10ga vs 12 ga


November 17, 2007, 08:37 PM
Is there any "real" hunting distance advantage one gets from shooting a 10ga vs an 3 1/2 12 ga?

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November 17, 2007, 08:42 PM
Yes. Its how far your ego carries over the others in your party hunting "small" 12ga. guns. :D

November 17, 2007, 08:58 PM
10 gauge is akin to 28 gauge in regard to payload to bore and being better than it is supposed to be.
Short Shot strings for just one aspect of this Art & Science.

Geese and some other applications would be best served by a 10 gauge instead of a 3 1/2 " shell poorly attempting to be a 10 gauge.
That shot string from a 3 1/2" fired from a 12 bor shell is often l-o-n-g!

10 ga repeaters are heavier, so with the Rule of 96 applied, the less felt recoil added with enhanced pattering efficiency, adds up fast in favor of the 10 gauge , especially semi-auto 10 gauge guns.

For the average shooter the 12 bore with 2 3/4 shell is all they need for Geese and other applications.

Just a matter of knowing game and habitats.

More serious use? Most folks don't need...
But I have used a 10 gauge to back up folks on Geese hunts and loaded up slugs for some real serious concerns ...like in case I needed to stop a old , heavy and big Cadillac, Lincoln, Mercedes, ....

November 17, 2007, 09:32 PM
I don't know if you've checked prices but 10ga magnum ammo is alot more expensive than 12ga ammo. It's definitely too expensive to use for trap and skeet. If I'm hunting I'd rather use a shotgun that I've been able to use proficiently on the trap and skeet range. You'd have to be a serious masochist or have a big ego to shoot 2 or 3 rounds of trap with a 10ga magnum.

November 17, 2007, 09:46 PM

Most folks would be best served with a 12 bore using 2 3/4" shells.

Those 10 bores are heavy, and wading in water or mud getting to blinds and pits , makes them even heavier.
Reloading 10 bore saves some coins...

Life was better before Non-Tox...not that we did not reload non-tox in 10 bore, 12, 28, and even .410.

Taken my share of Geese, ducks with non-tox 28 gauge...

Some places we hunting only allowed guns 28 or smaller.
So we hunted with 28, and .410.

November 17, 2007, 09:49 PM
When I was a kid, I pass shot geese with a 16 gauge. Always wanted a 12 gauge 3", just kneow I could bring those 70 yard birds down. :rolleyes: LOL

10 became an option with steel and it really does work better than the 3.5" 12, but then it's not as versatile for the average Joe that has one shotgun to hunt doves, ducks, and geese. However, shooting 3" 12 out of my Mossberg, I really don't see than I need a 10 over decoys and the 3" gun using hevi shot reaches out there at least 50 yards and that's MORE than enough over decoys. I hunt decoys anymore, don't do much pass shooting, and normally if the birds are decoying well, steel is all you need out to 30 yards, maybe 35. 40 is pushing things with steel shot on geese, though.

The 3.5" 12 and 10 hold more of the heavy T and F shot loads, but hevi shot is the way to go on geese IMHO. I've never tried that big steel stuff. BB and BBB is as big as I've used.

Like sm says, the knock on 12 gauge 3.5" is the same as 3" 20 gauge, the length of the shot string. I have no personal experience with either, though, just going on what I've been told and read on the subject. I do know hevi shot in 12 works fantastic in 3" loads. I really have no use for anything bigger as I don't hunt geese all that often now that I let my lease go. I do have a hunt booked next month, though.:D The geese are rollin' in, too, starting to see more snows. Looks like it might be a good hunt, I hope.

November 17, 2007, 10:05 PM
Marlin Goose Gun.
I forget if the barrel was 32, or 34" long.
I shot backup with that often, we had folks that owned shotguns just good not shoot. *grin*
They sure had some purty equipment, and camo too...
Fine by me, we takes your money and takes your misses. *evil grin"
Geese just a big bird, with great eyesight.
I've seen more camo clothed folk flare Geese...but marketers gotta get kids braces, and pay for college too...

I won a Rem 10 gauge, and gave that to a 4' 10.999" RN.
Still think I should have gotten a rope and stretched her with a Ford Bronco...she was just that shy of being 4' 11"
Anyway she shot geese with that gun.

I'd borrow it to back up turkey hunters, again, some folks got money, buy equipment and can't shoot.
They would miss and these critters would take off in flight.
I liked taking turkey's on the fly.

Did ya know a Yankee will look at you like you are plumb nuts, backing them up with 28 gauge?

They using 10, and 12 and I am getting cripples of flooded timber ducks with a 28 gauge.

"$100 says you can't hit that cripple..."


Always liked when some bunches come down...

November 17, 2007, 10:12 PM
Ive never shot a 10ga, nor really care too.
I know a few guys that have HAD them. Most used em for deer hunting and with Buckshot they said it kicked on both ends pretty hard. And trying to lug it around the woods all day made em pretty tired by sundown. Not too mention ammo is expensive and hard to find in some places.
They either sold, traded or gave em away just to get rid of em. I guess its more of a collector/conversation piece thing rather than a practical all day hunting gun.


November 17, 2007, 11:06 PM
In this modern world, the arena where the 10 guage excels over the 12 guage is in pass shooting geese at ranges out to 80 meters and hunting furbearing animals in areas where rifles are not allowed.
The 10 guage has a shorter shot string, and retains more velocity with the shot retaining more energy and producing denser patterns at range.

I have also found that because 10 guage guns are heavier than 12 guage guns, the recoil from 3 1/2" 10 guage magnums is actually more tolerable than 3 1/2" magnum 12 guage loads in the lighter guns.

November 18, 2007, 02:53 AM
With other factors being equal,there's NO WAY a 12 gauge 3 1/2 with 2 1/4 oz of shot will pattern as good as a 10 ga 3 1/2 with 2 1/4 oz payload. The 10 gauge has shorter shot string and will suffer less shot deformation as a 12 ga will. The 10 ga properly outfitted,is the ultimate turkey gun.
I had 3 browning bps pump shotguns along with bps 12 ga for people to use when I took them out for turkey and it outperformed the 12 gauge severely. In fact,with my own personal bps,I backbored,ported,hand honed choke tube blank,and mounted red dot sight and it patterned 37"-38" patterns at 60 YARDS!!! NOT 40 yards!!!
I have since gotten rid of the shotguns and now only bowhunt turkey.

November 18, 2007, 10:17 AM
I shoot geese with either a 12b 3in or a 10b,I make a point of never shooting at anything at over 40-50 yds,I rely on fieldcraft to get as close to flight lines as possible.I have a Marlin bolt action goose gun with a 34in barrel but have never used it.Regarding weight of the 10b yes it is a heavy gun but it reduces any adverse recoil.

November 18, 2007, 09:20 PM
It's not the size of your shotgun that matters. It's the magic you can do with it. :)

November 19, 2007, 08:52 AM
10 ga. nice and powerful for anything, payload and speed are the same as with 12ga 3 1/2" shells ~ patterns are NOT.
"Shells are more expensive" people say.... sounds like my wife driving 15 miles out of her way to get gas a nickel cheaper; hmm... 20 gallons, a WHOLE dollar!!!!!:rolleyes:
I bought 2 boxes of shells with my then "spankin' new" gold lite ~ I was in a sudden urge to go goose hunting and had everything except a shotgun and shells, reloaded every shell ever fired otherwise.
Learned about barrel length the hard way, 26 on a 10 autoloader is the way for me, have a 10 bps with a 30" telephone pole and the gold w/steel receiver has a 28" tube. Little long with that long receiver made to handle those shells.
Love the 1 3/8 oz of #1 steel with 41gr of "Steel" powder in the fed hulls separated by some felt and a BPI wad. does major anti-aircraft to the gooses. Farther than I should shoot.Still limit on my 5 shells I take.
The Extrema, the SX-2, the 12ga "gold", and the Franchi Variomax 912 always seem to stay home. Ditto for the O/U and SxS 10ga in the case.They are heavy >10lbs.
As I remove myself from the soapbox I'd like to add the fact that I purchase shotguns because I WANT them, if I only bought 1 shotgun for everything - I'd get the gun I learned on; a Beretta AL-2 3"chamber, 28"vent ribbed barrel,12ga circa 1972. Still have it and it still works like new, only nicked up a tad. EXACT same as the 301 or 302, or 303, or Browning marked - Beretta design B-80. Best design of all time IMHO

November 19, 2007, 09:12 AM
Not really, 12 Gauge can do anything 10 Gauge can do, and do it just as well and cheaper.

November 19, 2007, 09:36 AM
The 10 guage has a shorter shot string, and retains more velocity with the shot retaining more energy and producing denser patterns at range.

Retains more velocity??? Same projectile at the same velocity. Why would it retain more velocity?

The long shot string thing is interesting, but one theory I've heard regarding is it has to due with the shot deforming from contacting each other. However, this isn't an issue with steel, tungsten, etc.

November 30, 2007, 08:05 PM
Go to a respected goose guiding service and see what the guides have in the pit with them. I have had the good fortune of using several (5) places down in southern Illinois in "real" goose country. Most/all of the guides had a 10 gauge in the pit with them. That told me something.
I shot a 3-1/2 12 ga bps for a couple of years until I shot a 10 ga BPS. The next season I traded my 12 ga for the 10. Is it better? I don't know - I just know that I would rather shoot my 10 than the 12. Yes, the 10 is a boat anchor, but from a pit it doesn't much matter. The 12 is a great way to go if you do a little bit of everything. That said, if you want a single gun for geese, it is hard to beat a 10. Also, the 10 makes a dandy turkey gun.

December 1, 2007, 08:26 AM
The Pattern Board, does not lie.
For goose hunting with large shot size, I have never seen anything pattern better than a 10 gauge.

December 1, 2007, 09:35 AM
To someone that really needs and will use the performance advantage I feel the 10ga certainly does have an advantage over 12ga 3 " and it does what it does much more naturally and consitently across different loads than the 12ga 3.5" supermags do. The penalty for it is in weight and cost for gun (sometimes) and ammo (across the board...but not as bad as if you "need" one of these you are buying by the case or pallet anyway. The guns are generally heavier (Browning Golden Hunter is what I'm seeing most of my 10ga customers using for whatever reason) They tend to generally be guys that go down to South America to hunt waterfowl by the truckload. I have a couple that are just really serious turkey hunters and I think they just are caught up in bigger is better. You walk a lot turkey hunting and it's the one time I think 3.5" 12ga has the important performance advantage as 1...way lighter comparatively and B...You only need ONE load the gun shoots realy well anyway (nobody shoots up 2 cases of shells during turkey season that I know of)

Most situations I feel 3" 12ga is about as much as most people can shoot well and with comfort and if you can't hit it with a heavy 3" load a 3.5" or 10ga isn't going to make you a better shot...just my opinion. But there are some folks that do actually ustilize the slight advantage...sure.

December 1, 2007, 09:41 AM
Get the birds inside 50 yards and I'll kill 'em just as dead with 3" hevi shot. If I hunted geese exclusively and a lot, I'd probably get a 10, though. That's why those guides use 'em, they're specialized. I hunt far more ducks (public lands available) than geese and the 12 is quicker on target and all you need over decoys. I've never bothered to worry about gettng a 3.5", either. 3" does the job with the right ammunition.

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