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Old February 10, 2014, 10:16 PM   #1
TXAZ
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10 Gauge vs. 12 Gauge

Anyone here shoot a 10? I'm curious as to how much more the recoil is than a 12, and if you often use it for hunting vs. a 12.
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Old February 11, 2014, 12:05 AM   #2
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No need for a 10 when you can get 12s that shoot 3.5" shells.
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Old February 11, 2014, 02:40 AM   #3
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10 ga

I've only a bit of experience with the 10 ga, a brief affair with customized Browning BPS set up as a turkey gun. And it is true that on paper, a 3.5" 12ga is the equal of the 10 payload wise.

I'm no so sure that is the end of it though. Alloy framed 3.5"/12's will kick you silly. Built on the 12 gauge frame, but launching the heavier payloads, they get your undivided attention. A gas gun semi helps, but many of the 3.5/12's are affordable pumps. And they will bite you.

I think we may have reached the limit of reasonable shot column when the 12 ga went to 3 inches. At 3.5", a lot of shot is exposed to deformation thru the 12 ga bore. Modern space shot and wads, and overbored 12's may likely have solved this problem, but at considerable cost.

With lead shot, the bore of a 10 gauge, unless the 12 has been overbored, offers more room, and the shot cup more space, and theoretically should give more uniform patterns with the same payload.

The custom BPS was grim death on gobblers with common lead #4 shot, to distances farther than I'd ever consider shooting a 3" 12ga. And it was built on a steel frame that seemed bigger than a 12, which made it heavier and softened recoil, or so it seemed. But it was just too dang heavy to hump from ridge to ridge chasing gobbles, and I did not keep it long.
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Old February 11, 2014, 07:44 AM   #4
Virginian-in-LA
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Since tungsten, I have gone back to the 12 gauge 3", but I had 5 different 10 gauges and shot a few more, with both lead and steel. For big birds at long range, nothing else legal will touch a 10. The 3-1/2" 12 is an attempt to come close, and with steel it does, but is close, close enough for you. Biggest drawback to a 10 is they are all big, and heavy. I shaved the weight down on a BPS and it handled by far the best. Recoil was stout but livable in the field. Patterning, I hung a 25# bag of shot between me and the gun.
If I was looking for a 10, I would look for a Browning Gold semi. Handles better than the Remington, and the recoil is really reduced with that action. If Remington had simply scaled up the 1100/870 platform instead of buying that Ithaca design and spent two years debugging it they would have been better off. I don't know why, with steel, you are shooting less weight of shot than we were with 12s and lead, but the gun manufacturers all thought we needed 2 or 3 more pounds of gun to do it with. And at the same time they off lightweight 3-1/2" 12 gauges. Silly.
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Old February 12, 2014, 10:49 PM   #5
ocharry
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I will say I have a 10 now and a few others in the past,, the one now is a double,, turkey special,,26" with choke tubes,,, a killing machine

10's are boss ,, nothing else will compare,,,, all the hyp about 3.5 12ga. Should come with a shoulder warning and a sling for your arm

my .02
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Old February 13, 2014, 12:08 AM   #6
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Out of every gun that I use to own I miss my 10ga the most.
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Old February 16, 2014, 07:38 AM   #7
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I had always wanted one but waited until I found an affordable one. I bought a Stevens single shot for $200. It has a 36 inch barrel with a full choke. When I refinished the wood, I discovered it had 2 steel rods in the butt. I took them out. Recoil is just as hard as it was, balance isn't as good, but it is a bit lighter. Finding ammo is next to impossible, very few stores even carry it. When you do find it, the selection is horrible and pricey. The recoil of the gun is a bit severe but its manageable, no where near as bad as the rumors you hear.
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Old February 16, 2014, 08:55 AM   #8
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There is no doubt that the 12 is favored by the vast majority of hunters and shooters, but the 10 has a certain panache and is legal in the vast majority of jurisdictions for hunting.

I had a friend once who found an old 10 gauge double and used it for quail and dove hunting with light lead-shot loads. He claimed that the shot column was much shorter for the same payload and that he got better patterning with the 10 simply because the bore gave more room for the payload without shot distortion at the edges. He loaded #8 shot in 2 3/4 inch shells on a Ponsness-Warren reloader that he had modified to crimp the short shells. He drove those loads to 1200 fps and was absolutely deadly in the quail woods.
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Old February 16, 2014, 09:45 AM   #9
Virginian-in-LA
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If you go to areas of the country where goose hunting is big you will generally find the sporting goods stores have a good selection of 10 gauge goose loads. You can get anything by mail. I have yet to see what I was looking for in tungsten on the shelf anywhere but Green Top Sporting Goods North of Richmond, VA, and then it better be before the mid point of the season because they do not want to get caught holding high dollar inventory for a year.
I never used my 10s for anything but waterfowl. I was just thinking, back then I was still a LOT closer to the linebacker/safety I once was than I am today - hell that was 30 years ago. There was nothing quite like standing and watching all the other fellows rattle shot off the swans and then smoking one down with one shot from a 10 gauge. After one trip, my buddy bought one, and after one trip with a guide we were friends with where I dropped two high geese with two shots while he shot six rounds and got nothing, he got one also. If you get them dropping in the decoys at 30 yards you don't need a 10, but if you take what you can get a 10 may be what you are looking for.
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Old February 16, 2014, 03:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Alloy framed 3.5"/12's will kick you silly. Built on the 12 gauge frame, but launching the heavier payloads, they get your undivided attention.
bamaranger is pretty much on the money with this one. My Mossy 835 with the big shells is more than many people want to deal with after only a handful of shells. The 3 1/2" 12 is the 96% 10 gauge. due to operating at higher pressures, it can pretty much equal the 10 in payload and speed when using factory ammo.

There is one place that the 10 is superior to the 12 though. Pump for pump, semi for semi. the 10 is better for recoil. That is because a 10 gauge is built on a 10 gauge frame and weighs more. More weight moderates the recoil impulse better.

The one other place where a 10 has some advantage is with the large steel shot sizes like T and F. They do fit better in the wad of a 10; in these sizes they are loaded by number of pellets not by weight (at least that is what Federal claims).
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Old February 18, 2014, 10:09 PM   #11
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I like 10ga. I don't own one but have eyeballed a few in the past. I used a friends for Pheasant hunting a few years ago. It was fun but the rounds I was using where too much for Pheasants.
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Old February 18, 2014, 11:28 PM   #12
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I've never shot a 10ga, but the only rounds I've found uncomfortable in my 12 are 3.5" 2.25oz turkey load, but I'm not shooting skeet with those. I wouldn't want to haul the extra weight of a 10ga.
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