Joined: 17 Mar 2017
Location: Endless Mountains of Pa
There is definitely a difference between the 2 1/2" SpredR shells and the 2 3/4 SpredR shells, at anything over 35 yards.
My buddy Ken and I were out Grouse hunting in one of our favorite Grouse and Woodcock Coverts opening week, when his beautiful Gordon female put on one heck of a show. She 1st pointed a big male Grouse as it was setting under an old apple tree, however Ruby had invaded the old Grouses safety zone just a little to far, and the Grouse started the quick walk out from under the old apple tree.
Ruby is becoming a serious Grouse and Woodcock dog now and she looped around and cut the big Grouse off from escaping thru the under brush. The Big Old Grouse reversed it's escape route and took immediate flight up thru the apple tree. Now Ken had a perfect shot at this massive bird, a serious wall hanger for sure, about 35 yards out in front of him.
However the man working at his Shooting Star Guns Shop at that exact time, called Ken for some much needed help on a Gun sale he was making. Ken had just answered the call on his mobile phone when Ruby pointed the big Grouse and all the action took place.
Now I was about 35 yards to his right watching the action and waiting for Ken to nail the big Grouse with his new CT made 16 Gauge Fox double gun. When the new Fox gun failed to make it usual sound, I turned and finally saw him on the cell phone.
I quickly turned back and fired my front trigger on the 1889 J.P. Sauer 16 Gauge, shooting just over top the rising bird, the big bird climbed to just over the top of the nice size apple tree and turned in the air, to make it's escape. I fired again, the bird shook in the air, turned and flew out of there at top warp speed. At the time of the 2nd shot, the bird was approx 46 yards from my gunning position, and I saw that big bird shake in the air and not go down. The #8 SpredR shells at that range did not put the trophy size bird down, the pattern at that range had thinned out way to much for a decent kill shot. Of course we backed up the hunt on that bird for quite a while, all 3 dogs searching near and far. I had definitely not hit a vital or completely broken a wing. The big bird is alive and well for us to hunt again some other time.
Ken advised me that from now on he shuts off his mobile phone when we hunt that covert.
The lesson I learned is that the #8 16 Gauge 2 1/2" SpredR's do not reach out and put birds down at over 35-40 yards as the 2 3/4" SpredR's do, I will use the #6, 2 1/2" SpredR's in the 2nd Barrel the next time out with the 16 JP gun, and I have my doubts even they could have put that particular big Grouse down, like the HV Fiocchi 2 3/4 shells do out of my L.C. Smith 16 Bird Gun. There definitely is a big difference using the 2 1/2" SpredR shells at over 35-45 yards.
Definitely a hard lessen learned about these smaller 2 1/2 #8 SpredR shells. 1st Barrel shells only in the thick Grouse woods.
No doubt about it, I was wishing for that old 1926 LeFever 12 gauge on it's 16 Gauge Frame, when that Potter County Trophy Sized Grouse started to bank just above the old apple tree. That big Grouse would be hanging on the wall with our other Trophy Sized Grouse, if the old Uncle Dan LeFever/Ithaca Gun had been out in the woods that day.
Grandson as a Sportsman it's not how many Grouse you take, it's how you take the Grouse.
The 1880's Side Lock JP at the Bottom of the picture, the 1926 LeFever 12 Gauge on the 16 Gauge Frame, at the top, with Pre 1913 L.C. Smith eye candy in between. - Bird Guns for a Bird Hunter
_________________ "L.C. Smith America's Best" - John Houchins
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