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Old September 2, 2012, 07:56 PM   #1
TheKlawMan
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Should I rent a 12 or 20 for my daughter?

She shot one time, which was a year ago, when I rented a 20 gauge Beretta 3901 for her. She only hit one bird and I am thinking the 12 might improve her chances of breaking some, but not if it will have significantly greater felt recoil. Does it?

Intuitively, I would think it would unless the 3901 (these have synthetic stocks) 20 gauge is much lighter than the 12.

I have also wondered if the 12 will shoot softer if I whip up some 7/8 ounce loads for it.

Of course, if they have a junior size auto loader I will get that since she is somewhat but not terribly petite.
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Old September 2, 2012, 09:11 PM   #2
Orphanedcowboy
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20 with cylinder or skeet choke, hand tossed clays and gradually progress to manual thrower. Started my daughter with a Weatherby SA-08, when she picked it up, I found a Beretta 3901 20ga with a 24" barrel used for $400. She consistently breaks more than she misses now. Slow and easy, don't want to induce a flinch, it will be hard to break later.
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Old September 2, 2012, 09:27 PM   #3
idek
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It seems that you're kind of answering your own questions. As I see it, there is no big change that occurs simply by choosing one gauge over another. It's just that bigger gauges on average are heavier and on average have heavier payloads.

If you load 12 gauge shells with 7/8 ounces of shot, you aren't really gaining any pattern density over a 20 gauge shooting 7/8 ounces of shot. And in my experience, a 20-gauge can pattern as well as a 12-gauge.

A heavier gun would reduce recoil, but if it feels clumsy to handle, that's no fun either.

I'd tend not to think in terms of specific gauge, and instead choose whatever feels the best, and then select/load ammo that provides the best balance of shooting comfort and pellet count.

Last edited by idek; September 2, 2012 at 09:49 PM.
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Old September 2, 2012, 11:08 PM   #4
scottd913
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no-one knows your daughter as you know her.

as far as one gauge over an other; mostly i have found it is personal preference.

i would however think if you want her hitting more clays she should spend more time at the skeet range than once a year! I am no expert in children but in my experience expecting them to take up a sport with out encouragement (with all the computer crap that can keep them in the house getting fat) is a mute point!!
good luck to you and her and please tell us how she did.
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Old September 3, 2012, 12:19 AM   #5
.300 Weatherby Mag
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KlawMan,

I have a 870 Express Youth model that has a 26" vent rib IC barrel on it... She's welcome to my 3901 12 gauge with a limbsaver as well... You know what I have if there's any of the pumps or autos you think she might be able to shoot, let me know..

Last edited by .300 Weatherby Mag; September 3, 2012 at 12:25 AM.
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Old September 3, 2012, 02:21 AM   #6
FloridaVeteran
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I agree with Idek. 7/8 oz. is 7/8 oz. The rest is in length of pull and gun weight. In that case I would vote for LOP that suits her, and it is likely that that is the 20 ga.

Best to not scare her off. I made that mistake with one of my three kids and regretted it forever after. Didn't give him anything heavy to shoot, but let my shooting buddy go along when he wanted to try out his cannon. Best not to ever start them with anything that scares them, whether in their hands or in the next lane.
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Old September 3, 2012, 03:45 AM   #7
TheKlawMan
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Actually, I wouldn't want my daughter to get overly enthusiastic about shooting, since it is kind of a refuge for me from the family, but it is nice nice that she and my son both want to go to the range. They aren't exactly kids, as she is 27 and he is 23.
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Old September 3, 2012, 09:17 AM   #8
oneounceload
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Rent her a gun that fits and start her on station 7 on the skeet field (assuming there is a field where you can have it to yourselves). Once she gets 7 down with the incomers and outgoers, move to station 1 and repeat, then 2 & 6, 3 & 5, and finally 4 in the center.

If the rental 12 will handle the light 7/8oz load, the recoil should be less as the gun will be heavier - but it HAS to fit her - so regardless of gauge, that is priority one.
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Old September 3, 2012, 09:49 AM   #9
Strafer Gott
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I use a cheap beretta in 20 guage. What those Italians can do to a shotgun barrel really makes a difference in recoil and performance. More Kool-aid, please!
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Old September 3, 2012, 01:57 PM   #10
BigJimP
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Go with the gun that will allow you to shoot the lightest payload ( 7/8 oz probably ) at the lowest velocity ...probably 1100 fps...and the heaviest gun she can handle ...

don't worry about the pellet count...

pick a gun based on her upper body strength...not a kid / but she has to be able to not lean back at the waist (meaning the gun is too heavy for her to swing comfortably ) by rotating on her axis with the lower body...

For max safety I like an O/U ...but a semi-auto might be just fine / but its not a clear cut 12ga or 20ga answer.
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Old September 3, 2012, 02:43 PM   #11
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I've been looking for 20 gauge for upland hunting. Been hunting with my oldest for a few years now and he knocks down as many birds, actual more, as I do with his 20 gauge. I'm sure there are instances where my 12 bore would have the advantage but I'm a believer in the 20 bore.
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Old September 3, 2012, 02:49 PM   #12
oneounceload
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Absolutely, for economy and capability, combined with light weight, it is hard to beat the 20

UNLESS you are a fan of the 16 and 28 which weight -wise are equal or less, and the same for payload

BUT if you are the type that stops at wally world on the way to the dove field for ammo with no previous practicing, the 20 is the way to go
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Old September 3, 2012, 07:22 PM   #13
TheKlawMan
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Thanks for all the input, guys. I will go with fit over gauge and, since she so and I don't do many things by just the two of us, I may spring for a few extra bucks and a slightly longer drive and take her to Triple-B, where rentals are in pretty decent condition. I will probably go with a 20 gas gun and stay away from Benelli.

Triple-B is also a bit nicer than my usual haunts and she will like that. (Last father-daughter day I got dragged to the Cleopatra exhibit.)

Last edited by TheKlawMan; September 3, 2012 at 07:27 PM.
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Old September 3, 2012, 07:57 PM   #14
bigger
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Why would you stay away from a Benelli? One of the finest pipes around...

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I777 using Tapatalk 2
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Old September 4, 2012, 01:52 AM   #15
idek
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Quote:
Why would you stay away from a Benelli? One of the finest pipes around...
They are nice guns, but they aren't gas operated, and gas operated autos tends to have less felt recoil. You probably won't see a lot of Benellis used as dedicated clay guns.
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Old September 4, 2012, 02:01 AM   #16
TheKlawMan
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IDEK has it right. Actually, I am shooting a Benelli Cordoba this Wednesday, but felt recoil isn't much of a problem for me. It is for my daughter.
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