View Full Version : Low recoil load for 20 ga.

January 28, 2011, 10:59 AM
Looking for a light recoil 20 ga. load.
My 11 yr old grandson wants to start shooting his Stevens single shot and I would like to make the experience as painless and enjoyable as possible.
Would appreciate either load info, powder, primer, wad, shot etc. or a good load to buy.
Will start him off shooting clays and move up from there.

January 28, 2011, 11:09 AM
Several makers have "trainer" loads which are running 1200 fps or less and can have anywhere from 3/4oz to 7/8.

If you reload, a 3/4oz 20 gauge running around 1150 fps will knock clays into little bits with minimum recoil. Take a basic 7/8oz recipe and only drop 3/4 oz

First thing is make sure the stock fits - it doesn't matter how soft the load, if it doesn't fit, it is going to hurt.

Once the stock is fitted, I would add weight to that single shot - the heaviest gun with the lightest load will give you the least amount of ACTUAL recoil. In a gun that fits, it will also then give you the least amount of FELT recoil. A good pad will help with felt recoil as well, but remember to make sure you don't make the gun too long.

Good luck!

January 28, 2011, 11:13 AM
IMHO, you'll do better with a heavier gun than a reduced load. Light weight single shots can pack a wallop for a youngster. That's why so many old school "youth" single shot guns were .410s.

My friend, oneounceload, may be along to share a reduced 20-ga load. He's got a lot of experience in the reduced load department.

Edit: Oops... he beat me to the post.

January 28, 2011, 12:55 PM
The load I use - for light 20ga loads is ---- 2 3/4" STS hulls .... 12.0gr Hodgdon International, Win 209 primer, WAA20 wad. I substitue the Orange Duster wad / as a direct substitue for the WAA20 wad.

But this load will give you 1150 fps / 9,000 psi pressure .... so its about as soft as you'll find..

The load range on this recipe is pretty good / the Hodgdon book also lists a load ( 3/4oz again / at 13.2 gr of International at 1200 fps ) ....so you can go from 12.0gr to 13.2 grains ( as he gets stronger / and older ) ....

On the light end of this load / its basically a 28ga load in a 20ga gun.

But I find with these young kids / its more about upper body strength - so they can swing the gun a little ....so using different guns, getting something real light ( if you had a semi-auto / might be ok ) ....but like others said, if he can handle the weight, adding as little as 1 lb to the gun can reduce the recoil close to 20%.

Having a lot of grandkids myself .....I went to a local sporting goods store --- and picked up 3 or 4 vests from XS, Small, Med, Large ....etc so I've ended up with a vest / with a good recoil pad in it ....( and then I can pick a size / that fits them as they grow). Some vests are both left and right handed / some are either lefties or righties ....so I managed to get some that had recoil pads on both sides.

Pick a day at the club - if you can - when its really quiet - so you can get your own field and work with them a little ....

A couple of guns that I use in 20ga for new shooters....is a Browning BPS Hunter model, pump with a 28" barrel ( its about a 7 lb gun ). Another one, is a Benelli Super Sport model in 20ga ...with their comfort tech supression system in it ...is only 6.3 lbs and its got the cool carbon fibre look to it - the kids like it ). Some kids at 11 are big / some have arms the size of my thumb ...so every kid is really different... You really need to adapt / so they have a good time.