Effectiveness of 20 gauge

Discussion in 'General Shotgun Discussion' started by shorterj88, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. shorterj88

    shorterj88 New Member

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    Been thinking about getting a youth model 20 gage of an 870 or 590 as an alternative to the standard 12 gage so that it's easier for the lady to handle.

    Thoughts, feelings, reactions?
     
  2. cottontop

    cottontop Guest

    The 20 will do just about anything the 12 will do within reason.
    ct
     

  3. Gatoragn

    Gatoragn Active Member

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    CT is correct, I pheasant hunt with a 20.
     
  4. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    It depends on the lady. My mom is slight of build, pushing near 60, and has lived hard farm life all her life. She shoots a youth model 500 in 20 gauge and can handle it just fine.

    Cinder likes her dad's 12 gauge 870 and wants a side by side 12 like mine.

    Grandma is a scoundrel with her 12. Pretty funny watching her in high heels, long dress, and Sunday hat shooting squirrels off the bird feeder after church, with her little "handbag" hanging from the crook of her elbow, and griping because her little gloves won't let her get a good grip.

    I didn't like to touch anything over .410 for years because of my shoulder, until I found the perfect fit in my old pawn shop double barrel.

    Just like with handguns, it's best to let her test drive several and see what she likes.
     
  5. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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    Obviously the 20 can not match the 12. Is the 20 enough gun? That depends but chances are that it will do the job fine. If you are after ducks or geese, I would say get a 12. Pheasants, quail, grouse etc. the 20 is great. The 20 ga guns are lighter and easier to handle(for many people). Less recoil. Ammo less bulky and lighter. I am happy with my 20.
     
  6. Chainfire

    Chainfire Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The defensive effectiveness of any firearm is the willingness to practice with it. If it is uncomfortable for someone to shoot, they aren't going to shoot it.

    In the home defense distances a .20 ga. would be just as effective as a .12 gauge, if the target is hit..... There may be a little less mess to clean up as well.
     
  7. shorterj88

    shorterj88 New Member

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    The 12 gage seems to be scary/bulky for most smaller framed women (obviously not all, but my lady would rather use the 357 mag). I'm mostly thinking about getting the youth model for home defense-sorry, should have specified that in the original question. I've seen some ballistic tests comparing 12 vs 20 gage, so I guess overall question is if a 20 would get the job done at your standard 7rds- it's looking like a yes
     
  8. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    it depends on the woman in question. if the woman is smaller framed, a youth sized shotgun might be a better choice. the better a firearm fits a person, the better they can usually shoot the firearm. the point is that LOP will be a factor in fitting that shotgun to the person.

    my wife has no problem shooting our 12 ga. pumps, but hates my O/U shotgun!

    IMO, if a 2o ga. youth shotgun fits her better, then it will do well for SD. take her shopping and see what fits her. even if she settles on a more adult sized 12 ga. then you can always try out some reduced recoil loads if recoil is and issue.
     
  9. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    If you choose to purchase a Mossberg buy a combo. You get the second barrel for $30 in a combo. If you buy the second barrel alone you will end up with $100 in the barrel. The barrels in the combo are the same quality barrels.
     
  10. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You might want to look at the Mossberg SA20 while you are at it.
     
  11. cottontop

    cottontop Guest

    One problem is that many 20 gauge guns are made on 12 gauge frames. In that case, might as well have the 12. That kind of defeats the purpose of having a 20. I believe that the best idea for a bird gun is a 16 gauge made on a 20 gauge frame. I have a couple of those and they are great to carry in the field all day and balance really well.
     
  12. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

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    for self defense, i read somewhere that the 20g delivers almost twice the stopping power of a 44mag. true or not, i dunno...but i think the 20g is an outstanding choice for HD.

    for hunting, my 13 yr old nephew drops ducks with regularity with his 20.

    its a great gauge imo...good compromise between load and recoil.
     
  13. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    and at 20 feet or less, the distances most HD usage would probably be, and the proper ammo for the 20 ga., i doubt the BG will be able to tell any difference.
     
  14. rifleman1

    rifleman1 New Member

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    i recently switched to a 20 gauge due to the fact my son shoots one,it makes it alot easier to share ammo in the field we both take down ducks and geese we also turkey,quail,pheasant and small game hunt with them and have yet to have a problem taking down game.
    i also use my sons shotgun as a home defense gun due to its size and it accepts 3'' shells has interchangable chokes and will due the job as good as any 12 guage.
     
  15. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

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    i certainly agree. throw 3 or 4 buck in there, and you'd be GTG. i'd venture to say a 20g will be at least as effective as any handgun on the market for HD. my comfort level with a shotgun vs handgun makes the pepper gun my choice for HD.
     
  16. KingGlamis

    KingGlamis New Member

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    Wife and I were thinking of getting a .410 shotgun just because we could share ammo with the S&W Governor that we plan to buy. But several gun shops and now this thread have convinced us to go 20GA. We have a 12GA and she can shoot it but it's a bit much for her to do multiple rounds when practicing/plinking. Remington makes a 20GA pump that holds 7 rounds. That should take care of HD just fine.
     
  17. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    The 12 ga has an advantage with versitility. Super light loads (7/8 oz) barely kick at all. 3" or even 3 1/2" for the geese or bears.

    20 ga does not have quite the range of ammo selection available.

    12 ga guns are generally heavier (built on larger frames). NOTHING wrong with a 20. I got one for my prettier half and she enjoys it.
     
  18. JimRau

    JimRau Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This is what I recommend to my students of small stature. I got one for my wife, youth model Mossburg. I found a 20 pellet #3 buckshot load for home defense. She does not hunt so home defense is the primary use. But if she did hunt it would be a great choice.:D If you can find a youth model H&R partner I would recommend it.
    Hope this helped.
    Jim
     
  19. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth New Member

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    At close range there's not a ton of difference, Now if you are zombie killing at 25 yards than the 12 is hands down better with having the selection of 00 and 000 buckshot.
     
  20. Triumphman

    Triumphman Active Member

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    Other than 3-1/2" Magnum Loads, they make whatever you see in 12ga for the 20ga.
    I own a Rem 870 in 20ga, and with Full Choke, It's deadly up to 40yds using 6-1/2 shot. Over that, it gets to be too large a pattern, at least for Turkey, when you are wanting to concentrate with a tight pattern.
    For Birds it'll reach easily to 50yds no problem, but it is pushing it.
    So if this is gonna be for HD, you'll have absolutely no problems if you feel the BG is too close.
    What I would do is get the Youth Model which has a shorter Barrel, with adjustable Shoulder Stock to give a "best of fit" as possible, without going to a Custom Stock.