20 Gauge Shotgun Shells For Sale

The choice of many hunters for upland game and deer, the 20 gauge offers a sought-after light recoil. This versatile gauge has also been making headway into the self-defense market with new specialty ammunition designed for personal protection. Learn More

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  1. Winchester Super-X 20 Gauge Ammo - 250 Rounds of 1 oz. #8 Shot Ammunition

    15 In stock now

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    Image For 250 Rounds Of 1 oz. #8 Shot 20 Gauge Winchester Ammunition
    $64.99 Price

    Qty:

    • 250 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester

    • New Condition
    • 250 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester
    • Upland Game
    • 1 oz.
    • #8 Shot Bullet
    • 2-3/4" Shell Length
    • 26¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1165 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Winchester SKU XU20H8
    • UPC 020892013384
  2. Winchester 20 ga Ammo - 25 Rounds of 7/8 oz. #8 Shot (Lead) Ammunition

    69 In stock now

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    Image For 25 Rounds Of 7/8 oz. #8 Shot 20 Gauge Winchester Ammunition
    $7.00 Price

    Qty:

    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester

    • New Condition
    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester
    • Discount Shot
    • 7/8 oz.
    • #8 Shot Bullet
    • 2-3/4" Shell Length
    • 28¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1200 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Winchester SKU TRGT208
    • UPC 020892016316
  3. Winchester Super-X 20 Gauge Ammo - 25 Rounds of 1 oz. #8 Shot Ammunition

    27 In stock now

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    Image For 25 Rounds Of 1 oz. #8 Shot 20 Gauge Winchester Ammunition
    $7.25 Price

    Qty:

    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester

    • New Condition
    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester
    • Heavy Game
    • 1 oz.
    • #8 Shot Bullet
    • 2-3/4" Shell Length
    • 29¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1165 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Winchester SKU XU20H8
    • UPC 020892013377
  4. Federal 20 ga Ammo - 25 Rounds of 7/8 oz. #8 Shot (Lead) Ammunition

    69 In stock now

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    Image For 25 Rounds Of 7/8 oz. #8 Shot 20 Gauge Federal Ammunition
    $7.50 Price

    Qty:

    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Federal

    • New Condition
    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Federal
    • Discount Shot
    • 7/8 oz.
    • #8 Shot Bullet
    • 2-3/4" Shell Length
    • 30¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1210 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Federal SKU TG20 8
    • UPC 029465025014
  5. Winchester 20 ga Ammo - 25 Rounds of 7/8 oz. #7-1/2 Shot (Lead) Ammunition

    29 In stock now

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    Image For 25 Rounds Of 7/8 oz. #7-1/2 Shot 20 Gauge Winchester Ammunition
    $7.75 Price

    Qty:

    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester

    • New Condition
    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester
    • Discount Shot
    • 31¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1200 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Winchester SKU TRGT207
    • UPC 020892016293
  6. Federal 20 ga Ammo - 25 Rounds of 7/8 oz. #7-1/2 Shot (Lead) Ammunition

    2 In stock now

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    Image For 25 Rounds Of 7/8 oz. #7-1/2 Shot 20 Gauge Federal Ammunition
    $7.75 Price

    Qty:

    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Federal

    • New Condition
    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Federal
    • Discount Shot
    • 31¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1210 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Federal SKU TG20 7.5
    • UPC 029465027766
  7. Winchester 20 Gauge Ammo - 25 Rounds of 7/8 oz. #8 Shot (Lead) Ammunition

    29 In stock now

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    Image For 25 Rounds Of 7/8 oz. #8 Shot 20 Gauge Winchester Ammunition
    $7.75 Price

    Qty:

    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester

    • New Condition
    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester
    • Upland Game
    • 7/8 oz.
    • #8 Shot Bullet
    • 2-3/4" Shell Length
    • 31¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1210 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Winchester SKU XU208
    • UPC 020892013438
  8. Federal Game-Shok 20 Gauge Ammo - 25 Rounds of 2-3/4" 1 oz. #7-1/2 Shot Ammunition

    12 In stock now

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    Image For 25 Rounds Of 1 oz. #7-1/2 Shot 20 Gauge Federal Ammunition
    $7.95 Price

    Qty:

    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Federal

    • New Condition
    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Federal
    • Upland Game
    • 31.8¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1165 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Federal SKU H202 7.5
    • UPC 029465006877
  9. Remington 20 ga Ammo - 25 Rounds of 7/8 oz. #8 Shot (Lead) Ammunition

    20 In stock now

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    Image For 25 Rounds Of 7/8 oz. #8 Shot 20 Gauge Remington Ammunition
    $8.00 Price

    Qty:

    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Remington

    • New Condition
    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Remington
    • Discount Shot
    • 7/8 oz.
    • #8 Shot Bullet
    • 2-3/4" Shell Length
    • 32¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1200 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Remington SKU GC208
    • UPC 047700323107
  10. Remington 20 Gauge Ammo - 25 Rounds of 7/8 oz. #7-1/2 Shot (Lead) Ammunition

    36 In stock now

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    Image For 25 Rounds Of 7/8 oz. #7-1/2 Shot 20 Gauge Remington Ammunition
    $8.00 Price

    Qty:

    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Remington

    • New Condition
    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Remington
    • Discount Shot
    • 32¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1225 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Remington SKU GL207
    • UPC 047700040301
  11. Federal 20 Gauge Ammo - 25 Rounds of 7/8 oz. #8 Shot (Lead) Ammunition

    15 In stock now

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    Image For 25 Rounds Of 7/8 oz. #8 Shot 20 Gauge Federal Ammunition
    $8.00 Price

    Qty:

    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Federal

    • New Condition
    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Federal
    • Discount Shot
    • 7/8 oz.
    • #8 Shot Bullet
    • 2-3/4" Shell Length
    • 32¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1210 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Federal SKU H200 8
    • UPC 029465072889
  12. Federal 20 Gauge Ammo - 25 Rounds of 7/8 oz. #7-1/2 Shot (Lead) Ammunition

    43 In stock now

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    Image For 25 Rounds Of 7/8 oz. #7-1/2 Shot 20 Gauge Federal Ammunition
    $8.00 Price

    Qty:

    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Federal

    • New Condition
    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Federal
    • Discount Shot
    • 32¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1210 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Federal SKU H200 7.5
    • UPC 029465072773
  13. Remington 20 Gauge Ammo - 25 Rounds of 7/8 oz. #8 Shot (Lead) Ammunition

    48 In stock now

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    Image For 25 Rounds Of 7/8 oz. #8 Shot 20 Gauge Remington Ammunition
    $8.50 Price

    Qty:

    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Remington

    • New Condition
    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Remington
    • Discount Shot
    • 7/8 oz.
    • #8 Shot Bullet
    • 2-3/4" Shell Length
    • 34¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1225 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Remington SKU GL208
    • UPC 047700040400
  14. Winchester AA Target 20 Gauge Ammo - 250 Rounds of 7/8 oz. #8 Shot (Lead) Ammunition

    4 In stock now

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    Image For 250 Rounds Of 7/8 oz. #8 Shot 20 Gauge Winchester Ammunition
    $87.99 Price

    Qty:

    • 250 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester

    • New Condition
    • 250 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester
    • Shot
    • 7/8 oz.
    • #8 Shot Bullet
    • 2-3/4" Shell Length
    • 35.2¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1200 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Winchester SKU AA208
    • UPC 50020892004448
  15. Federal 20 ga Ammo - 25 Rounds of 7/8 oz. #9 Shot (Lead) Ammunition

    33 In stock now

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    Image For 25 Rounds Of 7/8 oz. #9 Shot 20 Gauge Federal Ammunition
    $9.00 Price

    Qty:

    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Federal

    • New Condition
    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Federal
    • Discount Shot
    • 7/8 oz.
    • #9 Shot Bullet
    • 2-3/4" Shell Length
    • 36¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1210 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Federal SKU TG20 9
    • UPC 029465019389
  16. Fiocchi 20 Gauge Ammo - 25 Rounds of 7/8 oz. #7-1/2 Shot (Lead) Ammunition

    75 In stock now

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    Image For 25 Rounds Of 7/8 oz. #7-1/2 Shot 20 Gauge Fiocchi Ammunition
    $9.00 Price
    • $8.00 each if you buy 10 -  save 11%

    Qty:

    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Fiocchi

    • New Condition
    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Fiocchi
    • Discount Shot
    • 32¢ to 36¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1250 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Fiocchi SKU 20VIPH75
    • UPC 762344704777
  17. Federal 20 Gauge Ammo - 25 Rounds of #7 1/2 Shot Ammunition

    5 In stock now

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    Image For 25 Rounds Of 1 oz. #7-1/2 Shot 20 Gauge Federal Ammunition
    $9.00 Price

    Qty:

    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Federal

    • New Condition
    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Federal
    • Heavy Game
    • 36¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1165 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Federal SKU UC202SI 7.5
    • UPC 029465028916
  18. Fiocchi 20 Gauge Ammo - 25 Rounds of 7/8 oz. #8 Shot (Lead) Ammunition

    37 In stock now

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    Image For 25 Rounds Of 7/8 oz. #8 Shot 20 Gauge Fiocchi Ammunition
    $9.60 Price

    Qty:

    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Fiocchi

    • New Condition
    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Fiocchi
    • Discount Shot
    • 7/8 oz.
    • #8 Shot Bullet
    • 2-3/4" Shell Length
    • 38.4¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1250 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Fiocchi SKU 20VIPH8
    • UPC 762344704753
  19. Winchester AA 20 Gauge Ammo - 25 Rounds of 7/8 oz. #9 Shot Ammunition

    39 In stock now

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    Image For 25 Rounds Of 7/8 oz. #9 Shot 20 Gauge Winchester Ammunition
    $10.00 Price

    Qty:

    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester

    • 7/8 oz.
    • #9 Shot Bullet
    • 2-3/4" Shell Length
    • 40¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1200 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Winchester SKU AA209
    • UPC 020892004450
  20. Winchester 20 Gauge Ammo - 25 Rounds of 7/8 oz. #8 Shot (Lead) Ammunition

    11 In stock now

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    Image For 25 Rounds Of 7/8 oz. #8 Shot 20 Gauge Winchester Ammunition
    $10.99 Price

    Qty:

    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester

    • New Condition
    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester
    • Discount Shot
    • 7/8 oz.
    • #8 Shot Bullet
    • 2-3/4" Shell Length
    • 44¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1200 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Winchester SKU AA208
    • UPC 020892004443
  21. Winchester AA Low Recoil Target 20 Gauge Ammo - 25 Rounds of 7/8 oz. #8 Shot Ammunition

    31 In stock now

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    Image For 25 Rounds Of 7/8 oz. #8 Shot 20 Gauge Winchester Ammunition
    $11.00 Price

    Qty:

    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester

    • 7/8 oz.
    • #8 Shot Bullet
    • 2-3/4" Shell Length
    • 44¢ Cost Per Round
    • 980 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Winchester SKU AA20FL8
    • UPC 020892020825
  22. Fiocchi 20 Gauge Ammo - 25 Rounds of 1 oz. #5 Shot (Lead) Ammunition

    19 In stock now

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    Image For 25 Rounds Of 1 oz. #5 Shot 20 Gauge Fiocchi Ammunition
    $11.60 Price

    Qty:

    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Fiocchi

    • New Condition
    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Fiocchi
    • Buck Shot
    • 1 oz.
    • #5 Shot Bullet
    • 2-3/4" Shell Length
    • 46.4¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1220 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Fiocchi SKU 20HV5
    • UPC 762344700953
  23. Federal Speed-Shok 20 Gauge Ammo - 25 Rounds of 2-3/4" 3/4 oz. #4 Shot Ammunition

    14 In stock now

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    Image For 25 Rounds Of 3/4 oz. #4 Shot 20 Gauge Federal Ammunition
    $12.00 Price

    Qty:

    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Federal

    • New Condition
    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Federal
    • Waterfowl
    • 3/4 oz.
    • #4 Shot Bullet
    • 2-3/4" Shell Length
    • 48¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1425 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Federal SKU WF208 4
    • UPC 029465027926
  24. Fiocchi 20 Gauge Ammo - 25 Rounds of 1-1/4 oz. #8 Shot (Lead) Ammunition

    51 In stock now

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    Image For 25 Rounds Of 1-1/4 oz. #8 Shot 20 Gauge Fiocchi Ammunition
    $12.50 Price

    Qty:

    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Fiocchi

    • New Condition
    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Fiocchi
    • Upland Game
    • 1-1/4 oz.
    • #8 Shot Bullet
    • 3" Shell Length
    • 50¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1220 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Fiocchi SKU 203HV8
    • UPC 762344707969
  25. Fiocchi 20 Gauge Ammo - 25 Rounds of 1-1/4 oz. #6 Shot (Lead) Ammunition

    44 In stock now

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    Image For 25 Rounds Of 1-1/4 oz. #6 Shot 20 Gauge Fiocchi Ammunition
    $13.25 Price

    Qty:

    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Fiocchi

    • New Condition
    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Fiocchi
    • Shot
    • 1-1/4 oz.
    • #6 Shot Bullet
    • 3" Shell Length
    • 53¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1220 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Fiocchi SKU 203HV6
    • UPC 762344707945
  26. Fiocchi 20 Gauge Ammo - 25 Rounds of 1-1/4 oz. #7-1/2 Shot (Lead) Ammunition

    11 In stock now
    Image For 25 Rounds Of 1-1/4 oz. #7-1/2 Shot 20 Gauge Fiocchi Ammunition
    $13.25 Price

    Qty:

    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Fiocchi

    • New Condition
    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Fiocchi
    • Shot
    • 53¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1220 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Fiocchi SKU 203HV75
    • UPC 762344707952
  27. Remington 20 Gauge Ammo - 250 Rounds of 5/8 oz. Rifled Slug Ammunition

    3 In stock now

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    Image For 250 Rounds Of 5/8 oz. Rifled Slug 20 Gauge Remington Ammunition
    $150.00 Price

    Qty:

    • 250 Rounds
    • Made by Remington

    • New Condition
    • 250 Rounds
    • Made by Remington
    • Discount Slug
    • 60¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1580 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • 1513 ft lbs Muzzle Energy
    • Remington SKU SP20RS
    • UPC 047700021102
  28. Winchester 20 Gauge Ammo - 25 Rounds of 7/8 oz. #4 Shot (Steel) Ammunition

    33 In stock now

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    Image For 25 Rounds Of 7/8 oz. #4 Shot 20 Gauge Winchester Ammunition
    $15.00 Price

    Qty:

    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester

    • New Condition
    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester
    • Waterfowl
    • 7/8 oz.
    • #4 Shot Bullet
    • 3" Shell Length
    • 60¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1500 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Winchester SKU WEX2034
    • UPC 020892017283
  29. Rio Ammunition 20 Gauge Ammo - 250 Rounds of #1 Buck Ammunition

    18 In stock now
    Image For 250 Rounds Of #1 Buck 20 Gauge Rio Ammunition Ammunition
    $175.00 Price

    Qty:

    • 250 Rounds
    • Made by Rio Ammunition

    • #1 Buck Bullet
    • 2-3/4" Shell Length
    • 70¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1345 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Rio Ammunition SKU RB209
    • UPC 8435101607605
  30. Winchester Drylock 20 Gauge Ammo - 25 Rounds of 3" 1 oz. #2 Shot Ammunition

    15 In stock now

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    Image For 25 Rounds Of 1 oz. #2 Shot 20 Gauge Winchester Ammunition
    $17.99 Price

    Qty:

    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester

    • New Condition
    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester
    • Waterfowl
    • 1 oz.
    • #2 Shot Bullet
    • 3" Shell Length
    • 72¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1330 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Winchester SKU XSM2032
    • UPC 020892008618
  31. Remington 20 ga Ammo - 250 Rounds of #3 Buck Ammunition

    13 In stock now

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    Image For 250 Rounds Of #3 Buck 20 Gauge Remington Ammunition
    $185.00 Price

    Qty:

    • 250 Rounds
    • Made by Remington

    • New Condition
    • 250 Rounds
    • Made by Remington
    • Discount Buck Shot
    • #3 Buck Bullet
    • 2-3/4" Shell Length
    • 74¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1220 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Remington SKU 20B3
    • UPC 047700020259
  32. Remington 20 ga Ammo - 5 Rounds of 5/8 oz. Rifled Slug Ammunition

    40 In stock now

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    Image For 5 Rounds Of 5/8 oz. Rifled Slug 20 Gauge Remington Ammunition
    $3.99 Price

    Qty:

    • 5 Rounds
    • Made by Remington

    • New Condition
    • 5 Rounds
    • Made by Remington
    • Discount Slug
    • 79.8¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1580 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • 1513 ft lbs Muzzle Energy
    • Remington SKU SP20RS
    • UPC 047700021102
  33. Rio Ammunition 20 Gauge Ammo - 25 Rounds of #1 Buck Ammunition

    72 In stock now

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    Image For 25 Rounds Of #1 Buck 20 Gauge Rio Ammunition Ammunition
    $22.00 Price

    Qty:

    • 25 Rounds
    • Made by Rio Ammunition

    • #1 Buck Bullet
    • 2-3/4" Shell Length
    • 88¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1345 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Rio Ammunition SKU RB209
    • UPC 8435101607612
  34. Remington 20 ga Ammo - 5 Rounds of #3 Buck Ammunition

    53 In stock now

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    Image For 5 Rounds Of #3 Buck 20 Gauge Remington Ammunition
    $4.75 Price

    Qty:

    • 5 Rounds
    • Made by Remington

    • New Condition
    • 5 Rounds
    • Made by Remington
    • Discount Buck Shot
    • #3 Buck Bullet
    • 2-3/4" Shell Length
    • 95¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1220 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Remington SKU 20B3
    • UPC 047700020204
  35. Federal 20 ga Ammo - 5 Rounds of 3/4 oz. Rifled Slug Ammunition

    79 In stock now

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    Image For 5 Rounds Of 3/4 oz. Rifled Slug 20 Gauge Federal Ammunition
    $4.99 Price

    Qty:

    • 5 Rounds
    • Made by Federal

    • New Condition
    • 5 Rounds
    • Made by Federal
    • Slug
    • 99.8¢ Cost Per Round
    • 1600 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • 1864 ft lbs Muzzle Energy
    • Federal SKU PB203 RS
    • UPC 029465025274
  36. Winchester 20 ga Ammo - 5 Rounds of 3/4 oz. Rifled Slug Ammunition

    58 In stock now

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    Image For 5 Rounds Of 3/4 oz. Rifled Slug 20 Gauge Winchester Ammunition
    $5.00 Price

    Qty:

    • 5 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester

    • New Condition
    • 5 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester
    • Discount Slug
    • $1.00 Cost Per Round
    • 1600 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • 1865 ft lbs Muzzle Energy
    • Winchester SKU X20RSM5
    • UPC 020892000421
  37. Winchester 20 Gauge Ammo - 5 Rounds of #3 Buck Ammunition

    63 In stock now
    Image For 5 Rounds Of #3 Buck 20 Gauge Winchester Ammunition
    $5.00 Price

    Qty:

    • 5 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester

    • New Condition
    • 5 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester
    • Buck Shot
    • #3 Buck Bullet
    • 2-3/4" Shell Length
    • $1.00 Cost Per Round
    • 1200 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Winchester SKU XB203
    • UPC 020892007154
  38. Federal 20 ga Ammo - 5 Rounds of 3/4 oz. Rifled Slug Ammunition

    71 In stock now

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    Image For 5 Rounds Of 3/4 oz. Rifled Slug 20 Gauge Federal Ammunition
    $5.50 Price

    Qty:

    • 5 Rounds
    • Made by Federal

    • New Condition
    • 5 Rounds
    • Made by Federal
    • Discount Slug
    • $1.10 Cost Per Round
    • 1600 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • 1865 ft lbs Muzzle Energy
    • Federal SKU F203 RS
    • UPC 029465009953
  39. Remington 20 ga Ammo - 5 Rounds of 1/2 oz. Rifled Slug Ammunition

    69 In stock now

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    Image For 5 Rounds Of 1/2 oz. Rifled Slug 20 Gauge Remington Ammunition
    $5.50 Price

    Qty:

    • 5 Rounds
    • Made by Remington

    • New Condition
    • 5 Rounds
    • Made by Remington
    • Discount Slug
    • $1.10 Cost Per Round
    • 1800 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • 1575 ft lbs Muzzle Energy
    • Remington SKU SPHV20RS
    • UPC 047700327402
  40. Federal 20 ga Ammo - 5 Rounds of #3 Buck Ammunition

    60 In stock now

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    Image For 5 Rounds Of #3 Buck 20 Gauge Federal Ammunition
    $5.75 Price

    Qty:

    • 5 Rounds
    • Made by Federal

    • New Condition
    • 5 Rounds
    • Made by Federal
    • Discount Buck Shot
    • #3 Buck Bullet
    • 2-3/4" Shell Length
    • $1.15 Cost Per Round
    • 1200 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • Federal SKU F2033B
    • UPC 029465009830
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You're free to republish or share any of our shotgun shell caliber histories (either in part or in full), which are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Our only requirement is that you give Ammo.com appropriate credit by linking to the original article. Spread the word; knowledge is power!

A special gauge to many shotgunners, 20 gauge ammo is what many used to take their very first shots. And it remains the choice today for many hunters and competition shooters.

The smooth bore cartridge is significantly smaller than the 12 gauge (.615 vs .729), which means it has less recoil, making it the perfect entry-level shotgun shell. However, there’s a lot more going on with this powerful little round than just a shotgun for the kiddies. While the much heavier duty 12 gauge is the gold standard for home defense shotguns, you would be remiss to overlook the benefits of 20 gauge shells for the same use. In fact, Mossberg makes a 20ga ammo shotgun specifically designed for home defense.

Why People Buy 20 Gauge Ammo

A shotgun is primarily purchased for close-range home defense, and you might be surprised to learn that 20 gauge ammo is just about as effective as the 12 gauge, particularly for people who have difficulty managing the recoil of 20 gauge specialty ammo. Whether you’re looking for a weapon for a young person, a woman, a diminutive gentleman, or just someone with shoulder issues, 20 gauge shotgun shells can step in and get the job done when the recoil of a 12 gauge is too much. This is something to seriously consider – it’s far better to defend oneself with a weapon one can fire than with a weapon one cannot.

The 20 gauge cartridge can handle tasks other than self defense for smaller folks. It’s also a great cartridge for bird hunting. This is because the lower power of the weapon leaves more meat intact. So even if you’re a big, burly man, don’t be afraid of using this more diminutive weapon when hunting game, especially game birds. Grouse, turkey, and quail are appropriate quarry for a 20 gauge shell. However, don’t think for a second that deer aren’t on your radar. Because the 20 gauge is capable of loading slugs, you can hunt deer with them or even just ramp up the stopping power of your self defense.

The History of Speciality Shotgun Ammo

As you probably already know, early firearms fired balls, not modern cartridges. The earliest guns were likewise capable of firing something known as “shot,” which isn’t terribly different from the shotgun shells you use today. It was basically anything hard enough to do damage that you could shove down the barrel of a firearm.

Initially, shotgun ammo was used primarily by bird hunters and, to a lesser extent, police and guards. It wasn’t until World War I that they found a lot of use in the military as an effective weapon in trench warfare. The Second World War saw the shotgun used extensively in close-quarters jungle fighting in the Pacific Theater. Today, they are a specialty item in the military, primarily used by hunters and skeet shooters, as well as police and those seeking protection.

20 gauge began life as a muzzleloader with a 0.615-inch diameter bore. Just as the 10, 12 and 16 gauges evolved into being packaged in paper cartridges, and eventually in today's familiar plastic hulls, so did the 20 gauge (the only difference being that 20 gauge hulls are colored yellow). The choice of yellow as the color for 20 gauge shells was intentional, as it draws the attention of shooters – who might have different shotguns in different gauges – to make sure they don't accidentally load a 20 gauge shell in the wrong gun, which would ruin their shotgun or possibly harm the shooter.

Commonly employed to hunt birds and small game, as well as that ever-elusive clay pigeon, hunters and competitors indicate that the number-one reason for using the 20 gauge (as opposed to the more powerful 12 and 16 gauges) is recoil. The recoil of the 20 gauge is described by many shooters as about 50 percent of a 12 gauge when fired out of a shotgun of the same type. The 20 gauge enjoys another advantage in that the gun itself can be lighter than the large shotguns, without worrying about an increase in recoil. In fact, 20 gauge shotguns can be lighter than an equivalent 12 gauge shotgun by one, two or even several pounds.

Some shooters argue that the 20 gauge is a less effective cartridge due to the lighter payload and smaller charge. Counter arguments can be made by presenting the stories of many successful hunts being made with 20 gauge shotguns on animals as diverse as dove and deer. Consider the 20 gauge slug as a perfect example of how much power is contained in this cartridge. In terms of ballistics, the 5/8-ounce slug of the 20 gauge exiting the muzzle with a velocity of about 1,500 feet per second is essentially the same as the .454 Casull.

12 Gauge vs. 20 Gauge

It’s worth looking at some of the differences between the world’s most popular shotgun shell, the 12 gauge and the more slight 20 gauge. Here’s how the 20 vs 12 gauge discussion breaks down:

  • Spread: The 12 gauge certainly wins when it comes to spread. It boasts more pellets than the 20 gauge and delivers far denser patterns.
  • Recoil: We’ve discussed this extensively above – for the most part, the 20 gauge is going to have a significantly less jarring recoil than the 12 gauge. Less recoil means more confidence and accuracy.
  • Velocity and Energy: The 12 gauge certainly has more power by any measure, resulting from the increased velocity and energy. The size difference between the two makes this a bit of a no-brainer. But you might not need that much power. The 20 gauge is often used to shoot through barriers, something you are unlikely to ever be doing.
  • Range: Thanks to the increased velocity of the 12-gauge, it also wins the battle when it comes to range. However, it’s worth noting that a number of police departments use the 12 gauge precisely because it has a shorter range, making it a more appropriate weapon for urban and suburban situations.

So what’s the final verdict? A 20 gauge round is going to deliver double the energy of the .44 Remington Magnum, so you don’t have to worry about a lack of power. The choice between 20 gauge and 12 gauge ultimately boils down to what you feel most comfortable shooting. Firearms instructors refer to the phenomenon of “flinching” or “jerking” as shooters inappropriately brace themselves prior to recoil. This makes for less accurate shooting, so power is not the only consideration when choosing a shotgun, especially for home defense.

Finding Cheap 20 Gauge Ammo

Shooters today will find a wide variety of affordable 20 gauge ammunition for their shotguns. Shot sizes available range from large buckshot on one end of the scale to diminutive #8 and #9 on the other end. Federal and Winchester recognize the market potential and value of the 20 gauge for personal protection at home, and are including it in their product lines for self defense. The 20 gauge is a great choice for applications as varied as bird hunting in the field to protecting your house.

It’s not a special shotgun shell, but it might be just what you’re looking for. If you find that the recoil from 12 gauge has your shoulder sore or think it might have you missing your shots, give a 20 gauge a try. It might be just what the doctor ordered.

20 Gauge Ballistics: Chart of Average 20 Gauge Ballistics

Note: This information comes from the manufacturer and is for informational purposes only. The actual ballistics obtained with your firearm can vary considerably from the advertised ballistics. Also, ballistics can vary from lot to lot with the same brand and type load.

Shell Length Shot Ozs. Shot Sizes Load Style Dram Equivalent Velocity (fps)
3" Magnum 1-1/4 2, 4, 5, 6, 7-1/2 Premium 3 1185
  1-1/4 4, 6 Wingmaster Max 1185
  1-1/4 4, 6 Multi-Shot 3 1200
  1-1/4 4, 6 Multi-Shot 3 1200
  1-1/4 2, 4, 2006 Turkey 3 1250
  1-1/4 n/a Hevi-Shot Max n/a
  1-1/8 4, 6 High Density Max 1300
  1 2, 3, 2004 Hypersonic Max n/a
  1 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Steel 3-1/4 1330
  1 Hex, 2, 5 Blind Side Max 1300
  7/8 2, 4 Steel Max 1300
  7/8 3, 4 FS Lead Max 1500
  5/8 275 gr. Saboted Slug Max 1900
  3/4 Slug TruBall Slug Max 1700
2-3/4" 5/8 Slug Slug, Saboted Max 1580
  5/8 Copper Slug Slug, Rifled 2-3/4 1450
  3/4 Slug Saboted Slug Max 1570
  3/4 Slug Slug, Rifled Max 1480
  260 Grain Slug Partition Gold Slug Max 1900
  260 Grain Platinum Tip Core-Lokt Ultra Max 1700
  260 Grain 2, 3, 4, 6 Saboted Slug Max 1425
  3/4 Slug Steel Max 1800
  250 Grain Slug SST Slug Max 1800
  1/2 2/.60 Rubber Balls Rifled, Slug Max 900
  1-1/8 4, 6, 7-1/2 Magnum 2-3/4 1175
  1 4, 5, 6, 7-1/2, 8, 9 High Velocity 2-3/4 1220
  1 4, 6 Bismuth Max 1200
  1 5 Hevi-Shot Max 1250
  1 4, 6, 7-1/2 Supreme H-V Max 1300
  1 4, 5, 2006 FS Lead Max 1350
  7/8 2, 3, 2004 Steel Max 1500
  1 6, 7-1/2, 8 Standard Velocity 2-1/2 1165
  7/8 8 Clays 2-1/2 1200
  7/8 6, 7-1/2, 8 Promotional 2-1/2 1210
  1 8, 9 Target 2-1/2 1165
  7/8 7-1/2, 8 Clays Max 1275
  7/8 8, 9 Target 2-1/2 1200
  3/4 2, 4 Steel Max 1425
  7/8 7 Steel - Target 2-1/2 1200
  7/8 8 Low Recoil 1-1/2 980
  1 Slug Buckhammer Max 1500
  5/8 Copper Slug Saboted Slug Max 1500
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