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Thread: 12ga. or 20ga. for rabbits?

  1. #1
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    Default 12ga. or 20ga. for rabbits?

    I'm in the market for a shotgun. I've already set my sights on a Saiga. I was planning on getting the Saiga 20 but it's come to my attention that the Saiga 12 has better clip capacities available.

    A 12ga sounds just a tad overkill for rabbits at the ranges I expect to come upon them. (even with bird shot)

    Not that it would be completely a waste as I also will be grouse hunting with it this fall. I've noticed that many people on the forums seem to prefer a .22. I've never been a fan of pistols.

    Is this a weight issue? I have no qualms about huffing around a heavier gun. My old .300 Win Mag (for deer, bear, escaped elephants, genetically created tyrannosaurs, and probably God Himself if it came down to that) hit the scales at nigh 12lbs with scope and bi-pod. That never slowed me down.

  2. #2
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    i just like the 12 because it's probably the most versatile gun in Alaska. rabbits, grouse, ptarmies, ducks, geese, and a bear in an emergency. hard to beat that if you don't want to buy a lot of different guns. i've never had any problem shooting light loads rabbit hunting...i use 7 1/2

  3. #3
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    Default 12

    I have never had a problem shooting rabbits or grouse with my 12 guage. Buying different chokes for different hunting situations is a lot cheaper than buying different guns. I have shot everything up here from squirrels to geese with my 12 guage and have had no problems at all. I say go with the 12
    "A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbol means nothing to him. A waterlogged stick will do just fine." Marley and Me

  4. #4
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    I've never had a serious problem with using a 12 gauge. I bought the 12 because I like to duck hunt, and was anticipating shooting some geese. Everyonce in awhile though I wish I had something smaller like a 20 gauge for grouse, ptarmi. I haven't had a problem with a 12 gauge and rabbits though. If you're going to be chasing ducks or anything go for a 12 but, if you're only using for rabbit or grouse gun I would just go ahead and get a 20.

  5. #5

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    Great answers above. I couldn't agree more about the versatiltiy of the 12 gauge. It can be used too many AK hunting scenarios to list. Great for hares too! Good luck.

  6. #6
    Member sharksinthesalsa's Avatar
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    Default 12 gauge steel

    steel #2 goes right through bunnies .....and you can shoot ducks too.....no shot is ussually left in the rabbits, like with lead shot....i prefer my 16 gauge overall for rabbits though.....coming in second is my .22 lever rifle
    "early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell, and make up lies"

  7. #7
    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    Default

    Alright! When I clicked on this thread I expected the worst... But looks like everyone is in agreement here. 12 guage with proper loads is just fine for whatever. I think a 7 1/2 shot in 2 3/4 inch hull is just great for all small game.

    Aim at the heads and at worst youll get a couple tiny holes in the meat. You wont ruin anything.

    Also, lets say you want to take this gun duck hunting, Im not sure how you could modify the magazine to only hold 3 rounds, wich is a requirement for duck hunting. But if you could figure it out it would be a good duck gun

    But honestly, aside from maybe the duck hunting scenario, sounds like a great no-nonsense choice for a shotgun. Make sure you get the model with the three chokes or at least the Improved choke. And youd would be served better with the 24 inch barrel as opposed to the shorter.

  8. #8
    Member akriverrat's Avatar
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    Default yep

    12 guage, aim for the head the best you can and get them on the hop.

  9. #9
    Member jakec5253's Avatar
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    Default 12GA for me too

    12ga, skeet choke, 2 3/4in 7 1/2 shot works great for me. I think the best way to solve your question is to buy both, and alternate between the two every other trip. I think that might be the only way to know you fully investigated your options.


    Jake
    All the romance of trout fishing exists in the mind of the angler and is in no way shared by the fish.

  10. #10
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    Default

    I've only killed rabbits with a .22, but if you're getting a saiga, go with the saiga 12, you won't regret it (I know I didn't ). I just got done converting mine and she is a beauty.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rimfirematt View Post
    Also, lets say you want to take this gun duck hunting, Im not sure how you could modify the magazine to only hold 3 rounds, wich is a requirement for duck hunting. But if you could figure it out it would be a good duck gun
    I can't find a 3 round magazine but they do offer 2 rounds (I guess you could leave one in the chamber)

    EDIT: Aw bummer, you mean I can't hunt with a 20rd Drum? I hate reloading!

  12. #12
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default

    12 gauge mossberg pump here. I prefer #6 shot as I get more pellets left in the meat w/ 7 1/2. I also like to carry a little rossi single 20 for grouse and ptarmigan. That little thing is a blast but has a good kick to it since it is so light! With whatever you use once you get used to the pattern you will be be able to aim so that the rabbit is not dead center. I like to catch the head in the outer edge of the main pattern. You may get a few odd flyers hit the body but little meat damage will be done. Take the time to practice with your gun at varying ranges to learn how it patterns. Eventually it is second nature. Every once in a while one will cut wrong though and you will inihilate it. Wish it didn't happen but it has happend to me on a couple ocasions though less than 1% of the total.

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