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Discussion Starter #1
I keep toying with the idea of getting a shotgun for home defense. Although I would love to have a Benelli M4, I probably would go with a 12 gauge Mossberg 930 SPX. It's less than half the price of the Benelli and still has good reviews.

My question is what type of buck shot would be tolerable for someone with rotator cuff issues? I don't have any current pain, but I don't want to go through a rotator cuff event again (I had "frozen shoulder" 12 years ago).

I know 00 buck is considered the go to load for self-defense, but is there a lesser buck load that would wreak less havoc with my shoulder and still get the job done?
 

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They make low recoil OO options; you'll have to find out if they'll feed in a 930 or not, though

Which would be one benefit of the M4...they function just fine with light loads.
 

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https://chuckhawks.com/shotgun_recoil_table.htm


Gauge, length (oz. [email protected]) Gun weight (lbs.) Recoil energy (ft. lbs.)
.410 bore, 2.5" (1/2 at 1200) .....5.5 "...........................7.1
.410 bore, 3" (11/16 at 1135) .....5.5 "..........................10.5
28 gauge, 2.75" (3/4 at 1200) .....6.0 ...........................12.8
20 gauge, 2.75" (7/8 at 1200) .....6.5 ............................16.1
20 gauge, 2.75" (1 at 1220) .....6.5 ............................21.0
20 gauge, 2.75" (1 1/8 at 1175) .....6.5 ............................25.0
20 gauge, 3" (1 1/4 at 1185) .....6.5 ............................31.0
16 gauge, 2.75" (1 at 1220) .....7.0 ............................21.5
16 gauge, 2.75" (1 1/8 at 1240) .....7.0 ............................27.6
12 gauge, 2.75" (1 at 1180) .....7.5 ............................17.3
12 gauge, 2.75" (1 1/8 at 1200) .....7.5 .............................23.0
12 gauge, 2.75" (1 1/4 at 1330) .....7.5 ............................32.0
12 gauge, 2.75" (1 1/2 at 1260) .....7.5 ............................45.0
12 gauge, 3" (1 5/8 at 1280) .....7.5 ............................52.0
12 gauge, 3" (1 7/8 at 1210) ....8.75 ............................54.0
10 gauge, 3.5" (2 1/4 at 1210) ....10.5 ............................62.9
 

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Discussion Starter #4
https://chuckhawks.com/shotgun_recoil_table.htm


Gauge, length (oz. [email protected]) Gun weight (lbs.) Recoil energy (ft. lbs.)
.410 bore, 2.5" (1/2 at 1200) 5.5 "...........................7.1
.410 bore, 3" (11/16 at 1135) 5.5 "..........................10.5
28 gauge, 2.75" (3/4 at 1200) 6.0 ...........................12.8
20 gauge, 2.75" (7/8 at 1200) 6.5 ............................16.1
20 gauge, 2.75" (1 at 1220) 6.5 ............................21.0
20 gauge, 2.75" (1 1/8 at 1175) 6.5 ............................25.0
20 gauge, 3" (1 1/4 at 1185) 6.5 ............................31.0
16 gauge, 2.75" (1 at 1220) 7.0 ............................21.5
16 gauge, 2.75" (1 1/8 at 1240) 7.0 ............................27.6
12 gauge, 2.75" (1 at 1180) 7.5 ............................17.3
12 gauge, 2.75" (1 1/8 at 1200) 7.5 .............................23.0
12 gauge, 2.75" (1 1/4 at 1330) 7.5 ............................32.0
12 gauge, 2.75" (1 1/2 at 1260) 7.5 ............................45.0
12 gauge, 3" (1 5/8 at 1280) 7.5 ............................52.0
12 gauge, 3" (1 7/8 at 1210) 8.75 ............................54.0
10 gauge, 3.5" (2 1/4 at 1210) 10.5 ............................62.9
Uh, yeah...:gah:
 

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When I first went back to the shotgun after my shoulder surgery, I started with 12g 00 Remington 8 pellet reduced recoil. I have worked back up to 2 3/4" Federal Classic for HD and Flight Control for varmint duty.
Federal has reduced recoil loads that are worth looking into. I've used the Flight Control reduced recoil loads and like them, but they are harder to find in my area than the Remington.

My main reason for going away from the Remington is that it is a buffered load. They use Styrofoam beads that get into every nook and cranny inside the shotgun and are a real pain to clean out.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
When I first went back to the shotgun after my shoulder surgery, I started with 12g 00 Remington 8 pellet reduced recoil. I have worked back up to 2 3/4" Federal Classic for HD and Flight Control for varmint duty.
Federal has reduced recoil loads that are worth looking into. I've used the Flight Control reduced recoil loads and like them, but they are harder to find in my area than the Remington.

My main reason for going away from the Remington is that it is a buffered load. They use Styrofoam beads that get into every nook and cranny inside the shotgun and are a real pain to clean out.
Are you using a pump or a semi-auto shotgun? I know that a pump will work with any type of load and perhaps that's a better thing for me with a reduced recoil load? I also know that a semi-auto shotgun has less recoil due to the mechanism soaking up some of the energy.
 
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I'm not a big fan of Mossberg. Granted this was a few decades ago, but my brother in law went through three 12 ga. 3" magnum shotguns in one goose season. All 3 failed. One failure is a glitch. Three, in such quick succession, major engineering/manufacturing blunders.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm not a big fan of Mossberg. Granted this was a few decades ago, but my brother in law went through three 12 ga. 3" magnum shotguns in one goose season. All 3 failed. One failure is a glitch. Three, in such quick succession, major engineering/manufacturing blunders.
They seem to have a better reputation today, but that's certainly a worthwhile consideration.
 

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I wouldn't worry about your shoulder, most likely you would fire from the hip anyway. At least I think I would with a shotgun, with a pistol I'd point/aim but in a house I would think a shotgun wouldn't have to be aimed. Just my opinion.
 

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I wouldn't worry about your shoulder, most likely you would fire from the hip anyway. At least I think I would with a shotgun, with a pistol I'd point/aim but in a house I would think a shotgun wouldn't have to be aimed. Just my opinion.
Shotguns do not "open up" up as fast as they do in the movies, the pattern stays small enough you'd better aim. As Clint Smith says, "in a house, a shotgun is a rifle."
 

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I wouldn't worry about your shoulder, most likely you would fire from the hip anyway. At least I think I would with a shotgun, with a pistol I'd point/aim but in a house I would think a shotgun wouldn't have to be aimed. Just my opinion.
Try shooting the shotgun load of your choice at 15-20 feet--room distance--and see what sort of pattern it makes. You may be surprised how small the pattern will be.
 

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Let me just offer a contrary solution...

Many of the reduced recoil 2 3/4" 12 ga loads feature eight (8) 00 pellets.

The 3" .410 is available with five (5) 000 pellets at nominally similar velocity (1200 vs 1125 fps).

How about a good 3" .410 pump?
 

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I shoot a buffered load from a SxS. the buffer has never been a problem. The same can be said from a pump. I also shoot #4 Buck because it gives me a more coyote size pattern at 35 yards. [ the length of my yard]. If you move to a smaller shell you might also consider smaller shot to up the number of pellets. I load a 1 oz load of #4 buck at 1200 fps. It feels the same at the shoulder as a 1 oz load of bird shot at 1200 fps. DR
 

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@G26Raven, I use 2 3/4" #4BK in my Mossy 590 pump-action. The 590 is heavy and soaks up recoil nicely. I use #4 buck in an effort to mitigate the risk that a round could go through a couple of walls and into the neighbors' house (Primary reason the 30-30 is in the safe and the Mossy stands watch--I sort like my neighbors. :wink:).

I do think that my Browning autoloader is even better at soaking up recoil, but that one is a long barreled shotgun and not suitable for indoors use. You might see if you can try shooting an auto vs a heavier pump to evaluate either or any for your needs and tolerances.

There are some reduce recoil loads out there in 00 buck, but I haven't seen any in #4.

I've toyed with the idea of reloading shotgun ammo for use in Trap shooting, and it occurs to me that I could then develop my own #4 Buck loads for varmint control. Such a load would probably end up being a softer "-P" load. Haven't made that leap yet.

Just a couple thoughts, good luck on your search! :hand10:
 

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I shoot a buffered load from a SxS. the buffer has never been a problem. The same can be said from a pump. I also shoot #4 Buck because it gives me a more coyote size pattern at 35 yards. [ the length of my yard]. If you move to a smaller shell you might also consider smaller shot to up the number of pellets. I load a 1 oz load of #4 buck at 1200 fps. It feels the same at the shoulder as a 1 oz load of bird shot at 1200 fps. DR

DR was ahead of me. This ^^^ is what I'd like to do myself.
 
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