOOD LEGAL ammo to shoot in the guns, MOST 28 gauges are meant for up[land game and or targets, NOT waterfowl

next as for killing geese, there BIG bird, folks tend to mis judge range and why many use the bigger 10 gauge, or 3.5 inch 12 gauge rounds they can handle and afford, to allo for longer shots and more power, steel shot looses energy(killing power) almost twice has fast as lead loaded like rounds, so, having ALL the power you can handle is a HUGE help in waterfowl hunting, due to steel shot and like legal loads(hevi shot and such) are NOT the best for killing as lead, due to they just loose energy so much faster!
but lead is toxic to water and as such illegal to use on waterfowl
SO as for guns, you being small, again its going to be what fits you best, DON"T look at price tags at first(a gun that doesn;t fit you you will in short time spend more money on misses, than what you would /could have paid for a better fitting gun, costing a little more)
yes price I knwo matters, but JUST try guns for fit, don;t have to buy them, so you know the difference's in FIT
odds are a YOUTH gun is going to be a better size fit for you here
ALL BRAND gun makers make good guns today, Rem, 1100 would eb at the top of MY list, but many many others again TRY and see them all and see what feels best and fits you best
mossberg sa-20, Franchi Affinity Compact Semiautomatic (little over your price range bjt good gun here , again for FIT, try one)

TRI STar Viper G2 youth, weatherby SA-08 Synthetic Youth,winchester SX3 Compact


NOW as for a dog, I think you should NOT consider a dog at this time, as your just not experienced enough to TRAIN one, to know how to safely handle one, and could end up being a lot more than your can handle

dead ducks, geese will float for a long time before sinking 99% of the time, if your OK worth using a boat or like devise to recover them, I'd say go that way

as for are decoys needed, NO and YES< all depends on set up, and type of geese, SNOW geese, I say MOST likely, there way too smart for what they are LOL
they get shot at once or twice and there as smart as anything out there, and tend to live in large groups of like smart birds
NO dog, NO decoy, a lot of this hunting IMO tends to come down to using more skill, and sneaking up on them
or waiting and CALLING them to you in places they want to be

ALL hunting is a skill, the more you learn before doing going out, the better your likely hood wlll be of being successful, and successful doesn't always mean KILLING something
hunting is also a never ending skill, more you hunt, more you will learn, animals are living creatures and they do there part to adapt all the time to stay alive and out smart us humans,and we , also have to adapt and keep learning new ways to hunt them, due to there never ending changing ways

IF down the road, you really enjoy hunting and want a DOG< and take the time to LEARN how to raise and train and care for a dog, a GOOD hunting dog is a priceless thing to have, and will bring you more joy than you can imagine ALL yr, and NOT just hunting season, which is WAY short as to NON hunting time, but a dog is a BIG responsibility, please don't take getting one lightly, we have way too many dogs that don't have good homes or owners!
Thank you for all the tips--I'll go and try out some shotguns at a good shop. I'd probably go with a 12ga. that fits me simply because more shot = more of a chance to hit the bird and more pellets in vitals. I like the feel of a pump, but if I can't handle it semi it is.
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Old 12-18-2017, 05:43 PM
  #9  
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when ever you go and look at guns, before you go, do some looking at shotgun HOLD form when shooting, learn what cheek weld is, how the stocks fits on your face when your holding it in a shooting position, how the butt of the stock fits in your shoulder pocket, and HOW far away the pistol grip is and then your fingers are to things like trigger and safety
this area is one of my BIG grips about youth guns and guns for females(smaller hands and arms)
most all makers just take FULL sized guns and then trim rear(butt) of stocks to make them shorter, which does NOTHING for those with smaller hands and fingers to reach trigger and safety's
so pay attention there
ALSO< and this is also very important to pay attention to when actually shooting shotgun(again remember form , so you don't punch yourself in the nose with recoil LOL)
and also,
PAY close attention to what type of shells they let you shoot, and by this I mean length of shell(as in 2-3/4,3 inch, or 3.5 and GOD I hope no one lets you shoot a 3.5 here, save that for when your more seasoned shooter IF you wish to try that) and then pay attention to the shot size and charge, as pending what shot and charge the round has, can factor in a LOT as to the recoil it will send back to the shooter
a semi will be a WAY better gun for you, and its due to lots of reasons, , one less recoil, two, your shorter arms will make reloading harder on you, causing you to break form a LOT more, which will make you more likely to miss on second and third shots
makes just shouldering gun harder as you don't have as many options for hand placement as a semi will offer you
so honestly, a semi is your better option here ( I sold over 17,000 guns over the yrs when I had a gun shop so I have a little experience here not to mention all the yrs I been shooting and training shooters)

old saying buy one cry once! some times better to spend a little more and get ONE gun that fits you and works best for you, you will be more accurate , hit/kill more things, find more success and that will make you more likely to want to stick with the sport

buying a gun that doesn;t fit you, makes you miss more than hit, will make you NOT enjoy shooting it or staying with the sport

NOTHING wrong with 90% of all used shotguns to help you save money here too, just have it gone over by a GOOD gun smith, almost every wear part is replaceable and NOT that costly

LAST< since you are planning to hunt waterfowl, MAKE sure what ever gun you get is set up to handle steel shot(has to have a certain choke in the barrel(more important on used guns with FIXED chokes) few modern shotguns DON"T have replaceable chokes these days, but you still need to have the correct choke in the barrel for steel shot, when shooting steel shot out of it, or can cause damage or worse

IF you stated what state and or like area here you might get some better info on gun shop recommendations to go to, or maybe even some offers to help you get started, never know. just saying!
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Old 02-10-2018, 07:32 AM
  #10  
Spike
 
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it is no problem to shoot geese with a sub gauge shotgun if you
use a premium shotgun shell like Hevishot......you can expect
very good results even on a larger bird
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