The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Dave McCracken Memorial Shotgun Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old March 2, 2013, 12:23 PM   #1
azmark
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 26, 2007
Location: Palominas, AZ
Posts: 221
One versatile 20 ga shotgun?

I am looking at 20 ga shotguns. I'd like a shorter barrel so it's easier to maneuver in the house, but I would like to be able to hunt turkey as well as use slugs for deer or hogs. I kind of like pump action but I see no problem with a break action, either. I want to keep cost down and have to find something that is actually in stock theses days.

I don't really care about a rifled barrel although there are good deals on them and they usually have sights and are set up for optics as well. I definitely want sights at a minimum. There are some good HD shotguns with sights that could work, but they're usually 12 ga. I also think I'd rather not have a pistol grip.

Will a HD length barrel work for me? I hate to think that I'll have to make mods right off the bat. Maybe I'll just have to spend a little more and get a turkey gun. I assume I can change the choke for slugs or buckshot.

The decreased recoil of the 20 ga is not the only reason for me not to get a 12ga. There is currently much more ammunition available for 20 ga than for 12 ga.
__________________
Mark Dickinson
USAF, Retired
azmark is offline  
Old March 3, 2013, 05:02 AM   #2
Orphanedcowboy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 16, 2009
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 193
870 or 500 combo would be best.

There is no one size fits all when it comes to shotguns. When you find the Holy Grail of HD guns, it gives up ground for hunting purposes, and vice versa.

The only option you have is to make a list of your must have options and those you can live without out or live with at a diminsihed capacity.

Possibly the closest you could come up with would be a 22"-24" barreled turkey gun with the addition of a collapsible butt stock, you could be as close to a do it all shotgun for your intended uses.
__________________
NRA Life Member
Orphanedcowboy is offline  
Old March 3, 2013, 10:06 AM   #3
azmark
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 26, 2007
Location: Palominas, AZ
Posts: 221
I was trying to find sources last night for replacement stocks. It seems that to get what I'm looking for in a 20 ga I would need a youth or compact model. The LOP on those is about an inch too short so I wondered if I could find a regular size stock to make up the difference.

You're right in that a turkey gun looks like the way to go. Seems everybody only makes them in 12 ga.
__________________
Mark Dickinson
USAF, Retired
azmark is offline  
Old March 3, 2013, 10:35 AM   #4
rep1954
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 5, 2009
Location: Mid Western Michigan
Posts: 737
For myself I bought the Remington 870 Express Youth. It comes with a 21" full length vent rib barrel and takes the "Rem" Choke system and is supplied with a modified choke. There are several sets of sights available that mount easily on the vent rib.The stock on mine is a wood laminate with an inch shorter LOP than standard. The only thing I have done to the gun was add a improved cylinder choke tube and a XS Sights white bead with tritium tube insert. Doing walk thru's in the house it is small enough to handle good plus still works good on the range and in the field. It's paper plate accurate with most 3/4oz. rifled slugs out to 40yds. The SX Sights bead just epoxies over the OEM bead.

rep1954 is offline  
Old March 3, 2013, 11:54 AM   #5
azmark
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 26, 2007
Location: Palominas, AZ
Posts: 221
I have been thinking about the 'compact' or 'bantam' (Mossberg) sizes to get the shorter barrel. I wonder if the shorter LOP will be a problem. I measured from the crook of my elbow to the first joint of my trigger and it is 13 7/8". The smaller guns have a 13" LOP.
__________________
Mark Dickinson
USAF, Retired
azmark is offline  
Old March 3, 2013, 12:06 PM   #6
valleyforge.1777
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 2, 2011
Posts: 148
A few thoughts:
1. I prefer 20 ga to 12 ga, very much. But most of the good HD shotguns are 12. So I looked high and low, and found what I wanted in 20 ga. I have a Weatherby SA-20 semi-auto. It comes in a turkey version and a defensive version. I love it (I got the defensive version). They are hard to find. Mossberg makes one just like it, in their Mossberg International section. It is made in the same factory in Turkey as the Weatherby. They are good shotguns. I have mine set up with a red dot sight for HD work, and the included iron sights (came with the shotgun) are still in place for co-witness and back up use.
2. I am not handy with tools at all, not one bit. I am not very mechanically-inclined. However, even I can change a shotgun barrel in about 100 seconds. They are very easy to change. So, you can get whatever shotgun you want, and then get the spare barrel for the other purposes. Get an 18 inch HD barrel, and then get a longer turkey barrel. They are very easy to change out.
3. The terminology for slugs can be confusing. "Rifled slugs" have grooves cut on the side of them to make them spin as they fly, simulating an effect of being shot from a "rifled barrel"...BUT rifled slugs are intended to be shot from SMOOTH bore shotguns. So, you can get a smooth bore like a 20 gauge Mossberg or Remington, or the Weahthby mentioned above, and use rifled slugs in them, quite well. Sabot slugs and Breneke slugs (spelling???) are intended to be shot from rifled-barrel shotguns. I am not sure, but I don't think you can shoot rifled slugs from a rifled barrel. I know that sounds backwards, like you should be able to shoot rifled slugs from a rifled barrel, but I think you can't.
4. I use 3 inch magnum #2 Buck shotgun shells and rifled slugs for my self-defense loads. Some people use #3 Buck 2 3/4 inch shells for their 20 ga self defense. In 12 ga they can use 00 buck, or #1 Buck, but those do not exist for 20 ga except in specialty loadings that are expensive. It has been explained to me that when you try to pack the shot for #1 Buck or 00 Buck into a 20 ga shell, the only way to pack the shot in there will also distort the flight of the pellets enough to render the whole thing useless, and that is, supposedly, the reason that major ammo manufacturers do not load those sizes of shot in 20 ga shells. I have seen some specialty places that claim to be able to load 20 ga with #1 Buck, but they are expensive and I'm sure that if they were able to be loaded, the major guys would do it and sell them mass market. I think some handloaders do load the #1 and 00 Buck in 20 ga shells, but who knows if that really flies well.
5. I also have a Mossberg 20 ga (model 500, persuader) and I had a picatinny rail mounted over the reviver for a red dot sight. I was able to find a metal forend that can be put in place of the stock plastic one, and the metal one can rails mounted to it, so I now have a light on the front of my Mossberg.
6. I always thought that pump was "more reliable" than semi-auto for self-defense shotgun, and I always though pump was a better choice for stressful home defense. Then when I was practicing with my Mossberg, I found out quickly that it is VERY EASY to jam up that pump shotgun by accidentally short stroking the pump and when it jams up, you are dead. I knew that it was possible to do that, but did not realize how EASY it is to do it accidentally even when one is trying really hard not to short stroke the pumping. I was doing some realistic practice, simulating a real stressful home defense situation and that darn thing jammed up on me after just one shot fired. So, after that experience, I bought the Weatherby semi-auto. That thing seems to be much more reliable than the Mossberg 500 pump.
valleyforge.1777 is offline  
Old March 3, 2013, 12:13 PM   #7
valleyforge.1777
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 2, 2011
Posts: 148
Also, for any shotgun with a forend cap, you can use this device sold by Weatherby to add a flashlight mount onto the shotgun:
http://www.weatherby.com/product/acc...ccessory/44408

I got one for my Weatherby SA-20 and I have a Daniel Defense flashlight mount on there with a SureFire 320 lumen flashlight on there. You can actually use this same device on the end cap of the mag tube of a Mossberg 500 persuader 20 ga, too, and I think you can use it with just about any shotgun with a forend magazine tube cap. And, you CAN still have a forward slig swivel attachment point if you want (comes with the railed device from Weatherby.)

And, if you do go with a Mossberg, these guys (ATI) sell an aftermarket pistol grip with adjustable shoulder stock (M4/AR-15 style):
http://www.atigunstocks.com/tactical...il-system.html
valleyforge.1777 is offline  
Old March 3, 2013, 12:42 PM   #8
BigD_in_FL
Junior member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2012
Location: The "Gunshine State"
Posts: 1,981
Quote:
I measured from the crook of my elbow to the first joint of my trigger
Old wives' tale, it has nothing to do with gun fit or LOP. LOP depends on mny factors, including your form, the type of grip on the gun, etc.
BigD_in_FL is offline  
Old March 3, 2013, 01:00 PM   #9
azmark
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 26, 2007
Location: Palominas, AZ
Posts: 221
Okay, so how do I know whether a certain LOP will not work well? I'm not a tall guy, I'm about 5' 7" plus a little bit. If I go for a compact type model, can I extend the stock if I think I need to? Maybe get a different recoil pad or something?
__________________
Mark Dickinson
USAF, Retired
azmark is offline  
Old March 3, 2013, 02:11 PM   #10
BigD_in_FL
Junior member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2012
Location: The "Gunshine State"
Posts: 1,981
Your particular shooting form will play a role, where you grip the gun, how you hold it, etc. You also need to factor in drop at comb, drop at heel, thickness of the comb, cast on or off, toe in or out, pitch, etc.

If you have a gun that fits, take it to pattern steel and see where it hits in relation to POI/POA. Is it bruising your cheek or uncomfortable when firing? Can you easily swing the gun. Even with your height (about average, so a lot of guns should be close), your build - stocky/slim, medium, etc will play a factor.

True gun fit involves a session with a "fitter"who uses a "try gun" which is infinitely adjustable for all those applications mentioned above. If all you want is "close enough for government work", then find ones that cmofortable and go shoot them
BigD_in_FL is offline  
Old March 3, 2013, 02:26 PM   #11
azmark
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 26, 2007
Location: Palominas, AZ
Posts: 221
Is a Limbsaver pad any thicker than stock? I've heard good things about them.
__________________
Mark Dickinson
USAF, Retired
azmark is offline  
Old March 3, 2013, 02:48 PM   #12
BigD_in_FL
Junior member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2012
Location: The "Gunshine State"
Posts: 1,981
Depending on whether they also made the original for your gun. Along with the Pachmayr Decelerator, Limbsavers are a good recoil pad providing plenty of "cushion"(for lack of a better word). If you plan on getting one, get the one that screws onto the gun, not the slip-on. I find the slip-ons move around too much throwing off the gun fit, especially if it slipped on over another pad
BigD_in_FL is offline  
Old March 3, 2013, 06:02 PM   #13
SteelChickenShooter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 12, 2011
Posts: 859
The only model I had that I thought was an ideal versatile HD and hunting shotgun was the Remington 20ga Combo Express. Mine was the youth model, to me, meaning a bit shorter.
SteelChickenShooter is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:32 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09555 seconds with 9 queries