Soft comb vs hard comb? Consider this...A hard comb will not compress when you plant your cheek firmly on it. There will be no give to it, regardless of the amount of pressure you put on it. It is what it is and it won't change. Always in the same place, right? A soft comb, on the other hand, always has a certain amount of give to it when you press your cheek down on it. Now, it really doesn't matter how hard you try to always use the same amount of pressure on the soft comb, you will never be able to get it right every time, no matter how hard you try. In hot weather, the soft comb will compress more than it will in colder weather. How much more? Even a 1/16th of an inch will change your POI at 40 yards dramatically. If, as WPT above mentioned, your gun fits you properly, there is no need for a soft comb as it will not bruise your cheek at all. Been there, done that, got that shirt.... Just my opinion... Dan Thome (Trap2)
Perazzi has an option for one at $500. Just for the comb. (I think). I shoot hard perazzi combs, but I have a Laib tht I will try this spring and a Perazzi that I will try as well. Both "canoe" style. Devon Harris uses a Perazzi soft comb on his 2005 that he broke 50 strate to win the 100 grand at Sparta. He is my hero. My advice is to go for it, but do not use the chunk of wood that is cut out get an alternate piece and set aside the porkchop for when you go to sell the gun. Then you will not take a hit on the gun value.
I have been doing soft combs as an option with our system for over 18 years, and while my words of caution will still very often echo Dan's (Trap2), above, my experiance in talking to many shooters who use them really tells a bit of a different story. When we first started doing them I really expected many shooters to come back 6 months to two years later, once they quit lifting their head off of the stock, and want a hard comb so that they would be more consistent. In fact, I don't know that I have ever seen this, and the shooters who order a soft comb will almost always order a soft comb on their next stock, and their next one, etc... Gun fit is very important, and Dan is correct in some cases, that the answer may simply be to have the gun properly fit to you, especially where pitchdown and cheek slap are concerned. I will, however, have to most respectfully disagree with Dan that this is always the answer. It is just my opinion, but I have been doing this for too long, and have seen too many stocks that have been fit to the shooter properly, by the best fitters in the country, and still give the shooter recoil problems. Some of us are just more sensitive to recoil than others, especially those who shoot a lot, have shot a lot, or shoot a lot of heavy loads.
My advice Wilson, would be that if you don't really feel much recoil in the face, but are just thinking that a soft comb might "feel" nice, I probably would follow Dans advice and not do it. Also, you might consider whether you think gun fit could be the issue. Lastly, if you feel that you could probably benefit from a soft comb, but want the option of having the original comb (wood) instead, then consider buying a gun without an adjustable or soft comb, and having both done afterward. I have installed many of our recoil reduction systems over the years, particularly on high grade guns, using the original comb, but also made the shooter a soft comb, so that they could use either. I have also done a number of adjustable comb installations (no recoil reduction system) this same way. It costs a little more, but in your case it may be worth it. As those on this sight know well, there are a number of us around the country who do good quality adjustable comb installations, and I am sure that many of them can do an installation with both combs if you wish. Other than possibly Perazzi, I don't know of any manufacturers where having both is an option.
The two last posters are right...Perazzi offers one as a replacement for their banana comb. No expert here but unless your gun doesn't fit, I cant really think of any advantage. On the other hand, cant think of a single disadvantage either.
My suggestion would be to have an adjustable comb installed and then have a soft comb made separately. Then if you decide to sell the gun it would be easier to sell as adjustable comb matches the rest of the stock. Bill
oleolliedawg says: Would you rather get hit with a boxing glove or a closed fist. I'll let you answer that one!!
Well... a glove obviously.
BUT.... I can easily shoot 500+ rounds a day for several days straight and not have a sore cheek. Maybe my gun fits properly? I haven't seen one of the top shooters using one (not that I know of) and they must easily shoot more than that.
Like I said no downside, but no upside either if your gun fits and you know how to shoulder it.
I have very recoil sensitive skin. I've had a 10lb 28ga skeet gun open my face so bad I was bleeding down the side of the stock, and have had a .410 sxs leave a small raspberry on my cheek as well. All that went away when I started using soft combs (had a couple through hissem, then went to gooey combs, and am now using one built by Country Gentlemen). Even a hardish soft comb is uncomfortable to me. I shoot a precision fit stock, which I know fits me probably about as well as a stock could, and I still have a soft top on it.
If you have ever watched Daro Handy's "Top Dog Trapshooter" video you will notice that he claims that the soft comb is a must. Everybody has their own style and likings but Daro certainly has a proven track record that would lend to the fact that he knows what he is talking about. I have never used one but I may try it. Daro is a man of few words and he clearly states that he would never shoot a gun without one again. He states " it will cause misses" because you will sooner or later come out of the gun and ruin a good score. This is not my opinion, it is his. I think 505 straight handicap targets is a pretty good accomplishment
Plenty of less knowlegeable shooters will swear that a properly fitting stock is always the way to stop cheek bruising. Unfortunately, they're all wrong. There are some shooters, especially female, who are fitted by the premier stock fitters and still bruise and bleed. The soft comb works wonders for those unlucky individuals!!
Ok, time for me to chime in. I am very recoil sensitive and have recoil sensitive skin also. I have been to two premier stock fitters in the U.S.....DeVault and Wenig. Had custom stocks made by them. They all used hard combs. Both of these guys know what they are doing, so there is no doubt in my mind the gun fit. Within 200 rounds of light target 12 gauge ammo, I either looked like a chipmunk or was bleeding. A wood comb swells my cheek that much. I even had a Stock-Lock that is 1 of the top recoil reducing stocks made, and it would swell my cheek also. A Soft Comb resolved all those issues for me. I will not use anything else.
It was mentioned that NO top shooters use a Soft Comb.......in trap: Bob Munson, Eric Munson, Tank Lunsford, plus others. In skeet: Todd Bender, LP Giambrone, plus others.