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I've been shooting my shotguns a lot lately, mostly experimenting with different loads, well, the one's I can find, and some are pretty potent, e.g. Winchester SuperX 3" 1 oz slug at 1760 fps, and surprizingly the one that seems to recoil hardest, is not the aforementioned one but a Federal Maximum 1-1/4 oz slug at 1520 fps.

It is interesting that between the two, the 'awesome' Winchester 1 oz at 1760 fps has an energy of 3006 ft-lbs and the Federal 1-1/4 oz has an energy of 'only' 2802 ft-lbs. So why does the Federal feel like it has more recoil? Because it does! The answer is in momentum. The Winchester 1 oz has 3.416 lb-sec of momentum where the Federal 1-1/4 oz has 3.688 lb-sec of momentum. That's only an 8% difference, but it feels like more; I've noticed it everytime I've shot the two back to back and that was before I realized the difference in the physics, so I wasn't 'favoring' anything. Also, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the Federal is firing closer to spec than the Winchester out of my 18.5" barrel. I think I'm feeling more than 8% difference.

Well, enough drift, back to the topic at hand.

Soooo, I shoot 30 - 50 rounds each time I shoot, various loads, not just the 'heavy' stuff, usually a combination of heavy slugs and buckshot and some birdshot. Lately, I've been shooting either a Benelli M2 or M4. Yesterday I shot the M4 and here's where the problem arises.

I noticed yesterday afternoon, some discomfort in back of my shoulder and the side of my neck, kinda like one of those 'cricks' , mild, but ever present. Then there's some muscle/ligament tenderness on the top, outside 'point' of my shoulder. I'm not experiencing bruising or muscle soreness from shooting the shotgun, that's only from the bow.

I'm becoming concerned that this may be an accumulative injury from shotgunning, especially with heavy loads. Of course my bow shooting may be contributing to the issue too. I may have done too much too quickly. Hopefully I just need a rest.

I have a hard time 'throttling' myself back. What starts out with every intention as 24 bow shots (6 arrows x 4) winds up being double that. Shotgunning is not as bad, as I only take the ammo I intend to shoot - well sort of sometimes.

So far, I've backed off on the bow - no shooting for a week, and I think I'll shoot reduced recoil loads through my shotguns and see how things go.

I dearly love shotguns and love shooting them, especially some of those 'bigger' loads. I'll probably try out some of those loads when I go hog hunting in May if that materializes. So, if it's the loads causing the problem, I'm gonna be really disappointed.

I hope some of you are going to read this and realize I'm doing something wrong that I can adjust and keep shooting.

FWIW, I'm just under 6 feet tall, right at 185 lbs, climb trees for fun and exercise, so it's not like I'm inactive or a couch potatoe. The problem may be that I'm 67 years old, but I really don't look it and I've still got good muscle strength and tone, but none of that helps aging joints and I guess my real concern is that if this soreness continues, it could lead to more permanent problems.

OK, tell me what I want to hear :tongue:
 

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I think the best advice would be to talk to your doctor. We cannot diagnose you over the Internet!

Feel better!
 

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I think the best advice would be to talk to your doctor. We cannot diagnose you over the Internet!

Feel better!
True, but there are likely those that have experienced this, have taught shooters that have experienced this, or similar things that have a common solution that pertains more to shotgun technique than a medical problem. I'm not sure a doctor could diagnose shooting issues that cause the problem.
 

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Tangle,

Take a lesson from foot ball. They square up and drive the other guy backwards. So, try squaring the shoulders up more and move the butt stock out of the pocket and onto the pec with centerline of bore under the dominant eye. :image035:

This pic below is not a shotty, but the presentation is exactly the same. We're having good results with entry team guys running both the shotty and the M4's. You may have to shorten the stock a bit, depends.



 

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Do everything you want to do, but moderation is the key. I have the same issue in the gym. I lift too heavy before I am really prepared. Just because you can do something, doesnt mean you are fully prepared to do it.
 

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Hope you feel better soon. Getting older sucks but it does beat the heck out of the alternative.
 

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Tangle, you didn't mention this in your post, but if you're shooting those heavy loads from the bench, nearly all the recoil is directed at your shoulder and back, from the waist up. That's a sure recipe for aching body parts! Shooting from a standing position allows your legs and the full mass of your body to be engaged in resisting the recoil.

Also, a tip from a guy who spent too long dealing with crippling back pain (but better now) - stay ahead of the pain. Give your body a chance to recover, then work back into the bow and heavy loads gradually. Pain is a reaction to inflammation and creates its own set of adverse body reactions, so using Advil or your NSAI of choice in anticipation of painful activities is also a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Tangle,

Take a lesson from foot ball. They square up and drive the other guy backwards. So, try squaring the shoulders up more and move the butt stock out of the pocket and onto the pec with centerline of bore under the dominant eye. :image035:
Yep, I've been working with that for a while, but drifted back to the pocket thing.

I have to say the 'pec' position has a physics advantage. When a hard recoiling gun is in the pocket there is a significant increase in the 'torque arm' length which will impart significant twist on the spine as well as knock the shoulder rearward, which is what I'm suspicious is happening to me because I'm mounting the gun in the pocket. I have experienced lower back discomfort after a lot of shooting and that again is a torque of the spine.

Further, the pec mount puts more mass behind the gun to handle recoil better.

...This pic below is not a shotty, but the presentation is exactly the same. We're having good results with entry team guys running both the shotty and the M4's. You may have to shorten the stock a bit, depends.
Interesting you should say that! I just recently put a shorter stock on my Benelli M4:



Do everything you want to do, but moderation is the key. I have the same issue in the gym. I lift too heavy before I am really prepared. Just because you can do something, doesnt mean you are fully prepared to do it.
Right on! I wonder how many times I've 'learned' that over the years :redface:
 
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Tangle, you didn't mention this in your post, but if you're shooting those heavy loads from the bench, nearly all the recoil is directed at your shoulder and back, from the waist up. That's a sure recipe for aching body parts! Shooting from a standing position allows your legs and the full mass of your body to be engaged in resisting the recoil.
I appreciate that - makes sense. I've been shooting from a standing position.

...Also, a tip from a guy who spent too long dealing with crippling back pain (but better now) - stay ahead of the pain. Give your body a chance to recover, then work back into the bow and heavy loads gradually. Pain is a reaction to inflammation and creates its own set of adverse body reactions, so using Advil or your NSAI of choice in anticipation of painful activities is also a good idea.
Hmmm, you must be assuming I'm a patient guy :ticking:

My wife says I'm a type A personality - I tell her that's not so - I'm an A+ type :tongue:

But yep, all good advice.

I think I was looking for some assurance that my shotgun shooting days aren't nearing an end. And, I am getting that assurance, it's the words like slow, moderation, recovery, etc. that are the problems :tongue:

Oh, I used to have chronic lower back problems myself. It stopped when I started climbing trees for fun. Well actually to rappel, then the fun became the climbing instead of the rappelling. Actually the rappelling is still fun too:

Oh, skip to the 2:51 mark, that's where the fun begins - I was so conscious of trying to keep my helmet cam focused on the rappelling device, that I nearly stuck up in the ground. I did have some mild whiplash from this.

 

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Pushups, shoulder work, military/bench press, lots of stretching, wearing a pad during shotgunning and, as others have suggested, things in moderation. Aren't a lot of other choices, really.

For me, too, there's a pretty good position near "the pocket" on the upper edge of the pecs that suits me best, allowing for withstanding the punch easily but also allowing for my shoulder to give somewhat during recoil. Too stout of a load, too many loads, or getting the positioning wrong, and I can ache for a few days. I'm sure in my younger, svelte days, it would have been less of an issue. After all ... 67 ain't nothin' to sneeze at. :gah:
 

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Your Benelli is a recoil operated right? Gas operated auto's like Remington 1100's & 1187's always seem to have more of a shove than a jolt.
Might give one of those a try.

I never feel a lot of recoil with my O/U's or S/S's but thats because I'm shooting clays & swinging as I shoot. The same loads shot static, that is not moving really really hurt!

Moderation I thnk, may be your cure.

Your 67 & climbing trees & shooting magnum shotgun slugs are your hobbies....well you sound pretty healthy to me!
 

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Sucks when the ground sneaks up on you like that. Imagine the looks at the ER when you tell them you hurt yourself rappelling out of trees :blink: - talk about lecture time.

Anyway, keep it up doing all you are doing - no sense in sitting still. Give your shoulder/back a rest and you should be fine.
 

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Your Benelli is a recoil operated right? Gas operated auto's like Remington 1100's & 1187's always seem to have more of a shove than a jolt.
Might give one of those a try.
My Benelli M2 is 'recoil' operated, i.e. inertial, and it is LIGHT! And I have shot the same loads in it, but this last time was my Benelli M4 - it's gas operated and probably about the heaviest shotgun on the market. It's handful to carry for a long outing, but the weight absorbs the recoil better. Although, I don't feel any more recoil from the light M2 than I do from the heavier M4.

The first time I shot the Winchester 3" 1 oz slug @ 1760 fps, I thought, "Huh, that's not that bad."

....Moderation I think, may be your cure.
Now see - you were doing great right up to there! I'm too old to be moderate - if I'm moderate, I'll be dead before I get done doing the things I want to do :tongue: I guess you can see why us old guys are so crotchety - we ain't got that much time left, and we don't like wastin' time waitin'!

Unfortunately, I suspect you're right though :ticking:

...You're 67 & climbing trees & shooting magnum shotgun slugs are your hobbies....well you sound pretty healthy to me!
Well, I have to do something! Bingo and crocheting seem a little slow to me.

I have become more active in team sports though! Yesterday I watched two basketball games! :tongue:
 

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Sucks when the ground sneaks up on you like that.
That is does.

I've quit watching gear and keep my eyes on the rapidly approaching ground now!

...Imagine the looks at the ER when you tell them you hurt yourself rappelling out of trees :blink: - talk about lecture time.
Hmmm, that would be humorous, well, except for the pain involved :blink:

...Anyway, keep it up doing all you are doing - no sense in sitting still. Give your shoulder/back a rest and you should be fine.
:ticking: There's that rest word again! I haven't shot since yesterday morning - how long does it take!!!

Hey thanks everybody - I am encouraged; I guess I've over done it a bit. It's just a bit intimidating to be older - I've never been older before :ticking: I don't like it!

I guess I'll take a complete break from shotgunning and/or shoot lighter loads. Also, I'll make some mounting adjustments, and see how that works. I guess it would be prudent to shoot the heavier loads in my M4 since it's a heavier shotgun and will absorb a bit more recoil.
 

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The first time I shot the Winchester 3" 1 oz slug @ 1760 fps, I thought, "Huh, that's not that bad."
Well, it was. But on the 50th round in a row, it was something else.

My guess: the answer lies somewhere in between. :wink:


Knit one, pearl two. Knit one, ... :tongue:
 

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Well, it was. But on the 50th round in a row, it was something else.
Boy you just have to spill the beans don't you :tongue:

Well, I only shoot 5 rounds of each 'heavy'. It amounts to about 15 - 20 rounds and then I run about 20 rounds of light stuff.

...Knit one, pearl two. Knit one, ... :tongue:
Oh, now that's funny ccw9mm :mad: - you know I'll get you for that! :tongue:
 

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Oh, now that's funny ccw9mm :mad: - you know I'll get you for that! :tongue:
Promises, promises. :tongue:

I'll swap you: a few rounds' saddle time with the Benelli, in exchange for a few rounds with the LCP in Buffalo Bore "togs." BOOOM. A little bruise'll do ya. Kind of the LCP/P3AT mantra, when it comes to those bad boys.
 

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...I'll swap you: a few rounds' saddle time with the Benelli, in exchange for a few rounds with the LCP in Buffalo Bore "togs." BOOOM. A little bruise'll do ya. Kind of the LCP/P3AT mantra, when it comes to those bad boys.
Hey you! We're trying to get me well, not bruised up more!

Hmmm, OTOH, it would sure beat "...Knit one, pearl two. Knit one, ... "
 

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Hey you! We're trying to get me well, not bruised up more!

Hmmm, OTOH, it would sure beat "...Knit one, pearl two. Knit one, ... "
Yeah, well. As you see, it could be worse. So what're ya grousin' about? Suck it up and be a M.A.N., man. (Oooh, I see a trip to Jo-Ann Fabrics in your near future. Tip: embroidery's easier on the fingers, for some.)
 

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Yeah, well. As you see, it could be worse. So what're ya grousin' about? Suck it up and be a M.A.N., man.
OK, now I'm startin' to worry about you now - you're enjoying this waaaay too much. Do you see the nice men in the nice white jackets with butterfly nets? :tongue:

...(Oooh, I see a trip to Jo-Ann Fabrics in your near future. Tip: embroidery's easier on the fingers, for some.)
Just great! I'll be the only guy in the world with a domestically camo'd shotgun in crochet patterns. :ticking:
 
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