Ep 5: Everything You Need To Know About Shotgun Gauges

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Shotgun Gauges – Everything You Need To Know

While many hunters know a little bit about shotgun gauges, I think that most people would likely agree the subject can be really confusing. That’s perfectly understandable because the way shotgun gauges are classified is counterintuitive at first glance. It’s also based on an old, outdated measuring system that has gradually evolved over the years.

For that reason, I’m going to discuss the ins and outs of shotgun gauges in detail in this episode. I’ll go over the history of shotshells, how they got their naming convention, compare and contrast some of the more popular shotgun gauges (the 12 gauge vs 20 gauge in particular), and provide some recommendations on the best uses for each.

Feel free to send me a message with any feedback you have on the show as well as topic requests for future episodes.


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What We Covered

1) History of shotgun gauges and their naming convention

2) What all the markings on a box of shotgun shells mean: shell length, shot weight, shot size, shot composition, and dram equivalents

3) Detailed recommendations on which shotgun bore size is best for hunting various species

4) Why 20 gauge shotgun shells are yellow

Show Resources

1) Shotgun Gauges Explained: 10 vs 12 vs 16 vs 20 vs 28 vs 410 – Blog article referenced in podcast


Big Game Hunting Adventures is a veteran owned and operated business catering to the discerning big game hunter. They offer unforgettable hunting for a wide variety of big game in the South African bushveld, the iconic mountains on New Zealand’s South Island, the Cassiar Mountains of northern British Columbia, and the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta.

So, if you’re looking to hunt animals like tahr and red stag in New Zealand, black bear, moose, and caribou in Canada, or kudu and impala in Africa, head over to BigGameHuntingAdventures.com to book the hunting adventure of a lifetime.


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