Feature Article

Semi-Automatic Shotguns for Ladies: Comparing 20 and 12 Gauges

Semi-Automatic Shotguns for Ladies: Comparing 20 and 12 Gauges
The Benelli Montefeltro 20-gauge

In this test we will evaluate three 20-gauge semi-automatic shotguns and one 12-gauge semi-auto with an eye toward finding a scattergun that our female test shooters would like to buy. We included the 12 gauge because of the vastly larger selection of shotshell loads for the 12 gauge versus the 20. If our distaff shooters took a liking to it, a 12 would be a far easier and cheaper way to stay on the range or in the field than the 20 gauges, and we could choose light loads for the 12 that could make the bigger gauge shoot like the 20 in terms of recoil. We could further mitigate recoil by choosing semi-automatic operation, which uses energy from the ammunition to cycle the bolt, so these choices would reduce recoil to some degree over a fixed-breech over/under. Also, to boot, they’d be lighter than a stackbarrel, a test parameter our female shooters put a premium on when we were shopping.

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