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What about a 20 ga for SASS?


Waco Jim
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You don't see many 20 ga shotguns used in SASS and I'm wondering the reason why.  There must be some negatives that I'm not aware of.  Remington makes some great STS 20 ga shells with 7/8 oz shot so ribbed hulls is not the reason.

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Have heard a light 12gauge gives less kick but no personal experience.  Another reason is if you run out of 20 gauge at a match few would be able to give you some.  Both “negatives” can be worked out.

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My wife and my mother both shoot 20 gauge Baikals. They're out there, but not as common as the 12 gauge. They are proportioned a bit smaller than the 12 gauge Baikals, making them good for smaller framed shooters.

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Do notice 20 gauge can be harder to find so if you go that route stock up.  Actually right now where I live even 12 gauge is often not fo7nd.  Glad I have components and reload.

Edited by Dream Chaser, SASS #79316
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I used a 20 for a long time with factory loads. It did the job well, but I had a sore cheek after a match. After I started reloading for it things went much better. STS and AA hulls. Kaya is a big fan of her 20 and does well with it.  Again, Unique powder saved the day.

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20s work just dandy.  Wife and youngest son used one for years, but eventually switched to 12ga, primarily because we started shooting BP categories and only wanted to reload one gauge.  

 

 

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My ex tried it because of the slightly smaller size of the gun, but that was the real

weakness, the gun is smaller and lighter and so it seemed to have even more felt recoil.

 

I can see that for a full sized person it might be okay to use, but you compromise

ammunition availability, etc.

 

SC

 

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Winchester sells a 20-gauge low noise, low recoil shell with the same specs as the 12-gauge low-noise, low-recoil shell.  I rarely see them but Winchester does catalog them.

image.png.5757402df800ad7c3f455441b1e5a77f.png

 

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I had a bucket of 20g reloads, and figured that was a good reason to buy another gun, so I found a single trigger 20g Baikal Bounter Hunter II on Gunbroker last year, picked it up, and worked it over. Then... well, ya gotta have a backup, right? I bought a NIB 26" Stoeger Uplander in 2018 just because it was cheap - $225 - and it's been languishing in the back of the safe ever since. I gave it a chop job, installed a new bead, reduced the top snap spring pressure, polished the chambers, broke the sharp edges, etc., and now have a 20g backup. :D

 

There are no published 20g loads that will come close to 12g Featherlites, but you can experiment and reduce the recoil considerably. I know they exist, but I've never seen the 20g Featherlites for sale in a brick & mortar store.

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I started with a 20ga., in my opinion the recoil was worse than a 12ga.  The same weight of shot going down a smaller barrel is going to have more felt recoil.  I changed to a 12ga. and sold my 20ga. and haven’t had any regrets.

 

 Randy 

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HK Uriah,

I waited around to see if anyone would ask. But I guess it's on me to ask, ,,,,,,,, what the heck is a ZOOT ?

Isom

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24 minutes ago, Isom Dart, SASS#8096 said:

HK Uriah,

I waited around to see if anyone would ask. But I guess it's on me to ask, ,,,,,,,, what the heck is a ZOOT ?

Isom

It's CAS using 1920's guns: 1911's, Thompsons, etc, and period clothing.

external-content.duckduckgo.com.jpg

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As mentioned above, Zoot Shooting is a game similar to Cowboy Action Shooting, but instead of Colts and Winchesters, it's built around Thompsons and 1911's.   The "cutoff" date for firearms is 1949.   Some folks even shoot it with their Cowboy guns, but that's a rarity.

You see a lot of DA revolvers, Lugers, and other early autoloading pistols.  For the rifle, I have used my Thompsons, a reproduction of the Russian PPSh43, and my Broomhandle with the shoulderstock and fixed 30 round magazine.  I've also seen people using M1 Carbines, reproduction Sterlings, Soumi's and even a BAR.  97's are common shotguns, but so are Model 12's and Browing Auto 5's.

It's a fun game.   Full auto is allowed, unless there are local laws or club rules that prevent it.   In the Zoot World, I go by the moniker, Uriah the Inkblot and dress up as a cartoon character from the early 30's.

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Here We Go!!  The 20Ga:

 

The 20Ga is traditionally built on a smaller and lighter frame/barrel set than a 12Ga.  That is effected by simple physics.  Lighter gun recoils harder for a given load than a heavier 12Ga.  An Object at Rest - etc. etc. etc.

 

For decades, 20Ga Upland shooters and Target shooters ask'd for 20Ga ammo to compete with 12Ga guns.  The manufacturers obliged.  Understand, for the most part, unless you find specialty ammo, there is NO Light target ammunition.  Target ammunition is designed and loaded to break little clay birds out to 40 Yards.  In that vein, WW LNLR ammunition at the same pay load and velocity is going to recoil harder than a 12Ga.  "Target" ammunition in a light 20Ga frame can be Brutal.  However:  If you source some Fiocchi "Trainer" 20Ga, it will be a pussycat.

 

If you're going to shoot a 20Ga, learn to reload for it REAL QUICK.

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3 hours ago, Isom Dart, SASS#8096 said:

HK Uriah,

I waited around to see if anyone would ask. But I guess it's on me to ask, ,,,,,,,, what the heck is a ZOOT ?

Isom

Our club offers an unofficial catagory I call 'Prohibition'.  It integrates Zoot shooting in a CAS match.  

https://youtu.be/p_Lr7pO2cJQ

 

Just to stay on topic, RST shells, Fiocchi training rounds,  Noble Sports, and Winchester AA all make reduced power 20ga.  I haven't tried RST shells yet.   Noble Sport didn't shuck well in two different shotguns.  Fiocchi shucked well in a Rossi, but poorly in a funneled Baikal.  Winchester is my favorite but they only make runs of it ever so often.  

 

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I use a 20ga double trigger Stoeger 20" barrel I believe, using factory target loads. So does my wife. We do just fine with it really. It's a cheap gun at 550 bucks new but looks nice and slicks up really easily. 

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18 hours ago, Waco Jim said:

You don't see many 20 ga shotguns used in SASS and I'm wondering the reason why.  There must be some negatives that I'm not aware of.  Remington makes some great STS 20 ga shells with 7/8 oz shot so ribbed hulls is not the reason.

 

The 20 gauge with the short barrels normally used for SASS & using factory loads in a generally lighter gun , has a well deserved reputation of having a sharp recoil that most shooters find unpleasant. 

 

Yes there are low recoil options out there, but they are probably going to be more expensive and harder to find than the equivalent load in 12 gauge.

 

Unless you reload and/or already have a 20 gauge, there is really no good reason I can think of to buy a 20 gauge for SASS shooting versus a 12 gauge.

As already stated, if you forget or run out of 20 gauge at a match, there probably won't be any other shooters to get ammo from.

 

I've been shooting SASS in the Northeast for almost 25 years and I have seen only one shooter use a 20 gauge on a regular basis and that had 26" or 28" barrels.

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I shoot both 12 & 20 gauge Stoeger SxS double trigger. I reload for both. All my light reloads work just fine for SASS, and recoil isn't noticably different in either shotguns. However I can see that there could be a difference in recoil if I used store bought ammo.

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I asked this question since I have been looking for an SKB in 12ga and there seems to be none to be found.  The 20ga comes up occasionally on Gunbroker and I thought it might be worth considering.  The comments here have given me many reasons to just keep looking for a 12ga SKB.  Thanks to all who commented.

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Oh ,,,,,, ok, I knew about the Zoot Suiters shoots. It's just the way you phrased it , it sounded like an animal to hunt. Got it now. :rolleyes:

Isom

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For those shooting both 20 and 12ga., do be mindful of the serious consequences of accidentally dropping a 20ga round into a 12ga chamber, followed by another round OF EITHER GA.. 

I've seen it happen once-- not at all pretty.  It destroyed the gun, hospitalized the trap shooter and seriously injured another shooter standing adjacent.   

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