Reduced Recoil or 20 gauge?


April 7, 2008, 09:39 PM
Do the reduced recoil buckshot rounds out of a 12 gauge compare with regular 20 gauge buckshot? What is the "recoil level" of the reduced 12 gauge buckshot? Similar to the 20, or similar to regular 12 gauge buckshot rounds?

I don't want my wife firing the regular 12 gauge buckshot rounds right off the cuff. I was curious if I should get a 20 gauge for her or let her try the reduced recoil rounds, as I already have several 12 gauge shotguns. Since I don't have much experience with the reduced recoil rounds :uhoh:, I thought I would ask.


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Sergeant Sabre
April 7, 2008, 09:53 PM
If you're just trying to introduce her to shooting you could use some of the light trap / target loads. They have pretty mild recoil and are cheaper than buying a whole new 20ga.

Fred Fuller
April 7, 2008, 09:54 PM
The very first numero uno thing to get done is to make SURE the gun fits her properly, no matter what gauge it is.

As a rule, a heavier 12 gauge gun with reduced recoil loads will deliver less felt recoil that a lighter weight 20 gauge with heavy loads. There are few absolutes where shotguns are concerned, of course...


April 7, 2008, 10:02 PM
There is an advantage the reduced recoil 12 ga 00 buck have that is not often discussed. They tend to keep tighter patterns than the full power loads. Full power loads tend to "donut" leaving a hole in the middle of the pattern. Reduced recoil buckshot tends to hold patterns tighter thus increasing your effective range with buckshot. Reduced recoil slugs travel a few hundred fps than full power (1300 vs 1600fps I think). Unless you require the maximum penetration in a target, most targets hit with a reduced recoil slug will swear it was a full powered slug.

April 8, 2008, 10:01 AM
Take Lee's advice he is the shotgun Guru. You may also want to try a knoxx spec op's recoil reducing stock. I have read lots of good things about them or possibly cut down the stock a tad if you have to and add a limbsaver or similar recoil pad on it. I would maybe start out with some trap loads or the big bulk pack of light dove/field loads. Best of luck to you in whatever you decide.

April 8, 2008, 12:28 PM
Many women can handle a standard low brass 12 gauge trap load with no difficulty. The recoil on them is pretty mild.
$5 for a box of shells makes it pretty cheap to find out.

April 9, 2008, 06:15 PM
I shot reduced recoil buck out of my 12g Benelli Nova and #3 buck out of my 20g Stoeger Condor just today. The 12g low recoil stuff was still softer than #3 20g buck.

April 9, 2008, 06:37 PM
mbt2001 - definitely make sure the gun fits your wife well. I took my wife and her friend shotgunning this past winter and they had fun, but both ladies thought my gun kicked a lot. I have a browning cynergy O/U shotgun and it's light, but it's got a big recoil pad and we used reduced power target loads. However, I think due to the poor fit, the gun did not shoot well for them. They much prefered the semi-auto 20 gauge (remington 1100) that a friend bought along. I think the fit of that gun was much better for the ladies than my 12 ga.

April 9, 2008, 09:10 PM
Most 20s weigh less than comparable the recoil difference, as perceived by the shooter, is not very great. This will especially be true with reduced recoil 12ga loads.

The selection of defensive loads for 12ga is hugely greater than for 20ga.

April 9, 2008, 09:26 PM
Proper fit. Good recoil pad. Reduced recoil loads. My wife handles them fine. She even shot 3 1/2" buckshot on a dare once................once..............:D.

April 11, 2008, 03:36 PM
+1 on fit and reduce felt recoil.

A poor fitting weapon kicks alot. Its worth the extra time it takes to have a smith cut the stock/add a thicker pad and put on a cheek pad. Its only about $50 total, or at least mine charges that.


April 11, 2008, 03:38 PM
My friend is 5'4" inches and barely over 100 pounds and she prefers my 12 gauge Mossberg 500 over the .410 her Dad offered her. Put on an extra slip-on recoil pad and she can shoot for hours.

Hope that helps...

April 12, 2008, 05:30 PM
We tried both, my tricked out Rem 870 12 gaugeand an old Ithaca 37 20 gauge. The Ithaca had an old hard pad and a regular length stock. My Rem has a modern pad and a cut down stock. The Rem is heavier than the Ithaca. The recoil was about the same between Federal Tactical 00 Buck in the 12 and Win #3 Buck from the 20. Fit is probably more important than gauge or shot load.

April 13, 2008, 08:47 PM
I don't know about buckshot, but my experience with slugs has been that a 20 gauge has less recoil than the reduced recoil 12 ga slugs. That's why I have a 20 gauge barrel on my encore now instead of a 12 gauge.

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