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hey i am new to shotguns all-together. i recently bought a nova pump and when to the range 3 times and shot trap/skeet for the first time. i impressed myself with how many doubles i got at skeet.... but the day after the i shoot at the range (about 150 shells) i have a black and blue circle a little bigger than a quarter right above my right bycep and my cheek/jaw bone hurts... i asked all my shooting buddys why and they say "you must be holding the gun wrong" and " keepyour face on the gun " but the last 2 times at the range i made sure my face was on the gun and that it was right in my collar bone and sure enough the next day black and blue and hurting face/head ache...... is this normal?




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Welcome to 12 gauge shotguns. Black and blue shoulders are part of the game. While you may be able to hold the Nova a bit more properly, you will unavoidably have a sore and/or marked shoulder after an extended range session. Semi-autos are a it more forgiving in felt recoil, but not dramatically.

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try some lighter loads in you Nova.....pump guns will have a bit more felt recoil than an auto loader (SBE, M1, M2, etc).....if you are shooting skeet i'd suggest 2-3/4" shells in 1oz load....maybe even "light target" 7/8oz loads......WinAA's are a good load and can be purchased at WalMart!


Not only didn't you mention the shells you were using but didn't mention your choke either.....hopefully you were using an "open" choke for skeet.....i like an Imp Cyl but know a lot of skeet guys who shoot Mod and then there are guys who shoot Cyl or SKT tubes (more open). I've found after shooting hundreds of rounds of sporting clays in one afternoon an open choke tends to be easier on my shoulder than a mod or full if shooting "hot" or "high velocity" shells.


Shot gunning is something you should work up to....shoot 25-50 rounds each time out not 150 then work your way up to shooting 400-500 in an afternoon! The bruises will not be so bad....your body will get used to it eventually!

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I am also a novice in the shotgun world. My first introduction was with a Remington 870, using mild target loads. I felt like a gorilla just socked me in the shoulder.


My best advice to you is to rent an 870 at the range next time, it has nothing in it to reduce recoil, then shoot your Nova, you will not fully appreciate what an amazing job your Nova does to reduce felt recoil until you shoot a more common 12ga.


I personally have an M4 and have a lot of fun shooting high velocity 3" slugs they have some real kick, you will get use to it and your body will learn how to react. Watch some videos and even take a lesson at a local range, try not to pick up bad habits in the early stages, it makes it that much harder to overcome later.


Good luck and have fun!

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