Difference In Recoil?


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EchoM70
March 3, 2012, 12:41 AM
Hi All,

I'm not completely new to the site, but this is my first post. I did a search
and didn't see a question quite like this one asked before.

So, I've been a primarily a rifle shooter my entire life and just recently I have became interested in shotguns and decided I was going on my first turkey hunt this year. So to familiarize myself with the shotgun platform I decided to borrow a buddy's old 20 gauge single shot. (Which I found to be quite light, around 5.5 lbs or so.) And wow this shotgun puts everything else I've shot to shame, and I can't understand why. After two or three shots I have to stop. (Using 2 3/4in 1oz heavy game load.) My shoulder is pretty much done after that and remains sore a few days after as well.

I've shot/owned many different rifle calibers from .223 all the way up to .300 wby mag and nothing came close to the recoil of this little 20 gauge. So my question is to you guys is there a difference in recoil between rifles and shotguns also, is there a different way to shoulder a shotgun than a rifle? It's also a different type of soreness than if you just shoot a lot too. It's more like my shoulder joint is bruised on the inside of the bone. (make sense?) I've done quite a bit research on this and I can't find another example of this problem occurring.

I would like to get into shotgunning and hunting with a shotty but this recoil issue is seriously deterring me from it. I've thought maybe is was ergonomics but it feels good in my shoulder and hands until I squeeze the trigger. I considered LOP also but once again everything feels good until the bang.

Any help or tips will be greatly appreciated, thanks.

P.S. I posted this under general discussions because I believe this isn't entirely about shotguns. (well it is, but it's from the prospective of a rifleman.) Anyways, I just thought this forum would yield the best answers.

Thanks again,
-EchoM70

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Ridgerunner665
March 3, 2012, 12:48 AM
Its the weight of the shotgun...or rather the lack of (weight)...Those single shot 20's weigh what? Maybe 5 pounds or so...firing a nearly an ounce of lead at nearly 1,200 fps...thats gonna kick. For example, a Marlin 1895 in 45-70 weighs about 6 pounds or so and fires bullet that weighs almost an ounce at 1,200 fps...it kicks too.

A lighter gun will kick harder and faster than a heavy one...you just gotta balance it between whats comfy to carry and whats comfy to shoot.

murf
March 3, 2012, 12:51 AM
it may also be the poor design of the butt of the stock. single-shot 20 guages are notorious kickers. suggest you wear some sort of pad when you shoot that thing. or switch to a pump or over-under gun.

murf

Magnuumpwr
March 3, 2012, 12:54 AM
You could also check into getting a recoil style vest.

EchoM70
March 3, 2012, 01:14 AM
Its the weight of the shotgun...or rather the lack of (weight)...Those single shot 20's weigh what? Maybe 5 pounds or so...firing a nearly an ounce of lead at nearly 1,200 fps...thats gonna kick. For example, a Marlin 1895 in 45-70 weighs about 6 pounds or so and fires bullet that weighs almost an ounce at 1,200 fps...it kicks too.

A lighter gun will kick harder and faster than a heavy one...you just gotta balance it between whats comfy to carry and whats comfy to shoot.

I understand the lightness contributes to the recoil but surely it's not common to be done in 2 or 3 shots is it? And the "soreness" is different from what I've experienced after shooting rifles for awhile.

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
March 3, 2012, 03:42 AM
I used to have an H&R Topper in 12 gauge with a 3" chamber. I remember shooting 3" heavy geese loads through it and a buddy's 870. The 870 felt like almost nothing. In my H&R, it kicked the bejesus out of me. I could only put 12 shots off before I called quits. It's all about weight, ergonomics, and yes, your body type has a lot to do with it.

I've got a heavy, medium height build, and recoil (most firearms) doesn't bother me. But that shotgun did.

iLikeOldgunsIlikeNewGuns
March 3, 2012, 05:34 AM
As this is in 'general discussion' I'm not afraid to bring rifles into the mix :D

I gotta say, 7.62x54r seems to be a more powerful round than the 30-30, yes?

That being said however, my Marlin 336 has much more 'snap' to the face and punch to the shoulder than my Mosin 91/30. This could be for two reasons, one being the length of the barrel, the Mosin is much longer so the 'blast' is further from me. Second is very likely the weight. The mosin is MUCH heavier than the marlin, so I'm guessing the rifle absorbs much more of the felt recoil. The Marlin seems to have the better overall butt of the two as well, I want to get a pad for my Mosin, but only so it's less likely to slide around when shouldered to aim.

I'm not an expert in this department, so feel free to criticize and correct me, I'm all ears :)

Davek1977
March 3, 2012, 06:43 AM
I agree that its a combination of light weight and poor stock design. MOST shotguns DON'T kick that bad, and its easy....for me...to put 3-4 boxes of light loads through my 12 gauge shotgun shooting clays without discomfort. Another issue may be your shooting technique.....shotguns...when used for wing shooting, are swung, as opposed to a rifle, which is aimed. ANY shotgun is going to have more perceived "kick" when aimed like a rifle than it seems to have when wing shooting, where the shotgun is in motion. If you were "aiming" the shotgun at a stationary target.....well, thats not what most "typical" shotgunning feels like. Sure, you "aim" it when hunting deer or turkeys or patterning a shotgun, but a multitude of followup shots shouldn't be necessary in those circumstances. Don't let one bad experience with one poorly designed firearm sour you on shotgunning.

Remllez
March 3, 2012, 07:53 AM
Switch to a semi auto and let the mechanism eat most of the recoil.

buck460XVR
March 3, 2012, 08:01 AM
You'll never notice the recoil with a turkey out in front of you.

jad0110
March 3, 2012, 08:12 AM
Lack of weight and butt pad design have a lot to do with it. My father has a 20" double barrel 12 gauge and let me tell you, I never fire that gun from the shoulder anymore. It points well enough that I just shoot it from the hip. From the shoulder? 2 or 3 shots and I'm done. Makes my Finnish Mosin M39 in 7.62 x 54r feel like a AR in 5.56.

Try to rent a larger, heavier 20 ga pump or semi auto. The difference in felt recoil will be significant. I've got a 20" 12 ga pump that weighs around 8 lbs, and though it still has a strong kick it isn't painful or objectionable. My shoulder is a little sore and numb after my usual 75 shells at an outing, but it feels fine the next day.

The Lone Haranguer
March 3, 2012, 09:00 AM
Light weight and most likely no recoil pad, just a hard metal or plastic buttplate. Being a 20 gauge, it is likely scaled down in dimensions in proportion to the shell size. A 20 gauge only has less felt recoil than a 12 if the guns are the same size.

303tom
March 3, 2012, 09:00 AM
Hi All,

I'm not completely new to the site, but this is my first post. I did a search
and didn't see a question quite like this one asked before.

So, I've been a primarily a rifle shooter my entire life and just recently I have became interested in shotguns and decided I was going on my first turkey hunt this year. So to familiarize myself with the shotgun platform I decided to borrow a buddy's old 20 gauge single shot. (Which I found to be quite light, around 5.5 lbs or so.) And wow this shotgun puts everything else I've shot to shame, and I can't understand why. After two or three shots I have to stop. (Using 2 3/4in 1oz heavy game load.) My shoulder is pretty much done after that and remains sore a few days after as well.

I've shot/owned many different rifle calibers from .223 all the way up to .300 wby mag and nothing came close to the recoil of this little 20 gauge. So my question is to you guys is there a difference in recoil between rifles and shotguns also, is there a different way to shoulder a shotgun than a rifle? It's also a different type of soreness than if you just shoot a lot too. It's more like my shoulder joint is bruised on the inside of the bone. (make sense?) I've done quite a bit research on this and I can't find another example of this problem occurring.

I would like to get into shotgunning and hunting with a shotty but this recoil issue is seriously deterring me from it. I've thought maybe is was ergonomics but it feels good in my shoulder and hands until I squeeze the trigger. I considered LOP also but once again everything feels good until the bang.

Any help or tips will be greatly appreciated, thanks.

P.S. I posted this under general discussions because I believe this isn't entirely about shotguns. (well it is, but it's from the prospective of a rifleman.) Anyways, I just thought this forum would yield the best answers.

Thanks again,
-EchoM70
Look at it like this, your .300 Weatherby Magnum is pushing say a 200gr. load, the 20ga. is pushing a 437.5gr. load or 1oz. over twice as much. (E=MC2)

jmr40
March 3, 2012, 09:18 AM
Basically repeating others, but it is a combination of very light weight and very poor stock design. It is possible to build guns that are very light, yet have moderate felt recoil with a well designed stock and a quality recoil pad.

Many folks mistakenly believe a 20 guage will recoil less than a 12. One oz. of shot at 1200fps will recoil about the same from either a 12 or a 20 of equal weight. Since 20's are almost always lighter, they often recoil more.

Use a 12 guage in the 7.5-8 lb range with a well designed stock, a good recoil pad and you should be able to shoot even heavier loads with less felt recoil than you got from that poorly designed 20. Going to a gas operated semi-auto will make an even bigger difference.

Redlg155
March 3, 2012, 09:28 AM
I don't know if you can really attribute too much to poor stock design, although it is a factor. More of a concern is how it fits your personal build. Even the shape of your head factors in. I've shot otherwise identical size and weight weapons but of different stock design and had one kick the crud out of me while the other was perfectly comfortable. Give it to different shooter and you may have opposite results. 870s to me feel great, but a Benelli Supernova is just painful to shoot.

PapaG
March 3, 2012, 09:38 AM
25 round from my 100 Ithaca SKB 20 gauge is worse than 250 (a trap tournament) from my 870TB. 1 oz in the 20, 1 1/8 in the TB. Why, drop/pitch and weight.

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
March 3, 2012, 01:28 PM
An old single shot 20ga was my first shotgun at 6 or 7 years old. I was a tiny little thing too. Didn't start growing till around 14. Killed a ton of squirrels, quail, rabbits, turkey, and fox with that little bugger. It generally knocked the living hell outta me every shot but I never really "practiced" with it like you are saying. I guess the worst kicking was on the turkeys as I was sitting still and a more rifle like hold. As another poster said, you wont even notice it when you shoot at a turkey. Just take some shots at a target to get the general patterning of it and you will be fine. If you are going to buy yourself one, get a semi auto 12 gauge (many to choose from and they are pretty much all good) get a full turkey choke in it, pattern it out to 40 yards, learn to call the bird in, kill it, come back and post many pictures :D

CountryUgly
March 3, 2012, 04:19 PM
I keep a Limbsaver slip on recoil pad handy just for this reason. I have couple of NEF single shot 12's 20's and .410's and double bbl. coach gun that punish you into submission so I feel your pain literally. My Winchester and Mossberg pumps are joy to run out a couple of boxes but my Browning Light Twelve semi auto is the hardest kicking gun in the safe. My only advice is to shoot a bunch of different ones and pick the one you like.

rust collector
March 3, 2012, 10:21 PM
Older 20ga singles were notorious for recoil and face slap. The 20 should have been a great gun to start young folks with, but instead it taught many how to flinch. As others have said, light weight and bad stock design. If you are shooting at stationary targets, especially off a bench, the fun is gone after 1 or 2 rounds.

It would be easier to pick up a recent vintage 12 ga gas auto or pump. Good used ones run a bit over $200 and will be much more enjoyable. You can add weight, install decelerator/Kick-eez/limbsaver pads, build up the comb and use a pad on your shoulder, but it doesn't make sense with a borrowed gun. Get a 12, and a little coaching on shooting positions and technique, and you'll begin to discover the fun of scattergunning.

exavid
March 3, 2012, 10:55 PM
My old Mossberg 12 gives me a pretty strong rap. I've been meaning to put a buttpad on it for years, but when shooting at a duck or goose it seems the recoil isn't all that bad so I haven't done it. I wouldn't want to shoot a box of clays with it without a new pad and a shooting jacket though. You need a target that takes your mind off the jolt. BTW - This getting old thing isn't helping much either, my shoulder is getting a lot bonier these days, not as much meat to absorb the knock.

EchoM70
March 4, 2012, 12:25 AM
Thanks for all the insight guys. I was actually at the range today intending to sight in my new Vortex Viper 3-9x40 on my Savage 110 in .270 when I noticed a new addition to the range. ( I haven't been to this particular range in almost a year.) This range now sports a skeet shoot area. Long story short I rented a Remington 870 12ga pump and bought a box of shells and clay pigeons and never got around to sighting in the Savage. The 870 was a pleasure to shoot and after today I'm definitely in the market for a 870 and getting the single shot 20ga back to my buddy asap.

newfalguy101
March 4, 2012, 12:38 AM
It sounds more like a product of poor stock design to me.

Yes, lighter weight will make a difference, but, a well designed stock will compensate for much of that.

The first time I got a bruised shoulder from shooting was from a single shot 12 guage, using light hunting loads.

That gun had the worst, most poorly designed stock of any gun I have ever had the misfortune to shoot.

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