When I was a teenager I shot 20 gauge because I didn't want to get beat up with the recoil of a 12. When it was time to buy a new shotgun, I bought a Belgian Browning A-5 Light 20. I shot it through my adulthood until buying a 12 gauge 870 when I was 50. I swear the 870 in 12 shoots softer than the 20 gauge gun I'd been using all those years to avoid 12 gauge recoil.
My biggest regret in shooting is all the years I wasted trying to avoid the recoil of 12 gauge. The only saving grace is when I think of how much the Belgian Browning has appreciated in value over the years.