28-Gauge is a duck killer with the right load | Outdoor life

2021-11-12 11:15:47 By : Mr. Allen Du

The progress of non-toxic shooting has brought No. 28 back to the duck blind spot

By: John Gordon | Updated 12:48 PM, November 10, 2021

In the 1990s, 12 gauges for 3.5-inch cartridge cases were standard for most duck hunters. The reason for the popularity of 3.5-inch guns such as the Benali Super Black Hawk (the first 3.5-inch automatic loader) during this period was the inconsistent effectiveness of the Gundam. The lead shot ban has just passed, and lead shot manufacturers have not yet determined that speed is the key to making deadly steel. Most hunters believe that the 3.5-inch gun can fire more projectiles at the duck, although it was later discovered that the pattern density of the 3-inch and 3.5-inch shells was almost the same. In some cases, depending on the choke, load, and shooting distance, the 3-inch shell pattern is better.

Is the 3.5-inch shell really more effective?

However, with the development of bismuth and tungsten cartridge cases, more and more duck hunters began to turn to sub-regulations, such as 28. Now you can kill ducks within 35 yards with a small caliber shotgun that shoots a denser pattern. And you can bring a lighter gun to the blind and experience the same results (less recoil) as using the 12-caliber.

The requirement for non-toxic particles for waterfowl has existed for more than 30 years. Steel is the only substitute that ammunition manufacturers can turn to for help. It is still a popular choice for hunters today. But bismuth and tungsten are more effective killers than steel, and as these two materials become more affordable, cartridge manufacturers have begun to load them with more options, including 28 gauges.

The density of bismuth is more than 20% higher than that of steel, but it is not as dense as lead. But if suffocated properly, it is also fatal to ducks within a reasonable distance. It is also safe to shoot through the barrel of an old gun, which allows more 28s to be folded back. Once duck hunters were asked to use steel, many of them were put on hold.

Steel is too hard for old barrels. If you are a duck hunter, bismuth or Kent tungsten matrix is ​​the only safe case. Thanks to ammunition brands such as Rio, BOSS and Hevi-Shot, Winchester's Model 12 and 97, older Remington 870s and Browning Auto-5s can all return to the swamp, and now they can choose bismuth.

The density of tungsten is 56% higher than that of lead. Although it cannot be safely shot with an old gun, it is the most effective duck killer. This is one of the main reasons why sub-specs like 28 are now viable duckbill guns. Shooters get better pattern density because these shells use smaller projectiles, which weigh as much as steel or lead with larger diameters. Smaller, denser particles are lighter, and larger particles have better permeability.

For example, a No. 9 TSS shot is roughly equivalent to a No. 4 or No. 5 lead. This is why some turkey hunters now use 0.410 to shoot and gorge themselves. They do not require the capacity of the bullet or the weight of the charge that a 12-caliber bullet can hold.

Modern pellet substitutes bring 28 back to the picture of waterfowl hunting. BOSS produces copper-plated bismuth cartridge cases, and its founder, Brandon Cereke, is not surprised by the increasing popularity of smaller sizes.

"In the beginning, we only offered sizes 12 and 20 in regular production," Cerecke said. "We performed some special runs in 16, 28, and 0.410, but only sold a small amount. However, over time, customer requirements increased. Therefore, we added all three meters to the regular lineup. Initially , 28-gauge accounts for about 5% of our sales. These figures are now as high as 10%, and they are growing every season."

The hole diameter of 28 is 0.550 inches. Pair it with a short shot post that can hold 3/4 to 7/8 ounces, and it will create a deadly pattern that is an effective duck killer in a moderate range. Some people say that the 28 can fire a "square" payload, which can be fired with a shorter string compared to the 20 or 12 gauge. But testing shows that this is not true. According to my experience in shooting 28, its mode is good enough to kill ducks cleanly. It has no magic.

The disadvantage of 28 is the particle size product. Although BOSS offers 3/5 hybrids, the largest lens available in the No. 28 specification is No. 4. Lighter objects are faster and lose energy faster than heavier objects. Imagine being hit by a tennis ball and a baseball at 20 yards. Baseball is heavier and denser, it hurts more.

Smaller shots translate into shorter effective range. But within 35 yards, as long as I was shooting bismuth or tungsten, I noticed that there was almost no difference between the 28 and 12 calibers. If you play with a 28 club, I will remind you to keep the club within 25 yards. Over the years, I have tried several steel loads, but the results have been mixed. Even after patterning the gun and seeing good results at longer distances on paper, this usually does not translate into a dead duck at a distance. The pattern density is there, but the projectile penetration and energy required to kill a duck are not.

To compare No. 28 and No. 12, I drew two patterns on the paper. I fired a 7/8 ounce 2¾ inch No. 5 bullet (149 bullets) through the Mossberg SA-28. For the No. 12 caliber, I used the Browning Auto-5 and fired 1¼ ounces of 2¾ inches No. 5 bullets (213 bullets). Both are bismuth loads, and each gun has a factory full choke.

The 28-gauge has an average of 128 particles in a 30-inch circle at 35 yards; the 12-gauge has an average of 188 particles at the same distance. This translates to 85% and 88%, respectively. Both are able to kill waterfowl within that distance without any measurable difference.

"How enjoyable it is to shoot and hunt with this gun," said Ramsey Russell, who owns getducks.com and shoots with 28 guns. I know I will like it, but I don't know I will like it. I don't feel shot at all. In fact, I would not be afraid to use 28 on any duck flying anywhere in the world paired with a modified choke and good ammunition. "

Read next: The most suitable duck hunting gun for waterfowl

The choice of shotgun is important for hunting success. Fortunately, there are reliable 28-caliber autoloaders that are affordable and high-end. If you want to switch to 28, here are three good options:

SA-28 is manufactured in Turkey and uses a blue 26-inch barrel (with exhaust ribs) and a receiver with a walnut stock and front end. This is a 6.5-pound gun that uses gas operation and is very reliable. In the four years I have owned this gun, I have never experienced failure, shooting targets and ducking through it. You will notice that the safety device is not installed on this special gun like most Mossberg cars and pumps. The SA series puts the safety device at the rear of the trigger unit. The pistol grip and front end also have squares for better operation.

Beretta released the 28-caliber A400 in 2015, which is the first semi-automatic pistol in 28 years. The gun uses a unique bronze receiver, and there are two barrel lengths of 28 inches and 26 inches to choose from. Powered by gas, it is one of the softest shooting guns you can carry. Thanks to the Blink system, it can also reliably cycle shots. All Beretta A400 models are equipped with this system. It is equipped with a 2¾-inch shell and is also equipped with a Kick-Off system, which is a series of springs in the stock to suppress recoil.

Cordoba was developed for high-volume pigeon shooting, thanks to the ComforTech stock, including gel mask and back cushion, which is friendly to duck hunters. It also has Benelli's BEST surface treatment to minimize wear and corrosion. It has a 3-inch chamber and is the recently developed 28 gauge. This inertial drive semi-automatic car is also equipped with five screw-in chokes. There is also a small window running through the length of the front end, so you can see how many shells are in the magazine.

Nicknamed "Blade" because of its unique eyebrows, this Ohio stag is a deer in a lifetime

Help veterans and hunting communities come together this fall

A special education teacher marked a giant whitetail

Want more hunting and fishing stories?

Sign up to receive our emails.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program that aims to provide us with a way to earn money by linking to Amazon.com and affiliate sites. Registering or using this website signifies acceptance of our terms of service.