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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do recoil suppression devices really work in the long haul?

It seems that the amount of recoil is constant and added more padding, recoil springs, and added weight seem to alter the perception, not the actual force of the recoil. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

If, for the sake of simplicity, the force on the projectile is X pounds, the recoil is also X pounds rearward.
Some energy might be absorbed by the mass of the gun or diverted to the ejection process in a SA gun, but where does that absorbed/diverted energy go? It’s still part of the whole recoil force that’s pushing backward against the shoulder.

Break open guns push the full amount of recoil rearward from the breech. More padding, weight, springs, or gas cylinders might also divert or redistribute the rearward force, but the total is still in the gun and it is still transferred to the shoulder.

This may be why discussions of recoil are often cautious about using “felt recoil” or “perceived recoil”. Diverting rearward force can be helpful in the moment, but what about over the long term?
It seems the only legitimate way to reduce recoil is to lower the force exerted on the bullet. All other efforts leave the shooter with the probability of accumulated fatigue/pain/damage to the body. Is this a faulty conclusion?

Personally, shoulder pain is threatening my shooting future. Yes, I can use that ibuprofen cream we make and it helps. The NSAID pills also work, but the long term side effects are serious. The pain returns when the effects of the ibuprofen wear off. Time off from shooting brings about improvement, but it only takes a couple hundred rounds of 1 1/8 1200 fps shells to cause a flare up.

Regardless of the weight of the gun, the recoil devices, or the fit of the stock, the most reasonable solution to shoulder pain seems to end up being less shot and slower speeds. Also noticing increased shoulder pain with handguins. Might also be time to look at loads lighter than 115 gr 9mm.

How far off is this conclusion?
 

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Recoil energy is absorbed by the weight of the gun. The more it weighs the more energy it absorbs. Recoil energy is also absorbed by however much it take to cycle the recoil device. It takes energy to compress a spring and this spreads out the impact.

However, having said that, recoil energy is far better tolerated if there is muscle mass in the shoulder as the muscle will distribute the impact over a greater area as opposed to skin and bones or flab. Recoil energy is also better absorbed by keeping the shoulder relaxed rather than tense. If the shoulder can flex with the recoil it acts as its own shock absorber. I think sometimes people fear recoil so much that they tense all their muscles and then the recoil is just impacting a solid mass.

Do some shoulder strengthening exercises like standing pushups and try to relax and keep your shoulder loose when you shoot.
 

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A GraCoil took the bite out of my BT 100. Recoil is now un-noticeable. I also find that my scores are the same with 1 oz loads as they are with 1 1/8 oz loads.
 

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Ok I will chime in here. Here is how I think it works.

When you fire the shotgun, the shot charge, wad, gas etc go from a velocity of 0 fps to say 1200 fps at the muzzle.
The burning powder creates a force to accelerate this mass going down the barrel.

Conservation of energy equations suggest this is equal going both ways. The mass moving forward, and the shotgun (recoil) coming back. Now you change the amount of energy delivered by lowering the velocity and weight of the shot charge.

But you can change the force on your shoulder with mechanisms for any given shot/velocity load.

The equation is force x time = mass x (change of velocity),

If the force is spread over time, like in a gas semi auto, the force is less.
Same for the stock recoil devices; they spread the force over time so the force is less.
Same for a good recoil pad.

Now we could get into other conversations about direction of force ( like an unsingle being straight back an reducing the force vector going into your cheek which pulls on your neck muscles and causes pain ), but I'll save that for another day.

Larry Butler

also, a heavier gun will reduce the velocity of the gun coming back and that will help also.
 

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TOTAL recoil is a mathematic constant. No matter what the type of action, you will always get the same TOTAL recoil for a gun of X weight shooting Y mass of projectile at Z velocity.

Having said that, FELT recoil varies quite a bit.

A break action or locked breach shotgun like a pump will have a recoil impulse like a steep mountain.

A gas semi-auto will have a recoil impulse that looks like a lower, rounded mountain, more like a large hill, with a second, smaller hill next to it.

What happens is upon firing, some of the ft lbs of energy are diverted into the gas system. Using the example of a Rem 1100, this kinetic energy is temporarily stored in the action sleeve and bolt. Then when the system unlocked, this stored energy is converted back to kinetic energy, giving the second recoil "hill".

In practical terms, the o/u or pump gun will give a short, sharp recoil impulse to your shoulder, while the gas auto gives a longer, but gentler, shove (actually two shoves but they happen so fast you can't tell there are two).

For hinged or pump guns, you can install something like a Clyde Slide, which is a spring loaded buttplate. Some models have a sliding cheekpiece that is attached to the butt. The recoil energy is being put to work compressing the spring, which must be chosen carefully else it will bottom out and make a sharp rap, or will be too stiff and not absorb enough. The TOTAL recoil is still the same, but the felt recoil is less because of the compression of the spring, then the release of the stored energy in the spring as it returns to rest position. You get a very long, gentle push. These stocks can really tame a hinged or pump gun and if properly designed and built can be softer than a gas-auto.

If I had a big problem with recoil or flinching, I'd go a step further and plunk my money down on a Remington 1100 Competition Synthetic. It combines a soft gas auto with a spring loaded butt. Best of both worlds. This gun is incredibly soft shooting.

Autoloading Shotgun - Model 1100 Competition - Remington Shotguns - Remington Autoloading
 

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My question would be if your shoulder is in such bad shape is it from shooting or is an existing condition that is aggregated by shooting?

And furthermore, is it the recoil that gets you after a hundred shells or is it the way you are shouldering the gun? I'm not saying which one it is but you could be creating an impingement that is going to be aggravated no matter what load.

You've said how a 1200fps effects you, what about a 1145? Is this pain located in a specific part of your shoulder or is it just generalized discomfort in that area. I could be way off base, but I'm trying to figure out if there's more than just recoil that is a part of this recipe.
 

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On my DT-11 I feel no recoil,it really is not a factor.
 

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Ask yourself this......Would you rather chase an impossible to obtain, spot on the podium or shoot 7/8oz loads and keep doing it for the rest of your life. If you're a senior and you ain't on the podium.....give it up, cuz you ain't going to get there shooting heavy loads. Pain affects accuracy. Adding shot will not help.

We hear the same old song and dance that if loads were reduced the top shooters would still be on top. No s~~t.......but there would be a lot more older shooters still shooting, and a lot of new shooters would not be run off due to recoil issues. What's more important to you?

A lot of shooters would actually shoot better scores if they went to lighter loads, but the status quo keeps many from doing so.
 

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Grandpas, are you a reloader? Do you pull the handle or use some other form of power, Hydraulic, Electric?

Are you right handed and shoot on the right side?
 

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As William implied, the first step is to obtain an accurate diagnosis as to the problem. Only then can any of us make suggests.
 

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Gracoil, RAD, Soft Touch, Prosoft, StockLock, Evo-tech, et-al. Pick any of these adn your problem is 75% solved.
RAD IIa and a quality Kick Eez pad helped me at least 75% if not more. I have an artificial shoulder on one side and need one on the other. I find my Beretta 682 to be a very soft shooter and I shoot nothing but 1-1/8oz shells.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Grandpas, are you a reloader? Do you pull the handle or use some other form of power, Hydraulic, Electric?

Are you right handed and shoot on the right side?
No longer reloading. Started using manual, single stage and switched to hydraulic when the constant pulling pinched something in my neck. The hydraulic was easier on the body when it was humming along. Sadly, smooth operations were rare and a lot of shot was spilled. Sold all reloading equipoment when components were scarce.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ask yourself this......Would you rather chase an impossible to obtain, spot on the podium or shoot 7/8oz loads and keep doing it for the rest of your life. If you're a senior and you ain't on the podium.....give it up, cuz you ain't going to get there shooting heavy loads. Pain affects accuracy. Adding shot will not help.

We hear the same old song and dance that if loads were reduced the top shooters would still be on top. No s~~t.......but there would be a lot more older shooters still shooting, and a lot of new shooters would not be run off due to recoil issues. What's more important to you?

A lot of shooters would actually shoot better scores if they went to lighter loads, but the status quo keeps many from doing so.
Seriously looking to lighter loads. Scores be damned. They never were real good to begin with. 12 gauge 7/8n shells are sparse, but I'm looking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ok I will chime in here. Here is how I think it works.

When you fire the shotgun, the shot charge, wad, gas etc go from a velocity of 0 fps to say 1200 fps at the muzzle.
The burning powder creates a force to accelerate this mass going down the barrel.

Conservation of energy equations suggest this is equal going both ways. The mass moving forward, and the shotgun (recoil) coming back. Now you change the amount of energy delivered by lowering the velocity and weight of the shot charge.

But you can change the force on your shoulder with mechanisms for any given shot/velocity load.

The equation is force x time = mass x (change of velocity),

If the force is spread over time, like in a gas semi auto, the force is less.
Same for the stock recoil devices; they spread the force over time so the force is less.
Same for a good recoil pad.

Now we could get into other conversations about direction of force ( like an unsingle being straight back an reducing the force vector going into your cheek which pulls on your neck muscles and causes pain ), but I'll save that for another day.

Larry Butler

also, a heavier gun will reduce the velocity of the gun coming back and that will help also.
Larry, my Beretta 682 Gold e with Wenig New American stock weighs 10 pounds with single barrel or 11 pouinds with O/U. Adding 20 gauge Briley tubes would add weight. Also 20 gauge, 7/8 shells are easier to find than 12 gauge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Gracoil, RAD, Soft Touch, Prosoft, StockLock, Evo-tech, et-al. Pick any of these adn your problem is 75% solved.
This is a confusing piece. Larry Butler, and others, say that gun weight absorbs recoil. Makes sense from a force/mass perspective. Brian in Oregon wrote, "two shoves but they happen so fast you can't tell there are two". Is 2 shoves of X pounds each (with a recoil device or SA action) less damaging than one shove of 2X pounds (with fixed breech)?
 

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I don't feel recoil in my shoulder, no matter how heavy the load is. I do feel it in my hand and wrist at times.
I shoot a Kolar TS, and a Caesar Guerini. There doesn't seem to be much difference between either
gun, although the Kolar is somewhat better, because of the extra weight, 10.5 lbs.
 

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I'm a Grand Pa too. About 40 years ago--before steel shot for ducks---I hunted A LOT with really heavy loads. My right shoulder go so bad I could not sleep at night and would have let a doctor operate with a dull spoon! I met with a specialist who worked with our college football team. He suggested a cortisone shot. I was up for anything. He gave me the shot and it hurt like hell! I remember levitating about a foot above the table while he pushed and twisted the 16 penny needle into my shoulder. THEN he said it would REALLY hurt after the Novocaine in the shot wore off. But it didn't get worse. He said it might fix it, it might help for a while, or it might not help at all. It fixed it. From time to time I will "bump" my shoulder on something and it will be tender for a day or two but that's all. I shoot an XT with a Rad with no problems. I also shoot Sharps buffalo guns some with no problems. I understand they guide the needle with a scope now instead of push-twist-and hope they get the right spot. Talk to a doctor--the shot might be the ticket.
 

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I have several guns the PFS installed on my guns, for me this system calms recoil to the point where it's not an issue so I'm happy with the PFS system. Of all the guns I've owned and shot my Beretta 390 Super Trap stocked with a composite Soft Touch was the lowest recoiling gun I've ever owned or shot. It truly felt like shooting a pellet gun when fired. This combination of recoil reducing stock and gas operated automatic proved to me you can quell recoil with technology to almost zero.

Surfer
 
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