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If you have experience hunting wild quail, what would be the specifications that you would want in your perfect quail gun? Also, what load would you use?

Thanks, RS

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I like the same guns as I do for pheasants, prairie grouse, Huns, and the like. Those have mostly been O/U shotguns in 12, 16, and 20 ga. with 28" barrels. I used a Citori Upland Special for many years but later realized I shot longer barrels better. My most preferred are fixed choke or standard Invector/Mobil choke guns as the barrels are lighter. Whether Citori, 68x, older Miroku, Vamet, etc. I liked them.

For just bobwhites I preferred an ounce of 7.5 regardless of bore. I tried 8s but they produced more cripples than I liked as ranges opened up. It is my preference for Mearns quail too.

Gambel's and blue quail I move to heavier shot charges and often larger shot as the birds can flush at longer distances. An once and an eighth of 7.5 is a minimum and these birds are one of the places I'll think 6s have a serious place.

The little I've hunted California quail I would lean toward the loads for Gambel's and blues but bobwhite loads would probably do well too. The two years I chased them were after poor hatches so what I found were older and wiser than normal. I probably wasn't in the best habitat either which can make a difference in how well they will hold for a point.

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Soft shooting, fast swinging, gas-operated auto.


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My favorite quail gun is a Perazzi MX28-B, 30” barrels choked .010”/.018” and stocked to my specs, weighs 6#. I use 3/4 oz #7.5, used almost exclusively on valley quail. It also works better than it should on wild pheasants with 3/4 oz #6.

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They're pretty much nonexistent in my part of Virginia now but if they weren't my Remington Special field 20 gauge 1100 would be pretty good. Improved cylinder or even a skeet choke. 28 gauge 870 Wingmaster with the skeet barrel would work well too.

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Bobwhites in front of a good pointing dog??

Either a 20 or 28. 3/4 Oz of 7.5.

A little Citori White Lightning, 26" barrels.

Them days are long gone around here though. Too many predators and too little suitable cover.


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My 1931 LC Smith 20 gauge. Came from the factory bored IC/Mod. Ivory bead that just seems to glow in the ambient light. She’s a sweetie. I shoot RST shells in her. RST makes excellent ammo for vintage guns.

My second string gun of choice is a Charles Daley 28 gauge O/U bored SK/SK.

Third string gun is my Superposed 20 ga SK/SK inherited from my uncle. It was his gun of choice for his skeet shooting. It seems to shoot a tad high and that might be on purpose, as it was a dedicated skeet gun. I don’t know….

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Mines a .20ga SKB 100,carries like a switch and shoots well for me.


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Originally Posted by RipSnort
If you have experience hunting wild quail, what would be the specifications that you would want in your perfect quail gun? Also, what load would you use?

Thanks, RS

Nothing beats a light fast-pointing double like this French Robust No. 4 16 gauge with 25" barrels I/C 7 Mod. It was my late Ms. Scarlet's favorite gun. When I got it out she knew she'd be into quail soon.

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It's a great blue grouse killer, too.
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Nothing fancy for me. I just use my old rem 1100 20ga or 12ga skeet guns with some 7.5 or 8 shot. They have worked fine for me for over 50 years. Not many Quail around my parts left to hunt anymore any way. Although I did jump a nice covey last week when deer hunting.

Last edited by jc189; 12/08/22.
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Nothing like finding coveys behind your own dogs….A 20 is hard to beat, though a 28 is just as good.



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Nice!!!!


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Have had the privilege to hunt Wild Bobs in Georgia with a wide variety of shotguns. Most anything is fine for the first shot. Staying in the gun for a second shot is were the thinking comes in.

I like the beautiful O/U’s and SxS’s, but the one that brought the most down was a borrowed REM 1100 20 gauge. Although the rule was only 2 shells. And I’m far from a fan of the 1100

And 6’s for the 2nd shot was an eye opener for having them stay in one place when they went down.

Wild Bobs have a tenacity to squirt on the ground that goes beyond their size.

They also had a squirt of a Lab to do the retrieving. His nose was amazing. A wounded Quail would run into a piece of cover to hide. That little runt Lab would hit scent and turn himself inside out on the turn.

Last edited by battue; 12/08/22.

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Originally Posted by battue
Have had the privilege to hunt Wild Bobs in Georgia with a wide varied shotguns. Most anything is fine for the first shot. Staying in the gun for a second shot is were the thinking comes in.

I like the beautiful O/U’s and SxS’s, but the one that brought the most down was a borrowed REM 1100 20 gauge. Although the rule was only 2 shells. And I’m far from a fan of the 1100

And 6’s for the 2nd shot was an eye opener for having them stay in one place when they went down.

Wild Bobs have a tenacity to squirt on the ground that goes beyond their size.

They also had a squirt of a Lab to do the retrieving. His nose was amazing. A wounded Quail would run into a piece of cover to hide. That little runt Lab would hit scent and turn himself inside out on the turn.


Wounded or dead, you about can't spot those little guys once they're down. Truly amazing natural camo, and as you mentioned, they'll often slip down into things that allow them to completely disappear, such as a hole from an old tree stump. Finding quail without a good dog takes way more luck than I regularly enjoy. Some places bring along labs or english cockers for such a task, but I have poor man's bird dogs in that they'll point and retrieve (though the latter still needs some fine tuning). Few things like hunting wild bobs, especially when you've worked all year to manage the habitat that encourages it.

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Best quail hunter I've ever known was an old guy that used a Belgian Browning Auto Five Sweet Sixteen with a 26" plain matte ribbed barrel choked IC. He was a stone cold killer and could kill a double out of a covey rise with ease. When showing off three birds were often possible for him. If the shotgun didn't have a plug I'd bet he might have picked off a fourth bird occasionally. The old guy seldom shot more than one, occasionally two from a covey but if you got snotty with him he'd try his best to piss you off even more.


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No longer have a dog and quail were not that common when I did. But down here in the SW they are the target of choice. I have an old French 16ga sxs that is light as a feather that I drag along when coyote hunting in case I come across a flock of quail. IC & IM 3/4oz 8's in a 2.5" hull.


After the first shot the rest are just noise.

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I've got safes full of fine doubles... they are NOT the perfect quail gun. It is a Remington 1100 Upland Special with a 21 inch barrel. I have two of them and they are better that most of all the "fancy" guns we all like to drool over.

Most any load of 8's will work... here in SC.

Last edited by Sasha_and_Abby; 12/08/22.

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Shot a lot of them with a Sweet Sixteen, but since we went to non-toxic shot, my favorite is a Benelli Montefeltro in 20.

I shoot a 3-in duplex 1-oz handload of #7 steel spiked with a pinch of #9 or #10 tungsten, but that's only because of our restrictions. Otherwise, I'd happily shoot 7/8-oz of lead #8's for early season and switch to #7.5's as they got spooky ...

The Monte is light, quick-handling, fits me well ... a perfect quail gun.


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Churchill 28 gauge with 23" barrels for everything.

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