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Thread: 12 or 20 for Alaska?

  1. #1

    Question 12 or 20 for Alaska?

    I'm looking into buying a new shotgun. I'm thining of going with a 20 gauge because it's about a pound lighter than the 12, plus I'm not planning on using it for anything but rabbits, grouse, and ptarmigan. Is there any reason I should go with the 12 gauge instead? (I do already own a 12 gauge that I use for waterfowl) Thanks.

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    Its all your own preference in what your looking for.Personally the weight does not bother me.And now I have four 12 gauges as I sold off my 20 gauges.Reason being is that I got tired of fighting and looking for shells when I took both guns out with the family,so I opted with settling with the 12's so we wont have an issue about shells.Daniel

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    Default 20 guage

    The 20 guage is more than enough for the game you listed and the lighter wieght is certainly a bonus. I use an old 12 that I have because it's sentimental and what I have but one of these days I'll break down and pick up a 20, I'm shooting 7/8 oz. and 1 oz. loads in my 12 which is the same as a 20 and it takes care of business every time. I would check out one of the gunshows and look for a used shotgun as you can find good deals because the resale value on shotguns isn't that good plus it's going to get beat up anyway dragging it through the brush. Good luck............

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Since you have a waterfowl gun then you should get a 20 gauge. Its not like you can't use your duck gun for grouse... Might as well have something different
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    Ive been real happy with my decision to get a 20 guage. I used to use my 12 for everything, but for the game you listed I like the 20 better.

    Meat damage is a little less most of the time, and the lighter weight shorter barrels are nice for swinging in tight cover.

    I use mine mostly gunning for rabbits while the beagles are in pursuit. In fact got a double on bunnies today with it. Never done that before. The two rabbits were running with eachother, Blam and blam, two rabbits down. Then I got a grouse! Just got done dressing everything out. 1 rabbit and the grouse were fine. The other had quite a bit of damage around the ribs and front quarters. I shoot 5 and 6 shot.

    I bought a stoeger side by side. Its been a great gun. Its a workhorse for sure. It aint real pretty or refined. But all the scratches and dings in it sure look good to me. Plus it didnt break the bank. The remington imports look good too and they are not bad priced either.

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    Shooting grouse with a 22LR loaded with solids, you just get a pencil-sized hole in one side and out the other, but the birds still flush (after getting shot) and fall 5 to 20 feet away ...which can be in thick brush and make them impossible to find. Does a 20 gauge drop them faster than that? How much meat damage? I like the neat little hole that a 22 makes, and it disappears when cooking...

    Brian

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    I use nothing but number 6 shot in my 12 gauges with no meat damage.But then I shot from a distance.Im not one to walk right up to them and BLAST away from 20 feet or so.In-fact just got bacl from a quick short hunt and Im 3 for 4 birds,the one that got away flew off pretty much as soon as I even thought about getting him.Daniel

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    Default meat damage

    I use 7/8 oz. low brass of 8 shot with a cylinder bore till the leaves are off then I switch to 1 oz. of 6 shot for rabbits and grouse. I will not shoot grouse or rabbits unless they are out about 20 yds before pulling the trigger and with the 8 shot there is no meat damage not even a pencil size hole, it only takes 2 or 3 pellets to drop a bird or a rabbit.

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    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    The 20 definatly drops them faster. Grouse dont go anywhere, I have had a couple of rabbits crawl a bit. But I cant think of any game I have not recovered with the 20.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thunder chicken1 View Post
    I use 7/8 oz. low brass of 8 shot with a cylinder bore till the leaves are off then I switch to 1 oz. of 6 shot for rabbits and grouse. I will not shoot grouse or rabbits unless they are out about 20 yds before pulling the trigger and with the 8 shot there is no meat damage not even a pencil size hole, it only takes 2 or 3 pellets to drop a bird or a rabbit.
    Maybe I'll bring the 12 gauge next time. The birds were alert at 40 to 50 yards where I went on Saturday ...too much pressure? The wife can carry the 22 and shoot the sitters and runners, and I'll shoot the flushers.

    Which choke are you using for 20 yards? IC?

    Thx,
    Brian

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    Default choke size

    For 20 yds a cylinder choke is perfect with 7/8 oz. 8 shot or 1 oz. 7 1/2 shot. I/c is great for later season when there jumping at 30 yds. I pretty much use a cylinder bore all season for grouse and rabbits but go to I/C for ptarmigan.

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    Member alaskan winmag's Avatar
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    Default I'd go with...

    I agree with ak.p.m. I would pick the 20 just because it's lighter, and you already have a 12. I know it's not what you are looking for but my personal preferance is a sxs .410, but I like a challenge.

  13. #13

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    Yeah there's a lot to be said for a gun that's easy to carry. I'm looking for one of those 11-87 upland specials. Remington no longer makes them but I'm keeping my eye open at gunshows.

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