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Do you have a 20ga. reloader? If not, you need to get one, and set it up to shoot 3/4oz. instead of 1oz. or 7/8oz. shot.

Also, you need to quit shooting the cheap promotional junk that's sold in WalMart and other places. I know that it appears to be economical, but they use crappy components and it's only good for hard-kicking backyard clay shooting, IMO. The promotional stuff offered by Rem., Win., and Fed. are the hardest-kicking rounds in the manufacturers lineup in whatever shot payload/gauge combination they are offered in. They use the fastest-burning powder they can find - cheap - to burn as cleanly as possible, the cheapest wad/shotcup (that frequently has no cushion), and the crummiest, softest, most un-uniform shot they can find or make - cheap. The only time I buy this stuff is when I see some Rem. Game loads in 16ga. - just to shoot it up and have the hulls to reload...and those sorry 1 oz. rounds kick noticeably harder than my own 1oz. loads. I'm always glad when they all get shot up so I can get some relief.

I have a ~100 year-old 20ga. Parker shotgun that I will shoot 1oz. and 7/8oz. loads in, but most of my casual shooting is done with a lower-pressure, slower, progressive-burning powder (GreenDot) and 3/4oz. shot - a 28ga. payload. This limits the battering of my shoulder and the gun, but the load is no pipsqueak. It moves fast and hits hard. Since the pattern holds together so much better, clays and doves can't tell that it isn't a 7/8oz. or even a 1oz. load.

Another factor is conditioning. Try to toughen up your shoulder by shooting at clays more frequently. Long periods of time between shotgunning is rough on a shoulder - even one that isn't problematic. It doesn't take much to toughen it up - just try to shoot your 20ga. frequently and quit long before you experience discomfort and pain. And no, shooting BPCRs will not do the same thing. You are not using the exact same place on the shoulder, or the same set of muscles when shooting a rifle - particularly on the bench. You need to be standing on your hind feet like a man and swing - using many of the same muscle combinations as a golfer.

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