I'm looking at retirement soon so I should have time to get into a bit of rough shooting--rabbits, pidgeons and corvids.
I don't own a shotgun but have shot a 12 bore in the past.
I'm thinking of getting a 20 bore to cut down on weight and reduce the 'boom' across the countryside from a 12 bore.
Anybody got any opinions on this and can anybody suggest a good retailer ??
I have nothing to say against the 20 bore's only that the do tend to be a much smaller framed gun than a 12 so the recoil isnt as low as you'd think .Most yanks seem to favour them as an upland gun over the 12 so they cant be all bad.
I quite like the sabbati range of 20 bore over and unders ,they come up very nice for me but they are a bit on the pricey side for a game gun.Id say go for a yilldiz 20 bore ,their cheap enough and most gun shops have them in stock.
Have a good christmas
I shoot a 20 bore, Berreta 678 Silver Pigeon, if you've been used to shooting a 12 bore the 687 feels like a toy in comparison. I use 24 and 28 gram loads for pigeon and 31 gram 4s and 5s for ducks. They are lighter than your average 12 but the recoil and report are much the same. For rough shooting you can carry 30 cartridges for the same weight as 25 12 gauge.
As for having to be more accurate with a 20 than a 12, I've never found this. If you can shoot with a 12 there's no problem shooting with the 20.
theres alot of arguments about them basically the only pro of a 20bore is the reduced weight as far as i can see
A 12g well have less recoil using same load cartridges extended range more forgiving for a bad shot
If you got a light gas operated semi-auto in 12g it'd serve you very well with very little recoil even with bigger loads and relitivly light
I'd go to a shop and pick up a few and see what you think with the weight as much as you would think
If you are of small statue they are a fine gun,and will do within reason anything a 12 ga will do.They are favourd by the Yanks as bird guns,as they walk miles hunting upland birds,and you will notice every gram of weight in your 12 ga then .I use as my knockabout gun a 20GA with 22 mag over.The 20 Ga in full choke downs anything I can shoot with a 12GA modified.
Thanks for that info gents.
I've seen a few dvd's ( British ) with some shooters using a 20 bore from a hide for pigeon shooting so that got me thinking.
I know there's no substitute for actually handling and shooting the guns so I'll have a look around first.
I would use low pressure cartridges in a 12 gauge, 3/4 oz - 1 oz of # shot @ 1150 fps, the type used in older guns, it work for me. Less noise and less kick.
Also, as others have noted, there is a common misconception that a 20-gauge shotgun will kick less than a 12-gauge, when many times the opposite is true. Most 20-gauge shotguns are built on smaller frames, which make them lighter, actually causing them to kick more.
Shoot the lightest and slowest cartridge load you know will get the job done. As a shotshell load’s weight and velocity increases, so does the total value of the recoil force generated by that load. Even a slight decrease in weight (ounce of shot) has a significant effect on reducing recoil, as does every 50-fps (feet per second) decrease in velocity.
Let me put in a plug for the 16 gauge.
With mild recoil and its performance capabilities, the 16 gauge is an ideal choice for most field situations. A well balanced 16 bore side by side should weigh about 6 lb.- 6.25 lb.
It was/is considered by many the optimum gauge available in fast-pointing, quick-handling guns for upland - grouse, woodcock, partridge etc. - shooting and robust enough to deal with pheasants and waterfowl when required.
Shotgun ballistic experts will tell you that "square loads"--shot columns whose length matches the gauge's bore diameter - the width of the shot column is approximately the same as its height - pattern best. The 16 gauge has a bore diameter of .662 inch so by the square--load theory a one-ounce load or more precisely 15/16 of an ounce of shot and 2 ¾ drams of powder should be the ideal performer. The classic "square" load for the 16 gauge that has a reputation for very even patterns. This load has a short "shot column" maybe 2 linear feet at 30 yards and - if you are on target- not much will fly through it.
Think back a moment to the definition of shotgun gauge – it’s the number of pure lead balls of the gun’s bore diameter needed to equal one pound. Therefore, the theoretical 16 gauge bore sized lead ball weighs exactly one ounce – since there are 16 ounces to the pound.
A balanced load for a 20-gauge, 7/8 ounce of shot and 2 ½ drams of powder.
IMHO it is more productive to increase shot size rather than velocity for longer shots and larger birds.
Target loads that all the major ammunition manufacturers produce are light - square - balanced- they use their very best components and materials for their target loads. You will rarely see a 12-gauge load with more than 1 1/8 ounces of shot, and most of them are no heavier than a 3 ¼ dram equivalent of powder. If they made a target load that contributed to a lot of misses at the skeet, trap and SP range they wouldn’t be in business. A square load for a 12 , 1 ounce of shot and 3 drams of powder.
16 GA ammo can be a problem to get around here.It isnt a common calibre in the British Isles and is more a continental calibre,where it is as common as anything.
Thanks again gents.
It would seem the 12 bore is more versatile although a bigger gun to handle.
As I'd like to get into clay pigeons also I think I'd be the odd man out turning up with a 20 bore ?!.
What about sub sonic cartridges -are they of any use in a standard 12 bore ? I'd trade off a reduced range if the report was much quiter.
I'm in North Tipp and while I'd like to support my local dealers I've heard good reports about O'Hallorans in Drangan.
Could anybody offer any experience in dealing with them ? I'm not connected to them in any way !
dont be put off by using a 20 bore for clay shooting i know a cpl of lads on the icpsa sporting that use them ,to them the 20 being lighter in weight they can swing it faster on the crossers
if report is a prob would you consider a moderator
Then he is into either a single shot,pump action or some semi auto.There is a crowd that make barrels and shotguns in the UK. www.saddleryandgunroom.co.uk. Thing is they look awkward.
I purchased a 12 ga browning medalist from him about a year ago. Paul O'Halloran didn't have the gun i wanted in stock but ordered it in and had it two weeks later. It cost me 900 which is about 200 cheaper then local dealers quoted me. So I was happy and felt it was worth the journey.
wouldn't gree with ye there, i have a thomas henshaw 16 gage, love shooting with it. always able to get the ammo no problem, here in cork anyway.
i get the remington shurshot cartridges. away better than the rest.
also if anyone has links or info on the thomas henshaw 16 gage, could u let me know, trying to find some for ages without any luck....