How limiting is a 20ga. really?

Discussion in 'Weapons and Tactics' started by RhinoRush, Jul 16, 2017.

  1. RhinoRush

    RhinoRush Company Veteran Double Yellow Card

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    I'm gong back and forth between a 12 and 20ga.

    Here in Canada, it's hard to hunt deer with a shotgun at all. Lots of regs it seems.

    So what would I realistically need a 12ga. for? It seems a 20ga. will get the job done for anything else.

    I'm a total noob. Just passed my PAL course yesterday, so any and all advice is welcome.
     
  2. Gregolian

    Gregolian .45 ACP Platinum Member

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    My dad has both and when he brings the shotgun out for pest control (starlings, woodpeckers, coyotes) he brings out his 20 gauge.

    When he used to go duck hunting it was whichever he felt like using. His Model 12 with 3 shots or his Browning sidebyside.

    He usually went the Model 12 for the extra shot.
     
  3. RerouteToRemain

    RerouteToRemain Silver Belt

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    What do you intend on hunting?

    Should be enough for even Geese but you need to really pattern and choose your loads more carefully.

    At minimum for large fowl I'd say steel #4.

    If you really want to be sure get some hevi-shot #2, 3 or 4 or some Hevi-metal #2, 3 or 4. These loads are much more expensive but will give you a much more forgiving/lethal load.
     
  4. wvboy

    wvboy Brown Belt

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    IMO, there isn't a great difference between 12 and 20 gauge. The 20 gauge ammo will be more expensive (at least it is in my area) without adding any real benefits. 12 gauge shells come in a wider variety of shot types. If you plan on shooting birds I would recommend the 12 gauge because you can get 3" and 3.5" shells that can reach higher elevations. If you're big game hunting it really won't make a difference. I would get the 12 gauge, but a 20 gauge will most likely do everything you'll need it to.
     
  5. Chesten_Hesten

    Chesten_Hesten The Wiener of Steel

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  6. RhinoRush

    RhinoRush Company Veteran Double Yellow Card

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    So it sounds like the 12 is the way to go. The shells are certainly easier to find here, but not necessarily cheaper.
     
  7. bushman505

    bushman505 Red Belt

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    12g is the way to go.
     
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  8. Hankooks

    Hankooks Stronger than you. Double Yellow Card

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    20 gauge is for women and children.
     
  9. JOE QUEEF

    JOE QUEEF I am The Dragon . Platinum Member

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    Nothing wrong with a twenty for home dee. Reduced recoil means a faster follow-up and better control.
     
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  10. Roaming East

    Roaming East Ficti pravique tenax

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    Here in Eastern Virginia, our gun season is done almost entirely with shotguns, most of which are shooting buckshot. If you're tree stand hunting using slugs, the only thing you give up using a 20 ga vs a 12 ga is knock down power and more importanly trajectory, beyond 60 yards. Those 20 slugs shed energy like a sum'bitch.

    if you are running and gunning on the ground? id go 12. The weight of shot is quite a bit better for busting through brush and cover. As was said, in the hunt clubs round here, the only folks slinging 20's are chicks and children.
     
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  11. Zap

    Zap It's clobberin' time.

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    And still twice as powerful as a 44 magnum.
     
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  12. quatin

    quatin Green Belt

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    The real question is why don't you want a 12ga? The only downsides for it is recoil. No one wants to sound like a pussy by admitting they can't handle recoil, so they just shoot like shit with a 12ga. For big game, it's not an issue, because you'll shoot a couple times a year. Bird hunting is where you'll want to consider a 20ga, especially if it's a pump. The good days of duck hunting, you'll shoot through 2-3 boxes. Dove hunting, you might go through 10 boxes. You might be hunting back to back days on a weekend and 500 rounds of 12ga in 2 days will make your shoulder sore. With a 20ga, there's no hail mary shots at passing ducks. You'll have to wait for them to decoy. Remember, the best hunters aren't the best shooters, they're the best at getting easy shots at game.
     
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  13. bushman505

    bushman505 Red Belt

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    If you really hunt birds, you'll want a 12guage. I wouldn't consider anything other than a 12 where I live because it doubles for bear defense so even when I don't "take a gun", I still usually have a 12g close by.

    I've leaned towards cheaper and cheaper pump 12g guns for awhile because they take such a beating and often get left in the porch or in the boat, on the snow machine and we don't do much more than wipe them down. No reason to spend much on a nice 12g pump gun.
     
  14. wvboy

    wvboy Brown Belt

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    You can get a Mossberg 500 combo kit that comes with a rifled barrel for slug hunting and a smooth bore barrel with some chokes for around $300 on sale. That is probably the best deal on a pump shotgun. I think a plain maverick 88 runs for $180 on sale, but you don't get a rifled barrel. The last time I looked the Mossberg barrels were over $200 themselves.
     
  15. Roaming East

    Roaming East Ficti pravique tenax

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    depends on the barrel. you can get an 18.5 in defense barrel for like 80 bucks. the hunting style will run you between 100-150. thats why its cheaper to convert a hunting shotgun to defensive rather than the other way 'round.
     
  16. Ash E Larry

    Ash E Larry God [email protected] I love me!

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    Can you get both, if so problem solved.
     
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  17. JSN

    JSN #NotMyNelly

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    If you can only have one shotgun, then 12 gauge no question. most versatile, cheapest and easiest to find stuff for.
     
  18. blx

    blx Yellow Belt

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  19. Roaming East

    Roaming East Ficti pravique tenax

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  20. wvboy

    wvboy Brown Belt

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    I agree. A couple people I know have bought pump shotguns at pawn shops or used at gun stores and just bought a rifled barrel for hunting. I'm a big fan of using a shotgun to hunt with especially in the woods. I wish more stores would carry the rifled slug Maverick 88. I'm happy with my smooth bore model.
     

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