Sometimes less power is just as useful
Right now American shotgunning is caught between two opposing trends, the aging of the shooting population, and hyper-velocity in shotshells.
Older shooters tend to prefer lighter shotguns, especially for hunting, a marketing trend that’s gathered momentum over the past decade. Lighter shotguns kick more.
At the same time many modern shotshells also kick more, due to the great velocity race. This trend started with the outlawing of “toxic” lead shot for waterfowling. The cheapest non-toxic shot material proved to be iron, usually called steel. The problem with steel shot is it’s a lot lighter than lead, so slows down much more rapidly than lead shot. The solution turned out to be larger shot, driven at much faster velocity.
Eventually the speed race spilled over into lead-shot ammunition as well. This was at least partly due to the insistence of many gun writers that ammunition companies drop the absurd “drams equivalent” method of expressing shotshell velocity. This had its origins over a century ago, in the transition between black and smokeless powder.
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