1. Check out the Hot Deals section of the Marketplace forum to order an official Mossbergowners.com hat.

Ammunition for SA-20

Discussion in 'Mossberg SA-20' started by don.mills.505, Sep 24, 2020.

  1. don.mills.505

    don.mills.505 Copper BB

    Messages:
    5
    I just purchased the SA-20 as a home defense weapon. The owner's manual says to only use loads between 15/16 oz and 1-1/4 oz. However, most of the target 20 gauge shells I can find are 7/8 oz load so I'm concerned about the ability of the gun to cycle them effectively. Can anyone on the forum tell me their experiences with shooting 7/8 oz loads in the SA-20 and whether or not the shells have cycled cleanly?
  2. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    15,039
    Welcome to the forum.

    No, I don't have any experience with the SA20 specifically, but it would be OK to try the target loads at a range or some other safe place to shoot if you're just using them to "break in the gun" or hunting with it, the target loads are more suited for that. So it wouldn't hurt to try.

    Target shotgun loads are birdshot that you would shoot skeet and squirrels and rabbits with. not really what I'd want to shoot a burglar or violent criminal with because they don't tend to have very good penetration depth at longer distances.

    Home defense loads are more like 00 and 000 and even 0000 buckshot.

    But it would be nice to make sure the gun will cycle the low brass/low powered shells just for the sake of knowing. The gun may surprise you and be fine with them.

    Or maybe they wouldn't. But I'd rather know that now than later.
  3. don.mills.505

    don.mills.505 Copper BB

    Messages:
    5
    Thanks. I haven't been able to find any 20 gauge shells below #6 shot in this market. But I haven't checked online.
  4. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    15,039
    Yeah, 6 shot is what I use for squirrel hunting.

    The market is awful right now. With everyone panicked over the upcoming elections, kung flu and violent mobs, "pickens' are slim" and is a terrible time for first time gun owners or people just now buying a new gun that they don't already have a supply of ammo to feed it.

    If 6 shot is all you can get, is better than nothing though if that's all you can find. As I told a friend several years ago, low brass is better than no brass.

    Just be aware that you are very limited in its' useful range because the small pellets lose most of their momentum rather quickly in flesh and don't tend to go deep enough to stop a determined bad guy or penetrate deep enough to reach the vitals.

    One last ditch option for you may be to try to find some 00 pellets in the reloader section and perhaps open the top crimp and dump the birdshot out and replace with the equivelant weight buckshot and then try to crimp the hull back. But that still doesn't answer whether the gun will cycle the shells. Only firing some will answer that.

    During the great depression, many didn't have access to buckshot and slugs so they used round creek pebbles or even lead muzzle loader balls. Or even wax slugs. Though, if you're unfamiliar with reloading, those options also come at a risk, but are some options to consider if you absolutely must.
  5. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    15,039
    I forgot to add, the reason why many companies don't recommend using the light target loads in semiauto is because they don't build enough pressure to cycle the gas operated semi auto action. And that's why I said only trying to shoot a handful would be able to answer that question. It may cycle the gun just fine. Or, it may not. But heavier payload shells more often uses a little more gunpowder so that's why many folks recommend them for semi auto's. It has nothing really to do with the type of pellet inside of it.

    That was more of a side discussion since you mentioned using it for HD reasons.
  6. don.mills.505

    don.mills.505 Copper BB

    Messages:
    5
    Thanks for the info. Hunting season starts next week so that's not helping the ammo supply situation either. Also, if the SA-20 doesn't stop them I still have my Glock 17 Gen 5 as backup.
    John A. likes this.
  7. Bobster

    Bobster .30-06 Supporter

    Messages:
    2,178
    WalMart has some 20ga shells on the shelf. #7 or #8 I think. I would recommend you buy a box of the various rounds and try them in your gun to see if they cycle.

    Welcome Aboard! :)
    don.mills.505 likes this.
  8. BrianJ

    BrianJ .270 WIN Supporter

    Messages:
    116
    Hello
    I have used 7.5 Winchester 1 oz. 1165 fps on steel targets and trap with no issues.
    The only 7/8 oz I have used successfully is the Winchester AA sporting clays 7.5 and 8 shot 1300 fps

    high brass 7.5 and 6 shot always seems to work.
    One warning, if you shoot from the hip, it may not cycle.
    Fun gun to shoot
    have fun and be safe.
  9. don.mills.505

    don.mills.505 Copper BB

    Messages:
    5
    Thanks.
  10. don.mills.505

    don.mills.505 Copper BB

    Messages:
    5
    Thanks. I bought a box of the Winchester #8 shells at WalMart but haven't had a chance to shoot them yet. Hoping to get out to the range soon and try the SA 20 out.

Share This Page