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I want to start bird hunting. This includes ducks, geese, and turkeys. I know I want a Remington 870. Should I go 12 or 20 gauge

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  • I want to start bird hunting. This includes ducks, geese, and turkeys. I know I want a Remington 870. Should I go 12 or 20 gauge

    I want to start bird hunting. This includes ducks, geese, and turkeys. I know I want a Remington 870. Should I go 12 or 20 gauge? Also, I am about 5'5" 125 lbs should I use youth or normal size?

  • #2
    A 20 ga would probably work best. My wife is smaller than you and a youth model didn't fit her very well. Go to a good gun store and have them help find a shotgun that fits you, whether it is a youth model or full sized model.

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    • #3
      Most guys go from 20ga.,to 12ga., then back to 20ga.
      So if I were you I'd cut out the middle man and go 20ga. and get the youth model you can always change butt-stock later as needed. Good luck out there.

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      • #4
        I got a Westernfield 20 ga. I have used it on everything from doves to late season giant cnadian geese. Any problems I have had with it have been self inflickted. I got it from my mother. Dad bought it for her in the mid 1930's.I have been using it for about the last 50 yrs.
        Do you realize that a 3" 20 packs the same loads as the 2-3/4" 12ga, and those worked for oh the last 100 plus years.

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        • #5
          12 is most versatile, especially for the birds mentioned, and you will grow into it. If you can get one with a youth stock that shims up to full size, that would be optimum.

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          • #6
            Although I would say to go with a 12 gauge... a lot of people are going back to 20 gauges due to new ammunition specifically for 20 gauges and also the lighter kick and smaller size.

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            • #7
              I have a 20ga, 870 youth model and I wouldn't get anything bigger for most of the birds that I hunt (Pheasant, grouse, quail) Ducks and geese- I prefer a 12ga, but I've definitely gotten the job done with my 20. I really like the youth model for walking, especially in the woods.

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              • #8
                I'm 14 5'6" and weigh 120 lbs and I've got a full size mossberg 500. So I guess it's about how much extra weight you want to carry. Plus if I get a youth stock I'll never hear the end of it from my dad and uncles.

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                • #9
                  I'd recommend a 20ga. It will have less recoil, they are better on fast target acquisition and you can shoot it with confidence. Your size and weight is a serious consideration in happy hunting. When you need them for goose and turkey, three inch 20ga shells generally outperform 2 3/4 12ga shells because of the denser pattern caused by the tighter bore. People go crazy with long 12ga shells for everything but you have to remember the recoil, shooting comfort, the weight of the weapon and the ability to get on the target fast. All things considered at your size, you will probably do better with the 20ga. A 20ga is not a sign of weekness. My best friend has shot a 20ga from the beginning and has probably outshot me my whole lifetime... longer range geese, more ducks, more pheasants and more quail... You need to try the fit, but I would be inclinded to get the adult model if it is close to fitting so you don't outgrow it right away because I bet you fall in love with it the first year. You might also consider a Rem 1100 in 20ga, they carry lighter than a 12ga 870 and feel real good. That is what my buddy has and he LOVES it and has for nearly 45 years. You need to remember that the most important factors in shotgunning birds are an accurate shot and size of the shot... the guage is not nearly as important. A 12ga throws a little more shot but remember that most of that shot misses the bird in an accurate shot.

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                  • #10
                    i would go with the 20ga because i am about the same size and i have a 12ga and my brother has a 20ga and i used it and liked it a lot more than my 12ga.

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                    • #11
                      honestly ive used the 12ga since i was smaller than u and had no problems. the gun lasts a life time and i love it. my friend likes it more than his 20ga youth.

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                      • #12
                        20 gauge is what i got and I killed all my turkey with it so thats what I'd have to reccomend.

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                        • #13
                          For your size I'd say a 20ga. I'd definitely go to a gun shop w/ a good selection, and shoulder several different guns to see what fits you best. If the recoil of a 12 doesn't bother you, then I'd go with that personally. Can you think of anyone who would take you shooting and let you try a 12 or 20? Might start there. Opinions are great, but yours is the one that matters most to you. Good luck.

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                          • #14
                            That's a very personal choice. For me a 12 has been the gun for most of my shooting until about 12 years ago I bought a 28 guage O/U and I love the thing for upland hunting. If had to do again I would consider the 20 simply because ammo is much cheaper than 28's. If you are recoil sensitive go with the small gun. If not keep in mind the 12 will work on almost anything including big game.

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                            • #15
                              12 gauge and a youth, that's my theory

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