20ga for ducks, how many do it regularly?

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20ga for ducks, how many do it regularly?

Postby Frylock » Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:52 pm

Viable option? Most likely I'd just use it for walk in spots for woodies and teal. Kinda looking for an excuse to pick up an M2 20ga.
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Re: 20ga for ducks, how many do it regularly?

Postby dakotashooter2 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:51 pm

I switch to the 20 ga 4 or 5 years ago and use it most of the time................. As soon as I get through my stock of 12 ga steel I will likely trade my 12 ga Red label for one of the new 20 ga Red Labels to replace the "cheaper" gun I am currently using.
I actually shoot a 20 ga much better than a 12.... and tend to shoot more doubles with it than with my 12 ga.. Last year I used it (20 ga) for about 75% of my Canada goose hunts (decoys) and had good success. The key is using it within it's limitations.
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Re: 20ga for ducks, how many do it regularly?

Postby A5Gunner » Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:01 pm

I am curious as to what ammo you guys shoot out of a 20?
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Re: 20ga for ducks, how many do it regularly?

Postby Frylock » Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:06 pm

Thanks dakotashooter, so I'm guessing you haven't found many shortcomings with the 20ga? What are your favorite loads?
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Re: 20ga for ducks, how many do it regularly?

Postby Frylock » Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:08 pm

A5Gunner wrote:I am curious as to what ammo you guys shoot out of a 20?

Good question.
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Re: 20ga for ducks, how many do it regularly?

Postby ks_waterfowler » Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:14 pm

One season all I did was shoot my 20. Reason I quit is could no longer get ammo locally for it. Mine likes Drylok 2s out of a light modified choke. Estate 3s also were a good load from that choke. May go back to the 20 when my 12 ga ammo runs out.
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Re: 20ga for ducks, how many do it regularly?

Postby mudpack » Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:04 pm

Frylock wrote:Thanks dakotashooter, so I'm guessing you haven't found many shortcomings with the 20ga? What are your favorite loads?

There are only a couple of shortcomings to the 20ga as a waterfowl gun. One, it's a relatively short-range weapon; it doesn't have the payload capacity to match the long-range effectiveness of a 12ga or a 10ga.
Second shortcoming is the relative lack of non toxic ammo options; there are twenty times more 12ga. loadings available than there are 20ga.....both in factory fodder and in reloading recipes.
dakotashooter is right; you have to know and work within its limitations. Do that and you can have a great gun. I shoot thousands of rounds through 20ga guns every year, both at birds and at clays, and they are among my favorites.

NOTE: I do NOT shoot any of my 20's for waterfowl. :no:
EDIT: ...at least not until the last week of the season. :eek:
Last edited by mudpack on Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 20ga for ducks, how many do it regularly?

Postby Windrider » Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:14 pm

Had a double layer fusion in my neck opening morning of the 2010-2011 season.

Shot a 20 for the 1/3 of the 2010-2011 season that I could hunt, all of the 2011-2012 season and the first third of the 2012-2013 season. Got back into a 12 to see if I could. I did, but there are repercussions with weekly shooting of heavy loads for me.

Anyway, 20is good. I seem to double more regularly and will even triple a couple of times a season with the 20. I have never tripled with a 12.

1oz of 5s or 6s for teal season.
1oz of 4s for ducks at small ponds ponds or over decoys.
1oz for 3s in hevimetal for public hunting with skittish birds over big water/late season.

1oz of remi HD 4s were awesome for geese, but I'm out now.

It is best to order your 20ga duck loads by the case via Internet.

I think a great late season load would be 1oz of bismuth 5s. Still have the pattern density, but more range than steel 4s. I may find out this season.

I have purchased my last box of 3" 12ga duck loads...
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Re: 20ga for ducks, how many do it regularly?

Postby Frylock » Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:42 pm

Lots of great info, thanks guys!
Any reason you haven't hunted waterfowl with a twenty mudpack?
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Re: 20ga for ducks, how many do it regularly?

Postby cootlover » Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:33 pm

Ducks geese swans cranes doves it fly's it dies . I don't get it why people think a little old 20 ga wont kill big birds .I went to 20 ga only about 7 years ago :thumbsup:
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Re: 20ga for ducks, how many do it regularly?

Postby Yuchi1 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:52 pm

Frylock wrote:Viable option? Most likely I'd just use it for walk in spots for woodies and teal. Kinda looking for an excuse to pick up an M2 20ga.


That is the one (20 ga. M2) I'm taking in the AM for our opener. Factory IC tube has printed 164X in a 34" X 40" area with 90%+ being kill zone. This is with the 1 oz. in #4's of Hevi Steel cartridge.

With 7/8 oz. of #4's in Kent Fasteel, the same tube prints 152X in a 30" X 32" area with 90% kill zone efficacy.

If the shots start to exceed 40 yards and/or the wind kicks up over 15KTS, the #4 & #6 (original) Hevi Shot is in the blind bag as well.

My other weapon of choice is the 16 ga. Aya.
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Re: 20ga for ducks, how many do it regularly?

Postby mudpack » Sat Nov 02, 2013 5:39 am

Frylock wrote:Lots of great info, thanks guys!
Any reason you haven't hunted waterfowl with a twenty mudpack?


Yes, two: reduced range compared to the 12, and more limited loads. :biggrin:

Anything I can do with a 20, I can do with a 12.
Not true the reverse. :thumbsup:
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Re: 20ga for ducks, how many do it regularly?

Postby duckslayer74 » Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:48 am

If you can shoot you'll have no problems shooting a 20ga out to 40+ yards. That being said you'll need a choke that has a tight dense tight pattern. I went to shooting a 20ga 3 seasons ago just for the challenge, I also think it helps hone your shooting skills.
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Re: 20ga for ducks, how many do it regularly?

Postby Sagebrush » Sat Nov 02, 2013 10:43 am

+1;
With a 20 Ga. you learn to not take bad shots with a low percentage and shot at targets that will up your odds
not the birds.
I learned way back on a single shot 20 and knew that I only had one try to get it right.

Patterns of Steel are a lot tighter and shorter in length than the lead pellets, so I really don't see where it is
not as good as the old lead loads I used in the 60's....just a little less range but still able to drop birds for the strap.

I use a .410 pump and a SxS 2 3/4" old 20 Ga. every now and then just for kicks with #4 steel. I might have a
"Light pattern" but I know that there is enough energy to bring a duck down if I do my part.
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Re: 20ga for ducks, how many do it regularly?

Postby Frylock » Sat Nov 02, 2013 12:33 pm

mudpack wrote:Anything I can do with a 20, I can do with a 12.
Not true the reverse. :thumbsup:

I see your point, the twenty is less versatile. That sounds like something I might be okay with in some of the spots I hunt where most of the shooting is in your face with landing gear down typically.


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Re: 20ga for ducks, how many do it regularly?

Postby Frylock » Sat Nov 02, 2013 12:42 pm

Duckslayer and Sagebrush, point well taken. I enjoy letting the birds come in close and try and land before I'll cut 'em, and usually will not shoot at ducks working the spread but have not yet committed, so it sounds as if the limitations of the twenty might not be a huge handicap for me after all.
Thanks again everyone for the insight and keep it coming - more ammo recommendations and anything other info you vacant pass along is much obliged.


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Re: 20ga for ducks, how many do it regularly?

Postby shoveler_shooter » Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:08 pm

My 20ga SX3 will see a lot of action this season. Today the shots were 10-20yds, I used a skeet carlson with Fiocchi 2 3/4" #4s. When it becomes mostly mallards I will switch to a IC or M and Drylok 3" #2s or Nitro Steel 3" #2s.
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Re: 20ga for ducks, how many do it regularly?

Postby Frylock » Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:55 pm

I'm sold, now all I gotta do is sell my SBE and I'll get a twenty!
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Re: 20ga for ducks, how many do it regularly?

Postby Tgunz_64 » Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:23 pm

Just picked up an M2 20ga 2 weeks ago. Black synthetic with the sure grip or whatever they call it and a 24" barrel. Seems to be a great gun! I now shoot a 12ga mainly for waterfowl but still take out the old Winchester youth 20ga for ducks and geese sometimes. I don't get why most guys say you NEED a 12 ga. All you really gain is more BB's. However you do get fewer options with steel shot. But Kent and Black Clouds have always seemed to work well for me and they are available for 20's. To me a 20 kills birds just as well as a 12.
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Re: 20ga for ducks, how many do it regularly?

Postby BBK » Sun Nov 03, 2013 9:41 pm

Tgunz_64 wrote: I don't get why most guys say you NEED a 12 ga. All you really gain is more BB's.


Yeah, don't know how more shot would help you kill birds. (sarcastically joking)
Why do I shoot 3.5" for geese? Because they don't make a 4" yet!
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Re: 20ga for ducks, how many do it regularly?

Postby dakotashooter2 » Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:49 am

I have been shooting Federals but bought a case of Remington Nitros this year and really like them. I have shot estates but they don't seem to have a lot of consistency in the crimp so I question velocity consistency. The largest shot I have found is #1s but I can't get them to pattern worth a hoot. Even at 30 yards I end up with holes a goose could fly through no matter what choke I use.

The 20 works for me because I just don't/won't take long shots (12 or 20 ga.) I prefer to take high percentage shots. I don't think I took a bird (geese and ducks) at over 30 yards so far this year with most being under 15 yards, perfect for the 20 ga. It's weird but I seem to get more clean kills with the 20 than the 12. Maybe it's just because I shoot it better. Quite honestly I have trouble IDing ducks past about 20 yards on most days anyway so the 12 doesn't offer me any advantage.

I have not stepped into the other nontoxics. I have started having good results with steel the last few years (i used to HATE it) probably due to improved quality. The only benefit I could see from tungsten or heavishot might be in pass shooting which I do very little of any more.
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Re: 20ga for ducks, how many do it regularly?

Postby B-Boy » Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:52 pm

I have been using an M2 20-gauge (26" barrel) as one of my waterfowl guns for the past couple of years. With a 1 oz load of #3 steel (PMC works great for me), I have taken ducks at anywhere from 20-40 yards. Sometimes I will use 1oz of #4 in early season, but #3 seems to do the job the best in my gun.
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Re: 20ga for ducks, how many do it regularly?

Postby DuckManClyde » Mon Nov 04, 2013 7:39 pm

My buddy uses his 20ga 870, kids a better shot than i am for darn sure. I think its light weight and being much narrower than my o/u makes it a better waterfowling gun. mines like a 8 lb tank of a 12ga.
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Re: 20ga for ducks, how many do it regularly?

Postby pedro13 » Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:15 pm

Have been doing it for two years now with my m2. When ya let em work a twenty is plenty. I have yet to feel under gunned. Last year I used Kent's and estates. This year I have shot all hand loads of mostly steel with one TSS x stell duplex load. Steel is adequate for up close under 35. Any farther then just load up something heavier. Hand loading makes the twenty gauge a serious option for something different.
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Re: 20ga for ducks, how many do it regularly?

Postby olt d2 » Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:04 pm

I use a 20 ga yildiz o/u and love it. been using it for four years now as a early to mid season duck gun. I've noticed I gimp less birds with the 20 then with a 12 because I don't take border line shots because I know I cant fudge with a 20. My 20 likes 1 oz loads of #3's but my favorite load is 1 oz buffered #5's (hand loads) . Most may say i'm crazy for shooting 5's at waterfowl, but I've taken a lot of Mallards over decoys that won't be able to tell you other wise :smile: . I have also taken a few big honkers with the 20 and have had three that were "dead in the air" but most hit the ground alive. so it will kill a goose too, but wouldn't use it as a goose gun.
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