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Old December 21, 2001, 10:17 PM   #1
nova
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beginner question

Well, for christmas my dad has decided to get me a shotgun. I have been wanting one and nearly know everything about autos, pumps, and single shots because I have been reading about them nearly every night from ten websites for over a year now. I really like pumps. I have read a lot about all the pumps and have finally came to the conclution to get the nova. My dad saw it for the first time and loved it. But I have one question, I am 16 years old and weigh 220 pounds(most of fat). Am I big enough to handle the recoil of a twelve gauge? I am a little scared over the thought of the first shot since I have only shot bb guns before. Another question, what load do you guys sugest starting out on? I know nothing about loads. My dad used to hunt over 20 years ago but stopped due to no place to hunt, so he was thinking of the gun range. Is there a REALLY light 12 gauge load? Thanks for the help!
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Old December 21, 2001, 10:56 PM   #2
Coronach
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220?

I'm about 170 and I handle it just fine. Just start out with field loads and remember to get the butt firmly against your shoulder, and sorta lean into it. Many others here can explain the finer points of the mount to you, so I won't attempt it. The main point is that the butt needs to be against the shoulder. Don't try to soften it by holding it loosely or, worse, away from your shoulder. It has the opposite effect. Been there, done that.

Also, hearing protection and eye protection, if you don't already have them. And stick with the light loads until you're comfortable. magnum mega-wompers induce bad habits (flinching), and generally don't kill targets any deader, you know?

Mike

PS Also, one of the best shotgun shooters in my PD academy was a little 5'2" 110lb female. Its not hard.
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Old December 22, 2001, 01:42 AM   #3
Bam Bam
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Don't be too worried, your shoulder will let you know when it has had enough. If you are at a range you can just quit. What you want to be careful about is if you go to shoot trap or skeet. These sports take 25 shots per game. The first 25 may not hurt at all and you will be tempted to go out a second time (50 shots total). Do not do it unless you have a shooting vest, or layers of clothing, or take a break of at least 15 minutes. The kick of the gun is not like getting punched. Its more like someone frequently squeezing a ripe fruit until it (your shoulder) gets squishy. The push of the shotgun against your shoulder has a cumulative effect. I can tell you from experience shooting a Rem 870 20 gauge with a t-shirt that your experience could be like this:

Shots 1-35=fine
Shots 35-40=that kind of hurts
Shots 40-45=damn, that hurts
Shots 45-50=Oh God, (flinch) when does this torture end...

If you can afford a less expensive shooting vest with a padded shoulder it is worth the money. Bob Allen brand is sufficient.

Winchester makes AA Light Target Loads. You can shoot trap and skeet using Nines, Eights, and Seven 1/2.

The advice about hearing protection is very good advice. How loud is a shotgun? TOO LOUD!
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Old December 22, 2001, 01:57 AM   #4
melglock
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Hey, isn't it tradition to tell new 12 gauge shooters to hold the stock 1 inch away from the shoulder to reduce recoil?

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Old December 22, 2001, 09:01 AM   #5
Dave McC
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Mel, not on MY range. You might just get cussed out, thrown out, or barred forever.

I realize you're jesting, but sureasheck, someone out there will miss the joke and a potential shooter never even try it twice.

Winchester, Nova, makes a superlite load. But, chances are a standard "Dove" load will do well for you. Stick to the 1 oz, 2 3/4 dram eq.

And, I highly recommend some lessons from a qualified instructor. Pop was an amazing wingshot, but he didn't know WHY he was good, and it took 20 years of shotgunning and some lessons to put me where I am today. An instructor will get you started w/o bad habits to handicap you from the start.
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Old December 22, 2001, 12:18 PM   #6
JosephBoeckner
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hi

nova-would u be perhaps supernova? on huntamerica? jw-and ya u can get some really light loads-i know a kid in my shooting sports program-who is 12 and weighs maybe 85 pounds? around there- and he shoots 12 gauge-i shot 50 rounds with field loads of 6 shot with a 20 gauge with him the other day with just a shirt and a fleece jacket on that isnt very insulated-didnt hurt at all-ur lower end 12 gauge's wont hurt any more than a 20 gauge!-he said if he shoots 20 gauge like 50 times it hurts his shoulder alot-so if u get a recoil pad no the butt of the gun-and wear more than 1 layer and shoot light recoil loads-u'll be fine too-im getting a pump this x-mas-2 days!!-an 870 wingmaster in 20 gauge-same as my uncle got for his first-he picked it out-good thing i love about these 870 series is all the stocks and barrels and EVERYTHING u can find for them-

Joseph
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Old December 22, 2001, 12:31 PM   #7
melglock
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Quote:
Mel, not on MY range. You might just get cussed out, thrown out, or barred forever.

I realize you're jesting, but sureasheck, someone out there will miss the joke and a potential shooter never even try it twice.

Winchester, Nova, makes a superlite load. But, chances are a standard "Dove" load will do well for you. Stick to the 1 oz, 2 3/4 dram eq.

And, I highly recommend some lessons from a qualified instructor. Pop was an amazing wingshot, but he didn't know WHY he was good, and it took 20 years of shotgunning and some lessons to put me where I am today. An instructor will get you started w/o bad habits to handicap you from the start.
I've heard of one person who was told to hold the stock away from the shoulder when he was firing an antique 4 gauge.


BTW, for those of you who haven't shot shotguns, holding the stock an inch away from the shoulder is a mistake you will only do once... Correct technique is to hold the stock tightly against the shoulder.
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Old December 22, 2001, 05:08 PM   #8
JosephBoeckner
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yep

some people also use the 6 inch rule-works even better lol-my little brother has a hard time keeping it tight to his shoulder-on any gun-well on the 22 it doesnt make much of a difference-now on the shotgun its a bit different -lol
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Old December 22, 2001, 06:49 PM   #9
Dave McC
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After seeing a 4 gauge go off on American Shooter, the idea of shooting one the right way gives me pause, Mel.It'd take a bigger set than I've got to shoot it off shoulder.
I doubt my Orthopedist would be thrilled at the idea either...

Back when I instructed, my opening statement for the shotgun portion of firearms training was something like.....

" Shooting a shotgun is like sex. if it hurts, you're doing it wrong".
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Old December 23, 2001, 09:47 PM   #10
k77/22rp
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"Hey, isn't it tradition to tell new 12 gauge shooters to hold the stock 1 inch away from the shoulder to reduce recoil?"

I'll admit to doing that to a friend I took shooting for the first time,
let me just say it was not a good idea, It was funny, but I would never do that again
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