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Old July 28, 2011, 10:42 AM   #1
SteelChickenShooter
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Recoil Question

I'm not seeing the accuracy I expected out of my H&R Ultra 20ga single shot trying to dial in sabots for deer this season. I doubt my ability to take a deer at 150 or 200 yards like I intended. A zeroing session begins fine, but the more I shoot the worse I get. I've failed to take a long distance shot because I'm so bad at 100 yards. Kicks pretty hard. I noticed when shooting trap that guys with autoloaders don't get so much kick at all. Granted we were shooting low brass trap loads- but still, the autoloaders appeared easier on the shoulder. Would the same be true if I were to buy an autoloader for sabot type slugs? Maybe if I wasn't getting kicked like a mule I'd be able to shoot it more accurately. The ballistic charts and the makers info for the slugs I'm using suggest 150 to 200 yards should be Ok. Maybe I could get that with a different gun, but I seriously doubt I can do that with my present single shot. Deer hunters, shotgun shooters, muzzle blasters, please share your experience along this line.
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Old July 28, 2011, 10:50 AM   #2
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Just about anything will kick less than a light single shot. You'll get much less kick from a gas auto.
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Old July 28, 2011, 10:59 AM   #3
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Take a break, don't shoot so many at one time and you wont flinch so much.
Light shotguns shooting slugs kill on both ends.
Once you find the ammo it wants and get her sighted in, it'll be fine, you will not notice any recoil during the hunt!!
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Old July 28, 2011, 11:26 AM   #4
AllenJ
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Spend the money and get the semi-auto, you won't regret it. The difference in felt recoil is huge and there is no reason to punish yourself, plus it can lead to very bad shooting habits.
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Old July 28, 2011, 11:35 AM   #5
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A combination of a horrible stock design and a lightweight single shot gun will multiply recoil. Break action guns are among the least accurate as well.
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Old July 28, 2011, 12:16 PM   #6
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Is a shotgun required for deer hunting where you live or are you just trying to go the cheapest route possible?

Single shot shotguns are the worst for transmitting recoil - too light, stock fits no one and coupled with a heavy payload -as mentioned above - hurt on both ends.

A gas gun will weigh more - that will reduce actual recoil
The gas action will slow the recoil pulse - that will reduce the perceived recoil
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Old July 28, 2011, 12:58 PM   #7
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Another point is your anticipated range, you may be overly optimistic. What kind of groups are you serious slugsters getting at 200-yards? What guns and loads?
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Old July 28, 2011, 01:17 PM   #8
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and Zippy said ...." , you may be overly optimistic. What kind of groups are you serious slugsters getting at 200-yards? What guns and loads? "...

or with a 30-06 for that matter...unless you're using a scope ...
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Old July 28, 2011, 03:23 PM   #9
SteelChickenShooter
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Punish Myself?

I think there is some truth to that and that could be a big part of my inaccuracy. Apart from this forum, I've also been talking with the guys and they seem to agree with what has been said here. I'm inclined to pop for the gas operated autoloader. I've wasted $100 in ammo and today would have been the fourth attempt to zero it if I would have gone. I opted to cut my losses, let the bruises heal and research the autoloader option instead.
One thing about my hold if you guys can critique it: I tend to pull hard back and down in what I think is an attempt to secure the gun on the sandbag when it goes off. Would I do better if I did not do this? I mean just rest the forend on the bag, support it at the rear on target and let her rip? With no hold on the forend holding it down and tight to the shoulder at all?
Thanks for helping.
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Old July 28, 2011, 03:50 PM   #10
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Beating yourself up - with any shotgun - is counterproductive to shooting it accurately - whether we're talking about slugs or in Trap or Skeet.

Bruising and getting beat up - are a big indication / that you have some fundamental flaws in mounting the gun and/or it doesn't "Fit" you very well. Because shotguns don't have a rear sight / when we mount a shotgun - our eye becomes the rear sight ...so the concept of "Fit" is making sure the gun hits where you look. You have to get "fit" figured out - so this gun does not bruise you ...or you will be flinching so bad ...you'll have trouble hitting a 10' by 10' barn door consistently ...

There is nothing inherently bad or inaccurate in a break open single shot shotgun. If you sandbag / ransom rest the gun - barring any wind or weather effects - any deviation you see in the grouping is probably a function of the ammo you've selected. Trying to sight a gun in at 200 yds - is pretty difficult. I would sight it in at 50 yds / or maybe 100 yds....then shoot for a group at 125 yrds, and 150yds and 175 and then 200 yds ...to figure out how much drop I got at each longer range...so I could figure out the elevation. Eyesight is a big factor ...some guys have the eyes of an eagle ...and some of us are as blind as a buffalo ...with me being more the buffalo ...

I don't know what range you expect to kill a deer at ....and like I said, I think your issues are ammo related ...or fit related --- and you're flinching / and you can't flinch and sight in a shotgun or rifle very well. But bench resting a rifle on a sandbag - ought to work fine ( as long as you are consistent on the trigger breaking ).

I suggest you try and borrow a gas operated semi-auto -- and give it a try and see how you do with it - before you invest in another gun / because it may not help.

If you have a buddy with some experience in shooting slugs at this range - ask him or her to shoot the gun for you and see what they think.
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Old July 28, 2011, 04:10 PM   #11
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Being a wimp, here's what I do for shotgun recoil:
Add weight to the gun, like filling the stock with lead.
Add padding to the gun with a thick and spongy recoil pad.
Add padding to me, with a good and thick recoil shoulder piece.
I even add a piece of gel under that.
( I said I was a wimp, didn't I?)
Shooting off the bench hurts worse than when standing, so raise the support, off the bench, so you are upright, instead of leaning way over the gun.
Try the isometric technique where, with the right hand, pull the gun solidly and firmly against the shoulder pocket.
And with the support hand, push forward at the fore end as the trigger is pulled.
Kind of like what pistol shooters do, pushing the gun forward to counter recoil.
This combination should help and allow you to keep your present shooter.
If not, this all works even better with a gas operated gun.
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Old July 28, 2011, 05:24 PM   #12
highvel
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I have a 870 with rifled barrel in 3" mag, shooting it at paper is NO fun.
She shoots deer very well though and I don't even notice the boom.
When you shoot from a bench it's gonna hurt, you have to take it, don't bunch up either or you wont be able to group very well.
Just relax hold it like it's any other rifle and shoot, take the punch, shoot maybe one or two more times and then stop for the day. If you do this a few times you will get her sighted in where the slug will go when you are hunting, otherwise she will never be right.
I wouldn't let that gun get too me, I'd show her who's master no matter what.
Bruises don't last long anyway
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Old July 28, 2011, 06:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Bruises don't last long anyway
But long-term deep damage does
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Old July 28, 2011, 10:59 PM   #14
Lee Lapin
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IMHO shooting ANY slug gun off a bench as if it were a rifle is just begging for a flinch to set in. Hunching over the gun at the bench is going to magnify recoil, and even if the gun fits you, if the bench isn't a good fit it'll be pretty brutal. I know you need to isolate the gun from the shooter's wabbles and weebles as much as possible when zeroing, but there are better ways to do it. Look into a Lead Sled ( http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...J7DYZFJNTKR8YQ ) for example. If you are satisfied with the gun you have in other respects, once you get it zeroed to your satisfaction I doubt you'll be shooting it enough in the field for recoil to be a problem. And if you're like most of us, you won't know there was recoil when you squeeze the trigger with a buck in the crosshairs anyway.

And I bet the little 20 will carry better afield than most anything else...

fwiw,

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Old July 28, 2011, 11:10 PM   #15
arizona98tj
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Either the published specs for your 20 gauge are wrong or a number of folks believe 8 pounds is a light weight gun.

I've done this before and it worked good enough to get a scoped dialed in. Simply take a sand bag (I use 25# shot bags filled with playbox sand) and place it between you and the shotgun. Granted, your length of pull with be off but shooting from a bench, you should be able to compensate for it. The felt recoil should be notably reduced. (it was for me)
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Old July 29, 2011, 12:03 AM   #16
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I get the impression that a lot of people have outdated notions of what H&R/NEF shotguns are like and don't realize that A) many of them are fairly heavy and B) they come with a variety of stocks that fit better than they once did.

Do you have an "ultra slug hunter" or "ultra light slug hunter?" The ultra slug hunter is listed at 8-9 pounds which is actually heavier than most hunting shotguns. A gas auto would still help, but if it's a choice of a 7-lb. auto or a 9 pound single shot, the difference may not be significant.

Now if you have the ultra light slug hunter (listed at 5 1/4 lbs.) then you should definitely consider something else.

Lastly, I would personally be happy with any slug gun that allowed me to take deer out to 150 yards. I think 200 would be a real stretch.
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Old July 29, 2011, 12:42 AM   #17
zippy13
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I get the impression that a lot of people have outdated notions of what H&R/NEF shotguns are like and don't realize that A) many of them are fairly heavy and B) they come with a variety of stocks that fit better than they once did.
Glad to hear they are making better single shots. You're correct, my first thought was based on old experiences: a lightweight single shot with a fence board stock. As my friend, 1-oz, aptly said about typical single shots -- "hurt on both ends."
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Old July 29, 2011, 07:12 AM   #18
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Those guns have very shallow rifling that doesnt engage some sabots well. I helped a friend fight the same battle. None of the newer space age sabots shot well. What we finally got to shoot extremely well was Brenneke's and Remington Buck Hammers. We were shooting 2" groups at 100 yds off the bench. They are great little slug guns for the money, they just take some work to get to shoot correctly. And yes, they do kick a bit, no way around that.
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Old July 30, 2011, 12:38 PM   #19
SteelChickenShooter
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"shallow rifling"

Well now this is an interesting post. This concept of "shallow rifling" and not engaging these premium modern sabots well. I'll have to learn more about that. Granted it could be an important variable. I might be able to shop for a different shotgun that does not have have shallow rifling. And if it proves to be true, I may very well end up with my expected accuracy. Lets grow and expand this thread to see what we can learn about this rifling question. How can you tell? I suppose just look into the bore with a light and try to keep a mental image of what I see regarding lands and grooves, then compare that to others as I browse shotguns. But browse what? Let's begin with these other shotguns as possible choices: Remington 11-87 deer gun, Savage model 220, bolt action, rifled barrel 20 ga., Remington 870 20ga deer gun.
Browning A-Bolt, 12 ga deer gun. Others as you guys may suggest.
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Old July 30, 2011, 02:25 PM   #20
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Your gun will shoot fine once you find the slug it likes. In fact I'll wager it will shoot as well as the bolt guns you've listed and outshoot the pumps and semi autos. I'd try the Buckhammers and Brennekes before I bought another gun. A slip on Simms pad will help with recoil as well.
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Old August 1, 2011, 08:00 PM   #21
SteelChickenShooter
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Range Report: Ridiculous

Here are some details about what I have and how it did not perform this morning on the fourth attempt to zero it.
H&R #72212 model SB1-T92, Ultra slug hunter, 24 inch barrel, thumbhole laminated stock.
Factory scope base is secure.
Leupold rings are secure.
Scope is a Leupold 2-7x33 muzzleloader/shotgun scope. VX-1 or VX-2 something like that (it has been removed and sent out to Leupold for eval).
Here are a bunch of numbers if you guys would like to sketch this out to visualize what I did this morning.
I'm shooting Federal 3 inch Barnes expander sabots, 20ga, but have shot Remingtons and Hornady with similar tail chasing results.
My cardboard is 27 inches square. I aim on center at 80 yards. Hole #1 is 5 inches left and 2 inches low. I adjust the scope 5 inches right and 5 inches up because I want to be 3 inches high at 80 yards. Shot #2 has no hole at all on the cardboard. You'd think there would be a second hole somewhere close to where I adjusted but not true. I carry the target closer back to 40 yards and fire shot #3. It's now 2 inches right and 3 inches high. I adjust the scope 2 inches left and fire #4. It's now 3 inches lower even with the bull for elevation, but 11 inches to the right. I gave up and packed it in after 4 shots.
I put a Nikon BDC muzzleloader / shotgun scope on it and will try again.
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Old August 1, 2011, 09:25 PM   #22
idek
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Just curious, do you always try to adjust the scope after every shot? I'm not sure how your previous shooting sessions went, and I don't want to assume anything, but if you're adjusting the scope constantly, you may have a hard time determining whether the gun is the problem, the scope is the problem, recoil is the problem, or anything else.
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Old August 1, 2011, 10:08 PM   #23
SteelChickenShooter
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Member idek posts a valid curiosity. And that is what my numbers were intended to be used for. A flinch, a scope, a gun problem: how do those variables result in the numbers I posted?
I can see a flinch or something else causing a poor group or maybe a flyer. But to have shot 2# totally off the cardboard and shot #4 to be 11 inches right?
If a scope can't hold zero, would it be off as much as that?
If there is any fault whatsoever in the gun itself, what could it be? Seems like I'd have to see something cracked or broken someplace.
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Old August 2, 2011, 06:01 AM   #24
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There is something loose in the scope or mounts.
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Old August 2, 2011, 01:42 PM   #25
SteelChickenShooter
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Scope

Whatever it might be, I just don't know quite yet. The scope has been sent back for eval and I have installed a replacement. Weather was not good for the range today. I have a Nikon BDC SlugHunter scope mounted on a Remington 870 SuperSlug and that combo is spot on. It's quite an awsome long range capable 12 ga deer gun. I pulled the Leupold and installed a similar Nikon Omega scope on the single shot H&R 20ga and hope to test it Wednesday.
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