Thursday, February 19, 2015

Yellow shells

In the beginning there were reds, greens, blacks, blues and even an occasional purple. Whatever was in the box, and often whatever was cheapest.

There was one gun in the closet, a 12 gauge, and it served its purpose well. Anything with wings got the business end of it. The pump action never jammed and I lugged it through fields and swamps and woods and prairies through all seasons. We were inseparable.

And then came the lure of two barrels. Too many magazine articles, too many pictures of a man and his dog and his gun and that gun wasn't a pump action 12 gauge. For some reason I just had to have one, couldn't possibly be complete without one.

So pennies got socked away until a decent Browning came into the picture, a lighter gun than the 12 which seemed like a fringe benefit at the time. Part by chance and part by design this smaller gun took only one color.

20 ga shells

Over a period of years it became the gun that gets the call on nearly every outing. It was lighter, easier to tote all day, and when a shooting slump came along it emerged as the franchise player. Ducks and turkeys, on the rare occasions they are the main event, still demand the bigger stick. But for all else the pockets are filled with those yellow shells.

And now we are, for the most part, inseparable, although I've heard that once you try a 28 you'll never be the same.


  1. Pretty much my story exactly, except my first two-barrel yeller shell gun was a Beretta. I will not get sucked in. I will not buy a 28, I will not buy a 28...

    1. As long as the change in the mason jar is earmarked for something I'm safe. Right now it's going toward a new pup (date still TBD). If I can ever get caught up on roof repairs and such, well, maybe....

  2. Don’t kid yourself. You can go back to a 20, 16 or 12 after shooting a 28. Most of the 28’s I see are as heavy to carry as a 20, especially the O/U’s. Unless one sinks a wad into a Brit or a decent Spanish or heaven forbid, an old American double, usually not going to find a 28 significantly, if at all, lighter than a 20 with the CZ an exception to high cost and weight—5 lbs. 3 oz. Try to find 28 gauge shells at Wally World. One thing about Ole Yella, he’s everywhere and usually better than half the cost of 28’s. (Since when do we Practical Pigs worry about costs when it comes to hunting, or guns for that matter.) I have two 28’s—a CZ Bobwhite and an M-37. I didn’t shoot them this season. Mostly shot a 20 at dove; carried a light 12 double for woodcock; more carrying than shooting, and the light 12 and 16 for quail. I never had the urge to carry either 28 this season. But who knows what next fall will bring.

  3. I have been shooting a 28 gauge on quail and sporting clays for several years now. I m satisfied with a 28 gauge over/under for both purposes. Some 28 gauge O/U rs are built on a 20 gauge frame so are similar in weight. My inexpensive tristar works great out in the field, I have no complaints, its light and easy to swing. My Ceasar Guerini has a little more weight and takes a bit more to swing it, but I shoot clays with it. Satisfied with that also. I also reload that gauge which has been at about .28 cents per load, good with that also. I have a 12 gauge that I shoot turkey and goose with. But hey I am sitting in a blind with those two so weight is not a big factor. This is a good weather app to plan your events. Allows you to plan and enter parameters and be alerted foto when the forecast is met.