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The endless debate.......

The endless debate.......

Postby jimbo&rooster » Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:32 am

Alright guys, I am looking at buying another shotgun. Over the last few years I have been in a constant coming and going of auto shotguns trying to find "the one". I looked the other day and to my dispair it seems that all of the gun swapping I have done over the last couple of years has put me in good shape for centerfire rifles but I am down to just a pair of over and under shotguns, a 20ga Baikal, and a 12ga CZ. So the time has come to pick up another scatter gun.

Now for the endless question...... 20ga? Or 12ga?

I mostly hunt doves, quail and game preserve pheasants, all of which I have shot with either gauge, but If you were going to pick up another all around shotgun what would you be in the market for?

I already have the specific gun picked out, I am just torn about which ga I want this time. whichever I get I will more than likely pick up the other in the next year or two, but i wish ya'll would help me out.....I'm losing sleep over this life changing decision :lol:

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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby quackaddict » Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:21 am

I would go with a 20 all the way. Unless you do a lot of goose hunting, I don't think a 12 is necessary in the least, but that's just me.

What gun are you going with?
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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby ACooper » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:04 am

12 ga is the most versatile. But for your needs a 20 would work fine.
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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby mcbosco » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:12 am

If you are looking for a semi auto, I would get a Benelli.

You didn't mention your budget.
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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby quackaddict » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:39 am

I've just picked up a Franchi 720 that I love. Take a look at them.
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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby CHJIII » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:09 am

Oh come on! We all know the answer to this one.


16 Gauge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby piper338 » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:11 am

Franchi 48 AL in either 12 or 20 and call it a day.
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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby MTR » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:34 am

CHJIII wrote:Oh come on! We all know the answer to this one.


16 Gauge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

+1 :D :D
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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby quackaddict » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:20 am

I've got a 16 SxS that I love. If I could afford the shells all the time, I would buy another and that's all I would shoot...but shells are outrageous.
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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby jimbo&rooster » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:03 pm

For those of you curiouse about the gun Im going with, I am either goint to go with a Browning silver hunter or a Benelli montefeltro. I had an SBEII that i liked and a SX3 and these two guns seem to be very similar to ones I am looking at replacing them with. I do a little duck and goose hunting but not like I used to, so a 3.5in gun doesnt really interest me.

Part of the reason that I am shotgun deficient right now is because I have been getting rid of all of the plastic guns that were in my cabinet. I am tired of living in a plastic world and am going to all wood stocked rifles and shotguns, except for one rifle that I cant convince my self to let go and a 10/22 that I have sunk a small fortune in.

Still debating on 20 or 12....... life is full of tough decisions.....

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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby quackaddict » Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:55 pm

That 720 I've got is super sweet. Wood stock, will shoot 3" shells, super light for long hikes, and a breeze to clean. You really should try to get your hands on one just to shoulder it. I really do love it. Not too mention it's a little cheaper than the two you mentioned. I thought seriously about the Silver and the SX3 in a 20 before I found the Franchi.
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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby doco » Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:20 pm

CHJIII wrote:Oh come on! We all know the answer to this one.


16 Gauge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



I used to shoot a 20ga Citori for all that you mentioned above. Mod and Full and it would drop preserve pheasants at 45 yard with 3" loads. That was until I bought a Sweet Sixteen. Then I bought another for my son. Now I use that on preserves and my 20 for rabbits and quail. MY 12 is for South Dakota Pheasants when I want to reach out and touch someone.
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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby JKP » Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:35 pm

I shoot a 16 for everything but waterfowl...but if I had to choose, it would be a 12. It is simply more flexible, more effective than a 20 gauge. You can shoot 7/8 oz to 1 3/4 oz and a 20 gauge can't come close to that. Ammo is cheap and abundant. Don't let anyone tell you that 3" shells for the 20 gauge are great...they are nasty, loud little beasties and expensive. Get a 6 1/2-3/4 lb 12 gauge and don't look back.
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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby quackaddict » Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:52 pm

You can shoot 3/4oz to 1 1/4oz in a 20. If you can't kill a bird(any bird) with 1 1/4 of shot, then you need some serious help shooting and/or learning the art of decoying birds.
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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby JKP » Tue Sep 13, 2011 7:20 pm

You can shoot 3/4oz to 1 1/4oz in a 20. If you can't kill a bird(any bird) with 1 1/4 of shot, then you need some serious help shooting and/or learning the art of decoying birds.


Yeah...but its so much more comfortable shooting 1 1/4 out of a 12 gauge than it is shooting 3" magnum 20 gauge shells....and cheaper.....
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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby fishvik » Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:13 am

JKP wrote:You can shoot 3/4oz to 1 1/4oz in a 20. If you can't kill a bird(any bird) with 1 1/4 of shot, then you need some serious help shooting and/or learning the art of decoying birds.

Yeah...but its so much more comfortable shooting 1 1/4 out of a 12 gauge than it is shooting 3" magnum 20 gauge shells....and cheaper.....


If you are only going to have one gun make it a 12 gauge; more loads available, cheaper to shoot ; so make it your first and pick up the 20 later on.
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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby quackaddict » Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:04 pm

I'm not real sure where you guys are coming up with a 12 is cheaper to shoot. I primarily shoot a 20...most target loads are either the same or cheaper for the 20, and 3" non-tox is the same or cheaper than 3" 12ga.
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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby doco » Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:34 pm

Sorry JKP but maybe I'm a little cynical, I have never noticed any kick from any of my guns when hunting, let alone my 20. Maybe it's my adrenaline rush when a rooster is flying or a rabbit is running, but I've never felt, worried about it or even noticed it to speak of until I heard this. :? :? I've watched too many guys destroy birds and rabbits with a 12 at 10 yards. I also hunt ot enjoy the taste of game and have seen too many animals left in the woods for my liking. :( :(

JKP wrote:Don't let anyone tell you that 3" shells for the 20 gauge are great...they are nasty, loud little beasties and expensive. Get a 6 1/2-3/4 lb 12 gauge and don't look back.



On the other hand, I've never purchased a gun based on weight either and this is not directed at you by no means and I'm sure that I am going to open the floodgates for many comments, :roll: :roll: but I again have never noticed the weight of a gun while hunting. I carry a Browning 3 1/2 Gold Semi in SD because of the way the party I go out with hunts, and don't feel the weight. When I have to start worrying about a gun being 6oz lighter than the next, I'll just stop hunting and take up ballroom dancing. :lol: :lol:

The gun needs to fit the hunter and that's all folks! :lol: :lol:
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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby bossman » Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:16 pm

My wife and I hunt quail, pheasants and prairie grouse from Texas to Kansas (an occasional trip further North). Never break out the Beretta O/U 12 ga. We love our 20ga montefetros and would highly recommend them. Never had a problem getting birds. It's a joy to carry in the field. My wife says she always has a smile on her face when she carries hers :D
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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby birddogger » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:42 pm

On the other hand, I've never purchased a gun based on weight either and this is not directed at you by no means and I'm sure that I am going to open the floodgates for many comments, but I again have never noticed the weight of a gun while hunting. I carry a Browning 3 1/2 Gold Semi in SD because of the way the party I go out with hunts, and don't feel the weight. When I have to start worrying about a gun being 6oz lighter than the next, I'll just stop hunting and take up ballroom dancing.


No offense doco, but I just don't understand your reasoning here. I have always been primarily a quail hunter and have always wanted a light weight gun, even when I was 18 yrs. old, and now that I am older, it is a necessity if I want to hunt for any length of time. I am thinking that when you get older you will change your mind and carry a lighter gun instead of quitting and taking up ball room dancing. :wink: I agree with you that finding a gun that fits is of the utmost importance.

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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby doco » Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:31 pm

Hey Birddogger,

Maybe I'm just old school or just too lazy to try and figure it all out. I never bought into stock fittings, cheekstocks, patterning a shotgun, drams, loads, etc. I know what I've always shot for loads, love the guns that I own, and there isn't much I don't hit. As said in my earlier post, I've watched too many guys destroy game with a 12. I've learned that patience is the key to shotgunning and very few small gamers have it.

I hate to admit it now, but I'll hit 50 next year and still feel like I'm 18 so I'm hoping that you mean old like 70's & 80's. I've carried my Citori for almost 30 years now and I have just never felt the need to replace it for a lighter weapon. On the other hand, I have never been to or had a gun fitting. If I shoulder it and the bead is right there, I've always felt like that was a good fit for me.

And, the Ballroom Dancing, forget it. After 50 years of going to weddings, I still can't do the Alley Cat, let alone the Chicken Dance. :oops: :oops:
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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby quackaddict » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:08 pm

doco wrote:As said in my earlier post, I've watched too many guys destroy game with a 12. I've learned that patience is the key to shotgunning and very few small gamers have it.


I agree 100%. I don't understand why folks think that they have to have a 12 to shoot birds(minus geese and/or turkeys). Most doves, snipe, etc. that I've seen killed with a 12 are pretty mangled.
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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby nikegundog » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:36 pm

Sorry JKP but maybe I'm a little cynical, I have never noticed any kick from any of my guns when hunting, let alone my 20. Maybe it's my adrenaline rush when a rooster is flying or a rabbit is running, but I've never felt, worried about it or even noticed it to speak of until I heard this. :? :? I've watched too many guys destroy birds and rabbits with a 12 at 10 yards. I also hunt ot enjoy the taste of game and have seen too many animals left in the woods for my liking. :( :(

I will agree with you on the fact that I never feel a kick from a gun in the field, although sighting in a 12 gauge slug gun is a painful experience when shooting at paper. We have a group that goes to SD every season for the last 10 years, we usually clean about 225 birds in the last 10 years we have thrown away about 6 birds because of shot damage, almost everyone shoots a 12 gauge. So I think the problem may be blamed more on the fact that guys are shooting game at 10 yards than the fact they are using a 12. For me who hunts ducks, geese and wild pheasants behind flushers its a 12 gauge, and more often than not its with loads greater than 1 1/4oz.
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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby doco » Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:24 pm

Nike...I'm all on board for a 12 out there. Like I said, it is because of the type of hunting that it is. I tried both my 20 and my 16 in SD and over Labs, blocking, driving, and pass shooting they were way too ineffective. I dropped a passing rooster at 45 yards out and up with a 300 yard headstart and one of the guys in the party quipped that I was a duck hunter, wasn't I? I just laughed and said thank you. I only led it by 6 - 8 feet.

IMO you just need to pick the right tools for the right job. Even in those drives and hunting parties, too many guys are trying to shoot the bird first. It is not a competition for me and when I with somebody that hunts like that I don't hunt by them anymore. Patience, Patience, Patience.......Leads to good game on the table.

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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby birddogger » Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:56 pm

doco wrote:Hey Birddogger,

Maybe I'm just old school or just too lazy to try and figure it all out. I never bought into stock fittings, cheekstocks, patterning a shotgun, drams, loads, etc. I know what I've always shot for loads, love the guns that I own, and there isn't much I don't hit. As said in my earlier post, I've watched too many guys destroy game with a 12. I've learned that patience is the key to shotgunning and very few small gamers have it.

I hate to admit it now, but I'll hit 50 next year and still feel like I'm 18 so I'm hoping that you mean old like 70's & 80's. I've carried my Citori for almost 30 years now and I have just never felt the need to replace it for a lighter weapon. On the other hand, I have never been to or had a gun fitting. If I shoulder it and the bead is right there, I've always felt like that was a good fit for me.

And, the Ballroom Dancing, forget it. After 50 years of going to weddings, I still can't do the Alley Cat, let alone the Chicken Dance. :oops: :oops:

Hey doco,

I am probably old school too, and when I talk about the fit of a gun, I am simply talking about one that feels right. If you like a heavy gun, more power to you.
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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby JKP » Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:20 am

A 12 is the more flexible gauge...there is no argument to that. I shoot 1 oz loads @ 11-1200 ft/sec and you hardly feel the gun (6lb 9oz double)....but I also have the option of shooting 1 3/4 oz if I want. In the hands of the average shooter, a 12 gauge with more shot is a better option....and on a windy day, late season, a 12 in the hands of a good shooter is better....when we're talking about putting out a pattern of 5's for skittish roosters at distance...1 5/8 oz will beat 1 1/4 everytime.

I have all the gauges (even a 24) and prefer the 16 for everything but waterfowl....but I have to admit that the 12 is the most universal gauge.
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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby mcbosco » Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:15 am

JKP wrote:A 12 is the more flexible gauge...there is no argument to that. I shoot 1 oz loads @ 11-1200 ft/sec and you hardly feel the gun (6lb 9oz double)....but I also have the option of shooting 1 3/4 oz if I want. In the hands of the average shooter, a 12 gauge with more shot is a better option....and on a windy day, late season, a 12 in the hands of a good shooter is better....when we're talking about putting out a pattern of 5's for skittish roosters at distance...1 5/8 oz will beat 1 1/4 everytime.

I have all the gauges (even a 24) and prefer the 16 for everything but waterfowl....but I have to admit that the 12 is the most universal gauge.



No 32 gauge?
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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby Retiredbirddogman » Sat Sep 17, 2011 7:35 am

Thanks a lot guys. You have now caused me to look at the Benelli Montefeltro when I wasn't even in the market for a gun. Hmmmm, a trip to the gun shop just to look wouldn't hurt anything.
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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby bossman » Sat Sep 17, 2011 7:45 am

Hey, Retiredbirddogman...You won't be disappointed. Hopefully, I'm not too far behind you on the retired part.
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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby Retiredbirddogman » Sat Sep 17, 2011 7:51 am

Just checked specs on the Silver model. The weight of the 12 auto is almost exactly the same as my Ruger 20 over and under. My Ruger 20 is about 25 years old, may be time for a change. The 20 Benelli Auto is a light gun isn't it. I am sure it would feel very different to shoot a light gun after shooting my Ruger O/U for so many years.
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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby bossman » Sat Sep 17, 2011 8:22 am

My 20 is light for sure. I think alot depends on what type of birds you primarily shoot. If you go after a fair amount of pheasants or certainly ducks or geese, a 12 would be a nice compliment to your 20 o/u imo.
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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby Chaingang » Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:18 am

If gas autoloader is what you seek, i would seriously take a look at the Beretta 3901 (made in USA). This model is a re-packaged a390 which was the predecessor to the A391 Urika. Beretta decided to keep around due to popular demand. Much less complicated than the current A391 Urika and sells for much less. I've seen them currently advertised at Gander Mountain for $600 which is just about half the cost of a A391. Darn good gun for the money....
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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby displaced_texan » Tue Sep 20, 2011 7:21 am

But he doesn't want a plastic gun...
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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby PZulu » Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:07 pm

I have a Winchester SX3 composite 12ga and I love it. Best semi auto I have ever handled. It just "feels right" and comes with adjustable shims and pad extensions. Its been in rain and snow, no rust. Unlike when I once had a remington 870, a couple days of wetness in TN turkey hunting, it turned brown. I plan on getting the Winchester SXP (pump) in cammo when it comes out in November. Id like to get something fancy looking one day with a wood stock and shiny metal to show off at the sporting clays range and upland hunting like a noble rich man, but for now, I keep it dull looking. Personally, I don't like having alot of different types of ammo in my safe. I stick with 12 ga because it can do any kind of hunting you want. Nice gas operated guns like Winchester, Beretta, or Browning, recoil is not bad.
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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby doco » Tue Sep 20, 2011 7:51 pm

All things being equal, you need the right gun for the right job! I was shooting my 3 1/2" Browning 12 ga with 3 1/2" BB's and didn't feel a thing, way too much adrenaline pumping. We limited out in an hour. We couldn't do anything wrong that day. Best part was, both my brother and my son couldn't hit jack that day, so I got a little extra shooting in. However, in my Bro's defense, it's gone the other way too! There have been days when I wondered if I was shooting rock salt. Every single flock from 2 to 25 dropped right in like they were giving gold away. I was.....Browning Gold.

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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby mcbosco » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:27 pm

Chaingang wrote:If gas autoloader is what you seek, i would seriously take a look at the Beretta 3901 (made in USA). This model is a re-packaged a390 which was the predecessor to the A391 Urika. Beretta decided to keep around due to popular demand. Much less complicated than the current A391 Urika and sells for much less. I've seen them currently advertised at Gander Mountain for $600 which is just about half the cost of a A391. Darn good gun for the money....


We have 6 of these at the club for lessons and guests and they never get cleaned but they never fail to cycle even crappy target loads.

Excellent value.
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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby jimbo&rooster » Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:44 pm

Well I just ordered a Browning silver in wood with 26in bbls. I did decide to go with a 20 because over the last 3-4yrs I have grabbed my 20ga O/U for 90% of my bird hunting.

On a side note While I was at the shop ordering my Browning, they had a CZ720 on the shelf for what I considered a fair price, so I went home and did some looking around and it has great reviews. Im picking it up on my way home from work.

Anyone have any thoughts or insight on the CZ auto shotguns? I know that they are built by Huglu.

Jim
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Re: The endless debate.......

Postby DonF » Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:27 pm

I don't own a 12 or a 20 anymore. I use a 16 and a 28. For what you want though I'd take a 12 in a heart beat. You can load it with 1oz shot and it should give a better shot string than a 20 and you can go way above what the 20 can.
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