View Full Version : 20-gauge for 3-gun, IDPA-DMG, etc.?
My wife started IDPA this year, pistol only so far with an M&P9. I've had her practice with my AR too though, which she can handle OK so long as the weight isn't loaded up with optics, lights, and other doo-dads.
My 12-gauge, however, is decidedly a different story -- waaay beyond her limitations as a very "small statured" person.
I have always shot 12-gauge in any kind of 3-gun, multi-gun, etc., mostly a Rem. 870 pump but also a little bit with an 11-87 semi-auto. IDPA's DMG rules, however, do allow 20-gauge although with different ammo and scoring requirements (#3 instead of 00, and 14-pellet hits on paper instead of 6). I don't think I have ever seen anyone at a match with anything other than a 12-gauge though.
So, a 20-gauge might be something to get my wife into the scatter-blaster side of the game (especially with some kind of gas-operated semi-auto further lessening the recoil). Hell -- my 53-year-old shoulder might not mind the change either. Other than DMG scoring though, I wonder about any other limitations, particularly whether there would be problems with knocking over steel.
So anybody ever shot 20-gauge in 3-gun competition, DMG or otherwise? I'd be interested in any experiences -- thanks.
Thats awesome that your wife is willing to give action shooting a try! Tim Ubl of Nordic Components has done a bunch of work and action shooting with a 20 gauge Benelli M2. Here is a link to a recent thread in the Brian Enos forum.
Thanks for the encouragement.
Interesting Enos thread. Sounds like some people are having some issues with knocking down steel.
Also sounds like there may not be as much of a recoil reduction as I was picturing, at least not when using heavy enough loads to meet target requirements.
Yeah the stages are setup for 12 gauge guns unfortunately. The 20 gauge is always so few and far between it gets forgotten about during stage design and setup. Rarely are the target calibrated like they are supposed to be either. Good luck!
I am sure if you contact Nordic you can talk to Tim and he will help you out. Those guys are great people and true ambassadors of the sport.
A 20ga Benelli shouldn't have problems with 7/8 oz loads, while I would expect the 12ga to require work to shoot lighter loads.
The smaller shells for reloading, lighter gun weight, and lower recoil will all help a smaller shooter.
I don't shoot 3gun so the targets falling is something I can't answer. You could look at heavier game loads if it becomes a big problem, but still be able to practice with the lower recoil ammo.
......I am sure if you contact Nordic you can talk to Tim and he will help you out. Those guys are great people and true ambassadors of the sport.
Sound like good people.
......I don't shoot 3gun so the targets falling is something I can't answer. You could look at heavier game loads if it becomes a big problem, but still be able to practice with the lower recoil ammo.
The lighter handling, reloading, etc. are all plusses, but it was the prospect of a significant reduction in recoil really motivating the consideration of 20 gauge. From that Enos thread though, it sounds like a lot of people are needing to go with hot enough loads on the steel to negate the recoil advantage.
My wife will probably be sticking with pistol only for the time being anyway. Maybe I'll eventually get her into some of our rifle side-matches, but the shotgun events may remain out-of-reach.
While a 12 gauge has some recoil, it might be a length of pull issue too. See if you can get her behind a youth model shotgun and give it a try. It was a night & day difference for my wife when I put her behind a shotgun that she could get around. From there, it just became getting used to the gun itself.
Remington I think offers the 1100 in a youth model, but they're exactly light (compared to a Benelli), but the felt recoil will be way down since it's gas operated.
Best part about youth models is that they're cheaper than "adult" sized guns.
.....See if you can get her behind a youth model shotgun.......
I have heard from a couple of very reliable sources that the youth-length buttstock is actually better overall (regardless of shooter size) for any kind of tactical work. I've never tried it, but am assuming that it aids maneuverability. Relatedly, placing my AR stock at a shorter position has this effect.
If I used a youth length stock,my cheek weld would be on the receiver! Consider that 'tactical use' likely includes an armor vest which takes up quite a bit of space, I think. Never even seen one myself.
I find the youth stocks too short, but was able to buy a 13" LOP stock for the 870.
Still a hair too short, I was able to use a 1/4" generic recoil pad spacer from Midway - just perfect now.
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