View Full Version : Shotgun recoil- PLEASE VOTE!!!!

March 25, 2009, 07:22 PM
I'm trying to post a poll on which has more felt recoil...
a 12 gauge shooting....
2 3/4 in. slugs
2 3/4 number 7 bird shot?

I know the answer but a guy I know disagrees with me. So please vote your opinion

March 25, 2009, 08:00 PM
ask him which has more mass.

wow i havnt used that term in years.


March 25, 2009, 08:10 PM
Well, I just zeroed in my Rem. 870 (new Haistings slug barrel) with some stout 2/34" slugs made by Lightfield. It flat out wore me out, (getting old I guess). Finally got it zeroed in with mt new 2.5x8x36 scope. I can tell you this, I can hunt dove and quail all day shooting field loads and it doesn't even come close to shooting 1.5 ounce slugs just a few times.... They are rough on you, believe me.

March 25, 2009, 09:38 PM
Slugs for sure!

March 25, 2009, 10:02 PM
"still slugs dont kick, theyre just like shooting a regular shell but the pellets are just fused together"

That's what this guy told me? Isn't he a smart one? :barf:

March 25, 2009, 10:06 PM
In all honesty I can't feel much difference between 7 and slugs. Ther eis one, but to me it isn't a whole lot. 3" however, is a MUCH different story...it'd probably be easier to tell for someone who shoots slugs more than I do. I stockpile them. Way too expensive to just pop off. All I really shoot is TONS of 7 shot lead with the oocasional slug and buck.

March 25, 2009, 10:07 PM
"still slugs dont kick, theyre just like shooting a regular shell but the pellets are just fused together"

That's what this guy told me? Isn't he a smart one?


March 25, 2009, 10:23 PM
This whole thing started when I posted a video of my brother shooting my shotgun. I had loaded it with 5 shells. 3 bird shot and 2 slugs and didn't tell him what order.

My brother is about 125 pounds if that says anything about him being able to tell the difference. Some people are just rude AND ignorant.

March 25, 2009, 10:30 PM
I wound up in the hospital shooting slugs. Apparently the recoil caused a deep tissue injury in my old shoulder which got infected. I ignored the initial pain just figuring that I'm getting old. About two weeks and some lab work later I find that the infection went system wide (sepsis). The next month was spent in the hospital and on IV antibiotics...so my vote is for slugs.

What makes it worse is I really like shooting the shotgun but am a little cautious about it now

March 25, 2009, 10:33 PM
mskdgunman- I'm sorry to hear about that. Thanks for your input everyone. Every vote is appreciated.

March 25, 2009, 10:38 PM
With so little information provided, at first I thought this was a trick question. I've never seen #7 shot -- tons of #7-1/2s but no #7s. However, Midway shows two Fiocchi loads with #7 shot. One's a 1-1/4 oz load at 1350 fps and the other is a 1 oz at 1200.

Slugs are typically shot with similar masses to bird shot, but at higher velocities. Consequently slug loads have significantly higher muzzle energy than bird shot loads. Higher muzzle energy equals more felt recoil. My vote goes to the slugs.

March 25, 2009, 10:50 PM
zippy13- thanks for the vote. I meant to put 7 1/2 in the poll instead of 7. My apologies if I confused anyone.

March 25, 2009, 10:57 PM
As for birdshot, it's the weight of the total shot charge (not the size) It also makes a difference if the shot is full power field load or target load. Any 1 1/4 oz (standard hvy field load) at about 1275 to 1300 fps is stout on recoil at about 3 3/4 dram equivilent.

I just bought a case of Rem. 3 dram equivilent with 1 1/8 oz. of 7 1/2 shot. They're listed as a target load.

The dram equivilent is a reference to how much black powder the modern smokeless powder load is equal to. It's a reference only. 3 3/4 drams of the old black stuff was a heavy field load.

A lighter 1 1/8 target load at less velocity would recoil noticeably less. A 1 oz. target or light game load is very mild in recoil.

Number 7 shot is uncommon. Are you sure it isn't 7 1/2?

Without knowing if you're shooting light target, heavy field, or in between, it's impossible to answer your poll with re: to felt recoil.

How ever, I don't know of a 2 3/4" birdshot load that thumps the crap out of you like a standard velocity 12 ga. slug at about 1500 fps. On the other hand, low recoil LE buckshot and slug loads are very manageable.

Hey, I'm glad you know the answer. If you'd be kind enough to tell us the charge and dram equivilent, we'll all know the answer.

March 25, 2009, 11:04 PM
Slugs all the way.I have a slug barrel with porting.The recoil is still stiff, 2 3/4 slugs are bad enough but 3 inch is even worse.

March 25, 2009, 11:29 PM
Nnobby45- I meant 7 1/2 shot when I did the poll. Could only change the OP once so I'm outta luck. Thanks for the useful info and all the votes!

.45 COLT
March 25, 2009, 11:31 PM
a 1 ounce slug load and a 3 3/4 - 1 1/4 - X shot load have about the same recoil. A 3 3/4 - 1 1/2 - X load of shot will have considerably more recoil than the slug. Shot size makes no difference at all.


March 25, 2009, 11:32 PM
12 gauge
3 dram eq
1 1/8 shot
7 1/2 shot.
Muzzle velocity 1200 FPS

12 gauge
Max dram eq
1 oz slug
Muzzle velocity 1610 FPS

They were shot from a Mossberg Maverick 88 with a 20in barrel.

.45 COLT
March 25, 2009, 11:39 PM
Those loads, in a 7 1/2 pound gun would have recoils of about 22 Ft. Lb. for the birdshot and about 36 Ft. Lb. for the slug.

Max dram eq
Maybe a pretty good marketing catchphrase, but meaningless.


March 25, 2009, 11:44 PM
Thanks .45 Colt. I just read exactly what the box said and typed that out. Thanks for the info.

March 25, 2009, 11:50 PM
Mass and velocity relates to the powder and projectiles, without both the subject is moot.

I'm guessing that the shoulder (sorry) had previous problems. I've hit both bbls on a 2-3/4" a few times and pulled on a .600 NE......ONCE! No shoulder problems yet. THEN, it hurt a bit.

.45 COLT
March 26, 2009, 03:09 AM
Mass and velocity relates to the powder and projectiles, without both the subject is moot.

In figuring the recoil figures I stated, I used the powder weights I use to achieve the stated velocities of the shot and slug loads.

I just read exactly what the box said
What the manufacturer is implying is that his load is the highest possible velocity. Not true, but it sounds good. Kind of like tagging "Magnum" onto something.


March 26, 2009, 04:48 AM
I shoot my 870 a lot, its my "plinking" gun :D i buy about 100-150 birdshot shells of all different sizes, for a weekends worth of fun.. and usually run out long before its over

slugs are more expensive and a less practical to blow in this manner, but i can say that after a full day of shooting birdshot, my shoulder feels fine, while after about 10 of the slugs i hunt with, my arms already feeling it

i think its the way the recoil is delivered, with the slugs it seems to be a "deeper" thump, much sharper in my experience, even without a noticeable difference in the amount of recoil, the little details make a big difference, the force required to "push" the "weight" down the barrel is what you feel, the bigger the weight.. the more force required, regardless of the amount of powder at this point, though it takes more to push more naturally, if there was no "weight" you would just get a boom and no recoil, what weighs more?

for typical 7 1/2 leadshot, i have no idea the exact number of pellets.. but i will give it a good/fair comparison, lets say 350 pellets at 1.25 grains per pellet, thats 437.5 grains, which is roughly 0.91 ounces of lead i believe, and typical slugs are at least 1 ounce, a 1 3/4 ounce slug is pushing 800 grains.. nearly double

if i knew the actual number of pellets in question, and grain per pellet, that would be much better, but still.. slugs got my vote

March 26, 2009, 05:06 AM
The size of the shot has nothing to do with recoil. Maybe that's been said, I read through quickly and didn't see it. A one ounce load of #4 shot will produce the same recoil as a one ounce load of #7.5 shot (or a one ounce slug) if fired at the same velocity from the same gun.

Old Guard Dog
March 26, 2009, 05:51 AM
The weight of the shot is only one part of the equation. the hull, wad, type and weight of powder, primer, all contrubute to the makeup of the shell. Look at some loading tables for shotshell loads. Different style hulls really make a difference.

You have to compare apples with apples.

March 26, 2009, 06:04 AM
and raise you a peach and an orange :D


March 26, 2009, 06:13 AM
I have a .662 smoothebore, P. cap muzzle loader. I have shot the thing with the same charge of black (75gr) and launched 16.8mm solid ball & also the same weight in shot (with some cloth balled up between the powder and the shot, to act as a wad). The ball gives a heck of a kick, the shot way less. ;)

My unqualified guess would be (and I voted for slugs) the solid mass of the ball, seals better in the barrel so gets pushed by the full force of the charge with little blow by giving you a sore arm.... the shot, on the other hand, is not a solid mass, more like a fluid mass (I guess) with more blow by around the hot (resulting in not quite as sore arm). I dont know how this compares to shot gun shells, but every time I have shot slugs, it felt like more of a kick? :confused::D


March 26, 2009, 07:42 AM
Here's a chart showing shot size and pellet count:


If the birdshot load and the slug load weigh the same and are traveling the same speed, the recoil is the same......

If one of the variables changes, so do the results......

March 26, 2009, 06:41 PM
a 1 ounce slug load and a 3 3/4 - 1 1/4 - X shot load have about the same recoil. A 3 3/4 - 1 1/2 - X load of shot will have considerably more recoil than the slug. Shot size makes no difference at all.


I realize there are different brands of birdshot and slugs, but no 12 ga. load, including short magnum, ever thumped the crap out of me like a Federal Classic 1oz. slug. Even the Federal 3" 1 3/8 oz. wasn't that much worse.

On the other hand, Brenneke 1oz. Rottweiler wasn't bad, and is less than some heavy birdshot field loads.

From 18" Scattergun Tech: Pro Digital Chronograph

1 oz. Classic 1495 fps

1 oz Rottweil Brenneke 1375fps

1 1/8 Rottweil " 1343

Ranger LE 1236

Fed Tac LE 1232

Federal TruBall slugs can be bought in standard or low recoil versions, with the low recoil about 1300 fps if I recall. Recoil is directly related to velocity.