28-gauge

Upland hunters have a few more choices when it comes to how they feed their 28-gauge, with Federal Premium adding three new shells for the minimalist bore.

The 28-gauge is one of those gems of the shotgun world only a select few experience. Typically, it’s the dedicated quail hunters and serious small-bore skeet shooters that are privy to this classic, easy-shooting and flexible gauge.

It’s a shame because, given the right loads, the 28-gauge can hold its own against the 20-gauge. At the same time, it can be shot longer without a shoulder developing a touch of “smoothbore arthritis” the next day.

Most likely, one of the hobbles to wider adoption of the 28-gauge has been its relatively hard-to-find, and thus somewhat pricey, ammunition. But in recent years, the market has seemed to loosen, with some of the major ammo players upping their game on the minimalist bore.

One of the longer-running advocates of the 28-gauge has been Federal Premium Ammunition, which recently expanded it’s already respectable offerings for the bore. The Minnesota company added a trio of shotshell options from its Game-Shok line, giving upland hunters some solid new choices the next time they head to knock bobwhites out of the sky.

The heavy field loads each come with 1-ounce payloads and in three different shot sizes — 5, 6 and 7.5. According to the company’s specs, the shells push their shot hard, each with a muzzle velocity of 1,220 fps. Given all these 28-gauge shells’ 2 3/4-inch chambers, obviously the shells are sized accordingly.

The additions grows Federal’s 28-gauge offerings to 10 different loads, which also includes two specially designed for competition shooting. Currently, the company is offering the new Game-Shok loads in boxes of 25 at an MSRP of $19.95 across the board. It’s definitely more than what it costs to feed a 12-gauge, but in the scheme of the 28, it’s pretty economical.


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