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Which Autos don't mind lighter loads?

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    Hi, can I ask for a bit of gun advice.

    I took my 14 year old son out clay shooting for the first time on Sunday.

    He has previously had a lesson using a Beretta O/U, he is a tall chap 6'1" but still fairly light and flinched quite a bit with recoil so I hired a Club SKB O/U and brought 50 21g cartridges. I thought he would only shoot 50 birds but he kept going and had to change to 24g (I use them in my SxS).

    I know half of recoil is in the head but he started raising his head again so we changed him to a friends Remington 11-87 which he loved and his score started going up.

    I'm now thinking of buying a Semi-Auto (despite my safety worries) but which will cycle lighter loads?

    He is left handed but didn't mind the ejected cases, he will probably grow to 6foot 6 in the next few years, he isn't keen on camo finishes, what should I look at? cheap is good!

    I'm sure the other members of the SxS club will emphasise with my distress,my first-born and only son is turning to the Dark Side ( I was hoping he would like my AYA No.3 so I could go shopping for a No.2).

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    Can't go wrong with an A303, mine will cycle 24's all day long. Being a 30" sporter it swings through nicely and soaks up the recoil well. 

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    Posted (edited)

    I had a Beretta 391  28" barrel, that would cycle anything from 21 gram upwards. Plenty available S/H and well made , also agree that the 303 would be similar choice.

     

    You need a gas operated semi as the Benelli inertia action typically will not cycle the light loads.

    Edited by Gameking

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    Posted (edited)

    hello, if you son found his friends 11/87 ideal find out which model and buy that one, you do not say where you are in uk but theres a few on gun trader, you say cheap then a second hand Armsan 612 left hander

    Edited by oldypigeonpopper

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    Firstly recoil is not really half in the head, it is very real and its effects are cumulative so even people who start off saying they never ever feel recoil will eventually succumb to it one way or the other IF they shoot enough volume and most certainly way too soon if they don't take it seriously. I have a 6'2" mate who by any standard is on the well built side and over several years insisted on shooting guns with a plastic butt plate or at best very thin pads despite my repeated warnings (it is after all extremely cheap to fit half decent pads as a first resort), sadly he's now been suffering recoil pain in his shoulders for many months. 

    I fear at least part of your young lad's "problem" is not yet knowing exactly how to hold, anticipate and ride the recoil, having said that I commend you for taking it seriously enough to want to help him with light loads as well as a semi automatic. 

    Almost any modern new make of semi auto will handle 24g loads easily enough, some can be made to digest 21g load with a bit of fettling,  the advice I will give though is that a good, heavy OU can be softer to shoot 28g loads through than a light semi with 24g loads, in other words nothing is black and white, everything is relative, the ratio between cartridge speed, cartridge lead weight, the guns weight, the guns firing cycle (gas operated semi's have a distinct advantage here BUT which can be negated by their light weight), etc, etc, is critical. Whether the gun is fitted with a decent recoil pad and/or an actual recoil reducer will have a huge impact on the fatigue felt by the shooter after a box or five. 

    I would go to a gun shop and get him to try a few used and new ones for size to see how he likes them in dry mode, ask for advice regarding those guns suitability for flawless operation with 24 or 21g loads but make sure the gun you choose is hefty enough to begin with, a 6'1" lad should have no trouble wielding a 7-1/2 lbs + semi, if at all possible and within budget get a RecoilSystem Green or Sorbothane pad fitted, if at all possible buy him a semi that incorporates a mechanical recoil reduction device, I have shot dozens and owned a few, the softest semi  I have ever shot is the Beretta A400 Xcel with a recoil device in the stock, even with 28g loads the recoil is almost absurdly low, I have a feeling the Remington equivalent would be every bit as good recoil wise but probably less so in reliability. 

     

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    Beretta  391 urika gas gun will shoot all loads down to 21 grams .  I have had one for years and carnt fault it . They are designed to shoot all loads .

    harnser

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    I can't comment on any semi autos as I don't use one.  However - your son is tall, and therefore presumably has long(ish) arms?  Recoil is made much worse when the gun is too short - and I think you should go and see a gun fitter/coach.

    Buying a low recoil gun (like a semi auto) may cure the immediate symptoms, but you need really to address the cause - and it is quite possible that may be in the fit.  A normal 7 1/2 lb or more 12 bore with 21g loads shouldn't be too much for a 6 footer if it fits OK.

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    As above, I had a 303 and now have a 391, both shoot light loads well.

    Just don't get a Hatsan, they don't like light or short carts generally!

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    If you want cheap the Armsan left handed A620 is a good buy they're also based on the Beretta semi auto.

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    If you want to cycle  light loads go for any gas operated semi, Hatsan,, Beretta, Remington 1100 (and derivatives) and Winchester. Steer clear of inertia cycling semis as these require sufficient energy in the cartridge to cycle them and also a firm bed for them to react against. 

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    Why not get a Remington 11-87 if you got on with one? 

    I have an 1187 premier and it’s brilliant. 

    Lots of people use them for practical shotgun because they were so well built before benelli came on the scene. 

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    Posted (edited)
    2 hours ago, figgy said:

    If you want cheap the Armsan left handed A620 is a good buy they're also based on the Beretta semi auto.

    I would disagree with this statement because every Beretta semi I have stripped is nothing like the Armsan at all. Arguably Remington in 1956 released the first commercially available gas operated semi auto shotgun, it was the model 58 and the design eventually went into the 1100 and 1187 so perhaps it would be truer to say they are based on a design that originally came from Remington? 

    Edited by sportsbob

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    5 hours ago, Hamster said:

    Firstly recoil is not really half in the head, it is very real and its effects are cumulative so even people who start off saying they never ever feel recoil will eventually succumb to it one way or the other IF they shoot enough volume and most certainly way too soon if they don't take it seriously. I have a 6'2" mate who by any standard is on the well built side and over several years insisted on shooting guns with a plastic butt plate or at best very thin pads despite my repeated warnings (it is after all extremely cheap to fit half decent pads as a first resort), sadly he's now been suffering recoil pain in his shoulders for many months. 

    I fear at least part of your young lad's "problem" is not yet knowing exactly how to hold, anticipate and ride the recoil, having said that I commend you for taking it seriously enough to want to help him with light loads as well as a semi automatic. 

    Almost any modern new make of semi auto will handle 24g loads easily enough, some can be made to digest 21g load with a bit of fettling,  the advice I will give though is that a good, heavy OU can be softer to shoot 28g loads through than a light semi with 24g loads, in other words nothing is black and white, everything is relative, the ratio between cartridge speed, cartridge lead weight, the guns weight, the guns firing cycle (gas operated semi's have a distinct advantage here BUT which can be negated by their light weight), etc, etc, is critical. Whether the gun is fitted with a decent recoil pad and/or an actual recoil reducer will have a huge impact on the fatigue felt by the shooter after a box or five. 

    I would go to a gun shop and get him to try a few used and new ones for size to see how he likes them in dry mode, ask for advice regarding those guns suitability for flawless operation with 24 or 21g loads but make sure the gun you choose is hefty enough to begin with, a 6'1" lad should have no trouble wielding a 7-1/2 lbs + semi, if at all possible and within budget get a RecoilSystem Green or Sorbothane pad fitted, if at all possible buy him a semi that incorporates a mechanical recoil reduction device, I have shot dozens and owned a few, the softest semi  I have ever shot is the Beretta A400 Xcel with a recoil device in the stock, even with 28g loads the recoil is almost absurdly low, I have a feeling the Remington equivalent would be every bit as good recoil wise but probably less so in reliability. 

     

    This. 

    If the ou fits (sounds like it might be a bit short so worth checking) try some 21g comp x in it. They are the sofest carts I've ever shot, the wife loved them through the lanber as you felt almost nothing. 

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    A Remington 1100/11-87 is light on recoil not only because it's a semi but surely because it weighs around 8lbs comparable with an over/under.

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    9 minutes ago, Brodie said:

    A Remington 1100/11-87 is light on recoil not only because it's a semi but surely because it weighs around 8lbs comparable with an over/under.

    Absolutely, they are not mutually exclusive!

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    Getting back to the OP and his son, firstly, how great that he has an interest in the sport and is prepared to try different tools for the job. I would be inclined to see where his preferences take him. While the above comments are full of merit, there seems some element of pushing to certain types of shotgun based on personal bias or choice (lets hope the boy doesn't want a pump!! heaven forbid 🤣) I think its great that his father has got him involved, he will no doubt have many shooting colleagues who will be delighted to let the boy try out their pride and joy. He is a very tall lad and will no doubt grow taller as well as fill out, an expensive gun now would possibly be a little extravagant. 14 year olds know what they want and a budget gun of his own now would give him something to maintain, clean and look after as well as shoot. A session with a coach would seem useful. As he gets older (bigger) and more involved, fitting would then, in my opinion be more appropriate. 

    Whatever, its great that he's shooting, its up to us to get the next generation involved. For what its worth my three grown up daughters are only casual clay shooters and we meet for a family shoot now and then, they all prefer my semi autos and hate my pumps and SxS's. I no longer have an O/U but they didn't like that either

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    Posted (edited)
    23 hours ago, Gameking said:

    I had a Beretta 391  28" barrel, that would cycle anything from 21 gram upwards. Plenty available S/H and well made , also agree that the 303 would be similar choice.

     

    You need a gas operated semi as the Benelli inertia action typically will not cycle the light loads.

    I have a 391, it's well worn in and will cycle 21gm upwards, when clean and treated to a thin layer of Castrol fully Synthetic.  I'm left handed and with the relevant cast spacers in it fits me well. I also use a 30" 686 with 21gm Hull Comp X and there's very little recoil.

    I also have a beneli mancino and the inertia operated gun will consistently cycle 28gm but will Jam on most shells under this weight.

    As others have suggested the fit may be the route cause of the issue.

    Edited by shalfordninja33

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    Franchi raptor 712,will cycle any load and never jams,best and last semi I will have.

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    I have a Maxus and A391 Extrema, no issues with either on lighter loads, except when I've put say 80 to 90 through, the A391 especially can have a few hang ups, but that's just down to grime build up from the previous shots I suspect.

    Keep them well maintained and you shouldn't have any issues really.

     

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    Although all the above has been good advice for autos as you asked in the thread

    But you are missing a fundamental element

    Your son has just started shooting for the first time and he has shot  50 plus cartidges with an o/u which he is not used to and probably does'nt fit him which is probably why he was lifting his head

    I personaly would not introduce a starter with a semi auto ( obviously the safety aspect apart ) But a young starter should be introduced with a two barrel gun whether sxs or o/u

    He/she has only two shots to make a kill eject and reload (a semi will make them less diligent ) and remember that if things progress One cannot take a semi onto live game driven days

    Or even clay days unless it is a semi auto clay day

    I was brought up with 12g sxs and the first gun i purchased when i got my sgc as a 15yr old was a single barrel BSA snipe 12g ( £15.00 ) and that teaches one how to shoot as one has only one shot plus i used my fathers belgium sxs hammer 12g

    Take your son to some dealers and try a few guns and see what fits ( a good rfd will fit the gun to suit ) They will be more than accommodating as a young lad starting off is their future investment

    He's a tall lad so alot of guns will fit him and introduce him to various make and size cartidges that suit his light statue

    Take him out and shoot a few pigeon  Crows  rabbits in an inviroment where he is not shooting loads of cartridges all off in one go But whereby he learns what these weapons  are about and what they are for and what they are capable of

    Edited by sabel25

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    7 hours ago, sabel25 said:

    I was brought up with 12g sxs and the first gun i purchased when i got my sgc as a 15yr old was a single barrel BSA snipe 12g ( £15.00 )

    Mine was a BSA single XII for £30 I must have been overcharged!

     

    7 hours ago, sabel25 said:

    He/she has only two shots to make a kill eject and reload (a semi will make them less diligent ) and remember that if things progress One cannot take a semi onto live game driven days
     

    Funnily enough I saw him do something I've not noticed an adult do, shooting at a pair he didn't fire the second barrel because he knew he  would miss.

    As to the Social Acceptance of SemiAutos, on Clays down here 20% of shooters use them,  when I was growing up O/Us were a bit non U for game now SXS users are seen as eccentrics. How things change.

     

    Thank you for the advice everyone I'm going to get him to try as many guns as possible  for feel and fit. It seems newer Gas Semi Autos are the best bet to cycle 24g Cartridges.

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