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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I shoot clay Pigeons with my 12 gauge Mossberg 500. I am thinking about getting a 20 gauge pump hoping for less recoil. Is the recoil about the same or is there a noticeable difference ? Can a 20 gauge blast those pigeons as well as the 12 gauge? Just to be clear, I don't compete in Trap shooting. I just occasionally shoot clay pigeons on my buddies land with my Wal-mart clay pigeon thrower.
 

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Genius in Training
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Its been ages since I've shot a 20ga but I think its safe to say there is a noticeable difference.12ga has never bothered me so I would ask is that recoil reduction worth buying a new gun and different ammo which flies slower making it harder to hit the targets.
 
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Yes there is a noticeable difference between 12 and 20 gauge but you will also more than likely see a noticeable difference in your scores shooting clays. I would suggest doing something with the recoil pad, adding a recoil reducer(pretty sure they still make them) which is a moving weight that attaches to the gun or getting a different gun like a semi auto.
 
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If you want less recoil, get an auto.
I have 2 OU, 2 break actions, and 2 Semis. The pumps and break actions are the heaviest recoiling guns, with dbl barrels recoiling a little less due to the added weight. All 105# of my daughter in law will shoot my semis all day, no issues, and I run fast loads.

I should also mention 1 Oz load recoil less and 1&1/8th Oz loads. More shot more recoil.

20 gauges will break clays fine. My best round of clays was with the 20 gauge semi. 5# gun swings fast next to a 8# OU.

Generally, in shotguns there are quality differences you can tell between $500 vs $1500, vs $2500 guns. I would not know bout the 5-10000 shotguns, and don’t care too.


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I used to only shoot 12ga. I hunted deer, pheasant, rabbits and squirrels with 12 ga. Now I almost exclusively use 20 ga and sometimes even 410. For clays the 12 is your standard gauge. Lots of pellets going down range. Recoil seems to less of a factor the more you shoot. If you go 2-3 times a year, you’re going to feel it. If you go 2-3 times a month, it will be barely noticeable. I shoot sporting clays twice a year with a 20 gauge OU and still manage to average 65 out of 100. Not great but not awful. I use the 20 because I hunt pheasants with the 20. I have some 12 gauge pumps that never see the light of day anymore. I have a 12 ga auto for ducks, geese, turkeys and if I ever want to shoot buckshot at deer on a drive. My slug gun ( NJ is a shotgun only state for deer) is a 20ga pump. I don’t need the recoil and weight of the 12 and it’s ballistics superior to 12 ga with slugs.
 

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there are lots of things you can try......change recoil pads, adjust the stock length, heavier guns, smaller gauge, change the action type.

but before i start throwing money at it, i would try some Winchester AA light target loads.

winchester AA is the go-to choice of the 4H shooters in my area...... https://winchester.com/Products/Ammunition/Shotshell/AA
 
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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Good suggestion ( mjcmichigan ) about the 1 oz loads. If I have a choice of 1 and 1&1/8 I will go with the 1 oz.:wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Yes, ( Stamps6 ) I think you hit the nail on the head in that I probably just don't shoot enough. I have heard the same thing your talking about, that the 20 gauge is a very capable round. I did not know the ballistics of a 20 gauge slug were superior to a 12 gauge slug.:wink:
 
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