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Does anyone else think the 20 gauge is underappreciated/underrated?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Jason_W, Feb 3, 2018.

  1. oldrevolverguy

    oldrevolverguy Member

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    Love the hump backs!
    The more current version of the hump back is one of my all time favorites. Beretta 390 20 gauge. Svelte, light, reliable; it is for me the perfect dove and quail gun.

    wm_7721230.jpg
     
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  2. Sappyg2.0

    Sappyg2.0 Member

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    Not that the 20 is underappreciated but maybe that the 12 is so dominant. My favorite gun for skeet, where range isn't an issue, is a 20.
    The 12 just carries more freight further down the road but you don't always need to carry all that freight and that's when I appreciate the 20. If it werent for trap i would have little use for a 12. Like others have stated, I think the 28 and 410 are more underappreciated combined than the 20.
     
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  3. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Member

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    If the 20 gauge never existed, there would probably not be a need for it to be invented.

    There is nothing a 20 gauge shotgun can do that a 12 gauge cannot do with more versatility except for maybe shooting a smaller lightweight slug. I shoot 3/4 oz loads in my 1100 12 gauge for skeet (perfect), 16 yard trap (adequate) and for the first time this past weekend sporting clays (not good with an I.C. gun, but still fun). 3/4 oz is even less than 20 gauge standard loads, it's more like 28 gauge. If I wanted to shoot 7/8 oz like a 20 gauge, it would be no problem and theoretically, the pattern should have less fliers because with a shorter shot column, there will be less deformation of the pellets. That doesn't really matter to me because I shoot reclaimed shot and some of the pellets already look like cubes and others like a frisbee. I can easily hit what I need to hit when I point right and if I don't, 2 ounces of shot won't break the target.

    You can always down load a 12 gauge to shoot like a 20, but you can't always up load a 20 to perform like a 12.

    As a shooter, variety is the spice of life and I would never say get rid of all 20's. It's just that I doubt that I would even take a 20 gauge shotgun now if it were given to me. The amount of ammo I typically shoot is usually worth many times the value of the gun and I would not want to have to tool up for another caliber of shotshell reloading.

    No real hate for the 20 gauge, just indifference like 327 Federal Magnum or 222 Remington
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  4. Bigmike79

    Bigmike79 Member

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    Now days, with so many light recoiling loads offered in 12 guage, I don't really see the point of 20 anymore. it's more expensive, and anything you can do with it, you can do with a 12 gauge. My nephew is only 10 years old, and can easily handle 2' 1/4" buck out of my 870. He's a very average sized kid. If his parents let me buy him a shotgun, it would be a 12 gauge for sure.


    I feel the same way about 10 gauge as well. With 3.5 inch 12 gauge, what's the point? 12 gauge can do it all in a rifle.
     
  5. If1HitU

    If1HitU Member

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    I really would like to have a 20 ga.pump shotgun.Can't really say why I haven't bought one yet.
     
  6. DannyLandrum

    DannyLandrum Member

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    "There is nothing a 20 gauge shotgun can do that a 12 gauge cannot do"

    Fit into a 5.2 lb gun. Try again, sir.

    https://www.benelliusa.com/ultra-light-shotgun

    Some day I'll have my Montefeltro Silver 20. The two 20s I have are not enough.

    Had a 28 ga once (CZ) that I got for dove and quail - could not afford the ammo.
     
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  7. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

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    They make a swell bullet for a tactishotty.

    Not as much kickback as a .12 caliber but will still pick someone up off their feet and knock them over every time, just as much energy transfer and hydrostatic shock power factor.

    That's what my uncle said though he knows all about guns he was in the .mil.

    ;)
     
  8. Sniper66

    Sniper66 Member

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    The 12 has been made more popular by shooters. You'll notice that 10 ga is pretty rare. The 20 ga is very popular among many of us. I have 12s, 20s, and 410s. If more people loved the 20ga, manufacturers would be happy to make them. personally, I love shooting all of them.
     
  9. expat_alaska

    expat_alaska Member

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    Because you have not found one yet.

    I am a dyed-in-the-wool 870 12 gauge guy, but in 1969 I got the priviledge to shoot a friend's Win 12 in 20 gauge with a Cutts Comp. That gun was LOUD but it shot great and was very light.

    The 20 gauge 2-3/4" with field loads will handle any upland bird hunting. I started with a Springfield/Stevens/Savage single shot 28" mod choke break open at 12 years of age, and I killed many pheasants.

    Jim
     
  10. If1HitU

    If1HitU Member

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    I just want a 20 ga. shotgun,because I already have four 12 ga. shotgun already.:cool:
     
  11. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    7AAFC99A-B4BE-4A21-9ADB-82398664A913.jpeg 4E1E2DA3-258D-4A8F-AA9E-C94C9F741E0F.jpeg BE55A315-366C-40DC-999E-400910549FD1.jpeg I have 12 shotguns, all pictured. Six of them are 20 gauges. I prefer a 20 for everything but waterfowl. I don’t believe the 20 gauge will ever be under appreciated by knowledgeable upland hunters. Knowledgeable upland hunters seem to be a dying breed. At first glance it looks like shotgun makers under appreciate the 20 gauge as they do not make nearly as many shotgun models. At a second glance though I imagine shotgun makers aren’t making many 20 gauge models because there is no demand. I have a FABARM L4S 12 gauge, middle picture on the left. If they made one in 20 gauge it would be as close to the perfect shotgun as possible-for me. Doubt that is going to happen.

    I bet there is a correlation between the decline of 20 gauge popularity and the increase of black rifle popularity.

    I also believe if a person is buying their first shotgun as a do-all firearm a 12 gauge is a better choice.
     
  12. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    I would agree when it comes to clay sports. When it comes to upland hunting I disagree.
     
  13. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    When I was shooting competitive skeet, my 20 gauge averages were better than my 12 gauge averages. I just never could get my skeet gun to swing the same without tubes as with. The last year or so that I shot competitively, I shot 20 gauge in the 12 gauge events.

    My 5'-2" wife has a 20 gauge Citori with a fitted stock and 26" barrels. She destroys more than her share of clay targets on the skeet field with it.

    I grew up shooting the side by side 28 gauge that my Dad grew up with. Got my first pheasant with it. Also, my first class win in skeet was in 28 gauge. So, I have a fondness for the gauge. Besides my Dad's side by side and my tubed skeet gun, I have a Beretta 686 in 28 gauge.

    But, my 20 gauge averages at skeet were much better than my 28 gauge averages.
     
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  14. kudu
    • Contributing Member

    kudu Moderator Staff Member

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    I did the exact same thing, but my 28 gauge averages were better than either the 12 or the 20 gauge. If I remember correctly my 12 gauge averages were about 98.5%, 20 was about 98.9% and my 28 gauge was at 99.2%, 410 was sadly about 96%.
     
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  15. RUT

    RUT Member

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    Ah, what would we do without "caliber" wars or discussions about which lubricants to use? :)
     
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  16. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    I've hunted with shotguns since 1965. The 12 ga. is the standard game gun. In the UK and in Europe 20's are called sub gauges and mostly they were built for women and children who couldn't shoot a 12 because of recoil. I've owned several but really found no use for them. The shot column is longer than a 12 ga. This is not desirable because you want all of that shot in your pattern in a short string. Think short shot string (12) arriving all at once vs long shot string (20) arriving later to fill the pattern.

    The logic is that a 20 ga 3" will deliver the same amount of shot that a 12 ga. 2.75" will. The truth is it will, but do you want it now or later. My question would be why do you want a 20 ga when 100 years of bird hunting has proven that the 12 ga is the absolute best at everything when you want game in the bag.

    The 20 ga. really didn't become popular until the 3'' mag was introduced. That primarily was to make up for the standard 7/8 oz load that was considered optimal for a 20 ga.

    The 16 was the upland hunters sweetheart because a 1 oz load was adequate. A 12 ga. was both an upland and waterfowl gun so the 16 ga died a slow death.

    If recoil is an issue than the standard 20 ga. (7/8 oz) load has it's place. A 20 ga. 3'' mag has no advantage over a 12 ga. (1 1/8 oz) regarding recoil or anything else.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
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  17. Kendal Black

    Kendal Black Member

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    Catch-22. Or maybe Catch-20 gauge. There are more ammo choices for the 12 because it is more popular. Why is it more popular? More ammo choices.

    On closer analysis, the 12 is a bit more versatile, since you can load a 12 as light as a 20, but not a 20 as heavy as a maximum load for the 12.

    The 20 is holding up well in popularity compared to the 16 and the 10 gauges, which go begging. In my world, where the 20 shines is where I want a trim lightweight gun for backpacking. Perfect solution!
     
  18. M1key

    M1key Member

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    Or a sawed-off car gun. Like the TAC14 or old Ithaca Auto Burglar 20...More uses for me and the wife than the 12 these days.

    Not
    underappreciated.

    M
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
  19. Kendal Black

    Kendal Black Member

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    Curious, isn't it? Our Canoodlian brothers in arms can have short shotguns, but not pistols (to carry about) yet our laws are en revers.
     
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  20. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    Which says to me gun laws are arbitrary, capricious and not based on factual evidence. Also that their is a direct correlation between how socialized a country is and how strict it’s gun laws are.
     
  21. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Member

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    I have four 20ga guns , Rem-870,Rem-1100,Mossberg-500, Savage-24 , and one old Stevens 520 in 12ga. I stopped shooting 12ga several decades ago.

    I no longer hunt water fowl, and we can't use buckshot on deer in my state. I used to be able to pick up 20ga guns and shells at the Gun Shows for a lot less than the 12ga stuff. Not so any longer, so in my neck of the woods it seems the 20ga has gained more followers over the years.
     
  22. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I'm thinking really hard on whether I want to start a fight with the wife and buy a butchered 20ga bolt shotgun. Barrel is cut and stock is ugly, perfect candidate for a dedicated slug gun with brass shells, and potentially a rifled barrel depending on how well I like it. I'm thinking hard...Im thinking 75 bucks will buy it.
     
  23. GEM

    GEM Moderator Staff Member

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    FYI, the new issue of SWAT has an article on 20 gauge guns, discussing the relevant info and ammo choice. Author likes the 20 gauge Shockwave for home use.
     
  24. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    I went to a 20 guage Ithaca O&U many years ago. I've never regretted it and gave my 12 guage O&U to my son. Quail and dove are my game birds and I've never regretted the switch. I found I killed more birds with the quicker handling little 20 and appreciated the lighter weight and lower recoil at the end of the day. I thought if I ever got to go pheasant hunting I would borrow the 12 guage but I don't know about that now. My grandson got included in a group that his father-in-law hunts with last fall. All but one was carrying 12 guage semi-autos and this guy had a 20 guage O&U. Every day he was the one with the most birds simply because he could get on them quicker and closer with the lighter, faster handling 20.
     
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  25. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    Around here 12 ga auto loaders are all you see in the field. That's because most of the hunting is for waterfowl. Usually a guy isn't going to have 2 different shotguns, one for upland and one for waterfowl so a 12 auto fills the bill for both. Almost everyone who hunts has migrated to autoloaders, especially if they have bought a gun in the last 10 years. I never much cared for them but I never had a Benelli M2 or anything like that. If I had I would probably be a convert. Those are light and fast with little recoil. They really have perfected the auto loader in the last 20 years. I always hunted pheasants with a Beretta sxs. I got a lot of strange looks but I took my share of birds with it. It ain't the gun, it's the shooter.
     
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