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20 vs. 12 for my Dad

851 Views 18 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  rgkinard2
I wanted to ask opinions regarding my 73 year old father who has started shooting with my son and I. Which is a better platform for his age? I often shoot 7/8 oz loads in my 12 which is basically a 20 ga shell, but I love the weight and balance of the bigger gun. Any thoughts?
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If you are going to load shells for him the 12 offers a lot more options in guns that will keep recoil to a minimum. Depends on how much of what kind of shooting he is going to do as well; just some casual target shooting with his family, leagues, any hunting... you see my point? Lots of possible options to consider but no matter what way he decides to go enjoy this time; my Dad is now 87 and we treasure any chance we get to have him out on the line with us.
 

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I’m your dad’s age. I believe that the best answer is both. For clay targets, a 12 ga. is the most versatile. For upland hunting, a 20 ga. will be much lighter because he will be carrying a lot and shooting a little. No matter what else both of you do, be certain the gun(s) fit!!
JB
 

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My wife started out shooting a Beretta A400 20ga. She did very well with it as she learned to shoot and she smashed targets with it that even made me think aloud WOW! .In her second season she decided she wanted to get a dedicated trap gun and wanted something not too heavy and made to accomodate her shorter lop. She bought herself a BT-99 Micro w/30" bbl, had an adjustable butt installed and spent an afternoon at the pattern board and on the trap field tweeking the fit. Her scores have gone up considerably and she shoots 7/8 and 1oz factory loads through it and says it feels as soft as her A400. Of course the scores went up as the BT-99 was altered to fit her perfectly for trap whereaa the A400 we had altered to be her hunting gun so the fit is not the same dressed in trap clothing as opposed to heavier hunting clothing.
 

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I’m your dad’s age. I believe that the best answer is both. For clay targets, a 12 ga. is the most versatile. For upland hunting, a 20 ga. will be much lighter because he will be carrying a lot and shooting a little. No matter what else both of you do, be certain the gun(s) fit!!
JB
I agree with going with the 12 ga. If the gun fits correctly, it won't matter. I also thought the 20 ga has a sharper kick to them.
Gun set up is a huge factor. I never use 12 gauge for skeet. My 682 trap gun with a recoil system is actually gentler, even with handicap loads, than the lighter 20 gauge Beretta I use for skeet.
My first thought when I saw the question is how many 20 gauges that I have known of that got rapidly passed off because "it just kicked the snot out of me(the user)! Yes fit can play a big part. But so does weight and most 20 gauges are lightweights and lighter weight equals more recoil. Than I go back to my go to answer when someone asks "What gun should I get for my wife?" The one she wants! Actually buying a gun for someone else (wife, child, father ..........) buying it by the same criteria that you will buy one for yourself, is the best answer (guys doing this don't have to ask the what should I get her) and has a track record of great results. But bad results aren't going to get talked about much, "because you now have that next gun you wanted anyway!"

Buying a girly gun when your wife has been shooting your manly gun is pretty much a guaranteed failure. If your dad is shooting your 12 gauge and having fun? Why change anything? Have him involved in picking out your next gun and then whether he shoots that while you wait for the hand me down or you shoot that while he shoots your hand me down to him. Now thats a win win situation!

Al
 

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Why don't you let him decide if he wants a 20 gauge or a 12 gauge. He's the one who is going to be shooting it.
Bingo, We have a Winner!!!

Since you did not tell us a thing about your 73 year old father. How can we judge what might be the best for him. We do not know if your father is as frail as can be? Or as strong as a Ox??? If you have the ability to reload 12 ga. shells in 7/8 oz. for your dad. Then ask him which shotgun he wants to lift and shoot all day. Yes, the lighter 20 ga. frame will recoil more than a heavier 12 ga. frame with the same load. So let him decide what he wants. break em all jeff
 

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I am not trying to decide for him, just trying to give him pros vs. cons as he tries to decide.
Ok you said you're dad started shooting with you. Shooting what. Trap, skeet???
That would make a big difference in what to get him. And as far as the 12 gauge there are some very soft shooting shells out there and as far as reloading goes no problem with soft shooting loads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ok you said you're dad started shooting with you. Shooting what. Trap, skeet???
That would make a big difference in what to get him. And as far as the 12 gauge there are some very soft shooting shells out there and as far as reloading goes no problem with soft shooting loads.
We shoot sporting clays. He has shot my 12’s and 20. He is not frail, 5’10”, 230 Lbs. I appreciate all of the feedback. We are shooting Saturday with my new 694 and old Citori 12’s along with my 686 20 ga and my son’s Franchi 20. Hopefully the club has some demos as well.
 
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