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#564868 02/09/20 10:02 PM
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Sidelock
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Sidelock

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I think I want a 20 gauge CSMC RBL for upland hunting. My hold up is that you can only get them chambered in 2 3/4". Every time I've hunted SD I've used 3" chambered 20 gauges so I'm wondering if I'll be ok with the 2 3/4" gun seeing how theres a smaller selection of non toxic shells available in that size??

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I actually posed a similar question, on a different board, and to a few guys here. What I got, was basically that guys who could use lead used 2 3/4” loads, successfully. Few had bothered with the 3” 20 gauge, prior to non toxic shot. The guys using non toxic shot seemed to step up to 12 gauge, and not look back.
For what it is worth, I patterned 3” 20 gauge loads out of a Ruger Red Label about 40 years ago. The gun about kicked my teeth loose, and I found almost no difference in patterns at the board, at ranges I would shoot while carrying a 20 gauge (NOT 40 yards, maybe not 35). Loads have come a long way since I tried that, but, nobody seemed to feel the need to make their 20s into 12s, from what I could see.
I have a 3” 20 gauge, left to me by a late friend. He was a hell of a good guy, but, the beavertail, white line spacers, and pistol grip make me feel a bit like I am wearing a plaid, three piece suit when I use it in public.

Post what you find out. I have no desire to repeat the patterning exercise I went through as a younger man.

Best,
Ted

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I don't own one and there are members here that do, so I can't offer first-hand experience, but is it my understanding that non-toxic is required in SD on state lands?

I have essentially the same restriction here in WA state with regard to non-toxic shot. For Bismuth, either 2 3/4 or 3" you can only get 1 oz loads from Kent. I've gone to MT many times and only shot 2 3/4" either in 16 gauge (no 3" anyway) and 12 gauge using lead and never felt hampered. I've killed pheasants here in WA over pointing dogs the last 2 years using the 1 OZ Kent Bismuth in a CSMC Revelation and CZ Bobwhite in 20 gauge and they all hit the ground dead. If you like the gun I wouldn't sweat it.

Bruce

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All the Pheasants I've shot with my RBL 2 3/4 inch 20-gauge using Remington Express 1 ounce loads were over good pointing dogs, hardly ever a shot over 35 yards, and most less. I'm sure they would have all been just as dead with a bismuth load.

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The 3" 20 gauge "Magnum" saw the light of day in the 1950s, well prior to the lead ban. It was in those early years heavily promoted as a "Duck" gun. It was gaining much popularity "Until"the lead ban. The lead ban virtually killed it as a duck gun as the most readily available Duck Loads were all steel in those days. Even in the three-inch length the 20 simply would not hold enough of the steel pellets n the larger sizes necessary to make it a truly viable duck gun. The lead shot ban played no part in bringing about the 20 gauge Magnum.

20 gauge guns chambered for 3" shells had been available in the early 190s & possibly even back into the late 1800, BUT, these were not "Magnums", at least not in the same sense as the current 20s.


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Bob Brister's pattern testing showed a really long shot string from the 3" shell. His conclusion - why pay for the extra shot that never arrives to the target in time

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Originally Posted By: tudurgs
Bob Brister's pattern testing showed a really long shot string from the 3" shell. His conclusion - why pay for the extra shot that never arrives to the target in time


Because you never know which part of the string WILL arrive on time?


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Almost all of my hunting and target shooting since 1985 is with a 3 inch chambered OU. There is also a backup 3 inch chambered 20.

I have never shot a 3 inch 20 gauge shell.I do not know of anyone who has. So maybe the question is not whether the chambers are 3 inch, but whether anyone uses 3 inch shells in them.

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CA is now all non-tox, all the time, for all game. So, last time I hunted wild pheasants with a 20 gauge, I used 3" Black Cloud #3. There were two of us, no dogs, myself with a 20 and buddy with a 12, both shooting steel. Neither of us was getting clean one-shot kills. Last pheasant I shot that weekend took five shots to anchor the bird. Crossing shot at 35 yards knocked him down, second shot slowed him on the ground, third shot slowed him some more, next two kept him from getting into the deeper cover. All five shots were on the money and at a reasonable range. These were big, mature birds, but steel is not a good choice. Same area a couple of years before that, I was getting clean kills with 2-3/4" lead #4s. If you want to shoot non-tox with a 2-3/4" 20, select your ammo carefully.

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I have used 3" shells in a 20 gauge. I don't really see them as a big deal one way or the other. I don't really care for a 20 on pheasants but killed the last two or three of the season with a 20 because I had run out of 12s. I use #5s in lead or bismuth as conditions allow. Bi 5s are really deadly on pheasants in my experience.


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...never pay Dave "one more dime"
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