Winchester 12g police low recoil ammo

Why “low recoil”? It means “less power” to me. Is it a less lethal type or just another marketing gimmick?


Low recoil ammos allows faster follow up shots and tighter patterns.

In a shotgun the felt recoil can be made to appear less sharp by using slower burning powders but this is not really all that compatable with the shorter barrels

Yes, the velocity is lower and/or shot load is lighter.

The low recoil loads are often used as training loads. Some of the earliest used for training were used / developed by the FBI (Bill Vanderpool) in the 1990’s called Thumper by Remington. When a lot of 00 Buck goes downrange low recoil is a factor.

Many agencies (including mine) issue low/reduced-recoil shotgun ammo for police duty use. A good example is the standard Federal F127RS rifled 10z slug which is advertised at 1600fps. The ‘low-recoil’ version (LE127RS last I checked) clocks lower, a bit under 1200fps last time I tested them. Buckshot rounds are similarly ‘downloaded’.

Given the smaller average size, lowered average strength, and diminishd shooting familiarity of the average US police recruit in the last 10-15 years, the lower recoil shells can also increase confidence with the weapon since the recoil is less severe. Police training courses often run several hundred buckshot and slugs in a day, so the RR loads can make the difference between “YEAH we get to SHOOT today” and “oh man I don’t want to shoot the 12 gauge”. I’ve run the Winchester, Remington, Brenneke, Hornady and Federal reduced-recoil loads in several shotguns (14 to 22 inch barrels) and in each instance the perceived recoil is less.

For hunting/stopping large game, where shots out to 40-50yds (and beyond) with shotguns are common, the standard/high velocity shell helps with trajectory and wounding capability. A majorty of US police engagement ranges (even with rifles and shotguns) are well under 25yds, so the ‘extra’ velocity isn’t always necessary.

The low-recoil loads also offer increased penetration in many cases. Standard vel shells cause the slug/pellet to deform/flatten in the target. Lower velocity typically results in tighter patterns as well from most police (Improved Cylinder choke, 14"-20" barrels).

The wounding effect of the low-recoil buckshot and slugs loads is not significantly diminished in my experience (otherwise I would not issue them).

www.le.atk.com has some good shotgun ballistics resources.

I strongly prefer the Federal reduced-recoil FliteControl (LE132) load for buckshot. I still carry full-power Brenneke slugs, since they have the benefit of longer practical range and increased barrier penetration.