Updated Mossberg SA-20 Autoloader Shotgun

Mossberg SA-20

The newly updated Mossberg SA-20 Field/Tactical autoloader is a 20 gauge shotgun with a 20″ barrel, synthetic stock and a variety of features that might make it a good home defense gun for you.  With the updated version shown at the 2013 SHOT Show, I immediately saw the gun’s home defense potential for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is reduced recoil.

The semi-auto action tends to absorb some of the recoil in the mechanical process of moving the bolt, extracting a spent shell and chambering a new one.  Combine that with the lower recoil of a 20 gauge compared to a 12 gauge, and one can see how this gun will likely be more tolerable to someone who is more recoil sensitive.  I’ve never had a problem training people of all sizes to shoot a 12 gauge, but a semi-auto 20 is simply easier for some people to control.


New Hornady Shotgun Slugs

Several new Hornady shotgun slug loads have been announced at the 2013 NASGW Expo: two Superformance shotgun slugs and an SST Lite Shotgun Slug.

The new Superformance slugs will be available in both 12 gauge and 20 gauge. Both loads use a MonoFlex slug. Originally developed for lever guns, the MonoFlex design uses a monolithic hollowpoint bullet with the famous Hornady Flex Tip. The slugs are made from a gilding metal, instead of pure copper, to increase their strength and retain 95% of original weight. This helps the slugs to penetrate deeply.


New Fusion Sabot Slug for 20 Gauge Shotgun

Fusion, a division of ATK, introduced a new deer hunting load in 20-gauge. The new cartridge is a 3/4 ounce slug in a 2 3/4″ shell. At the muzzle, the slug is running 1600 fps for 1864 foot-pounds of energy, making this a very potent load for the 20-gauge hunters.

The 20 gauge Fusion features:

  • Copper jacket is electro-chemically applied to the core through a sophisticated and
    refined molecular application technique;
  • Formed under consistent pressure for complete dimensional control and slug integrity;
  • Perfectly uniform jacket;
  • Skived, pre-programmed nose provides consistent expansion; and
  • Maximum weight retention for deep penetration.

With more than 1800 ft-lbs of energy, this slug will penetrate deep and deliver a knock-out blow to humanely kill the animal.  The benefit to the hunter is this shell will give you less of a pounding than a 12 gauge load.  This load is a good 50-100 yard shell depending on your gun and abilities.

I would expect that this load would also make a good self-defense round.  What will take a deer, will also put an armed attacker down as well.  Just make sure you hit your target, because that 3/4 ounce slug will pop straight through a sheetrock wall like a hot knife through butter.

Fusion branded ammo is made by Federal and is situated to be very good quality ammunition but at reasonable prices.  The Fusion line is not a “budget” or “cheap” line of ammo.  Instead, it is priced to be a step below the top premium rounds, but still above the cheap lines like American Eagle.  The Fusion line will provide very good performance, and will likely fill the needs of all but the pickiest of hunters.


Federal Premium eliminated the 3/4 oz slug from the Fusion line of 20 gauge ammo. A similar load can still be had in the Federal PowerShok line, but not in the Fusion line.

As a replacement, Federal now offers a pair of 7/8 ounce Fusion Sabot Slugs: one as a 2 3/4″ shell, and the other as a 3″ shell. They run 1450 fps and 1550 fps respectively. Both are suitable for taking deer to the 100-125 yard range.