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Low-recoil loads poor choice for home defense/combat shotgun?

Discussion in 'Tactical Shotguns' started by Kadetklapp, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. Kadetklapp

    Kadetklapp Methberry PD

    Jan 2, 2007
    Even with my new Knoxx "recoil absorbing" stock, my 870 still kicks like a mule. My Saiga is brutal to shoot. I don't enjoy shooting shotgun anymore simply because the recoil is more than I want to deal with. I've never shot "low recoil" marked loads, but I might start if it makes my weapons more manageable. Are low recoil loads poor choices for a combat gun?
  2. BBJones


    Mar 2, 2010
    They are an excellent choice for home defense. They are also an excellent choice since you will actually go out and shoot and practice with the SG that you are planning to keep for HD. You might also want a recoil pad for your shotguns.

    If you want to practice without burning thru expensive ammo, you can also shoot weak bird shot.

  3. WoodenPlank

    WoodenPlank Who?

    May 15, 2010
    NW Florida
    Bingo. Plus the low recoil loads tend to be buffered and pattern tighter.
  4. JK-linux


    Mar 5, 2009
    I use low recoil 12 gauge loads in my 870. No problems here. I'm sure someone will break out some drywall/gelatin test and say they suck, but I don't really care. I can repeatedly and rapidly hit anything I shoot at within 50 feet using them. I doubt many people will shake off a hit, even if it's through drywall. Even then, if I'm still having trouble after the 6 rounds in my 870's tube, there are four low recoil slugs in my side saddle.
  5. Kadetklapp

    Kadetklapp Methberry PD

    Jan 2, 2007
    Thanks folks. I used to be big into buying Magnum 3" shotgun ammo, but now that I'm getting "old" I don't find it nearly as fun as I used too. Not sure if my shoulder is giving me fits, but even a few rounds of 2 and 3/4" 00 buck is enough to make me switch to something else.
  6. ScrappyDoo

    ScrappyDoo Tacticool brah!

    Jan 16, 2010
    There was a huge major thread revival and dust up over this but- I cannot say enough how much of a difference the LimbSaver makes.

    Also- reduced recoil loads work pretty well for me- I didn't know some of my purchased 00 Buck varieties WERE reduced recoil, and they performed great. And my M930SPX is an autoloading gas gun, which gets picked on for reliability (not MINE, the genre I mean) - even though mine has been diesel engine Hummer reliable-

    Reduced recoil thru an 870? Can;t imagine u'd have a speck of trouble. Try em out.
  7. Kadetklapp

    Kadetklapp Methberry PD

    Jan 2, 2007
    My concerns are "knock down power" in the 870 and cyclic ability in the Saiga. I am running a stock gas plug in that gun so I doubt it would work real well. The reason I'm concerned about it is this winter I'd like to buy a case of shotgun ammo, as in, 500-1000 rounds or so. I'd like something I can use but still be *deadly* powerful.
  8. WoodenPlank

    WoodenPlank Who?

    May 15, 2010
    NW Florida
    It may have issues cycling in a Saiga (even though I imagine that's not too hard to fix), but I have zero concern about stopping power with low recoil 00.
  9. off road

    off road

    Jun 6, 2011
    I have some Federal H132 00. Shells from some boxes say 'low recoil', and others say 'tactical'....same load (1140 fps). So, I presume this is what they are marketing for entry teams.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
  10. i will second the Limbsaver. if you want to know real recoil out of a 12 try high end turkey loads, they are brutal. i bought a Limbsaver pad and WOW. i would never believe a recoil pad could make that much difference.
  11. dkf


    Aug 6, 2010
    Shoot some 3" 12ga slugs out of a fully rifled slug barrel once. The 3" max turkey loads will seem mild in comparison.

    If your looking to purchase a whole case in the future buy small quantities of several different loads and try them out. Pick the load you like the best and buy a case of it.
  12. aippi


    Jun 12, 2009
    Learn to shoot the SpecOps and your issue is over. I can be about certain you are not shooting it correctly. Go to and click on the red link "Breaking in the 870" and scroll down to the part on shooting recoil reducing stocks. Follow that and if the recoil is still and issue then your stock is defective. I know this because my neighbor borrowed my turkey gun which is a 12ga 870 with SpecOps for his 11 year old daughter and she loved shooting it so much she bugged the heck out of him, calling him constantly about when he would be home from work so she could shoot. And this 11 year girl is very petiet for 11 years old.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
  13. Ferdinandd


    Feb 17, 2008
    Practice and technique has improved my ability to make fast, accurate follow-up shots. I don't have a spec-ops but do value having a good recoil pad on an SG.

    As far as ammo goes, I think that if you can reduce recoil by reducing the number of pellets but retaining the velocity, that's the way to go. With 00bk, for example, you would go from 9 pellets at max energy, down to eight pellets at max energy. IMHO, that's better than backing down the energy of all of the pellets delivered. Just my opinion here, based on a few years of reloading BK and amateur load development.
  14. DougW

    DougW Native Texan

    May 9, 2003
    North Texas
    All the buck and slugs here are some form of reduced recoil. I run it through both M1 Super90's (recoil operating system) and they run flawlessly.
  15. glockenturm


    Jan 26, 2010
    +1 on the advice on your website. After I read your tips, shooting my 870 with the SpecOps is an absolute blast.

    I get an evil satisfaction watching others put up their shotguns after a few shots.

    Outdoor Hub mobile, the outdoor information engine
  16. myanof


    Dec 2, 2005
    Dallas, Texas
    I hear you Brother. I am 67 now, and practicing for long periods of time with standard 00Buck is out of the question, and I shoot a Model 1100 with an 18 1/2" barrel for HD which is a soft shooting gas operated shotgun.

    I now load up with Federal LE132 9 pellet 00Buck reduced recoil with flite control. At 15 yds this stuff shoots about a 5-8" pattern and is like shooting a low base practice load. In fact for practice I do shoot practice loads.

    Not very tacticool, but very reliable and functional, and I have been shooting it since 1967. I bought the factory barrel at Midway.

  17. Sounds to me like the OP might have accumulated some wear and tear in the shoulder down through the years. I have a hunch that's the culprit in his case.

    I'm 55, and had rotator cuff surgery on my right shoulder. The only shotgun that I ever dreaded running buck through was an Ithaca M37. I do just fine with full-house buck at the range with one of several 870Ps, but this thread has me thinking seriously about going with reduced recoil loads, just in case.

    Also to the OP, my employer, a state correctional agency, issues reduced recoil 00 buck ammo. If they had any doubt at all about its effectiveness, they would have stayed with full-house loads.

    Sounds like the reduced recoil version of Federal Flite Control is the way to go these days.
  18. Texas357

    Texas357 Señor Member CLM

    Jan 3, 2007
    I shoot reduced recoil buckshot. I've got nothing to prove to anyone, and I dare the coroner to note a difference if I ever have to use it.
  19. NEOH212

    NEOH212 Diesel Girl

    Mar 25, 2008
    North East Ohio
    +1 :thumbsup:
  20. Kadetklapp

    Kadetklapp Methberry PD

    Jan 2, 2007
    Interesting read. Had no idea. Yes, I got smacked in the face several times by the receiver. Also, other than an installation manual, there was no other instruction in my package on using the stock. I'll have to try this next time out.