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Dongotto
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 4:48 pm  Reply with quote
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I probably should have been a little more clear on my initial post. I've been into double guns for quite some time and I've had Mike Orlen open up four different guns for me and he always does a great job. I was just thinking the spreader option might be more effective here because I wouldn't be shooting this gun all that much like I do some of my other 16 gauges so slowing down the reloading process wouldn't be that big a deal since I'm going to have to load my two and a half on a single station anyway. I did shoot the gun this weekend on the skeet field and you could definitely tell the chokes were snug but it felt great and shot great. I was especially happy with how little the gun kicked with rst 1oz papers.

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wahoo
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 4:59 pm  Reply with quote



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That's a beauty OP for sure. In reading the advise so far, as a newbie to getting a double set up for flushing grouse or woodcock, I am curious what you old hands at this consider a proper shot pattern to look like, if intended for these two in close quarters? In my case, I'm seeing the woodcock in places where the shot must be taken within 30 yrds or less. How would I analyze a pattern board with any given combo, to determine a good setup in this circumstance? No matter how good a shot I become with a full choke, it would seem that I run the risk of meat damage shooting so close with a tight pattern. Even lite loads. Where's a good place to start in saying you have a good pattern for shots 15-25 yrds at these little critters? I'm thinking a 30" diameter of 60-70% shot at 25 yrds maybe?

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1929 Thomas Bland 16ga SxS 28"
1947 Browning A5 16ga 28"
1948 BRNO 16ga SxS 27.5"
1950 Stevens 311A 12ga SxS 30"
1952 BRNO 12ga SxS 28.25"
1963 Superposed O/U 12ga 27"
1968 V Bernardelli SxS 12ga 28"
1972 Rem 1100 12ga Auto 26"
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tramroad28
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 5:06 pm  Reply with quote



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40-50% @ 40, depending.

I look at width and placement as opposed to pattern percentage at 20 yards or less but, that is just me.

Within reasonable norms, % does not matter overmuch.
Reasonable...is the kicker.
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Dave Erickson
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 5:26 pm  Reply with quote
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Dongotto, with the extra info you supplied I'll retract my knee-jerk to open the chokes. Unless it's a super special gun if you're like most of us who like to dabble in doubles it will pass through your hands in a few years. Maybe not, but it sounds like it's not your final gun, or even one you plan to use that much, so I'd leave the chokes and go with the spreaders. Be careful around your dogs, because like Gil mentioned there's some anecdotal evidence of some wild flyers striking dogs.
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Dongotto
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 5:47 pm  Reply with quote
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Dave Erickson wrote:
Dongotto, with the extra info you supplied I'll retract my knee-jerk to open the chokes. Unless it's a super special gun if you're like most of us who like to dabble in doubles it will pass through your hands in a few years. Maybe not, but it sounds like it's not your final gun, or even one you plan to use that much, so I'd leave the chokes and go with the spreaders. Be careful around your dogs, because like Gil mentioned there's some anecdotal evidence of some wild flyers striking dogs.


My young sons both loved it. I'm thinking in a year or two it will be one of thems woodcock gun. We mostly hunt woodcock and quail.

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Savage16
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 6:56 pm  Reply with quote
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You say its Mod Full , but have you had it measured?


Last edited by Savage16 on Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:06 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Dongotto
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:02 pm  Reply with quote
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I did have the chokes measured when I bought it.


Last edited by Dongotto on Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:16 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Dave Erickson
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:25 am  Reply with quote
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Dongotto wrote:
Dave Erickson wrote:
Dongotto, with the extra info you supplied I'll retract my knee-jerk to open the chokes. Unless it's a super special gun if you're like most of us who like to dabble in doubles it will pass through your hands in a few years. Maybe not, but it sounds like it's not your final gun, or even one you plan to use that much, so I'd leave the chokes and go with the spreaders. Be careful around your dogs, because like Gil mentioned there's some anecdotal evidence of some wild flyers striking dogs.


My young sons both loved it. I'm thinking in a year or two it will be one of thems woodcock gun. We mostly hunt woodcock and quail.


OK, I'm back to my original "open it up" advice. It's a nice gun, but not a national treasure. Make it useful for you, and chances are it will be more useful to any new owner if you sell it down the road.
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Pine Creek/Dave
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:19 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 17 Mar 2017
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Dongotto,

Remember the SpredR shells work extremely good out of old double guns when the chokes are opened, and almost as good with leaving the original chokes in tact.
Pattern the gun with the SpredR shells you are going to use and see what the pattern looks like at 25, 35 & 40 yards before you open the chokes.

If you do not like the pattern you are seeing, then open the chokes. I have had several of my L.C. Smith 20 gauge double guns opened to C & IC and a couple others I have left the chokes in their original configuration, because the SpredR shells made such great patterns.

What you are looking for in the pattern is gaps, and how tight the pattern actually is. I use a drawing of a Grouse and Woodcock when I test the patterns, I like to see the bird covered with shot, with no large gaps. If the Pattern is to dense at 25 yards using the SpredR shells, then definitely open up that barrels choke. On some of my 20 Gauge guns only the barrel under the 1st trigger needed to be opened to C.
The 2nd Barrel was left choked IM or F depending on the gun, for shooting thru the edges of Hemlock trees and large Grape Vines or out past 35 yards.

In order to make this decision you must test the SpredR patterns in your exact gun, each gun seems to pattern differently.

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man


Last edited by Pine Creek/Dave on Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:31 pm; edited 1 time in total

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sneem
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:47 am  Reply with quote



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I would not touch the chokes. You said you reload. That is the clue. The least reliable indicator of what patterns a gun throws is what is stamped on the barrels. Ammo will determine what the pattern will be.
After much time working with various reloading recipes on a 12 gauge European gun that was a tight Mod/Full, I was able to get loads that shot everything from skeet to extra full. These were not spreader loads, but standard recipes with different wads, hulls, shot weights, shot sizes, velocities and pressures. I wanted a relatively low pressure load that threw LtMod/ImpMod with 1 1/8 oz of shot. By trial and error I got exactly what I wanted without touching the chokes.
The process was both a blessing and a curse. It took time and was sometimes frustrating, but also an interesting challenge and very informative. Plus it met my desires without altering the gun; which still wouldn't guarantee getting the desired results. Before having the chokes opened, I would spend some time experimenting with reloading options. It will probably work out and teach you a lot about the gun.

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Chicago
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:17 pm  Reply with quote
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Because of the subject title “should I open the chokes on a 2.5” gun” I thought the OP was looking for advice on opening chokes, but I think he wants to hear how spreaders work in 2.5” guns.

I have a 16 ga English double that measures .004/.021 and I bought it for pheasants over pointing dogs and it works well for that purpose. I have another English 16 bore that is choked .001/.011 that I use for grouse. When my son uses the pheasant gun in the grouse woods we use RST spreaders 7.5 shot in the left barrel. The left barrel works really well with the spreader for both grouse and woodcock. No experience with wild shot hitting my pups.

Hope that helps,

Good Hunting,
Mike
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Dave Erickson
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:33 pm  Reply with quote
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Chicago, you are absolutely correct. I'm done giving advice. Laughing
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wahoo
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:25 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 22 Jan 2015
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Pine Creek/Dave wrote:
Dongotto,

Remember the SpredR shells work extremely good out of old double guns when the chokes are opened, and almost as good with leaving the original chokes in tact.
Pattern the gun with the SpredR shells you are going to use and see what the pattern looks like at 25, 35 & 40 yards before you open the chokes.

If you do not like the pattern you are seeing, then open the chokes. I have had several of my L.C. Smith 20 gauge double guns opened to C & IC and a couple others I have left the chokes in their original configuration, because the SpredR shells made such great patterns.

What you are looking for in the pattern is gaps, and how tight the pattern actually is. I use a drawing of a Grouse and Woodcock when I test the patterns, I like to see the bird covered with shot, with no large gaps. If the Pattern is to dense at 25 yards using the SpredR shells, then definitely open up that barrels choke. On some of my 20 Gauge guns only the barrel under the 1st trigger needed to be opened to C.
The 2nd Barrel was left choked IM or F depending on the gun, for shooting thru the edges of Hemlock trees and large Grape Vines or out past 35 yards.

In order to make this decision you must test the SpredR patterns in your exact gun, each gun seems to pattern differently.

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man


Pine Creek, your description of your process to test a pattern for woodcock is very helpful to me. Can you be a bit more specific with what appeals to you for a 25 yrd pattern in this instance? I think "Too Dense" is common sense, but "see a bird covered" leaves some doubt in my mind because, I have to think how big an area, that "covers the bird" is expected here too? Are you happy with 30" area of satisfactory density at 25 yrds, or do you want to see a bigger spread? How much coverage density is adequate? Any chance you could post a pic of what you judge to be a good spread at 25 yrds for grouse/woodcock?

Sorry for such elementary questions. I hate to come across as dense. Just need a reference point on what works well without taring up the bird on those close shots.

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1929 Thomas Bland 16ga SxS 28"
1947 Browning A5 16ga 28"
1948 BRNO 16ga SxS 27.5"
1950 Stevens 311A 12ga SxS 30"
1952 BRNO 12ga SxS 28.25"
1963 Superposed O/U 12ga 27"
1968 V Bernardelli SxS 12ga 28"
1972 Rem 1100 12ga Auto 26"
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Pine Creek/Dave
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:30 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 17 Mar 2017
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Wahoo,

Unfortunately I have no pictures of the patterns we shot to show you. However using the realistic size bird pictures on your pattern steel, will give you a very realistic pattern coverage at 25, 35, and 40 yards. When the pattern is to small and dense, you will see it on the picture of the Woodcock or Grouse. If the pattern is to dense and small, Under about 30" the bird killed with this pattern will be a mess. What you want is a pattern about 30" or more with no Gaps larger than about 2" in spacing. Remember this will change with the gauge double gun you are using.

This is why the 28 gauge gun is not the killing machine the 12 gauge gun happens to be, the amount of shot hitting/ forming the pattern is completely different in number.

What you want no matter the gauge of the gun, is a uniform killing pattern, with no large gaps in it. This is why I use the realistic size picture of the birds when I shoot my patterns for Grouse and Woodcock hunting.

Each gun will pattern differently, even with the same shell usage. It also helps to pattern both barrels at all the different yardages, you definitely want to understand what will happen to the bird if you have to use your 2nd barrel at just about 25 years, there are times I must wait till the bird gets out to almost 30 yards to shoot with some of my 2nd barrels, that are full choked, even with SpredR loads, and especially if I have Fiocchi or B&P shell under the 2nd trigger. These high speed loads can tear a bird to pieces at close range or completely miss the bird because the pattern does not have space/time to open up.

Pattern must match the bird size at the yardage you like to gun at most, and the pattern needs to have very few gaps in it, if you want to kill the birds outright.
This is not clays shooting where one BB downs the target, that happens in the Grouse woods very seldom. Enough shot is required in the pattern at any certain yardage to kill the bird in flight.

Patterning your double gun for Grouse & Woodcock hunting is by no means wasting shells. It gives the gunner knowledge as to what is really going on with his double guns.

I pattern every double gun I hunt with at 25, 35 and 42 yards so I understand how big or small the uniform pattern is when I am actually hunting in the woods or fields. Patterning a double gun takes time and effort. Finding shells or making shells that repetitively pattern in you guns IMO is a must for Grouse & Woodcock hunting.

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man

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