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  • Need advice on choice of 20 gauge semi auto

    Hi everyone,

    I have one question regarding how to choose the right shotgun for myself. I want a 20 gauge semi auto with interchangeable barrel because I want to use it both for home defense and skeet shooting.

    Any advice on which one I should look into? Thanks very much

  • #2
    Originally posted by derek7 View Post
    Hi everyone,

    I have one question regarding how to choose the right shotgun for myself. I want a 20 gauge semi auto with interchangeable barrel because I want to use it both for home defense and skeet shooting.

    Any advice on which one I should look into? Thanks very much
    Give a little more info. How old are you and what build? Experience level with shotguns and other firearms?

    Comment


    • #3
      Cheaper but functional----
      1.Mossberg 930 my choice for the dual role you want.
      2. Stoeger 3020
      More money to spend?
      1. Remington 1100 & 1187
      2.Beretta A400
      3. Benelli Ethos
      I use a 1100 in 20ga but my home defense is an 870 pump. Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_1072.PNG Views:	0 Size:	154.8 KB ID:	741742
      Last edited by dewman; 08-11-2020, 10:31 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by jhjimbo View Post

        Give a little more info. How old are you and what build? Experience level with shotguns and other firearms?
        Hi,

        I'm 28. 150 pound and 5'7. Medium muscle level. To be honest I am relatively new to the shotgun, shot several times at the range but never personally own one shotgun.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by derek7 View Post

          Hi,

          I'm 28. 150 pound and 5'7. Medium muscle level. To be honest I am relatively new to the shotgun, shot several times at the range but never personally own one shotgun.
          Phil is an expert in all things shotgun. He can help direct you in the right direction. He is with Outdoor Life which is a sister magazine with F&S. Feel free to e-mail him. try [email protected]
          https://www.bing.com/search?q=phil+b...9c0ea536484401
          Last edited by jhjimbo; 08-11-2020, 12:13 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            I shoot a lot at both the range (trap, skeet, and clays) and field. Several thousand rounds per year. It's nearly all through a twelve gauge auto. I also have a sixteen gauge Model 12 pump that seldom gets shot because ammo is hard to find. While there's nothing wrong with a twenty gauge, I prefer twelve because it's better for the kind of hunting I do and also better availability for range ammo. Don't worry about 12 gauge recoil. An auto will mitigate that. You may have to pay a bit more for a twenty gauge gun. The autos are somewhat more scarce than twelve gauge and that pushes up price, especially for a used gun.

            Another thing to consider is that a heavier gun will swing better and have less felt recoil.

            As far as the home defense thing: I personally don't worry about it (keeping a loaded gun in the room is illegal up here anyway), but I don't see the need for an extra barrel. You will find that extra barrels for autos can be quite pricey. It would undoubtedly be cheaper to buy a used 870 pump and convert it. Tons of them available and tons of aftermarket stuff is available to fix them up into professional door crashers. Keep the nice auto for the skeet range. For shooting slugs you likely would find a heavier gun much more comfortable to shoot.

            Comment


            • #7
              How to choose the right shotgun for yourself?

              Good question, mi amigo!

              Pre COVID-19 hoax, I would have told you to find a big sporting goods store and check out their variety of semiauto 20 gauge guns.
              Hard to do these days! Very few stores can keep ANY kind of shotgun on the shelf.
              If you can even find a semiauto, much less a 20, you're going to be hard pressed to find something to compare it to.
              About the only next step is a "Mom&Pop" shop with a stock of used guns. From there, maybe a pawn shop.

              Buying a used gun can be iffy for a "newbie"! Just be cautious.

              These are some strange times. If you want a gun now, you may just have to grab whatever you can with the idea of upgrading or swapping later.

              Don't be a stranger,. You got questions, lot'sa folks here can help you with answers.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by dewman View Post
                Cheaper but functional----
                1.Mossberg 930 my choice for the dual role you want.
                2. Stoeger 3020
                More money to spend?
                1. Remington 1100 & 1187
                2.Beretta A400
                3. Benelli Ethos
                I use a 1100 in 20ga but my home defense is an 870 pump. Click image for larger version Name:	IMG_1072.PNG Views:	0 Size:	154.8 KB ID:	741742
                Thanks my friend. Those are very great tips and very helpful.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by jhjimbo View Post

                  Phil is an expert in all things shotgun. He can help direct you in the right direction. He is with Outdoor Life which is a sister magazine with F&S. Feel free to e-mail him. try [email protected]
                  https://www.bing.com/search?q=phil+b...9c0ea536484401
                  Thanks for your information! Very helpful.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ontario Honker Hunter View Post
                    I shoot a lot at both the range (trap, skeet, and clays) and field. Several thousand rounds per year. It's nearly all through a twelve gauge auto. I also have a sixteen gauge Model 12 pump that seldom gets shot because ammo is hard to find. While there's nothing wrong with a twenty gauge, I prefer twelve because it's better for the kind of hunting I do and also better availability for range ammo. Don't worry about 12 gauge recoil. An auto will mitigate that. You may have to pay a bit more for a twenty gauge gun. The autos are somewhat more scarce than twelve gauge and that pushes up price, especially for a used gun.

                    Another thing to consider is that a heavier gun will swing better and have less felt recoil.

                    As far as the home defense thing: I personally don't worry about it (keeping a loaded gun in the room is illegal up here anyway), but I don't see the need for an extra barrel. You will find that extra barrels for autos can be quite pricey. It would undoubtedly be cheaper to buy a used 870 pump and convert it. Tons of them available and tons of aftermarket stuff is available to fix them up into professional door crashers. Keep the nice auto for the skeet range. For shooting slugs you likely would find a heavier gun much more comfortable to shoot.
                    Hi, you tips is very useful. I was initially concerned about the recoil because the 12 gauge - but I think you just solved this concern for me. Thank you very much. I might get a 12 gauge.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by FirstBubba View Post
                      How to choose the right shotgun for yourself?

                      Good question, mi amigo!

                      Pre COVID-19 hoax, I would have told you to find a big sporting goods store and check out their variety of semiauto 20 gauge guns.
                      Hard to do these days! Very few stores can keep ANY kind of shotgun on the shelf.
                      If you can even find a semiauto, much less a 20, you're going to be hard pressed to find something to compare it to.
                      About the only next step is a "Mom&Pop" shop with a stock of used guns. From there, maybe a pawn shop.

                      Buying a used gun can be iffy for a "newbie"! Just be cautious.

                      These are some strange times. If you want a gun now, you may just have to grab whatever you can with the idea of upgrading or swapping later.

                      Don't be a stranger,. You got questions, lot'sa folks here can help you with answers.
                      Right. I just got a rifle from a "mom & pop" dealer and she said currently everything is sold out... But your advice make sense and I might need to get whatever I can get without being so picky....

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Great response from Derek. It really depends on how much you care to spend. He provided a pretty good pecking order to consider. Among my fellow hunters, the Rem 1100 seems to meet many needs as it is relatively low in price compared to its usefulness and reliability. Most people prefer the 12 gauge primarily for more pellets in the pattern but for upland bird hunting the 20 gauge is just "sweet". Very quick to raise and get on target. Clay shooters don't care about this though... they start with the shotgun on their shoulder and one pellet more in the pattern could garner them a win.

                        My best friend has shot his 20 gauge since the 1960s using it more than most for hunting pheasants, quail, ducks, geese, etc. and neither of us has never considered it a liability. He has always gotten more game than me, shooting faster, farther and more accurately so I never considered him handicapped with his sweet handling little 20 gauge. I use a 12 gauge and like it but it is not required for success.

                        Good advise from Honker on using an inexpensive 870 for home defense.

                        The real secret with a shotgun is to learn the limitations of the gun you choose, select the right load for your application and above all, practice and learn to hit reliably with it. The only 12 gauge shotgun that has made a difference in my success rate is the Benelli Black Eagle. The recoil is so light with heavy 3" and 3 1/2" hunting shells that rapid follow up shots allow me to get more coyotes and geese. The 20 gauge has this advantage over the 12 gauge and that is why my buddy outshoots me with his 20 gauge. His 20 gauge usually produces a faster first shot as well although a couple tenths of a second don't mean as much in game getting as it does in duelling.

                        My best to you with your new shotgun... whichever you get, learn to shoot it well and learn what shell lengths, velocities and shot sizes to use to give you an edge for each application you intend to shoot. FYI, my college friend was an All-American trap shooter and he never hit ONE pheasant his first three days of hunting wild pheasants in South Dakota. The moral of the story is that you also have to practice "situations" as they are all different (e.g. goose hunting is different than home defense, than pheasant hunting, than skeet, etc.).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          In response to Dakota's thoughts: As I said in another thread on this subject, speed shooting is greatly overrated ... both in the field and on the range. For home defence it is grossly overrated. One blast from a twelve gauge inside a small room and the invader will be stunned into unconsciousness if not blown in two. On the range and in the field I shoot a 1976 Browning Auto-5 Magnum Twelve, one of the heaviest twelve gauge shotguns ever made (actually I'm quite sure it is THE heaviest ever made). This gun also has one of the longest factory barrels at +31". I need soft recoil because I have fragile retinas (three detachments + multiple laser repairs). I also need a shotgun with lots of punch because I shoot a lot of geese. There are many good hard hitting magnum autos made today that weigh several pounds less than my gun. And their gas operation mitigates recoil significantly. The shoulder punch from them would not be much different than my heavy beast. So why do I stick with it? Surely a lighter gun would be handier, especially pheasant hunting where I'm walking all day in rough country. Two reasons I have chosen the heavier gun. First, this gun fits me perfectly and that is important, certainly much more important than the ability to shoot fast. With a good fit the gun automatically goes into the proper line of sight when it hits the shoulder. And it will stay there for follow up shots too. There is no effort to get into the proper mount and stay on the gun. A shotgun that fits properly will stay on you. Second, I swing a heavier gun better than a light one. It floats to the target and is less likely to be thrown ahead or above it (the "whippy" effect I described earlier). Most hotshot skeet shooters use O/U shotguns for that reason. The extra barrel weight smooths their swing (also no worries about cycling or policing up ejected hulls). And, contrary to what Dakota may think, many if not most good skeet and sporting clays shooters shoot low gun, holding it in the ready position and mounting it after the target is pulled (in international skeet the butt must be touching the belt when the target leaves the house). I shoot low gun skeet because it affords my very poor eyesight (left eye is almost legally blind) a better opportunity to find the target quicker. And from low gun I mount and shoot all in on fluid motion which doesn't give much opportunity for overthinking the shot ... which too often leads to bringing the eyes back to the gun to "aim" it. Then you've lost sight of the target and miss, the most common mistake in clay shooting. Because I'm pressed for time mounting from low gun, my eyes stay on the target where they're supposed to be as my hands point the gun instinctively. Poof! Last night I shot 24, 20, 23 skeet in a VERY gusty wind that shifted constantly. Two misses in the middle round were because my gun got caught in my shirt while mounting (I just replaced the recoil pad the day before and fit is very slightly different). When I do shoot my O/U Browning Citori, I have to shoot it high gun to get the same scores. The stock is thicker through the comb and just a bit longer I think. It's also a lighter gun. Maybe if I shot it more I would adjust to it better (I'll be adding an adjustable recoil pad soon to see if that helps with the fit). But then if I shot it more I'd probably be blind. Definitely a noticeable difference in recoil. Or I could step down to a soft shooting toy gun gauge O/U like several guys at the club have done (28 or .410) but then I'd be dealing with the whippy factor (and very expensive ammo!). Also, shooting a massively different gun when I hit the fields in the fall doesn't make a lot of sense. Not fair to the birds if I don't make my best effort to avoid their suffering. The best effort means shooting my best with a gun that I know best. It also means using enough gun. An expert hunter/shooter once told me his buddies use toy guns for pheasants so their dogs will have more fun chasing cripples. Good thing I don't hunt with those guys. I would be having fun breaking their skulls with their guns!

                          Sorry for the thought derailment. I do that a lot. The takeaway here is don't go hunting for a light gun for quick shooting ability. That's nonsense. With my heavy A-5, I shoot triples on geese usually at least a couple times a year (triple = emptying the gun and bringing down a bird for every shot ... but not "flock shooting"). And I don't shoot fast (though I can if needed ... ask the fine gemsbuck hanging on my wall). Shooting well doesn't require speed. Also don't be suckered into the O/U image for target shooting. An O/U will be heavy enough but the recoil I would avoid, especially if you're just getting into the game. Also, there is the price to consider. While there are some cheap O/Us being marketed today, they are junk. They do NOT hold up to range shooting. A pump will similarly beat you up with recoil, and follow up shots with them requires some developed expertise. If you can afford an automatic, go that route, especially if you want to start shooting targets. Don't worry so much about home defence. Your skeet gun can do that job just fine without modification. In the extremely unlikely event you have to deal with a home intruder it's a one shot affair anyway ... before the gun's concussion incapacitates both of you. For that reason I prefer 911 to permanent hearing loss.

                          If you're thinking of a new shotgun, I would lean towards Beretta or Benelli if you can afford it. The new Remington autos have a good reputation. The old 1100 not so much. They are fussy about cycling unless squeaky clean. Browning now makes a regurgitated A5 that is NOT the same as my old one (that design dates to 1904). Though they had some trouble with this new gun when it first came out, the bugs have been worked out. It's an inertia gun and not as soft shooting as the above mentioned gas operated guns (though certainly soft enough), but inertia is easier maintenance. Stoeger sells a relatively cheap auto but that company has some quality control issues. A couple years ago I saw one of those autos slam fire twice the same night (i.e. it turned into a machine gun!). The Turkish made autos are hit and miss (pun intended). Pay the money (e.g. Weatherby) and you get something. The chap ones may look great but watch out.
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                          Last edited by Ontario Honker Hunter; 08-12-2020, 01:52 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Really don't think I would seriously take advice about shotguns from someone who couldn't put a Browning Auto 5 recoil ring assembly together properly. Ya'll can make up your own minds about that.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by crm3006 View Post
                              Really don't think I would seriously take advice about shotguns from someone who couldn't put a Browning Auto 5 recoil ring assembly together properly. Ya'll can make up your own minds about that.
                              Just another annoying internet troll. Don't pay any attention to him. No one else does. Obviosly mentally ill.

                              Browning A5 doesn't have a "recoil ring assembly." The barrel ring is attached to the barrel at the factory. No assembly required. Of course this troll doesn't know that because he's never had an A5, or any real gun, in his hands before. I have rebuilt or replaced many of my A5's main parts (stock set, magazine tube, friction brake & spring, recoil spring, carrier latch, carrier spring, action spring, firing pin [three times], and just recently the hammer). I even designed a tool for extracting the broken end of magazine tube from receiver. But yet I don't know how to assemble a "recoil ring"? ... probably because there is no such thing.

                              Comment

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