One Ounce 28 Gauge Loads


I have recently purchased one of the Remington 1100 28 gauge Sporting guns, allegedly for my 12 year old son. I am planning on taking him hunting for grouse and some pen raised, public land pheasants this year.

After searching Remington, Winchester and Federal shotshell catalogs for suitable loads, I can find only 3/4 ounce loads from Remington and Federal, while Winchester loads a full ounce of 6’s in their high brass field load. I reasoned that 1 ounce sounds better than 3/4, so I bought a box and did some patterning today from the 25 yard line. They actually patterned pretty well, but I noticed that the ejection placed them somewhere in the next county.

Is this load going to beat the gun to pieces or is this OK for the amount of field shooting I’d do? Would you recommend this load for hunting or would you prefer to use the 3/4 ounce loads? I’m also planning on doing some dove hunting with the gun and would consider using the 1 ounce load of 7 1/2’s for that purpose. I might do some volume shooting over the years with it, so I don’t want to beat it to death if possible. I looked through the owner’s manual but it did not mention anything about avoiding this load.

Your thoughts on this load or any others for ruffed grouse, doves and quail would be greatly appreciated. I’m new to the 28 and was kind of pushed into it by a son who was showing interest in the clay target sports but was not tolerant of recoil. I tried a Beretta 20 o/u and a Beretta 12 o/u with the low recoil/low noise shells, but he was not happy with the recoil. The stocks were a bit too long, also. I then tried a Remington 1100 410, which he liked, but of course it is very much limited to the skeet field except in the hands of an expert who is willing to pass up a lot of shots.

Thanks for your input into this thorny question!


Dear Rich,

The 28 gauge 1100 Sporter is a neat gun. It would be ideal for a youngster. If you cut the stock, just remember to save the wood piece for when he grows up. Of course, if you are going to “share” the gun, tell him to tough it out and eat more.

One ounce in that gun? I think that it would be great for the amount of shooting you would do a ruffed grouse or preserve pheasants, especially with #6. It would be particularly helpful on pheasant, especially if the shot is a bit awkward. Even a farm pheasant needs a pretty good whack to put down cleanly. Ruffed grouse are easy to kill, but oh so hard to hit. The one ounce load might allow you to increase your fringe size slightly if you use a skeet choke instead of the IC.

I wouldn’t worry about the integrity of the gun. Small gauge 1100s are very strong and the volume of shooting you will do with the one ounce loads shouldn’t cause any problem. If you shot them at the rate of 25,000 a year, as a clay shooter would, that would be something different.

For volume shooting at dove (or even for occasional shooting at them), I’m really not sure that you would need a one ounce load. All the guys I know who take 28s to Argentina say that they are perfectly satisfied with the standard 3/4 oz load. Besides, you’d have to import the one ounce Winchesters yourself and that’s always a mess bringing a whole bunch of shells into a foreign country. A few boxes are easy, but if you go to Cordoba you’ll be thinking in terms of eight flats a day.

A 20 is the traditional bob white quail gun, but to me the 28 with 3/4 ounce is really THE shell of choice for these birds. It just seems to be made for them. Perhaps some of those iron-clad wild West Texas quail are 12 gauge fodder, as are some of the Western quail varieties who won’t let you get within 30 yards before flushing. But for typical Southern bob white, the 3/4 oz 28 is just a marvel.

I’ve seen some very good performance from the one ounce Winchester 28 gauge with #6s. We were once doing walk-up shooting for red grouse in the Highlands of Scotland near Pithlochery. One of my pals had a SxS 28 and had brought a couple of boxes of the AA one ounce #6 loads. He was just devastating out to over 30 yards. I saw him take some at 35 yards. He even took a triple! Two with the first shot and one with the second. I saw him do that. Of course, he’s a marvelous shot with anything, but it proved to me that the one ounce 28 in #6 wasn’t a waste of time.

That said, for most of your 28 gauge shooting, I don’t think that you need one ounce unless there are special circumstances. 3/4 ounce is just fine. If you really want one ounce loads to shoot all the time, you might consider a 20 gauge 1100. It’s the same size gun, just a different hole in the barrel.

By the way, my wife shoots only 3/4 oz 28 gauge for absolutely everything. That’s trap, skeet, sporting clays plus preserve pheasant, chukar and quail. The 28 gauge 687 Beretta is the only gun she owns or wants to shoot. She does surprisingly well at trap with it (for a non-trap shooter) and can positively wreck a preserve pheasant out to 30 yards. She has used light 12s when we have gone to Latin American or Spain, but that was really due to what was available, rather than her preference.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC
(Often in error. Never in doubt.)

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