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Old December 8, 2002, 10:14 PM   #1
Greybeard
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12 gauge models with minimum recoil ?

Hello all. I don't spend much time in this Shotgun forum but am posting tonight as I may soon be in the market for a semi-auto 12 gauge. I had a Remington 1100 many years ago right after the 3" mag. version became available. Due to reliability problems, I went back to an 870 that has served most of my purposes quite well for many years.

I am looking for input on what current manufacturer/model or models are most reliable and, most important, generally provide the least perceived recoil. Primary use will be as a "loaner gun" on a mixture of targets ranging from dove to pheasant to sporting clays.

I am looking to get a 12 gauge primarily to be able to put a little more lead downrange without busting up shoulders of my 14 year-old son and/or a female friend. They are both about 5"10" and approvimately 135 pounds. I already have some 20 gauge guns (none of which are semi-automatic) that they have learned to shoot well. Any feedback will be appreciated. Greybeard.
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Old December 9, 2002, 12:03 AM   #2
Drundel
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I have found my 391 to be very soft and I really enjoy shooting it. Of course I'm 5'8" and 200ish depending on how many times I was taken out to lunch that week.

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Old December 9, 2002, 01:16 AM   #3
skeet38
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Light recoiling shotguns

I have several semi-auto 12 guage shotguns. The lightest recoiling seems to be the Winchester SX-1 (an oldie but goodie, made in the late 70's to about 1984) It is heavier than my Beretta 390 or my Browning gold hunter, which may be why it seems to recoil less. One of the negatives about this gun is its weight for hunting. The Browning and Beretta weigh around 7 1/4 pounds versus the 8 1/2 for the Win. On the plus side for the "B" guns is that they are chambered for 3" shells and function very well with loads down to 7/8 oz. of shot. The Win is of course chambered for 2 3/4" shells only. I do not have a Beretta 391, but have shot one and it seems very much like the 390 except for a better shape pistol grip and slimmer foreend. Hope this helps.
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Old December 9, 2002, 05:04 AM   #4
Dave McC
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The two most popular autos I see at the range are the 1100 and the newer Berettas.Bruce Buck, the Technoid over at Shotgun Report, says the 1100 is the more short lived of the two, and willl start busting small parts around 35K rounds. If certain parts are replaced as PM, much longer life.

The newer Berettas 390,391, seem to make a lot of shooters happy.

Both of these will run over 7 1/2 lbs, if a tyro can hold them up and swing them, they're good choices.

You mention putting more lead downrange, so I'll skip the usual lecture about light loads. Just know that life's full of tradeoffs,and shotgunning is part of life.

HTH....
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Old December 9, 2002, 08:03 AM   #5
Greybeard
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Thanks all. That's the kind of input I'm looking for.

BTW, Skeet38, Welcome to TFL. You'll probably get to liking it even better as a poster rather than just a lurker. Lots of good folks and knowledge to be gained here.

Mention of the old Winchesters reminded me that my Dad may still have a one of some kind tucked away in a closet. As I recall, he won it in a raffle or something back around 1970. Fixed modified choke? 3 shots only with 2 3/4" shells only? Or never removed the plug? Jogged old memory tells me that I may have borrowed it once for an impromptu pheasant hunt. Dad is several hundred miles away, but it sounds like I might need to make a phone call ... Thanks!
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Old December 10, 2002, 05:32 AM   #6
Dave McC
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Call your Dad. If that's an X1, your search may be over.
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Old December 10, 2002, 08:00 AM   #7
Captain Bligh
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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.

RJ
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Old December 10, 2002, 10:33 PM   #8
Greybeard
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Dave -

Dad says Win. 12 is a Model 1400. Afterward of 1400 is MK11, possibly MKII. 2 3/4" Chamber. Choke not determined. Serial #N552XXX. Does that tell ya more?

Another lady friend sent e-mail that husband got her a 20 gauge Rem. 11-87 today for Christmas. Maybe we can help her break it in one day soon ...

Yep, recoil of 870 has not been that bad to me - only when I do something stupid like trying to shoot at a dove from a lawn chair without having it mounted good
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Old December 11, 2002, 04:45 AM   #9
Dave McC
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Sorry, no experience with the 1400. Few folks bring them to the range, there may be a lesson there.Not nearly as good as the X1.

Worth a try, if the price is right.

Light 20s using oz loads are oft quite vicious kickers.

OTOH, an oz load in a 12 gauge 870 is kinda soft, IMO. 7/8 oz are creampuffs, and still break targets.
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