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I'm curious if anyone has ever devised a way to numerically represent how "stiff" or "loose" a system is?

Right now, I'm shooting my PFS with 9.5 turns off of bottomed out. I would like to figure out how to get a quantifiable, recordable, and repeatable number that would represent this. This would allow for record keeping and comparison. At this point my thought/concern would be as the system wears it would become softer and softer, and a quantifiable number would allow you to chase the wear until the system is eventually rebuilt (and/or determine if it is in fact wearing at all or if it was in my head). One thing that I have observed is that different PFS stocks with the same number of turns on the system seem to have varying levels of effectiveness, although there could be other factors at play.

I've heard of people putting the butt of the gun on a bathroom scale and pressing down. Not sure if they do that to collapse or until it bottoms out, and it's not exactly scientific.

My rudimentary design idea is a four sided frame with a bathroom scale at the bottom and a jackscrew at the top. Determine where bottom out is, mark it, put the PFS in the fixture, and tighten the jackscrew until the stock bottoms out, and the resultant weight should give a baseline. Obviously much easier with a PFS, although the same design could be modded to work with most any recoil system.
 

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skeet_man
Years ago when I was shooting a PFS I was told to test mine just by putting the barrel on the bathroom scale and pressing down. Record the number when the stock started to move.
If a PFS is bottoming out it is set way to soft.

Ron Burdick
 

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Doubt there is a practical way to do way you are suggesting. The PFS uses stacked Bellevue washers to help reduce felt recoil. As you tighten or loosen the adjuster screw you are changing the compression of the washers. Other systems might use a hydraulic system. Merely compressing a hydraulic cylinder won't tell you much as they require an acceleration element to determine how much effect they have.
 

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You're trying to measure if the spring rate has changed. What you are proposing should be sufficient but it only works for a recoil reduction system that is purely spring based. If there is damping involved, that will be much more difficult to measure.
 
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