Shoulder is killing me

Shoulder is killing me

This is a discussion on Shoulder is killing me within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Ok, I just bought my first home defense gun: a mossberg 500 tactical persuader. I went to the range and shot about 5 slugs. My ...

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  1. #1
    New Member Array hashpuppy's Avatar
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    Shoulder is killing me

    Ok, I just bought my first home defense gun: a mossberg 500 tactical persuader. I went to the range and shot about 5 slugs. My shoulder was a little sore after the first shot and now hurts to type... haha. Is this how it shoots with all shells? Or is this specific to the 2 3/4" 1oz slug? The thing that concerns me is that it's so unpleasant to shoot that I won't practice, which means poor aim and less gun familiarity. Shooting 9mm's with the old man is so much more fun.

    Is there anything I can do to save my shoulder while I'm shooting?


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array zeppelin03's Avatar
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    Can't tell you much about slugs, but when I first shot a 12 gauge it killed. My shoulder adjusted real quick though. Shoot it a few more times and you wont notice the pain anymore.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Part of it could be technique. If you're new to shotguns (and long guns in general), it's important to remember that body position relative to the centerline of the barrel, positioning of the gun butt tightly against your shoulder, and the right combination of strength/relaxation is crucial to absorbing and managing the recoil effectively. Hard to explain in words; you've got to see it, and have it shown to you.

    The other part that matters quite a lot is: shells, and how much "punch" they have. Obviously, in a given caliber (ie, 12ga), more powder basically equates to greater force (ie, 3-1/2in, 3in, 2-3/4in). And in a given length shell, there can be a different weight of pellets within the round. You'll tend to find that 00 Buck will kick far harder than the average target load, even if both are loaded hot.

    How I've selected shells: Look for velocity and force numbers (fps, ft-lbs); consider the weight of pellets (ie 1-1/4oz vs 3/4oz); consider the size of pellets; and don't forget to select something that'll deliver the force on-target at the distances you'll care about. Play with the differences, until you've found the preferable round. That'll get you 90% there.

    On my Remington 870 12ga pump: I have shot everything including 00 Buck, hotly loaded; #1 and #4 buck, hotly and mildly loaded; game/pheasant loads; and a variety of birdshot loads, from target strength to hotly loaded. By far, the toughest punch came from the hot 00 Buck. Of all of them, for defensive purposes I opted for the #1 Buck (when I could get it), else #4 buck (when I couldn't stand shooting the 00 Buck instead).

    Keep in mind that LEO's generally use 00 Buck for good reason, in their duty weapons. It can effectively stop violent assailants. But then, so can #1 and #4, assuming the conditions aren't prohibitive (ie, too darned far for the smaller ball to make a dent).

    As well, many shotgunners wear a special padded shirt when practicing. Or, you can get one of those strapped-on padded slings that'll do much the same thing.

    You can also have a different butt pad installed onto the gun. There are a number of decent ones on the market that typically absorb recoil better than standard, factory butt pads. Check out the Limb Saver variety.

    And, if all else fails, there's no reason to ignore the 20ga shotguns. For defensive purposes, a decent load in a defensive 20ga gun can be effective. And it'll generally be more comfortable to shoot. If in doubt, take a country ham and a patterning board out to the range and give it a whirl, 20ga vs 12ga. I think you'll find the 20ga ain't bad, particularly at "home defense" distances.

    There are a number of YouTube videos on shotgun technique.

    One suggestion for a good read: The Orvis Wingshooting Handbook, by Bruce Bowlen. It's basically a guide to bird hunting technique, but many of the elements presented apply to all long guns, to making them most accurate and most comfortable to shoot.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
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    Senior Member Array Dennis1209's Avatar
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    Yep, what ^^^ he said!

    In addition, I've got the same problem, especially shooting my 30-.06. A quality gun butt stock pad makes a big difference, but not enough for me. I'll throw on my skeet / trap vest that has one of those gel pads sewn into it and manage a few more rounds before my shoulder gets real sore.

    It's simple physics... If you're old like me, you don't shoot as many rounds. If you're a young whipper snapper, you add as much padding as you can
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    Senior Member Array RKflorida's Avatar
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    After a couple thousand rounds of skeet I agree with the posters here: Tight against the shoulder! First few sessions I was black and blue until I pulled that gun in tight.

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    Ex Member Array barstoolguru's Avatar
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    stop fighting the recoil and get a shooting pad

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    If you're willing to throw a little bit of money at that Mossberg of yours then buy yourself either a Phoenix Technology KICKLITE Stock or a BLACKHAWK KNOXX Specops Gen II Stock.

    Both are adjustable recoil absorbing stocks.

    You're lucky that both are (of course) available for your shotgun.

    I don't want to tell you which of the two to buy since I am not you but, there are some videos on YouTube and you can watch some of those and decide for yourself.

    This is basically how they work.
    The Blackhawk makes a claim of higher recoil reduction than the Phoenix.
    85% as VS about 50%
    I have shot the Phoenix and it was fine. I've not tried the Blackhawk.
    My Home Defense shotgun is an Ithaca 37 Riot/Police and NOTHING is available for that but, I am not recoil sensitive.


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    New Member Array hashpuppy's Avatar
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    This forum is awesome. So many quality replies. Thanks. Yeah, I'm tempted to just buy a recoil absorbing stock. I just feel like I've wasted a little money on the one that came with it. Before I do that, though, I'm going to try to learn the proper way to shoot the gun.

    I'm still trying to figure out where to place the gun on my shoulder. I see some videos where people look like they place it between their shoulder and chest. Then I hear some videos talk about holding it tight, while others talk about keeping it tight enough just to hold it against your shoulder pocket while pulling forward with your far hand: Rob Haught Shotgun Basics - YouTube. And here's another one I was looking at USA AMMO Shotgun Lvl1: Stance - YouTube

    Also, does anyone know if the ITT Endine Shot Shock will fit my gun w/o having to buy additional adapters and Mesa parts?

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    Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Or more simply put, if it's hurting you the bad guys are really going to hate it.

    Shotguns aren't fun. But they sure do make the bad guys go splat.
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    You can try the Rob Haught Push/Pull shooting method.

    Lots of folks do it wrong but, if it's done correctly you can stay right on target w/ the 12 and greatly reduce felt recoil impact to the shoulder.

    Watch the Video. The sound is not great.

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    Thanks QK. I've never seen that method before.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hashpuppy View Post
    Ok, I just bought my first home defense gun: a mossberg 500 tactical persuader. I went to the range and shot about 5 slugs. My shoulder was a little sore after the first shot and now hurts to type... haha. Is this how it shoots with all shells? Or is this specific to the 2 3/4" 1oz slug? The thing that concerns me is that it's so unpleasant to shoot that I won't practice, which means poor aim and less gun familiarity. Shooting 9mm's with the old man is so much more fun.

    Is there anything I can do to save my shoulder while I'm shooting?
    A couple of thoughts. First - were you shooting from the bench? That will put all the recoil into your shoulder with minimal ability for your upper body to rock with the recoil. Shooting from a standing position will help substantially.

    Second - use the "low recoil LE" slug ammo. It's one thing to knock down a deer at 100 yards, but home defense is vastly different. The "low recoil" LE loads really live up to their name.

    Next - buckshot generally has less recoil than slugs, and overall it's a better choice for home defense unless you're defending the South Fork Ranch. Give that a try.

    Next - make sure your gun butt is in the pocket of your shoulder, and not directly on the ball of the shoulder.

    Lastly - shoot often. You just threw something at your shoulder that it's not used to, and now your shoulder is reacting. Do it more often, even just 10 rounds a week, and your shoulder will be bruise-free before you know it.
    Smitty
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  13. #13
    Member Array msc8127's Avatar
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    Grin and bear it. Practice a lot. And, don't be afraid to seek out help from someone who has more long gun experience and can help you with managing recoil. From what you have said I would be very focused on making sure your practice doesn't result in developing a flinch. The 2 3/4" rounds aren't bad once you've burned through a couple boxes and get past the initial "wow". There are shoulder pads you can but that help mitigate recoil. Pass or Past is a brand name I believe...I have one that I use when burning through 300 win mag or 338 lapua rounds. It seems to help, but I typically get annoyed with it moving around and just manage the situation without it. Main thing is just to keep practicing and you will quickly adapt to it assuming you are practicing good fundamentals.

    sent via iCarry

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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    You can try the Rob Haught Push/Pull shooting method.

    Lots of folks do it wrong but, if it's done correctly you can stay right on target w/ the 12 and greatly reduce felt recoil impact to the shoulder.

    Watch the Video. The sound is not great.

    Funny - I got into shotgunning late, and did it this way, just because it was how I shoot my handguns. It works. I don't get nearly the sore shoulder that my shooting buddies get after a few rounds of trap.
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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  15. #15
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Shooting technique matters. Some of the technique-oriented videos on Youtube might help give you an idea of what's involved.

    Here's one, covering sighting, mounting, basic "fit" of the gun: click.

    Here's another, focusing on mounting: click.

    And another, focusing on mounting and general technique: click.

    Better still, if your gun range has a trap/skeet area, grab a couple of the old salts and have them take you through the paces.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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