Not all shotguns have a recoil that feels like being kicked by a horse. Semi-auto shotguns, particularly the gas operated ones, manage to reduce the felt recoil, making it an attractive choice for first-time shooters. Even inertia, or recoil, operated shotguns can do this, and Mossberg semi-automatic shotguns are a great place to start.
What Is A Semi-Automatic?
Firing a bullet requires a whole process that the semi-automatic circumvents. Traditionally, the hammer is cocked, drawing back the striker, then the trigger is squeezed which releases the striker to hit the primer. This ignites the powder, and the bullet is propelled down the barrel. Then the hammer is cocked, expelling the spent casing, depositing a fresh one, and beginning the process again.
A semi-automatic has eliminated the need for a shooter to manually draw back the hammer or otherwise cock the firearm. Instead, using either recoil or gas propulsion, the firearm does the work of ejecting the spent shell, loading a new one, and preparing the striker.
Essentially, a semi-automatic means a single bullet is fired for every trigger pull without the shooter needs to do more than squeeze the trigger.
Why Choose a Semi-Auto Shotgun?
A semi-auto shotgun is not limited in the tasks it can perform, from hunting to competitions, to the range, so it’s a matter of choice where it’s taken. For hunting waterfowl, a semi-automatic allows you to fire around five rounds before needing to be reloaded.
In competitions, a semi-auto shotgun is less expensive than a break action, removing that financial barrier. Plus, the semi-autos tend to have less recoil, allowing you to shoot longer.
Do note that with all the moving parts, these shotguns need to be cleaned and oiled religiously to keep optimum performance. Failure to do so can lead to jamming and other issues.