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  #1  
Old 07-05-2009, 7:47 PM
kazman kazman is offline
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Default Is a 20ga as good for shooting trap/skeet as 12 gauge?

I'm new to shotguns but will be picking up a Beretta 20ga side by side in a few days. Wondering what the difference is in shooting trap with 20 versus 12 gauge. Is it just the power or also the choke diameter? Does it make any difference besides recoil for a beginner? Thanks.
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Old 07-05-2009, 7:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazman View Post
I'm new to shotguns but will be picking up a Beretta 20ga side by side in a few days. Wondering what the difference is in shooting trap with 20 versus 12 gauge. Is it just the power or also the choke diameter? Does it make any difference besides recoil for a beginner? Thanks.
I think it makes only a marginal difference. I actually shoot with a guy who uses a 28-gauge. Sometime I wrest his shotgun away from him and prove that I can make the same shot that I made with my 12-gauge.
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Old 07-05-2009, 8:24 PM
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If you go to any of the major competitions 12 gauges rule. They have different classes for different gauges because it does make a difference.
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Old 07-05-2009, 8:34 PM
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For fun, you'll be fine. A 20 gauge is about .62" diameter and a 12 gauge is about .73" A 20 gauge throws about 1/4 to 3/8 oz less lead. Chokes are comparable in terms of pattern density. I can run the field at 16 yards with a 20 same as a 12. At handicap distances, you start to notice a difference, but I can still get in the 20's regularly with a 20 gauge at 27 yards. My feeling is that if you're on 'em, you're on 'em and choke, gauge etc don't make that much difference unless its a club shoot and every bird counts

Recoil is something people get too worked up over. Shotgun shells are straight case, low pressure rounds and recoil is more of a push than a kick. If the recoil is bothering you, its probably because you are not mounting the gun correctly or holding it too loosely.

Just go have fun.
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Old 07-05-2009, 9:30 PM
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In simple terms this is what I've learned, you have to lead the clays a lot more.
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Old 07-05-2009, 9:54 PM
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I used to shoot a 20 ga when I was younger, mainly for the recoil properties, but I never noticed much of a difference hitting the birds between that and a 12 gauge. So technically, yes there's quite a difference between the two gauges, but in the field, there's not a whole lot.
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Old 07-06-2009, 1:11 AM
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Congrats on your Beretta. I love the 20ga when hunting, but for shooting sports I prefer the 12.
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Old 07-06-2009, 5:38 AM
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I can break clays with my sons daisy bb gun. A 20 gauge should work fine.
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Old 07-06-2009, 9:28 AM
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Thanks for the info. Can't wait to try it out! Also thinking I could keep this around for home defense as well. I suppose for home defense a side by side and long barrel is not ideal compared to a shorter pump, but the Baretta is so light and feels maneuverable that it would probably be fine, and if I can't get em in two shots well...hopefully have my 1911 on me.
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:44 AM
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A one ounce load out of a 12 weighs the same as a one ounce load out of a 20.
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Old 07-06-2009, 11:17 AM
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for a challenge use a 410
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  #12  
Old 07-06-2009, 7:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randy View Post
A one ounce load out of a 12 weighs the same as a one ounce load out of a 20.
True, but 1 1/8 oz from a 12 ga. weighs more than the 7/8 you commonly find in a 20 ga shell. They both CAN be found in 1 oz, but this is not the most common.
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Old 07-06-2009, 8:21 PM
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Originally Posted by SLO_Ryan View Post
True, but 1 1/8 oz from a 12 ga. weighs more than the 7/8 you commonly find in a 20 ga shell. They both CAN be found in 1 oz, but this is not the most common.
I load one ounce for my 12's with red dot or green dot for lite loads.
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Old 07-07-2009, 8:19 PM
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Skeet, hardly at all for good shots. Trap, where the distances can go back pretty far, maybe a bigger difference. In trap loads, a 20 gauge is giving up a oz. of shot. However, my son shoots his 20 gauge so much better than any other shotgun we have, he would be a fool to use anything else until he finds one that does as well.

For hunting, my brother stopped using a 12 gauge with his pointer, taking a 20 gauge SxS. I have used a 20 gauge to kill a 21 pound turkey, although it was with a 3" XX shell.
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Old 07-07-2009, 9:26 PM
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  #16  
Old 07-07-2009, 11:29 PM
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I'm guessing you guys don't spend much time around a skeet range. If you are a regular you shoot 1oz loads in your 12. Many trap shooters use 1 oz loads too. Less pellets moving faster.

Many skeet shooters use a 410 or 28 gauge.
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  #17  
Old 07-08-2009, 1:47 AM
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i like to shoot the loads that i will be hunting with that way i no how the round acts. and i only shoot with a full choke.
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  #18  
Old 07-08-2009, 2:42 AM
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You should use whatever works for you, but I hope you have a good dental plan using a full choke on dove, quail, etc.
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  #19  
Old 07-08-2009, 3:14 AM
cousinkix1953 cousinkix1953 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottB View Post
For fun, you'll be fine. A 20 gauge is about .62" diameter and a 12 gauge is about .73" A 20 gauge throws about 1/4 to 3/8 oz less lead. Chokes are comparable in terms of pattern density. I can run the field at 16 yards with a 20 same as a 12. At handicap distances, you start to notice a difference, but I can still get in the 20's regularly with a 20 gauge at 27 yards. My feeling is that if you're on 'em, you're on 'em and choke, gauge etc don't make that much difference unless its a club shoot and every bird counts

Recoil is something people get too worked up over. Shotgun shells are straight case, low pressure rounds and recoil is more of a push than a kick. If the recoil is bothering you, its probably because you are not mounting the gun correctly or holding it too loosely.

Just go have fun.
20 = .560
16 = .650
12 = .729
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