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Old September 10, 2013, 01:39 AM   #1
ZVP
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for HD, 20 for everything else?

Naturally, you want the most in defense of you and your family's lives so the 12 ga is obvious.
However I bought a sweet 20 ga SxS that just plain hits everything for me! I figgure since this little Stoger Uplander fits and works so well why not consider it the"do-all" for me? The 3" chambers give the option of shooting heavy loads though the standard 2 3/4" spectrum of loads seems to get the job done on game and pests.
I know that I'll need to pick 30 yards instead of 35-38 for tough birds like Phesant but there is usually ample time to get the gun up and pull off the shot within the 30 yard timeframe. In fact I have always been accused of shooting too soon with a 12.
Loads for the 20 are a little tougher to find than for the 12ga. the proliferation of 12 ga ammo is staggering at some stores who only stock a couple 20 ga loads, Buckshot in 20 ga is a mail order item it seems. General #7.8,9 loads are available and if you taylor your load tothe choke and depend on the 28" barrels to keep it together for a hit.
Woeking with a retiree's budget and in the waneing years of feild shooting this little 20 ga has been a heavensent! If I ever get some Buckshot, I'd surely consider it adequate for HD too!
After all the years of slamming my sholdr with 12 ga loads I am glad I gave in and bought one of those woosy 20 gauges! Wish I'd have given up the Macho sooner!
BPDave
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Old September 10, 2013, 05:54 AM   #2
Virginian-in-LA
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I have had absolutely no problem killing ducks or pheasants at 40 to 45 yards with a 20 gauge and the right loads (that does not include steel). I shoot the 20s far more than the 12s anymore, for everything but waterfowl, and have for years.
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Old September 10, 2013, 06:07 AM   #3
Mike Irwin
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I wouldn't be willing to stand in front of a load of buckshot out of a 20 gauge. I would not feel underarmed at all if I were to need to use one for household defense.
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Old September 10, 2013, 08:48 AM   #4
shortwave
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Quote:
I wouldn't be willing to stand in front of a load of buckshot out of a 20 gauge. I would not feel underarmed at all if I were to need to use one for household defense.
Same here...

...and in some instances I feel a 20 gauge can be better/safer to use.

Last edited by shortwave; September 10, 2013 at 09:31 AM.
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Old September 10, 2013, 09:04 AM   #5
kilimanjaro
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Nothing says "You picked the wrong house" like a double-barreled shotgun. I use the Stoeger 20 gauge, too.
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Old September 10, 2013, 09:12 AM   #6
Mike Irwin
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My Stevens 20 double lives in my gunsafe, and my house gun is an 18.5" barreled S&W 12 gauge pump.
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Old September 10, 2013, 09:36 AM   #7
shortwave
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My current HD shotguns are 12 gauge as well but many years ago when living in an apartment, I used a 20 gauge pump.
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Old September 10, 2013, 10:11 AM   #8
hogdogs
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Currently I do not even own a 12 gauge... 20 has to do it all alone...

Brent
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Old September 10, 2013, 10:27 AM   #9
SoilworK777
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#3 buckshot in 20ga seems to be the best general load for HD/SD.
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Old September 11, 2013, 06:26 PM   #10
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I use my 16ga loaded with #1 buck for HD.
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Old September 12, 2013, 01:47 AM   #11
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Don't get me wrong, I absolutelly love the feel of a good 12GA pumpgun! I shot a ton of 12GA thru my pumpgun as a teen/ 20's but through an unfortunate hock incident, lost the 12
I went shotgunless for decades till I got a Stevens 12 GA SxS from a guy at work, Man I couldn't hit anything with tht gun! Maybe I was sighting down the barrels??? Then A few months ago I frlt the need for a HD Shotgun and bought that little 20 Ga SxS. It was so pretty (and I could hit anything with it!) that I couldn't bring myself to hacksaw it off! So I went amd located a well worn Westernfield/Mossberg Pump and cut it off to 19 1/2"
I got bck the reassuring kick and power of the 12GA but i'm tellin you, I really like that 20 ga! It really feels a lot smaller(Power-wise) aand still makes that reassuring BOOM that i love. The resoil is a dream as it only seems to kick about 45% of the 12 GA. I could shoot it all day without a ping of pain!
I think if a guy worked out his chokes and loads, the 20 GA would do for about everything i'd want to shoot.
It;s a real pleasure hving a straight English style stock that fits me! I point the little double with ease and my eye naturally catches the bead and follows the target with ease! I guess I am gonna try and learn this 20 ga and might even try busting some clays if they don;t laugh at me shooting a double?0 It dosen't matter caus I am out there for the enjoyment of the gun and I really enjoy this little 20!
Don't worry, the 12GA is still the House gun, just lots more shot, good velocity and POWER! I hope I never have to level on a bad guy though.
BPDave
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Old September 12, 2013, 04:17 AM   #12
MattShlock
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No, no, no -- 20 gauges are no easier to shoot cause they are lighter than 12 gauges so recoil is worse -- didn't the experts tell ya!?

I don't know if it is best but #3 Buckshot is the standard in 2-3/4" shells. Require 12 ga-ish power? Get some #2 Buckshot 3" Mag 20 gauge shells...
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Old September 13, 2013, 11:57 AM   #13
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I myself definitely prefer the 20 gauge for almost all applications. Being lighter in weight and slimmer in proportions I can achieve significantly better speed and accuracy.

While 12 gauge certainly delivers a heavier payload, the 20 ga is by no means 'underpowered'. A standard 20 ga 2 3/4 in load of #3 buck delivers approximately 1,500 Ft. lbs. of energy by my calculations. Considering 9mm, 40, and 45 tend to hang in the 400 ft. lb. range, 20 gauge buck ought to be more than 'sufficient' for HD. The choice of 12 or 20 is really preference. No right or wrong choice.
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Old September 13, 2013, 01:08 PM   #14
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I worked a defensive shooting decades ago, where a big mean ex-boyfriend of the homeowners daughter had kicked in his door was charging up the staircase, to whoop everybody and reclaim his woman. He caught a load of #6's right in the zipper from pop's old 20 gauge pump. Range was the length of the staircase.

One round rearranged his short and long term priorities just fine.
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Old September 13, 2013, 07:22 PM   #15
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No!
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Old September 13, 2013, 07:38 PM   #16
hogdogs
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Matt, No to what?

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Old September 13, 2013, 09:50 PM   #17
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The one and only reason that I prefer 12ga over 20ga for defensive use is the selection and availability of buckshot. As long as you can get 20ga buckshot, however, I really don't think you're giving up all that much. Even if you can't get buckshot, 20ga slugs aren't exactly difficult to find in my area and should take the fight out of someone just fine. Even though my primary HD shotgun is a 12ga Remington 870, I still keep a couple boxes of #3 Buck and slugs for the Sears & Roebuck (Hi Standard) 20ga that I inherited from my grandfather.
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Old September 15, 2013, 02:36 AM   #18
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Maybe it's the smaller dimensions of the 20 ga but it seems to me that the 20 ga still kicks less than light loads in a 12 ga.
The snall stockwork combined with my 6'2" frame give me lots of control of my little SxS 20 ga The little double sholders quickly and seems to just get tossed into position in the sholder pocket. By comparison, larger 12 ga doubles seem to move in slow motion! There's no mistaking it this little 20 ga fits me perfectlly!
what I need to learn now is the secrets of the combination of loads and chokes. There aren't as many loads in 20ga so one must try different combos to get the patterns out where you want em.
To me it seems that patterns fall about 10 yrds short of their 12 ga counterparts About the only cure for this is to just go out and try different ;pads and see what you get. My problem is being handicapped, I cannot stand for extended periods or walk very far, that takes a lot away from my testing efforts
I dunno, maybe I am giving too much credit to chokes?
BPdave
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