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Old August 8, 2000, 02:44 PM   #1
Dave McC
Staff In Memoriam
Join Date: October 13, 1999
Location: Columbia, Md, USA
Posts: 8,811
Probably half the threads here have to do with recoil in some way, it's an inescapable part of shotgun shooting. And some understanding about weight of shot/weight of gun ratios may clear up some confusion.

The Brits have raised wing shooting to both art and science.With first class British shotguns going for the price of some houses, we should understand there's been plenty of R&D into the subject of how much weight is helpful and how much is not.

So, the Brits evolved the Rule of 96. Basically, it means that a shotgun of whatever gauge, should weigh 96 times what the shot charge does. Going lighter means mo' kick, and going heavier means toting extra weight that's not needed.

And the Brits are 12 ga fans,though they call it 12 bore, for some reason known but to them.And the gun is tailored to the load. Let's use the Rule of 96 here....

Shot load,1 oz, shotgun should weigh in at 6 lbs.

In fact, this is almost EXACTLY what all the old 16ga upland shotguns were, back in the days of Burton Spiller and Havilah Babcock.

Shot load, 1 1/8 oz, shotgun should weigh 6 lbs, 12 oz.My bird 870 weighs 6 lbs, 10 oz and this load is not brutal in the weapon, but 1 1/4 oz loads give a good thump.Turkey loads will get your attention PDQ.

Shot load,1 1/4 oz. The shotgun going by the Rule should weigh 7 1/2 lbs.Again, my experience supports the Rule here.

You can do the math for your pet load.And, by knowing the weight of YOUR shotgun, and your own personal tolerance of recoil, you can pick a load that works well for you w/o major trauma.

Extreme example, a load of 1 7/8 oz calls for a shotgun weighing around 11 lbs, which is about what the Ithaca Mag 10 was listed as.

Note,this is for standard shotgun velocities so keep that in mind.And, IMO, I'd go heavy on the shotgun and light on the load a bit for anything with lots of shooting,like trap and skeet, or doves.OTOH, for something light on shooting but that must be toted plenty, a lighter shotgun with a SLIGHTLY heavier load might be best, say for late season Ringnecks.

And of course, we're talking wingshooting here, HD tools are exempt from the Rule.

BTW, Gene Hill's Shotgunner's Notebook has more on this, for those interested....
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