Sorry to hear that you’re not in the best of health, but do look on the bright side – at least you’re still able to go shooting and enjoy it.

Long may that continue to be the case! I’ve never really stopped to consider that magazine articles feature the 12 bore but, then, I suppose if they do it’s because the 12 is still by far the most popular bore size out there.

Please note that I didn’t say ‘most effective’ but as most people use one then, by inference, they probably shoot better with a larger shotgun.

There’s nothing at all wrong with smaller bore guns like the 20 and 28 you mention. There might be fewer pellets in the shot charge compared to a 12 bore but ballistically the pellets – size for size – travel the same distance with the same striking energies regardless of which gun they’re fired from.

Each is as potentially lethal as the other so they should all be treated with the greatest of respect and handled safely.

Apart from some slight differences in the stringing effect of the shot pattern, the only real difference between bore sizes is (or should be) the weight of the gun.

A man or woman of average build will be able to cope quite easily with a standard 12 bore but if – through physical strength, infirmity, stature or choice – a lighter gun is preferred then a smaller bore will prove effective within the limitations imposed by weight of shot charge.