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Duncan Disorderly

12g vs 20g - any advantage to one or the other?

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I see a number of shooters locally with SxS shooting 20g. I assume it's get less recoil and is cheaper. Any reason not to shoot 20g?

 

 

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12 ga is much less recoil(heavier guns, lighter loads, larger hole in barrel), easier to get in the gun(bigger hole to hit) and cheaper. You won't find factory 20 ga on sale much and with the multitude of 12 gauge loads, you will.

And as mentioned above, you won't see the top shooters shooting 20 gauge. Must be a reason.....

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12 ga ammo is MUCH cheaper to buy.

You can down load 12 ga. for recoil control.

12 ga components are easier to find and cheaper.

LG

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I rarely see 20 guage being used, factory 20g in a coach gun has a reputation of having a nasty kick to it due to the usually smaller, lighter frame and the ammo makers trying to get the most of what the hull can hold.

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I prefer 20g.

At Walmart the prices of 12g and 20g are the same. Most places they will be very similar.

I reload and I have not found that components have been harder to find or more expensive, to state it as fact is ridiculous. Also you can down load 20g.

I find the cartridge easier to manipulate and I have never had a bad experience with any load, while there are many 12g loads that are uncomfortable at best.

Shoot both and see what you prefer.

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My daughter and I shoot 20's. She has tried a number of 'light' 12g loads after well meaning pards insisted on it and they kicked the crap out of her. Less recoil in a 12? Bunk. Components for a 20 sit on the shelf right next to the 12's if ya cant find them. And the ketchup is in the door a the fridge. Honest -wife said so.

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Many folks buy the 20 gauge thinking it will recoil less than the 12. After all it is a smaller cartridge with lighter load weight - in general.

 

But we low recoil loads have been available for the 12 for many years. And you can reload the 12 with lighter loads.

 

As mentioned the 20 gauge is usually a lighter gun, which is handy for "handling" but results in more felt recoil. And to me, the recoil of the 20 is "sharper" than what I feel with the 12.

 

But the biggest issue I see is that it is much harder to get the 20 ga gun to easily eject rounds. I see a lot more folks struggling to dump the 20 gauge rounds vs 12 gauge. I have a 20 gauge Stoeger and (had a 12 gauge as well) and found that to be the case for me even after having both guns worked on. I always figured it may be the difference in the shells ratio of weight to overall surface area.

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If Winchester had made a 20 gauge '97.........the 20 would be a whole lot more popular. From what I've seen the 20 (in a sxs) has more recoil than a 12 with light loads.

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The recoil is always something people argue about and it's not a simple deal.

 

20ga guns are often the same weight as 12s. Many mfgs build both on the same frame. Usually the only 20ga frame 20s are from the higher priced mfgs. The 20 I started off with was a Stoeger that was listed as the same weight at their 12. It was actually heavier. Recoil is the product of the velocity of the charge, the size of the charge, and the weight of the gun. Nowhere is the bore size part of it. Today's Stoegers differ by 1.6oz in weight between the two gauges. And the Stoeger 12 is a 6lb 5oz shotgun. Don't expect to find many 20s lighter than that, that sell for $550.

 

7/8oz (the average charge of 20s) is lighter than the 1oz of the average 12 load. That's where the 12 gets any advantage. It's also why given the same weight shotgun the 12 won't ever recoil less. That is, as long as the 12 doesn't reduce it's velocity, which is exactly what is just as available in 20ga.

 

There's really not much advantage to one nor disadvantage either based solely on gauge.

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All I know is those winchester AA light recoil low noise target loads kick less than my 45 colt marlin cowboy. I had a 20ga shotgun as a kid, and I remember it wasn't much fun.

 

The recoil is always something people argue about and it's not a simple deal.

 

20ga guns are often the same weight as 12s. Many mfgs build both on the same frame. Usually the only 20ga frame 20s are from the higher priced mfgs. The 20 I started off with was a Stoeger that was listed as the same weight at their 12. It was actually heavier. Recoil is the product of the velocity of the charge, the size of the charge, and the weight of the gun. Nowhere is the bore size part of it. Today's Stoegers differ by 1.6oz in weight between the two gauges. And the Stoeger 12 is a 6lb 5oz shotgun. Don't expect to find many 20s lighter than that, that sell for $550.

 

7/8oz (the average charge of 20s) is lighter than the 1oz of the average 12 load. That's where the 12 gets any advantage. It's also why given the same weight shotgun the 12 won't ever recoil less. That is, as long as the 12 doesn't reduce it's velocity, which is exactly what is just as available in 20ga.

 

There's really not much advantage to one nor disadvantage either based solely on gauge.

 

But in any given mass payload, the pressure required to achieve the same velocity is lower for the larger diameter bore (there's more cylinder face to push on if you looked at this like an engine - a cylinder being driven in a bore - therefore lower pressure required overall). Isn't it high pressure that makes a recoil feel snappy or sharp?

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Never even thought about a 20 gauge! :blink: Rye

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Personally. I think the 12 give you more room to adjust your loads to fit your needs.

And to fit what target you may run into.

 

I VERY rarely see a 20ga.

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If Winchester had made a 20 gauge '97.........the 20 would be a whole lot more popular. From what I've seen the 20 (in a sxs) has more recoil than a 12 with light loads.

 

Would be shooting a 20ga '97 for sure if it existed.

 

I shoot my 20 with light loads because it's a 5lb 11oz SKB and kicks more than my Stoeger 20 used to (back when I started SASS shooting). A 20 with light loads is pretty much the same as a 12 with light loads, if they both weigh the same. Like my original Stoeger 12. Back when I moved from the Stoeger 12 to the Stoeger 20, it was obvious the 1oz load in the 12 gave more recoil than the 7/8 load in the 20. Made sense since both guns were close to the same weight.

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All I know is those winchester AA light recoil low noise target loads kick less than my 45 colt marlin cowboy. I had a 20ga shotgun as a kid, and I remember it wasn't much fun.

 

 

But in any given mass payload, the pressure required to achieve the same velocity is lower for the larger diameter bore (there's more cylinder face to push on if you looked at this like an engine - a cylinder being driven in a bore - therefore lower pressure required overall). Isn't it high pressure that makes a recoil feel snappy or sharp?

Actually, answering myself (red missed it anyway)... the same momentum would be experienced in both guns, momentum being the only force preserved in collisions, however the smaller bore's higher pressure would mean higher muzzle pressure meaning more muzzle blast per given load.

 

So while it's not softer on the shoulder, if both guns were the same weight, with the same payload going the same FPS, the larger 12ga would make less noise.

 

:)

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I shoot 20ga "feather lights", (7/8oz loads at 980fps) with a long barreled hammered Rossi. One disadvantage are the 20ga "feather light" shells are much harder to find than the 12ga "feather lights". On the plus side, they are a little easier to handle and I could fit more shells on my belt than the 12's.

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All I know is those winchester AA light recoil low noise target loads kick less than my 45 colt marlin cowboy. I had a 20ga shotgun as a kid, and I remember it wasn't much fun.

 

 

But in any given mass payload, the pressure required to achieve the same velocity is lower for the larger diameter bore (there's more cylinder face to push on if you looked at this like an engine - a cylinder being driven in a bore - therefore lower pressure required overall). Isn't it high pressure that makes a recoil feel snappy or sharp?

 

That's an interesting mix of concepts. If all that internal ballistic detail mattered in figuring out recoil, then the accepted formula for figuring out recoil would include all those things.

 

The basic formula is fairly simple because they found out long ago pretty much all that matters is the mass of the shot, it's speed and how heavy the gun is.

 

The light loads today around what? 1000fps for both 12 and 20. And the 20 loads are 7/8oz while the 12s are 1oz. You can get 7/8oz loads for 12s however. And 3/4oz loads for 20s...................

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That's an interesting mix of concepts. If all that internal ballistic detail mattered in figuring out recoil, then the accepted formula for figuring out recoil would include all those things.

 

The basic formula is fairly simple because they found out long ago pretty much all that matters is the mass of the shot, it's speed and how heavy the gun is.

 

The light loads today around what? 1000fps for both 12 and 20. And the 20 loads are 7/8oz while the 12s are 1oz. You can get 7/8oz loads for 12s however. And 3/4oz loads for 20s...................

 

Go back and read my last post...

 

It's louder; that is the only difference, all else being equal.

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All I know is those winchester AA light recoil low noise target loads kick less than my 45 colt marlin cowboy. I had a 20ga shotgun as a kid, and I remember it wasn't much fun.

 

 

But in any given mass payload, the pressure required to achieve the same velocity is lower for the larger diameter bore (there's more cylinder face to push on if you looked at this like an engine - a cylinder being driven in a bore - therefore lower pressure required overall). Isn't it high pressure that makes a recoil feel snappy or sharp?

 

Any given mass payload...............

 

7/8oz for 20ga

1oz for 12ga

 

So there won't be equal pressures to start.

 

If pressure had anything to do with recoil, wouldn't it be something they would have in the recoil formulas?

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LOL. That wasn't my last post. You missed one. Post 16.

 

The 20ga would in fact be louder. That is all.

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Go back and read my last post...

 

It's louder; that is the only difference, all else being equal.

 

 

Nothing in the original problem is equal, is it?

 

And we both came up with the same result, not much difference. I agree with "equal" being equal to "not much difference".

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Nothing in the original problem is equal, is it?

 

And we both came up with the same result, not much difference. I agree with "equal" being equal to "not much difference".

 

Except for the noise level. Since to achieve the same energy/recoil you'd need higher pressure in the smaller bore, which means more muzzle pressure and therefore a louder bang.

 

Somebody asked real world, all else being equal, what the difference would be. It would be sound pressure levels; nothing else.

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In reality, will a SASS 20 gauge kick less than a SASS 12 gauge?

 

Depends on which weighs less.

 

Depends on which shells you use in each.

 

That's about it...............

 

It's actually hard to find 20s that weigh much less than most 12s. And it's harder to pay for them to boot.

 

It's actually real easy to find shells for both that make either gauge kick less.

 

So don't sweat bullets over whether to buy a 20 to get less recoil or not, or worry about 20s kicking you silly. Bottom line to "does either have an advantage or disadvantage?".......... not anything that can't be easily matched or overcome.

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Oh shoot, one other thing - smaller bore guns usually WEIGH more. The reason being the same parts are used, and the smaller bore gun is drilled a smaller diameter. Leaving more metal in the gun.

 

So real world, the 20ga from a manufacture who doesn't tool up differently for each gun, would weigh more too. So indeed the same performing load would kick less (and make a louder bang).

 

But heavier guns point slower too... which is why I like 45 colt over .38spl - the barrel is lighter.

 

I'm outta here. I have a 12ga. YMMV.

 

 

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Why is felt recoil an issue shooting a shotgun - irregardless of the gauge?

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My daughter and I shoot 20's. She has tried a number of 'light' 12g loads after well meaning pards insisted on it and they kicked the crap out of her. Less recoil in a 12? Bunk. Components for a 20 sit on the shelf right next to the 12's if ya cant find them. And the ketchup is in the door a the fridge. Honest -wife said so.

 

 

I have both 12 and 20 gauge Stoegers. The featherlite 12 kicks less than any 20 gauge shell I can find. My surgically repaired shoulder would not lie to me. Featherlite 20s supposedly exist but I have never found them on any shelf anywhere

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I see a number of shooters locally with SxS shooting 20g. I assume it's get less recoil and is cheaper. Any reason not to shoot 20g?

 

 

Most 12 ga shooters are shooting 20 ga loads in their 12 ga. 12ga guns are generally heavier and thus less recoil not more. Over the counter 20 ga rounds are generally field loads and not the light loads 12 ga shooters are using, unless they reload.

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12 gauge = more black powder! :)

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12 ga is much less recoil(heavier guns, lighter loads, larger hole in barrel), easier to get in the gun(bigger hole to hit) and cheaper. You won't find factory 20 ga on sale much and with the multitude of 12 gauge loads, you will.

 

 

+1

 

 

You can shoot the same loads in both guns.

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Why is felt recoil an issue shooting a shotgun - irregardless of the gauge?

 

It is an issue because some people are sensitive to recoil. I have an illness that has effected my stamina for shooting guns with a heavy recoil.

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Slightly OT but its refreshing to see a bunch of people who actually know that a 12 G has less recoil that a 20 G. I was trying to convince a guy at work of that who was buying a shotgun for his teenage kid but decided to "start him out on a 20 then move up to a 12"...haha

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It seems to be a regional thing at times too. Here in MI you will see one 20ga. to every thirty 12ga. But when I shoot at a club in Indiana I see six to 8 total at the match. Three of them I know fairly well and they actually reload for the 20ga. and their loads are indeed more like a featherlight type load Two ladies and one guy that runs like a girl (MI Slim). Most of the 20ga. shooters I see are either wives of shooters who's husbands bought them to 20's because of "less kick" and the rest have been folks that already owned the gun. If you are going to shoot factories then go with the 12. If you are a avid 20ga. reloader then you will be able to actually take advantage of what the 20 has to offer. If the 20ga. 97' had ever gotten off the ground I guarantee I would have owned one.

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Interestingly enough, the firearms industry (Federal, Lyman, etc) have figured out recoil for all manner of loads in shotguns, and it says..... well, why not just look it up: http://www.chuckhawks.com/shotgun_recoil_table.htm

 

Notice that Recoil Table says the usual 20 ga is 6.5 pounds, and shoots a 7/8 ounce load at 1200 fps. They say it gives 16.1 ft-lbs of recoil energy.

Down the Recoil Table is their average 12 ga at 7.5 pounds, shooting 1 ounce of shot at 1180 fps. They say it gives 17.3 ft-lbs of recoil energy.

 

Stoegers' CAS 12 ga Coach Gun is listed in their catalog as being 6.5 pounds. That's lighter than the recoil table's 12ga, and is the same as the 20.

Stoegers' CAS 20 ga Coach Gun is listed as 6.8 pounds. That is almost a pound lighter than the table used for 12s.

 

The gauge really doesn't matter. The weight of the gun does matter significantly. So if you want your 12 to recoil less than your 20, you'll have to find a gun that's heavier than your 20 and use shells that shoot less shot than the average 12 gauge.

 

Look around at the available shotguns for SASS. Look at the shells that are available. And consider what you can do reloading. In actual practice, the gauge really isn't the problem. The gun's weight is. My Ithaca 20 weighs 5lb 11ozs. now that it's got 18" tubes. My reloads push 7/8 at about 1080 and me at what you'd expect from a gun that's less than 6lb. It does have a good recoil pad that was put on when I started taking heart medicine and was bruising easily. The pad stopped that and took me no time at all to install. I haven't fitted a pad on my 6.5lb twelve and get bruising. The Ithaca is so sweet, I probably won't. And probably won't ever shoot up those SASS 7/8 loads for it either.

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If you ever (or should I say "when") you somehow forget to bring enough shotgun shells (or all of your ammo), most people shoot 12 gauge and will give or lend you some. Fewer shooters shoot 20 gauge so you might find yourself out of luck.

 

One thing to remember, the shotgun MUST be fitted to the shooter. By that I mean the stock must be cut to fit the shooter and the angle of the cut for CAS is different than on regular shotguns. If the stock is too long and doesn't fit the shooter, the recoil is worse.

 

I love ALL of my shotguns because they are cut to fit me.

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