20 ga vs. 12 ga


November 23, 2007, 06:44 PM
How much harder is it to shoot skeet and sporting clays with a 20ga vs a 12ga ? I have not shot skeet and sporting clays with a 20ga and need a a little guidance.


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November 23, 2007, 07:17 PM
I'm new to skeet and I'm shooting a 20ga. 20ga is a little softer recoil and you get roughly the same number of pellets as a 1oz 12ga load. Lighter 12ga loads are almost as soft as 7/8oz 20ga loads. I chose the 20ga based on talking with some experienced skeet shooters. You can shoot in the 12ga and 20ga skeet competitions some will even recommend 28ga.

November 23, 2007, 08:32 PM
I shot my best skeet score (97/100) last spring with a 20ga with a light skeet choke. I have actually stopped shooting skeet in 12ga as I feel it's a lot more gun than necessary, and I enjoy the subgages much more anyhow.

November 23, 2007, 08:44 PM

What type of 20 ga do you shoot? Over/Under, SxS or semi auto?

November 23, 2007, 08:46 PM
Skeet is also shot in 28ga. and .410 events so that should tell you that the 20 ga can and will do just fine for you at Skeet.

Sporting Clays is definitely a different animal. The variety and distances of the targets works drastically against the lesser pellet load of the 20 ga. You can shoot it with a 20 ga but, unless you are really tremendously talented (and lucky), you won't be very competetive at all against the people who are shooting 12 ga.

I'm probably an average "casual" shooter of Sporting Clays and the courses I've been able to shoot at would probably be classed as no more than "medium" in difficulty.
With my 16 ga I expect to shoot 75-80 out of 100. With my 20 ga I expect to shoot about 60 or maaaaaaaaybe a 65. With my .410 I've shot a 50 and a round of either 44 or 45.

My 16 and 20 are SxS and my .410 is an O/U.

HTH :)

Dave McCracken
November 23, 2007, 09:07 PM
Some skeeters skip the 12 and shoot the 20 in both events.

As for sporting clays, why not?

November 23, 2007, 09:15 PM
I told my wife that I was going to buy a 20 ga in a few months after I save my pennies. Anyone have any thoughts on the Benelli M2 field? I have had my eye on it for a while and would like some feedback.


November 24, 2007, 11:15 AM
It's a Browning BPS 20ga with a 26" barrel. I bought a 28ga BPS previously for upland game and it turned out to be a great skeet gun, so I now have Browning pumps in 410, 28ga, and 20ga. Before that I shot with a 12ga O/U and did pretty well with it, but that gun's been relegated as my sporting clays gun now that I don't shoot a 12ga for skeet.

A shooting buddy of mine has a 20ga M2 field, he does very well with it. I've shot it in skeet, for me it's light enough to make the recoil feel like a 12ga. His first round of skeet with it he shot a 25, I was impressed!

November 24, 2007, 06:53 PM
Previous poster is correct. Most 20s weight enough less than the equivalent 12 that the recoil is *not* less, at least as felt at the business end of the buttstock. If recoil matters, a gas-operated shotgun will feel softer than a recoil-operated gun, which in turn will feel softer than a shotgun with a standing breech.

November 24, 2007, 07:13 PM
i love my mossberg 500A 12gauge, but for shooting skeet i like my H&R single shot breach break 20gauge simply because its less bulky, lighter, and has less kick so i can shoot longer with less ach the next day. but its a full choke unlike my mossberg that has the removeable choke tubes.

it really comes down to comfort and ease of use i think when it comes to it. now im not a pro by any means just someone that when has the time i try to hit the dam things. i think they need to be the size of a basket ball.

November 25, 2007, 08:38 PM
QUOTE]but for shooting skeet i like my H&R single shot breach break 20gauge [/QUOTE]

Doubles must be a bear...??? :confused::what::evil:[

November 25, 2007, 10:47 PM
"Doubles must be a bear...???"

I was thinking the same thing!

November 26, 2007, 12:26 AM
Re: 28 gauge.

Highest scores on a skeet tote board, are those shot with a 28 gauge.

Quite a few of us shot the 28 ga for 12, 20, and 28 event, then grabbed the littlest critter [the .410] for the .410 event.

I often used a Citori 3 barrel set [20, 28, .410] and only used the 28, and .410 barrels.
Others did the same with their 3 and 4 barrel sets, or used a 1100 in 28g then 1100 in .410.

Re: Single Shots.

I'm not the only one to have run straights in Regular Skeet using a single shot.
One simply learns the gun, and how to run it without "having to look" and therefore adhering to what Will Fennel says " Focus on the target - not the equipment".

This was learned and passed forward not for "trick shooting" simply a matter of skill sets, as many folks back in the day only had a single shot to put food on the table.

Grumblin' Stomachs are responsible for a lot of folks learning to shoot, and being one with the gun.

Now we can buy Skill and Targets with Credit Cards and even use Credit Cards at the Fast Food Drive Thru.

Ain't America Great! *wink*

November 26, 2007, 07:47 AM
>>I'm not the only one to have run straights in Regular Skeet using a single shot.<<

I'm sorry... I'm just not buying this. :cool:

November 26, 2007, 08:24 AM
No difference in skeet, but shooting a 20 gauge at sporting clays would not be an advantage with long range targets because of the pattern. A 1oz pattern from a 12 is better than a 1oz 20 gauge, longer shot string which is not great for most shots.

And, heavier guns are "better" for clay target sports...generally!

Edit: You can shoot very high scores with a 20 gauge in sporting. Often, we talk about "ideal" or "perfect" equipment as if we are all trying out for the a "world team".

November 26, 2007, 05:06 PM
For skeet, I would opt for a 20ga. For hunting and HD, 12ga is king. The 20ga kicks a bit less so you can shoot all day.

November 26, 2007, 06:31 PM
Never shot skeet or sporting clays, but I did grow up shooting a 20ga single shot. With this gun I was quite successful at killing dove, grouse, rabbits, ducks, geese, and even the one turkey I used it on, so I don't see why it wouldn't be good enough for skeet or the likes.


December 2, 2007, 06:02 PM
My kill rate on doves with a 20 is about double what it is with a comparable 12. It's not the gauge, it's what you can shoot best. After all, why would you need more than 1 oz. of shot for a 4 oz. bird (or clay)?

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