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Youth/Wife Shotgun: 20ga or 28ga?

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Youth/Wife Shotgun: 20ga or 28ga?

Old 04-07-2021, 10:20 AM
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Default Youth/Wife Shotgun: 20ga or 28ga?

I recently picked up a new O/U for some beginner skeet/trap/clays shooting and grouse/upland bird hunting. My daughter and wife would like to get into Skeet and trying to decide on a youth/shorter length of pull 20ga or 28ga? Was leaning towards 20ga originally but the more I read, 28ga is really making a bit of a comeback. Luckily my wife and daughter are both about the same size, 5'1 and 100 or so pounds so they can use the same shotgun. My oldest daughter is 5'8 so she can use my 12ga. Range restricts to #9 shot or smaller for skeet and that small of 12ga works well for my oldest and the 12ga.

Was thinking of starting them off on a Stevens or maybe spend a little more on the CZ.
Old 04-07-2021, 11:14 AM
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20 all day long. 28 gauge ammo can be very difficult to find at times, and tends to be $$$.

Never shot one, but everything I've heard discussed about the CZ is excellent. If you can swing it, a Silver Pigeon 20 is a wonderful handling gun. I generally don't shoot Beretta's well...that one is the exception for me.
Old 04-07-2021, 11:19 AM
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Are you worried about recoil or the gun being too heavy ?
Old 04-07-2021, 11:19 AM
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My local range/club bought a LOT of shotgun ammo before ammo went insane and they sell 28ga for $12 a box. Not great prices but not as bad as most local shops. And finding #9 or small shot is tough. 12ga they sell it for $9 a box. I usually buy from there as local shops almost never have #9. Trap and sporting clays courses you can use #7 1/2 which is a bit easier to find. Well at least use to be easy.

I know my wife would love a Beretta as she has a 92FS. She's put a few thousand rounds through it and loves it. I'm terrible with that thing for some reason.
Old 04-07-2021, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Unga Bunga View Post
Are you worried about recoil or the gun being too heavy ?
Bit of both. My wife is pretty strong for her size, but recoil i'm more worried about. Thought about putting a longer barrel and modifying the stock on my Rem1100, but DAMN barrels are expensive on ebay right now for Rem1100's. $400-500 i'm finding for a 28" barrel. Youth/shorter length of pull stocks are a few hundred as well. Almost cheaper to buy a new one for them.
Old 04-07-2021, 11:22 AM
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My 14 Year old who is skinny got kicked pretty hard by a 20. While she kept on shooting a lighter kicking gun would have been better for her. My have been the 20 she was using as I'm far from being a gun expert. Finding 20 gauge ammo was very difficult to find.
Old 04-07-2021, 11:23 AM
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My wife was using a pump 20ga. i think a mossberg. nothing special. We purchased it figuring the smaller gauge would be easier to handle.
nope. gun was light, combined with the recoil on a pump was significant.

She tried my Franchi Affinity 12ga semi.....loved it. very light and very little recoil. its her new go-to.

Mind you, We just shoot clays for fun. there are much better guns if your being competitive.

My 1100 competiton has pretty much 0 recoil felt (due to spring recoil pad), but the gun is heavy. may be too much for a child or small frame woman.
Old 04-07-2021, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by fishingfun View Post
My 14 Year old who is skinny got kicked pretty hard by a 20. While she kept on shooting a lighter kicking gun would have been better for her. My have been the 20 she was using as I'm far from being a gun expert. Finding 20 gauge ammo was very difficult to find.
That's the same age as my youngest. 14, and about 90lbs. Shes a distance runner so in very good shape but not built to take the beating.

I borrowed a friends Stoeger 410 for her once. It worked ok, but for starting out with 410 she struggled hitting anything. My oldest daughter just about beat me on her first outing of skeet using a very old Ithica 12 SXS.
Old 04-07-2021, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Daytona RS7 View Post
My wife was using a pump 20ga. i think a mossberg. nothing special. We purchased it figuring the smaller gauge would be easier to handle.
nope. gun was light, combined with the recoil on a pump was significant.

She tried my Franchi Affinity 12ga semi.....loved it. very light and very little recoil. its her new go-to.

Mind you, We just shoot clays for fun. there are much better guns if your being competitive.

My 1100 competiton has pretty much 0 recoil felt (due to spring recoil pad), but the gun is heavy.
Great to know. This will be for fun as I doubt either will get into it that much for competition.
Old 04-07-2021, 11:32 AM
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I'd try to find a 20 that's in the 7 lb range . Light 20's seem to be the rage but they'll smack you good . Target loads in a good fitting 20 aren't bad if the gun had a little weight .
Old 04-07-2021, 11:48 AM
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At 5'1" I would look at the Browning Citori Micro Midas. I think 28 ga is great. I feel like it patterns better than a 20 but does have less lead. The ammo is going to run you about $13 a box which is quite a bit more than 20 ga. The tradeoff in these crazy times is I find more 28 ga than I can 20 ga availible on the shelf.
Old 04-07-2021, 11:49 AM
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28ga is going the going down the same path as a 16ga and the dodo bird.

20 ga all day.
Old 04-07-2021, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Zak77 View Post
Bit of both. My wife is pretty strong for her size, but recoil i'm more worried about. Thought about putting a longer barrel and modifying the stock on my Rem1100, but DAMN barrels are expensive on ebay right now for Rem1100's. $400-500 i'm finding for a 28" barrel. Youth/shorter length of pull stocks are a few hundred as well. Almost cheaper to buy a new one for them.

If all she is going to do is shoot skeet, you don't need a 28" tube. 24-26 in an autoloader is just about perfect. Cut down your 1100, and get her some 7/8oz loads.
Old 04-07-2021, 01:45 PM
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I was shooting a 20 gauge at about 12-13 years old. I'm sure it probably scared me at first and I had to learn to manage the recoil but I think it's fine. They will learn proper form to hold the gun fairly quickly and will be good with the recoil after that.
Old 04-07-2021, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by RJTaylor View Post
If all she is going to do is shoot skeet, you don't need a 28" tube. 24-26 in an autoloader is just about perfect. Cut down your 1100, and get her some 7/8oz loads.
agree. Typical 26” auto/pump is typically a bit shorter than a 28” o/u.
Old 04-07-2021, 03:22 PM
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Get a 20. Practice and skeet with low powder loads to avoid a flinch reaction.

Hunt with the heat. Their shots will be longer, more accurate, and the bigger loads will lead to higher success rates.

No one bitches about their shoulder hurting after a successful hunt.
Old 04-07-2021, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisW21 View Post
Get a 20. Practice and skeet with low powder loads to avoid a flinch reaction.

Hunt with the heat. Their shots will be longer, more accurate, and the bigger loads will lead to higher success rates.

No one bitches about their shoulder hurting after a successful hunt.
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Old 04-07-2021, 05:37 PM
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I started my son, and probably a dozen kids since then, with a 20 gauge 1100 that I bought new when JC Penny decided to quit carrying firearms. I bought a Fajen stock and cut it short, then paired it with a 23” “Youth” barrel that I sent to Briley in the mid-80s for chokes. When he outgrew the base Fajen, I added a recoil pad, then the factory stock and the original 26” barrel, then a recoil pad on the factory stock. It has very light recoil, yet the gun is light enough for kids to handle. Literally thousands of rounds, from very light target loads to the hottest 2 3/4” shells available for hunting, have gone through the gun as kids have been introduced to shooting. I sent it to a friend with 3 boys, and he had all of the perturbations going for a few years. When it came back, it was ready for the next kid. Just keeps on shooting, and I can’t imagine a better starter. Yes, they are only allowed to load one shell as they learn, but they can add additional rounds as they become more comfortable with the gun, and I get more comfortable with them.
Old 04-07-2021, 05:55 PM
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Default 28 ga

Originally Posted by Qb1rdman View Post
28ga is going the going down the same path as a 16ga and the dodo bird.

20 ga all day.
That’s bs soon as the run on ammo things will set5le down. 28 ga has always been tight just load your own.
Old 04-08-2021, 09:42 AM
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Last night was talking with a good friend of mine and he said I could have his shorter "Ladies" Winchester 1200 if we'll put it to good use. His kids are grown/out of hte house and it's been sitting in his safe for a number of years. Hoping to take them out Sunday to the local range to get in some good family clay busting time.

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