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 Post subject: Advice for how to try more shotguns, and ? on pellet count
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 6:28 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2020 5:51 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Irving, TX
I'm a new shooter and new user of the site, please forgive any mistakes.

My wife and I recently took up shotgun sports
- we're in the DFW area and we go to Elm Fork and shoot clays.

Its been fun so far.

We've rented some guns to get a feel for various gauges/actions/brands/sizes/etc.
Have rented at both Elm Fork and Alpine.

Our first rental was a 28 ga Beretta A400 - we thought that kicked wicked hard.
I in fact got a bruise from it (which, could be as much bad technique as anything).
Based on that experience, we decided to buy a .410 for the much lower recoil.
BassPro has a bunch of Franchi Aspire O/Us new in box for < $1k so we picked one up
- and, my wife really likes it.

I think that the Aspire doesn't fit me very well, and so now that we've shot over a
hundred rounds, we are looking to get another gun - 12 or 20 this time - and we only
intend to shoot clay sports. Also, we intend to only use the Winchester AA Low Recoil
Low Noise (980 fps) shells until such time as we feel we've got excellent fundamentals
and are ready to use the more standard 1200 fps shells.

Guns we've rented / shot:
12ga SuperNova - I thought it fit/shot well, surprised I didn't mind the weight (~ 15 shots)
20ga Beretta AL391 - wasn't a big fan, it didn't cycle the shells (no surprise).
20ga M2 Compact - cycled the shells, hard to tell much else, it was way too short.
20ga Weatherby SA08 Compact - didn't cycle the shells, hard to tell much else.
20ga Left Handed Remington 870 - didn't like and it didn't seem fit me well.
I do not like it when the recoil pad is noticeably curved or when the toe is pointy (at all).

Would love to rent other guns to try here in DFW - or borrow / etc - seems like we may
have already gone through all of the ones that are readily available.

Any suggestions on how / where to shoot other guns we have not yet tried?
Might there be other shooters in the area that might be willing to meet up and
make some sort of trade/arrangement to try out their guns for a few shots each?

Also - I've cut open at least one shell for each of the .410 loads we've been using,
and based on my counts, each of the shells is mislabeled in that - if it says its a load of
1/2 oz of #9 - I only get 240 pellets - and that seems like what you should get for #8.5.
This has been true of all the .410 shells that I've purchased (Remington, Winchester, etc).
Each of the shells seems to have a load appropriate for 1/2 a size down from marked.
Am I counting wrong? Is this unusual? Should I count some more and if they all turn out
that way should I write someone or file a complaint?

Looking forward to your responses!




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 Post subject: Re: Advice for how to try more shotguns, and ? on pellet cou
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 7:41 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
Posts: 5153
Location: Hemingway, S.C. 29554
Can't help much with the guns as I'm not familiar with any of them other than knowing basically what they are. You seem to be headed in the right direction. I would stick with the ones you shoot the best. You might try talking to a stock fitter. A small amount of change can make a big difference in how a gun fits. It is not uncommon for the shot size to be off a little. A reloading scale will give you the weight of the shot charge. I would guess somebody around a clay bird shooting range could help you with that.


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 Post subject: Re: Advice for how to try more shotguns, and ? on pellet cou
PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2020 6:07 am 
Diamond Grade
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jul 07, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 1592
Location: Acton, CA
There's not much difference in #9 and 8.5 shot, #9 = .080", #8.5 = .085".
Weigh the shot, 1/2oz should be 218.75 grains, ± a few grains is normal.

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"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed"


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 Post subject: Re: Advice for how to try more shotguns, and ? on pellet cou
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:38 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 5:58 pm
Posts: 1408
Location: Oklahoma
tx -- It is normal for in-shell pellet counts and weights to vary from shot charts. The voluntary industry standards are listed below.

Sporting Arms and Manufacturers Institute (SAAMI) has voluntary industry standards published in the American National Standards which include:

1) Pellet size variations allow for +/- one pellet size (+/- .010" dia.) of variation in “game” loads and +/- ½ pellet size (+/- .005" dia.) of variation in “target” loads,

2) Load weight variations can range from +4% to -7% in game loads and +3% to -5% in target loads,

3) Pellet counts per ounce can vary by +/- 10% for both game and target loads, and

4) Load velocity can vary by +/- 90 fps for both game and target loads.

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Advice for how to try more shotguns, and ? on pellet cou
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:57 am 
*Proud to be a*
*Proud to be a*

Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 8:03 pm
Posts: 4057
Location: Mid-Missouri
Your description of excessive recoil, the bruising and the failure for some autos to cycle all make me wonder if you're shouldering the guns correctly. Have you received any instruction? It's possible all of your issues are related to improper technique. All of it sounds like what happens when you don't hold the gun firmly against your shoulder.

First thing I would do is seek some help on your shooting form. Either formal instruction or at least seek advice from somebody experienced who can watch you shoot.

As for the guns . . .

On a lark, and just so you can say you did . . . I suggest you rent a over/under. Preferably 12 gauge, but 20 gauge if you're apprehensive (though, honestly, 20 gauge guns often "kick" as much or more than 12 gauge guns).

You may find that the weight and size of a 12 gauge over/under are just the ticket for taming recoil. There may be a reason they're so popular among target shooters.

If nothing else, your ammo cost will be considerably less if you go 12/20 instead of 28/410 . . . unless, of course, you intend to take up reloading. You also won't have feeding issues with an o/u.


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 Post subject: Re: Advice for how to try more shotguns, and ? on pellet cou
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 9:07 am 
Utility Grade

Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2020 5:51 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Irving, TX
@bladeswitcher: am I shouldering the gun properly? and why don't the gas guns cycle

I'm certain that my technique is less than ideal, and the day we rented the 28ga A400 was the first time we ever used a shotgun. So certainly likely that many factors were at play, including my lack of experience. Elm Fork has a crew of instructors that help out all new shooters - so, we got some free instruction that day, and on subsequent outings.

Also - I've been using the AA Low Recoil/Low Noise 980fps loads in all of the guns we rent/try. That load is likely not able to cycle a lot of guns. So - I may have a technique problem, but its most likely the shells I'm feeding the guns. And I've been using those shells because for the moment, I intend to use that load while I'm still new and learning and perfecting my technique.

Will take your suggestion and rent a 12 or 20 O/U next time out.

If anyone has top notch instructors they can recommend in the DFW area - would love to hear about them.

@ceh383 / @joe hunter - thanks for the info on the allowable tolerances/variations. I'll keep all of that in mind going forward.

I've seen people mention on the boards here that the Nationals in October down in San Antonio have a row of manufacturers and that people are able to demo a few shots. Is that open to the public, or just to participants? For anyone that has been, do the manufacturers bring their full catalog with them or are the demo guns mostly O/U that one might expect the participants to be using? Or would there also be pumps and gas and inertia guns as well?


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 Post subject: Re: Advice for how to try more shotguns, and ? on pellet cou
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:21 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Mon May 20, 2019 9:53 am
Posts: 1264
I wonder how much of the recoil/kick you are perceiving is noise (for example the 'ker chunk' of a gas auto) vs actual recoil into your shoulder. I do think getting someone to check your form ASAP is a good idea. Based on what i've read in your post i'd take a guess that you guys are not leaning into the gun but rather standing erect and square to the target with your upper half leaning somewhat back to shoulder the gun. This increases perceived recoil quite a bit.

Instead you should have your body at around 45 degrees to the target and be leaning into the gun. try putting more weight on the front foot as well. say 60/40 front/back. this may not be 100% correct form but will help reinforce leaning into the gun and not back from it.

On the subject of coaching i think there is the very basic 'here's how you mount and stand with the gun to address a target' and then there is the 'how do i master those curling outgoing targets' type of coaching. Most any experienced clays shooter can help you with the former. It's the latter where i think seeking out the best can pay off.


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 Post subject: Re: Advice for how to try more shotguns, and ? on pellet cou
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:16 pm 
*Proud to be a*
*Proud to be a*

Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 8:03 pm
Posts: 4057
Location: Mid-Missouri
tx.2ad wrote:
@bladeswitcher: am I shouldering the gun properly? and why don't the gas guns cycle


No offence intended. But not leaning forward and not pulling the gun snuggly against your shoulder would produce excessive recoil, failures to cycle and bruising. The fact that you’re bothered by the recoil of a 28 gauge indicates that you are either unusually sensitive to recoil or you or the guns are doing something wrong. Are you normally excessively pain-sensitive? BTW, I’m not being flippant. It’s a serious question. Is there some medical or physical limitations you haven’t mentioned?


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 Post subject: Re: Advice for how to try more shotguns
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2020 4:19 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2020 5:51 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Irving, TX
Bladeswitcher wrote:
tx.2ad wrote:
@bladeswitcher: am I shouldering the gun properly? and why don't the gas guns cycle


No offence intended. ...


No offense taken. I'm happy to get advice from anyone willing to share.

The first shotgun I ever used was the 28ga A400 - clearly, I didn't have much idea of what to do, and I believe that the free instruction provided by the facility while very well intentioned may not be of very high quality. So - lets possibly chalk up the bruise and our thinking that "man that gun really kicks" to inexperience as much to the fact that - that gun weighs a LOT less than the .410 we use and it probably just kicks like a mule.

I would *NOT* have expected that I would be sensitive to recoil. I've played hockey all my life (but not in a couple of years now); I played some football as a kid; etc. My wife - I might have expected her to be recoil sensitive.

The most recent rental was the 12ga SuperNova pump - and, I thought that gun was easy to shoot and it seemed like I was effective enough with it. The gun is listed at 8lbs. The weight and the ComfortTech system seem to do the trick and make for a pleasant gun to shoot for me. I think that gun also fit me a lot better than any of the other guns that I've shot so far.

In between the 28ga rental and the 12ga rental - I've put say, 300+ rounds through our .410. If I were to go back and rent the 28ga again - I hope I wouldn't get a bruise, but I suspect that I would think it kicked too much to be "pleasant" to shoot, and I don't know if I would feel that it fit me well or not.

The 20ga rentals turned out to be youth, but I didn't realize that until after we'd handed over the money and gotten outside to use them. They were not the right size for either of us, not a surprise there.

Using our .410 - I've run both 1/2 oz and 3/4 oz loads through it. I think that gun is a less than perfect setup for me and the increase in "kick" to my shoulder is both immediately noticeable and very tiresome after an entire box of shells when comparing the 3/4 oz loads to the 1/2 oz loads. I could shoot the 1/2 oz loads non stop all day long no problem.

I do attempt to lean into each shot. Am I pulling off even a mildly passable technique - I don't know. The instructor at the range seems to think we're doing a passable job (though, I can see that my wife has a clear tendency to lean back quite a bit). I'm happy to pick up a book or watch some videos or take additional advice on all of the fundamentals (stance, mount, everything).


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 Post subject: Re: Advice for how to try more shotguns, and ? on pellet cou
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2020 4:45 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Mon May 20, 2019 9:53 am
Posts: 1264
something is out of kilter with your form if a 410 is proving unpleasant. i have a 5lb 410 sxs that, even with 3" 11/16 loads, is plenty comfy.

or it may be that you just need to suck it up and get used to the feel. however i don't think that's what is going on. get that butt in tight to the shoulder.


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 Post subject: Re: Advice for how to try more shotguns, and ? on pellet cou
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 3:42 pm 
*Proud to be a*
*Proud to be a*

Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2003 4:23 pm
Posts: 5606
Location: Brillion, WI-25 mls S of Green Bay
I too strongly suspect that one or more elements of your shooting form (gun mount, stance, weight distribution, head/neck/ body posture( are causing the felt recoil issues that you are experiencing.

The elements I suspect the most are your gun mount, head, neck and body posture and your weight distribution.

I suggest that you find an instructor who will teach you and your wife how to use a good shooting form. He or she will also advise how well or poorly, the gun that you are using at the time, "fits" you and your wife.

Fit describes how the gun's weight and stock dimensions allow or prevent your using a good shooting form, which, incidentally, has a significant effect on perceived or felt recoil you will experience.

Once you know how to use a good shooting form, assuming that the gun you are shooting allows it, you should experience significantly less felt recoil.

Also, unless you and your wife are about the same height and weight, one gun will not fit both of you equally well. Women, generally, need different stock dimensions (there are five primary dinemsions) to be well fitted.



_________________
Rollin

Author of "Stock Fitter's Bible, Second Edition," which explains the interrelationships between shooting form, stock dimensions and a shooter's size and shape http://www.amazon.com/Stock-Fitters-Bible-Second-Edition/dp/1451570384


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