Yep. Side quests. It SEEMS as though the game’s scaling in Normal and TVHM was designed with the side quests (and their typical XP yield, as well as that of the enemies encountered there on average) in mind. If you spend a little longer on maps that are at a certain level, you’ll find more loot at that level. Using a shotfun that’s 13 levels old? THAT is a bit extreme. I have to think (and not to insult or criticize) that this means you’re not spending much time at a given level, but more likely zooming through.
Hell, you should be able to put together at least a nice purple level 30 shotfun from Iwajira’s loot drops, if nothing else. Go back to Normal and kill her a few times, and grind up some nice level 30-ish gear.
Go back to your current TVHM run, and do all of Springs’s side quests. Farm the kraggons of Serenity’s Waste. That should all be somewhere around level 32-35, I believe? Triton Flats is VERY LITERALLY COVERED IN SIDE QUESTS. Run a few of those, too. At least one of them has a chance to spawn you a Flakker–you can keep it, or you can grind it up for something else that you actually will use.
Dude. Seriously, if the game’s TOO far ahead of your level, at least in TPS, it usually means you’re not doing side quests. If it’s not far enough ahead, it means you’re doing ALL of the side quests, or you’re farming a lot. There’s a balance. Find your balance.
Find your balance, 8R0-TP…