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Taming recoil on a Beretta 391 with field loads

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by sernv99, Mar 12, 2012.

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  1. sernv99

    sernv99 Active Member

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    I had a Extrema II with 28" barrel and used it at a high volume pigeon/pheasant tower shoot last month...just shy of a 1000 birds. This gun had very manageable recoil with some of the 1 1/4oz loads I was using (B&P MB Long Range), and I had "machine gunned" through a few boxes of Fiocchi Golden Pheasant 1 3/8oz loads with no ill effects from the recoil. Overall I probably shot up 3/4 of a flat of the 1 1 1/8oz field loads and 3/4 of a flat of the 1 1 /4oz field loads, with a few boxes of the 1 3/8 oz loads thrown in that I had laying around from a few seasons ago. But I really preferred a 30" step ribbed barrel so I sold the Extrema and bought a 391 Parallel Target.

    Yesterday was my first day to test out my 391 with various loads (target and hunting)....shooting the 1 1/4oz loads through the 391 really woke me up. I shot a box of them yesterday. Even using my Browning Reactar pad on my vest, these loads still kicked a bit more than my Extrema II. Recoil was manageable with 1 1/8 3 dram target loads.

    Without going to a mechanical recoil reducer, can installing an aftermarket recoil pad and mercury recoil reducer system (butt stock and mag cap) such as a Graco help cut down significantly the recoil of some of the field loads I'm using or is a mechanical device the only way to go? This gun will be used for a combo of high volume tower shoots (pigeon and pheasant) and clay sports. I'll probably regulate my tower shoot loads to mix of 1 1/4oz and 1 1/8oz loads only as that I didn't see a need for the 1 3/8oz loads (I only shot these last time to get rid of them) but for really windy days I would like to still be able to pull out the magnum loads and use them without worrying too much about recoil.

    Fit wise, the stock seems to fit me ok, I had no face slap nor soreness with the 1 1/8oz target loads.
     
  2. Tron

    Tron Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    The Graco mercury filled units work great, but will add significant weight to the gun, if that's Ok. I would also look into having a Gooey type of pad installed and be sure that the gun fits.
     
  3. g7777777

    g7777777 TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Does your have the gel pad system or not?

    Best system there is for mounting a gun and recoil reduction- feels hard but for volume shooting dont be fooled it works great

    Gene
     
  4. 4th. down

    4th. down Active Member

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    I also shoot the B&P 1 1/4 oz. load @ doves in a 391 and the recoil is not significant because..........ProPort, lengthened forcing cone and KickEEZ pad -FWIW.

    Shot a new 391 the other day out of the box - no porting, forcing cone work or KickEEZ Pad, shooting AA SHC - and it was rocking me real good.
     
  5. sernv99

    sernv99 Active Member

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    thanks for the feedback

    I still have the original Beretta recoil pad on the gun. I don't think it's a Gel pad. I'm going to switch out the pad to a KickEez first with possible forcing cone lengthening. I'm not really looking to add significant weight to the gun, if that is what the Graco mercury recoil reducer system will do...so I may nix that idea for now. Barrel porting is out of the question, just not a fan of doing it to guns that don't have porting to begin with.

    On my last tower shoot, we were out there from around 930 to 3pm, with an hour lunch break...lot of mount and shoot so any more significant weight is going to make repetitive high volume mounting and shooting not very enjoyable.
     
  6. bombadillo

    bombadillo TS Member

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    I put in a Beretta "Inertial Recoil Reducer" into the mag tube and it worked wonders. I also added a bit of shot in the stock to add some weight and thats about it. Shoots like a dream, and i can pull off hundreds of shots and not feel it the next day. They're about $50 from Berettausa.com. The Kick-off is always nice, but at $400, I think my shot in the stock and recoil reducer really did the trick. I'm only shooting 1 1/8oz trap loads in it from a 28" barrel. I would highly recommend you try it anyway, and beretta will take it back if you aren't happy.
     
  7. dead on 4

    dead on 4 Well-Known Member

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    How to make your 391 shoot like a powder puff, call Cole Gusmithing. Cole sells barrel spring sets for 391's. The spring that's in the gun now is probably to stiff preventing the gases from bleeding off fast enough to reduce recoil with more than a trap load. To much pressure may cause the bolt link to fail or the bolt to damage the rear of the receiver when it's slammed rearward by to stiff a spring.

    The spring concept is: stiff spring for light loads directing more gases to the piston which opens the bolt and reduces recoil. A lighter spring with heavy loads so the gases bleed off rapidly while reducing recoil and not overloading the bolt and link system.

    Call: 207/833-5027 or check them out at www.colegun.com

    Surfer
     
  8. Setterman

    Setterman Well-Known Member

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    Tron, Why not a gracoil? Will it affect function?
     
  9. Tron

    Tron Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    No, a Gracoil will not effect the function of a gas gun, but most with the exception of the Isis will effect the balance. The Kickoff system actually seems like it's going to work out pretty well, but it's just a spring operated system.
     
  10. Joe O

    Joe O Member

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    The Blue Spring from Cole is the First item to try, cheap easy to try and reverse and the effects will be noticeable. Then I would add weight(I taped strips of lead to the main spring tube in the stock and added a chunk of lead in the mag tube behind the spring so it's in my hand but you will lose space for shells in the magazine) any number of ways to do this. Then I added the ISIS for a finishing touch. Doesn't change the weight, balance or looks but does a great job. That should do it. Reading how you use the gun the Blue spring is definitely where to start. I have been using my 391 like this for 6 yrs for trap and sporting 10,000 rds a year. My gun WILL cycle 1 oz loads with the blue spring if clean(FITASC)
    PM me if you would like to discuss this more. I've tried some other things too, I may be able to shorten your learning curve a little.
    Joe O
     
  11. build4u

    build4u Member

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    I have a Graco 10 oz. Mercury cap with thier 5 oz wieght in the stock and it really shoots soft. They make the stock weight in a 7 oz. as well. The 391 is a light gun. I am betting the gas system is set to cycle with lighter loads on the target gun. That would probably be in the spring as mentioned and maybe in the size or number of gas ports in the barrel.
     
  12. dead on 4

    dead on 4 Well-Known Member

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    SernV99,
    The reason for Coles springs are to prevent damage to your gun when you shoot heavier loads or eject lighter loads. To much gas pressure will slam the bolt against the receiver, breaking the bolt link or cracking the receiver. Having the right spring pressure with the right load will soften recoil and prevent damage. Adding weight will soften recoil but will not prevent damage to your bolt, link, receiver. All the suggestion given here are valid for recoil reduction, but none will prevent damage.

    I have a high ribbed 391 with a Soft Touch stock and it shoots like .22. After breaking two links and damaging a bolt, I got smart and bought Cole's spring kit. I change springs based on the loads I'm shooting.

    Do yourself a favor call Coles.

    Surfer
     
  13. sernv99

    sernv99 Active Member

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    surfer: I ordered the spring kit today, plus the gas valve wrench that Cole's sells (I read somewhere else on the web that the tools Beretta gives you with the 391 are worthless to use and a pain to take off the gas valve).

    I will look into the ISIS and Soft Touch, maybe a mechanical recoil device isn't bad at all if I want to shoot the 1 1/4oz loads. The Soft-Touch is a bit expensive, will look into the ISIS first.
     
  14. dead on 4

    dead on 4 Well-Known Member

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    Sernv99, Good you bought the spring set, smart move. Yes! the oem wrenches stink particularly when you're spinnig the nuts on and off more often. When you take the spring off there is a small valve, if memory serves needs to be turned with the flat side up. It will go in either way but will prevent the gun from functioning porperly. Call Coles and ask if they have schematic showing the proper direction or maybe you can get it on line. I always seem to remember when I'm changing springs, but can't recall now.

    I think you'll find the composite Soft Touch is no more expensive than an ISIS, you might check their web sight. Also you might post under wanted to buy here on T S.com for a used one.

    I can punch 3-1/4 dram 1-1/4 oz loads all day long through mine with no ill effects.

    Surfer
     
  15. sernv99

    sernv99 Active Member

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    I installed the "light spring", made for heavier loads, and shot a half box of the 1 1/4oz B&P MB Long Range loads and yeah, the spring took some of the bite out of the recoil punch from there loads.....not to the level of a 1 1/8oz target load but it was more manageable. I'll add a Kick Eez pad and go from there. I did notice about 3 fail to feed instances with Gun Club shells ( 2 3/4 dram) but then again, I shot a half a box of the B&P 2.5" 1 oz High Pheasant loads (2 5/8 dram) and they cycled fine....maybe it's just the Gun Club hulls that were being a pain in the a$$.
     
  16. Ruck

    Ruck Well-Known Member

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    Have you considered an Auto-Buster? It adds about the same weight as the Isis(yuck!) and besides recoil reduction it gives you a pad adjuster to boot. I used a 391 as a test bed during it's development and have installed hundreds of them for satisfied semi-auto shooters.

    Ken Ruckerj
     
  17. dead on 4

    dead on 4 Well-Known Member

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    Sernv99,
    If you're not getting the results you were looking for from the spring change, then I would add as others have suggested, Beretta's accessory in stock recoil reducer and maybe the tube cap reducer as well.
    Surfer
     
  18. build4u

    build4u Member

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    The springs will not change felt recoil much. heavier hunting shell in a light target gun. The mag cap, stock wieght combo from Graco keeps the balance very close to stock and adds 15 to 17 ounces depending on stock weight ordered. I have two 391s set up that way they are real soft with target loads.
     
  19. sernv99

    sernv99 Active Member

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    What butt stock weight, if buying the Graco mercury mag cap weight, do you need to balance out the gun? 5oz or 7oz?
     
  20. AEST BOSS

    AEST BOSS Member

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    I'm another fan of the ISIS. Not sure what the yuck is all about....except maybe lost sales and customers for KR.
     
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