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 Post subject: Is A 20 Gauge A Disadvantage vs. 12 Gauge?
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 3:43 pm 
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Hi all,

Was at an sporting clays shoot this weekend and saw only 2 people using 20 gauges - both happened to be youth shooters. I understand that physically these 2 might not have been able to handle a 12 gauge, but does the 20 put them at a distinct competitive disadvantage?

The targets weren't a long way out, but challenging nonetheless at varying distances. In essence - do more pellets really mean more chances to hit the bird? Might be a stupid question, but would love any thoughts.



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 Post subject: Re: Is A 20 Gauge A Disadvantage vs. 12 Gauge?
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 3:49 pm 
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efpeterson wrote:
In essence - do more pellets really mean more chances to hit the bird?


Yes.

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 Post subject: Re: Is A 20 Gauge A Disadvantage vs. 12 Gauge?
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 3:54 pm 
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Was this a registered NSCA tournament or some other type with softer targets? If all you shoot are the softer charity/corporate type stuff, then the 20 will be just fine.

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 Post subject: Re: Is A 20 Gauge A Disadvantage vs. 12 Gauge?
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 4:35 pm 
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oneounceload wrote:
Was this a registered NSCA tournament or some other type with softer targets? If all you shoot are the softer charity/corporate type stuff, then the 20 will be just fine.


Yes, these were NSCA targets. I know that's why they have sub gauge events, but how many targets difference do you think?

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 Post subject: Re: Is A 20 Gauge A Disadvantage vs. 12 Gauge?
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 4:56 pm 
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Since, as Randy mentioned, more pellets in the air means more probability for hits. Even shooting only 1oz in 12 gauge, that is ~13% more pellets. Of course, if the distances weren't that far, and you know how to shoot, then the 7/8oz should work just fine. After all, Int'l Bunker is limited to 24 grams (basically 7/8), and those are some tough targets. I would venture MAYBE 1-2 birds; but the best answer is "it might".

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 Post subject: Re: Is A 20 Gauge A Disadvantage vs. 12 Gauge?
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 5:10 pm 
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Consider the system that Bruce Buck worked out:

Quote:
Some time ago, I worked out a handicap system for subgauge sporting clays at the monthly Connecticut Travelers (CTs) shoots. I fine tuned it for about half a year and then finally settled on the numbers.

12 gauge is scratch, 16 gauge +3, 20 gauge +5, 28 gauge +10 and .410 bore is +20. Pumps and SxS guns get an additional 5 targets, i.e. the Winchester M42 .410 pump gun would get 20+5=25 targets. The amount of shot permitted in the subgauge guns is the same as it is in NSSA skeet. The 16 gets one ounce.


Even with the +5 handicap for 20 gauge and a whopping +10 birds for 28 gauge, 12 gauge shotguns won going away.

Bruce Buck updated this a while back, saying "Having said this, as I understand it, the handicap is no longer in place for the 20 gauge and larger. It seems that shooters were getting pretty proficient with their 20 gauges, and with the handicap, they were winning a disproportionate number of shoots."

Spotting everyone that used a 20 gauge 5 birds was not an attempt to rig things for the 20, it was an attempt to make it fair. My understanding is that 20 gauges, 1 oz. loads, and the +5 handicap resulted in what some felt (12 gauge shooters? :shock: ) was too many free birds for using a 20.

If a 20 gauge is no disadvantage, consider that having a 20 gauge class in American Skeet would be spectacularly, tragically stupid, where the longest shot is just 21 yards.

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 Post subject: Re: Is A 20 Gauge A Disadvantage vs. 12 Gauge?
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 5:11 pm 
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oneounceload wrote:
Since, as Randy mentioned, more pellets in the air means more probability for hits. Even shooting only 1oz in 12 gauge, that is ~13% more pellets. Of course, if the distances weren't that far, and you know how to shoot, then the 7/8oz should work just fine. After all, Int'l Bunker is limited to 24 grams (basically 7/8), and those are some tough targets. I would venture MAYBE 1-2 birds; but the best answer is "it might".


So were not talking about a substantial difference here. I could see if it were 5+ targets, it would be a pretty big disadvantage but maybe 1-2 birds is really nothing. All depends on the shooter, I suppose.

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 Post subject: Re: Is A 20 Gauge A Disadvantage vs. 12 Gauge?
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 6:09 pm 
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Since I started shooting 7/8oz. 12 gauge loads my NSCA scores have improved.


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 Post subject: Re: Is A 20 Gauge A Disadvantage vs. 12 Gauge?
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 6:14 pm 
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IMO, a 7/8oz load has a shorter column in 12 than 20 which, in theory, should result in better patterning

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 Post subject: Re: Is A 20 Gauge A Disadvantage vs. 12 Gauge?
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 6:18 pm 
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Depends on the game. In Skeet, not really - my 20 gauge averages are better than my 12, and my 28 gauge scores are about the same. In Sporting Clays, YMMV. There is always something to be said for not getting beat up with recoil, but some targets are so challenging that I can completely understand wanting to have every possible BB on them as possible. Every serious Sporting shooter I shoot with runs 1-1/8 for tournaments. If you are recoil sensitive, the lighter loads MAY help you and for good reason, but make no mistake, you will be at a mathematical disadvantage no matter how you slice it. Same with Trap once you wander past the 17 yard line.

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 Post subject: Re: Is A 20 Gauge A Disadvantage vs. 12 Gauge?
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 8:20 pm 
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wasthestumper wrote:
Depends on the game. In Skeet, not really - my 20 gauge averages are better than my 12, and my 28 gauge scores are about the same. In Sporting Clays, YMMV. There is always something to be said for not getting beat up with recoil, but some targets are so challenging that I can completely understand wanting to have every possible BB on them as possible. Every serious Sporting shooter I shoot with runs 1-1/8 for tournaments. If you are recoil sensitive, the lighter loads MAY help you and for good reason, but make no mistake, you will be at a mathematical disadvantage no matter how you slice it. Same with Trap once you wander past the 17 yard line.


My thought was exactly that - the more bbs in the air, the better. I was also under the assumption that the pattern would hold up at a farther distance with a 12 gauge.

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 Post subject: Re: Is A 20 Gauge A Disadvantage vs. 12 Gauge?
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 8:23 pm 
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Pattern is more dependent on choke when it comes to distance

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 Post subject: Re: Is A 20 Gauge A Disadvantage vs. 12 Gauge?
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 9:20 pm 
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ef -- Here are some of my pattern numbers, that I've posted before, comparing 20ga and 12ga 1 oz loads and a 20ga 7/8 oz load for comparison. I didn't shoot any patterns with 12ga 1 1/8 oz loads of #8 lead shot, but odds are, they would put more pellets in the pattern than the 12ga 1 oz loads with compariable chokes.

Let’s see what the pattern board can tell us about these questions using my gun/chokes and Winchester AA target loads.

1) Will a 20ga 7/8-ounce load pattern "better" than a 20ga 1-ounce load?

2) Will a 12ga 1-ounce load pattern "better" than a 20ga 1-ounce load?

Patterning results from a 20-gauge Browning Citori with 28" Invector-plus barrels and Briley flush chokes (patterns average of five, 30" post-shot scribed circle, yardage taped muzzle to target, and in-shell pellet count average of five).

20 GA 2 3/4" WINCHESTER AA TARGET LOAD
7/8 oz #8 lead (356 pellets) @ 1,200 fps
30 YARDS -- CYL / pattern 182 (51%)
30 YARDS -- SK / pattern 230 (65%)
30 YARDS -- IC / pattern 257 (72%)
30 YARDS -- M / pattern 318 (89%)

40 YARDS -- IM / pattern 225 (63%)
40 YARDS -- LF / pattern 246 (69%)
40 YARDS -- F / pattern 240 (67%)
40 YARDS -- XF / pattern 259 (73%)

20 GA 2 3/4" WINCHESTER AA HEAVY TARGET LOAD
1 oz #8 lead (410 pellets) @ 1,165 fps
30 YARDS -- CYL / pattern 216 (53%)
30 YARDS -- SK / pattern 237 (58%)
30 YARDS -- IC / pattern 276 (67%)
30 YARDS -- M / pattern 341 (83%)

40 YARDS -- IM / pattern 270 (66%)
40 YARDS -- LF / pattern 277 (68%)
40 YARDS -- F / pattern 272 (66%)
40 YARDS -- XF / pattern 291 (71%)

As you can see, the 1-ounce load always put more pellets in the pattern than the 7/8-ounce load. And, the 7/8-ounce load usually, but not always, registered higher pattern percentages than the 1-ounce load.

Patterning results from a 12-gauge Browning Citori with 28" Invector-plus barrels and Briley flush chokes (patterns average of five, 30" post-shot scribed circle, yardage taped muzzle to target, and in-shell pellet count average of five).

Winchester AA Extra-Lite Target Load
1 oz #8 lead (393 pellets) @ 1,180 fps
30 YARDS -- CYL / pattern 218 (55%)
30 YARDS -- SK / pattern 256 (65%)
30 YARDS -- IC / pattern 305 (78%)

40 YARDS -- LM / pattern 251 (64%)
40 YARDS -- M / pattern 292 (74%)
40 YARDS -- IM / pattern 295 (75%)
40 YARDS -- LF / pattern 294 (75%)
40 YARDS -- F / pattern 288 (73%)

As you can see, the 20-gauge has a hard time keeping up with the 12-gauge unless you tighten the degree of choke.

3) Does this make one more “effective” than the other?

I'll let you be the judge of that!

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Is A 20 Gauge A Disadvantage vs. 12 Gauge?
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 9:35 pm 
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Joe Hunter wrote:
ef -- Here are some of my pattern numbers, that I've posted before, comparing 20ga and 12ga 1 oz loads and a 20ga 7/8 oz load for comparison. I didn't shoot any patterns with 12ga 1 1/8 oz loads of #8 lead shot, but odds are, they would put more pellets in the pattern than the 12ga 1 oz loads with compariable chokes.

Let’s see what the pattern board can tell us about these questions using my gun/chokes and Winchester AA target loads.

1) Will a 20ga 7/8-ounce load pattern "better" than a 20ga 1-ounce load?

2) Will a 12ga 1-ounce load pattern "better" than a 20ga 1-ounce load?

Patterning results from a 20-gauge Browning Citori with 28" Invector-plus barrels and Briley flush chokes (patterns average of five, 30" post-shot scribed circle, yardage taped muzzle to target, and in-shell pellet count average of five).

20 GA 2 3/4" WINCHESTER AA TARGET LOAD
7/8 oz #8 lead (356 pellets) @ 1,200 fps
30 YARDS -- CYL / pattern 182 (51%)
30 YARDS -- SK / pattern 230 (65%)
30 YARDS -- IC / pattern 257 (72%)
30 YARDS -- M / pattern 318 (89%)

40 YARDS -- IM / pattern 225 (63%)
40 YARDS -- LF / pattern 246 (69%)
40 YARDS -- F / pattern 240 (67%)
40 YARDS -- XF / pattern 259 (73%)

20 GA 2 3/4" WINCHESTER AA HEAVY TARGET LOAD
1 oz #8 lead (410 pellets) @ 1,165 fps
30 YARDS -- CYL / pattern 216 (53%)
30 YARDS -- SK / pattern 237 (58%)
30 YARDS -- IC / pattern 276 (67%)
30 YARDS -- M / pattern 341 (83%)

40 YARDS -- IM / pattern 270 (66%)
40 YARDS -- LF / pattern 277 (68%)
40 YARDS -- F / pattern 272 (66%)
40 YARDS -- XF / pattern 291 (71%)

As you can see, the 1-ounce load always put more pellets in the pattern than the 7/8-ounce load. And, the 7/8-ounce load usually, but not always, registered higher pattern percentages than the 1-ounce load.

Patterning results from a 12-gauge Browning Citori with 28" Invector-plus barrels and Briley flush chokes (patterns average of five, 30" post-shot scribed circle, yardage taped muzzle to target, and in-shell pellet count average of five).

Winchester AA Extra-Lite Target Load
1 oz #8 lead (393 pellets) @ 1,180 fps
30 YARDS -- CYL / pattern 218 (55%)
30 YARDS -- SK / pattern 256 (65%)
30 YARDS -- IC / pattern 305 (78%)

40 YARDS -- LM / pattern 251 (64%)
40 YARDS -- M / pattern 292 (74%)
40 YARDS -- IM / pattern 295 (75%)
40 YARDS -- LF / pattern 294 (75%)
40 YARDS -- F / pattern 288 (73%)

As you can see, the 20-gauge has a hard time keeping up with the 12-gauge unless you tighten the degree of choke.

3) Does this make one more “effective” than the other?

I'll let you be the judge of that!

Good luck!


Joe,

Phenomenal post and thank you so much for reposting in this thread. I know I'd be choosing the 12 ga without question, but the numbers are somewhat comparable with the 20 if you dial your chokes in just right. Very informational.

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 Post subject: Re: Is A 20 Gauge A Disadvantage vs. 12 Gauge?
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 7:40 am 
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1-2 birds is really nothing


Tell that to the guy that looses by 1. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Is A 20 Gauge A Disadvantage vs. 12 Gauge?
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 9:11 am 
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Yes, absolutely a disadvantage, even in games where you can only shoot 7/8 in your 12...

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 Post subject: Re: Is A 20 Gauge A Disadvantage vs. 12 Gauge?
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 10:51 am 
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At the Olympics one can shoot only 6/7ths of an ounce (24 grams) and not one of them is shooting a 20 , they all shoot 12's.

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 Post subject: Re: Is A 20 Gauge A Disadvantage vs. 12 Gauge?
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 7:52 pm 
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I could be wrong here but I’ve always thought that the 12 gauge would have a shorter shot string vs the 20. Which theoretically should make the 12 gauge more effective. I never could quite kill doves as consistently at long range with the 20 vs the 12. In this same context, earlier in my life when I could stand the recoil and was a lot dumber, I duckhunted regularly with both a 3.5” 12 gauge and a 10 gauge under the same conditions. I used 1 9/16 loads in the 12 and either 1.5oz or 1 5/8oz loads in the 10. Same shot size in both gauges. The 10 always seemed to hit birds harder, with a much lower percentage of cripples that had to be shot again. The 10 threw consistently good patterns with almost anything I tried. The 12 patterned well with the loads I shot but was more fickle with what it liked. In many cases velocity would be higher in the 12 gauge but they there was just something about the 10 that seemed to make it more effective. I’ve always thought that shot string could be the answer. The 10 just seemed to hit harder. I imagine this same effect plays into the 12 vs 20 debate, as a shorter shot string should theoretically put more pellets into a crossing target. The need to go to a tighter choke in 20ga to keep pellet counts up at distance, could theoretically lengthen the shotstring even more. This could result in even less pellets in a clay target or bird as the bird crosses through that shotstring at distance.
I’ve read through and studied Bob Bristers testing on shot strings many times. He was a man ahead of his time. His wife would pull a trailer with 4’x 12’ sheet of paper with a duck kill zone on the target at 40mph (they varied speed also) at varied distances out to 60 yards crossing at 90 degrees to him. His target was the duck in front of course but the shot in many cases would be spread from the duck all the way back to the end of the paper, over several feet in length. This indicates a fairly long string of shot. 3” loads had longer strings than 2 3/4” as well if I remember correctly.
Of course this still doesn’t explain why we shoot better scores with 1oz or 7/8oz in 12 ga vs 1 1/8. The shotstring theory may enter into that equation also. But I also think the reduced recoil and being able to shoot lighter loads longer with less fatigue play a big part as well. Then again I could be all wrong on all counts.
I like to shoot 7/8 or 1oz loads for clays, I never shoot 1 1/8. But for doves I like 1oz and 1 1/8oz loads. Particularly the latter with some extra speed and larger pellets for more energy at distance. Slower speeds tend to enhance patterns. Higher speeds tend to spread the pattern or not pattern quite as well and I like to think the 1 1/8 tends to help fill in some of the holes caused by this. Hopefully that gets a pellet or two extra on the bird and results in cleaner kills. I simply do not like to cripple game.

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 Post subject: Re: Is A 20 Gauge A Disadvantage vs. 12 Gauge?
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 8:11 pm 
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Turpentine1 wrote:
I’ve read through and studied Bob Bristers testing on shot strings many times. He was a man ahead of his time.


:shock: Bob Brister merely duplicated what Maj. Sir Gerald Burrard had done long before.

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 Post subject: Re: Is A 20 Gauge A Disadvantage vs. 12 Gauge?
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 11:00 pm 
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Maybe so but I didn’t read his book. But I found Bobs very interesting along with quite a few others I’ve read on shotgunning. But nowadays you don’t have to look so far, there’s a Mental Giant behind every keyboard. :roll:



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