20 Gauge Ammo

The 20 gauge shotgun shell is a mid-size shell, ideal for shooters desiring a lighter recoil than the larger 12 gauge shells. This shell size is also excellent for smaller game hunting, trap and skeet shooting, and for those looking for a bit of a challenge with the smaller shot charge.

Buyer’s Guide to 20 Gauge Home-Defense Ammo

The 20 gauge, when used appropriately, is a perfectly acceptable weapon for home defense. There is simply no doubt that a 20-gauge shotgun, loaded with buckshot ammo, will do significant damage to virtually any target, including a home intruder. Look at the image above, the Winchester buckshot offers 20 pellets you can throw at a threat. In this case, we fired it into ballistic gelatin and through a 4-layer fabric barrier. The results are impressive!

The main advantage of a 20 gauge shotgun over 12 gauge for home defense is less recoil. By using a smaller shotgun load, shooters can reduce recoil into their shoulders while lowering barrel rise. All of this results in better control of the weapon, which in turn means a higher chance of effective, accurate follow-up shots.

20 Gauge Ammo for home defense

Quite frankly, it’s not the size and design of the 20-gauge shell that makes it less popular for home defense. Rather, the largest barrier is the firearms industry. A 20-gauge shell has the foundation to be an outstanding home-defense load, but the ammunition and weapons manufacturers simply don’t support it. Almost all home-defense shotguns and shotgun loads are based on military and police applications. Can you guess what the U.S. Army and your local police force prefer? That’s right: the 12 gauge!

The vast majority of research, development, and manufacturing for defense-based shotgun ammunition goes to the 12 gauge, which means the average consumer looking for a defense round has almost no options in 20 gauge.

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