AR15.Com Archives
 Lightest Recoiling 12 Gauge Shotgun
Doggonit  [Member]
1/6/2003 2:05:15 PM EST
What is the lightest recoiling 12 gauge shotgun? I was thinking that despite the fact that the gas operated Remington 11-87 might produce less recoil the inertia operated Benelli M1 shouldn't be too bad, esp. with low recoil buckshot and that mercury recoil compensator. I am somewhat but not overly recoil sensitive so I wouldn't really want pump action shotgun which unless ported produce heavy recoil.

Doggonit
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Hoplite  [Team Member]
1/6/2003 3:49:01 PM EST
the Nova also has the mercury reducer available for it and the recoil is pretty tame IMHO. Ive shot close to 1500 shells through mine and am still on my original shoulder
green18  [Team Member]
1/6/2003 3:49:26 PM EST
Recoil is a subjective thing and much depends upon the load used so I would reccomend you try to find friends who have the guns you are considering and try the prospective load in each of them. Nothing anyone can say will give you the feedback that live fire will.
ProfessorEvil  [Team Member]
1/6/2003 3:49:53 PM EST
Most Semi-shotguns won't work with reduced recoil loads. Ported pump guns have somewhat less kick than regular pumps. Go to your local trap range and ask to try out a few different semi auto shotguns if you can, see which one works best for you.
RABID  [Member]
1/6/2003 4:05:13 PM EST
The USAS-12 is supposed to be, but good luck getting one now. Even full auto with #000 buck the recoil was said to be comparable to a 5.56!
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StealthyBlagga  [Member]
1/6/2003 4:06:19 PM EST
Tricky question to answer without details about your application.

For defensive use, you will want at least some minimal power level (e.g. reduced power "tactical" buck). Less power = less effective terminal ballistics. Once the ammo is defined, almost any semi-auto shotgun can be adjusted to use it reliably.

Recoil is very subjective. Felt recoil is most influenced by:

* Ammo (see above)
* Gun Weight (heavier gun kicks less)
* Stock Design (straight line stock reduces muzzle rise)
* Size/Weight of the Shooter

For light-kicking defensive SGN, consider a gas-operated gun with medium-length barrel (say 24") and extended mag tube (extra weight). Thinks about going to lighter ammo or even down from 12g to 20g. If recoil still bothers you, add more weight (mercury or lead).

Of course, your options narrow if you want hard-hitting ammo, short barrel and a light gun... if this is the case, invest in a padded shooting jacket or put on some weight (drastic, I'll admit).
mike103  [Team Member]
1/6/2003 4:42:50 PM EST
Dog, Why a 12 gauge? If recoil is a concern why not a 20 gauge? 20 gauge comes in 3" mag, both Federal and Winchester make 3" buckshot. Federal makes 3" foster rifled slugs. Several companies make 3" sabot slugs. 20 gauge 3" turkey loads would make a great in the house defence load. Several companies make gas operated shotguns. Just something to think about.

I own 12 gauge, 20 gauge, 28 gauge and .410 bore shotguns. My new favorite is a Remington 1100 .410 bore with a 3" chamber. What a pleasure to shoot. Shooting is suppose to be fun, not punishing. MIKE..
oldpaladin  [Member]
1/6/2003 7:38:37 PM EST
"What is the lightest recoiling 12 gauge
shotgun?" Simple answer- Benelli M1014/M4Super90! Using standard ammo, NOT reduced recoil, the M1014/M4 is much easier on the shoulder than any 12ga. shotgun I've ever used. 150-200 (or more) magnum 2 3/4" slugs or 00Buck in a single shooting, and no sweat. Shoots like a 20ga., and with regular loads, not magnum, more like a 28ga. Like Green18 says, recoil is subjective... Perhaps the Browning Gold Mk.5 would be the closest to the M1014/M4, but it's not tough enough to be your life on...
redray  [Member]
1/6/2003 8:17:56 PM EST
buy the 12 gauge. then buy the skeeters for the gauge you also want to have. like having two shotguns. although i just realized, i dont know if theyll work on pump and autos. worth a check.
ikor  [Team Member]
1/7/2003 4:25:01 AM EST
Pumps do produce more felt recoil than semi's but the inertia operated Benelli is pretty stiff and the stock design of both the older Benelli (pre-Super 90) and the Beretta will make many shooters think they are firing a torture machine. Gas operated autos deliver less felt recoil than either, but are generally not bet-your-life reliable with heavy buckshot/slug loads. I have exactly NO experience with the new M4 Benellis, so cannot comment about them...except to say their price is unfreakingbelievable!

While it is not possible to undo the laws of physics, there are several ways to manipulate them with heavy loads in shotguns. Gas operated guns do this by "spreading out" the recoil via a longer, less abrupt, method of operation. Inertia/recoil operated guns do it via a series of springs, and pumps don't use any mechanical methods at all. One little "secret" with pumps is to be certain the headspace is tight. When we used to do demos with issue 870's you always picked a gun with a tight bolt lockup. (which is the only quick way to gauge headspace on a range and is NOT accurate for real measurement purposes)Believe it...a gun with loose bolt lockup will get a "running start" on recoil and thump you noticably harder.

Things like stock fit...a too long stock will kick your ass!...and design...no high, sharp combs a la the older Benelli's...are important in minimizing felt recoil. Imagine the butt of a shotgun stock...basically a 2x4 with rounded edges and a little pad, maybe. Take a 2x4 and hold it a couple inches away from your buddy's shoulder, then smack the end hard...hurts, no? Now try it with the end held hard against the shoulder...all he will feel is a hard shove...much more comfortable. Hug that shotgun tight! For me, at least, a pistol grip on a stock seems to increase recoil, not to mention getting in the way if you need to do anything more than shoot from a static position. Stockless pistol grip guns are a joke...a bad one. Things like gee-whiz recoil reducers usually fail under any sort of hard use and cost way more than they are worth.

Spend some time at a range with several different standard type shotguns and I'm willing to bet you will find one that works fine for you with effective ammo without all the voodoo gimmicks.
PITSNIPE  [Member]
1/7/2003 4:31:19 AM EST
Another vote for the supressed NOVA from Benelli.
mike103  [Team Member]
1/7/2003 4:58:39 AM EST
Dog, Not trying to be a wise guy but why assume you are going to buy one gun. Gas guns are more fun to shoot, like Ikor says pumps are more reliable. When going to the range to shoot I grab a 1100. When going hunting or for defence I grab a 870. Shotguns are like golf clubs, you need several. I have never rendered an opinion about these tactical Benelli's because I have no experience with them. But I would be hard pressed to spend $1,500.00 on a gun that does one thing only.

After 30 plus years or shooting if I were to start over again I would do several things different. I would own less 12gauges and use the 20 and 28 more. My primary deer rifle would be a .243, .260 or 7-08, not a 30-06. I would not own as many light carbine style rifles that kick hard. I can stand up to the recoil of the 12 gauge 3 1/2" mag shooting from a sitting posotion with my back to a tree. But it is not as necessary as I believe.

After watching dozens and dozens of deer shot and several men I now know that shot placement is everything. Like the man on TV say's, shoot more shoot more often. MIKE.
Doggonit  [Member]
1/7/2003 11:33:14 AM EST
Thnaks for the comments boys.. the shotgun will have to be Cali legal..... I won't use anything less than #4 in it most of the time.
Zoub  [Team Member]
1/8/2003 5:14:50 AM EST
Everything Mike103 says, and:

Knoxx cop stock. Look at that. Acutally that is their folder, which I own. Look at their other stocks. Their recoil reduction cam works.

Do not rule out pumps yet, but for light recoil, I think any 20 gauge semi is great.

I have owned 870's for 25 years. In todays world if I was starting new, I would build a new pump on a Nova (12 or 20).

Regardless of gauge, I would add a mercury recoil reducer for additional weight and recoil reduction. I would also port AND backbore the barrel. The combo of porting and backboring has a huge effect. That is why competitive shooters do it. That is why Vang does it on their tactical barrels.

Are all my barrels backbored? No, but I would like them to be. Field guns are carried a lot and shot a little. They need light weight. porting and backboring adds no weight. Competiton guns are shot a lot and carried a little. They need light recoil. So they add weight (mercury). Tactical guns already have a lot of extra weight due to increased capacity, side saddles, lights and slings.

Best value. A Nova. Get barrel backbored and ported. Stock is already set up to accept their optional mercury recoil reducer. Pump gun reliability, and any pump works great with low recoil loads. with this set up, you won't even need the recoil reducer. Use the same setup for an 870.

Shoulder an 870, a Nova and a few semi auto's at the same store on the same day. Stock fit is everything.
Hoplite  [Team Member]
1/8/2003 7:15:55 AM EST

Originally Posted By Zoub:
Everything Mike103 says, and:

Knoxx cop stock. Look at that. Acutally that is their folder, which I own. Look at their other stocks. Their recoil reduction cam works.

Do not rule out pumps yet, but for light recoil, I think any 20 gauge semi is great.

I have owned 870's for 25 years. In todays world if I was starting new, I would build a new pump on a Nova (12 or 20).

Regardless of gauge, I would add a mercury recoil reducer for additional weight and recoil reduction. I would also port AND backbore the barrel. The combo of porting and backboring has a huge effect. That is why competitive shooters do it. That is why Vang does it on their tactical barrels.

Are all my barrels backbored? No, but I would like them to be. Field guns are carried a lot and shot a little. They need light weight. porting and backboring adds no weight. Competiton guns are shot a lot and carried a little. They need light recoil. So they add weight (mercury). Tactical guns already have a lot of extra weight due to increased capacity, side saddles, lights and slings.

Best value. A Nova. Get barrel backbored and ported. Stock is already set up to accept their optional mercury recoil reducer. Pump gun reliability, and any pump works great with low recoil loads. with this set up, you won't even need the recoil reducer. Use the same setup for an 870.

Shoulder an 870, a Nova and a few semi auto's at the same store on the same day. Stock fit is everything.


what is this back boring procedure as I have never heard of it.
Doggonit  [Member]
1/8/2003 12:32:00 PM EST
Yeah, what's backboring? Does Mr. Vang do that? You think the folks at Vang could rebuild a Nova with a ported/backbored barrel? Maybe even add a pistol grip stock??? *crossing fingers*

Are the Benneli stocks less usefull because they are not really straight line stocks therefore hit your shoulder harder?

Why are the SpeedFeed stocks so ugly? Do they really have them for M1's???
GLOCKshooter  [Team Member]
1/8/2003 4:12:53 PM EST
Several owners have posted thst the Siaga has almost no recoil. Doubt a mag fed auto is legal in Cali, though. If it is, check Keislers online. I think they have it for $249, plus shipping and whatever your FFL holder charges you for the transfer.
ikor  [Team Member]
1/9/2003 4:05:15 AM EST
As I understand it...and if I am wrong, I'm sure one of the guys will set us both straight..."backboring" is simply a fancy name for overboring...taking metal from the inside of the barrel to make it larger.

It is used for several reasons, depending on the type of shotgun and its' intended use. One thing it is used for, theoretically at least, is to create a "de-facto" tighter choke in shotgun barrels. Since we can't squeeze the last few inches of the barrel and make them tighter, the theory is that by going in and making all but those last few inches larger so the shot charge spreads more at that point than it otherwise would, the barrel will tend to shoot tighter patterns. This method is also used to "taper" the barrel toward the choke/muzzle area which supposedly allows for slightly less abrupt choking action, thus less abrupt recoil.

From what I can gather, backboring may or may not actually do very much for defensive type shotguns other than cost you money...lots of varying opinions on this...and cannot usually be applied to barrels with screw-in chokes.

Maybe someone with some experience and more in-depth knowledge will weigh in here and tell us more, but given what I can find out now, I tend to think a better expenditure of money would be to search for loads that pattern well in the standard barrel, or just change barrels.
mike103  [Team Member]
1/9/2003 1:08:38 PM EST
Back boring is enlarging the bore diameter before the choke. The object is to shorten shot strings and have as much as the shot arrive on target at the same time as possible. This is helpfull for clay target shooting and wing shooting to help hit a moving target. When shooting a stationary target, like a deer with buckshot or the head of a turkey you do not care that some of the shot arrives a little late. It also produces fuller patterns and less recoil. This is important when shooting large shot at ducks with 3" and 3 1/2" loads that tend to produce long shot strings and heavy recoil. Van (whatever his name is) also back bores his barrels. This also produces tighter patterns with open chokes. Back boring is done only to a small section of the barrel but overboring, (like Mossberg does to the 835) is for the full length of the barrel except the chamber. The Mossberg 835 12 gauge barrel is over bored in an attempt to produce 10 gauge patterns from a 12 gauge gun. MIKE.
GLOCKshooter  [Team Member]
1/9/2003 1:32:54 PM EST
Saiga not Cali-legal. www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=4&f=80&t=52910&w=myTopicPop
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