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Why is 12 better than 20?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by blkcloud, Jan 10, 2010.

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  1. blkcloud

    blkcloud Active Member

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    My wife shoots a 20 ga. 1100 when we shoot trap, she shoots 7/8 oz at 1200 fps, I load my 12's with 7/8 oz at 1200 fps, the last range we were at the onsite veteran trap pro told her anything other than a 12 was a serious handicap.. I wasnt there when he told her, I was on the line, but on the way home she ask me why, I didnt have the answer.. we both are shooting the same weight of shot at the same speed.. Is there any merit to his comment? thanks!
     
  2. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    7/8 ounce of shot is 7/8 ounce of shot. The target can't tell whether it came out of a 12 or 20 guage gun. HMB
     
  3. OldRemFan

    OldRemFan Member

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    I don't believe I have seen anyone say anything about the length of the shot string making a difference. Must be someone out their with an opinion on that matter and how it affects scores.
     
  4. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    LOL, male egos at work...

    There are a couple of gals at the club shooting 20ga trap guns, and they beat most of the men. Doesn't appear they're too handicapped.

    And, when I was suffering from nerve damage in my left arm that left it half strength, making holding up a heavy 12ga trap gun difficult and fatiguing, I build a 7/8ths scale 20ga 1187 trap gun, monte carlo stock and all. Very light. Yet my scores were exactly the same with the 20ga as the 12ga.

    Perhaps when the competition gets down to where the difference is made by one chip between first and second place, yeah, the 12 probably holds an edge.
     
  5. Bruce Specht

    Bruce Specht Well-Known Member

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    A lot would depend on the shooters skill. A friend and I shoot 410.s for practice he's run the targets twice form the 16 and I have only managed 24 as high score. If she's comfortable shooting the 20 and has good socres then the 20 isn't a handicap
     
  6. dverna

    dverna Active Member

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    Why are you shooting?

    If for fun, don't worry about it.

    For serious competition you want to throw as much shot as possible. That means 1 1/8 oz; so the 12 "wins".

    Don Verna
     
  7. dimapower

    dimapower Member

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    No merit based on your context and comparison.
     
  8. oleww

    oleww Member

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    It's got to do with the shot column. The shorter the column (wider or larger shell) the less pellet deformation and shorter shot string.

    Pound for pound, the larger the guage, or bore, the shorter the shot string (on pellets, not rifles)

    However, a 20 gauge one ounce load is typically a premium load and better than cheap 12ga promo load. I would take a 20 gauge one ounce load over a 12 ga "dove and quail" load any day. Same for good 20 ga 7/8 loads and cheapo 12 ga...

    good luck with the 20 ga... try some fast 3/4 ounce 20 guage loads too, At 16 yds and skeet targets they impress me.
     
  9. SMITH47

    SMITH47 Member

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    Neil

    Is there a more scientific answer to the question ?

    thanks,
    ernie
     
  10. OldRemFan

    OldRemFan Member

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    oleww:

    I haven't done the math, but how much difference in surface area is there between the longer shot column in the smaller diameter with less surface area for the shot to be affected, such as the 20 gauge bore, as compared to the shorter shot column in the 12 gauge with larger diameter and more surface area for the shot to be affected by.

    I guess I am trying to rationalize in my own mind without doing a lot of math, whether there are actually more or less pellets possibly deformed in a smaller bore versus a larger bore due to the area involved.
     
  11. gun1357

    gun1357 Active Member

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    In international competition where they are basically shooting a 20 ga. 7/8 oz. shot charge, they are shooting 12 ga. shotguns. That should answer the question of which is better. One might guess that less shot deformation means better patterns. Bottom line is the 12 ga. works better for whatever reason. Ron
     
  12. oleww

    oleww Member

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    Ok, good info Neil put together. Thanks.

    I’ll continue to believe the shorter column theory, only because my 28gauges shoot better (within certain limitations)

    Bob Brister wrote about it in the ‘70s.with data complied from his wife towing a sheet of plywood behind a moving car to measure the lengths of shot strings. Try Bob Brister's seminal 1976 book "Shotgunning, The Art and Science"

    Other info at the links below.

    http://www.shotgunreport.com/TechTech/TechnoidArchive/24-Jul-06.pdf
    http://www.sidebysideshotgun.com/articles/balance_loads_article.html
    http://www.gunnersden.com/index.htm.shotgun-shotstring.html
     
  13. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    gun1357, the International crowd uses a 12b because it is easy to get a 24g load up to 1400fps - 1500fps. It is much more difficult in a 20b.

    For all you shot column height, "square" load, shot deformation aficionados, you may want to reconsider what actually happens during initial setback. A standard 7/8oz load in my 20b has a shot column that is 1.329 higher than it is wide. In my old Perazzi O/U the same load is .817 as high as it is wide. I much prefer the patterns from my 20b.

    A 1 1/8oz load in my handicap barrel is "square" (height 1.02 times diameter). It patterns beautifully with 8s and 7 1/2s. So does it do this because the load is square, or because Kerry Allor made it pattern that way?
     
  14. highflyer

    highflyer TS Member

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    All that matters is how well they pattern. If you get a good even pattern from a 20 it will do as well as the 12. I shoot my 12 better because it weighs more and swings smoother.
     
  15. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    Many skeet shooters have a better 20 guage average than their 12 guage arerage. HMB
     
  16. gun1357

    gun1357 Active Member

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    zzt: Those guys are not shooting 1400-1500 fps loads. Ron
     
  17. Big Jack

    Big Jack Well-Known Member

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    Just be logical...If you throw a cup full of shot... wouldn't a bucket full be a bit more effective?

    Big Jack
     
  18. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    Not if you can't lift the bucket. HMB
     
  19. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    LOL, HMB, exactly.
     
  20. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Ernie, of course there's a more scientific answer to the question. Pick a shot weight - from the sound of it, 7/8 ounce would be appropriate - make some loads for each type of gun and going the same speed, shoot them and see if there is any difference. The trick would be to equalize the choke. I've heard smaller gauges use less constriction, but I have Berettas with factory tubes, some marked full, and that would be fair it seems to me.

    Who will venture a prediction? Will the patterns be the same for both? If not, in what way will they differ?
    Why?

    Neil
     
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