10 Gauge vs. 12 Gauge Shotguns

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Our Associate portal can be found here

If you are stuck between the 10 gauges vs. the 12 gauge, well this is the article for you. With basic knowledge, you’ll probably go for the bigger gauge, since it’s more recent, and obviously the latest is best and modified.

Well, this is not a bad idea to go by, but it is important to have an analysis of the 10 gauge versus the 12 gauge to determine the overall best performer. 

It is fully understandable because the shotgun gauge classification is somewhat counterintuitive. There are a lot of more misconceptions concerning shotgun gauges than any other ammunition and firarms related subjects. 

10 Gauge vs. 12 Gauge Shotguns: A Detailed Comparison

10 Gauge vs. 12 Gauge 3.5 Ballistics

Both 10 gauge and 12 gauge shotguns chambered in the 3.5 are popular among shooters. But, which one is a better performer than the other. The one that offers the best bang for the buck will depend on the intended purpose among other factors. 

The 10 versus 12 gauge is simply a function of ballistics. Holding all things constant, the 3.5 inches in the smaller 12 gauge won’t hold an equal amount of lead and powder as the 3.5 inches in the larger 10 gauge bore. Theoretically, the 3.5 inches 10 gauges have more potential than the 3.5 inches in the 12 gauge.

With the arrival of a 3 -1/2 inch 12 gauge load, people thought that the 10- gauge had become obsolete, which wasn’t the case. The 3.5″ 12 gauge is still very far to outdo the performance of 10 gauge. The 12 gauge shows little or no range difference over the 3.5″ 12 gauge.

10 Gauge vs 12 Gauge Velocity and Ammo 

The ten -gauge in 3-1/2″ is .775″ gauge 10, and the 12 gauge is .729″~.742″ 12 gauge. The speed for these two gauges ranges between 1300 to 1450 fps although it is dependent on the kind of ammo you’ll be using. 

But considering we are in a world where marketing forces control physics, you’ll see that 12 gauge chambered in 3-1/2″ has become a hotcake in most gun markets. These 12 gauge chambered in 3.5 accepts a wide variety of affordable and lighter loads. 

10 Gauge vs. 12 Gauge Patterning

Besides, the 12 gauge feature longer shot column and shot deformation. They will require more tweaking for the better pattern at a distance. For steel shots, both 12 gauge and 10 gauge show relatively the same pattern. 

10 Gauge vs. 12 Gauge for Home Defense 

Most 10-gauge shotguns weigh over 10 pounds. This helps in countering the effect of large caliber recoil. On the other hand, 12 gauge offer smooth-swing and comfort of use and therefore, a great gun for defense as well as upland shooting.

However, the 10 gauge is also