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 Post subject: 20 gauge vs 16 gauge
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:17 pm 
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I'm looking at getting a new SxS shotgun . I started out looking at 16 gauges and then found this beautiful 20 ga. 3" and also found a very nice 16 ga. and was wondering just how much I would be giving up if I go with the 20 ga. instead of the 16 ga. in terms of upland performance including Pheasant .


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 Post subject: re: 20 gauge vs 16 gauge
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:32 pm 
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Location: North Carolina
Realistically you will not be giving up very much with the 20ga. With the 16ga you will be able to shoot larger loads with a shorter shot string which will be nicer, but I have used a 20ga exclusively (for upland hunting) for several years now and never felt handicapped.
I have found that with the 20ga using 2-3/4" shells only, I can take wild pheasants out to 30-35 yards without worrying about crippling. Anything past that begins to go down hill fairly quickly. At the end of the day I like the light weight of the 20ga too. Not to mention that ammo is usually a little bit cheaper.
If you wind up getting the 16ga if you would like I will give you my "recipe" for 3/4oz #7.5 turkey loads.


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 Post subject: re: 20 gauge vs 16 gauge
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:21 pm 
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diddo on the 20, i shoot a pedersen sxs in 20 for upland self flushing (dogs point only) hunting. 2.75 shells more than enough with the right choke.

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 Post subject: re: 20 gauge vs 16 gauge
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 12:21 pm 
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I've always been a believer in using the standard load for any given gauge. I've found that a 20 will handle a 7/8oz load well and a 1oz load serviceably. The 16 does an excellent job with the 1 oz load and a good job with the 1 1/8 oz load. Lately, I've found myself reaching for either my 16 or my 28, depending on the task at hand. If the birds are going to be close and I'll be doing a lot of walking, I take the 28. If I feel the need for more gun, I pick the 16. I hardly ever use my 12s, unless it's for waterfowl.

The 16 will have a shorter shot string than the 20 with the 1 oz load and it generally performs better with the 7/8 oz load, but then a larger bore will almost always do this. The down side of the 16 is the expense and availability of shells. I don't have a reloader in 16, due to the availability of wads. But if Down Range comes out with the promised 16ga wads later this year, that will change.

The bottom line is that while the 16 will perform better, it's unlikely that you'll notice any difference except in the most extreme conditions. There was a fellow over on Upland Journal that limited his shooting to the 20 ga this past year, just to analyze its potential. He takes an annual trip out to the plains for pheasant and prarie grouse, and he noted that the 20 was a little light in those instances.

The bottom line is to try both guns and see which one you like better. The difference is not really enough to have to live on.

Frank


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 Post subject: re: 20 gauge vs 16 gauge
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 7:36 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2007 5:17 pm
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Location: Missouri Ozarks
Hello Stratoliner :

Perhaps one of the most important issues is , CAN YOU SHOOT THE GUN ??? Go some place that will let you shoot the guns before you purchace them , if you can shoot one gun over another then that answers your question , it has very little to do with loads , chokes , bores , shot , ect. If you cant hit with the gun .




I am working on the mold and it looks like we will hit the July Fourth date .

Regards Charles



PS a 16ga just has something about it that the 20 will never possess .


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 Post subject: re: 20 gauge vs 16 gauge
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:38 pm 
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that would be the cost of ammo and the lack there of :D
joking, sorry couldnt help. im a 20 fan.

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 Post subject: re: 20 gauge vs 16 gauge
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 6:04 am 
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Location: St Bernard,La.
I have no problems finding shells for anything I want to use my 16's for but yes some loads are much more expensive and some are not.High brass lead are the same in 12,16,and 20 where I'm at but game loads and steel are a little more.I use both 16 and 20 for small game and ducks it just depends on what I feel like shooting.You just need to know the limits of the gun/load that you use.


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 Post subject: re: 20 gauge vs 16 gauge
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 5:59 pm 
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Location: Western Minnesota
Ultimately, 20 gauge just plain has the overwhelming advantage in ammo options and availability. :(
Yes, the 16 can throw an ounce of lead more efficiently, but lead shot is on its way to the scrap heap of history. :cry: To save the 16 ga, somebody needs to create a 3" chambered 16 ga capable of high enough pressures to launch a 1 oz steel loads at 1500 fps. That would be a refreshing option for youth and women and just about anybody that doesn't like to carry a 7.5 lb gun around all day long. But I don't see it on the horizon. There is one nice nontoxic 16 ga load in the $3.00/trigger pull range (Kent TM). But that's a little rich for my blood when you consider that the right 3" 12 gauge steel loads can probably do the same job for 1/4 the price.

Sorry guys, I think the 20 gauge has the 16 beat as the only long term viable option to the 12. Er, excluding the 10 ga. obviously.


-Dave

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 Post subject: re: 20 gauge vs 16 gauge
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 2:47 pm 
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Location: Wilmington, NC
I have actually found a hidden stash of 16ga shells and have been buying them up for the last several weeks. Actually buying 16ga shells for less than the equivalent 20ga shell I buy for my wife. I to though I am waiting patiently for the new 16ga wads as my 16ga 600jr is sitting on the end of the bench waiting to be used. But at the same time I am waiting for my new 16ga browning. My next 16ga will be a Connecticut Shotgun SxS. I prefer the 16 over the 20, just something about it. Maybe it was I grew up shooting a 16ga Model 21.


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 Post subject: re: 20 gauge vs 16 gauge
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:21 pm 
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I just thought I would take a minute to thank you guys for your input and give you an update on the gun decision . Well , I went with the Merkel 147EL 20 ga. , the wood is just amazing circassin walnut and the gun just fits me really well , it was a very difficult decision to say the least as I had to trade in several guns that I really liked but just didn't shoot very much anymore in order to afford it . It'll be kind of a once in a life time deal as I just don't normally buy guns in this price range and thought it be nice to own one really fine gun , I'm not getting any younger you know . I really struggled between a Grulla 209HL and two different Merkels . I do love those Spanish guns but I already a own couple and one is a pretty nice sidelock gun .
I would love to share the the beauty of my new gun with you guys but I don't have that capability but if you would like to see it you can go to the Cabela's Gun Library web site and it is at the Lacey , Washington store , you can just type in the reference number 705845 and see some really nice photos of it . Thanks again !! Don


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 Post subject: re: 20 gauge vs 16 gauge
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:32 pm 
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as already pointed out, the 20 is most likely your best bet. the performance differences are pretty minor. my biggest reason for going with the 20 is the ammo availability and options. you can get 20 ga shells just about anywhere. you won't find 16ga around at your local walmart, or small town store. if you pack a 16, you better bring lots of ammo because if you run out, you're probably out of luck. there are also alot more options of ammo with the 20. oyu'll be able to pick and choose what performs best with your gun and situation. you're much more limited with 16 and pretty much have to take what you can get.

i hunt with a guy that shoots a 16 and the ammo situation has come up more than a few times. when out on a walk, he may run out of shells. with the 16 he can't just ask one of us for a few shells till he gets back to the truck. with a 20 or 12 we'd just toss him some shells and he'd be hunting again. he's also run into the problem of running out and not being able to get any around where we were hunting.

to help him out, i now carry a box of 16 in my ammo box just for him. :)

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 Post subject: re: 20 gauge vs 16 gauge
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:02 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:56 pm
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Location: Minnesota
Go with the 20. The shells are cheaper and more available. There not a ton of difference between the two anyway. I've seen my cousin drop birds with his 20 from 30-40 yards away. And with shell prices on the rise deffinetly go with the 20.


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 Post subject: re: 20 gauge vs 16 gauge
PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 7:03 am 
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I'd have to suggest the 20 alos.
Like researcher says, lead is on the way out.
When we finally get affordable bismuth/tungsten alloyed shot watch the 20 gauge SHINE!
High Density one ounce loads will do what 1.5 ounce lead loads do now.
And do it better.
Watch the 28 gauge grow too. 7/8 ounce of h.d. shot will make the 28 perform very well.

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 Post subject: re: 20 gauge vs 16 gauge
PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 8:14 pm 
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I will agree that you can find more factory shells in 20ga than a 16. But when it comes to a true upland game gun I will use a 16. I remind everyone of the old adage " carries like a 20 hits like a 12".

I have to say if lead shot goes the way of the dodo the only one we have to blame is ourselves. I say this because if we don't take on some of the flawed science of the environmentalists. We will all be reading this under florescent lights.


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 Post subject: Re: re: 20 gauge vs 16 gauge
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:03 am 
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Da Big Guy wrote:
I remind everyone of the old adage " carries like a 20 hits like a 12".

I have to say if lead shot goes the way of the dodo the only one we have to blame is ourselves.

I always thought the 20 carried like a 28 and hit like a 16. :wink:

Concerning the second statement, you are dead on.

Skip

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 Post subject: re: 20 gauge vs 16 gauge
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 8:55 am 
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Skip,

Check your PMs

Frank


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 Post subject: re: 20 gauge vs 16 gauge
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:47 am 
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Frank, thank you.

Skip

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 Post subject: re: 20 gauge vs 16 gauge
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:24 pm 
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Location: Calif, long beach
Ahhh but a 16 gauge....they dont call em sweet 16 for nothing.


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 Post subject: re: 20 gauge vs 16 gauge
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 4:08 pm 
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For myself I would take the 16 gauge over the 20 gauge.As aya16 said,"They don't call em sweet for nothing."


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 Post subject: re: 20 gauge vs 16 gauge
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:49 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 6:57 pm
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Location: Calif, long beach
or you can buy the twenty and the 16 no law against that.....
as my wife smacks me in the head with the old frying pan we had for years as I open the box of yet another new shotgun.
Whats that HONEY number 27? what the hell do you need all those for? ahhhh Honey, I said. Look in that box over there its a new cz ringneck in 28 gauge for you it matches the 16 gauge ringneck like mine here. I love you.........gongggggggggggg


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