Kicked like a friggin' mule!

Kicked like a friggin' mule!

This is a discussion on Kicked like a friggin' mule! within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Fridays are range days for my wife and me. The greatest thing is, I got my 250 shotgun shells yesterday, so I can go shoot ...

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Thread: Kicked like a friggin' mule!

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    Senior Member Array Jemsaal's Avatar
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    Kicked like a friggin' mule!

    Fridays are range days for my wife and me. The greatest thing is, I got my 250 shotgun shells yesterday, so I can go shoot my new shotguns.

    Picked up the Mossberg 500 - fed five Winchester 00 buck 2 3/4 inch buck into it. Ouch. Alright, that's fine, I can always pad the end - not to mention, I only have 15 rounds of those, then I'll move to my low-velocity buckshot from PMC. Yeah, that's a dream. It kicked harder than the Winchester ammo. I WASN'T expecting that. Lower Velocity means lower powder, means less kick, right? Yeah, guess again.

    PMC Low Velocity 00 Buck = a sore shoulder (haven't shot a shotgun in 20 years). Funny thing, I also fired the Stevens 320, and really enjoyed it. It actually had less kick (heavier gun). I think I'm going to buy a pistol grip/stock for the Mossberg. Really is a little easier to handle and I think holding on to the pistol grip lessens the recoil a bit.


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    VIP Member Array SpringerXD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jemsaal View Post
    ......I think holding on to the pistol grip lessens the recoil a bit.
    Maybe, but I have a shotgun with pistol grips and the webbing of my right (trigger) hand gets put through the ringer.
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    Member Array Isaac1's Avatar
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    You say you have not shot a shotgun in 20 years, maybe it s a technique issue, are you pulling it in tight to your shoulder? Maybe the stock does not fit you well, do you have a recoil pad installed?

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I have a Mossberg 930 semi-auto with an 18.5" cylinder bore barrel,it handles everything I shoot with no problem,I learned a long time ago when I was shooting geese with 3" mags that my Beretta 390 would shoot all day and my shoulder never felt pain
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    Senior Member Array Jemsaal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac1 View Post
    You say you have not shot a shotgun in 20 years, maybe it s a technique issue, are you pulling it in tight to your shoulder? Maybe the stock does not fit you well, do you have a recoil pad installed?
    Yeah, I made sure I pulled tight into my shoulder. Made sure my wife did as well. No, I don't have a recoil pad - that's my next stop I think.

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    VIP Member Array jbum's Avatar
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    Embrace the suck...just sayin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jemsaal View Post
    Yeah, I made sure I pulled tight into my shoulder. Made sure my wife did as well. No, I don't have a recoil pad - that's my next stop I think.
    Once your shoulder is tender you could fire cotton balls and it would still hurt. "Sore shoulder" is cumulative.
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    One of the things I like about the Mossberg is the safety is so intuitive and ergonomic being located up on the tang of the receiver. This is only good for a traditional stock. When you put a pistol grip on a Mossberg, you ruin the ergonomics of the tang mounted safety.

    If I have a shotgun with a pistol grip, I'd go with a Remington or Winchester where you have the crossbolt saftey behind the trigger guard.
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    If you were shooting from a bench, that'll only make the recoil worse. Unless you're sighting in, shoot heavy loads like buckshot standing. Your whole body will act like a spring, allowing more than just your shoulder and back to take the punishment.
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    I have a Remington 788 in 44Mag; back when I bought it I thought a handgun cartridge in a rifle would be no problem. Well surprise, surprise that thing kicked like grabbing a mule by the hind leg and kicking him where it really hurts, took it to the gunsmith the next day and had a recoil pad added.
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Look anything like this
    Arab Gun test.flv - Repeat in a loop
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    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jemsaal View Post
    No, I don't have a recoil pad - that's my next stop I think.
    Hm. Having no recoil pad certainly won't help. Good call, on getting one.

    For me, basic technique of blading/shouldering/stance has always made the most impact on effectively and painlessly managing recoil, even heavy/stout recoil. Get it right, then even the stoutest SD load can basically be handled well, without any bruising or pain.

    Here's a decent thread from awhile back: Shoulder is Killing Me, which includes some videos on stance/technique.

    Here's a discussion thread on shouldering technique, on ShotgunWorld.com: click.

    I've learned much from a certain book, as well: The Orvis Wingshooting Handbook by Bruce Bowlen. It describes and shows basic technique, stance, shouldering, sighting, in quite a bit of detail. It's not a book on defensive shooting, but the basic technique pointers are much the same.

    Am assuming at your local range you've got an area where trap/skeet shooters do their thing. Might be well worth tracking down one of the better shooters, there, and asking for 10mins of basic pointers. Better yet, diving right in (on that range) to learn the basics of trap/skeet can be a quick way to meet plenty of folks who know what they're doing, as well as to learn a new form of shooting. It's great fun, challenging. Worth doing, if none of the discussions/vids grab you.


    Basically, here's what I do:

    • Blade the body about 50-60 degrees away from the target (on the strong side, obviously).

    • Find the area of the shoulder "pocket." Check this discussion on ShotgunWorld for finding the pocket: What Is The Shoulder Pocket. Here's another, on the Cabela's forum: click. The exact spot of the pocket's going to vary from person to person.

    • Get into an athletic, mildly aggressive stance. With a pistol you can stand basically upright and fire away, pretty much without getting the rest of the body and muscles into the game. But with a shotgun, particularly a stout SD load, it's imperative to have the whole body in the shot, able to control and redirect/accommodate the recoil as it happens. Get it right, and you'll neither be sore nor bruised, and your control, accuracy and repeatability will dramatically improve.

    • Shoulder the shotgun, into the pocket. Effective, repeatable shouldering technique takes time to nail down. Get instruction, and then practice, practice, practice. The Bowlen book (above) should help, as can various Youtube vids.

    • Balance the firmness/control of your body and upper body/shoulder area specifically, with a softness (more of a willingness) to smoothly accommodate the recoil when it does come. I liken this to thinking about a decent parachute landing, in which you've got to be both firm/controlled enough to manage striking the ground while going with the flow softly/smoothly enough to redirect the "recoil" energy so that you don't get hurt/bruised.

    • Start with weaker target or light bird loads first, then work your way up to stouter loads. Keep the defensive stuff for later, until you've nailed the basic techniques and 50-100rds don't pound you anymore.



    By all means, leverage the trap/skeet gurus at your local shooting range. Many of them will know the basics well, and likely one or two of them would be happy to take 10mins of their time to show you proper stance and shouldering.

    My apologies for the non-standard descriptions, here. But in the second or two that it takes me to get into stance/blade/shouldering on a given shot, it comes together quickly enough that these are the things I think about as it's happening. Blade, "athletic" stance, shoulder pocket, firmness/flexibility, then managing the shot and follow-up to the next shot. In a few hundred rounds, it all begins to become second-nature.
    Last edited by ccw9mm; January 12th, 2013 at 10:27 AM.
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    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    Hm. Having no recoil pad certainly won't help. Good call, on getting one.

    For me, basic technique of blading/shouldering/stance has always made the most impact on effectively and painlessly managing recoil, even heavy/stout recoil. Get it right, then even the stoutest SD load can basically be handled well, without any bruising or pain.

    Here's a decent thread from awhile back: Shoulder is Killing Me, which includes some videos on stance/technique.

    Here's a discussion thread on shouldering technique, on ShotgunWorld.com: click.

    I've learned much from a certain book, as well: The Orvis Wingshooting Handbook by Bruce Bowlen. It describes and shows basic technique, stance, shouldering, sighting, in quite a bit of detail.

    Am assuming at your local range you've got an area where trap/skeet shooters do their thing. Might be well worth tracking down one of the better shooters, there, and asking for 10mins of basic pointers. Better yet, diving right in (on that range) to learn the basics of trap/skeet can be a quick way to meet plenty of folks who know what they're doing, as well as to learn a new form of shooting. It's great fun, challenging. Worth doing, if none of the discussions/vids grab you.


    Basically, here's what I do:

    • Blade the body about 50-60 degrees away from the target (on the strong side, obviously).

    • Find the area of the shoulder "pocket." Check this discussion on ShotgunWorld for finding the pocket: What Is The Shoulder Pocket. Here's another, on the Cabela's forum: click. The exact spot of the pocket's going to vary from person to person.

    • Get into an athletic, mildly aggressive stance. With a pistol you can stand basically upright and fire away, pretty much without getting the rest of the body and muscles into the game. But with a shotgun, particularly a stout SD load, it's imperative to have the whole body in the shot, able to control and redirect/accommodate the recoil as it happens. Get it right, and you'll neither be sore nor bruised, and your control, accuracy and repeatability will dramatically improve.

    • Shoulder the shotgun, into the pocket. Effective, repeatable shouldering technique takes time to nail down. Get instruction, and then practice, practice, practice. The Bowlen book (above) should help, as can various Youtube vids.

    • Balance the firmness/control of your body and upper body/shoulder area specifically, with a softness (more of a willingness) to smoothly accommodate the recoil when it does come. I liken this to thinking about a decent parachute landing, in which you've got to be both firm/controlled enough to manage striking the ground while going with the flow softly/smoothly enough to redirect the "recoil" energy so that you don't get hurt/bruised.

    • Start with weaker target or light bird loads first, then work your way up to stouter loads. Keep the defensive stuff for later, until you've nailed the basic techniques and 50-100rds don't pound you anymore.



    By all means, leverage the trap/skeet gurus at your local shooting range. Many of them will know the basics well, and likely one or two of them would be happy to take 10mins of their time to show you proper stance and shouldering.

    My apologies for the non-standard descriptions, here. But in the second or two that it takes me to get into stance/blade/shouldering on a given shot, it comes together quickly enough that these are the things I think about as it's happening. Blade, "athletic" stance, shoulder pocket, firmness/flexibility, then managing the shot and follow-up to the next shot. In a few hundred rounds, it all begins to become second-nature.
    This. The video in post #10 of "Shoulder is Killing Me" made all the difference in the world for me.
    I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it.
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    Senior Member Array Jemsaal's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the advice, especially yours, ccw9. Reading through it, in general, that's what I was doing. However, I'm sure that there's a few minor things that need to be adjusted - and in something like that, a few "minor" things equal shoulder pain real fast, so I'll make sure go back over the advice a lot more carefully. Really do appreciate it.

    One unfortunate thing, the range I'm a part of only allows Buckshot. It's an indoor range with a backstop and they say that the smaller target/bird stuff might penetrate through, so they only want the larger buckshot.

    Now that I'm thinking about it, I think that I tensed too much and didn't give with the kick. That might have been the entire issue right there.

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jemsaal View Post
    Now that I'm thinking about it, I think that I tensed too much and didn't give with the kick. That might have been the entire issue right there.
    Possibly, yes. Essentially turning your body into a "brick wall" that the recoil slams into is a recipe for bruises and pain. It's important to do that "parachute landing" approach, finding the balance between taught/firm muscles and resistance to the recoil vs. being flexible/soft enough to redirect the energy throughout the body when it does come. Takes 5mins to show, but it's very difficult to describe. You'll know you've got it when you strike the right balance. Like being "in the zone" in any sport. And with a good intro from someone who's BTDT, it's not that difficult to master.
    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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