View Full Version : 20 gauge resurgence????

July 30, 2008, 10:24 AM
I just bought a new 20 gauge and while I can buy ammo at wal-mart not much variety. I thought the 20 was having a resurgence. can anyone shed any light on this.

July 30, 2008, 10:37 AM
My first shotgun was a 20 guage winchester 1200 and I hate to admit that I havent used it since I got my 12 guage 120. But then again thats only because that 1200 has a full choke which doesnt work well for trap with me.

July 30, 2008, 10:41 AM
"I thought the 20 was having a resurgence"
Frankly, I didn't know that it had had a decline. I carry a 20ga. pump gun or an O/U frequently for Upland hunting, especially when I know I'm going to be walking all day.

July 30, 2008, 11:19 AM
20 gauge has been, and is still, doing quite well. My walmart has as big a selection of 20 as it does 12; check sites like able ammo, and others, and you'll find plenty of variety. If it's too big for my 28 gauge, then I use my 20 - haven't seen an upland bird or a clay target a 20 couldn't handle

July 30, 2008, 11:29 AM
In terms of the number of guns sold - I don't have any data to support it - but I think the 20ga has always been a distant 2nd to the 12ga. When screw in chokes came to be the norm - in the late 1970's-early 1980's probably - between changing chokes and changing shells it was possible to make a 12ga perform balistically like a 20 ga - and I think it did effect sales of the 20ga. Prior to screw in chokes of course - when I was a kid in the 50's we had "duck guns", "pheasant guns", "grouse guns", etc - choked differently, and often different gagues.

The 20ga was always popular for someone that wanted a gun that was a little shorter, a little lighter, a smaller grip. But in the 1990's I noticed a lot of 12ga guns were making "ladies" or "youth" models - so the 12ga mfg's encroached on some of that traditional 20ga market by doing that as well.

The only big competitive game for the 20ga was Skeet. Registered Skeet has really declined significantly in the last 10 or 15 years ( unfortunately ). Sporting Clays has a few 20ga events, but its typically only a sub event in a 4 day tournament. Trap has virtually always been a 12ga game.

A lot of folks used to think a 20ga had less recoil than a 12 ga - but today we know the heavier the gun, for a given load, say 7/8 oz at 1200 fps the less recoil there is. So with reloading, and more light 12ga loads around - having a young shooter shoot a 12ga will give them less recoil ( for 7/8 oz ) which was a traditional 20ga load. If the shooter doesn't have enough upper body strength to shoot a full sized 12ga - now there are youth sized guns, etc So the 20ga got squeezed there too.

Semi-autos have become a lot more reliable over the last 15 years - and their reliability and popularity, especially in a 12ga, gives a soft shooting gun option for a young or new shooter too - and they're light so a younger shooter can carry them easily.

Having said all that - I like a 20ga - and I have a few ( BPS, Browning Over Under XS Skeet, etc ) and I like shooting them. Most of the big box stores will carry some 20ga shells - and I think their selection might be down a little from 5 years ago - but that probably has more to do with cost of inventory, etc. If you want to get into reloading - there are a lot of options for the 20ga. I think the 20ga will always have a niche market / but to get a variety of shells you will probably have to go to a "sporting" store like Sportsman's Warehouse, etc to get more variety in shells, or consider reloading. I think the 20ga will hold its own / as will the 28ga and the .410 ( there are still some skeet shooters out there using all 4 gagues ) and some of us that just refuse to do everything with a 12ga because we just like shooting other gagues / and different guns.

July 30, 2008, 12:41 PM
Wait until right before turkey/deer seasons and shop walmart... Mine will have my #4 3inch, slugs, #3-4 buck might even find #1 buck then too. As for bird/small game loads year around I can get #4-6-71/2-8 in high brass premium type and 100 count bricks of 71/2 and 8 all day every day at walmart. Jump fast cuz guys like me horde our money patiently awaiting the camo filled truck:D
They typically do not get many shipments of it like they do the 12ga hunting ammo.

July 30, 2008, 11:06 PM
Did a search on GB for Remington 12 and Remington 20. The response that I got was 60 percent 12 and 40 percent 20. I think but do not know that that would be kind of representative of what is owned.

August 1, 2008, 12:48 AM
i have 870s in both 20 and 12. the 20 was my first gun ever, it was perfect for deer in WI, and i have taken both small game and Geese with it.

it is light!....i can and have carried that all day. the 12 is not so light, and you start to feel that after a few hours in the bush.

for deer in WI, i'll stick with my 20. i'll go to the 12 for geese if i ever hunt them again.

HD? either will be fine in a house