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JTJ 09-23-2012 03:11 PM

20 gauge for home defense and survival.
I have been doing some research on 20 gauge. I looked at a Stoeger Coach Gun side by side and found the 20" barrels were choked improved and modified so I looked up loads. I found you can get 9 pellet 00 but the main load seems to be 20 pellet #3 buck. Mag loads are the equivalent to 12 gauge 2 3/4" but with a longer shot string. The 20 gauge would offer some weight savings in ammo and gun in whatever action type you prefer. Possibly friendlier to smaller shooters. I have seen 20 gauge semi autos recommended for smaller shooters. I used to hunt pheasant with a 20 gauge OU and know it works for that. The Stoeger would be a decent hunter once you got used to the short barrels. 1 oz slug loads are available also. I have also looked at the shorter barrel pump with a Polychoke.

Gatoragn 09-23-2012 03:21 PM

I switched from 12 ga. to 20 ga. for pheasant a couple of years ago. Lighter shotgun, lighter shells, same results as 12 ga. on pheasant. I do use 3 inch 20 ga., which is pretty close to 12 ga. in 2.75 inch.

What's not to love?

I still like to shoot trap with a 12 ga., more shot in the air. :D

hiwall 09-23-2012 04:06 PM

I sold my 12 gauge guns years ago. I am happy with my 20 gauge. I have a Rem 870 "Special Field" for more weight savings and compactness.

locutus 09-23-2012 10:55 PM

Unless you're point man in an infantry squad, or on a SWAT entry team, the 20 should serve you quite well.

priell3 09-24-2012 02:56 PM

I hunted rabbit and pheasant for years with a Remington 1100 LT-20. Shot hundreds of clays with it too. It served me well. I sold it last year.

I picked up a NEF Pardner single shot in 20 gauge a few months ago. Shorter barrel and overall length but should be good for all purposes.

hawkguy 09-25-2012 12:22 AM

i have a 20 gauge stoeger coach gun supreme and it my main home D choice.

light kick, more stop power than almost any handgun. points and aims well and easily. i love it.

never doubt a 20 gauge imo. again, it outperforms 90% of handguns easily in stopping power. bird, buck, slugs....plenty of versatility.

get the 20 and don't look back. :)

donthav1 09-25-2012 01:28 AM

the ONLY reason both my shotguns are 12 gauge is because they were half the price of a 20 gauge in the same model (both bought used).

a 20 is more than enough for most everything except goose & turkey's i imagaine

AFerree 09-25-2012 06:02 PM

The only down side to a 20 ga. in my opinion is lack of buckshot types (I use biggest I have found is #3, but not necessarily a bad thing) and lack of accessories. The after market parts are out there but you really need to search for them.

robocop10mm 09-25-2012 08:09 PM

I have both. The 12 offers much more versitilty from extremely light 7/8 oz (almost no recoil) shot loads to 3" (or even 3 1/2" for some guns) with very heavy payloads.

My 20 ga was basically given to me so it was a no brainer. I am stocking up on a variety of ammo for it. The gun is noticibly lighter, though recoil is kind of harsh. The trigger guard smacks my right middle finger quite smartly. I am probably going to make a trade for a different stock in the next few weeks.

12 ga is still my "go to" gauge, but the 20 is a very viable alternative.

orangello 09-25-2012 09:10 PM


Robo, i know you said that you have made reloads for your 12; do you reload for your 20? If so, can you overcome the limited variety of buckshot by loading your own?

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