20 Gauge Ammo
About 20 Gauge Ammo
Introduced in the 1900s by the Parker Brothers, 20 gauge ammo was created as a smaller, lighter alternative to 12 gauge ammunition.
The Parker Brothers, an American firearms company, believed 20 gauge shotgun shells would be a welcomed option for the everyday firearm owner to hunt small game, such as birds and rabbits.
Known for their lowered recoil, 20 gauge shotguns feature a smooth bore cartridge significantly smaller than the 12 gauge.
As a result, they are commonly used by youth shooters and beginners/first-time gun owners, making them the perfect entry-level shotgun shell.
20 gauge shotgun shells typically come in various shot sizes, including birdshot, buckshot, and slugs, allowing owners to select the proper ammunition for their intended use.
Over the years, 20 gauge shells have seen many improvements in design and performance, making them more powerful and versatile.
Additionally, the development of new shot materials and advancements in manufacturing techniques allowed for more consistent shot patterns and accuracy.
Today, 20 gauge ammo remains widely used by hunters, sport shooters, and those seeking a shotgun with less recoil than a 12 gauge and are commonly lighter weight than an equivalent 12 gauge shotgun by one, two, or even several pounds.
Common Names for 20 Gauge Shotgun Ammo
Since its initial production, 20 Gauge Ammo has had many different name variations. Some of the most common include:
- 20 Gauge Ammo
- 20 Gauge Ammunition
- 20 Gauge Shotgun Shells
- 20 Gauge Rounds
- 20 GA Ammo
- 20 GA Shells
Regardless of your preferred terminology, 20 Gauge shotgun shells have maintained a consistent, loyal following over the years and are available from nearly every recognized ammo manufacturer.
Components of a Shotgun Shell
A shotgun shell is a self-contained cartridge filled with metallic 'shots' - small spherical projectiles contained in a plastic or paper tube called a hull.
Located beneath the shot is the wad or wadding. Usually constructed from paper or plastic, the wadding creates a barrier between the shot and the powder.
Although original Shotgun Ammo used black powder, today's 20 Gauge Ammo utilizes smokeless powder.
The Shot: A shotgun shell is a self-contained cartridge filled with metallic 'shots' - small spherical projectiles contained in a plastic or paper tube called a hull. Most shots are made from metal (lead, steel, tungsten, or bismuth). However, non-lethal shotgun shells can be loaded with rubber, rock salt, or small bean bags.
The Wad: Located beneath the shot is the wad or wadding, usually constructed from paper or plastic. The primary purpose of the wad is to prevent the shot and powder from mixing and provide a seal that prevents gas from blowing through the shot rather than propelling it.
The Powder: Originally, Shotgun Shells used black powder. However, today's modern 20 Gauge Ammo utilizes a far more efficient smokeless powder that takes up far less space.
The Hull: Usually made from paper or plastic, the hull is a tube often capped at the base by a metallic head cover that retains a primer, and a wadding inside the case typically contains the shot charge.
12 Gauge Shotgun Shell Features
Compared to the 12 gauge, 20 gauge shotguns produce less recoil, making shooting more comfortable and easier to control. This is particularly beneficial for new and younger shooters who may be sensitive to recoil.
20 gauge shotgun ammo is suitable for a variety of purposes, including hunting small game, clay pigeon shooting, and self-defense in close quarters.
This versatility makes it an ideal choice for those who want a shotgun that can be used for multiple activities.
RANGE OF SHOTS
20 gauge shotgun shells come in various shot sizes, including birdshot, buckshot, and slugs. This wide range of shot sizes allows shooters to select the correct ammunition for their intended use, whether hunting small game or defending their home.
20 gauge shotgun ammo is known for its accuracy and consistency in producing tight shot patterns. This is particularly beneficial for hunting small game and clay pigeon shooting, where accuracy is critical.
20 gauge shotgun shells are smaller and lighter than 12 gauge, making them easier to carry and handle. This is particularly beneficial for hunters who may need to cover a lot of ground or move quickly through rough terrain.
20 gauge ammo is widely available and can be found at most gun stores and sporting goods retailers. This makes it easy to purchase and maintain a steady supply of ammunition.
Additionally, 20 gauge shotgun ammo is generally less expensive than 12 gauge ammo, making it an affordable option for those on a budget.
20 Gauge Ammo vs. 12 Gauge Ammo
Below are some key differences comparing two popular shotgun shell types - 12 Gauge Ammo vs. 20 Gauge Ammo:
One of the main differences between 12 gauge and 20 gauge ammunition is the recoil produced by each.
The 12 gauge produces more recoil than the 20 gauge, making it more challenging to handle and less comfortable to shoot, particularly for newer or younger shooters.
The 12 gauge ammunition is more powerful than the 20 gauge due to its larger size and higher shot count. This makes it more suitable for hunting larger game and for self-defense purposes.
The 12 gauge is a more versatile shotgun shell due to the wide range of shot sizes and types available. It can be used for hunting game (large or small), as well as for clay pigeon shooting and self-defense.
However, the 20 gauge is versatile and can also be used for various purposes.
The 12 gauge ammunition has a longer effective range than the 20 gauge, due to its greater power and larger shot count.
The 20 gauge ammunition is lighter than the 12 gauge, making it easier to carry and handle, particularly for hunters who need to cover a lot of ground or move quickly through rough terrain.
The 20 gauge ammunition is generally less expensive than the 12 gauge, making it a more affordable option for those on a budget.
Ultimately, the choice between 12 gauge and 20 gauge ammunition will depend on the shooter's intended use and personal preferences. The choice between 20 gauge and 12 gauge ammo ultimately boils down to what you feel most comfortable shooting.
12 Gauge Ammo FAQ
QUESTION: What is 20 gauge ammo?
ANSWER: 20 gauge ammo is a type of shotgun ammunition that is smaller in size and produces less recoil than the more powerful 12 gauge ammunition.
It is commonly used for hunting small game, clay pigeon shooting, and self-defense in close quarters.
QUESTION: What are the advantages of using 20 gauge ammo?
ANSWER: One of the main advantages of using 20 gauge ammo is that it produces less recoil, making it more comfortable to shoot and easier to control.
It is versatile and can be used for various purposes, including hunting small game, clay pigeon shooting, and self-defense.
QUESTION: What are the different types of 20 gauge shotgun shells?
ANSWER: 20 gauge shotgun shells come in a variety of shot sizes, including birdshot, buckshot, and slugs. The shot size you choose will depend on your intended use.
QUESTION: Is 20 gauge ammunition more affordable than 12 gauge ammunition?
ANSWER: Yes, 20 gauge ammunition is generally less expensive than 12 gauge ammunition, making it a more affordable option for those on a budget.
QUESTION: What are the disadvantages of using 20 gauge shotgun shells?
ANSWER: One of the main disadvantages of using 20 gauge shotgun shells is that it is less powerful than the more common 12 gauge ammunition.
This makes it less suitable for hunting larger-sized game and for self-defense purposes.
QUESTION: What is the best 20 gauge self-defense ammo?
ANSWER: Almost all 20 gauge ammo is good for self-defense. In short-distance situations, the 20 gauge can be just as effective for home defense as 12 gauge ammo.
QUESTION: Can 20 gauge ammo be used in a 12 gauge shotgun?
ANSWER: No, 20 gauge ammo cannot be used in a 12 gauge shotgun. The two types of shotgun shells are not interchangeable.
QUESTION: Is 20 gauge ammo widely available?
ANSWER: Yes, 20 gauge ammunition is widely available and can be found at most gun stores and sporting goods retailers.