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Location: Catawba, Wisconsin
Joined: 10/06/2009
Posts: 80
20 gauge on ducks?

Will my 20 gauge be enough to hunt ducks. If it is, what shot size should i use i have 4's and 2's. Any help will be appreciated

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Joined: 04/03/2010
Posts: 5
Re: 20 gauge on ducks?

Grew up shooting over decoys with an Remington 870 20 gauge!! Now that you gotta use steel shot in California I switched to a 12. If I call them in real close I'll still shoot them with a 20 but you gotta be on the ball and not try to over shoot the steel......

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
Re: 20 gauge on ducks?

Over decoys inside of 20 yards the 20ga works fine for ducks. Just find a heavy weight oz load of No.2 or even BB. Just know that a lot of folks use 20ga for Pheasant and in my opinion Pheasant are just as tough as ducks if not more tenatious. I however prefere a 12ga for both.

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Location: Nova Scotia
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Re: 20 gauge on ducks?

The same size pellet comes out at the exact same speed as a 12 ga. so power is the same. Where you will find the difference is that you will not enjoy the margin of error that you have with 12 ga. With the 20ga. less pellets means more chance to miss. Having said that, the 20ga. will do just fine if you do your part.

GooseHunter Jr's picture
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Heck ducks, geese and even

Heck ducks, geese and even turkeys.

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Location: Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Joined: 01/13/2007
Posts: 368
The 20 ga works fine on ducks

The 20 ga works fine on ducks and geese over decoys or jump shooting. I would not reccomend it for long range pass shooting though.  You can improve the 20 ga performance with Hevi Shot. We shoot Hevi shot 7 1/2 size and it is deadly on Mallards because pattern density is high and Hevi shot penetrates so well.

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Location: Catawba, Wisconsin
Joined: 10/06/2009
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I think i'll just get myself

I think i'll just get myself a 12 gauge

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Location: Nova Scotia
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I agree
You won't regret it.  The 12 gauge is truly the most versatile.
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Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
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I'ld be willing to bet that

I'ld be willing to bet that more ducks and geese have been killed with a 12 gauge than any other shotgun except for what the market hunters used back in the 1800's.  Just make sure that you can shoot at least a 3" shell in the one that you buy and even better if you get one for a 3 1/2" shell. 

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Location: reno nevada
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geese too

my wife uses a 20 guage to hunt ducks and geese 3 inch bb or #2 will do the trick

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Location: NE NV
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As mentioned above, your 20

As mentioned above, your 20 will work fine for close decoy work & probably for jump shootjng too. Keep away from pass shooting & sky busting (first sign of a duck hunting idiot is the sport that constant blazes away at birds 60 yards +. Shot shell manufacturers love 'em though). If you can stick with the steel substitutes like Hevishot mentioned above. I've heard great things about the black cloud shot/shells. Spendy but probably worth it. Late season birds can be tough to knock down, I'd go with 4 shot as a compromise between shot size/shot number with a 20 gauge.

Get the 12 gauge and you'll be covered for early & late season, decoy & pass shooting. Besides it makes a good reason to buy another gun and thats always a good thing.

I'd personally stay away from 3.5" shells. Too expensive, too much recoil (rather shoot a 7lb .458 from a bench than torch off another 3.5 " 12 gauge. Call me a wimp then keep squnting one eye shut to stop seeing double). There was a good article by John Haviland in the last Successful Hunter mag discussing 3.5" shells. 

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