This is a discussion on 10 Gauge within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Humor me, fellow Board Members. I have been working far too much the last couple of months, and only in the last few days have ...
May 15th, 2008 10:44 PM
Humor me, fellow Board Members. I have been working far too much the last couple of months, and only in the last few days have I had the chance to visit this great board.
As the workload eased up a bit, a ship came in as well (don't get me started on the "stimulus" issue; the better half had plans for the "stimulus" money, so I am going on a cruise in July, and I am not altogether ecstatic over it- but that's another story).
I have wanted one for a while. I almost bought one in time for turkey season last year. But this year I finally did it.
I found a good used 10-gauge. A Browning BPS.
So it's on layaway, with my name on it.
Does anyone have a 10-gauge out there?
What have you done with yours?
I know they're not really necessary in this day of really super 3 1/2" 12 gauge shells, and the only reason to get one is that you want it (I did).
But tell me whatever stories you can about how useful or fun they are.
I am kind of itching to try one of those Federal slugs in mine.
I also hear the 10-bore patterns marginally better than a 12-gauge, and I might use mine for ducks/geese. I definitely plan to try it out on turkeys next spring, and maybe even next fall if I can get the time to turkey hunt come November.
Any experiences (especially encouragement) is welcomed. Talk to me!
"...bad decisions that turn out well often make heroes."
Gary D. Mitchell, A Sniper's Journey: The Truth About the Man and the Rifle, P. 103, NAL Caliber books, 2006, 1st Ed.
May 16th, 2008 12:09 AM
I think the main reason most people shy away from a 10 gauge is cost of shells and availability,I remember years ago Ithaca came out with a 10ga semi auto geared towards LEO called a roadblocker,firing slugs into a vehicles engine compartment will tend to disable it.I think nowadays most loads you find in a 10ga are steel shot loads for waterfowl mainly geese
"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
--Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .
May 16th, 2008 12:56 AM
I had a 10 guage single shot that I used to goose hunt with. We nicknamed it "Uncle Jed". That thing was like an anti-aircraft gun for geese. It started getting to the point of driving down to Kentucky to find steel shot for it and it was really expensive when we did find it. I ended up giving it to a farmer who used to let us hunt on his land as part of a thank you. I really don't miss it, neither does my shoulder....lol, but it was a neat gun to have.
May 16th, 2008 01:22 AM
I read of Elmer Keith shooting ducks at 100 yards on the Snake River in Idaho with his Ithaca 10 gauge Magnum double in articles in the Guns & Ammo Annuals in the early 1970s. As a young duck hunter of 18 I determined that I required a 10 gauge Magnum shotgun so I could do 100 yard pass shooting too. Paid something like $60 for a brand new H&R Model 176 10 gauge shotgun. Anyone whose ever squinted down the barrel of this artillery piece has broken out into laughter at the swollen sewer pipe look. It was advertised to have a weighted stock. It came with a 36-inch full choke barrel and featured a decent cut choke. The restriction begins about 5-inches before the muzzle. The gun actually does throw dense patterns at 40 yards with No. 4 or No. 6 lead shot. I've seen later Model 176 10 gauge shotguns that had the cheapo swagged choke. It's a bit short stocked for me but works well with winter clothing and doesn't kick as badly that way either.
I spent $9.00 per box (of 25) at Gibson's Discount Center for four boxes of Federal 10 gauge 3 1/2-inch shells loaded with 2 oz. of No. 2 shot. Since I was purchasing Remington Express 2 3/4-inch 12 gauge duck loads for half that price per box I felt mightily abused. Sat at the edge of the lake all through the next season and banged away at out to 100 yards (or so I estimated) with the 10 gauge and scratched down a total of 2 ducks for the 100 shells. I recall that one of these ducks had two hits, a pellet that struck beneath the left wing and one in the neck.
I decided that I was not a 100 yard duck shooter and would go broke purchasing those expensive shells. Even if the pattern still provided enough density at such a range, which it likely did not, I wasn't skillful enough to determine proper lead for such stunt shooting.
Only later did I find out that the silly ol' 10 gauge H&R worked well when used with Winchester Super-X copper plated No. 5's or No. 6's. It hammered ducks in an incredibly effective manner at 50 yards. Only my ability to judge lead on fast flying ducks while pass shooting limited my ability to make best use of the gun. On rising shots or going away shots, watch out! When I did connect, the H&R really swatted them out of the sky. Sadly lead shot was later banned and so the ol' 10 gauge was pretty much retired. I still buy a box or two of bismuth every season or two for tradition's sake. Carried the 10 gauge season before last on a tank hopping expedition for ducks in central Texas. The bismuth 4's worked as well as did the old lead loads and I'd get my duck only after my brother-in-law and nephew took first shots.
I even was able to buy Remington Express 10 gauge 2 7/8-inch shells loaded with No. 4 shot in the 1970s. I don't remember the shot weight of this load but it was a duck getter. I used quite a few boxes of this stuff. Perhaps it had been on clearance. I don't recall.
In 1983 our slough at Lake Leon froze to 9 inches thick in an unusual December cold snap for Texas. I used the 10 gauge to find out how thick the ice was, taking two shots to shoot completely through it. High that day was 12F. It was 9F at 9 AM when some ducks actually flew by my end of the solidly frozen lake. I'd placed some decoys out on the ice, leaning crazily on their keels. One hopes. I furiously alternated between high-balls and feeding calls on the Yentzen. The ducks flew past about a hundred yards high, laughing.
Stood on a sidewalk BEHIND the handicap line (27 yards) on a trap range with some friends one afternoon and we all busted targets handily just before they fell in the grass after being thrown from the trap house using some of those Super-X shells with the number 6 shot. We didn't shoot at them as they were thrown but waited until they dropped almost to the ground. None of us could miss including a slightly built woman who was present. I can see why the 10 gauge isn't allowed for trap competition.
Used the 10 gauge H&R on a single occasion for a called-in tom turkey one spring down on the Concho River. As expected it worked like a charm.
My 10 gauge became sort-of a super "varmint rifle", a function I'd not expected of it. I got to buying Winchester Super-X buckshot loads. Now sadly discontinued, these were really nasty, featuring 2 1/4 oz. of No. 4 buckshot. That's 54 .24 caliber round balls per shell. For calling foxes or coyotes at night they couldn't be beat and my 10 gauge rolled 'em up. The gun patterned these very well. I got some 5 gallon rectangular fry-vat oil cans, laid them on their sides along the road out from our lake cabin and tested the buckshot loads out to 75 yards, finding that if I put the bead about a foot over the can I could cover it with holes. One only had to allow for a little drop at that distance. This knowledge stood me in good stead one night when chasing coyotes with a friend. We caught one in the beam of a spotlight, at what looked to be 75 yards, standing in the edge of a dry dusty plowed field, My bud was holding the light and I was holding the mighty H&R. He told me to take the light and he'd shoot the coyote with a scoped .243 that he had handy. Instead I placed the H&R's bead about a foot over the coyote and pulled the trigger. The coyote disappeared in a cloud of dust but as it drifted off he lay in a heap. Examination showed where 12 pellets hit him from stem to stern. I always figured it'd been like being hit with 12 .22 rifle bullets at once. I've still got some few boxes of the No. 4 buckshot loads, just for general principals.
Had a run-in with a vicious pit-bull in our yard when our two sons were very young. Some bikers had moved into a dilapidated farm house down the road from our house. Their dog got to staying in my wife's shady flowerbed in the hot summer weather we were having. He'd made a big wallow in only a day or two. One evening I was carrying my youngest son around the house to the back yard and came around the corner, discovering this dog which growled at us. Our eldest son was only 5 and the youngest was just walking. Our back yard was no place for this type of dog. I made it skedaddle but it returned daily, disputing the flowerbed with me. After a couple of days of this I figured it needed to "go away". I first thought of surgically and quietly placing a standard velocity .22 long rifle bullet in it's brain with my target rifle but it ran and I couldn't line up that Redfield 48 aperture target sight effectively as it high-tailed it across the yard. Next day it was there again and I determined that, whether the neighborhood heard me or not, I was getting the dog. Dropping a 2 1/4 oz. No. 4 buckshot load into the breach of the 10 gauge I headed out the front door of the house and around the side to the back. The dog rose from his wallow and was immediately flattened, so close that the buckshot load only had spread enough to hit him in two clumps, one in the head and one in the neck with a few strays in between.
I've been in the duck blind with the 12 gauge 3 1/2-inch Magnum guns a few times but was disappointed. I'm of the opinion that 2 oz. of steel shot from such a load is inferior to the 10 gauge 3 1/2-inch Magnum, at least back when it could be fed the Winchester Super-X or good ol' Remington Express 3 1/2-inch shells with lead 4's or 6's. Whether the 3 1/2-inch 12 gauge shell would perform with bismuth or with lead if it was still allowed I can't say but the 10 gauge gun really was effective back in the day at the longest reasonable distance one had any business shooting ducks which probably isn't more than 45-50 yards. I've never been on a goose hunt and don't know how the 10 gauge gun could perform there.
I'm a huge fan of the 2 3/4-inch 12 gauge shotgun for everything and the 10 gauge probably isn't worth the expense of the shells, the unwieldiness, the weight, or the recoil. Neither are the 3-inch or 3 1/2-inch Magnum 12 gauge shells in my view. I have hunted with the 10 gauge far fewer times than my favored 12 gauge but I have a lot of affection for my ol' H&R, cheap as it is. I always had a good time when using it in the field. Felt like a bit of a lark to hunt with it.
May 16th, 2008 02:35 AM
I think bmcgilvray has it right with just finding the right load for the gun. I had nothing but frustrations with my Benelli Super Nova last year until I stepped up and started experimenting with different loads. When I finnally found the right one that worked for me and my gun, I couldn't miss a bird. Unfortunately for me, that also was the last day of duck season.
Good luck with the artillery piece.
I will support gun control when you can guarantee all guns are removed from this planet. That includes military and law enforcement. When you can accomplish that, then I will be the last person to lay down my gun. Then I will carry the weapon that replaces the gun.
May 16th, 2008 03:06 AM
My Dad found me playing with his 36"(?) SxS 10ga. That day we went out by Utah Lake and he had me fire both barrels at 12 jars of stewed tomatoes. Scared the hell out of me, and required a "slight" adjustment to my shoulder by my father. Last time I came close to a firearm without permission.
Thanks Dad, Rest in Peace.
BTW I was 9.
Last edited by rhinokrk; May 16th, 2008 at 03:07 AM.
Reason: added age
Get the U.N. out of the U.S.
Get the U.S. out of the U.N.
May 16th, 2008 06:24 AM
Ah, the ol' 10ga memories.
A couple of cousins introduced me, at age 10, to 10ga pleasures. Both barrels at a big, "family" sized Folger's coffee can makes for some easy shooting, 20yds across the draw. Sent me flying back, arse over tip. The last thing I saw as my feet came up in front of me (and over my head) was the can flying off into the distance. The trip lasted only another day or so, but the bruise lasted for much longer than that. They loved that day. Come to think of it, so did I.
There was something about the accuracy and ease of hitting what you want, with that gun. I'm sure they'd tuned it with certain ammo and found the perfect match. I'm certain they kept it spotless and functioning perfectly. Living in the country, hunting duck and turkey is a big part of what they did, outside of working on the farm. Crack shots, all of them. Amazing to watch them training the twin cannons on a target.
May 16th, 2008 06:49 AM
Some friends and I went goose hunting down south in some rice fields in the late 1990's. There were plenty of geese flying just high enough to stay out of range of my 3" 12 gauge, they too laughed as they passed over me. There was another guy hunting nearby and everytime he shot a goose fell, of course his shot was noticeably loud, and we later confirmed he was hunting with a 10 gauge pump. I ordered a black stock Browning 10 gauge auto when I got home.
I haven't been goose hunting with it, but I have done plenty of duck hunting with it, and I'd usually bring it and a little short 12 gauge auto. I'd use the one that matched best how the ducks were flying that day. That 10 gauge is loud and it does reach out and nail a duck that know one else could knock down.
I havent shot any slugs with it but I'd like to. The auto I'm sure softens the recoil a little. Mine is pretty big and not great for a quick point shot since it doesn't swing easily, but it has been totally reliable. I was noticing this past season that it seemed to me that the stores didn't carry the quantity and selection of 10 gauge shells that they did in the past. Based on that, maybe 10 gauge has lost some of its popularity? Regardless, your dealer can order whatever you'd need or you can buy the shells online.
Good luck with your 10 gauge, I like mine. BTW I've been on one cruise, and I had a great time, and have plans on going more in the future.
May 16th, 2008 08:11 AM
I have a BPS 10 that I use for Goose hunting. The weight of the ten keeps recoil down & helps with follow through, the larger bore size patterns large shot better. If you plan on using steel, you will need to reload to get the most out of your ten gauge.
America: Your government is not ignoring you, it's insulting you.
The Bill of Rights: Void where prohibited by law.
May 16th, 2008 01:41 PM
If I had the money I'd buy one in a heartbeat. Loved 10 gauges when I was first introduced by a friend of the family as a slightly younger lad. It was an over-under, too young to have considered paying attention to make and model, but boy was it nice and boy did the fellow make sure I didn't drop/scratch it. It almost made shooting clay pigeons unfair.
Anyway, if you enjoy yours as much as I enjoyed shooting that kind gentleman's, you'll be set.
May 16th, 2008 04:36 PM
May 16th, 2008 05:22 PM
Thanks for your posts. The long one by bmcgilvray was absolutely, positively, especially what I was looking for. I hope to make many similar memories with my Big Ten. Already ordered a bunch of accessories, etc. (extra choke tube, sling), for him, and I'll go get him out of layway when the goodies get here.
Thought about using it for squirrel season (just opened here yesterday), but I think I'll stick with "The Judge" for that one.
Pics and range report, naturally, when the the blessed events (arrival and trigger time) take place....
I don't know yet what to call him (I have determined gender), but many thanks to Schwebel , "Uncle Jed" is tempting....I was thinking just "Big Ten", but that may be too generic.
"...bad decisions that turn out well often make heroes."
Gary D. Mitchell, A Sniper's Journey: The Truth About the Man and the Rifle, P. 103, NAL Caliber books, 2006, 1st Ed.
May 16th, 2008 05:36 PM
The large piece of plumbing that I use is so out-classed by a 10 Gauge Browning BPS.
I'd be tickled to read your impressions when you get your shotgun. Photos too, please.
May 16th, 2008 08:15 PM
I have a Browning BPS 10 with a 30" barrel. The gun weighs in at around 9-10 lbs. I would say the recoil is equivalent to a .300 Win Mag, maybe a little more. It gets a little cumbersome toting around in the turkey woods but works really well in making them "shock" gobble LOL!
My friend never shot one before so I took it out last year when we went shooting clays. I had a couple of boxes of shells that I've had for a while and wanted to blow through them. He shot it a couple of times and that was enough for him. He's not one who enjoys getting kicked around. No one else with us wanted to shoot it so I ended up shooting up the shells myself. Man, I love hearing that gun rumble. I'll be honest, blowing through that many shells in a relatively quick amount of time, you're gonna feel it. I would much rather shoot this though than a light weight 3 1/2" 12 with full powered loads.
On a lighter note, probably 15 years ago I was in a goose blind with it. This was an in-the-ground blind with three lids for cover that you'd push up to open and shoot from. The frame of the lids was made of rebar with woven wire fencing to attach grass, etc. I had a Canadian flying overhead and I pushed open the lid to try my luck. When I shot, the goose was directly overhead. The recoil drove the back of my head into that rebar frame splitting it open. I didn't need any stitches but I was bleeding pretty good for a while. The guys I was hunting with sure got a good laugh from it. Oh, and I missed the goose. Good times.
May 16th, 2008 10:17 PM
That's a good lookin' shot gun with all that gleaming blued steel. It's amazing how " Winchester Model 12-ish" it looks, only rendered on a larger scale.
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