After I recovered from busting up my spine, I quickly realized the stable of 12's gauge I had and my back no longer agreed.
I read and read trying to find what would be the lightest and softest recoilng 20 gauge I could find. I looked at everyhing from the big name to the small little known European imports with a long history of semi auto shotguns. For every thing I found saying x gun was light on recoil, I could find a review and or comments on a board saying it kicked like a mule.
In theory a gas operated should kick less. I picked up a new A5 to replace my heavier and bulkier 12's. I can't tell the difference between the A5 and my wife's silver (12 guage) in regards to recoil. Neither can she. I reload keeping my trap and preserve loads so their easy on my shoulder. I'm good for 3 rounds of trap on a good day. But part way through 4th round I'm tearing up. My wife ended up stating to do good with a rem low recoil load that's cheap. It's easy on the back too.
I'm drooling over the Benelli 28 gauge that weighs in under 5lbs. But even reloading for it won't be exactly as cheap as a 20 to shoot lots of rounds.
My best advice is if you belong to a gun club is to ask around and see if you can try a few of the 20's you end up intrested in. I'm just starting my little guy out hunting at the end of last year. Damn his youth 20 single shot kicks like mule. With all it's weight, I would have never guessed it would be so harsh. My buddy loaned me his youth 20 pump that his kids started out with (their my age so it's an older
it's just as bad if not worse. I've been toying with picking up a used Winchester semi auto 20 since it has a slim fore end like my A5. I just wish it was a bit lighter. Think it's like 6.8 I used to never care but it just feels better with a slimmer forend then wide since I got hurt fore sone reason.