.410 bore or 20 gauge

As I mentioned earlier, I’m looking to pick up one of the H&R Tamer shotguns, partly to feed my desire for more firearms marketed for “survival”, partly because I like single shot shotguns, and also because I plan to wage war on squirrels on my father in law’s farm come August.

However, I’m now presented with a problem. You see, when I originally formulated this plan, I was unaware that there was a 20 gauge version of the Tamer, I was under the impression that it was going to be .410 or nothing.

Now, I’ve got no beef with the .410, in fact I think it gets a poor rap a lot of the time. That being said, the 20 gauge would take my survival shotgun out of the “dusting squirrels” category, and place it seriously in the area of a true survival weapon, able to perform multiple functions well.

On the other hand, one of the reasons I want this gun is because single shot shotguns are about as user friendly as you can get, and I wanted Mrs. Ahab to be able to shoot and enjoy this gun. A 20 gauge doesn’t particularly bother me, but I don’t really have a solid frame of reference for whether or not she’d be sensitive to the recoil from a 20 or not. So that would be a point for the .410.

Obviously, the whole reason I’m posting this is to get your feedback – it’s a blog after all. So here’s a short pros & cons list for the 20 vs .410.

20 Gauge Pros
– True multi-purpose firearm, for a “survival” shotgun the ability of the 20 gauge to effectively deal with small game, deer sized game, and two legged predators is desirable.

– Wider selection of ammunition, owning to the fact that the 20 gauge is a lot more common that .410 shotguns.

– Less likely to be mocked for having a wimpy little .410.

20 Gauge Cons
– More recoil than a .410, which might be a problem for Mrs. Ahab.

– Ammo is heavier than a .410, which means that I have to carry more weight p/shot.

– Not a 12 gauge.

.410 Bore Pros
– Slightly lighter than the same gun in 20 gauge, easier to handle.

– Ammo is lighter as well, less carry weight is always a good thing.

– Less recoil than the 20.

– Less destructive on small game than 20 gauge.

.410 Bore Cons
– Less ammo selection, especially in the area of slugs and buckshot.

– Less power for things larger than small game, such as deer sized game.

– Likely to be mocked for having a girl’s gun.

Opinions in the comments are welcome and solicited. If it makes any difference, I’m leaning 20 gauge right now.