The 28 gauge is a simply amazing cartridge. It hits harder than it should and kicks less than it ought to. Dove shooting in Cordoba, Argentina can definitely involve shooting several THOUSAND shells in a day if you keep at it. I once shot 2000 rounds in one day at dove in the Cauca Valley in Colombia with a 12 gauge Browning B-80 gas auto. At the end of the day, it was all I could do to lift a few beers. I really wish that I had a nice little 28- just as Ramzi describes below. The gun would be lighter and so would the recoil, but my bag might be heavier. Ramzi’s following comments on using a 28 on those fleets of Argentine doves make interesting reading.
Ramzi booked through Trek Safaris (see their web site). I used them for trips to Colombia and Honduras. They always had well organized hunts and the best prices.
Bruce Buck The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC
I just came back from a fabulous dove shooting in Cordoba, Argentina. Zeke Hayes of H & H Outfitters runs the La Portenita Lodge in Cordoba with high level of proficiency and efficiency. All what was promised was delivered. Trek Safaris is the booking agent.
I shot 28 gauge shells, Argentinean made, 2.5 inch # 7 with 16.5 grams (9/16 oz) of shot. I used a Ruger and a Beretta alternating the guns every two shots using the “bird boy” as a loader. After shooting the guns thousands of shells in a matter of few days, I got very impressed with the performance of the 28 gauge. Doves came down spinners on the high shots and folded on the crossers. The crippling rate was not more than when I used 20 gauge.
The more I shot the 28 the more I got impressed with the performance and the further out I will reach. It must have a pattern which is efficient. The 28 gauge may not be for a pheasant at 40 yards, but it sure is for doves. I had the chance to experiment with various chokes from skeet to full and at the proper distance they all worked well. Briley’s LM and LF worked best with the Beretta. The Ruger full choke reached far and performed exceptionally well during windy days when doves are high and fast. Both guns have a 28″ barrel.
The Ruger, which does not have the reputation and the hype of Beretta, performed exceptionally well and had the clear advantage with it’s split barrels in dissipating the heat much faster and thus stayed cooler. Also, it is much easier to reload because of it’s “easy open” system. It is back bored and had less felt recoil than the Beretta which weighs one ounce more because of the extended Briley chocks.
The Beretta has a superior trigger and did much better on doubles because of it’s positive and crisp trigger. Switching barrels to shoot the tighter choke first is much easier using the Beretta. This is helpful to double on doves when the far bird has to be shot first on the incomers and crossers.
Ah! The felt recoil with this little Argentinean 28 gauge cutie is hardly felt. No shoulder pain even if the gun is mounted in the wrong place. No headache, no jaw pain and no face slap. The very low felt recoil of the 28 gauge during high volume shooting may be the main factor in keeping the percentage of hits in line with the 20 and 12 gauge bigger sisters. What a pleasure was to shoot and trust the 28.
Personally, I have always considered the dove as the best teacher of shotgunning and shooting. This gray bullet can humble the best of shooters. The ones that I miss, or the ones that do their acrobatic aerial maneuvers at the sight of the shotgun and evade being shot, I wish them the best, for they have good genes and deserve to live and have more babies.
With best regards to the Guru of all Shotgun Gurus,