I have made study of three shotguns. Mossberg 535, 12 Gauge, 26" Barrel. Maverick 88, 12 Gauge with only 18.5" Barrel, and the Maverick 88, 26" Barrel.
Three choke sizes: Full, Modified, and Improved. There is not and choke in the 18.5" Barrel and it can use 2 3/4"-3", 12 Gauge, your chose ammo, of 3" ammo. The 26" Maverick 88 is Modified, and the biggest one, Mossberg 535, 26" Barrel, can use a 3.5 ", has a Improved Choke, it can use a 12 GAUGE SLUG.
The reason for all this explaining, the Maverick 88’s can be controlled, with all types of ammo, they are much lighter that most shotguns, the recoil is only what you make of it and depends on ammo. Tested at a target with choke system, x3 or no chock at all. The distance is a small 50 Feet, using cardboard targets, 2.5 ’ in size. Using #4, 12 Gauge Bird Shot with Full Choke, is the only way to be effective on target or the no choke system, the shot will peppering the target, it will crumble to pieces after 3 rounds at 50’.
I care ! Someone used Bird Shot for Defensive Ammo, please not use, not wise. The bad man will be always live to tell and remember his mistakes and the good person could of been hurt or killed.