Recoil Reducing Build For Trap?

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tihshho
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Recoil Reducing Build For Trap?

Post by tihshho » Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:53 pm

In the process of building my 870 Tac my girlfriend has started to understand how simple a majority of this work is to customize and replace parts on my 870. She's been coming to the trap range with a friend and I, but her main issue is that we can't find something comfortable for fit as well as recoil. She likes the fit and feel of my 870 Express with the 28" ribbed barrel and she said it just needed to be shorter, but she prefers the kick of my buddies 20 gauge H&R Topper. She fired the 12 gauges like a champ, but she seemed to be more focused on the clay's with the 20 since she wasn't distracted expecting a 12 gauge kick.

Standing at 5'2" I figured she could get away with something with a 12" LOP, but I wasn't sure if there was a way to reduce recoil with 12 gauge to the point it feels like a 20 with a piston style stock. I figured the best of both worlds would be to pick her up a 20 gauge (not tell her) and a bunch of parts and have her help me assemble it and at the end say "this is your new trap shotgun!" but I know furniture is limited for the modern slim frames.

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Synchronizor
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Re: Recoil Reducing Build For Trap?

Post by Synchronizor » Tue Jan 12, 2016 6:52 am

Funny you bring this up; I'm in the middle of making a video explaining recoil in detail.

Bore size is not a factor in recoil, there's nothing magical about the 20ga that makes it inherently softer-shooting than the 12. Actual free recoil energy is proportional to the square of the payload's momentum (mass^2 x velocity^2), and inversely proportional to the gun's mass. Those are the only significant variables in the equation.

The reason the 20ga gun is less punishing for your girlfriend to shoot is because 20ga target shells fire less shot then 12ga trap shells. 7/8-ounce is typical for 20ga target shells, while 1 1/8-ounces is the common payload for 12ga trap (these shot weights are common enough that I'm making the assumption that that's what y'all were shooting; if I'm wrong, let me know). If she likes the recoil level of a 7/8-ounce 20ga load, have her try your 870 with some 7/8-ounce 12ga loads - they'll be even softer-shooting since the 12ga gun has more mass. You can take that even farther by adding weight to the 870. Dedicated trap shotguns are often quite heavy - 9 pounds or more - in order to soak up recoil during long shooting sessions and steady the gun's movement.

As for felt recoil, what recoil pad does your 870 currently wear? If it's one of those solid rubber numbers, you can really take the edge off the gun's kick by installing an improved recoil pad like the Remington SuperCell. The recoil will be the same, but the gun's interaction with the shoulder will be much less harsh, and that can make all the difference. Not everyone likes spring-loaded stocks or pistol grips, and you said your gun fits your girlfriend pretty well as-is, so if your gun does have one of those crappy rubber pads, I'd try the $25 recoil pad upgrade before taking an expensive gamble on a complicated aftermarket stock. Between that and lower-recoiling shells, she should be good to go, and you two can spend what you saved on shells and range fees.

tihshho
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Re: Recoil Reducing Build For Trap?

Post by tihshho » Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:47 pm

Yay equations! I'm an Engineer, so if you can support a description with math then I'm all for it. Mass (of the shotgun) is also an issue for her. She likes how the 870 Express feels in hand, but she did say it was heavy. She like the H&R for the weight. Honestly, I'm not sure she knows exactly what she's saying because she then followed up with she likes the look of the wood on the H&R... I have no idea honestly, but she did say that the 12 somewhat hurt to shoot. I do have a standard pad on it and on another thread you commented about the super cell. It's on my list for my next parts order for sure.

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Re: Recoil Reducing Build For Trap?

Post by Synchronizor » Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:46 am

Do you know the respective weights of the two guns? Also, total weight can be secondary to how that weight is distributed. A large-frame 870 with a 28" barrel is a pretty long gun, and a 5'2" shooter without a lot of experience might find it tough to balance. The instinctive reaction to a front-heavy gun is to lean the torso back to counteract it, which does nothing to help recoil management.

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tihshho
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Re: Recoil Reducing Build For Trap?

Post by tihshho » Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:29 am

I've been shooting trap for a good few years. I showed her how to hold the shotgun as well as leaning into the shotgun. She leans forward like the second picture, but come to think of it I think she moved her arm like the first right before the shot.

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Re: Recoil Reducing Build For Trap?

Post by Scorpion8 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:52 am

I use the 1-oz loads in my 870 Express Synthetic and like them a lot better than the 1-1/8-oz loads as far as recoil. I'll look for some 7/8-oz loads, but don't think I've seen them in 12-GA.
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John A.
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Re: Recoil Reducing Build For Trap?

Post by John A. » Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:15 pm

I enjoyed reading this topic so far. So many good points in it.

Lots of good points.

I would like to try to add some to the discussion if I may.

A 7/8 oz payload doesn't take as much energy as a 1-1/8 oz payload. But they are often loaded with a little more powder at the same time. This seems contradictive but it is often true.

Why? Because a 1-1/4 oz shot is going to physically take up more room inside of the hull. That means there is less room for powder.

Also, the 1-1/8 oz payload is going to be a slower velocity between the two as well because of, or perhaps in spite of having less powder. So, recoil IMPULSE is also going to be in play some too. Because the heavier payload takes a longer duration than the 7/8 oz shot to be over with.

Buy her a shorter barrel at bare minimum. At least with this, will let her shoot more controlled and as she should.

When you were growing up, did you shoot long guns? Do you ever remember struggling to hold up the end of the muzzle trying to get on target? Well, that sounds like where she's at still. No put down. Just that we're all limited to what we can physically do.

One example, I still don't like to shoot my uncles old 32 inch barreled H&R single shot. With a #4 Remington nitro mag, I have seen it knock grown men down. I do not understand why or how that gun can possibly kick as hard as it does, but I'm telling you, if you ever shot it, I put money that you wouldn't make it to the fourth shell in your pouch before you hand it back. I don't mean a little kick either. It kicks hard enough to adle you and will knock your hat and glasses off.

You don't need a long barrel on a shotgun these days anyway and it doesn't add anything. I've said that for years.

Long barrels were advantageous when we were still using black powder because it allowed it to build more pressure (than the short ones).

That's not even so much of a consideration these days with modern smokeless powders because they all burn out within about 16 inchces of barrel.

So, having a longer barrel is not going to make it shoot with more velocity, and with interchangeable chokes that we have today (or even a good fixed choke), a long barrel isn't going to make one shoot any more or less accurately than a shorter one either.

Heck, an 18-22 inch barrel is near perfect for what and how and where I hunt.

Plenty of good 20 gauge options out there too. Most of them are between 7/8-1-1/8 oz payloads right out of the gate without having to shop around trying to find light 12 gauge loads.

I still stand by my "find a shorter barrel" for her to use regardless of which you go with.
When people ignorant of guns make gun laws, you have ignorant gun laws.
-John A.

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