Helping You Get the Most From Your Hunting Dogs
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|The 28 gauge and the one ounce load -- there are two companies that offer one ounce 28 gauge loads. So when talk turns to wild bird shooting among 28 gauge shooters, the one ounce loads offered by Winchester and Sellier & Bellot enter the discussion. Winchester's SUPER X High Brass Game Loads come in Nos. 6, 7-1/2 and 8 shot sizes that push the target envelope out to 40 yards -- ideal for loading in your second barrel or third in battery in your pump or semi-auto for follow-up shots and/or doubles. For western quail -- which seem to need a 30-yard runway before they get airborne -- and late-season birds that flush well ahead of the dog -- one ounce loads can help cut down on your involuntary contributions to conservation.|
Ed Grasso, the Main Man at Sellier & Bellot, USA in Shawnee Mission Kansas tells a curious story about one ounce loads that bears repeating. As you might suspect, anybody in the ammunition business who lives in Kansas is likely to have taken a pheasant or two -- so when he was invited to the factory (in the Czech Republic) and driven bird shooting was one of the scheduled activities, this figured to be entertainment, not education.
Typically, European driven bird shoots have you positioned at the bottom of a hill, with the birds flying toward you from over the tops of the trees from the top of the hill. Low hills where you have maybe 40 or 50 yards to track the incoming birds, are the easy ones. Steep hills mean high, fast birds and short, overhead shooting opportunities before the bird is behind you. Ed drew a steep hill. Ed also drew a 28 gauge shotgun and a supply of one-ounce ammunition loaded with No. 9 shot! "What in the world are these people thinking -- issuing me a load we don't even import for the U.S. market?"
Think this one through. Incoming pheasants present 100% certain dead-in-the-air head and neck shot opportunities -- except they are 25 yards straight up. No. 9's are just as lethal as No. 6's in this situation and there are more than twice as many of them in the air! Yep, there are 585 No. 9 pellets to the ounce, vs. only 225 No. 6's.
Another case history of how a poor but honest lad who through diligence and hard work found new respect for the 28 gauge and small shot. Sellier & Bellot, USA, by the way, now imports that 28 gauge one ounce load of No. 9's (now improved with higher FPS numbers) -- in addition to their other target and field loadings -- so that you can enjoy the same learning experience that Ed Grasso enjoyed without going to the bottom of a wooded hill in the Czech Republic.
In the final analysis -- the reason why the 28 gauge is so effective is that it has a shorter shot string -- shorter than either the 12 or 20 gauge. Building on the great 28 gauge hull design (invented by Charles Parker in 1916), then utilizing today's technology to give you hard pellets of equal size and weight (the result of precision manufacture and grading), then guarding them (with special protective, cushioning wads) from being deformed in the ignition process and out the barrel -- ammunition makers have minimized the distance from the first pellet to the last pellet, thus providing a very short, compact shot string. In practical hunting terms, most experienced bird hunters have found that high quality 28 gauge ammunition will outperform 12 or 20 gauge "promotional loads" every time. Plus, you can carry a lighter 28 gauge gun and a pocket full of ammunition all day, without strain or pain. No wonder 28 gauge hunters are always smiling when they unload their hunting vests.
Today's 28 gauge ammunition is shooting excellence in a small package. This is "rocket science" as applied to upland hunting. You're going to fall in love all over again.
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