Firearms | Silencers 101
How to Reduce Shotgun Recoil

How to Reduce Shotgun Recoil

How to Reduce Shotgun Recoil

Shotguns are the third most popular firearm type in the U.S., and more than half of American gun owners own a shotgun. The firearm is a favorite because it is suitable for hunting various prey and intimidating and powerful enough for home or self-defense. On the downside, the typical shotgun has more recoil than most handguns and rifles.

Fortunately, you have several ways to reduce shotgun recoil to improve your handling and accuracy, and we will tell you the best ones. However, before sharing our top shotgun recoil reduction tips, let’s clarify what recoil means and what causes it.

What Causes Recoil?

Recoil is when you fire a round, and your firearm jerks backward. It’s unavoidable if your firearm combusts propellant to launch rounds from the barrel, and what causes it is simple. Pulling the trigger releases the firing pin, which strikes the primer and ignites the propellant.

The propellant explodes and releases gases that expand and drive the bullet through the barrel and out the muzzle. The force with which the bullet and expanding gas explode from the muzzle will shove the firearm backward, which is what you experience as recoil. While recoil intensity varies between guns, you can expect more recoil when shooting rounds with a higher bullet velocity.

Recoil v. Kick

You can use recoil and kick interchangeably, but from a technical perspective, the terms have slightly different meanings. Recoil is when a gun jerks backward due to the explosive force that sends a fired round out the muzzle. On the other hand, kickback or kick is the energy transmitted back to the shooter from a fired gun. In simpler terms, kick is the pressure you feel from the butt of your gun when you fire a round.

Tips for Reducing Shotgun Recoil

You might have seen videos of shooters pulling the trigger only for the shotgun to fly out of their hands and smack their faces. Such incidents occur because the shooter cannot handle the shotgun recoil. Even if you can fire a shotgun and retain your grip, the force of the recoil jamming into your body can hurt and throw off your aim.

Fortunately, shooting your shotgun does not have to be a painful or embarrassing experience. Learn how to reduce shotgun recoil with these tips:

Reduce Gun Recoil with a Suppressor

Arguably the most convenient and effective shotgun recoil reduction tactic is to use a suppressor. Suppressors or silencers are barrel-shaped attachments that go on a gun muzzle. The attachment slows the escape of the expanding gas that explodes out of the gun, reducing the back pressure you experience as recoil.

Slowing the release of the expanding gas also muffles gunfire, making suppressors an excellent solution for making firing your shotgun less noisy. Shotgun suppressors come in various sizes, and the best quality ones can make shooting a 12-gauge shotgun a far less painful experience.


Find the Right Gun Fit

You will likely feel the recoil more if your shotgun is too bulky or long. Fortunately, you don’t need to replace your shotgun. Instead, you can learn how to fit a shotgun correctly and significantly reduce your felt recoil.

If the shotgun is too long, holding it correctly to pull the trigger and manage recoil will be a problem. Also, a too-high or short stock will make holding the stock against your cheek difficult and worsen the felt recoil.

Shotgun Fitting Basics

Before learning how to hold a shotgun to reduce recoil, verify that your firearm fits your body. A shotgun with the right fit will have a convenient length, stock height, and length of pull. The shotgun will fit snugly to your body and have an adjustable comb that you can modify.

It will also have a comfortable length of pull. If the length of pull is too long, holding the stock and firing the shotgun will feel clumsy and likely hurt your shoulder. You have the right fit when you can comfortably lay your cheek against the comb, sit the butt into your shoulder pocket, and center the shot pattern.

Choose the Right Ammo

When it comes to ammo, bigger isn’t always better. Yes, heavier ammo has more stopping power, but lighter ammo can do the job if you don’t need maximum stopping power. For instance, instead of clay shooting or small game hunting with a 12-gauge shotgun, opt for a 20-gauge that shoots smaller ammo and has less recoil. Recoil is even less when you shoot 28-gauge ammo.

Alternatively, opt for low-recoil shotgun ammo, such as ammo with a lower bullet velocity or feet-per-second (FPS) rating. A bullet rated over 1,200 FPS typically has a more aggressive recoil. You can easily find lower-rated shotgun bullets with the velocity or FPS rating clearly written on the box.

Add Weight

If you fire the same ammo from a heavy and lighter shotgun, you will feel the recoil more with the lighter shotgun. Why? Heavy guns absorb more of the recoil, dampening and lowering the recoil before it transfers to your body.

Fortunately, you don’t have to throw away your light shotgun and buy a heavier one. You can make your light shotgun heavier and minimize recoil by attaching barrel weights. For instance, adding 25% more weight to your shotgun can reduce recoil by about 20%.

However, you have to distribute the added weight evenly across your shotgun. If you place too much weight on one part, it might ruin the balance of your firearm and spoil accuracy.

Buy a Silencer and Shoot with Less Recoil

As we’ve shown, several recoil management tactics are available for improving safety, accuracy, and comfort when shooting your shotgun. However, among all the shotgun recoil reduction tips, the most convenient and effective is to use a suppressor. Attaching one to your shotgun is quick and easy and reduces felt recoil significantly.

Even better, a suppressor doesn’t just reduce felt recoil. It also muffles gunfire to protect your ears and hides muzzle flash to protect your sight when shooting in low-light conditions. Do you need help finding the best suppressor for your shotgun? Order a Silencer Central shotgun suppressor, or contact us today to speak with a friendly suppressor expert that will guide you toward your best choice.