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Smallbores are in proper now, and 20 gauge shotguns are having one other second. This present pattern ought to final for a very long time, too. New ammo for 20 gauges makes them nearly as succesful as a 12 gauge. As extra hunters flip to the 20 gauge as their primary gun, gunmakers are providing extra decisions, together with devoted fashions for waterfowling, turkey searching, upland searching, and clay taking pictures. 

There’s quite a bit to love a couple of 20 gauge. Twenties are gentle and straightforward to hold. They’re trimmer, too. For some, the lesser bulk of a 20 makes it simpler to shoot. The smaller payloads of 20 gauge shotgun shells produce decrease recoil as long as the weapons aren’t too gentle. Some folks even consider the 20’s small dimension and decrease recoil make them a more sensible choice for residence protection. For tactical use, nevertheless, the place ranges could also be longer, a 20 gauge isn’t nearly as good as a 12 gauge.

As with all shotgun gauges (besides the .410), the 20 will get its title from the variety of lead balls of bore diameter that add as much as one pound. That equals a bore diameter of .615 inches, which, mixed with the 3-inch chambers discovered on most 20s, means shells can maintain as much as 1 5/16 ounces of lead or dense TSS shot, 1 ounce of metal, and 1 ⅛  ounces of bismuth. And the 20 can nonetheless shoot the delicate ⅞-ounce goal and dove hundreds. Listed here are the most effective break-action, pump, and semi-auto 20 gauge shotguns you should purchase proper now.

How We Picked the Greatest 20 Gauge Shotugns

The recognition of the 20 gauge means there are many twenties available on the market to select from. I stayed away from devoted turkey, deer, and residential protection weapons and saved this record extra basic. All the weapons listed below are made for wing taking pictures, and most can go from the dove area to the duck blind to the uplands with out lacking a beat. I’ve had an opportunity to shoot these weapons, with one exception, and decide them by the next standards:

  • Reliability: Does the gun go bang three (or two for 2 barreled weapons) occasions?
  • High quality of building: Is the gun well-built? How is the match, end, and, if relevant, ornament?
  • Weight and steadiness: If a 20 gauge is just too heavy, you would possibly as properly shoot a 12. If it’s too gentle, it may be onerous to shoot and kick an excessive amount of. How a gun’s weight is distributed issues, too.
  • Ergonomics: A shotgun has to suit, and it has to really feel good in hand. Its controls must be simple to make use of as properly.
  • Recoil: Felt recoil is a matter of gun weight, match, and components like gasoline operation, recoil reducers, and the standard of the recoil pad.
  • Worth/Worth: A number of the weapons listed below are low-cost, and a few are dear, however all have been scrutinized to be sure you’re getting an excellent return on your cash, regardless of how a lot or how little you’re spending.
The brand new Browning A5 20 gauge is right for every type of upland searching. Browning

Greatest General: Beretta A400

Beretta A400 Xtreme Plus


  • Chamber: 3-inch
  • Motion: Gasoline semiauto
  • Weight: 6 ¾ kilos
  • Size: 51 inches
  • Barrels: 26 or 28 inches, entrance and mid-bead, Beretta Optima HP chokes
  • Inventory: Black artificial (camo out there)


  • Versatile
  • Dependable, recoil-reducing gasoline operation
  • Kick-Off recoil reducer in inventory cuts the kick even additional
  • Enlarged bolt deal with and launch button are a bonus on the vary


  • Costly
  • Security on the entrance of the set off guard

In order for you one 20 gauge gun for every type of wing and clay taking pictures, the A400 suits the invoice. It combines the already comfortable recoil of its gasoline operation with a stock-mounted “Kick-Off” recoil reducer to make it the softest-kicking 20 gauge you should purchase. At 6 ¾ kilos, it’s on the heavy facet for a 20 gauge, though not too heavy to hold within the area. And that weight makes it simple to swing and additional reduces recoil. The heavier weight mixed with a mid-bead, enlarged bolt deal with, and bolt nearer make this gun at residence on the gun membership in addition to within the area.

Some shooters with smaller fingers battle with the protection mounted on the entrance of the set off guard, and there are higher decisions for weapons that may solely be used for upland searching. However for geese, doves, and clays, the A400 is right, and it could carry out simply as properly within the tall grass for pheasant searching, too.

Greatest New 20 Gauge: Browning A5

Browning A5 20ga on blue and white background


  • Chamber: 3-inch
  • Motion: Inertia semiauto
  • Weight: 5 ¾ kilos
  • Size: 49 ⅝:
  • Barrels: 26 or 28 inches, Fiber-optic entrance sight, mid-bead, Invector DS chokes 
  • Inventory: Gloss Walnut


  • Light-weight for straightforward carrying
  • Basic profile
  • Dependable inertia motion


  • Heavier recoil because of the light-weight design and inertia motion
  • Costly

Browning revived the basic humpback profile of the unique Auto 5 in a brand-new package deal when it first launched the 12 gauge, then the 16 gauge A5. Whereas it resembled John Browning’s authentic Auto 5, the brand new gun is a very totally different design, working on the inertia precept made well-known by Benelli. Moreover bad-weather reliability and clear operation, inertia weapons are additionally fairly gentle and trim, as they haven’t any gasoline system components up entrance.

The brand new 20 gauge A5 weighs simply 5 kilos, 11 ounces, making it an awesome carrying gun for quail, grouse, and woodcock. With its 3-inch chamber, it might deal with heavier magnum pheasant and non-toxic hundreds as properly. For now, the A5 comes solely in a shiny walnut model, making it higher suited to upland searching, which is the gun’s true area of interest. Though it does put on Browning’s glorious, efficient Inflex recoil pad, it should recoil more durable than many 20s as a result of it’s so gentle and since inertia techniques don’t scale back recoil in addition to gasoline techniques. For the strolling chook hunter who desires the firepower of a semiauto, nevertheless, this gun must be perfect.

Greatest Aspect by Aspect: Fabarm Autumn

Fabarm Autumn on blue and white background


  • Motion: Break-action facet by facet
  • Chamber: 3-inch
  • Weight: 5 ¾-6 kilos
  • Size: 42.25 with 28-inch barrels
  • Barrels: 28 or 30 inches, swamped rib, silver bead, choke tubes
  • Inventory: Oil-finished walnut, straight and pistol grip out there


  • Light-weight
  • Basic traces and glorious match and end
  • Metal-shot pleasant


  • Costly (however you get what you pay for)
  • Twin triggers price further

The Fabarm Autumn is barely made in 20 gauge, however that’s okay as a result of the 20 gauge body is ideal for this gentle, trim chook gun with basic traces. The Autumn is constructed on Fabarm’s sturdy four-lug (most facet by sides have two) motion, initially designed for the pains of dwell pigeon taking pictures. It would maintain up all through your lifetime, your child’s lifetime, and your grandchildren’s lifetime.

The gun has oil-finished walnut, a case-colored body, and exquisite, if non-traditional, art-nouveau deep-relief engraving. It has choke tubes and, regardless of its old-school appears, will shoot trendy metal and not using a downside. A single selective set off comes normal. Purists must pay further for double triggers.

Greatest Finances Break-Motion: CZ Drake

CZ Drake 20ga on blue and white background


  • Motion: Break-action O/U
  • Chamber: 3-inch
  • Weight: 6 ½ kilos or extra
  • Barrels: 28-inch chrome black, white bead, choke tubes
  • Inventory: Satin walnut


  • Cheap reliability
  • Deleted mid-rib for improved steadiness
  • Selective set off


  • Extractors that elevate fired shells instead of ejectors that pop them out
  • Plain wooden
  • No selection of barrel size

In order for you a break-action gun that received’t break the financial institution, check out the CZ Drake. You’ll be able to spend much less on an O/U, however should you do, you’re getting an affordable 20 gauge shotgun which will offer you hassle. CZ weapons work reliably, and in these uncommon occasions they don’t, they’re backed by glorious customer support. You get dependability with the Drake, not the frills. It has plain walnut with a satin end and black-chrome steel components that give it an total subdued look. 

CZ left the mid-rib between the barrels out to lighten them and enhance the gun’s steadiness, which remains to be a bit barrel-heavy. It has extractors that elevate shells for hand elimination instead of ejectors that pop them out. You additionally get 28-inch barrels whether or not you need them or not; that’s the one selection supplied. The Drake is a flexible gun, too, heavy sufficient for doves, duck hundreds, and a few clays, however not so heavy it’s a burden. The gun does include 5 choke tubes and retails for $699. It’s an awesome worth.

Greatest Pump: Remington 870 Wingmaster

Remington 870 20ga on blue and white background


  • Motion: Slide motion
  • Chamber: 3-inch
  • Weight: 6 ½ kilos
  • Size: 48 ½ inches with 28-inch barrel
  • Barrels: 26- or 28-inch gloss blue, white entrance, silver mid-bead, choke tubes
  • Inventory: Excessive-gloss American walnut


  • Clean motion
  • Basic attractiveness
  • Dependable


  • Gloss wooden and glossy blue isn’t perfect for some forms of searching
  • Costly for a pump gun

The Remington 870 returns to its former glory underneath new homeowners, RemArms, after the personal fairness group that owned the outdated Remington did its finest to destroy the gun and tarnish the model. The brand new Wingmasters have a excessive diploma of polish on the wooden and steel, in addition to on inside components. These weapons look identical to the Wingmasters from the early 90s earlier than the outdated Remington began reducing prices.

The 870 grew to become well-known for its lightning-fast, dependable operate, and this gun options twin motion bars that stop twisting and binding, and the receiver remains to be strong metal, because it all the time has been. It additionally has very slender traces for a pump gun, and it is going to be carried simply within the area, whether or not it’s for pheasants, doves, grouse, and even geese. It has the standard grip cap and Remington’s superb proprietary R3 recoil pad.

Greatest O/U: Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon

Beretta Silver Pigeon 20ga


  • Motion: Break-action O/U
  • Chamber: 3-inch
  • Weight: 6 ¼ kilos
  • Size: 45 ½ inches with 28-inch barrels
  • Barrels: 26, 28, and 30 inches, gloss blued, brass bead, choke tubes
  • Wooden: Satin-finished walnut


  • Light-weight
  • Trim profile
  • Sturdy, confirmed motion


  • Safeties may be sticky (however simply fixable)

Standard nearly in every single place, the 686 Silver Pigeon is constructed round an motion that’s each very sturdy and low and trim. The low profile helps the gun level naturally for many individuals. The ingenious locking system, which consists of conical pins projecting out of the breech that match into holes on both facet of the breech, truly set deeper with use. This can be a very onerous gun to wear down.

The essential Silver Pigeon has a satin-finished walnut inventory and silver receiver embellished in a standard scroll and grape leaf, with blued barrels. It has a single selective set off and ejectors, and the inventory has a pistol grip and Schnabel forend. At simply 6 ¼ kilos, it sits proper within the candy spot of being gentle sufficient to hold, however heavy sufficient to shoot. Beretta Silver Pigeon safeties are sometimes sticky, but it surely’s a straightforward job for a gunsmith to make them work simply.

Greatest Semiauto: Benelli Montefeltro

Benelli Montefeltro


  • Motion: Inertia semiauto
  • Chamber: 3-inch
  • Weight: 6 kilos, with 28-inch barrel
  • Size: 49 inches with 28-inch barrel
  • Barrels: 24-, 26- or 28-inches, gloss-blued, fiber-optic bead, choke tubes
  • Wooden: Satin-finished walnut


  • Dependable
  • Flat taking pictures
  • Simple loading


  • Not as a lot recoil discount as with gasoline weapons

When you go to a South American dove lodge the place the rental weapons would possibly fireplace 1500-2000 rounds a day, chances are high good they are going to be Montefeltros. Benelli’s inertia motion could be very dependable, and it stays cleaner longer than gasoline weapons will, guaranteeing that Montefeltros will carry on taking pictures after different weapons fail and even break down.

You might not want that degree of reliability right here, but it surely’s good to have it in your facet, simply in case. Final 12 months, Montefeltros acquired a makeover. They have been restyled to look extra modern. Extra importantly, they have been made simpler to load than the outdated fashions. The brand new weapons have softer magazine and shell-latch springs, and in contrast to older Montefeltors, they load like butter. Even higher, they’re now made with Benelli’s Simple-Locking bolt, which can’t be bumped out of battery and trigger a misfire, as can occur with many inertia weapons (together with older Montefeltros).

Greatest Youth: Mossberg 500 Tremendous Bantam All-Function

Shotguns photo


  • Motion: Slide Motion
  • Chamber: 3-inch
  • Barrel: 22 inches, matt end, entrance and mid-bead
  • Weight: 5.25 kilos
  • Size: 39.75 inches
  • Inventory: Black artificial with spacers to regulate size from 12 to 13 inches


  • Light-weight
  • Inventory adjusts so it might develop with the shooter
  • Dependable


  • Gentle weight means extra recoil
  • Security may be stiff

Mossberg’s venerable 500 pump scales down into an entire line of Bantam and Tremendous Bantam weapons for younger shooters. They’ve the identical confirmed motion as full-size mannequin 500s and the identical high security that makes them a favourite of left-handers. The Tremendous Bantam All-Function weapons have 22-inch barrels that make it simpler for a small shooter to assist and inventory spacers that allow you to modify the gun because the little one grows. The general weight of simply 5.25 kilos makes them simple for younger hunters to hold and deal with.

With a 3-inch chamber and choke tubes (two barrel units together with slug barrels are additionally out there), the Bantam can serve a teen’s wants for searching and an intro to clay taking pictures. Gentle weapons do kick, and also you’ll have to decide on ammunition rigorously so the heavy recoil doesn’t flip your protege off of the taking pictures sports activities. I might suggest spending just a few {dollars} on an aftermarket tactical security that will probably be a lot simpler to make use of than the plastic manufacturing unit piece.

Even with the adjustable inventory, a toddler will outgrow this gun quick, particularly as a result of it has such a brief barrel. Happily, the worth is low sufficient that you would be able to get them a brand new gun, and you may make this one your turkey and even residence protection gun. It’s a win-win.

Issues to Contemplate When Shopping for 20 Gauge Shotguns

Lately, you’ll learn and listen to quite a bit about how the 20 gauge can do all of it and that nobody wants a 12 gauge any extra. Individuals stated the identical factor within the Fifties when the 3-inch 20 gauge magnums first appeared. They have been unsuitable then, and so they’re unsuitable now. In nearly any head-to-head comparability, the 12 gauge wins. Interval. Nonetheless, 20 gauges completely have their charms and their makes use of, and you should use a 20 for all of your searching should you select. You’ll be a bit extra restricted in vary should you do. Or, you possibly can confine a 20 to its actual place: the uplands and the dove area, the place it excels.

One other issue to contemplate is weight. Gentle weapons really feel nice if you choose them up, and they’re simple to hold in case your hunts take you miles throughout onerous nation. Tremendous-light weapons are wonderful for birds that flush in your face or geese hanging over decoys. Any time it’s important to swing the gun, nevertheless, extra weight is your pal, and that goes double on the clays course, the place weight not solely helps your scores, it saves your shoulder. Consider carefully about what you’ll use your 20 gauge for, and select accordingly. However, undoubtedly choose one. Or multiple. Nobody ought to do and not using a 20.


Q: How far will a 20 gauge shotgun shoot?

A pellet from a single shot from a 20 gauge will fly simply so far as the identical pellet fired from a single shot on the identical velocity from every other gauge. The limiting issue on the 20 gauge’s vary is sample density. As patterns unfold downrange, the extra pellets within the payload, the longer the sample stays dense sufficient to place sufficient shot on course to make a clear kill or strong break. A 12 gauge, which may shoot heavier payloads, will probably be more practical at lengthy vary.

Q: What’s a 20 gauge shotgun finest for?

A 20 gauge shotgun is finest for upland and dove taking pictures. An upland 20 gauge may be lighter than most 12s for simpler carrying and nonetheless shoot heavy sufficient hundreds for any sport chook. Within the dove area, a 20 gauge gun has sufficient attain for many affordable possibilities, and recoil will probably be much less, offered the gun isn’t super-light. The 20 can also be an awesome gun for skeet and sporting clays.

Q: What’s the distinction between a 20 gauge and a 12 gauge?

The distinction between the 12 gauge and the 20 gauge is the bore diameter. A 12 measures .729 inches on the muzzle, whereas the 20 has a .615-inch diameter. Meaning the larger 12 gauge can maintain extra shot, though there’s overlap between the 2. A 12 gauge can shoot payloads as gentle ¾ ounce all of the as much as 2 ¼ ounces of lead or 1 ½ ounces of metal. The bigger bore of the 12 gauge tends to shoot higher patterns as properly.

Greatest 20 Gauge Shotguns: Remaining Ideas

A 20 gauge belongs in each hunter’s and shooter’s assortment, and any of the weapons right here would make a wonderful selection. A few of these are extra versatile, just like the A400, which was chosen finest total. It’s gentle sufficient to hold, heavy sufficient to shoot, and has a gasoline system and a recoil reducer to chop the kick. Others, just like the A5 or the Autumn, are finest used on upland hunts the place they are going to be carried excess of they are going to be shot.

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