Tuesday, February 28, 2012

20 gauge vs 12 gauge

Today I would like to talk about two very popular shotgun gauges, the 12 gauge and the 20 gauge. As far as shotguns are concerned, I really love them, I think they are incredibly awesome, although, I am not all that familiar with clay shooting, I still love them. The shotguns that I have owned have been more for combative purposes, whether I actually need to use them or not, I love them, and I try to practice with them as often as possible, and I use buckshot and slugs as often as possible. So with a combative purpose in mind, how effective are the 20 gauge and 12 gauge shotguns? Very!

First of all, I would like to talk about the 20 gauge. The 20 gauge can be purchased in single shot, double barrel (side-by-side, and over/under), pump action, and semi-automatic, and regardless of the configuration, the 20 gauge is incredibly effective and best of all, the recoil is minimal. Now with minimal recoil, this means that there is a loss of power, but this should not fool anyone, the 20 gauge still is incredibly powerful. Let us take the 20 gauge slug for example, the slug is more or less a 45 caliber slug that is very heavy and travels fast, and is often compared to a 454 Casull, which is much more powerful than a 44 magnum, so this may be one of the best rounds for self-defense/combative purposes, and even more with a sabot slug fired from a rifled shotgun barrel. So what about buckshot? Unfortunately there is not a huge assortment of buckshot available for a 20 gauge, I am usually able to find #3 and #4 buckshot which is good, but not as good as 00 or 000 buckshot. I have been told that there is good stopping power with both #3 and #4 but if an attacker is wearing a heavy leather jacket or is at a far distance away, these loads are not quite as effective, and I have read a few cases of these buckshot loads failing to stop an attacker. If you shop around, it is possible to get 00 buckshot or higher for a 20 gauge, but I personally would choose a rifled slug for self-defense if I am unable to find 00 buckshot. So if you are a small shooter or don't like a lot of recoil, the 20 gauge is a viable option.

Now onto the 12 gauge, the 12 gauge is one of the best shotguns that you can get, it is powerful, and can be purchased in a single shot, double barrel (side-by-side or over/under), pump action, or semi-auto. The 12 gauge shotgun has tremendous stopping power in either a 50 caliber slug or buckshot, and best of all, the various types of ammo for a shotgun can be found quite easily, and for more power, although you probably don't need more power, you can even get magnum buckshot. The biggest draw back on the 12 gauge is that it has mad recoil, but with practice and familiarity, this is not much of a problem. If the recoil is too much of a problem, there are now reduced recoil rounds, recoil reducing stocks, and pistol grip stock as well. I prefer to have a 12 gauge pump without a pistol-grip, because with a pistol-grip, some pump actions' slide release can be difficult to access. I personally feel that having a pistol grip is very good if you have a semi-auto, especially if you have a Saiga shotgun.

So for those of you who do not own a shotgun, I highly suggest you check them out, if you want them for combat, having about an 18.5 inch barrel is the best choice, and whatever you choose, make sure to practice with them, and become familiar with how they work, and always practice safety.