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Discussion Starter #1
I’m new to the trap game and have been using a loaner 870 30” Wingmaster. I’ve learned quickly that while recoil never bothered me with this gun after 10 shots, recoil after 100 shots is something entirely different. After 2-3 rounds I find myself sore enough to be adjusting my mount in an effort to compensate (bad) and it often leaves me with a sore shoulder for a day or two. I notice that I need to lean my head/neck down to place my check on the stock - sometimes leading to mild cheek slap. Seems, at least in part, a gun fit issue, but given its a loaner, there is not much I can do to adjust the fit.

This is obviously a subjective question, but for those with 870s, how much does a proper gun fitting do to reduce felt recoil? I’m considering purchasing a dedicated trap gun and while a 870 trap model seems like a cost effective way to get into the game, I don’t want to waste my time if there is limited amount I can do with a fitting or basic modifications.
 

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The trap model has a higher comb even if it isnt a monte carlo. That will help the cheek slap. A good recoil pad. I like kick eez. And a moderate load. 1145 fps is plenty. And 1 ounce loads are even better if not too fast. Lot of shoots been won with an 870.
 

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proper gun fit will make a big difference in recoil, when I stated my boss lent me his 870 trap, compared to my Mossberg and my browning bps, it had no recoil. lop and comb hight are the first things to work on.
 

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I’m new to the trap game and have been using a loaner 870 30” Wingmaster. I’ve learned quickly that while recoil never bothered me with this gun after 10 shots, recoil after 100 shots is something entirely different. After 2-3 rounds I find myself sore enough to be adjusting my mount in an effort to compensate (bad) and it often leaves me with a sore shoulder for a day or two. I notice that I need to lean my head/neck down to place my check on the stock - sometimes leading to mild cheek slap. Seems, at least in part, a gun fit issue, but given its a loaner, there is not much I can do to adjust the fit.

This is obviously a subjective question, but for those with 870s, how much does a proper gun fitting do to reduce felt recoil? I’m considering purchasing a dedicated trap gun and while a 870 trap model seems like a cost effective way to get into the game, I don’t want to waste my time if there is limited amount I can do with a fitting or basic modifications.
I have owned a number of 870's the recoil was never bad as the trap version fit me pretty well.
You should look at getting the gun fit.
Any gun that doesn't fit will beat you up, not just entry level guns.

Remember you can add weight to the stock and magazine. to reduce recoil.
Consider shooting 1 ounce loads , nothing faster then 1200 fps until you tame the recoil.

The gun should be brought to your face and not the other way around.
Hard to say how poorly your gun fits you but for sure you have an issue.
Going forward you should try any gun if possible before buying it.

Its All Good

West
 

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I started shooting trap in 2013 with a field grade 870 Wingmaster I had owned since 1975 and hadn’t shot in over 30 years. Took a trap lesson from a local guy. After three boxes the entire right side of my nose was black and blue. I had to adjust my glasses after every shot because my thumb was busting me up. And that was with 7/8 oz loads. Another local guy added 1/2” to the LOP and corrected the pitch with tapered spacers and added a Beartooth Comb Raising Kit and it was like magic. No more recoil. Shot that gun for a year at the Silver Dollar before finally buying a nice BT99. If your loaner is a field grade I’m willing to bet those same inexpensive modifications would make the difference for you. And the gun can always be changed back to its original configuration.
Denny K.
 

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I've shot 870s for years in different configurations . Yes the 870 does have recoil just like any other pump gun but. some people( for who the factory stock happens to fit ) are not bothered by it, while others are. Right now I have three 870s , one with the Remington factory stock and this one is the one with the most "felt" coil. One has been modified slightly in length and has a soft Kick eeze on it. The other an adjustable butt plate ( not sure of the brand ) and a Declerator recoil pad . Gun fit is always a major factor in recoil. I have seen several people have their problems solved by going to a good "gun fitter' who knows what they are doing. Recoil reducers, in various brands , can make a huge difference . The ultimate , at least to me, is Ken Rucker's Bump Buster stock. I have shot a couple of 870s with one on them and it makes the 870 a whole different animal !! I have shot 1 oz. loads for years which also reduces recoil . I might suggest reading the "Average Ed" column " Living With Recoil "in the March edition of Shotgun Sports. Some good stuff in it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks for all the feedback. slide action - thanks for the article recommendation. That article was spot on when he described his early experience after 50 targets.

For those who have experience with both a *proper fitted* 870 and a basic O/U like a Citori CX, how does felt recoil compare? Obviously, the best idea is for me to try both of these, but my challenge seems to be if a borrowed gun doesn’t have a great fit, I’m not really getting a good comparison.

Ultimately, this may just be a journey of buying, getting fit, trying - if it doesn’t work repeat with another gun. . .which is not that $ with a 870. I’m partial to the simplicity of a pump or O/U which is why I (so far at least) have not really considered a semi-auto.
 

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Basically if you really want to get into this game you need the right equipment. That would be a dedicated trap gun. A decent used 870 in the $400 range or look for an unmolested BT99. There's a huge difference between those and what you borrowed.
 

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I started with an 870 in about 1984 and used that for several years. And while I still love my 870's and think they are one of the best pump guns ever, I like my Browning Crossover (now named the CX) much better. Much less felt recoil for me as most Browning trap or skeet guns just fit me well. I am considering the new 870 Express trap as I let a lot of people use my guns and would rather they not use my Crossover.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I am considering the new 870 Express trap as I let a lot of people use my guns and would rather they not use my Crossover.
This is pretty much where I’m at: a $500 for a 870 Express Trap or a used Wingmaster Trap vs. stepping up to the $1600+ Citori CX. I’m just starting out as a casual trap shooter, and like 870s in general, so the cost/benefit of that price difference is worth considering as a first trap gun. The felt recoil impact difference for 10 shots vs 50+ was an eye opener for me to learn more about around gun fit, mount, etc.
 

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This is pretty much where I’m at: a $500 for a 870 Express Trap or a used Wingmaster Trap vs. stepping up to the $1600+ Citori CX. I’m just starting out as a casual trap shooter, and like 870s in general, so the cost/benefit of that price difference is worth considering as a first trap gun. The felt recoil impact difference for 10 shots vs 50+ was an eye opener for me to learn more about around gun fit, mount, etc.
Please try to find someone who owns an 870 TB or TC who will let you try it. If it works for you then go for the Express Trap or a used TB/TC. It’s possible that you just can’t tolerate the recoil from an 870 of any configuration. If that turns out to be the case, spring for the CX or better yet, the CXT.
 

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The New Remington 870Express Trap model weighs in @ 8 pounds 4 ounces.
The Browning Citori CXT weighs in @ 8 pounds 4 ounces.
These two will recoil about the same depending on fit.

I personally like a trap gun to come in right around 9 pounds.
10-12 pounds or more is to heavy for me.

Try as many guns as you can.
Find the one that suits you best.

Its All Good
West
 

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"Try as many guns as you can."
No better advice has been given in the history of TS.com ;)

Lots of lightly used TBs out there for $350-$450. If you get one made c. 1975-1981 (if I recall the dates correctly) the triggers were tuned by Remington. Mine recoils straight back with very little muzzle rise. I have added a weight in the magazine tube to bring it to 8 1/2#.
 

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As per "West" just above in his 1st 3 lines all\any fixed action of the same weight will recoil about the same. I still shoot a pump just modified it a little for "me". Look for an 870 TB or TC find somebody at your club that shoots an 870 and ask what to look (and look-out) for. You don't give any info on your build ie height--weight--age--strength etc. all of those things enter into "gun fit". A
good recoil pad usually helps--- light loads @ moderate speed. Don't be afraid to try an 1100 they are very soft shooters, read a little about Leo H. he shot 1100s for a long time, & quite well. Ross Puls
 

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You never said where it was hitting you. Bruised shoulder or red face? For me personally 870s always pinch my cheek. I can shoot one 3-4 times hunting and be fine, but anymore than that it looks like my wife beat me. If that is the case it the pitch of the stock. Pitch can be fixed with a $10 tapered spacer ... cheap fix.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
You never said where it was hitting you. Bruised shoulder or red face? For me personally 870s always pinch my cheek. I can shoot one 3-4 times hunting and be fine, but anymore than that it looks like my wife beat me. If that is the case it the pitch of the stock. Pitch can be fixed with a $10 tapered spacer ... cheap fix.
shoulder is the main issue. Any cheek slap starts after I get a little beat up and (I suspect) start doing bad things with my mount to compensate.
 

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shoulder is the main issue. Any cheek slap starts after I get a little beat up and (I suspect) start doing bad things with my mount to compensate.
In my opinion you need to change guns in a hurry before you develop some bad habits or a flinch in my opinion.
 

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I shot a trap 870 for a yr.or 2 it did kick a litttle hard sold it got a Mod.12 trap not as bad a kick and then put about a pound of lead in the stock problem solved.You also can change your friends stock easy and cheap if he would agree to it.
 
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