Gun Weight: The heavier the gun, the less it recoils, which is one reason target guns, which are shot a great deal, weigh more than field guns, which are carried more and shot less. "Gauge" isn't part of the recoil equation, either. A heavy 12 gauge will recoil less than a light 20 gauge if both shoot similar loads. Often when middle school-age kids join our trap club, they bring short 20-gauge youth pumps that kick surprisingly hard because they are so light. I'll often put an 8 ½-pound 12-gauge trap gun in their hands and watch them start hitting targets right away. The reduction in recoil is significant. If your primary use for a shotgun will be target shooting, or waterfowling or dove hunting, where guns are carried very little, don't be afraid to buy a heavier gun.