Status of the 10 Gauge Shotgun in America


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Timthinker
November 17, 2007, 11:59 PM
Since childhood, I have had an awe of the 10 gauge shotgun. Perhaps this started when my late father told me it would kick like a mule. Or perhaps this respect came from shotgunners who told me a 12 gauge was the biggest scattergun anyone would ever need. Whatever the reason, I have held the 10 gauge in great respect. This brings me to my question: what is the current status of the 10 gauge in America?

By this question, I am referring to the popularity of this shotgun. Have its sales increased in recent years or is it in decline? I ask this question in part because I have never known anyone to use a 10 gauge. Thanks.


Timthinker

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Gordon
November 18, 2007, 12:27 AM
I started using a 10ga for wildfowling a couple years after steel shot was mandated.That was a no brainer for me. Yes I can pass shoot geese very well with it, about like I used to with a 2 3/4" Mag 12 gauge with lead.I reload 10 ga shells (the only shot shells I load) with steel 2s and BBs. Sure the new Heavy shot and Bismuth can make the 12ga back into a good deal, but man they are expensive!
I also use a 10ga for Turkeys, I will have to start useing steel here in condor country for that job too.:mad:But it is doable.
I cut down my first AYA 10ga SxS that I started using a couple years before I got my BPS, into a 20" coach gun. It is loaded with Buckshot and a slug and is hid in my TV room high up and out of sight!;)

zinj
November 18, 2007, 12:33 AM
The big 10 is pretty much a specialist gun for pass-shooting waterfowl with steel these days. It was well on its way out until non-toxic shot became required, when is had a bit of a renaissance because steel shot was the only game in those days and was still being developed (read: it was very ineffective). The huge capacity of the 10 gauge meant that big pellets like BBB could still make a passable pattern.

As of right now, the 10 gauge is definately not a volume seller. The 3.5in 12 gauge caught a bit of its market due to the fact that it could throw loads nearly as well as the 10 (at least on paper, apparently many 3.5 12 gauge loads pattern poorly) while still being able to accept lighter (and cheaper) loads. The biggest mark against the 10, however, has been the improvements in non-toxic ammunition. There are several non-toxic alloy loads on the market now that have the same density as lead, and even conventional steel has seen vast improvements since it was first introduced.

I'd say that at this time the 10 gauge is stagnant. It has a very small segment of hunters that are very dedicated to it, but does not have any real utility over a 12 gauge for most situations; indeed there are several drawbacks such as the lack of non-magnum or inexpensive loads and the fact that guns chambered in 10 almost universally weigh 10 pounds or more. That said, I think it sells enough that it isn't in any danger of dying out in the foreseeable future.

ArmedBear
November 18, 2007, 01:11 AM
10 Gauge is nearly off the RADAR, since a lot of guys think a 3.5" 12 is the same thing.

It's not.

If you REALLY need a 3.5" gun, a 10 Gauge is what you want.

As I said in another thread, people seem happy to say that 3" 20 is not a great shell, because it's way oversquare. But then they want a 3.5" 12? Doesn't make sense to me.

Some of the best patterns come from Olympic Trap guns, 24 grams in a 12 Gauge. That's LESS than 7/8 oz.

mpmillen
November 18, 2007, 02:01 AM
The 10 gauge would be more popular except it is not permitted on Federal Wildlife Refuges.

That is the reason the 3.5 inch 12 gauge has become so popular.

M

CajunBass
November 18, 2007, 06:43 AM
There used to be a couple of fellows who deer hunted with me who carried a 10 ga. I never could figure out why. IFIRC, the best buckshot loads they had weren't any better than you could get in a 3" 12 ga.

Other than those, I've never known anyone to use one.

fearless leader
November 18, 2007, 10:19 AM
If someone would bring back the 2 7/8 shells, I would get a big 10.
The 3 1/2 inch magnums are more than I need.

MCgunner
November 18, 2007, 10:58 AM
In the hevi shot world, the 10, over decoys, is simply unnecessary for a goose hunter If you pass shoot 'em, it can give you a few yards. My 3" 12, over a rag or wind sock spread, is effective to at least 50 yards on snows and specks. That's about as far as I've attempted. I shoot over decoy spreads now days, haven't done any pass shooting in years.

308win
November 18, 2007, 11:40 AM
A hunting buddy had a 10ga SxS that I had the questionable judgement to shoot once. I too have been in awe of the 10ga since that experience.

MCgunner
November 18, 2007, 11:51 AM
I was on a guided hunt out of Katy once and the guide had a side by side 10. I picked it up, felt like picking up the anchor off a Nimitz class carrier. LOL! MY GOD that thing was heavy! I doubt it had a lot of recoil.

Only one I've fired is a friend's Marlin super goose. It wasn't bad with 3.5". He picked it up for $100, just got it for the price.

Timthinker
November 18, 2007, 03:23 PM
Guys, I am grateful for the responses so far. I realized the 10 was not as popular as other shotgun gauges, but I generally chalked that up to the weight and recoil of this gun. Some of these responses, especially the one mentioning the ban of the 10 gauge on Federal Wildlife lands, were new to me. All together, these comments have helped answer a longstanding question I have held about 10 gauges. Thanks again for your answers.


Timthinker

Z71
November 18, 2007, 04:05 PM
I owned a Marlin "goose gun" for awhile. A huge gun, I believe it was a model 55. Had a two shot mag with a plastic spacer for use with Winchester or Federal or some such 10ga. loads.

Wouldn't fit in the gun cabnet, couldn't find a gun case long enough. But rarely shot it. Had to drive 80 miles to get ammo for it, and 10ga. is pricy stuff ! I traded it off, and have never seen a 10ga. Marlin boltgun again.

VirgilCaine
November 19, 2007, 12:34 PM
I cut down my first AYA 10ga SxS that I started using a couple years before I got my BPS, into a 20" coach gun. It is loaded with Buckshot and a slug and is hid in my TV room high up and out of sight!

Wow, that'll put 'em down!

Re: 3.5" 12 vs. 10 gauge:

On another 10 gauge thread, there was a joke.

What does a 10 gauge shotgun have that a 12 gauge 3.5" doesn't?


About 5 pounds.

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