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How do 3" 20 gauge shells compare to 2 3/4" 12 gauge shells?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by uneasy_rider, Sep 22, 2008.

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  1. uneasy_rider

    uneasy_rider Member

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    I am looking to buy a new shotgun, and am thinking about the Remington 1100 G3. This can handle both 2 3/4" shells and 3" shells.

    I am leaning towards a 20 gauge, as most of my shotgun needs will be handled well with this, such as quail/dove/skeet.

    However, I would also like to be able to use this as a turkey gun, and all my limited turkey experience is with a 12 gauge.

    How do 3" 20 gauge turkey loads compare to 2 3/4" 12 gauge turkey loads?

    If they perform similarly, I would favor going with the 20 gauge.
     
  2. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

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    I have a 20 and a 12. I would say the 20 3" magnums are about in between 12 gauge 2 3/4" low brass and 2 3/4" high brass.

    In other words, a bit more than the calmest 12 and a bit less than the next 12 up.

    This is just my opinion, I hope this helps.
     
  3. uneasy_rider

    uneasy_rider Member

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    So that should work ok for Turkey then ?
     
  4. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Theoretically, a 3" load will do anything a 1 1/4 ounce 2 3/4" 12 will do except that some will tell you a 20 doesn't pattern as well. I don't know, have shot some patterns. I can't say they don't pattern well. They might string the pattern out a bit which could affect wing shooting, but turkey's aren't shot on the wing. I'd still prefer a 3" 12, of course, for Turkey, but I won't go so far as to say the 3" 20 won't work. I've shot teal with good effect with a 3" 20 in number 4 steel. I've been favorably impressed with my gun and 3" loads for up to teal. I still prefer a 12 on bigger ducks with the high velocity loads, but if they're decoying good, a 20 would work even there. I've killed a lot of ducks before steel was mandated using 2 3/4" number 5s.

    Pattern is everything. You'll just have to find a load that patterns well, not really any different for any gauge/gun. If you really, really want a 20, fine. 12 is a more versatile gauge when big birds are the quarry, though. The 12 will do any dove shooting you want and be better on turkeys if chambered for 3". The gun will be a might heavier, of course, for quick pointing on quail. It's a trade off. I will say this, I'd as soon have a 3" 20 as a 2 3/4" 16 on turkeys and the 20 will work as well on smaller game. I really don't get the hoopla over the 16 by some folks. I have one, but it's an old single barrel gun. I've sort of come back to the 20 in my old age, like it a lot on dove and teal. I have taken one turkey in my life, really don't have a place to hunt 'em. Geese, that's the bird you NEED a 12 or 10 for, 20 gauge need not apply. Even 3" 20 would be a little light for geese even if you could use lead.
     
  5. uneasy_rider

    uneasy_rider Member

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    The main reason I would prefer a 20 gauge is because most of my shotgun experience has been with a Remington 1100 20 gauge that I have been shooting since I was about 12. I am used to this gun, and love the way it handles.

    Does a 12 gauge Reminton 1100 handle as well as a 20 gauge?

    I guess this is the subject of another thread...
     
  6. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    The 20 will be lighter, point quicker, swing faster. That's better for dove/quail, but on turkey, who cares? Were it me after turkey, I'd consider getting an NEF 12 or 10 gauge turkey gun, cheap, then get a 20 gauge 1100 and have TWO guns. :D I mean, you don't need more'n one shot on a turkey, right? The NEFs kick like hell, but it's only one shot. The 10 gauge is a little over 9 lbs of gun, trying to get one, myself, for goose hunting.
     
  7. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

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    I would think it would kill a turkey, if the turkey is within the right distance for power and pattern.

    Also, I don't know how the laws are. In some states, they may actually specify what gauge. I know they specify shot size, gauge I'm not sure of.
     
  8. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Turkey is usually hunted with 4 and 6 shot with ultra tight choke/patterns. Head shots are the target. You ain't gonna roll a bird that big with BB or T shot or something and at 40 yards, you might not even hit it with buck. Denser the pattern the better. 20 is plenty capable of tossing a dense pattern of 6s, just ain't AS dense as a 3" 12 or a 10 gauge 3.5" which can limit range. More pellets on the head and neck, the better. It's all about a super dense pattern.
     
  9. uneasy_rider

    uneasy_rider Member

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    How many #4 shot pellets are in a 3" 20 gauge shell compared to a 2 3/4" 12 gauge shell?
     
  10. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    1 1/4 ounces vs 1 1/4 ounces. Pellet count, I don't know. A 3" 12 tops it, though, of course.
     
  11. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

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    Probably the easiest thing would be to find a friend who can give you one of each of these shells (if you don't have them yourself) and actually cut the tops off the 20 and the 12 and count the pellets. Just make sure you are not near an open flame or smoking a cigar when you do it.

    Soak what's left in water before discarding, making sure both the powder and primer get wet.

    That would be the way I would do it and it would be most accurate.

    How about 3 1/2" 12 gauge?
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2008
  12. rbernie
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    rbernie Contributing Member

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    As far as I've learned, pellet count will vary by weight, not by bore. This implies that a #8 1oz load in 12ga should have the same pellet count as a #8 1oz load in 20ga. Therefore, to get a feel for pellet count (not patterning) you just need to look up the standard count for a given weight:

    http://www.nfa.ca/content/view/112/197/
     
  13. chas08

    chas08 Member

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    Absolutely correct. Where the difference occurrs is pushing that same pellet count out of a smaller bore vs a larger bore. The smaller bore will tend to string the shot out, whereas the larger bore will be more compact in length. Assuming they are moving at the same velocity, the lighter gun, usually the smaller bore, will probably produce more felt recoil. Long shot strings are not considered a "good thing" on flying targets, especially live birds, because your shot arrives on target in smaller ammounts. On stationary targets such as Turkey, it probably wouldn't matter as much. :)
     
  14. streakr

    streakr Member

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    That 20 gauge 1100 is an excellent SG; keep and use it with 3" shells. The 3" 1100 in 12 is a great alternative when you need MORE shot on target but can use lighter 2.75" shells.

    The 1100 action significantly reduces recoil but turkey loads are stout regardless of the gauge. If you're hunting turkey you should consider a 3.5" magnum SG.

    streakr
     
  15. berettashotgun

    berettashotgun Member

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    Ever since I got a 10ga.......
    Turkeys have been shot at or around 15 yards.
    I personally believe calling and luck are more important.;)
     
  16. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

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    As I understand it, the 3" 20ga will duplicate 16ga preformance and that has caused the 16ga to fade in popularity.
     
  17. BruceRDucer

    BruceRDucer Member

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    /
    Thanks RBernie, for the Pellet Count Link. That's very useful info. :):):)
     
  18. Virginian

    Virginian Member

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    Based on the original question, I would say get the 20. It will certainly do what you say you want to do. Be sure and do some actual patterning with turkey loads and determine your maximum effective range with those loads. If you later decide you need more range for turkeys get a single barrel 10 with a 36" barrel. That'll reach out a lot, plus 6", farther.:eek:
    I have to admit I really don't get a lot of turkey hunters. Why does anyone need more than a single or a bolt action? My best friend is a turkey hunter, and he just uses his waterfowl guns, but I see all the specialized expensive semi-autos and I do not get it. Whatever you use, as long as it makes you happy and you enjoy your hunt, I truly wish you all the best. I just don't relate. I have hunted and killed turkeys and it did nothing for me so I quit.
    If you don't get goose hunters getting all excited and shucking the gun empty without pulling the trigger then we're even.:uhoh:
     
  19. bernie

    bernie Member

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    I have looked at this exact question myself for my 11 year old. We do not hunt turkeys, but waterfowl instead. The shot stringing does not really cause much change for my son. However, the 20 gauge 870 is significantly lighter than the 12. That made up our minds for this year.
     
  20. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Actually, my Winchester 12 gauge gas gun recoils less than my 20 with 3" loads, slightly, anyway. It is heavier, though, but the recoil is softer, more of a push than a jab. My daughter learned with it, but she was a big girl, 6'1" in high school.
     
  21. 45crittergitter

    45crittergitter Member

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    Get the 20 and use a specialty turkey choke and Hevi Shot for turkeys?
     
  22. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Wouldn't wanna put hevi shot through a turkey choke, way too much constriction. In my Mossberg, modified throws the tightest patterns with BB hevi shot. Hevi shot is hard as steel, patterns different from lead, a lot different.
     
  23. Lovesbeer99

    Lovesbeer99 Member

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    Maybe I missed it, but did anyone mention that you can get super tight choke tubes specifically for turkey for the 20 gauge. From what I've read it really helps with the patterning.
     
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