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Everything posted by birdbrooks

  1. I am a Speed Bead user but not for wing shooting. (I'm an old-school two-eye wing shooter). I have the Speed Bead on one of my Benellis because it's GREAT for one thing... turkey hunting in low light morning or pre-sunset conditions in the woods. It will extend your shooting capabilities when the light is poor. Also, a very important plus... if you peek off the barrel ramp, which will normally guarantee a missed shot, but keep the laser bead on your target, it will hit where it indicates. This can be huge when you are in the tense moment of a turkey head shot.
  2. I am a right-handed shooter and have always been left-eye dominant, though my shooting has never suffered. A few variables have helped me: **A side by side can work wonders for someone struggling with eye dominance issues. This is especially true for upland hunting where snap shooting is more common. **I've concentrated on practicing shouldering my weapon to perfect my form, using a well-fitted gun-- this is vital-- practicing getting my trigger-finger eye lined right down the ramp, even though the other eye is dominant. This allowed me to reflexively train alignment but more importa
  3. birdbrooks

    M1 vs. M2

    The M1's have more steel parts, the trigger guard being the most obvious. It is a solid but well balanced gun; it seems heavier when handled, but the real weight difference between M1s and M2s is not that great. The M1 allows release of shotgun shells manually from the magazine carrier using your finger or thumb, negating the need to cycle rounds through the action to empty the gun. This is not possible with the M2s and in my opinion is the only drawback to an M2. The M1s, Ultralights and Vincis, etc., have all been engineered to allow easy magazine ejection. However the M2 is
  4. birdbrooks


    My first impression reminds me of when I first saw the M2. The M2 had some interesting features but wasn't as good as the M1 in key areas (milled parts in the M1 vs. plastic, durability of finish, solid feel, etc.) Now the Vinci doesn't rock me after all that hype. The Vinci doesn't look sharp like most Benellis. The receiver looks clunky. And that big chunk of plastic covering the receiver/trigger assembly looks flat out cheap. I'll keep my trusty M1 for turkeys and waterfowl (tough as an M4). I'll keep my Ultra 12 Ga because it is the best pheasant repeater made. I'll keep my
  5. I'll chime in to say I would go with a 26" as Tucker recommends if I was mostly waterfowling. I wish I was duck hunting as much as I used to-- but the waterfowling isn't as nearly good in Minnesota as it once was-- not that many years ago!)
  6. I'll chime in and ask if anyone has used the Speed Bead for turkey hunting. Looks like it might be a winner for that...
  7. Keep in mind that your eye (or eyes) are looking down a sight ramp that is the length of the barrel *plus* the length of the receiver in the case of an auto or pump. A double doesn't have that extra receiver length along the sighting ramp... so a 26" or 28" barreled double often sights like a 24" M2 or similar gun... Those barrel lengths are my prefs for field shooting. The M2's, Ultras, and SEII's are so sweetly balanced with a 24" barrel. Happy shooting, amigo-
  8. You made a real nice choice in weapons for pheasant hunting. I have the same gun. I have owned a lot of guns and several Benellis and you couldn't do better for wild (or game farm) pheasant. My Ultra Light is a sheer joy to shoot with (and carry all day!) So, after you adjust the gun to fit you, using the supplied shims for drop height to align your barrel ramp to your eyes, and different thickness of butt pad if necessary for length of pull (LOP), you will be ready gun wise. Despite many opinions otherwise you'll hear in this forum, I like the idea of using nothing less than 6's fo
  9. ...on that last post, I want to be clear- from the day I started hunting as a kid, we never shot more than our limit, which would have been pretty easy to do lots of times "back in the day". Sometimes I look at these hunting shows with three guys water fowling in a blind, and they show about 20-25 ducks getting nailed... and I wonder, what's up with THIS?
  10. Good question! But for starters, North Dakota has gone to 3 shells max in all shotguns for all bird hunting. You can bet other states will follow. I don't think the number of rounds in a guy's gun can help get more birds or make up for his level of shooting skill. I am probably as confident shooting a shotgun as anything I do in my life... and I make my living with my eyes and my hands. I'll just put it that way. To most skills there is a blend of science (applied knowledge) and an art (visual comprehension). I compare shooting rifles to shotguns this way: rifle shooting tends t
  11. Don't know much personally about the Montefeltro; a buddy has and loves his for pheasant in South Dakota. It is a light enough gun especially in 20 gauge for most folks to hunt with all day. If I had to pick that or the 20 gauge Ultralight, for wild pheasant hunting, I would go with the Monte. My preference would be based on kick. Kick is not something that has ever bothered me- heck, I was raised on a Ithaca #37 running 3" loads for geese and they kick hard. But the 20 ga. UL is SO light that if you use typical field loads for pheasant (especially in 3" length) it will kick considerably
  12. Did real well in ND for two days filling out and a few bonus Huns, Timb99, but then the blizzard did hit starting Saturday afternoon. It was -17 degrees where we were when we quit at sunset Saturday and the wind was just picking up. Then it really got cold! I'm talking -22 and gusting to 30 mph winds; the windchill was -50. That is, of course, extremely dangerous. So, Sunday was spent holed up. The whole state was shut down Sunday. There were a bunch of pheasants all through the midwest and near west this year... probably as many as I've seen in 40 years of hunting, and that's a big bunch
  13. Heading to North Dakota early tomorrow to chase late season pheasants. Weather has been fairly mild but minus degree temps and wind are forecast for the next several days. What would a December Dakota hunt be without that?! So, if it gets windy--and it will-- I'll blame any misses on that!
  14. I have both M1's and M2's and love them all. The M1 is a total workhorse that can take a lot of hard use (ice, crud on the outside of the action--not in the barrel of course--etc.) It keeps on tickin'. It has more metal parts (trigger guard, etc.) than the M2 but that doesn't mean the M2 is cheaper- the M1 feels a bit more substantial. Both the M1 and M2 are superbly balanced. I'd give the edge to the M2. If I was lugging a gun in the field all day I'd go with the M2. It has the newer technologies in the cryogenic barrels and chokes and is a bit lighter. If I was going to be mos
  15. Windage and elevation for shotgunning! ... I was having a tough enough time figuring that for rifle hunting! Actually I did get a nice buck antelope this year in MT at 335 yds but the .300 Win Mag took a lot of the guesswork out of the drop equation! Seriously, I do agree with what you are saying, splashtx556ftw, about the wind. I think we are arriving at the same conclusion on determining lead-- I'm just focusing on distance and target speed. If I took the time to recheck the wind direction as I was prepping to shot I'd be all bolloxed up. No time for that, and the South Dakota wind shif
  16. I like so many things about the M2-- pointability, balance, (best ever in an auto loader) looks, lightness, the famous Benelli action, toughness and simplicity of design, and more. There are only two drawbacks: one discussed in another thread- the magazine shell retainer is stiff and doesn't allow shells to be unloaded directly from the magazine- they have to be cycled through the chamber. The other is that there is some kind of polymer coating on the composite stock pieces that tends to start peeling a bit-- on the black comp. model. They may have remedied this, it's a pretty minor issu
  17. The birds don't get a chance to choose, all they're seeing is the shiny barrel-- that is, the tube from the muzzle end!
  18. The shell magazine retainer does not allow you to release shells from the magazine manually, as it should, unless you have incredibly strong fingers. That is no good and it is true of every M2 I have handled or shot. The M1's did not have this problem, and the Ultra Light does not either. I have all three types of guns. Why would having to live-cycle rounds be a problem? Because you should be able to remove shells quickly and as safely as possible, and this limitation compromises that ability. I unloaded my model #37 pump for years, which has a similiar type of magazine retainer
  19. Now that you mention it, if someone said, "you can only use one shot size for all bird hunting" I would go with 7.5's as well. I remember liking them a lot for two things-- late season ruffed grouse 20 gauge 2.75" loads, snow hunting in MN. I always looked for one ounce loads rather than 7/8ths, but not trap loads. Also for early pheasants- also 20 gauge but 1.25 oz 3" loads in my Browning SS double-- we'd get closer flushing shots then. They folded 'em nice. I still like the idea of heavy 4's or 5's for the windy long range late season hunting. And the penetration was essential (bac
  20. "Rarely will you ever find a well placed shot end with a lost bird. Don't buy into the hype." Maybe if the bird falls into a fast river current, or someone's bonfire, you wouldn't be able to retrieve a bird killed with a "well placed shot"... but that's not what I was talking about, right? I was talking about shotgun loads (copper 4's) that enabled me to retrieve birds that were not centered in the pattern, which happens to us all. Hevi Shot works the same way, better actually-- but they both get lots of penetration. And the copper plate/washed shot are not as deformed as the lead or lead
  21. I agree 100%. 4's have big time knock down power for roosters-- I remember when we would have to hunt in Iowa without dogs from time to time as a younger guy, and I knew the 4's would anchor a rooster even if the shot wasn't fully centered-- a few pellets in the bird would give me time to retrieve that rooster. He'd be where he fell. I can say that we lost fewer birds than most folks --very few-- and a big reason was those #4 pellets. Most of the time, I like #5 copper plated pellets. Copper is the way to go in my book.
  22. Novaking and Splash have it right for wild phez. I just returned from a pheasant/deer/antelope trip to MT. My 12 gauge Ultralight ate a lot of ammo for pheasants-- mostly 1& 1/4 oz loads, but a few 1 & 1/2 oz loads as well, all 2 & 3/4". No one needs 3" for pheasant, even 50 yarders in a high wind. They'll just make a good shot look bad because of the kick-- I bet Tom Knapp would agree. And I love copper plate loads, they pattern so well. No bones about it, mag loads are gonna kick a bit more than your shoulder might like when you use the Ultra than, say, my M1 or any heavier
  23. Oh, by the way, as far as waterfowling in other states nearby (ND, SD, etc.) that are also great, they do NOT include Wisconsin, which once did have great duck hunting but not nearly as much anymore! Those poor Cheese Heads, they all head west to hunt!
  24. The Land of 10,000 Lakes (actually closer to 15 thousand) has a lot of flowages, rivers, and watersheds- certainly not like the old pre-tiling and drainage days when there were 10's of thousands of sloughs and watersheds, (mostly on the west and south quadrants of the state) but most of the water left-- and that's a lot--has public access. Public access is important to Minnesotans and the MN Dept. of Natural Resources hunting book will show a lot of the WMA's, state areas, and other public hunting opportunities. Usually you can mix other bird hunting into a day at those WMA's. Check out
  25. I was fortunate to shoot lead ammo at ducks and geese in Minnesota and the Mississippi and Central flyways for many years...when there were a lot more of them. Nothing hit and killed as clean as a lead shot pattern. With lead, you got to know your leads on your shots with different loads at different yardages, and get confident in your ability shooting out to 40 yards. That was the rule... shoot no further than 40 yards for a clean kill. The copper plated lead was so good that you could stretch that a few more yards and get away with it. Of course the 40 rule got broken a lot, especially
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