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NTX cast and blast
April 16, 2009, 11:33 PM
I have a Win 1300 20ga that i bought when i was 15. it has always been good to me but after watching my hunting buddies and there 3 and 3 1/2 inch 12ga shells reach so much further than my 20ga I decided to upgrade to a 12ga O&U. that brings me to my new problem, i am going on an unguided float trip for slalom fishing in SW Alaska this summer and need a gun for any bear problems that might arise.

so:
Does a 20ga slug pack the power needed for defense from bears?

Are affordable short barrels available for a 20ga 1300?

Are affordable extended mag tubes available for a 20ga 1300?

would I be better off selling my old 1300 and buying a new 12ga for this purpose?

i would like to keep the 1300 if i can because it has sentimental value(it was my first gun besides my .22) and i have a few friends who do not own guns that like to hunt with us from time to time and they could use it. after looking around that might not be realistic so let me know what you think.

coldshot
April 17, 2009, 12:56 AM
I wish I had a 20 Gauge 1300. I only have a 12 Gauge defender with an 18 inch barrel. I think you should keep the 20, maybe pick up an in expensive pump gun in 12 gauge. parts are kind of hard to find for our 1300's. nothing better though, some are just as good, but none better.

zippy13
April 17, 2009, 12:59 AM
Greetings, NTX cast and blast, and welcome aboard,

Typically, when in new country, it's prudent to take your guide's recommendations. Since you're going unguided, it falls to you (or the most experienced member in your party) to make the "minimum firepower required" decision. If I were deciding, without any additional info, I'd have to opt for more gun than less and get a new 12-ga.

IMHO, a 12-ga is the basic shotgun, anything smaller is used because your 12-ga would be overkill in the situation. In my area, where the dove can be small and close-in, it's not uncommon to see folks using a 28-ga. But, when it comes to bear country, I don't think you have to worry about anyone saying that you're over-gunned with a 12-ga. You can always load lite/down with a 12-ga, but you can't load heavy/up with the 20-ga.

Good fishing,
Pete

freakintoguns
April 17, 2009, 02:08 AM
+1 on stepping up to a 12 gauge. a mossy 500 or remington 870 can be had for 300-350 and you can get barrels for them in any length and style your heart desires.

Waterengineer
April 17, 2009, 06:58 AM
The perfect boat gun fresh or salt water.

http://www.remington.com/products/firearms/shotguns/model_870/model_870_marine_magnum.asp

Evyl Robot
April 17, 2009, 01:49 PM
My wife and I have a pair of Winchesters (his and hers, how romantic). I bought a mag extension for my 12-gauge and experimented with it on her 20-gauge 1300, just for funsies. It will fit and it will cycle shells. Her gun needs to have some adjustments made to the shell stop/shell interrupter, so it was consistently double-feeding the shells with the lighter spring that came with the mag extension.

Any extension that you find to fit a Winchester 1300 will be marked "12-gauge only", but I will tell you with much certainty that the standard-length tubular magazines are identical on all of the 1300-derivatives (1300, 120-Ranger, etc.) in 20-, 16-, or 12-gauge, and they will work fine as long as the shell stop and interrupter are adjusted properly for the mag spring tension. The extensions are in short supply, and I had a hard time locating the one that I have installed on my Ranger. Heck, if you could come up with an extended spring, you could probably install one on a Defender for that matter.

As far as barrels are concerned, I've had a tough time finding realistically-priced 20-gauge Winchester barrels. It seems like if you can find a barrel in good condition, you'll pay ~$150.00 for it. I wound up hack-sawing the original barrels of both guns (in a comfortably legal length of course), and mounted tritium beads on the vent ribs. If you love the 1300 (and you should, IMHO), then check out pawn shops and the like. I've been able to locate these things in my area for ~$200.00, and the 12-gauge variation is as much a pleasure to shoot at it's 20-gauge brother.

Hope I was any help at all. ;)

--Michael