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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, my husband and I have some firearms to start off with. We are not hunters yet - we're just this year trying to learn and practice shooting and scout some and learn (a lot!). I have a 20g full choke shotgun with the extra capacity for 3" shells. He's got a .22LR. I'm trying to figure out between us what game we can hunt with what we have now. I have a listing of which guage and caliber and ammo to use for different game species which I've been studying, but I was curious to hear what folks' opinions might be on what might be a good place to start. We were mainly set on starting out with squirrel but upland hunting is very appealing, too, and my shotgun instructor thought the 3" shells might do for turkey. Does anybody have any opinions on what we might think about? I'd appreciate any thoughts.
 

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Although these are smaller calibers the options aren't too bad for a beginner/

20 guage:
small game
squirells
rabbit
grouse
pheasant
crows
turkey (fall and spring)

.22
late season (longer visiblilty and shot opportunity)
small game
squirell
rabbit

I am sure you could use them for other game, but that would be a starter. Stick with small game and you will learn a lot about other animals.
 

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You have to list the actions of each weapon for a more accurate assessment

ie/ a semi auto 22lr would not be legal for any hunting in Pa
 

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with those two guns you can hunt any game in PA. the 20 gauge could be used for small game and turkey and with slugs it could be used for deer and even bear. the modern 20 gauge saboted slugs are equivalent to a 45/70 in velocity. you would need to see what accuracy is like with the slugs. usually pretty decent. the 22 is good for squirrel and sitting rabbits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
pumpgun said:
with those two guns you can hunt any game in PA. the 20 gauge could be used for small game and turkey and with slugs it could be used for deer and even bear. the modern 20 gauge saboted slugs are equivalent to a 45/70 in velocity. you would need to see what accuracy is like with the slugs. usually pretty decent. the 22 is good for squirrel and sitting rabbits.
It would need another barrel to be able to use slugs in it - not sure how easy it woud be to do? I like it (no recoil) but it doesn't fit perfectly and it's a very inexpensive gun, so I need to think about whether it deserves money invested or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
timberdoodle said:
You have to list the actions of each weapon for a more accurate assessment

ie/ a semi auto 22lr would not be legal for any hunting in Pa
Not semi-auto - that much we picked up on for hunting. It's a bolt action and the shotgun is pump ('cause I'm a lefty shooting right).
 

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Perfect!

Any small game with the .22 and anything in Pa that is legal to hunt with the exception of elk with the 20 ga.

Although if the shotgun has a fixed full choke I would not recommend that you shoot slugs out of it so that would nullify its usefullness for deer and bear.

You would need different shotshells for the various types of game , steel shot for waterfowl, slugs for deer and bear, fine shot (4, 5, 6, & 7 1/2) for small game and turkey..

You're good to go!
 

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You're fine. You have what you NEED to hunt in PA. A 20g rifled slug will work for deer or bear. 3" High brass shot 4,5, and 6 for turkey. 2.75" high brass 5 or 6 shot for upland birds. 2.75 low brass in 6 or 7.5 for grouse or tree rats. 22LR for plinking, stalking, still hunting, and long shots at small game. I have a 12g and 20g, but for years I've only use the 12 for turkey. Being from Phila., I remember the challenges breaking into hunting 15 years ago. MOST hunters will be happy to help, so don't be discouraged by the cumudgeons. Also, I admire the fact that you are doing research BEFORE jumping into this brotherhood and sisterhood of hunting. Your book knowledge will support the field experiences that lie ahead if you stick with it!
 

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timberdoodle said:
Perfect!

Any small game with the .22 and anything in Pa that is legal to hunt with the exception of elk with the 20 ga.

Although if the shotgun has a fixed full choke I would not recommend that you shoot slugs out of it so that would nullify its usefullness for deer and bear.

You would need different shotshells for the various types of game , steel shot for waterfowl, slugs for deer and bear, fine shot (4, 5, 6, & 7 1/2) for small game and turkey..

You're good to go!

Slugs don't hurt a fixed full choke. I wish they did. If you could open up a full choke gun by just shooting slugs through it a full choke gun might be worth owning.
 

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those 2 guns are fine for just about all hunting in pa.

the only possible problem spot i see is the fact you mention 2 of you will be hunting together

idealy you want both of you to have the correct type gun for both of you to hunt with
ie a shotguns for each of you to hunt birds with and 2 -22lrs.

since you also mention your shooting an ill fitting gun wrong handed,you have a very legitimate reason for your own shotgun.
a used 20g ithaca 37 with a womans stock added would solve all your problems
 

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a full choke gun can handle rifled slugs just fine. get the foster type slugs that have the rifling built right into the side of the slug. i have a model 12 12 gauge full choke with a single bead site and it shoots the 2 3/4" foster slugs into fist sized groups at 50 yards. i personally wouldn't try much further than that though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
twistedoak said:
those 2 guns are fine for just about all hunting in pa.

the only possible problem spot i see is the fact you mention 2 of you will be hunting together

idealy you want both of you to have the correct type gun for both of you to hunt with
ie a shotguns for each of you to hunt birds with and 2 -22lrs.

since you also mention your shooting an ill fitting gun wrong handed,you have a very legitimate reason for your own shotgun.
a used 20g ithaca 37 with a womans stock added would solve all your problems
The shotgun is mine, actually, and the rifle is my husband's. It's really a dilemma because I really like this gun, but I've been told it's not really worth getting a gunsmith to cut down the stock (needs about a 1/2" off of it to fit right) since it would cost more than the gun cost. The instructor had me try a women's model Beretta, though, and I thought it was going to take my cheek off. It just wasn't heavy enough. I'm shooting right-handed because I'm right eye dominant - pump action feels more natural being a lefty than trying to fiddle with a bolt or break. Thanks for the Ithaca suggestions - I am going to wait awhile and try out different things and see how they are. My husband and I are the same height but his arms are a little longer, so if I trade up, this could just become his shotgun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
DVD said:
You're fine. You have what you NEED to hunt in PA. A 20g rifled slug will work for deer or bear. 3" High brass shot 4,5, and 6 for turkey. 2.75" high brass 5 or 6 shot for upland birds. 2.75 low brass in 6 or 7.5 for grouse or tree rats. 22LR for plinking, stalking, still hunting, and long shots at small game. I have a 12g and 20g, but for years I've only use the 12 for turkey. Being from Phila., I remember the challenges breaking into hunting 15 years ago. MOST hunters will be happy to help, so don't be discouraged by the cumudgeons. Also, I admire the fact that you are doing research BEFORE jumping into this brotherhood and sisterhood of hunting. Your book knowledge will support the field experiences that lie ahead if you stick with it!
I have not met a curmudgeon yet! Thanks for the encouragement. It is hard to get started and it's a lot to absorb. I gives us an excuse to take the kids out in the woods in the winter, though
. They were really the ones who pushed us on it. I had always though it would be a good skill to learn but my oldest daughter really convinced us we could make it a family activity because she was so interested. We have a few years to learn what we need before they are old enough to go out, so we're doing as much research as we can now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all the replys and information. I need to figure out this slug question maybe, because I do like this gun. The seller was the one who said the barrel could not handle slugs (the choke?).
 
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