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Discussion Starter #1
I wrote an earlier post about purchasing a Wingmaster in 12 gauge and have always hunted with a 12, however, I'm starting to have thoughts that I might enjoy a 20 gauge Wingmaster instead, less recoil would be nice. I'm sure this has been asked before, but given a choice for shooting clays and the occasional dove or quail hunt, or even for home defense, which do you prefer 12 guage or 20? Also, for those that have hunted with the 20 gauge, do you feel it acceptable for the above-mentioned hunting? Or should I scrap the idea and just stick to the 12? Thanks again for any advice.
 

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I own both a 12 and 20ga Wingmaster and I like the 12ga but I love the 20ga. I have hunted with a 20ga for about 35yrs and I have killed grouse, woodcock, pheasants, turkey, ducks, rabbits and one deer with a 20ga. A serious clay bird shooter shooting skeet will find no difference between a 12 and 20 as to scores, a lot of shooters are using 7/8 oz loads in the 12ga today. As far as home defense goes I would prefer a 12ga loaded with buckshot.
 

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IMO I feel the larger bore of the 12 ga. especially on back bored models pattern nicer.

I shoot 7/8 from the 12 as well the little x-tra weight in the gun is more comfortable to shoot.

Giving credit to the 20. It is better to carry all day long.
 

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I can't think of a situation i'd rather have a 20 for, except maybe teaching young kids. Quail, in particular, can take a pretty good charge sometimes, I'll often shoot heavy 7 1/2s at them and I wouldn't want to be limited to a 20.

2 3/4" 12ga loads just don't kick enough that I worry about the recoil.
 

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Where a 20 guage really has it all over a 12 guage is in weight. With upland hunting, or rabbit hunting in front of dogs, where there is a lot of walking etc, a light weight 20 rules especally about 3 o'clock in the afternoon. That's when you really appreciate the weight difference both in gun and in ammo. I hunted a remington autoloader in a 12 guage for years. I bought my son a single barrel 20 and noticed he killed just as many rabbits with the 20 as I did with the 12. I have now switched to a nice, light 686 Beretta white wing in 20 guage and can tell no difference in small game hunting. Who knows? I'm thinking when the shooting is slow, a .410 is much, much lighter........
 

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I hunt and shoot trap with both a 12 and a 20.
Sporting Clays- makes no difference
Dove hunting - lots of shooting, not much walking, I'd rather shoot light loads out of a heavier gun, 12
Quail hunting- lots of walking, I'd rather carry a 20
Home defense - not much walking, important to cause as much damage as possible to your target, 12
 

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victorcharlie nailed it. It is all about the gun weight. Lighter guns handle better and get on target quicker, so for upland hunting the 20 is great. Pass shooting doves, ducks, or geese, on the other hand, requires more weight for smooth follow through. Power isn't really a factor, for hunting I have always loaded 1 oz. of # 7-1/2 or 8 shot in my 20 gauge, and they kill as well as my 12s.
 

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i am a 20 gauge man. got one when i was younger, and i have killed a whole lot of game with it. the only situation where a 12 beats a 20 is offensive/defensive situations.

i am at the stage where i am thinking on either a 28 or a 410. in the end it might end up being a nice o/u 20 instead. i do like 410, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the advice, still alittle torn on what to do though, I guess the best move would be to have both :grin:
 

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I have a 20ga set up for HD purposes---also have a 12ga for that too---at house hold ranges--it ain't gonna matter one way or the other----if you're really worried about it---shoot em again---as my 20 carries a load of 12 shells---8 in the gun and a 4 shot side saddle.

Not that I'm going room clearing---so 12 shells ought to be plenty.

I'd take the 12ga for longer range waterfowl and turkeys---or for an extra measure for hammering clays-----but for 95% of uses the 20ga is plenty--if not preferable.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
My quest between 20 vs 12 has ended. Through much research and going to several gun shops handling various wingmasters I noticed that I developed some tunnel vision. I moved down the rack and started to handle the old savage/stevens double barrels. Found two model 311's, one 12 gauge, one 20 gauge. After comparing the two and how they came up to my shoulder, weight, feel, the info that was gained on this forum from everyone, and finally for what I would be using it for, I went home with the 20 gauge. I've always been a pump guy, however, I can't believe I was missing out on the look, feel and pointability of the SxS. Who would have thought! :) Thanks for all your help in the matter guys, J-P
 

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Classic side by side huh? Good deal, nostalgic and practical, those guns were some good ones. Hope you enjoy it for many years to come.....!!!
 
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