Lightest recoil Semi-auto shotgun


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Jenrick
August 11, 2013, 03:30 PM
I've thinking about picking up a semi for a while now, and was able to pick up the extra hours at work to make it happen finally. One of the factors I'm looking at it is recoil when shooting full power 12 gauge loads (2 3/4 00B or 1oz slugs, not magnum or 3.5" or anything). I'm not hugely recoil sensitive, but recoil does mess with your splits when you're shooting competition or in a class. I've shot an 1100 and found it very comfortable, and am curious if it's about as good as it gets? I've heard the inertia driven Benelli's can be down right painful for that matter.

Thanks in advance!

-Jenrick

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allaroundhunter
August 11, 2013, 03:38 PM
The inertia driven Benelli's really are not that bad, especially with the Comfortech stock. However, I have never shot a softer shooting gun than a Beretta A400. An honorable mention goes to the Remington Versamax.

The difference between the Benelli an many others (including Beretta and Remington) is that while the Benelli is inertia operated, the others are gas operated. As a rule, gas operated shotguns shoot softer than non-gas operated shotguns. However, as you add other recoil-reducing features, the gap gets smaller.

What type of competition are you thinking about?

rbernie
August 11, 2013, 05:47 PM
Beretta gas guns are usually the softest shooting, even moreso than an 1100.

LeonCarr
August 11, 2013, 05:51 PM
The Beretta semiautos are nice.

I shot an A391 then shot an 11-87 right after and the Beretta was smoother with less felt recoil.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

jrdolall
August 11, 2013, 06:01 PM
The Beretta 391 or 400 are the lightest I have experience with assuming the same load and "stock" shotguns. Benelli (don't own one but have shot a lot of them on duck hunts) kicks a bit more. With the 391 I can shoot 3 1/2" shells on a duck shoot with little noticeable recoil.

I also have no problem with the old Rem 1100s and have killed a lot of deer on drives using that gun.

lilguy
August 11, 2013, 06:06 PM
I can tell you that shooting subsonic trap loads was how I measured a soft recoiling gun. I have a BT-99, XT, 1100 and just purchased a Maxus Sporting.
The 1100 will not cycle RIO or Winchester subsonoics. The Maxus ate RIO's with no problems, Wichesters not tried yet. The Maxus is the easiest of the 4 on my worn out shoulders.

I don't shoot high power target, field or slugs.

Arkansas Paul
August 11, 2013, 08:00 PM
No personal experience, but I know Remington claims that with the Versamax, 3.5" magnums feel like 2.75" field loads. Don't know if its true, but it would be pretty impressive if it were.

oneounceload
August 11, 2013, 08:01 PM
Beretta A400 will do the job nicely

stressed
August 12, 2013, 12:38 AM
I hear there is a modification for siaga 12 shotguns to reduce the felt recoil by some 40%. You can even fold the stock and shoot it by pistol grip comfortably.

allaroundhunter
August 12, 2013, 12:50 AM
I hear there is a modification for siaga 12 shotguns to reduce the felt recoil by some 40%. You can even fold the stock and shoot it by pistol grip comfortably.

Yeah, adding a double chamber muzzle brake...

But I have not problems shooting any 12 ga shotgun from the hip, none of them recoil to a point of making that a problem.

Field Tester
August 12, 2013, 01:49 AM
I've got a Franchi Affinity coming to me next Sunday if you want a range report. Inertia Driven.

Virginian
August 12, 2013, 06:59 AM
Hard to beat an 1100 when it comes to soft recoil. Some of them may have trouble with very light loads, but none of mine ever have.

oneounceload
August 12, 2013, 09:25 AM
The 1100, being about the heaviest of the gas guns, will therefore have the lightest recoil. Heavy gun plus light load equals light recoil

stressed
August 12, 2013, 10:59 AM
Yeah, adding a double chamber muzzle brake...

But I have not problems shooting any 12 ga shotgun from the hip, none of them recoil to a point of making that a problem.
Doesn't a muzzle brake increase noise? I think I've heard this but I'm not sure I understand how.

allaroundhunter
August 12, 2013, 11:06 AM
Doesn't a muzzle brake increase noise? I think I've heard this but I'm not sure I understand how.

It increases noise directed at the shooter (and those standing near him or her). It redirects exiting gases at a different angle (backwards to some degree) to push the gun forwards and decrease recoil.

stressed
August 12, 2013, 11:15 AM
Thanks for the explanation.

Scrubber3
August 12, 2013, 11:31 AM
I hear there is a modification for siaga 12 shotguns to reduce the felt recoil by some 40%. You can even fold the stock and shoot it by pistol grip comfortably.

Folding the stock will subsequently cause the siaga to malfunction as well.

oneounceload
August 12, 2013, 12:25 PM
Muzzle brakes, like porting, do not really do a great job on shotguns as the pressures are fairly mild (compared to rifles, howitzers, tanks) The weight of the brake will help, but that also throws any semblance of balance the gun might have had

MCgunner
August 12, 2013, 01:07 PM
Well, not only are shotguns low pressure, but the powders used in them are very fast, in fact, fast for PISTOL powders. In my experience, a muzzle brake works best in guns that shoot slow burn rate powders. More gas escapes up the brake making for the reverse thrust.

Yeah, I've never worried about pursuing a brake or porting on a shotgun. The very BEST thing, in my experience, to reduced "perceived" recoil or felt recoil is a good fitting gun. Gas guns help a lot, bleed off the gas not too far up the barrel to work the action. That reduces recoil more'n any muzzle brake. You can add weight, but depending on what you're doing with the gun, that could be a bad thing. Weight is great on a 10 gauge goose gun... 20 gauge quail gun not so much.

To me, I worry more about fit than anything else. If it fits, I can handle the hottest 12 gauge loads just fine. Again, depends on what you're doing with the gun. I have shot up 5 boxes on an extended dove opening day weekend. That's a lot of rounds in a short period of time. But, hey, women shoot light O/Us on skeet. Don't get more intense than skeet shooting for rounds fired. If the gun fits, girls can handle it, so why would a grown up man complain? :D Most of those dedicated women clays shooters can out shoot most of us men, too. So, really, I don't see a problem here with shotgun recoil. :D Maybe I'll change my tune with a little more age and a few more creaky joints, though. I don't intend to quit hunting no matter what.

oneounceload
August 12, 2013, 01:11 PM
Absolutely agree about fit; however too many think they need to crawl up the stock like they are shooting a M4 - completely wrong for most applications

MCgunner
August 12, 2013, 01:20 PM
Well, yeah, and a lot of the "tactical" shooters think a butt stock is optional. And, the pistol gripped folders I've tried are abysmal. You could break a jaw on some of those things.

stressed
August 12, 2013, 11:07 PM
Folding the stock will subsequently cause the siaga to malfunction as well.
Wait, why is this? Even with a 3" magnum shell?

allaroundhunter
August 12, 2013, 11:33 PM
Wait, why is this? Even with a 3" magnum shell?

Saigas don't come with folding stocks...

Regardless of what shell you use, if you 'fold' the stock then you have broken the gun.

JAshley73
August 12, 2013, 11:46 PM
I'm not sure what the original poster's intention is, but I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Browning Gold/Silver/Winchester SX3 "active valve" guns. They seem to have quite the reputation for space shooting semi-autos...

stressed
August 12, 2013, 11:49 PM
Can you not install a folder

double bogey
August 13, 2013, 12:35 AM
I have a Benelli m2. If not shouldered tight, it will hurt with 3" mag turkey loads. I got kinda lazy with 20 ga. guns, got the M2 and got technique back.

Mat, not doormat
August 13, 2013, 07:26 AM
I've got a limbsaver pad on an 1100. Put it on for slugs and such, but with birdshot the main way you have of knowing that he gun went off is the sound of the action cycling. Well, that and the target falling out of the air, if you did it right.

Cryogaijin
August 14, 2013, 02:49 AM
Saigas don't come with folding stocks...

Regardless of what shell you use, if you 'fold' the stock then you have broken the gun. Incorrect. It takes less then 2 minutes to remove the factory stock and put a folder on. There are folding stocks for both converted and unconverted Saigas. I have one.

tuj
August 14, 2013, 10:54 AM
I know some posters said the Beretta was softer-shooting than the 1100, but I have shot both back to back, and I have to say I felt like the 1100 was a little lighter. Now granted, I have a big recoil pad on my 1100.

Probably can't go wrong with either.

MagnunJoe
August 14, 2013, 11:00 AM
I have a Beretta A300 Outlander, not bad on the shoulder, specially compared to my CZ O/U.

Stevie-Ray
August 14, 2013, 10:40 PM
I have a Mossberg 930 SPX and it has mostly 00 buck run through it. Very soft shooting. Hard for me to imagine a softer shooting shotgun than a 930.

Jlr2267
August 14, 2013, 10:44 PM
Beretta 391 or 3901...both pretty easy on the shoulder.

Jenrick
August 15, 2013, 01:11 AM
Thanks for all the opinions, it looks like an 1100 is probably a good call as it's in my budget. Barring that I'll take a look at the Mossberg 930 as it's a decent bit cheaper then the Beretta offerings.

Thanks!

-Jenrick

rbernie
August 15, 2013, 07:57 AM
My last two Beretta 390/391 rigs were bought lightly used for less than six bills, and the current Uplander A300 is selling NIB for right around that. My issue with the Mossy is both their intermittent QC issues and the fact that the 930 for me handles like a soggy fencepost.

MCgunner
August 15, 2013, 11:43 AM
I had been thinking of a 935 Mossberg for waterfowl. I love the Mossberg ergos. BUT, I stumbled into another Mossberg pump, nearly new condition, for 170 at a pawn shop, so it went home with me. It's a 535, chambered for 3.5", but will shoot 2 3/4 which I mostly shoot since I don't goose hunt more'n a couple times a year. I have owned a 500 for years, plastic/camo, that I duck hunt with. The 535 is wood/blued steel, but it'll be USED. :D

I still think about getting a 930, though, just to have, but my Winchester 1400 is a soft recoil 12 and with the left hand safety and the safety being in front of the trigger where it should be if you're stuck with a crossbolt, may not be as good ergos as the Mossy, but it works for me. If I got a 930, I think it'd be a 20 gauge. I could shoot it all day for a week and it wouldn't make me sore. :D But, then, the old Winny doesn't even have a recoil pad and it don't bother me even hunting doves in T shirt weather.

TreeDoc
August 15, 2013, 09:59 PM
Bought a barley used Beretta 390 after last years dove season. (have used a Ithica 37 in the past and it wore my shoulder out last year.) I have shooting clays recently getting ready for the season. The 390 is lightweight and shoots soft, but, picked up a used 1100 20 LT, 2 weeks ago and there is no recoil. If I can find a mod choke tube that will fit it, I will be shooting a 20 this year.

Jenrick
August 16, 2013, 12:00 AM
MCgunner: I have a 535 Waterfowl (28" barrel), and it shoots and handles well. I don't hunt anything but clays, but it would do good work on live targets based on how well it busts clays when I do my part.

-Jenrick

MagnunJoe
August 16, 2013, 12:22 AM
Paid $740 UTD for a brand new Beretta A300 Outlander with beautiful furniture. Shoots like a dream.

allaroundhunter
August 16, 2013, 01:28 AM
Incorrect. It takes less then 2 minutes to remove the factory stock and put a folder on. There are folding stocks for both converted and unconverted Saigas. I have one.

As I said, they don't come with folding stocks.

bill3424
August 16, 2013, 01:38 AM
The Beretta 400 was on the light side.

oneounceload
August 16, 2013, 10:52 AM
Bought a barley used Beretta 390 after last years dove season. (have used a Ithica 37 in the past and it wore my shoulder out last year.) I have shooting clays recently getting ready for the season. The 390 is lightweight and shoots soft, but, picked up a used 1100 20 LT, 2 weeks ago and there is no recoil. If I can find a mod choke tube that will fit it, I will be shooting a 20 this year.

Chokes for Remington are widely available, even at Gander and similar big box stores let alone from Briley, Tru-lock, Carlson's, etc. directly

The 390 is not a light gun in 12 gauge

dbarky
August 16, 2013, 05:34 PM
Mcgunner and oneounceload are right about fit being most important for comfort in shooting and I would add design. The lower the barrel sits in the receiver, the less effect of recoil. The thrust of recoil on a barrel or the barrels in OU that set lower in the receiver will be more in line with the stock and into the shoulder. Barrel's that sit higher point of thrust will be slightly above the stock and result in more recoil. I've shot a single barrel Browing Trap for a round of trap and it was a dream to shoot...never aware of recoil. The barrel was buried in the receiver. The old Model 12 Winchester was great to shoot for the same reason. My .02

MCgunner
August 17, 2013, 04:51 PM
MCgunner: I have a 535 Waterfowl (28" barrel), and it shoots and handles well. I don't hunt anything but clays, but it would do good work on live targets based on how well it busts clays when I do my part.

-Jenrick

Thanks for the input. I shot well with it on dove one morning last year. I mostly figure to use it on waterfowl. It swings a little heavy compared to my Winchester 1400 and a lot heavy compared to my 20 gauge Spartan SxS, but adjust to it and it kills doves.

Funny thing, I was hunting over a mojo with the 535 and I was missing a lot. I was too close to the mojo for that heavy 12 gauge gun, had to back off to 30 yards or so, then I started connecting. I hunt a lot with my 20 and that thing just springs into action on its own. But, it was just a matter of improvise and adapt strategy. :D Once I backed off the mojo, I shot well, went 5 for 5 at one point.

Scrubber3
August 17, 2013, 10:05 PM
Just to clarify... Try shooting a saiga 12 with the stock folded... See if it cycles. Let me know how it works out for you.

Snarlingiron
August 19, 2013, 11:35 PM
I have experience with the 1100, 11-87, and the Beretta 390's. I traded an 11-87 in on a Beretta AL390, because of reliability issues. In my experience the 1100 / 11-87 are lighter in perceived recoil than the Beretta. Not by much, but to me they feel lighter. Nice 1100's and 11-87's can be had for not much money. With that said, I would buy the Beretta 390, 3901 or 391 over the Remingtons in a New York minute based on my experience with both. In fact I did buy a very nice AL390ST for $450.00, used, that I wouldn't trade any Remington ever made for. That's just me, your mileage may vary.

deadin
August 23, 2013, 11:04 PM
You might want to try to find one of these.....
http://www.gandermountain.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?pdesc=Browning-Recoilless-Trap-Shotgun&i=UF102802172&uf=true

MagnunJoe
August 24, 2013, 01:46 AM
Bass Pro Shops has a Beretta A300 sale right now, the synthetic model for $649.

Justin
August 25, 2013, 02:02 PM
The Beretta A400 Extrema has verylittle felt recoil for a shotgun. Even 3 inch magnum slugs were maneagable with that thing.

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