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I know the 12 ga. vs 20 ga. debate has been discussed many times before and I have no intention of starting it again.

But I really need someone to clear something up for me.

Anyways, here's the scenario:

A 2-3/4" 12 ga Barnes Expander 438 gr slug with a MV of 1450 fps has 1428 lbs of energy at 100 yards.

A 3" 20 ga Barnes Expander 260 gr slug with a MV of 1900 fps has 1420 lbs of energy at 100 yards.

Now, I've learned that depending on the weight of the gun used, the recoil could be more or less in the 20 ga. shooting the 260 gr/1,900 fps slug as compared to a 438 gr/1,450 fps slug out of the 12 ga. So recoil can be somewhat subjective.

But what I really want to know is if there's a substantial difference in the damage done between a 260 gr. and a 438 gr slug when the energy of the two are virtually the same?

Shot placement being equal, can I assume that the 12 ga. by virtue of it's size would do more damage and after the larger 12 ga. slug expands it might do much more damage, thereby being more effective?

I've read many times that approximately a 1,000 lbs. of energy is necessary to ethically harvest a deer. I've never read though that a 20 ga. slug, despite being smaller requires any more. And maybe I've just answered my own question, but after using nothing but a 12 ga. I've been very cautious before possibly switching to a 20 ga. and need all the assurances I can get before doing so.

Would appreciate to hear anyone's comments.
 

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I believe you answered your own question regarding the energy being close to equal.

As the owner of a 20ga Ultra Slug Hunter Deluxe, I can tell you that it kills them dead at ~ 100yds. I have had this gun for 2 years now, and couldn't be happier with it. Prior to this gun, I also always used a 12ga.
 

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Repeated from my response in the Shotguns and Wingshooting forum.

Right out front, I've never shot a deer with a 20 gauge slug. Plenty with 12's but never with a 20.

Having said that, my grandfather regularly shot deer with an ordinary bead sighted 20 gauge Winchester Model 12 pump shotgun using plain old low-tech 20 gauge Foster slugs. One shot, one kill. He never had a problem. I witnessed this myself in person on several occasions. The deer I saw hit either dropped or ran less than 50 yards before piling up.

Sure, this is anecdotal information, but the new hi-performance sabots in 20 gauge will most certainly have a lot more accuracy, range, and energy than what my grandfather shot.

Beyond the statistics and ballistics tables, I don't think there's a measurable difference in performance between what you describe above as it relates to WELL PLACED HITS on the average deer.

My 2 cents.
 

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I'm using 3" Remmington Copper Solids. I have tried most of the sabots out there, and these seem to give me the best group out of my particular gun. The Barnes Expanders also grouped quite well
 

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But what I really want to know is if there's a substantial difference in the damage done between a 260 gr. and a 438 gr slug when the energy of the two are virtually the same?
The 12 ga slug due to it already larger diameter...will do more damage...and... it will do more damage from the muzzle on out past where the 20 ga is effective.The heavier slug will plow thru easier at longer ranges and so do more damage...

Actual killing of whitetails isn't that difficult...both will do a-lot of damage to a deer...Check with Barnes on the effective range of both slugs...

If you know your yardages won't be beyond the working range of the 20ga. then use it...if you are unsure...go with the 12ga....

Mac
 
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