View Full Version : Soft-shooting semi auto

May 10, 2007, 08:04 PM
I had shoulder surgery a few years back, and can't really take more than about 20-30 shots without having real problems the next day. I love shooting a pump 12ga but it's just too much.
I'm looking for a clays and birds gun, prefer interchangable chokes, and my main goal is a 12ga with a softer punch. Magazine capacity isn't a concern. Any suggestions? I'd prefer something I can buy used, really, since this won't see frequent use, maybe 4 times a year but when I do use it, I'll be putting a lot of shells thru it. I'd like to keep it under $500 but would go to $800 if need be. My only other shotgun so far has been a Mossberg 500 SP thats strictly home defense.

May 10, 2007, 08:11 PM
Remington 1100 would fit the bill but I dont think you can find one for 500.Maybe a used one

Smitty in CT
May 10, 2007, 08:20 PM
Mossberg 930, there is a two barreled combo 18"/28" for $452 at R&R Arms.

These are very soft shooting, with low recoil 26g Winchester AA "featherlights" my 8 year old can shoot it with no problems.

May 10, 2007, 10:31 PM
I know saigas are ugly to most, but the saiga 12 is one of the lighter recoiling shotguns I have fired. Sad to say I have not fired it enough to really say more than that.

May 10, 2007, 11:30 PM
I had shoulder surgery a few years back, and can't really take more than about 20-30 shots without having real problems the next day. I love shooting a pump 12ga but it's just too much.

I'm a little confused... are you trying to reduce arm movement by using the pump?

Or are you trying to reduce the felt recoil to your shoulder?

Because if the felt recoil is the problem, there are various ways to make that recoil go away... and my Mossberg 500 - uses all of them. :D



May 11, 2007, 09:08 AM
Im trying to reduce the amount of force into my shoulder, recoil leaves me sore and swollen the next day to the point I can barely move it. And that Mossberg is set up a lot like my 500SP which is my home defense gun but I'm not looking for home defense, I'm looking for a clays and birds gun. I do have that Knoxx stock on my Remington 308, sent back in for the recoil reduction and it is great but not really what I'm looking to do here.
I'm strongly considering the Remington 1100 (there's lots under $500 on gunbroker), the saiga and mossberg might not be bad ideas either, and I have a guy at work strongly recommending a Winchester 1400 for the sake of recoil reduction too.

May 11, 2007, 09:25 AM
Get an 1100 or Beretta 391 or3901. After you get it get a Limbsaver recoil pad installed and you will be set.

May 11, 2007, 11:10 AM
I'm looking for a clays and birds gun

Myself I do use this to shoot clays, I just take the shell carrier off, and swap from the 18.5" barrel to my 28" VR (improved choke - but I've been thinking I will replace with adjustable choke system instead).

Hmm, don't have a picture handy but this is closer... (although this is with my 24" rifled barrel w/scope mounted on cantilever - yes I have 3 barrels for this Mossy).


Sounds like you have the Knoxx Axiom V/S for your 308... nice but pricey!

On my end, for the pump action, I use the "Knoxx SpecOps" - which is ~$105 (rated at 95% reduction in felt recoil).

Then add a special sized Limbsaver for the SpecOps - which is $30 from Knoxx (reduces that 5% by another 10-15% recoil reduction)

Personally in this setup, I can not tell the difference between low-recoil buck loads... and 600gr magnum rounds.

However, if you main concern if the AR style stock, and you want a more traditional stock, another buddy of mine with with the Knoxx Compstock on his Remmy 12g, is quite happy, and his 5' wife enjoys it as well due to the near lack of recoil. (Although she does complain with the lack of adjustable LOP).

Several of my friends also have Remmy semi-auto 12gs, they are no where near as nice on the shoulder - as either the Knoxx SpecOps or the Knoxx CompStock...

Each of them have at least added the Limbsaver for their particular models, as it helps greatly!

Anyway, good luck with the shoulder.


Smitty in CT
May 11, 2007, 12:47 PM
You cannot get a proper "cheek weld" on any one of the collapsable stocks, yes, they make clip on cheek pads but they are not the same... For clay games, if you're doing it more than "once in a while", you are going to need a proper fitting "traditional" stock.

Recoil is a matter of the following:

E = 1/2 (Wr / 32) (Wb x MV + 4700 x Wp / 7000 x Wr)squared

E = recoil Energy in ft. lbs.,
Wr = Weight of gun in pounds,
Wb = Weight of shot+wad in grains,
MV = Muzzle Velocity of shot in feet-per-second,
Wp = Weight of powder in grains.

There are lots of things you can do to help reduce the felt recoil.
1) The easiest and most beneficial is to use "low-recoil" loads (this will usually decrease the Wb and/or MV)

2) Use a gas operated autoloading shotgun (This will decrease some of the (E) since it is used to cycle the gun) This is where having a gun that has been designed for light loads is very important, you don't want to get a gun that "should" or "will usually after break-in" handle light loads.

3) Add weight to the gun (this will increase the Wr), add it in the stock, then add it to the barrel to help with balance.

May 11, 2007, 03:04 PM
Good info, thank you. I knew I needed a traditional stock and that wood would be the best choice, thought light loads in a gas operated would help too. What shotguns or brands are more prone to being able to properly cycle with lower power loads? Any to stongly avoid or stongly lean towards?
I figure I can add weight with "lead wool" in the stock, drill a few small holes and pack the lead in there, would that be a good way add weight or is there a better way? how would I add it to the barrel, other than barrel swaps?

Smitty in CT
May 11, 2007, 03:37 PM
My choices for a shotguns that could handle light loads would be: (I'm not rich, so my budget is the primary factor)

1) Mossberg 930
2) Beretta 3901
3) Used Remington 1100 (tough to find a GOOD, inexpensive one)

If money were no object:

1) Beratta Extrema 2 (with Kick-off)
2) Winchester SX-2 (SX-1 would be better, but hard to find)

The gas system on the Mossberg 930 is almost identical to the SX-2, BTW.

Good Luck and let us know what you decide on.

May 11, 2007, 04:01 PM
I love my Mossberg 500, so the 930 is probably top of the list but Im also a big fan of Beretta, I've got a 92fs, a U22, and a PX4 carbine, so that would be great too. Then again, I have a few Remmies too, 700, 7400, 597, so I'm sure I'll be happy with any of these. I'll let you know what wins the budget vs availabity contest. I think I'll look for the Remington because I love taking a rough gun, paying way too little for it, then refurbing it myself. Thank for all the info.

Fat White Boy
May 11, 2007, 10:25 PM
I've had an 1100 in 12 ga for 25 years. It has been flawless. The recoil is neglible...If you can find a used one, you should probably buy it...

May 16, 2007, 08:03 PM
If you are still looking for soft recoil, I have a Beretta A390 12 guage that is very smooth gas operated, 3 chokes and wrench. $500.00 to your FFL.

May 17, 2007, 04:38 PM
If I were you I would look seriously at the Remington 105CTi or a Beretta Xtrema perhaps a winchester SuperX series. Remington claims that the 105CTi is the softest shooting semi-auto available.

May 17, 2007, 06:17 PM
The gas guns ( Beretta 391 series, Remington 1100 ) are all pretty soft. There should be plenty of them on the used market.

The Benelli, comfort tech stock is also soft in a 12ga but retails new at about $ 1500

May 17, 2007, 06:34 PM
I have a Beretta AL390 Silver Mallard 12 gauge auto, bout as sweet as they get:D

May 17, 2007, 08:08 PM
I have a SPS 11-87 that is nearly perfect. It will shoot 7/8 oz. light target loads all day without any malfunctions.

It's heavy, gas operated and has a limbsaver recoil pad; it hardly kicks at all. I've seen used ones around here for $550 or so. Used 1100s go for $350 and can be found at the flea market every weekend.

Smitty in CT
May 18, 2007, 07:46 AM
GUYS........... The OP said he'd like to keep it under $500....

You've streched his budget to the point it's snapped several times

May 18, 2007, 10:01 AM
Remington 1100 would fit the bill

Agreed.I've had one for many years, and shot LOTS of skeet and trap with mine.Excellent gun, low recoil for a 12ga, reliable, good for hunting and skeet/trap.My dad had screw in chokes put in years ago, and it really just makes the gun even more versitle.Dont know what they go for used, or what getting screw in chokes installed costs, but if you can afford it, I really think it would be money WELL spent for a great gun, and added versatility (with the screw in chokes).

May 18, 2007, 08:40 PM
SMITTY! - He actually said, "I'd like to keep it under $500 but would go to $800 if need be." Several good options under that mark have been mentioned but I'll admit that $1500 is out of line.

KC - I added weight to my 11-87 by filling a bean-bag with lead shot and sticking it in the hollow of the synthetic stock. I also made a lead-filled weight that replaced the 3-shot plug. I found that I didn't need them with the weight of the gun and 7/8 oz. loads.

May 18, 2007, 09:46 PM
I think I'm going with the 1100, seems to be popular, no real complaints, versatile, and easy to shoot and deal with recoil. I'd also take the Beretta 390 from what I've read. I shot a semi-auto on Wenesday and was suprised at the difference in the recoil between the semi and the pump action in a shotgun, much more significant drop in felt recoil than the difference between bolt and semi rifles! I am pretty sure with a vest on, I'll be just fine. That being said, I also bought a Winchester 1400 mkII, but only because I got it for $200 bucks, from a good home where I know it was cared for, and its in good shape, minor wear to the stock's finish but no cracks and good blueing. Plus removable chokes and came with both an imp and a mod. Magazine capacity is only 2 so I will probably still buy another soon. I just couldn't pass it up for the money.

May 18, 2007, 11:26 PM
500 should buy you nice older Winchester super X-1. The finest and softest shooting semi auto ever built.


Smitty in CT
May 19, 2007, 02:33 PM
should buy you nice older Winchester super X-1. The finest and softest shooting semi auto ever built.
The SX-1 was / is a great gun, that's the trouble around here they are extremely hard to find, so the ones that do come up for sale are in the $600 range...

May 20, 2007, 10:24 AM
The best place to find a deal on a winchester super x -1 will be on line. There's a nice one listed at Jaquas now for $500;


I've bought from them before and their customer service is great.


May 24, 2007, 06:52 PM
I have a Beretta a390 12ga gold mallard that is a duplicate for me. $500 includes shipping to your FFL.
3 chokes, wrench and cloth carry.