It’s very rare that I ever see a 20-bore being used by anyone other than a junior or lady when I go clay shooting. Are they not suitable for target shooting?

DON BRUNT replies: It’s not that 20-bores, or 28-bores for that matter, aren’t suitable. In America it’s common for major events to have separate 20 and 28g prelim’ competitions and, of course, there are classes for .410, 28g and 20g in NSSA Skeet. The reason that 20s are not popular is simple. In competition, why would you handicap yourself by using something that arguably requires greater accuracy than a 12-bore? With 28g loads being the standard in 12g, there’s already a minimum of a 4g advantage in cartridge size with most 20g clay shells running at 24g or less. Dial-in the inherently wider pattern thrown by a 12 and the lower cost of cartridges when compared to 20g, and it starts to become clear as to why the latter is a rarity on the competition circuit. That being said, there is no reason why a capable shot couldn’t perform just as well with one, and there are some very well balanced 20g Sporters in production that are very different animals from the lightweight game guns that everyone automatically thinks of when you mention 20-gauge.