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Posted: 2/13/2002 2:32:16 PM EDT
I've never owned/used a 20 gauge, but my interest was piqued when I looked at a Remington 870 Express youth model at Wally world the other day. Very light, very handy with the 20" barrel and 13" length of pull. I got to thinking it would be very handy for my wife. Then I checked the Remington ammo charts and found that full power 20ga ammo is real close in energy, etc to the reduced recoil 12 ga loads.

Is there any point in 20 gauge? Or just use the reduced 12 ga loads while keeping the option for the heavier ones? Kind of like .38spl/.357mag.
Link Posted: 2/13/2002 2:43:48 PM EDT
I have a Mossberg 500 cruiser. Its an 18" barrel, pistol grip, security pump special- I call it "the world's biggest handgun". I keep it stoked with 3/4 oz hollow point rifled slugs. It's pretty easy to say 'it's not as powerful as a 12ga', but I would not like to be standing on the other side of that muzzle in a confrontation.

Link Posted: 2/13/2002 5:53:59 PM EDT
have both 20's and 12's.. find advantage of 20 in hunting upland birds. 3" 20's will provide similar shot charge as 12 ga field loads.. Also, oz for oz, a 20 ga will hold tighter patterns as more of the shot column is in contact with the bore.. especially nice for lighter bird loads. Very nice for wife & children. As for defense, being on the muzzle end of either would be "unpleasant" to say the least. My $.02.
Link Posted: 2/13/2002 6:33:28 PM EDT
20 Guage is fine for defensive purposes. I have an 870 in 20 guage but its not the youth model.

Suggest you teach your wife how to shoot it with mild target loads first. After she has mastered the weapon you can move her up to buck or slugs. The're gonna kick harder!

In my experience 20 guage guns kick just as hard as the 12's'. They shoot fewer pellets but the gun is also lighter so the recoil is about the same. Still the shorter stock is an advantage for smaller shooters.
Link Posted: 2/13/2002 7:08:27 PM EDT
for what it is worth, I have found a 20ga slug to shoot flatter and go further than a 12ga. I have made the switch for hunting white tail.

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