Who Shoots Specks With a 20 Gauge?

By Jennifer Richard

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Jennifer Richard walking through a field with a shotgun on her shoulder

As a woman, it seems like most hunting gear is uncomfortable and built for men. That is no exception when it comes to shotguns.

The hunts that I look forward to most are my trips to Arkansas to chase specks and ducks in rice fields with friends and family. Traditionally, I’ve shot my husband’s 12 gauge and hoped for the best. The gun is too large and heavy for me to use comfortably, not to mention the recoil is excessive for a woman my size. So, I told my husband he could keep his clunky 12 gauge and bought myself a 20 gauge like any self-respecting woman would.


Density Matters. HEVI-XII is 53.8% more dense than steel, which translates to double the downrange energy!  This allows you to drop down 3 shot sizes for the same lethality. This gives you 28% more devastating pellets on target.  Luckily, that powerful punch also comes in 20 gauge. For hunters on the smaller side, 20 gauge HEVI-XII can mean shooting big geese more comfortably and safely.

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12 gauge HEVI-XII packaging and shotshells

The new 20 gauge allows me to comfortably shoulder and swing the gun. Most hunters would balk at the thought of shooting a smaller gauge on specklebelly geese, but the payload of HEVI-XII more than makes up for the size difference. My personal favorite is HEVI-XII #4s. The downrange energy and smaller shot size are perfect for both big geese and ducks.

Now when the shot is called, I’m able to hold my own! My husband was so impressed with the results that I often find him trying to sneak my 20 gauge on his trips. Work smarter, not harder.

If you’re on the smaller side like me, my advice would be to find a gun that you can use comfortably and safely. Let your shot shells make up for the difference in knockdown power.