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 Post subject: 12g vs 20g does it matter?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:43 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2019 11:29 am
Posts: 3
I've only shot a shotgun a few times and I loved it. I'm in the process of clearing some land so I can shoot in my back yard. I want to buy a gun that I can use and also my kids can use, my oldest is 12. I see that 12gauge ammo can go as low as 7/8oz at 980fps. With loads that light is there any benefit in going for a 20 gauge over a 12 gauge? I kept thinking go with a 20 gauge as the kick will be less and the will be easier for the kids to shoot. The day before Christmas a bunch of my co-workers and I went shooting and I was using 1oz at 1,100fps which were fine for me while over the summer with the cub scouts they we were using a 20 gauge that kicked more then the 12 gauges I was shooting. The 20 gauge was a bolt action and very old though and I'm not sure what shot we were using that day. So is there really a reason to go with a 20 gauge for less recoil with the commercially available light 12 gauge loads? Thank you for any guidance you can give me.




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 Post subject: Re: 12g vs 20g does it matter?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:08 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2007 2:36 pm
Posts: 1628
Location: Northeast Ohio
A 12 ga. is the most versatile gauge and easily grows right along with young shotgunners as their physical size changes, and as their interests may change as well. Trap, Sporting Clays, and many types of hunting are better served as 12 ga. pursuits than 20 gauge.

From 3/4 oz. very light "training" shells (reloads or otherwise); to 3 inch non-toxic waterfowl loads; and everything else in between; it's all available in 12 ga. An inexpensive, single stage reloader will enhance appropriate ammunition availability significantly.

Most kids old enough to start shooting can handle a light or average weight 12 gauge about as well as a 20 gauge that often has heavier recoil and less versatility.

A 20 gauge gas autoloader is a close second as a versatile "starter" gun.

Recoil is an enemy of beginning shooters. Especially younger and or smaller framed shooters.

A used 1100 or other proven gas gun is a good choice. As well as a new V3 or Mossberg SA-20. A wood stock provides easy and economical alterations as shooter dimensions change. Youth model plastic or wood versions do as well and can be later replaced by adult sized butt stocks.

It would be hard to beat a walnut V3 if the kid's size and strength was appropriate. Economical, soft shooting, lifetime warranty, easy stock alterations, versatility, and good reviews. Just about the same benefits in the the walnut mossberg SA-20 if the shooter favored it or it was more appropriate for their size, weight, and handling/controlabilty.

You're in a good market that won't break the bank within your stated goals.

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: 12g vs 20g does it matter?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:46 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:11 am
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Location: Western Tampa, FL
^^^^Two excellent suggestions!^^^^^


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 Post subject: Re: 12g vs 20g does it matter?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:48 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:20 pm
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The issue won't be so much a 12 vs 20 issue as it will be a fit issue. Whichever bore size you go with, make sure the gun can be modified to accommodate the smaller shooters or the recoil will be extreme for them.

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 Post subject: Re: 12g vs 20g does it matter?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 12:40 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:04 am
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If you haven`t already, read up on the V3 Compact. Might just fit your needs, particularly with younger shooters involved.

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 Post subject: Re: 12g vs 20g does it matter?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 1:04 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2019 11:29 am
Posts: 3
Thanks for the input. To be honest I was looking more at pumps because I don't think any of the autos will cycle well with such a light load. I've talked with a few co-workers who shoot and I have to admit I shot the versa max and felt that had more kick then the over and unders I was shooting. I don't see the benefit of the autos as far as recoil. I know mathematically it should be less recoil but feeling it on my shoulder and talking to a few others there doesn't seem to be a benefit to shooting an auto for less felt recoil. Just bear in mind, my knowledge is limited and I've only talked to a few people.


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 Post subject: Re: 12g vs 20g does it matter?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 1:13 pm 
Shotgun Expert
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Firemandivi wrote:
So is there really a reason to go with a 20 gauge for less recoil with the commercially available light 12 gauge loads? Thank you for any guidance you can give me.


Image

11-87 20 gauge: 6 lbs., 12.1 oz. via calibrated electronic scale.

OR:



There isn't a wrong answer.

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Last edited by RandyWakeman on Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 12g vs 20g does it matter?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 1:35 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:11 am
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Location: Western Tampa, FL
Firemandivi wrote:
Thanks for the input. To be honest I was looking more at pumps because I don't think any of the autos will cycle well with such a light load.

That is a valid concern for some autos but most good semi autos will handle 1 oz upward without issue.

I've talked with a few co-workers who shoot and I have to admit I shot the versa max and felt that had more kick then the over and unders I was shooting. I don't see the benefit of the autos as far as recoil. I know mathematically it should be less recoil but feeling it on my shoulder and talking to a few others there doesn't seem to be a benefit to shooting an auto for less felt recoil. Just bear in mind, my knowledge is limited and I've only talked to a few people.


I will not question what you or a "few others" feel, but your combined experiences is truly unique IF the shells used were all identically loaded. You are definitely statistical outliers. IMO the only explanation is you shot a gas auto that definitely fitted each person very poorly.

In my specific case, the recoil I feel from firing 1 1/8 oz @ 1,200 fps in my Remington V3 (gas auto) is such that it is no issue whatsoever. The same shell in my O/Us will "rock my world"!

There are many excellent pumps available to you; whether you choose a Remington 870, Ithaca model 37 or Mossberg 500 as well as many others on used market. Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: 12g vs 20g does it matter?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 2:26 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2019 11:29 am
Posts: 3
Again my experience is very limited, with my life time total of shooting a shotgun is not even equal to what most of you have shot in a single day. The shells I used in the versa max and the o/u where from the same box of shells I brought which I believe where 1oz at 1200 fps. Maybe it was the fit or I held it lose, I have very limited experience but its just what I felt. Also the versa max felt more front heavy then I liked compared to the o/u. If I had the money I would love to buy an o/u, that said I don't have that kind of money so I'm looking at the 870, nova or BPS. I'm hoping to go to a few gun shops and the local gun show and see how they fit and buy which ever fits me best.


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 Post subject: Re: 12g vs 20g does it matter?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 11:49 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:37 am
Posts: 8
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, CA
That Remington V3 Compact looks like it might be a good option for a first shotgun for my 11 year old son. It seems that it only comes with the 22" barrel. Does anyone know if longer barrels are available for the V3, so that I can swap out the 22" as he grows? From what I can see, only a shorter, 18.5" barrel is available for purchase at this time.

I had originally thought to only look at 20g shotguns for him, but reading on this forum as well as seeing the shotgun recoil table on the Chuck Hawks site has led me to consider the 12g with very light loads. And I can use it as a backup/loaner gun when he outgrows it, too!

Anyone know about the V3 barrels? Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: 12g vs 20g does it matter?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:06 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:13 pm
Posts: 30
Firemandivi wrote:
… I see that 12gauge ammo can go as low as 7/8oz at 980fps. With loads that light is there any benefit in going for a 20 gauge over a 12 gauge? …


One difference is those 7/8 oz 12 gauge loads will cost you about $9.00 a box compared to $5.00 or $5.50 in 20 gauge.


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 Post subject: Re: 12g vs 20g does it matter?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 4:15 pm
Posts: 979
Location: Caledon, Ontario Canada
The V3 is a magnificent choice… Most people tend to want to go with the pump gun because they are cheap but there is no way on gods green earth that the versa Max had more recoil than an over under. That is the softest shooting gun on the planet period and the v3 is right up there, perhaps Unnoticeably more.
I would definitely go with a 12 gauge over a 20 gauge for many of the reasons already discussed above.

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 Post subject: Re: 12g vs 20g does it matter?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 6:25 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:36 pm
Posts: 866
Location: Endless Mountains of PA
Fireman,

Actually I would and have, started youngsters with a good 28 gauge gun. Yes the sells are more expensive and the guns usually cost more than a 20 gauge. However with the right shells the 28 has little recoil and the youngsters like to shoot it. The gun also promotes disciplined shooting because the pattern is relatively small.

I learned to shoot with my Grandmothers 28 gauge Parker DHE, when I was quite young. My Grandfather and Father were always there when I was young, guiding and teaching me, especially in the Grouse woods. I was a lot younger than 12 and at 12 most boys can handle a 28 gauge double gun, real well.

Now a nice light 20 gauge with light shells can accomplish the same thing, however most times the patterns are bigger. At 12 years old I would not introduce a 12 gauge shotgun to my boy, the gun is usually heavy for a 12 year old, and kicks a might too much, unless you are using very light shells.

Having taught a lot of youngsters, I introduce them with a 28 and then a 20 when possible.

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man

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 Post subject: Re: 12g vs 20g does it matter?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:19 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:44 am
Posts: 149
Location: WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA
Fireman,
Another option for you to check out, and possibly shoot would be a Beretta A400 Xcel, 12 gauge semi-automatic. These are great shotguns for adults & kids, not heavy, VERY, Very Reliable, will eat 7/8 oz, 1 oz, & 1 1/8 oz., all with no problems, and great on the recoil.
Check the SHOTGUN WORLD forums for the positive feedbacks on this wonderful semi-automatic gas 12 gauge shotgun.
Best,
Breakemall


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 Post subject: Re: 12g vs 20g does it matter?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 8:47 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:26 pm
Posts: 3074
Location: MO
If the gun doesn't fit the shooter it's going to kick more than if it did fit properly. Finding any shotgun that will fit a man as well as a child or two is going to be near impossible. Some one of the shooters is going to be punished more than necessary by recoil. The fit is going to be a much bigger factor than shell, unless you are firing some fairly unusual loads.

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 Post subject: Re: 12g vs 20g does it matter?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 9:01 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2020 7:40 am
Posts: 212
Location: Houston, TX and Fairfield Glade, TN
I have a REM V3 but I haven't been able to shoot it yet.

However, when I was looking, I was shown a Beretta A300 Synthetic. One thing that impressed me was that its stock, using "fillers", was adjustable from 13 to 14.5 inches for LOP Length of Pull. That sort of arrangement might help in your growing child's fit issues. I know nothing about the A300 other than noticing its flexibility stock wise.
https://www.cabelas.com/product/Beretta ... 695161.uts


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 Post subject: Re: 12g vs 20g does it matter?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 9:46 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:04 am
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Last OP post was Jan. 8. Wonder what he decided upon? Always has amused me the number of posters that come on SW asking people for advice, then never bothering to let those who were willing to give input know what they did. Maybe I`m the only one that notices that (?).

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 Post subject: Re: 12g vs 20g does it matter?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 10:48 am 
Limited Edition

Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:29 am
Posts: 413
Location: Port St Lucie FL
Tidefanatic wrote:
Last OP post was Jan. 8. Wonder what he decided upon? Always has amused me the number of posters that come on SW asking people for advice, then never bothering to let those who were willing to give input know what they did. Maybe I`m the only one that notices that (?).



Not just here Tidefanatic, over the years I've belonged to car, boat, scuba diving and other forums, what you describe is pretty common. Frustrating for those who try to help, but that is just human nature unfortunately.


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 Post subject: Re: 12g vs 20g does it matter?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:28 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:04 am
Posts: 2729
toptechX6 wrote:
Tidefanatic wrote:
Last OP post was Jan. 8. Wonder what he decided upon? Always has amused me the number of posters that come on SW asking people for advice, then never bothering to let those who were willing to give input know what they did. Maybe I`m the only one that notices that (?).



Not just here Tidefanatic, over the years I've belonged to car, boat, scuba diving and other forums, what you describe is pretty common. Frustrating for those who try to help, but that is just human nature unfortunately.



I don`t spend time fretting over it, honestly. Just another indication that common courtesy and common sense are similar in one major way. They are not so common.

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 Post subject: Re: 12g vs 20g does it matter?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 2:46 pm 
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