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20ga vs 12ga


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#1 Larry $

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Posted 18 April 2005 - 06:56 AM

So I got my non-gun shooting wife a little .410 for Christmas and she's already talking about upgrading. :rolleyes: I now have competition for our gun buying budget. Oh well, I guess it's a good problem to have.

Anyway, she is talking 20 gauge these days but I'm thinking a 12ga with 2 3/4" shells can't kick that much more than a 20. I've never shot a 20 gauge so I don't know. What would you guys think?

A 12ga with a good recoil pad and 2 3/4" shells or a 20? She has shot my 12 at clays with target loads and it didn't phase her, but then she watches me pattern the 3 1/2" magnum turkey loads and it intimidates her. Heck, it intimidates me! :o Thank goodness for Limb Saver recoil pads!
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#2 mzlloader

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Posted 18 April 2005 - 12:17 PM

Larry, my 2cents go with the 12ga, Right before leaving colorado I got sherri a rem 1100 in 12ga she shoots it great, and she is smaller than mel, One thing though what ever gun you get her, take it to a smith and have him fit the stock for her, it will be better if she shoots clays, Sherri lovers hers



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#3 Eric

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Posted 18 April 2005 - 06:30 PM

Sir Larry I'm with R L on this one also. :yes: :yes:
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#4 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 03:21 PM

Larry first of all I am sure that you know all shotguns shoot nearly the same speed. The difference for the most part is the larger the guage the more pellets. A shotgun is no different than a rifle. You shoot a light bullet and recoil is light or lighter. You shoot the heaviest bullet at nearly the same speed as the light bullet you get noticably more recoil.

The same thing is true with shotguns. A 12 ga using light loads will not recoil as much as a 20 ga max load. Even with a 20 ga using the same amount of pellets as a 12 ga the 20 ga will recoil more than the 12 ga. Much of this has to do with the physical weight of the two guns. Also A 20 ga cannot shoot as heavy of a load of pellets as a 12 ga.

In my little mind the most versatile shotgun is the 12 ga. Most 12 ga 3 or 3 1/2 in guns will also shoot the 2 3/4 loads. Some semi auto 12 ga guns will not reliably function with the light 12 ga 2 3/4 loads. But then again a semi auto usually has the least recoil as some recoil power is used to cycle the action and they tend to be heavier in weight.

When I heard that Melody planned to hunt turkeys with her .410 it was a little alarming. Not that a 410 cannot kill a turkey but that the pellet count is considerable lower than either the 20 or 12 ga.

Relate to Melody that she does not have to hunt turkeys with a 3 or 3 1/2 mag 12 ga. many turkeys have been roasted as a result of the venerable 2 3/4 in shell, just let them get closer before she shoots. A 2 3/4 will reliably kill a turkey at 30 to 35 yds. I use a 3 in 12 ga and all but one turkey were killed well within the range of a 2 3/4 in shell.

RL has a very good point in getting the shotgun to fit her. A shotgun that fits the shooter seems to recoil less because of the fit.

Edited by PA RIDGE RUNNER, 19 May 2005 - 03:24 PM.

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#5 Larry $

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 05:00 PM

Thanks Paul, and no, I didn't know much of that info.
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#6 cayugad

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Posted 30 March 2006 - 02:45 PM

I would personally look into a 12 ga that is made to fit her. The type, balance, and fit of the shotgun will have a lot to do with the recoil of the gun. Then all they need do is load it down for the smaller animals like bunnies, and doves, moderate loads for grouse, and heavy loads for the others.

I would personally insist that it is chambered for 3" mags even is she would never shoot them. As people become more aware of the shotgun and the way it moves when fired, they soon learn even a heavy charged shell can be tolerated. Beside, in the event she no longer wants to hunt, a 12 ga 3" magnum is easier to sell.
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#7 Spirithawk

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Posted 30 March 2006 - 03:53 PM

Some good advice here. Hey there Dave, glad to see you here.

#8 Larry $

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Posted 30 March 2006 - 05:24 PM

We ended up getting her a Winchester 1300 12ga for Christmas. She shoots it just fine, is not afraid of the recoil and has taken some pheasants with it already. Turkey season starts in about 2 weeks and then we get to really test it out.

Hopefully, anyway... :rolleyes:
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