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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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