Besides patterning, 10 gauges have weight on their side. At a time when waterfowl guns keep getting lighter, which I believe is a mistake, shooting a 10 gauge is an act of protest. Mine weighs 9 pounds, 10 ounces with its 24-inch barrel. It’s a chunk of a gun, but surprisingly easy to shoot and handle in a layout blind. All that weight soaks up recoil, too, and that’s in a pump. Get a hold of a 10 gauge semiauto and you can sling large payloads of pellets skyward and scarcely feel a thing. And, honestly, it’s enjoyable sometimes to shoot something specialized and different. Would the duck and geese I shot the other day have fallen any less dead to a 12? Probably not, but shooting the 10 made the hunt more fun for me, and that’s supposed to be why we go.