Knoxx SpecOps stock: initial review


February 27, 2006, 01:13 AM
I purchased one of these stocks (see here ( for details) and installed it on a Remington 870 Wingmaster with 20" IC smoothbore barrel (with rifle sights). I wanted to try it for two main reasons:

1. Having had two years of back surgery for an on-the-job injury, I've been left partially disabled, and heavy recoil is Not A Good Thing as far as my back is concerned;

2. I teach disabled and handicapped shooters, and many of them in wheelchairs or dependent on walking aids can't handle the recoil of a "normal" shotgun, even with low-recoil loads. I've tried using a standard Knoxx Compstock ( for them, but the LOP is just too long, particularly for wheelchair users. I wanted to see whether the adjustable length and recoil absorbtion of the SpecOps stock helped them.

Something like 200 rounds have gone downrange with the SpecOps stock so far, fired by myself and three disabled shooters (two in wheelchairs) who helped with the testing. As the SpecOps is primarily oriented towards defensive shooting, we used buckshot and slugs, both full-power and reduced-recoil, for our tests. (I see no reason why it shouldn't work perfectly well for trap, skeet, hunting, etc. - although a pistol-grip stock might look a bit odd on a sporting gun! :D - and will try this out further down the road.)

Subjectively, I'd say that this stock takes at least 50% off the recoil. In my hands, full-power 12ga. slugs (Rottweil Brenneke, Remington Slugger) feel even softer in recoil than a a low-base #8 birdshot round. I'd rate the felt recoil as equivalent to a 7.62x39mm. round fired from a Yugo SKS - entirely manageable, and nothing unpleasant. I suspect that a 3" magnum load would feel a bit like a reduced-recoil slug or buckshot load, but I haven't yet bothered with magnum rounds.

My disabled friends particularly appreciated being able to set the length of the stock to suit themselves. Both guys in wheelchairs set it to one notch out from the shortest position, giving a LOP of approximately 11", and found that this was very manageable from their seated position. The other shooter, using a walker, found a mid-length position most comfortable, as did I - LOP about 12". We all found that the thin hard rubber butt pad was not the world's most comfortable, but given that the recoil was much reduced, this wasn't a major problem. I plan on replacing it with either a Kick-Eez or Limbsaver pad for even better recoil reduction.

Overall, I'm very impressed with this stock. It's certainly going to stay on my HD-oriented shotgun, and I'll probably buy one of the CopStock wire-framed folding stocks as well, just to play with it and compare them. (Given that they both use the same recoil reduction mechanism, I expect the "feel" of the recoil to be similar: but the wire-frame stock doesn't have the same solid pad as the SpecOps, so I might have to rig up something to spread the recoil a bit.)


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February 27, 2006, 01:16 AM
Thanks for the review, Preacherman!

I might have to get the hookup on one of those for my Maverick, one o' these days.


February 27, 2006, 01:22 AM
Very nice review, P'man, as we've all come to expect from you.

How very cool that you teach classes in use of shotgun for disabled folks.

I've consider the Knoxx SpecOps, but for now, my standard 870P stock with the R3 pad feels just fine, specially with those RR 00 rnds. (Though, point taken from another thread, #1 buck is best for HD. So noted.)

Someday, I may change my mind.

Hope all is improving in post-Katrina Louisiana.



February 27, 2006, 10:28 AM
great review. Regarding the Compstock, was the recoil reduction similar? I'm looking for something like that for my Mossy 500, but I want the traditional stock appearance...

February 27, 2006, 10:35 AM
Preacherman, great review. I've been looking at that stock for new Mossy my wife got me for Christmas. You helped convince me that is the one I will get.

I just found a Surefire forend w/light this past weekend for a great price. So when I get the stock and ghost ring sights on it I'll be ready to go.

Thanks again, Mike

February 27, 2006, 03:34 PM
Rob, the CompStock certainly reduced recoil, but in a different way to the SpecOps. The former has a much bigger spring in the stock than the latter, but no pistol-grip spring. Also, for me (and for most shooters who tried it), the CompStock's LOP was a little bit long - it would help if it could be made a bit shorter. Perhaps Knoxx has thought of this? You might want to call them and ask one of their tech support reps about it.

February 27, 2006, 03:51 PM
Preacherman, do these stocks slingshot the gun forward after the shot recoil is dissipated?

February 27, 2006, 03:57 PM
Alduro, I think "slingshot" is the wrong word to use. There is a rearward movement of the receiver over a range of about 1" or so - nothing really major. The stock and pistol-grip remain fixed in position, while the receiver moves back and upward along the edge of the pistol-grip. You can actually duplicate this movement by placing the barrel on the ground and pushing down on the pistol grip: you'll see the movement of the receiver. It snaps back into position very quickly: I found that by the time I'd worked the slide, the gun was ready to shoot again (and I work the slide fast - as I've mentioned in other posts, I've been trained to do 5 shots in 2 seconds for defensive use, and even with such rapid slide action, the gun kept up with me very easily). I found nothing objectionable in the recoil motion.

I note that the Knoxx Web site does warn that if you're using a SureFire fore-end, with a light positioned below the fore-end, you may have to hold the fore-end further back from the light mount so as not to get rapped on the knuckles by the light mount when the gun recoils. I don't know that this would be a major factor for me, as I'd be working the slide during recoil, and would therefore expect my hand to be well out of the way. YMMV.

February 27, 2006, 06:42 PM
My knuckles occasionally get rapped by my surefire foreend with the Compstock. Nothing really painful, more annoying than anything. No worries about my shoulder though! Train to hold a surefire forend further back and it works out.

February 27, 2006, 10:57 PM
thanks for the excellent review, preacherman :)

March 2, 2006, 02:23 PM
I was worried about you. Glad you finally got a chance to shoot the SpecOps. Next time you shoot it, try not pulling the shotgun too tightly against your shoulder. This will reduce the felt recoil even further. Let me know how we can be of further assistance.

CaCrusin :cool:

March 2, 2006, 02:32 PM
Hey CaCrusin, Could you explain why not to pull the shotgun in tighter??

March 2, 2006, 05:05 PM
TX35 Hey CaCrusin, Could you explain why not to pull the shotgun in tighter??

There are two recoil reducing devices in the SpecOps. One is in the pistol grip and the other in the butt stock. Pulling the stock tightly against your shoulder preloads the secondary mechansim and reduces its effectiveness. It also tends to increase the intensity of the little recoil that makes it past the grip mechansim. After thousands of rounds of testing we have found that the best method is to set the stock gently against the shoulder and let the mechansims do their work. It takes some practice to overcome the old habits but it is worth it.

CaCrusin :cool:

March 3, 2006, 03:24 PM
I appreciate your reply.....

March 3, 2006, 04:17 PM
Do they make one for 20 guage? My wife uses a youth model 20 guage for deer hunting and the recoil is a little stiff for her.

September 3, 2010, 07:50 AM
I did a review of the stock at my site. You can see it at the following link.

I purshased the Folder version. The recoil reducing feature works great, but the folder is tough on the cheek if you don't have evelated sights. See the review.

September 3, 2010, 09:28 AM
...Another happy customer! :)

I put SpecOps stocks on both my Mossberg 500 and NEF Pardner...Did it on the 500 first, and liked it so much, I decided to fit my Pardner with it also so that I'd have the same muscle memory and manual of arms for both HD shotguns...


September 3, 2010, 10:50 AM
Don't be fooled by marketing, just because the stock is marketed for defense does not mean it's limited. I have one on my shotgun and it has been loaded up for deer (Rifled Barrel w/ Sabot Slug), goose (3" Steel), turkey (3" Remington Nitro Magnum), and the regular clay game loads.

Gun is a Mossberg 500 and it's had a 28", 24", and 24" Rifled barrel on it depending on the need. I love the thing but it does have noticeable cheek slap and the butt pad is a little unforgiving when it comes to the loads that do manage to punch a little bit.

I bought mine because I was given a 12ga for free and I was not about to turn down a free gun for my first, so I had to find a way to make it comfortable for me.

September 3, 2010, 12:05 PM
Chalk me up as a less happy customer.

It works, don't get me wrong. But the way Knoxx has angled the rail the receiver slides on, it translates the forward to back energy of recoil and directs some of it up. This drives the stock into your face. Since I got tired of looking like an abused spouse I set up the shotgun with a taller AR-15 style red dot so that I wouldn't need cheek weld to use the sight. There are recoil reduction stocks out there that only push front to back, like the mesa tactical, that wouldn't slap your cheekbone silly.

Also note that if you put this on a slug gun (as I did at first) with a scope, make sure you have *plenty of eye relief!!* Or you can add a black eye to that bruised cheek. Even so, it's disconcerting to see the scope come flying at your eye when you pull the trigger, and can give you a flinch.

Al Thompson
September 3, 2010, 12:08 PM
Zombie! :)

September 3, 2010, 01:13 PM
I love the thing but it does have noticeable cheek slap and the butt pad is a little unforgiving when it comes to the loads that do manage to punch a little bit.

Then that particular set up does not FIT you - there should never be any cheek slap with a set up that fits.

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