20 gauge for home defense and survival.

Discussion in 'General Shotgun Discussion' started by JTJ, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    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.
     
  2. Gatoragn

    Gatoragn Active Member

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    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
     

  3. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  4. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Unless you're point man in an infantry squad, or on a SWAT entry team, the 20 should serve you quite well.
     
  5. priell3

    priell3 New Member

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    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.
     
  6. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

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    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. :)
     
  7. donthav1

    donthav1 Active Member

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    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
     
  8. AFerree

    AFerree New Member

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    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.
     
  9. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    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.
     
  10. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    ^^^^

    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?
     
  11. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I have not yet set up to load 20 ga. I plan on it, just have not gotten around to it. I think #1 buck is the largest size normally loaded in ga. I cast my own OO and O buck. I might try the O buck to see if it is feasible.
     
  12. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Anything you can't stop with #3 buck, you won't stop with any buckshot load. 00 just gives you a bit more range. But in home defense, range is a moot question anyway.
     
  13. Old_Crow

    Old_Crow New Member

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    Loading buckshot isn't as simple as loading birdshot. You can't just put a wad in the shell and fill it with shot. Most buckshot loads have felt of plastic wad (or both) that is disk shaped. then the shell is filled with buckshot and plastic saw dust.

    People buy 10 gauges for turkey hunting. then they decide to load their own buckshot. In a side by side comparison the 3" winchester super x walmart value pack buckshot out perform the 10 ga handloads every time. If it happened once I would say it was a bad handload. But I have seen it happen to many times to count.
     
  14. Old_Crow

    Old_Crow New Member

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    For everyday purposes a 20ga is great. Everyone has covered most of the reasons they are great. But in a SHTF situation I would rather have a 12 ga. You will find 12 ga shells anywhere but 20 ga I dunno.
     
  15. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Which is a good reason to keep lotsa spare ammo on hand!:D
     
  16. rachilders

    rachilders New Member

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    +1. At the distances you would probably use a shotgun for home/self defense, almost ANY 12/16/20 gauge load will get the job done! I've looked at the test data on numerous sites and in gun publications and at normal home defense ranges (less than 50 feet), the shot spread is so tight it's almost like being hit by a sold projectile no matter what the shot size. Personally, I think a 20 gauge semi would be easier to control and would allow someone to fire accurate follow up shots than a 12g. FWIW, I'd bet chances are if it reaches the point where you can't find 20g shells, you won't find them in 12 either.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2012
  17. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have found 9 pellet 00 and 1oz slugs in 20 gauge on line. You will probably only find #3 buck in the stores. The lgs wants $300 + tax for a clean used Stoeger coach gun choked improved and modified. I have a 12 gauge Nova and my wife wont touch it.
     
  18. Old_Crow

    Old_Crow New Member

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    look at buds gunshop. you will find the stoeger double barrel isn't that much more than $300.
     
  19. Old_Crow

    Old_Crow New Member

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    Given that there are prolly 10X the number of 12 ga floating around I would bet the 12 will be a lot easier to find. When the SHTF stores will be looted in hours. You will find ammo that has been left behind in a house somewhere.
     
  20. rachilders

    rachilders New Member

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    Quite possibly true. OTOH, if everyone and their brother and/or neighbor is carrying a 12 gauge shotgun, what is most likely to disappear first if ammo runs low, the ammunition for guns that almost everyone has or shells the select few use? Put another way, when 50 people are fighting over a case of 12 gauge shells vs 5 people competing for a case of 20g shells, who has a better chance of scoring some? Still, if you have guns in both gauges, like me, you greatly broaden your chances of finding ammo for either one gauge or the other.