55 more days!


Active Member
Less than two months away and a wake up to being able to bust out the hunter's orange with purpose! Has anyone heard anything about bird numbers this year? We did get a late wet spring, but the winter was easier this year. Did hear many more drummers this year while turkey hunting....aaaah turkey hunting...back on track! I want to modify my bird gun...I have a fixed barrel 11-48 Sportsman that I would like to have rem chokes installed in, and can't find a gunsmith locally that will bore and tap 16 ga. Any help or leads great appreciated.


I'm with ya Andrew.
After not hunting at all last season, I'm hungry for some shot gunn'in.
I don't know about the local (huntable bird populations) I'm hoping that the wet spring didn't kill to many.
I've been seeing a lot of quail while riding the bike path on my way to work in the mornings.
I'll start working the girls on the (around town (nonhuntable) birds after the first of August)
Ya gonna try to hit the grouse hole this opener?
I have a guy that can cover my building, I would like to hike the ridge line.

Guy Gregory

Active Member
Yeah, I'm eager to go hiking with the dog and gun.
I've no advice for your 16 ga., other than to ask: are you sure? For that money you can buy a serviceable new gun with chokes..and then have 2 guns!

My observations on bird populations for what they're worth:

No birds. On my place, one out of 12 breeding pairs of quail produced chicks, I haven't seen a pheasant since mid June and certainly no chicks. In my view, the weather has finally accomplished what the Washington legislature wanted all along, the likely near extermination of wild pheasants in Eastern Washington. Certainly in the Spokane area. If I hunt pheasants at all in Washington, it'll be south, one pass only through familar old haunts, and likely a couple of trips to preserves. I'm wating to tell my grandkids about wild bird hunting in Washington, it's by and large over in my opinion for the forseeable future. Pay to play, or chickens out of a DFW truck, that'll be pheasant hunting here. Too bad. It was fun.

Waterfowl: it all depends on water, the wet spring may be responsible for some of the water I'm seeing in small ponds that haven't been hydrated for 5-7 years...could be worth digging out the calls.

I hope the grouse population held up...


Active Member
Being from Chicago I've only known pay for play, which in my mind is the most stressful hunting! You constantly have it in the back of your mind that you 'need' to find these birds and you 'need' to hit them or you just lost some serious coin. During which you forget what you are really seeking...be outside, maybe connect with a bird or birds, and have a nice hike/walk with a gun in tow.

I've told myself that I will not purchase a W. WA release permit this year...not at 90 bucks! I would rather spend the 60 in gas to drive to E. WA to not even see a bird.

Thanks to Gary and David I learned the grouse and chukar 'ropes'...and can't wait to get back out!

As for spending coin on my 11-48...yeah monetarily it isn't worth it, but priceless with regard to nostalgic. The gun was my grandfathers, purchased for duck hunting (before the 12 bore became king). It is a fixed full barrel which really doesn't bode well for upland, which ironically it is somewhat the perfect bore for IMHO. The gun is light, points well, and it is harder than hell to leave sitting in the case. My intentions are to give it to my son (granted it will be awhile since he is only 8-months old!) and I would like him to be able to use it for more than just waterfowl.


Active Member
Met the guys at Briley at the Shot Show. Great people and very willing to work with you to get your chokes set up. I am going to have them put in some chokes on my 28ga at somepoint.

cant wait for the early goose season. I hope to be able to make it out and do some combo goose/salmon trips.
Lots of plans for hunting this fall and although the spring was very wet i have heard some good reports on the quail hatch so i hope to be able to have some fun once again this year with them.
This is the year andrew that you come shoot some ducks. lets make it happen.


The Great Sage
You could also try http://www.tornado-technologies.com/ I've had him thread several barrels for me for silencers and he does real good work. He is popular enough for the quality of his work that his backlog has been several months last I heard though so you might call first and see if he will get done before you need the gun back.


Active Member
44 more days....

Thought I'd follow up for anyone that is also looking for barrel work, or screw in choke system. After a few leads, phone calls, I've made up my mind to send the barrel to Briley. They seem to really have a grasp modifying a gun for screw in chokes. It is still up in the air whether or not I can have the barrel threaded based on the Rem choke system or not, since it depends on the 'meat' of the barrel. If nothing else they can install their thin wall system, which costs 180 with three chokes. So my next question what chokes?

I'm thinking I'd like cylinder, improved cylinder, and improved modified. I'm trying to make this gun an "multi purpouse" first gun for my kids. My reasoning:

Cylinder for grouse
IC for chukar and pheasant
IM for ducks.


Idiot Savant
Andrew, it's hard to say how a given choke will pattern with a given load. One should spend the time to pattern their favorite load with different chokes. JMHO...

Briley thin walls are very good chokes, you'll not regret using them.


Active Member
I was looking forward to another very productive season but plans have been put on hold.

My hunting partner is two weeks into a 3 to 4 month recovery/rehab from a TPLO surgrey - torn ACL. Everthing went well and she seems to be on the mend; however the first 6 weeks of recovery will be rough. She has to be either crated or on a leash. Hope to be able to do some "light" trips by the end of October and more or less back to normal by late November and some serious waterfowling.

Regarding birds - in the last month in my thrashing along western Washington have been seeing some grouse. Was pretty surprised given the gawd awful spring we had. Last trip out saw 3 broods of 1, 3, and 4. The young birds were about 1/2 grown and flying reasonably well.

Tight lines
Andrew, you might want to pattern some spreader loads rather than mess with your grandfathers gun. Otherwise I would look for a second barrel and have Briley or Mike Orlen do the work.


Active Member
Found out last Friday that my barrel was not thick enough for Rem chokes, however, Briley can put their thin wall choke system in. Should have the barrel back in two weeks...by then maybe I'll have a few rounds of my first batch of reloads! Also getting excited...my brother in law is coming out and I can't wait to get him into the back country. He's from northern Indiana...so he is used to flat lands and oaks...can't wait to see his expression when we get to where I'm taking him.

Alex MacDonald

that's His Lordship, to you.....
Andrew, you might want to look at the low pressure loads for older 2 3/4 inch guns made by RST. Both my neighbor and I shoot them in our vintage guns, and while both of ours were old before the autoloader was invented, we also shoot them in our modern scatterguns as well. They seem to pattern much better, and the lower pressure doesn't hurt the barrel, either! The loads for my Belgian hammergun are 1175fps, 5/8 oz of shot. After shooting shotguns for better than 50 years, I'm also beginning to believe you don't need removable chokes unless you're doing sporting clays, or-like you plan-using the gun in several widely varying applications.
There's also no sense in getting hyper-speed shotshells. Spend the extra bucks, get tungsten matrix or Hevi-shot, or bismuth, and let the birds work in close so you don't need warp speed on your steel loads. Unfortunately, there's plenty of studies out there which show steel hasn't got the mass to reach out, and actually slows down faster proportionate to other loads.

Upton O

Blind hog fisherman
Alex makes some good points. Also, some research indicates that some hyperspeed steel duck and goose loads can "blow" the patterns apart depending on choke, gun, etc. Apparently it has to do with the wad designs.

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