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12 Gauge Shotguns – Features & Benefits Explained

The 12 gauge shotgun is a popular and powerful choice for any shooter. 

This comprehensive guide will not only help you understand the features and benefits of a 12 gauge shotgun, but it will also give you the information you need to decide if this type of firearm is right for your needs.

What Is a 12-Gauge Shotgun?

A 12 gauge shotgun is a type of firearm that uses a shell and propellant to fire shots from the barrel. It is generally considered one of the most popular gauges available, and it offers power and accuracy. 

The small size makes it easy to handle and transport, while its durability ensures long-term dependability.

What are the Benefits of Shooting with a 12 Gauge?

12 gauge shotguns offer a number of benefits for hunters, clay shooters, and target shooters. The size is ideal for most shooters and the shells are relatively cheap and easy to find. 

They also provide excellent recoil control, allowing you to stay on target while shooting in rapid succession. 

The sheer power of the rounds makes it a great choice if you’re looking for stopping power or long-range accuracy.

What Types of Ammunition Does a 12 Gauge Use?

12 gauge shotguns use an array of ammo, including birdshot, buckshot, slugs, and sabots. Birdshot is typically used for bird hunting and clay shooting, while buckshot works well for larger games. 

Slugs provide the most power out of all these rounds, making them ideal for long-range shots or defensive applications. 

Sabots are special shells designed to increase accuracy in rifled barrels.

What are Some Common Uses for the 12 Gauge? 

The 12 gauge is one of the most versatile shotguns for any shooter. It’s commonly used for hunting, recreation, home defense, and law enforcement applications. Due to its wide range of ammo available, the 12 gauge can be easily tailored to fit many different scenarios. 

Hunters can use birdshot shells for the small game; clay shooters enjoy improved accuracy with steel or tungsten shot; and home defenders benefit from the sheer power of buckshot shells and slugs.

How Do I Choose the Best Model for Me?

Choosing the right model of a 12 gauge shotgun boils down to personal preferences such as action type, magazine capacity, and overall length. Generally speaking, semi-automatic models provide faster follow-up shots than pump shotguns and are a great choice for defending your home against intruders. 

Pump actions offer greater reliability and can fire more powerful loads than semi-automatics which makes them an ideal choice for serious hunters and clay shooters. Ultimately, take the time to try different shotguns and decide what works best for you.

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