Help me decide


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336A
November 11, 2013, 10:33 PM
Lately I'be been thinking about getting a H&R single shot shotgun. However I can't seem to decide between 20GA or 12GA. This gun will mainly be used for upland game, woods bumming, and some deer hunting. I already have a good 12GA so should I round things out with a 20?

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cat_IT_guy
November 12, 2013, 11:28 AM
I'd go 20 given the use you describe. Neither one will be lacking in the recoil department, but a 12ga single shot is not fun to shoot IMO, unless you really enjoy recoil. Plus the 20 will probably be slightly lighter to lug around.

kbbailey
November 12, 2013, 11:34 AM
Its personal preference but i would stick to.the 12 myself. Light loads can be.had.for the 12. A 20 ga H&R is gonna kick hard too btw.

Uniquedot
November 12, 2013, 11:35 AM
The 20 will actually be heavier to lug around as the H&R's use the same frame for all gauges except the 10. and there is a lot more steel left in the chamber of the barrel so that it fits the 12's receiver and continues several inches toward the bore. I'd personally stick to the 12 and shoot lighter loads.

DNS
November 12, 2013, 04:47 PM
As you get older you'll appreciate the lighter kick of the 20 gauge, particularly in a single.

Kendal Black
November 12, 2013, 05:51 PM
12 gauge, for ammo commonality with what you have, but note that the gun is no fun at all with heavy loads.

Fun with single shot shotgun: http://shootery.blogspot.com/2010/05/speedy-reloading-of-single-shot-shotgun.html

I like H&R single shotguns for their robust simplicity and vigorous ejectors. Just the thing for the roles you describe.

336A
November 12, 2013, 07:00 PM
Thanks for the input folks, I used to have a H&R Pardner 12GA years ago. With heavy loads it did kick like 2 rabid mules. I ened up sending it down the road though when I found that it shot a foot low at 30 yards:fire: I also have my late father's Mossberg 185K-A 20GA, so there is ammo commonality there as well. Everytime I think I have it nailed down as to what gauge to get I end up changing my mind again:scrutiny:

Kendal Black
November 12, 2013, 07:32 PM
Thanks for the input folks, I used to have a H&R Pardner 12GA years ago. With heavy loads it did kick like 2 rabid mules. I ened up sending it down the road though when I found that it shot a foot low at 30 yards:fire: I also have my late father's Mossberg 185K-A 20GA, so there is ammo commonality there as well. Everytime I think I have it nailed down as to what gauge to get I end up changing my mind again:scrutiny:

Well then, there's your answer. The great thing about H&R singles, compared to a lot of guns out there, is you don't have to save up as long to get one...or two. ;)

MikeJackmin
November 12, 2013, 07:48 PM
I'm not much of a shotgun guy so maybe I have this wrong, bit I think I can make a sound argument for 12 gauge here.

My understanding is that, with fixed-breech guns, a light 12 gauge load which throws the same weight as a standard 20 gauge load will have less recoil than the 20, because the light 12 generates significantly lower pressures. Yes, full-power 12s will loosen the fillings in your teeth, but if you go with the 20 then you are limiting yourself to loads of this level anyway.

The only argument for the 20 (when talking about fixed-breech guns) is the potential for lighter weight - a factor that will also increase perceived recoil, but which might be desirable nonetheless. If they are both built on the same frame, then this advantage is lost.

I think people overlook this because they compare full-power 20s to full-power 12s.

Of course, this only applies to fixed-breech guns. When you are talking about gas-operated repeaters, than the 20 will probably shoot softer, all other factors being equal.

Dave Markowitz
November 13, 2013, 10:29 AM
I'd go for the 20 gauge. I have both and the 20 is lighter because of the barrel. Well, it was lighter until I cut the barrel on the 12 bore to 22".

Recoil of either will be snappy since they are so light. Install a good recoil pad, either a Pachmayr Decelerator or a Limbsaver. They make a big difference. My 20 gauge is an older model that came with a recoil pad that I replaced with a slip-on Decelerator, and added a sling and a butt cuff.

http://flintlock.org/pics/var/resizes/H%26R-158-Topper/HR_Topper158_20_gauge.jpg?m=1375225616

With the recoil pad being easily removable, I used a drill and a Dremel to make a small cavity in the stock for a cleaning kit.

http://flintlock.org/pics/var/resizes/H%26R-158-Topper/HR158-buttstock.jpg?m=1363032309

http://flintlock.org/pics/var/resizes/H%26R-158-Topper/cleaning-kit.jpg?m=1375225616

bannockburn
November 13, 2013, 11:41 AM
I have a 12 gauge H&R single shot and the felt recoil isn't bad with light or even with some field loads. I have also used mid-range to heavy 20 gauge loads in a lightweight SxS and the recoil felt much more substantial than the light loads in the 12 gauge.

336A
November 13, 2013, 08:35 PM
Dave that is a nice looking rig, how well does it shoot slugs?

Dave Markowitz
November 15, 2013, 09:47 AM
I have shot slugs in it yet.

Handles like a dream and very fast on target for grouse, though.

336A
November 16, 2013, 11:45 AM
Well wish me the best I went ahead and purchased one of the 20GA Pardners. The reciever is matte finished instead of case hardened, laminate stock, and 26" modified choked barrel. It is very appealing in the hands I just hope that it shoots as well as it looks.

Kendal Black
November 16, 2013, 12:10 PM
Good gun, you'll like it. Handy, simple and very practical.

loose noose
November 16, 2013, 03:18 PM
I've got an Iver Johnson Champion in the 20ga. and I've installed a Pachmeyer Decellerator pad on it. I've shot several deer with it (all one shot kills) naturally. In fact that was my very first purchased firearm way back in 1958. Shot a lot of partridge, pheasant, duck, and rabbits with it way back then. Still have the gun and shoot an occasional round of informal trap with it.

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