View Full Version : Shot an 18" barrel & slugs for the fisrt time today....

March 11, 2009, 06:13 PM

First off, I'm sure this has been discussed on here many times but just wanted to share my exerience. I have shot waterfowl and skeet loads through 12 gague hunting-sized 24-30" barreled shotguns throughout my life. But I recently got a shorter barrled shotgun as more of a utility weapon.

I took my brand new Remington 870 18" synthetic 7 shot and took it to my local indoor range (bead sight only). Unfortunately they only allow slugs so I ended up shooting Remington Slugger 1 oz lead slugs.

Whoaaaaa, I was literally blown away by the noise and recoil of his thing. What a beast :D , and quite a rush. I was practicing at short range (25 yards) and trying to get 1 shot off every 5 seconds, using all 6 rounds in the magazine. I usually hit the 8 ring with the first couple of shots but the 3-6th shots would be all over the place as I started shaking a bit, but they were still on paper. Maybe I'm a wuss, but I was trembling pretty heavily by the the 4th or 5th shot.

My first problem, I suppose, was trying to get a cheek weld while shooting with the weapon shoulered. I will probably have a bruise on my cheek from that tomorrow.

Are there any good links for reading about how to shoot heavy loads out of short barreled weapons like this?

On the plus, side doing this made the recoil of my S&W M&P semi-auto handgun in .40 s&w seem like I was firing a BB gun.

March 11, 2009, 06:49 PM
Eh, recoil is recoil. Everybody feels it. But you can get used to it. Just don't think so much :D...and slow down a bit.

Look at it this way. You're putting the 1st couple of slugs in the 8-ring at 25 yards with open sights (I presume). If you can do that consistently, you are certainly getting where you need to be for hunting and self-defense.

March 11, 2009, 06:52 PM
Eh, recoil is recoil. Everybody feels it. But you can get used to it. Just don't think so much :D...and slow down a bit.

Look at it this way. You're putting the 1st couple of slugs in the 8-ring at 25 yards with open sights (I presume). If you can do that consistently, you are certainly getting where you need to be for hunting and/or self-defense.

March 11, 2009, 07:01 PM
Eh, recoil is recoil. Everybody feels it. But you can get used to it. Just don't think so much ...and slow down a bit.

Look at it this way. You're putting the 1st couple of slugs in the 8-ring at 25 yards with open sights (I presume). If you can do that consistently, you are certainly getting where you need to be for hunting and self-defense.

Yeah, it has a bead sight. The noise was probably exacerbated by the fact that this was an indoor range. I feel bad for he CHL class that taking their qualification class a few positions over, probably not the best for your concentration when you have me pounding away with slugs a few feet away.

March 11, 2009, 07:20 PM
I would have opted not to shoot my thunder boomer while they were qualifying.
Noise is louder due to indoors but also your head is closer to the muxxle as well.
My .22 pistol is markedly louder than my .22 rifle.
Recoils is higher with slugs often due to it being a bit slower to leave the muzzle (inertia) thus more ignited powder waiting to get out of the muzzle. Also synthetic stocks are lighter often. Shorter barrels are much lighter obviously as well.
The shakes are excitement induced adrenaline... Practice with light loads often to get muzzle control in the more rapid shooting you were doing. Then switch to slugs and finally have a buddy shoot with you and load each others mag tubes with a mix and match of both. When you no longer react differently do the hotter loads you are gettin' in the ballpark for overall gun control.

March 11, 2009, 07:47 PM
thats agood tip hogdogs, thank you

chris in va
March 11, 2009, 07:51 PM
You could always get a Knoxx/Blackhawk stock. Really helps.

March 11, 2009, 07:58 PM
Freak..., If a 3 1/2 inch heavy load is slipped in there the shooter gets to t-bag the loader:D:eek:
With a HD 18 inch mossberg 20 gauge with syn stock I suffer no noticeable muzzle rise while speed shooting and making forward progress. This does not mean I was on COM level shots just looking for muzzle control. This was with my messed up arm less than 90 days (way less IIRC) after my crash...
I needed to get back behind the gun...

March 11, 2009, 08:21 PM
Ouch hogdogs, that's quite a wound you've got there. As someone who was in a serious wreck myself pretty recently, I hope you can put it behind you. Thanks for the advice.

How for out would you guys say a bead sight is useful to, 50 yds? 100 yds? more?

March 11, 2009, 10:03 PM
It's kinda lame but I put a limbsaver on my Mossberg. Now I can shoot slugs all day though.

March 11, 2009, 11:20 PM
LSW, I will never forget it and the regaining decent use has been at times depressing but I have gotten more use back then I ever dreamed. That is a result of a roll over that knocked me out and arm went out the window and the Cherokee rolled over on it a few times...:eek:
First trip into the woods was enlightening to say the least as I lost grip on a 200+ pound boar hog after the dogs were tied to trees and I thought someone was gettin' hurt...:D Lucky for me he decided to haul the mail...

March 12, 2009, 12:49 AM
Heh, I took my Benelli auto-pump out to a LE range and we put eight slugs in it and switched it to auto and went as fast as we could. first of all you experience the muzzle rise of a life time and second you notice this beast is so fast that the last shell was ejected before the first one hit the ground.

It really puts you back on your back foot. Hit four rounds on the steel plate about 12" diameter at 25 yards, missed with the other four.

Loads of fun though. Probably won't do it again, just because, I would rather be a bit slower and be more accurate. I can empty the tube in a very short time and get 100% hit rate. Love that weapon!

Mel :cool:

March 12, 2009, 07:57 AM
Recoil in any gun (free recoil at least) has everything to do with weight (of the gun, slug, powder charge) and velocity (of the gases from the burning powder, of the slug) and nothing to do with barrel length.
"Perceived" recoil might be a bit more intense with the 18" bbl because - as another poster noted already - you are closer to the muzzle.
The specs on the 18" Rem. 870 Syn 7 shot gun say that it weighs 7.5 pounds. If that is the case, then a normal 870 with a longer barrel - spec'd at 7.25 pounds would have MORE free recoil, the lighter gun more affected by the heavy load.
A Rem Slugger one ounce 2.75" is spec'd at 1560 fps. A "normal" shot load is about 1180-1300 fps., so the slugs at 1560 actually exit the barrel faster, consistent with heavier recoil.

March 12, 2009, 10:30 AM
Lots of good advice here, Hogdogs. I have lots of shotguns. I have a tactical rig (870 express 12 ga. 20" rifle sighted barrel) that I tricked out when I very first got into tactical stuff. It has a Knoxx Spec Ops stock. It takes a lot of getting used to. It does make the recoil much more manageable, but it has drawbacks. If you are going to shoot slugs with accuracy a good cheek weld is necessary. The Knoxx doesn't lend itself to this particularly well, depending on how you are built. I have plenty of extra padding (read fat), so I have been able to make it work for me.

I also have a straight stock 870 that my only modification was the addition of a limbsaver. Frankly, if I had it to do all over again, the stock with the limbsaver would be my choice.

It also occurs to me that the stock is possibly a little high for you? This would make you have to press a bit hard to get a proper sight picture and thus cause the cheek smack. Just kind of thinking out loud.

As suggested before, start with light loads and work up. The more you shoot it the more "normal" it will seem.

March 12, 2009, 11:34 PM
Well I tried it again today, this time outdoors. Every time I try and get a cheek weld, it feels like I get punched in the face when I fire. It's quite unpleasant really, and I've never had this issue with my beretta or over/unders. Maybe it's a stock issue. I eventually settled on just keeping my face an inch or so off the stock before firing and it worked ok.

I don't think the recoil on my arm is a problem, sure my shoulder is a bit bruised after firing about 50 rounds, but nothing worse than the feeling after lifting weights. The face smacking is the worst. I'm sure I'm doing something wrong, maybe I just need to press harder with my cheek next time. I think I'll take a week of to recover though.

March 12, 2009, 11:46 PM
We were trained on the 870 with )) Buck. I can remember getting checked in the cheek a time or two.

Making the weapon a solid part of you is key. Also your stance even with a cheek weld is critical. You need to lean into it toward your target and allow it to push you back. Plant it in the pocket like you've never planted anything in your life, weld your cheek to the top of the stock and when you fire it, your cheek should not move from the stock, you should only rock back in a smooth motion.

By lifting your cheek you are asking for a broken cheek.

I hope this helps.

Mel :cool:

March 13, 2009, 12:06 AM
Slugs are fun.... My first outing with slugs (Federal Tactical Low-Recoil) and my Benelli SNT was fun indeed. Kinda started with hitting high right, but after a few adjustments and getting used to things, I managed roughly 3" to 3 1/2" groups (roughly 4" or so high right of center) from about 50 to 55 yards.

Im thinking my particular Benelli just shoots high right for some reason. I had to move the rear sight over to the left by roughly 8 clicks and still could only land a shot or two (out of 15) within an inch or so of bullseye. But, once I went to the buckshot, ranging from 10 to 25 yards, the patterns were tight and quite centered.

Congrats on your first outing! Im glad you enjoyed it and it seems as if you did quite well.

weld your cheek to the top of the stock and when you fire it, your cheek should not move from the stock, you should only rock back in a smooth motion.

Ahh..I wish it were this simple for me. With both of my shottys the LOP is just a tad long, particularly the Benelli which sports GR sights and has no real way of adjusting the LOP. My Mossy has a bead front sight and a slightly shorter stock, so its not as noticeable. Either way, Ive developed the habit of resting the comb (?) of the stock roughly in line with the top row of my teeth..not quite making it all the way to the cheek. But, I do make sure to really bury the recoil pad into my shoulder and so far, Ive had no real issues in using this particular form. It has, however, taken me a bit of time to commit this movement/location to muscle memory. Either way, Ive come away from various buckshot and slug rounds unscathed, so I guess this particular "technique" suits me.

March 13, 2009, 01:40 AM
One thing that I had not considered, is that perhaps my hearing protection is interfering with my cheek weld. I am using muff-type protectors. I regret to say in most of my prior shotgun outings I wore no hearing protection at all, and yes, I know it was ignorant and wrong of me to do that. Maybe I will try roll-up plugs instead of muffs next time and see if that helps.

March 13, 2009, 07:45 AM
Some of what is happening is stock and cheek weld related, no doubt. Some of it is that you have a fair amount of recoil energy to deal with.
I just ran some figures through a recoil calculator and......a favorite load of mine is a .30 cal 180 grain bullet at about 2600 fps. using 54 grains of powder. In a 7.5lb gun, this load generates just under 20 ft.lbs of free recoil. The slug load that you are shooting generates just under 32ft.lbs of free recoil(if factory velocity figures can be trusted). In addition, the slug load causes the gun to come back at you at over 16 ft/sec. The .30-06 load cited is slower at 13 fps.

March 13, 2009, 08:33 AM
I have seen alot of shooters ruined shooting high recoil loads/guns. Once you develop a flinch, its a hard thing to overcome, and you will never be accurate. If you are using the gun for HD, practice with light target loads, and put the heavy stuff in it when you get home. Shooting is supposed to be enjoyable. Recoil is never as noticeable shooting at game, but sighting in can be a very unpleasant experience. An 870 12ga with slugs will still kick like a mule, regardless of what kind of stock or recoil pad is installed. I may be a recoil sissy, but I prefer guns that only kill at one end.

March 13, 2009, 08:47 AM
Another option is using Remingtons Reduced Recoil Slugger slug loads (Federal and Winchester make these RR loads too) which throws a 1 oz. slug downrange at 1200 fps, vs. 1300-1500 fps. of reg. power slugs. Certainly enough power for self defense purposes. Remember, recoil is made up by ejecta weight, speed and weight of gun.

March 13, 2009, 09:06 AM
I had the barrel on my Mossberg 500 Persuader 12 ga 20" ported. It reduced the barrel rise and recoil somewhat. But in the heat of battle, noise and recoil would not be noticed.

March 13, 2009, 10:09 AM
Understandable for sure.........

I have a 12 gauge Mossberg Maverick I picked up several months back for home defense. 18 inch barrell, light weight, the whole nine yards. I went out and shot some of my defense ammo (00 buckshot), just to get a feel of the recoil. My goodness. After about 15 rounds, I was ready to the put the shotty away and play with my pistol. Granted in a home setting, I'm sure the recoil wouldn't even be noticed. But I doubt I'll be doing much "playing" with that toy!

March 13, 2009, 01:09 PM
Do pumps inherently kick more than comparable over/unders and semi-autos?

March 13, 2009, 02:39 PM
Do pumps inherently kick more than comparable over/unders and semi-autos?

Well, yes and no. Any shotgun other than a GAS OPERATED semi-auto will seem to kick more than the gas operated semi-auto.

The reason for this is that as stated numerous times before, recoil is recoil. The laws of physics will not be denied. However, the way we human beans perceive things can be well very subjective. Brister in his definitive work on shotgunning, Shotgunning, the Art and the Science, discusses the subject at length.

The gas operated auto loader, because of its gas piston, the bolt moving back, etc. causes the recoil albeit the same as from any other gun to be delivered as a series of pushes spaced out over time (a very short time) rather than one sharp smack. Thus, while it is really the same, to the human brain, muscles, nerves, etc. it feels like less.

Now there are all kinds of factors at work here. Fit is certainly one of them. An ill fitting gas auto loader can be painful to shoot. A perfectly fitting pump can be a joy. Then there is technique.

If you don't have your body in a position to be a spring rather than a board any shotgun can be uncomfortable.

Gun weight is also a factor. Heavier gun, less perceived recoil.

The point is that PERCEIVED recoil is very subjective. That being the case, you will get all kinds of answers here. Some guys will swear that their Remberg 570 with no recoil pad is the softest shooting gun on the planet. Some will say that their uncle Jakes 12 ga 11-87 will tear your arm off.

That is their perception. Who am I to question it? I do know that x amount of powder behind x amount of load will deliver x amount of recoil. Strictly from a mathematical standpoint. How you perceive it from a particular gun can be totally different than the way I perceive it.

With all that BS out of the way, most folks find gas operated auto loaders to be the softest shooting of the various types of shotguns. I know I do.

March 13, 2009, 02:46 PM
With all that BS out of the way, most folks find gas operated auto loaders to be the softest shooting of the various types of shotguns. I know I do.

Well, if my Beretta A391 Xtrema 2 is any indication, I agree. The thing is a real softy, granted it is designed with low recoil as a priority. It's a pretty big difference from the 870, imho.

With that said, I enjoy the challenge of shooting my 870. I think i can get it down with practice.

March 13, 2009, 06:57 PM
I had a brake installed on my M500. Helps a fair amount with felt recoil and muzzle flip

Cruncher Block
March 13, 2009, 11:26 PM
I took a couple of bruising cheekbone smacks in a shotgun class.

I learned I could fix it by moving my cheek further back on the stock.

I think of a shotgun in recoil as like a lever with my shoulder pocket as the fulcrum. Putting my face further up the lever increases the distance the lever travels. That's more momentum driving into my face.

The change was free and made no difference in my speed or accuracy.

March 14, 2009, 02:51 PM
I have a Mossberg 500 that came with an embarrassingly large, soft recoil pad; and I must say that the perceived recoil is substantially less than I expected the first several times I took it out. I have extensively used Mossbergs in the Marines, both 500a and 590 models, and they always kicked a lot more than mine does now... maybe it was "full house" military #4 buckshot or maybe it was the lack of a recoil pad. Also, those guns had synthetic stocks, mine has a wooden stock. FWIW, this past week I went shooting with a friend who has a 535 with a knoxx recoil reduction stock that had considerably higher perceived recoil, especially shooting slugs. My best advice would be to buy a Limbsaver or comparable recoil pad and practice with shot and then move up to slugs. If your range is the problem, find some public land where you can safely and legally shoot shotguns. I asked my local county sheriffs office and they recommended a couple locations to me... it's pretty easy to find somewhere you can practice shotguns safely if you use shot (less backstop/space needed for public safety).

March 14, 2009, 08:27 PM
Great, thanks for all the advice.

My range is pretty shotgun friendly. They have a shotgun "pit" where you can stack up boxes, pin on targets, and "go to town" with patterning, in addition to a trap machine and clay throwers.

March 15, 2009, 08:40 PM
just spend the 130 dollars and get a knoxx stock for it i have a 870 marine magnum short barrel extended mag basically the same set up it whopped me pretty good with the synthetic stock but now that i have a knoxx on both my 870s my little sister will even shoot it

April 14, 2009, 07:20 AM
I finally got to the range with my Mossberg 500 (20 inch barrel) last week. Started with some older 00 buck and low brass slugs. Finished off the day with some 3 inch magnum slugs. There some kick, I had installed one of those lifesaver pads and that seemed to help a lot. When I started shooting the magnums, every other person on the range stopped what they were doing after the first shot of those puppies, to see what the heck I was shooting :)

April 14, 2009, 11:27 AM
Something strange I noticed when shooting skeet with my 18" synthetic 7-shot 870 is that it didn't seem to kick nearly as much. I have no idea if this had more to do with the reduced recoil sporting clay loads or the fact that shooting a moving target tends to divert your attention from the pain.

I also realized that I was putting my cheek way to far forward on the stock the first few times I shot this gun, as a result of all the eye and ear protection I was wearing. With just ear plugs and small-ish glasses, the ergonomics are much better.

April 14, 2009, 01:33 PM
Hotdogs...looks like you had a run in with a rattlesnake.

I shoot 2 3/4 inch slugs through my Mossberg all the time. Took some getting used to the recoil at first.

April 15, 2009, 06:32 PM
I pound those remington Sluggers, and my girlfriend thinks they're a lot of fun too. If you really wanna go for a ride, go grab some 3" magnum 000. now THAT'S a flame!:D:D

Yeah Whirlwind, everyone immediately stops shooting and looks around and says "what in the HELL was that!?!?" Muahaha!