12 gauge or 20 gauge in coach gun?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by agent00, Apr 1, 2021.

  1. agent00

    agent00 Member

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    I am planning to purchase a Baikal Coach gun in the next couple of weeks for target/fun Shooting and for self defense.

    Why a Coach Gun you may ask? Well there are various reasons for that. I am from Austria and here in my Country the laws are bit weird. Pump Action shotguns have been outlawed since the 90s, so the most economical way of getting Magazine feed shotgun is not an Option for me. Getting a semi Auto shotgun on the other Hand would be possible though. But they cost too much for me at the Moment and it requires lots of paperwork to do so. As we live in pandemic times it would be hard to get all the paper work done anyway.

    So I decided to get a Baikal. I could either get in 12/70 or 20/70. Concerning the effectiveness the 12/70 would be better in Theory but the 20/70 would also be more than enough to get the Job done. My Research on the i net confirmed my guess.

    I am more wondering About the recoil. I never owned a 12 gauge shotgun, just tried out the benelli m4 owned by Shooting cub at range and the recoil was manageable. But of Course a Semi Auto gun cannot be compared with a single shotgun. I own in fact already a single shot shotgun in 28 gauge. And the recoil was quite stiff. Not unbearable by any means but quite stiff.

    I wonder now if the small 28 gauge kicks that much already how much worse could be the recoil of a 12 gauge. The Baikal is heavier than my 28 shotgun so Maybe the extra weigh will absorb the recoil a bit more but sure about that.


    Do you guys here have any experience with Coach gun in 12/70 or 20/70 and would you recommend one model over the other or do you think recoil vice the 12/70 is completely fine and good to handle?


    Would be pleased Hearing some opinions.

    Thanks for the help in Advance.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2021
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  2. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    So, despite the protestations of the “tactical” crowd, and give the restrictions you have to work with, a coach gun and a good deal of practice will be an excellent home defense firearm. And while the Baikal would not be one that I would recommend as a field or clay sports gun, it will be perfectly adequate in this role.

    The goal of a self defense firearm is to be able, in extremis, to incapacitate an attacker. To that end payload matters. Recoil, not so much.

    Effective payloads mean a large number of deeply penetrating pellets in the attacker’s torso. They also tend to mean loads that avoid excessive over-penetration. For indoors work, No. 4 Buck will suit.

    Confined to 70mm shells, you want a 12ga. A 70mm 12 ga of No.4 Buck contains @22 pellets, whereas a 70mm 20 ga shell will hold 5-7 fewer. More is better.

    Make sure you pattern your gun wit the shot you intend to use. You need to practice loading firing, ejecting, and reloading, so that if, God forbid, you ever have to do it in the dead of night, jacked up on adrenaline, it is done by rote. Practice with 1oz loads of birdshot for economy’s and your shoulder’s sake. But do fire you defense load now and again to stay current with it.

    Good luck.
     
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  3. denster

    denster Member

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    The Baikal coach guns are made very well. The 20ga has the advantage of being laid up in a manner that it will shoot the inexpensive foster style slugs like a double rifle and print rights and lefts into a 4in group at 50 yds. Before anyone says that is not possible I have two and have owned two others my brother has one and several friends bought them after I discovered this and all will shoot slugs in the same manner. The barrel sets are brazed on jigs at the factory so end up being laid up the same. The hollow in the rib and front bead make adequate sights but installing a set of adjustable sights really gilds this lilly.
     
  4. Cvans

    Cvans Member

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    I'm in agreement with denster. All of my singles and doubles have been 20ga and I have never felt the need for a larger gauge. If you miss with a 20ga your going to miss with a 12ga also but I'm willing to bet you'll get back on target faster with the 20ga. You can carry more ammo in your hand or pocket with the 20ga and trust me, you hit an intruder with a 20ga slug he's probably not going to be looking for a second one.
    Good luck and enjoy your new gun.
     
  5. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    I have a Baikal O/U 20 ga and it’s built like a tank. For home defense either the 12 or 20 would be effective, but both have differences that may make your choice tougher.

    The 20 does kick less, as stated above, because it carries a smaller shot payload. It does not have the same amount of shot pellets than the 12, so hitting clays or birds can be a bit harder with birdshot... and a creep trying to do you harm with be struck with less buckshot if used defensively.

    On the plus side of the 20, less recoil often means less flinch/better shooting, so you may cancel out the initial shot payload difference that the 12 carries with better shooting.

    Both gauges are super popular, so finding shells shouldn’t be an issue.

    Try them both out if you can and see which one you like better. :thumbup:

    Good luck and stay safe.
     
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  6. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    20 ga shot load is less than 12 but the guns are usually lighter so the recoil is not a LOT less. Of course a 20 on the same frame as the 12 will recoil less.

    The old British game gun rule of thumb was for the gun to weigh 100 times the load so as to avert "gun headache" from recoil. Of course milord was potting pheasants all day with a 6.6 lb gun launching 1 1/16 oz of number 6 shot.
     
  7. Virginian

    Virginian Member

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    If you find the recoil of a 28 gauge shotgun stiff, you don't need either a 12 or a 20 gauge.
     
  8. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I use a hammer double 12 gauge for defense. I like that I can leave it loaded, hammers down, without risk of accidental discharge or spring wear. It has a butt cuff which carries additional ammunition, and while it is not as fast as a pump, with daily practice it may still be fast enough.

    It kicks. There is no way around it. Even with a recoil shield worn on the shoulder, 25 rounds is more than enough. I doubt it will matter in a life-or-death fight, but yes, it kicks. If that is a real concern, I would not buy a short 12 gauge.
     
  9. Starter52

    Starter52 Member

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    20 gauge.
     
  10. 9x56MS

    9x56MS Member

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    I have a 20 gauge coach gun SxS with 3" chambers and 20" barrels. Does it kick? Most definitely. Is it manageable? Most definitely. I used it mostly in a canoe for jump shooting ducks and geese and it performed admirably. As for home defence if you have heard the saying about "nothing chills an intruders blood like hearing a pump gun racking a round," Well the same goes for a cocking hammer. As for pellet count in buckshot rounds, at in home ranges it won't matter one bit. Anyone hit with a full charge of buckshot out of a 20 gauge will immediately cease and desist whatever they were intent on doing. At in home ranges there is not better self defence weapon than a shotgun.
     
  11. George P

    George P Member

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    Actually, it is called "The Rule of 96":
    Which is why you see some seriously light 12 gauge game guns from England and Spain
     
  12. tws3b2

    tws3b2 Member

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    My main HD gun is a Mossberg 500 12ga. and it does have a kick for sure. A good recoil pad helps a lot. I only use 2 3/4 00 buck. No need for any 3" magnum. If 2 3/4 00 can't get the job done it's best to just run like hell. At the range I practice shooting more from the hip. No felt recoil and makes it easier to manage the gun in a average size home.
    But it's really Not the gauge that matters most. It's being able to put the shot where it needs to be first. In the average size room of 4-5 yards you get hit with even #8 bird shot, over 400 pellets at over 1100 fps in around 4" dia. The least thats going to happen is you find yourself rolling on the floor crying like a little baby. And that is "IF" your still breathing.
     
  13. Antihero

    Antihero Member

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    It's fairly easy to download a 12 gauge but impossible to upload a 20 gauge to 12 gauge power levels
     
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  14. George P

    George P Member

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    A 2-3/4" shell running the same payload and velocity is easily doable in a 20 to a point.
     
  15. danez71

    danez71 Member

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    I have a Baikal 12ga coach sold under USSG.
    Its built like a tank and is stiff to open. There are fixes for that if it's a problem. I should but for my use its liveable. It also kicked like a kangaroo until put a slip-on Limbsaver recoil pad which helped a LOT. It's pretty heavy so I wonder how it would compare to the benelli you shot.

    I wanted a 20ga at the time but it wasn't offered. I still wish I was able to get the 20ga back then but I use a chamber adapter sometimes to shoot 20ga out of it too. I can shoot a lot of more of 20 than 12.

    I, personally, dont enjoy shooting 12ga but I do have fun blasting things with it. I did develop a flinch with it. The slip-on Limbsaver helped overcome that. I've never had that issue before

    There's a lot more loads available factory load options in 12ga than 20ga (at least here, anyways) and a 20ga will never be a 12ga (as said above) so in your situation, your priorities may not be the same as mine.

    For me 12ga just isn't fun like I want it to be for more than about 5-10 shots or so.

    I had a mossberg 12ga pump and didn't enjoy it and decided to buy the same mossberg pump but in 20ga.... for me... the 20 was so much more easy and fun to shoot so I sold the 12ga for a profit a few months ago. Still have the Baikal 12ga SxS coach though and dont plan to sell it.


    I would guess in your situation IF you found the benelli 12ga manageable and IF you have a better selection of 12ga ammo than 20 (or you reload 12ga) then 12ga might be a better choice with a good recoil pad. Otherwise, like I said earlier, I wish I was able to have bought the 20 back then. 20ga is quite capable.
     
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  16. Dragonfly

    Dragonfly Member

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    I picked up a 12 gauge Boito Model 680 Coach Gun a few weeks ago. It’s got 14” barrels so it’s a bit lighter than a 20” model. I tried a few 2 3/4” magnum buckshot shells through it a couple of weeks ago. I hadn’t fired a shotgun in nearly two years—the pandemic has taken its toll on my range time—so I wasn’t really ready for the first couple of rounds! Once I leaned into it, though, it wasn’t bad. Noticeable for sure, but manageable. I’d owned a 20 gauge Coach Gun a few years ago and it was certainly pleasant to shoot but I’m happy with this one.

    The Coach Gun action starts at the 1:10 mark of the video below.

     
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  17. agent00

    agent00 Member

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    Thanks a lot for the many replies..

    As expected there quite some good points mentioned for the 20 gauge but of course the 12 gauge is also very popular and undoubtedly more powerful. But I do not think that the extra power is necessary for a short range self defense scenario. Have seen some ballistic gel test videos of the 20 gauge it seems to be a very capable round.

    The ammo supply is also quite good for both rounds. In 12 gauge I can 00 and #4 buck, buckshot. . #4 buck would be more preferable for home defense according to me research in the internet. In 20 gauge I could also get #4 buck easily.

    Brenneke slugs as alternative rounds would also be available.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
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  18. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Member

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    I left the 12 gauge behind long ago without regret. For those that say the 20 is not enough I remind them that my 20 gauge with 2&3/4 inch number 3 buckshot has the same muzzle energy as 2 rounds of .357 Magnum. At in house ranges that is more than enough for me. I have taken deer with the 20 gauge slugs with no issues. I know the advantages of the 12 gauge over the 20 gauge, but consider the 20 gauge as enough for any use I have.
     
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  19. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    I have owned both 20 and 12 gauge coach guns, for plicking a 20 for business 12 works well .I don't think recoil won't be felt at all if your defending you or yours.
     
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  20. Dibbs

    Dibbs Member

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    It would probably be worth it, to find a way to try the 12 and 20 gauge coach guns, before choosing. I prefer 12 gauge, but my
    coach gun kicks like a mule, on crack. My selection of available ammo is far more diverse, though.
     
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  21. agent00

    agent00 Member

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    @Dibbs Yeah that would be the best tot try out both. At my Shooting club that would be possible they have both guns. But it is closed now due to Covid. When it opens again I will try out both to be sure.

    in Theory I have made up my mind already for the 20 gauge to be honest but I am stil curious About the 12 gauge as well.

    Concerning the recoil of the 12 gauge I found out that there even some tactical reduced recoils rounds available in 12 gauge. Well that is not that surprising you guys in the states have a great varity of rounds available.

    No I am more suprised about the fact the power shok low recoil rounds from federal are also available here in Austria. Of Course it costs more than the Standard stuff but in case the recoil of the 12 gauge model is really to stiff for my liking ( I need to find out yet if that is really the case) that federal load would be good way to avoid that.
     
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  22. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    When stuff like the Federal and Aguila mini shells exist, as do standard length low recoil 12ga, I don't see much sense in getting a break action in 20 gauge.

    OP, I'd go with the 12. Start with low recoil ammo and work your way up to where you feel comfortable. Of course, if low recoil 12ga or 12ga minishells aren't available for you to buy, disregard all that and go 20.
     
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  23. Cvans

    Cvans Member

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    Just out of curiosity how does the cost of low recoil or mini-shells compare with regular 20ga shells?
     
  24. danez71

    danez71 Member

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    Its all relative but, in my experience, a lot more expensive and a lot less available.
     
  25. Crunchy Frog

    Crunchy Frog Member

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    I’m a cowboy action shooter. Side by shotguns are very popular. SASS rules allow anything between 20 gauge and 10 gauge. The 12 gauge is the most popular. We can’t get the Baikal in the USA due to trade sanctions. It’s a rugged shotgun with good quality for the price.

    We don’t use or need high power shells in our game. Some new folks buy a 20 gauge thinking it will recoil less than a 12. Not necessarily. If the 20 is scaled down it will weigh less than a 12 gauge and may kick more.

    Low recoil shotshells are more readily available for the 12 than for the 20. The heavier 12 gauge shotgun with a light load, properly fitted to the shooter, is a winning recipe.
     
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