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Old June 17, 2010, 10:25 PM   #1
Zudd
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Low recoil 12 gauge ammo?

My fiance and I have recently become friends with an old classmate of mine and her husband, who love to sit out on their farm and shoot clays. My fiance is relatively new to shooting, and isn't comfortable with long guns, especially the shotgun. She's downright terrified to shoot it, and has a bad back to boot, so it's pretty painful to shoot for her. We want to go and shoot with them, but I need to find some ammo that she will be able to shoot. I was looking at Aguila minishells (1 3/4") with birdshot as a possible solution to her problem. I dont think they cycle properly out of the magazine in an 870 but they should be able to be loaded individually and extracted right?

What do you guys think or recommend?
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Old June 17, 2010, 10:28 PM   #2
.300 Weatherby Mag
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Winchester AA Low Recoil.... If the gun doesn't have a recoil pad, get one put on it.... If you had access to a 20 gauge auto that would be a better option IMO...
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Old June 17, 2010, 10:33 PM   #3
Zudd
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Nope, all I have is my 870 at the moment. It does have a recoil pad on it though. Funny, I've been thinking about a 20 auto for her...
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Old June 17, 2010, 10:57 PM   #4
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Aguila mini-shotshells won't feed from a stock 870 without modifications, and will likely have thin patterns and weak clay-busting ability from any distance [especially considering she's a noob to shooting, you want her to have a good time and break a few clays!]


I suggest filling the cavity in the stock with as much lead shot as you can and using a cheap slip-on recoil pad in addition to a light trap/skeet load to tame recoil.

The lightest shotshells available at places like any of the -Mart stores are typically 1oz 2-3/4 or 3 dram equivalent trap/skeet loads. The 2-3/4 dram being the lighter of the two.

The best advice i can give is to demonstrate a proper shooting stance [i cannot emphasize that enough!], and to demonstrate that shotguns aren't the brute powerhouses that Hollywood and tv hyperbole exaggerate them as. There's lots of small-statured ladies at the local clays/trap/skeet range [a few are hawt cougars! LoL] that shoot hundreds of rounds over the course of the weekend

If you can afford one, a 20ga 11-87 or 1100 is the way to go
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Old June 17, 2010, 11:06 PM   #5
Zudd
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What's the difference between the 1100 and 11-87?
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Old June 17, 2010, 11:08 PM   #6
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For low recoil, the 870 is far from the gun of choice, it's too light. And you'll eventually want to shoot doubles, then the 870 will put her at a disadvantage. Convince your lady to get a recoil eating auto gas loader. If she's diminutive, the Beretta 3901 Target RL youth model is a bargain at $1,000. It's important that she have a gun that fits, and the Beretta provides a lot of adjustment in the stock. The Beretta's self-adjusting gas system will function well with low recoil shells resulting in a very mild kick not obtainable with the 870.

Don't consider the folly of a 20-ga gun. Being lighter than a 12-ga, it will kick more with an equivalent load. And there is MUCH more 12-ga ammo available: from heavy hunting and HD to standard target loads and low recoil target loads. A 12-ga gun can be down loaded to 20-ga (and 28-ga) equivalent loads, but a 20-ga gun can't be up loaded to match a 12-ga. The advantage of a 20-ga gun is it's lighter to carry for a day in the field.
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Old June 18, 2010, 12:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zudd
What's the difference between the 1100 and 11-87?
They are both easily available as used guns because many folks are replacing their old technology Remmy 1100s and 11-87s with next generation Beretta gas gun or the Benelli inertia guns.

When initially released, in 1987, the Model 11-87 was offered as an upgrade replacement for the 1100. There were some minor improvements, but because of the general cheapening of the 11-87 (as the 870 Express is a cheapened 870 Wingmaster), many shooters favored their original 1100s. These days, Remington markets the 11-87 as their field gun and the 1100 as their target model.

Beretta has been so successful capturing Remington's market, the 1100 Skeet model was removed from the catalog some years ago. For some time, when a clays shooter said he was getting a new auto, it was assumed to mean he was replacing his old Remington with a new Beretta. The once king of the clays auto-loader, Remington has been dethroned and sent into exile.

FYI: I usually shoot O/Us, but I do own a Remington and a Beretta, so I don't suffer brand loyalty. I'm trying to help new shooters avoid the common pit falls. If on a limited budget get a used Remmy 12-ga, else go for a new Beretta.
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Old June 18, 2010, 12:08 AM   #8
noyes
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Quote:
She's downright terrified to shoot it, and has a bad back to boot, so it's pretty painful to shoot for her.
I would not get any 12 ga than . Go smaller.
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Old June 18, 2010, 12:35 AM   #9
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I use to shoot a lot of skeet and tried to get the recoil down as much as possible.

I found some paper WW Shells with the high paper base inside the hull. I loade them up with a good soft wad, and 2 3/4 dram loads.

It worked. Except it wouldnt cock the second barrel of my Ithica Over and Under Skeet gun.
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Old June 18, 2010, 01:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kraigwy
Except it wouldnt cock the second barrel of my Ithica Over and Under Skeet gun.
CPT Kraig, you and I know exactly what you mean, but you may confuse some of the new shooters. Your reduced recoil loads didn't fail to cock the second barrel. Both barrels were cocked as you opened the gun. What happened: The reduced recoil failed to set up your trigger for the second shot. If you're contemplating low recoil loads in an inertia triggered SxS or O/U, you may wish to have your trigger's inertia block altered. Here's why:

With single trigger double guns there is a mechanism that determines the firing order. After your first shot, it links the trigger for the second barrel's shot. This action is powered by internal springs or recoil energy. An "inertia block" is used to "collect" the recoil energy. Typically, the inertia system is less complicated mechanically and gives better trigger pulls than the spring type.

There's a quick and easy way to tell which system your gun uses. Load two snap caps, and pull the trigger -- you'll hear the first barrel click. Now, pull the trigger again, if the gun clicks again, you have a mechanical system. If the trigger is limp, you have an inertia system and the second barrel didn't select because there was no firing inertia to power it. Next, hit the butt plate sharply with your hand, and pull the trigger again. Usually, the slap on the butt will set the trigger for the second shot.

Like the good Captain, I went on a quest for low recoil 12-ga target loads and found my way to Federal paper hulls and Green Dot powder. In my case I was using a tubed Skeet gun, and the trigger easily set up for the second shot with the light 12s. When Briley fit the tubes, he also altered the trigger by increasing the mass of the trigger's inertia block. Otherwise, I'd never get off a second shot with the .410 tubes installed. There's no mystery to increasing the trigger inertia block's mass -- it's a common conversion -- often involving just a simple parts swap.
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Old June 18, 2010, 05:04 AM   #11
darkgael
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low recoil

Quote:
I was looking at Aguila minishells (1 3/4") with birdshot as a possible
There is not a lot of shot in the Aquila shells - about as much as a .410 - only 5/8ths of an ounce.
Both Federal and Winchester sell "low recoil" 12 ga. shotshells. My friend Zippy has mentioned the Win. shells. The Federals are the "Metro" load.
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Old June 18, 2010, 06:09 AM   #12
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Winchester AA Featherlite have only 7/8 ounce of shot in them and are only loaded to a velocity of 1100 fps. It's actually more pleasant to shoot these shells in a 12 gauge than it is to shoot regular 20 gauge shells in a 20 gauge.
Look for the picture of the feather on the box and the "may not cycle in a semi auto" warning on the box.

If you reload, 16 grains of Alliant Red Dot powder, a AA gray wad, and 7/8 ounce of shot pretty much equals the AA "Featherlite" loads.

Making the gun heavier does wonders in taming the recoil. You can put lead weight in the stock. They make special weights that fit inside the stock's bolt hole behind the butt plate. B-Square also makes a weight that clamps on the barrel and having that weight on the barrel re-balances a gun with stock weight.
Brownell's sells this stuff on-line.
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Old June 18, 2010, 06:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Winchester AA Featherlite have only 7/8 ounce of shot in them and are only loaded to a velocity of 1100 fps. It's actually more pleasant to shoot these shells in a 12 gauge than it is to shoot regular 20 gauge shells in a 20 gauge.
Unless you reload something lighter, these are the ticket.....that and a gun that fits with a decent pad
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Old June 18, 2010, 08:29 AM   #14
Dave McC
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7/8 oz loads in a 12 gauge rock. Modern components put as much in the pattern as in a 1 1/8 oz load made with 1960-ish stuff.

7/8 oz loads in a 20 can rock you. The lighter O/A weight means a faster shove.

Kick in any shotgun can be tamed with good fit, good form and a good pad or two.

Paying a pro to teach your spouse the basics before she develops bad form or a flinch may be the best investment you make for a while.

And fitting that 870 to HER is another great idea......
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Old June 18, 2010, 10:35 AM   #15
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The "used gun shops" --- pawn shops, etc in my area are full of pretty good used semi-auto shotguns ...

Remington 1100's, 11-87's, Beretta 390's, Beretta 391's, Browning golds ... for $ 300 - $800 or so ...and any number of them will be a better choice for her than a fixed breech gun like the 870. Stay away from the inertia guns - Benelli, Stoeger, etc for right now with a new shooter ....stay with the gas operated guns.

and stay with the light loads recommended 7/8 oz, 1100 or 1150 fps will cycle most of these gas guns if they are clean and well lubed.

If you have some buddies that are clay target shooters and hang around the Trap, Skeet and Sporting clays gun clubs - ask around - a lot of us have extra guns that we use for "Youth days", "clinics", extra guns for the grandkids, etc at our clubs ...and would be happy to loan them out to someone that will take care of them. You might even find a 28ga that would be perfect for her to learn with and shoot a little ( but ammo is more expensive than either 12 or 20ga ) ...
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Old June 18, 2010, 11:04 AM   #16
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As always, Dave speaks wisely. Just going to a 20 ga will not, by itself, reduce recoil. It may increase perceived recoil because the guns are generally a pound or so lighter than a comparable 12 ga.

Good pad
Good fit
Smart load selection

Gas guns will recoil less and less sharply than pump or double guns, all other things being equal.

These are the factors you should be looking at for starters.
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Old June 18, 2010, 12:10 PM   #17
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Not to start a debate over internal ballistics and recoil, but…
For equivalent loads, a 12-ga usually does it with far less chamber pressure than a 20-ga. Lower pressures equate to less acceleration, less acceleration means a longer internal event time, and a longer event time means less perceived recoil, or kick. In other words, for loads to be equivalent, the charges leave the barrels at the same velocity; however, one load took longer in the barrel to get up to speed. That's the load that will kick less.

JN, Congratulations on your 1,000th posting.
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Old June 18, 2010, 12:21 PM   #18
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Quote:
What's the difference between the 1100 and 11-87?
Beside cosmetics the difference between the 1100 and the 11/87 is the chambers and gas system.The 1100 comes in 2 3/4 or 3" . The 3" 1100 will NOT shoot the shorter 2 3/4" shells The 11/87 in 3" will shoot both.
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Old June 18, 2010, 02:14 PM   #19
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Zippy -

1. Excellent point!

2. Gazooks, didn't notice. Registered more than ten years ago......so that's not a whole lot of comms traffic...
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Old June 18, 2010, 02:28 PM   #20
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Good advice, all.
In order to continue using a 12 gauge pump, an older neighbor has done all of these and a few more.
Here's what has extended his shotgunning days:
Lead weight in the stock, as much as would fit.
A really good recoil pad - he has a thick, soft model from Limbsaver.
A thick shoulder pad that he wears, the kind that straps around the body.
A flat piece of gel under the shoulder pad, about the thickness of a computer mouse wrist protector. (Might be where it came from).
Winchester Low Recoil, Low Noise ammo, readily available at most of the large sporting goods stores, these days. It's about the equivalent of 20 gauge ammo.
He changed his stance to more square to the target.
Now he shoots it again.
I tried his solution and it really did make a huge difference.
It didn't seem all that much different than a 28 gauge without the improvements.
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Old June 18, 2010, 02:34 PM   #21
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Lead weight in the stock, as much as would fit.
If you go that route, then it helps to also put a somewhat equal amount in the mag tube to help balance the gun better. Otherwise, you wind up with a butt-heavy gun that will have poor swing dynamics
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Old June 18, 2010, 02:43 PM   #22
zippy13
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I'm with oneounceload on this one, start with some extra weight in the mag tube -- even with your grip. It smooths out your swing and eats recoil. For additional mass, then consider the stock's bolt hole.
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Old June 18, 2010, 08:50 PM   #23
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SUBSONIC

Federal's "Metro" load is 1 1/8th oz of shot at 900 fps. The Winchester (Winlite) load is 26 grams of shot at 980 fps - which I like a lot - it is used by Orvis at their wingshooting school in Sandanonna. That's the first place that I ever hit a moving target with a shot from a gun.
Pete
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Old June 18, 2010, 09:36 PM   #24
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Quote:
Federal's "Metro" load is 1 1/8th oz of shot at 900 fps. The Winchester (Winlite) load is 26 grams of shot at 980 fps - which I like a lot - it is used by Orvis at their wingshooting school in Sandanonna. That's the first place that I ever hit a moving target with a shot from a gun.
Pete
Being subsonic also dramatically reduces the noise level. A lot of a gun's sound is actually the shot's sonic boom as it leaves the muzzle.

26 grams is just a little over 7/8 ounce.
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Old June 18, 2010, 11:14 PM   #25
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The 26 gram load at 980 fps sounds really light. No wonder Pete wasn't bothered the recoil, they have only 16% more muzzle energy than the typical .410-bore target load! (How come Winchester has to charge more for a shell that delivers less?)

ZUGG, forget the Aguila minishells and get some of these Winchester puff balls for your lady. If not available at your LGS, try midwayusa.com
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