The old soft sholder...


April 5, 2013, 02:05 PM
I couldn/t wait and took my HD gun out for a spin even with it's 30" bbl and no recoil pad.
I chose a light (?) dove load being away from shotguns since 1970 I thought I picked a lightr kicker, yea right!
With it's full choked 30" barrel I figgured the one ounce #8 load would do the trick, hey they were even low brass!
Well the lack of experience with current loads and having a very soft sholder It tore me up but GOOD!
I then switched to my 20ga double and tried some 1 oz #4 Phesant loads (my H/D birdshot choice) and the little uplander kicked me another good one!
Well after pondering the kicks I think I found my problems.
To toughen my sholder I have to stick with 7/8 oz loads and small shot in both guns. For the pump, I need to get the barrel cut and get to cylinder bore to let the shot flow. I really need to get some sort of recoil pad on this thing! Bare plastic against the sholder ain't gonna work! Gotta toughen the sholder up.
My stance, I got disabled and my legs and feet present a terrible platform to shoot from. I need to get some orthopedic shoes and develop some sort of balanced stance to lean into the guns better! That;s gonna take some work since 9 operations on my knees and foot have misaligned me pretty bad so I need to work on mu foot positopn etc,
I think the old days of walking the fields and taking a shot of oppurtunity are gone but clay pigeons are alive and well and some sort of shooting game is still out there for me to play!
Yes when all is done I will be ready for slugs and heavy buckshot for H/D.
See you can't just go by memory alone when choosing your shotgun loads as there are many really nice new loads out there! For instance the 20ga Estate SUper Sport Competition Target Load is a sweetheart! Very low recoil and good patterns! A tad expensive but the good ones always are. Still within the Estate brand I discovered that the 12 ga #8 Dove load is one ounce of pure kick! At1290fps and one oz it's no slouch!
I'm going have to cruise the net and learn the modern day
Thanks for listening guys!
A very sore ZVP

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Tom Held
April 5, 2013, 02:30 PM
Those 1 oz dove loads are very misleading. They almost always are propelled with 3 dram powder loads making them close to 1300 fps. These are not light shooting loads. Check the box and see if it says 1 oz 3 dram. Yes, they can be punishing. I only shoot these shells for international trap. Oh, low brass has no relation to light shooting shells. Hope that helps.

April 5, 2013, 02:38 PM
go with AA trap loads....much better on recoil...

April 5, 2013, 02:44 PM
Or just do some pushups and get some muscle on the shoulder and pectoral?

If that is too hard do some 'girl' pushups, without taking knees off the ground.

If that is too hard then you might need some light dumbells.

Then the only issue is a reduced shoulder pocket because you have muscle filling it up.
A light layer of muscle really softens the force, as the recoiling stock no longer transmits force directly to bone and tendons.

You also shouldn't be shooting without a recoil pad.
Even in good shape myself and able to tolerate some recoil I see no reason not to use that available cushion. If it increases the LOP too much get the stock cut or replace it with a shorter one so it is the right length with the pad.
Then you just need to deal with the pounds of force spread out on the surface and not a hard edge digging into your shoulder each shot.
Heavy shotgun loads are recoil equivalent to some big game rifle loads.

April 5, 2013, 03:00 PM
For the pump, I need to get the barrel cut and get to cylinder bore to let the shot flow.

This will not reduce recoil, but actually increase since you removed weight by cutting the barrel.

You need to shoot light target loads - 7/8 oz or less and no faster than 1200 fps. 1100 would be better
Secondly, a good recoil pad helps, but thirdly - the stock needs to fit - not just LOP, but toe, pitch, comb, heel and cast

April 5, 2013, 04:14 PM
Find a Browning Reactar pad, it fits inside of your shirt and will cut down on the guns recoil.
Cutting the barrel back will just make it louder and not decrease recoil, just as oneounceload has said.

Tom Held
April 5, 2013, 05:10 PM
Actually now that I think about it I believe those dove loads that are sold by all manufacturers are 3 1/4 dram, even more punishing.

Here's a decent sale on shells that I just found today:

These are Estate but again 3 1/4 dram. But only pushing 7/8 oz of shot, a fast load but probably much lighter recoil. At $6 a box it's probably the best you can find now.

April 5, 2013, 06:06 PM
Limbsaver makes a slip-on recoil pad that would really help....

April 5, 2013, 08:25 PM
Win AA has some REALLY light loads p- 7/8 oz at 980
they wont work a semi, but they are light

I reload a 3/4oz 12 gauge load - the equal of a 28 gauge - and shoot it in a 8.25# O/U for practice - smashes targets but not my shoulder - my shooting shoulder has torn cartilage so recoil is something I watch religiously

April 6, 2013, 02:52 AM
Yea I couldn't wait to try the new (used) gun out! I knew better than trying it without a buttpad and those loads really fooled me!
I have just been Wy from shotgunning too long.
1970 was a long time ago and I forgot all the tricks!
I figgured out that 1 oz -vs- 7/8 oz load this morning while reading the box and shaking my head. I saw it and ya know how you smack your forehead? Boy i did a good one! es cutting 10" of barrel off will make the gun lighter and probablly louder too but I want to make the gun shorter and more manuverable for myself.
If I should ever need to fire serious social loads, the gun will be finished and set-up to handle reoil also I should be more familliar with it and it;s characteristics. BEsides at a time like that recoil won't be on my mind... I sincerely hope I never face it!
I am going to build the shotgun and prepare it so it's not a punisher. I'll also have a lot more pratice with it and will have my sholder toughened up a lot.
Low speed, 7/8 oz loads with light powder charges will be my pratice rounds. Unlike back in ;70 I don't have anything to show off to my buddies. I just want to be able to have the gun function reliabilly, shoot it well centered and develop a natural mount to the sholder.
Sure glad I have the net to study about ammo and loads back in the old days you paid your dues by learning the hard way!
Thanks a lot for all the help and suggestions!

April 6, 2013, 09:37 AM
I don't think you can necessarily "toughen up" your shoulder by subjecting it to harsh loads, but you sure can add some debilitating damage to it. Recoil damage is a cumulative damage that builds up over time - similar to losing your hearing by not wearing hearing protection in a loud but not severe work environment

April 6, 2013, 01:17 PM
I didn't mean toughening up as much as I meant getting used to the recoil. I am looking up recoil pads right now and have found several canadates .
I almost can;t use a slip-on as I am using a ammo bandoleer on the stock and both won't fit.
Worst case I will go with a slip on pad and forego the extra ammo
I am also going to be more selective about my ammo choices. As ammo becomes more available, I will buy low velocity 7/8 oz loads to pratice with and for general purpose shooting, Slugs and Buckshot for "social occasions".
No matter what, I don't want to go through several days of a sore sholder again!

April 6, 2013, 02:04 PM
Repeated Heavy recoil can cause more problems than just a sore shoulder. As many old shotgun shooters know. Eventually you can develop a involuntary flinch at the moment you intend to pull the trigger.

I always try to use the lightest loads available that will do the intended purpose.

April 6, 2013, 05:02 PM
You don't mention the model shotgun without the recoil pad. How about giving us a rundown on what shotguns we are talking about. A heavy,properly fitted, softer shooting gas operated shotgun will be the best choice for your conditions I think.

April 6, 2013, 09:02 PM
Ok milkmaster here's a rundown .
The padless gun is a Westernfield M 550AG. It's a Mossberg made for sale by Montgomery Wards It's a no frills 30 inch barreled, full choked (fixed) Pump action. Likely from back in the late 60's to early 70's. Nice plain Mossberg Model 500.
Measuring the stockwork, I found that a Mossberg Youth 550AG recoil Pad fromKick-Ez will fit it. A $30 part from Midway.
I have the magazine plug removed giving me a 5 shot capacity.
I have the barrel mesured and marked (with tape) for a 19 inch cut length though the old Mossberg Security models had a 20 inch barrel. I may go with that length as it's not all that long and overall length will be around 40 inches.
If I can fit the gun with a pre fitted recoil pad, I can use a 5 shot Blackhawk ammo bandoleer on the stock. No room for both a slip-on recoil pad and the bandoleer together.
THe idea was to buy an inexpensive Pumpgun and do as little to it as possible and still end up with a functional H/D shotgun. The reciever has a few sctches and could be refinished, the barrel has a spot where the bluing needs a touch-up and the woodwork could stand a nice restain and laquer or Urithane finish. But those are just asthetics and the function is good without doing them. Besides, the minor scratches and dings add character to the gun. I'll leave it as-is and not worry about every little scratch it might get in the future. It's a working gun, use it as such.
The origonal gun I bought for this project is a sweet 20 Ga SxS English Styled Stoger Uplander Combination gun It was a twin barrel set 12/20 or 20/ 28 set. One of the barrels is not with the gun but the 20 ga is fine. A VERY nice looking gun and I just couldn't hack 8" of barrel off such a nice looking (removable choked) barrel. I decided that the Hock shop has so many cheap Pumps, I'd just start over...
Which brings us to the Westernfield/Mossberg M550 AG (the same gun as is in the Mossberg teardown further up the page here). Not a bad looking gun but dated with the forearm grooves and orangeish wood stain.
Actually it grows on you!
I cleaned the woodwork up with some OOOO Steel Wool and it looks shiney and pretty good if I do say so myself! That's about all the refinishing it's going to get.
I posted elswhere how to cut the barrel and got a good suggestion of following the tape around the barrel 2 cuts at a time all around the barrel with a hacksaw. Do this till you cut through and the filing and squareing is minimal. The end can then be rounded with a deburring tool and some emory paper. All work is done by hand and is a bit labor intensive but neat. Hey it's a project and not a rush job. Just for kicks I am going to price a gunsmith cut and see if It's worth saving my fingers???
The whole idea is to keep the project cost under $250. So far it's at $110.
So there is the run-down.

deputy tom
April 8, 2013, 08:39 PM
I'll be watching for further developments on your HD build. Good luck. tom.:cool:

April 8, 2013, 09:13 PM
Actually now that I think about it I believe those dove loads that are sold by all manufacturers are 3 1/4 dram, even more punishing.

Here's a decent sale on shells that I just found today:

These are Estate but again 3 1/4 dram. But only pushing 7/8 oz of shot, a fast load but probably much lighter recoil. At $6 a box it's probably the best you can find now.
$38 shipping makes it more tha $6 a box

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