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.410 vs 20 gauge

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by jp1985, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. jp1985

    jp1985 Linn County, Oregon Active Member

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    Hello all my friends of NWFA.

    I have a quick question.

    My son just hit the ages were he can go on a mentored youth hunt with me.
    After a long talk with my wife she finally agreed he could go. He wants to start with upland/waterfowl which I hunt every season.

    I always use a 12 gauge but I know it would be to much for him,so I am looking Ito getting him a .410 or a 20 gauge.

    I cannot decide as i have never owned a .20 gauge or a .410.
    Which has less recoil?

    Which would be a better first hunting shotgun?

    Which has a better spray pattern?

    Could the .20 gauge be used for slugs if he decided he wanted to hunt deer with me?

    Ammo wise i heard the .20 gauge is cheaper. does the .20 have more options as ammo wise?

    Any opinions/suggestions/advice is much appreciated.


    Thanks All.
     
  2. twowheels

    twowheels portland, OR Active Member

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    Nice! 20 has more recoil and better pattern and is usable with slugs and most young men 10 years old or more can handle a 20 gauge with light loads. 20 gauge ammo is more readily available and much cheaper than 410. Also, kids grow so fast. I started my kid on a 20 gauge remington pump in youth size and it worked like a charm. He is now 28 yrs old and the 20 has been passed on to another family. When I can get him to hunt with me he uses a 12. I use the Belgian Browning superposed in 20 but he will inherit it someday.

    My vote is go 20.
     
    DeanMk likes this.
  3. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I have both.

    A 20ga is about 15-20% less recoil then a 12ga at most.

    You could cut it down a bit and add more padding though.

    They are a bit lighter.

    Ammo is about the same as 12ga.

    You can do everything with a 20ga as a 12ga, including slugs. They are easily available; not quite as plentiful as 12ga but very close so your never out if options.

    I do not have a .410 but they are much smaller and not as capable in regards of range and power.

    Edit: I recently bought a 20ga to hunt small game with and am happy with the slightly lighter load and weight but not much of a reduction in power.
     
  4. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie Vancouver Well-Known Member

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    My youngest was shooting the 20ga when she was 10 without any trouble.
     
  5. pakrat57

    pakrat57 Reedsport Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    My dad started me on a .410 at around 8. I have heard the idea that if you start with a .410 you tend to end up being a better shot due to the tighter pattern and having to work at it a bit more. I do believe that nowadays .410 ammo may be pricier than 20ga which might be a factor in the decision.
     
    156256Hunter likes this.
  6. Panther

    Panther Keizer Active Member

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    I would look for a 20g remington 1100/1187 youth 20" barrwl would be my first choice. Trap loads for practice and he won't even feel the game load difference when shooting at a flushing bird. When he outgrows easy to get your money back. I would stay away from single shots just to light.
     
  7. jp1985

    jp1985 Linn County, Oregon Active Member

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    still on the fence. .410 seems a bit easy to find rifle wise. but would it be enough for waterfowl?
     
  8. wcarroll19

    wcarroll19 springfield New Member

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    I've started out with a 410 single shot for many years, then moved to 20 ga then to 12 ga back to 410 and back to 20ga. I've taken geese with the 410, have to be aware of you're limitations, lots of pheasants, quail, partridge and ducks, I think I have taken more game with the 20 ga though. Ammo costs the same as 12 ga and variety is almost the same as 12 ga. I do think the 410 has helped me be a better shot early in my life, one shot one kill was my goal, didn't always achieve that but tried, go with the 20ga and join a gun club to shoot trap, lot's of fun and will hone the skills needed for waterfowl and upland birds.
     
  9. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim West of Oly Springer Slayer 2016 Volunteer

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    I started with a 12 Ga and when my son started hunting winged wonder he did too.
     
  10. B5Ben

    B5Ben Boise Well-Known Member

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    I also think the 20 Ga is the way to go. Difference in price of ammo alone will pay for the shotgun after a couple seasons at the trap or skeet range:) I will be facing the same decision as my father in law has given my son his .410 from when he was a kid. We will start on it for learning the basics but will be moving to the a 20 after that.
     
  11. sagerat-shooter

    sagerat-shooter Coquille, OR Member

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    Tighter patter on a 410? Wouldn't that depend on choke? Or does a full choke on a 410 pattern tighter than a 20ga full choke?

    WHAT? you took geese with a 410? a half once of shot in a 2.5 and 11/16oz in a 3 inch 410 shell! you sir are a great shot!
     
  12. pakrat57

    pakrat57 Reedsport Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Just repeating what I've heard, so it sounds like it's mostly the choke, pattern density, and shorter range of the .410.
    http://www.chuckhawks.com/first_shotguns.htm
     
  13. sagerat-shooter

    sagerat-shooter Coquille, OR Member

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    Yes the internet is full of people just repeating what they "heard"
     
  14. pakrat57

    pakrat57 Reedsport Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    It was HEARD from my father and his shooting buddies long before there was the internet or even personal computers.
     
  15. wcarroll19

    wcarroll19 springfield New Member

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    Naw, I do think above average though, geese were taken with 3" shells, puddle jumping and walking irrigation canals in southern Idaho many moons ago, no shots beyond 35 yds if I remember right, the best I did was 23 birds for 25 shots, of course my dad beat me -25 birds for 25 shots and he missed once, he doubled on pheasants before he missed, thought it was going to be 26 for 25!
     
  16. Oregonhunter5

    Oregonhunter5 2C IDAHO Well-Known Member

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    .410 and the 28 gauge cost to much to shoot, and have a small pattern. The 20 is a good gun. But. Don't forget about a 12 gauge in a lighter load. Then you won't need to buy a 20 and then a 12 later on.
     
    DeanMk likes this.
  17. DeanMk

    DeanMk Poulsbo, Wa. Active Member

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    1) .410 has less recoil.
    2) 20 gauge. It's easier to find than .410 and is almost as versatile as 12 ga.
    3) "Better" is relative. 20 ga. has more capacity, so it can throw more shot in the air.
    4) Yes, but rifled slugs are a poor choice. If he wants to do that, just buy him a rifle.

    MHO - If he's too small to fit into a full size gun, you can swap in a shorter buttstock and barrel. Keep the originals for when he's older.
    Let him shoot the begeezus out of it. The more he shoots, the better he'll get.
    20 ga. can be had in fairly light loadings, but also in magnum loadings. It's a round he can use for all kinds of things, and he won't outgrow it.
    Here's a nice reference I found not long ago - http://www.supertrav.com/pelletcount1.html
    Scroll down to the LEAD heading and check how many pellets are in certain weights.
    .410 is ging to be 1/2 oz. and 11/16 oz.
    20 is going to be 7/8 oz for standard, but heavy field load (i.e., "Baby Magnum") might work better for him, and in 20, that would be about 1-1.125 oz.
    ...and for waterfowl you're using #2? #4?
    See how many pellets are being thrown in those weights and then think about his chances of success based on those figures.
    I think you'll come to the same conclusion most of the rest of us have - get the kid a 20, at least.
    12 would be better, but if its too much for him to handle, he can always pick it up later.




    Dean
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2014