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Show off your 20 ga HD guns

Discussion in 'Tactical Shotguns' started by rem2429, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. rem2429


    Nov 26, 2004
    Llano, TX
    Anyone have one? How do you like it? I've been thinking about building one for my wife.
  2. RatDrall


    May 23, 2009
    You might want to go with a 12 gauge for your wife's gun. 12 gauge shotguns start out with a heavier reciever, which means less recoil shooting similar rounds. Most 20 gauge loads use a similar payload to the equivelant 12 gauge anyways, meaning more recoil with less weight. You can load a 12 gauge down, using light birdshot or low recoil buckshot or slugs for very managable recoil.

    My wife shoots a 12 gauge 870, she holds the weapon properly and uses the proper ammunition: low recoil buckshot and slugs, or birdshot for fun. Her first time shooting it she went through 25 rounds each of slugs and buckshot and had a good time. Oh, she's 5'10" tall and 130 lbs :supergrin:

    The most important thing is to build the gun to suit your wife. Mine wanted her shotgun as light as possible, so no sidesaddles or anything like that are attached that would add weight. She also holds the gun differently, and needed a longer forearm so that she didn't have to reach as far as I do when shooting. Oh yeah, don't forget the possiblity of a youth stock for a shorter length of pull.

  3. irontexan27


    Dec 14, 2009
    Ratdrall summed it up, plenty of women have used 12 gauges before. Just make sure she gets some range time with it so she knows what to expect
  4. PlasticGuy


    Jul 10, 2000
    I bought a 20 gauge Mossberg 500 for my wife. While I agree that the 12 gauge can be fitted with a short stock and loaded for soft recoil (as mine usually are), it will never be as light weight as an equivalent 20 gauge. That was the real basis for my decision. A fully loaded 12 gauge would be shootable, but it's too heavy for her to use in prolonged practice and training sessions. The 20 also has a smaller forearm that fits her hand better. All in all, it's just perfectly scaled down to fit her.

    I wouldn't want a gun that didn't fit me, and I see no reason to force my wife to use one that doesn't fit her.
  5. I bought my son his own Remington 870 in 20 gauge for him to grow into one of these years (currently he's 4 so we have some time to go yet). Here's a couple pics, one with the magazine extension in place and one with the extension taken off as it will be when he first gets it. All a matter of saving weight. Since those pictures were taken, the full size stock you see on there now has been replaced by a factory youth stock making it a little shorter for him to be able to grow into sooner.


  6. Jon_R


    May 3, 2009
    Central Florida
    This is a picture or a Remington 11/87 20 Gauge Youth. I added an extended tube on it and a speed feed ramp. It is not for HD but I would be comfortable using it for that purpose with the right ammo. It has been 100% for me. The gun was bought for my kids to use at 3-Gun. It is noticeably lighter and I have used it a time or two myself. It is next to a 590 20" for comparison.

  7. Z71bill


    Feb 19, 2007
    Picking a 20 gauge has little to do with recoil -

    My wife likes shooting .22 rifles - Marlin model 60 is her main gun.

    I figured I would let her shoot my Remington 870 - just in case I was not around during a HD situation.

    She could not even lift it up into a shooting position - it was just too heavy.

    The reason people buy 20 gauge shotguns for young kids and some women is because they are lighter and they have a shorter LOP.

    I am sure there are many women that can handle the weight of a 12 gauge - if they can - that is the best option - but for all the people who can't a 20 is a good option.


    Remington 870 on the left 7.5 pounds -13.75 LOP

    Escort 20 gauge semi-auto on the right 5.9 pounds - 13.25 LOP including R3 slip on pad not shown.

    I know it may not seem right that 1.6 pounds would make much difference - but it really does.

    BTW - IMHO a semi-auto is the best choice for my wife - better than a pump - less recoil & if a HD situation ever does happen the chance of a failure is less than the chance she will forget to pump / or short stroke it .
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2010
  8. Wiggum


    May 22, 2009
    I have an 870 express 20 ga like this one for HD. However, I put a Blackhawk Spec-Ops stock on it to help my wife with LOP. Also, the pistol grip helps in perceived recoil.

    Like others have said, I think this gun kicks more than a 12 ga with similar loads. But it is considerably lighter and more maneuverable.
  9. mcqueendonald


    Mar 7, 2009
    I have two Mossberg 500 20ga that are for HD. One Mossberg 500 20ga with a Knox Stock and one Mossberg 500 20ga with a Pachmayr Pistol Grip I think there great there small and easy to carry. The one with the Knox Stock takes away half the kick.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
  10. aippi


    Jun 12, 2009
    The clients who contact me for a 20 ga for HD all are thinking along the lines of the some of the guys on this post, that it is lighter and will be easier the the 12 for thier wife of teenage children to use. And it is. I am of the opinion that all adults and older children living in the home need to be able to use the dedicated HD weapon. You will not always be home and there may be case when you are in trouble and they may be able to safe your A double S with that weapon. So the line of thinking of these clients has merit.

    I start with the 870 model picuted on this thread and with parkerizing and a couple of the same parts used in the 870 police, I turn it into as close to an 870 Police model as can be.

    I don't know how to post pictures, but going to and looking at the 20ga HD I and II will give you some ideas what you could do with one of these excellent weapons. You can get one at any of your local gun shops and transform it with a few dollars in parts.
  11. Z71bill


    Feb 19, 2007
    Go set up a FREE account at

    It is so easy -

    You just click on the upload images button -

    Indicate where you want the pictures uploaded from - your PC or I stick my digital camera's SD card into the slot on the PC and load them directly from there.

    That loads them into your photobucket account -

    Then you just click on the IMG CODE and copy it to your GT post.

    I was having all sorts of problems getting pictures to post - until I set up this account.

    PATRICE . . . . .

    Jun 3, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2010
  13. PlasticGuy


    Jul 10, 2000
    I was hoping that would be the case, but I had my wife try my Vang Comp 590a1 and it was just too heavy for her. Even with a 12" stock on it, there was no way she could manipulate it properly. I bought her a 500a combat shotty in 20 gauge, and she likes it a lot. While I agree with you in principle, it all comes down to fitting the gun to the shooter. Male/Female has nothing to do with it, but size and strength matters.