Shooting with a Pacemaker


May 4, 2005, 09:53 AM
My dad will be visiting me this summer and he's expressed an interest in going to range to shoot my Mausers. He just had a pacemaker "installed" and I was wondering if anyone knew of any issues he might have shooting big bore rifles. 8mm mausers have quite a kick and I wouldn't want what should be a pleasant bonding experience to turn into something ugly.

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May 4, 2005, 10:11 AM
I was about to remind you that there should be an "e" after the P in the title, before my brain kicked in. :D

May 4, 2005, 10:58 AM
How long ago was it implanted?

May 4, 2005, 11:08 AM
It was implanted the day before yesterday and everything is going well. He's planning on visiting around the end of August. It's one of those pacemaker/defibulator combinations.

May 4, 2005, 11:17 AM
The best advice is to check with his doctor for a recommendation. The final decision should clearly come from him.

However, I would not do any shooting with anything stronger than a 22 for at least 6-8 weeks after implantation. It is possible that a lead could get knocked out of position at any point, even well after the 6-8 wks.

Final word though, he needs to get clearance from the cardiologist before shooting!

May 4, 2005, 11:21 AM
Thanks for responding, I'll make sure the doctor gives him the OK before going to the range.

May 4, 2005, 11:26 AM
Ditto on checking with the doc.

But I have a friend who had one installed last week and the doc put it on the right (they normally go on the left) because he shoots some HEAVY rifles (.416 Rigby and the like) left handed and this would allow him to keep shooting them. I don't know how long the delay needs to be for him, but I remember something like 3 months before anything more than a .22 and 6 months before getting back into the HEAVY stuff.

May 4, 2005, 11:34 AM
Your guns don't have microwave ovens in em do they?


Seriously, I would have him ask his doctor. I don't think it would be a problem but I would be afraid to recommend anything else.

May 4, 2005, 11:58 AM
I had a pacemaker/defibralator put in about 6 years ago and shoot 10 & 12 gauge shotguns and high powered rifles with no problems..just make sure they put it on the non-shooting shoulder of

Bob R
May 4, 2005, 02:13 PM
As long as it is on the non-shooting side, and the doc ok's it, it should be fine. My wife has one that senses movement to increase her heartrate, and does not feel it fire, even when shooting the 12gauge. She also had hers put on the right side because she is a lefty.


Sylvilagus Aquaticus
May 4, 2005, 02:17 PM
He should be fine after the incision heals up. Give it a couple of weeks to a month. If he's a right-hander, it should be fine as they're usually implanted on the left upper chest just under the skin. Since it's the defib/pacer model, he shouldn't have any problems with it; I'd just reccomend you not joke him with the .577 T-Rex or anything. If he has any problems with the recoil, you might suggest he use one of the PAST recoil shoulder pads that he can wear over a shirt or jacket.

I've known of surgeons who would willingly adjust the placement of pacers and mediports if you discuss it with them prior to surgery. There are always options.


May 4, 2005, 02:20 PM
I don't think a couple of weeks to a month is long enough. It isnt because of the chest wall needing to heal up, it is because the leads would not have had time to become firmly attached to heart muscle, and potentially could get pulled out of position.

May 4, 2005, 04:51 PM
Well, he'll have had the device for a few months before he comes up here for a visit, but I'll make sure he asks his doctor. He's a righty and it's on his left side, so that's a plus.

As far as the recoil is concerned, he's never shot anything besides besides a .22 rifle, so 8mm mauser will be an eye-opener I'm sure :p I already have one of those wearable shoulder recoil pads, but I don't use it actually (so I'll give it to him). I got a couple of those rubber slip-on ones for the buttstocks and they work great by themselves.

Thanks for all your responses, everyone! I was just sitting here this morning thinking about his operation and his planned visit, and I was hoping that the shooting we had talked about wasn't totally out of the picture now that he's a cyborg.

May 4, 2005, 09:24 PM
I had my Defib implanted Feb 27 03 , I had to have it implanted on the left side, This would be no problem for most people but I am left eye domanant and left handed.I am still trying to learn to shoot right handed ,long guns are still a problem but I am improving. As for time to shoot the larger stuff My Doc said six months,I still have not shot any thing bigger then a AK 47. As for pistols I shoot my 9mm weekly and have ran a few rounds through my Brothers Rageing Bull 454. My Doc says Never put a rifle over the device so have a great time just be careful..roman... :)

Ukraine Train
May 5, 2005, 12:01 AM
My dad's had one for a few years now and he shoots my Mosin regularly with no problem.

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