Softening the impact

Softening the impact

This is a discussion on Softening the impact within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; A few months ago I bought hubby a new shotgun for his birthday and after letting him have time to play with his new toy ...

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Thread: Softening the impact

  1. #1
    Member Array drkangl6's Avatar
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    Softening the impact

    A few months ago I bought hubby a new shotgun for his birthday and after letting him have time to play with his new toy I decided to try my hand at it (never fired a shotgun before). While I knew there was going to be a fair amount of kick and recoil, I wasn’t prepared to have my arm going numb after just a few rounds and a monster bruise on my shoulder the next day, not to mention the “pins n needles” in my hand and fingers the next day as well.
    All of which brings me to my question, is there something that I can do to help lessen or soften the impact of the shotties butt on my shoulder and hopefully by doing so lessen or even eliminate some of the after effects of shooting it? I really want to have a go at skeet but at this point I’m a bit gun shy (<--- sorry for the pun ).

    p.s. Mods, if this should be elsewhere please move!
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  2. #2
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    Array MattInFla's Avatar
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    Depending on your size, it is possible (perhaps likely) that the stock is too long, forcing you to adopt a less than optimal position for managing the gun. Make sure you are firmly pulling the butt into your shoulder when you shoot - if it is not firmly held to the shoulder, it will slam into your shoulder which is no fun.

    A recoil pad might help - but it will also add to the length of the stock, which can make the problem worse.

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  3. #3
    VIP Member Array shockwave's Avatar
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    Go over to YouTube and watch some of the videos of women firing shotguns. These are quite instructive. You'll notice that the ones getting knocked around are trying to brace themselves against the gun, preventing recoil. The ones who handle them easily are relaxed and let the gun just do its thing.

    If you're getting a bit bruised and numbed from firing the gun, that can be a good thing if you don't quit but just stick with it. In parachute school, for example, you keep jumping off a platform and executing the PLF (parachute landing fall) for several hours. You get bruising all along the side of the body and eventually you start adjusting until it hurts less, perfecting the right technique.

    Same with the shotgun - you'll find the right position, stance and grip that works for you through trial and error. Too firm or too loose won't work, and you'll develop the feel of "just enough" that controls the gun without fighting it. Stick with it, and you'll find your way to success.
    "It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first."

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  5. #4
    VIP Member Array chiefjason's Avatar
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    First the shotgun has to fit. Which may require that you buy one for yourself. Women also have a tendency to lean back. It took a while for my wife to get over this part. Once she started leaning into the gun she gained more control of the recoil. Good grip, pull tight into shoulder, lean into the gun, fire. FWIW, my wife is shooting a Rem 870 12 ga, with 18 1/2" barrel, adjustable Blackhawk stock, shooting 2 3/4" birdshot to practice and #4 buckshot for real. She handles it fine after practicing with it.
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  6. #5
    Member Array Biggie313's Avatar
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    May 2010
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    Knoxx recoil reducing stock. reduces recoil by 50%. shoot low recoil loads also and get a butt pad, wear a thick shirt. All you can do. You will tuffin' up over time. my shoulder used to get sore from shooting 2 rounds of trap (50 shots), now I can shoot 100 shots and be fine

  7. #6
    VIP Member Array OldVet's Avatar
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    A good recoil pad will work wonders, but as mentioned, it may make the lenth too long for you. A good gunsmith (or a handy hubby) can shorten the stock the same amount as the pad and maintain the same pull length.

    You didn't say what gauge you were shooting. A 12ga does have some kick, but if you hold it snug, the recoil is more push then kick. Timid shooters tend to hold loosely, thus intensifying the recoil.

    I'd suggest a good 20 gauge over/under for skeet. They are a bit heavier, having two barrels, but that helps absorb the recoil.
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  8. #7
    VIP Member Array automatic slim's Avatar
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    There are many things you can do to soften recoil. The recoil pad is one. There is also having the barrel ported which would help. Another is a shooting jacket which has padding in the shoulder area. There is low recoil ammunition and if recoil really bothers you, switch to the 410 gauge.
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  9. #8
    Array SIXTO's Avatar
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    I'm about to ruffle a few feathers, but here it goes;

    I've been a avid shotgunner my entire life. Anybody who gets beat up enough by a shotgun to purchase recoil reducing stocks and the like simply do not know how to properly shoot a shotgun. First, a correct fitting stock is very important. Second, learn to mount the gun properly. Its hard for me to put my instruction into typed word, so I'll advise you to find a qualified person to show you how. Make sure the stock finds the pocket of your shoulder and you lean into the shotgun; you control the gun, it does not control you.
    My 6 year old shoots a 20 gauge regularly and 12 gauge without a problem (assuming he does what he is told), so I'm 100% sure an adult can too given the proper instruction and guidance.

    With all that said, I still get smacked once in a while from my shotgun if I mount it improper; its part of the game I guess.
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  10. #9
    Senior Member Array Frogbones's Avatar
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    ^^ yep....pocket of shoulder, lean into, firm. For the first time....what you explained is ok. Just refine your stance and all should pan out.

    I had the same issue with my Argintine 7.65, Mauser and the 1903A3....all kicked hard until I found that pocket and stance. Same thing with my 870.

    I don't throw much stock into recoil pads and other bits of gear like that. More $$ for ammo.

  11. #10
    Distinguished Member Array BlueNinjaGo's Avatar
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    Besides the tips already mentioned, I've seen items being sold that go under the shirt to help protect the shoulder.

    Something similar to this:

    I've never used one of those items, nor know anyone who has, so I will not attest to how much they help, but maybe something for you to look into.

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array havegunjoe's Avatar
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    Typically I find that anyone who takes the kind of beating you describe is holding the gun too loose and does not have it properly resting at your shoulder. The gun then slams back into you causing all the discomfort you have suffered. Even a gun that is not properly fitted shouldn’t do this much damage.

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  13. #12
    VIP Member Array sass20485's Avatar
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    Sent a PM you may find helpful. Worked for my wife, who now loves her 12 ga. shotguns, all 6 of them !

  14. #13
    Distinguished Member Array INccwchris's Avatar
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    sorry, but i had to correct this, .410 is technically a rifle caliber not a gauge, that shell is measured differently than all the rest, someone more in depth with history knowledge could probably share more info on that than I could
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  15. #14
    Array msgt/ret's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INccwchris View Post
    sorry, but i had to correct this, .410 is technically a rifle caliber not a gauge, that shell is measured differently than all the rest, someone more in depth with history knowledge could probably share more info on that than I could
    Slight bit of history on the .410.
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