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. Remington 20 ga Ammo - 5 Rounds of #3 Buck Ammunition

    69 In stock now

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

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    • 5 Rounds
    • Made by Remington

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

    76 In stock now

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    $4.99 Price

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    • 5 Rounds
    • Made by Federal

    • New Condition
    • 5 Rounds
    • Made by Federal
    • Slug
    • 1600 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • 3/4 oz.
    • Rifled Slug Bullet
    • 2-3/4" Shell Length
    • 1864 ft lbs Muzzle Energy
    • 99.8¢ Cost Per Round
    • Federal SKU PB203 RS
    • UPC 029465025274
  3. Winchester 20 ga Ammo - 5 Rounds of 3/4 oz. Rifled Slug Ammunition

    2 In stock now

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

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    • 5 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester

    • New Condition
    • 5 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester
    • Discount Slug
    • 1600 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • $1.00 Cost Per Round
    • Winchester SKU X20RSM5
    • UPC 020892000421
  4. Federal 20 ga Ammo - 5 Rounds of 3/4 oz. Rifled Slug Ammunition

    66 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
    • 1600 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • 3/4 oz.
    • Rifled Slug Bullet
    • 2-3/4" Shell Length
    • 1865 ft lbs Muzzle Energy
    • $1.10 Cost Per Round
    • Federal SKU F203 RS
    • UPC 029465009953
  5. Remington 20 ga Ammo - 5 Rounds of 1/2 oz. Rifled Slug Ammunition

    4 In stock now

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

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    • 5 Rounds
    • Made by Remington

    • New Condition
    • 5 Rounds
    • Made by Remington
    • Discount Slug
    • 1800 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • 1/2 oz.
    • Rifled Slug Bullet
    • 2-3/4" Shell Length
    • 1575 ft lbs Muzzle Energy
    • $1.10 Cost Per Round
    • Remington SKU SPHV20RS
    • UPC 047700327402
  6. Federal 20 ga Ammo - 5 Rounds of #4 Buck Ammunition

    40 In stock now

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    Image For 5 Rounds Of #4 Buck 20 Gauge Federal Ammunition
    $6.99 Price

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    • 5 Rounds
    • Made by Federal

    • New Condition
    • 5 Rounds
    • Made by Federal
    • Buck Shot
    • 1100 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • #4 Buck Bullet
    • 2-3/4" Shell Length
    • $1.40 Cost Per Round
    • Federal SKU PD256 4B
    • UPC 029465027414
  7. Winchester 20 Gauge Ammo - 10 Rounds of 1-1/4 oz. #4 Shot (Lead) Ammunition

    3 In stock now

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    Image For 10 Rounds Of 1-1/4 oz. #4 Shot 20 Gauge Winchester Ammunition
    $13.99 Price
    • $12.50 each if you buy 3 -  save 11%

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    • 10 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester

    • New Condition
    • 10 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester
    • Turkey
    • 1185 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • 1-1/4 oz.
    • #4 Shot Bullet
    • 3" Shell Length
    • $1.25 to $1.40 Cost Per Round
    • Winchester SKU X203XCT4
    • UPC 020892016620
  8. Hornady 20 ga Ammo - 5 Rounds of 250 Grain Sabot Slug Ammunition

    67 In stock now

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    $12.00 Price

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    • 5 Rounds
    • Made by Hornady

    • New Condition
    • 5 Rounds
    • Made by Hornady
    • Slug
    • 1800 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • 250 Grain
    • Sabot Slug Bullet
    • 2-3/4" Shell Length
    • 1798 ft lbs Muzzle Energy
    • $2.40 Cost Per Round
    • Hornady SKU 86232
    • UPC 090255862324
  9. Federal 3rd Degree 20 Gauge Ammo - 5 Rounds of 3" 1 7/16 oz. #5-6-7 Shot Mix Ammunition

    30 In stock now

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    Image For 5 Rounds Of 1-7/16 oz. #5-6-7 Shot Mix 20 Gauge Federal Ammunition
    $13.49 Price

    Qty:

    • 5 Rounds
    • Made by Federal

    • New Condition
    • 5 Rounds
    • Made by Federal
    • American-made Hunting
    • 1100 FPS Muzzle Velocity
    • 1-7/16 oz.
    • #5-6-7 Shot Mix Bullet
    • 3" Shell Length
    • $2.70 Cost Per Round
    • Federal SKU PTD258 567
    • UPC 604544616095
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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
  • Click To Purchase This 20 Gauge GB (Maxam) Ammunition
    based on the 1 review below
  • Saiga D said:

    "This is the largest pellet size buckshot I have found for a 20 ga, but its only between #2 and #1 buck. 9 pellets of 00 weighs 1.10 oz and are .330" while these are .290" and weigh .750 oz. I cut one open to check it out. Affordable stuff though and prob great for home defense with little recoil."

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