Shotgun gauges are like golf scores — the smaller the number, the more powerful the game.
Most outdoor folks are familiar with 12-gauge, 16-gauge, 20-gauge and the .410 (which isn’t a gauge, but a bore size). Ten-gauge shotguns are popular among waterfowlers and turkey hunters for those who want maximum pattern density and longer range. The 10–20 gauge shotguns are sporting rifles designed to be fired from the shoulder, but larger bores exist, primarily the tools of the illegal waterfowl trade. Market hunters used “sneak boats” to ease into range of a large flock of ducks or geese resting on the water; they’d tap the side of the boat to make the birds raise their heads and then fire the big-bore shotguns like miniature cannons.
What’s it like to fire a 4-gauge shotgun from the shoulder? Watch and prepare to recoil with laughter.