I would never berate a persons reply and I unless proved wrong will as a rule always give the poster credit for speaking honestly and sincerely.Before you poo poo this stop and think about how many of your shooting buddies are having shoulder problems and surgery. If you are active in the shooting community and know a lot of different shooters then you might notice that a lot of us who are not exactly young anymore having shoulder issues...and surprisingly it's the shoulder that you hold your rifle or shotgun against. Between newer style recoil pads, stocks with different designs to help reduce recoil and especially muzzle brakes there is absolutely no need to beat up your shoulder to the point that surgery is needed. Wake up and smell the roses. You don't have to get beat up when shooting. Use technology as it is currently available to keep your body strong and not being beaten into submission.
I would also like to be clear I am NOT immune to the affects of recoil, but I can withstand harsh recoil enough to be able to take enough shots from the bench to complete my load testing goals. That number can vary from around 35-40 or so for my 300wsm T3 to 50 or so from my MUCH heavier (10lb+) 10ML-II. Yes eventually heavy recoil will become a factor for me but not enough to allow it to affect what calibers I buy or rifles I shoot.
I do not know if it is a factor or not but I am of a very large beefy frame (250ishlbs and 54" chest) and suspect that helps to mitigate the affects of recoil at least somewhat.
As far as recoil go's as I have said MANY MANY times it is PURELY a 100% personal thing. I have absolutely no explanation as to why, but recoil as far as up to that of my Savage 10ML-II that generates recoil approximately the equivalent to that of a 375 H&H with it's four best performing loads has been mostly a non-factor when shooting from the bench. My normal range day with my hardest kicking rifle reloading's is somewhere below 40 rounds. I will admit I wear a PAST Magnum recoil pad when shooting my hardest recoiling rifles or slug shotguns. Also all of my hard kicking rifles and shotguns have Sims Laboratory Limbsavers AM recoil pads on them and YES they really do help reduce felt recoil.
I can only speak from personal experience but I have serious issues with both shoulders including a torn rotator cuff in my right shoulder (I shoot right handed) and after best guess closer to 3k than 2800 rounds of heavy recoiling rounds from the bench I can honestly say I'm so worse for the wear.
As I said recoil is completely a personal even subjective issue. I have a friends son in his mid 20's who is quite tall but of a relatively slight build and weighs under 200lbs and I've seen this kid take recoil from 12ga 3.5" turkey loads like its fun.
I should add to date 12ga 3.5" magnum turkey loads are the ONLY loading I've ever shot from the bench that made me call it quits in less than 10 shots. Per my calculations a 12ga 3.5" 2.25oz turkey shell generates between 61 and 62ft/lbs of felt recoil out of my 8-8.5lb 870's with optics and mounts.
Turkey loads are the only loading I do not enjoy shooting and as far as technology I do use AM recoil pads and in the case of my turkey loads once I choose to put optics on them I had to do something to make taking 20-30 shots from the bench not only entirely possible but productive. So I modified a one piece shooting rest I own to carry a 25lb bag of #7 shot and that solved my 12ga turkey load recoil problem.
I do not use it for my rifles as it is not compatible with longer range accuracy needed for rifles.
And to be honest if I were to buy slug guns for my sons or myself I would undoubtedly by 20ga and NOT 12 purely for the greatly reduced recoil of the 20 VS the 12 as both their ballistic and on game performance are equal so there is no justifying the significant added recoil of a 12ga. I currently own 3 fully riffled 12ga slug guns bought long before I got married or 20ga fully riffled slug guns existed and if I had to buy my sons slug guns now they would undoubtedly be 20ga. But thankfully all states we deer hunt in now finally allow some form of a centerfire rifle so I bought rifles chambered accordingly but only because I can reload ammo for them at a 50% savings VS sabot slug gun ammo recoil was not a factor.
For some people recoil becomes punishing within a few shots even shooting what I consider as mildly recoiling calibers like 270 or 30/06 and will affect their abilities to shoot well and enjoy shooting and that is absolutely understandable and normal for others they can fire enough rounds before recoil becomes a factor that affect accuracy or enjoyment. I am very fortunate I am one of those people that can manage and enjoy heavy recoiling rifles within my limit, and yes I have a limit, and be no worse for the wear.
Again 100% personal preference and choice.
I felt I should add If I were to be shooting in a competitive setting and NOT HUNTING such as long range precision were you will be taking dozens of shots then I willingly concede I would undoubtedly opt for a lower recoiling round in the class of 308 Winchester recoil.