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Recoil Shoulder Pain

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Praxidike, Jul 18, 2013.

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  1. Praxidike

    Praxidike Member

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    I'm new to the shotgun world... I picked up a Remington 870 Express from Dick's Sporting Goods a few days ago, but just got to shoot it (completely stock) for the first time today. Now my shoulder is red and sore as hell lol... Is this supposed to happen? I've had to have watched like dozens of YouTube vids with teens, women, or men young and old, and they seemed to let of shot after shot without a problem...

    I took off the butstock that it came with, and put on a Hogue Pistil Grip and forend. Should this be easier to shoot?
     
  2. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Member

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    The best advice is to keep the gun tight into your shoulder as that will usually solve most of your problems with painful recoil until you get into the higher round counts. Also, another option is to add weight to your gun to reduce felt recoil. As a last resort, if it's in the budget and you just can't get used to the recoil, semi-autos (particularly the gas operated shotguns) tend to have less recoil than the pump shotguns.

    Something else to look into is to use lighter loads while shooting. Target loads are usually the easiest to handle because they're made for competition shooters who shoot several hundred rounds a day for a week straight (look at some of the larger trap competitions for an example of that). But, if you keep shooting, you will eventually get used to the recoil.
     
  3. Schwing

    Schwing Member

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    I almost always come home with bruises... a few hundred rounds tends to do that regardless of how you hold it.
     
  4. Water-Man

    Water-Man Member

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    Use Low Recoil, 2 3/4" 7/8 oz. That should help.
     
  5. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Member

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    Will the pistol grip shotgun help? No, not at all. In addition to not helping recoil, it will actually increase muzzle rise, and can end up leaving your wrist sore...

    How to come home without a sore shoulder:

    1. Proper technique - tuck the gun in tight, and don't flinch.

    2. Get a better recoil pad - Limbsaver.
     
  6. Praxidike

    Praxidike Member

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    I can control the gun & deal with the recoil just fine, but I can't deal with repeatedly being thumped in the flesh in the same spot. I watched video and can literally see the gun jerking back.

    Thanks all. I already brought the Hogue grips, so I'm going to try it out. If that also turns out to be unbearable and inaccurate, I'll look into trying a better better recoil pad and try using a lighter load.
     
  7. housecat

    housecat Member

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    Most of my shotgun shooting involved doves, or clay pigeons. The very light loads mentioned by WM handled both targets very well and did not beat me up at all. Slugs and buckshot were relegated to a few round per session, and I was very diligent to make sure my stock was positioned properly and held as tightly as I could.
     
  8. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    After a day of dove hunting or clays I always have some light bruising. But the real trick is making sure that SG is pulled into your shoulder nice and snug. When ever I go shot gunning, it's usually with my high velocity 1-1/8 oz. loads. They are brutal, but I still rarely get more than just light bruising and I'm only about 5' 4" 120 lbs..

    And yes, that pistol grip set up isn't going to help the situation at all and may only add some wrist pain to your day of fun.

    GS
     
  9. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    Make sure you're mounting the gun properly. When I hear people saying shotguns give them a bruise on their shoulders, they really mean out toward the arm. They're not getting the gun tight on the shoulder. I know, I did the same thing.
     
  10. dab102999

    dab102999 Member

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    First does the shotgun fit you. The way you tell that is unloaded and finger in the trigger and laying on your forearm you should be able to just slide your opposite hand between the butt and the inside of your elbow.

    second (this is how I taught my boy who is recoil sensitive to shoot) put the shotgun straight up in the air with the butt on your shooting shoulder and finger not in the trigger well. Rotate the gun down without removing it from your shoulder into shooting position. Get a firm grip and a snug hold. Do not try and force it into your shoulder. Make sure your cheek is resting not forcefully on the stock and take your shot.

    brusing and redness is not out of the ordinary but being a new shooter I would guess posture and grip have more to play in your problem.
     
  11. sk8r

    sk8r Member

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    For trap shooting, I use a Browning Reactor pad. No more bruising, even if I'm out there half the day. Doesn't matter which gun I use (SxS, O/U or even a single) I still get pain & bruising if I go more than one round, unless I use the Reactor, and then I don't get any of that..
     
  12. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Utter BS

    With a gun that FITS, proper placement in the pocket between the shoulder and collarbone, no bruising should occur at all, even with heavy-recoiling loads.
    I shoot sporting clays and I shoot it several times per week and I NEVER have a bruise - ever. My gun fits, I have no need for goose loads and I enjoy shooting my guns without pain.

    Heavy recoil in a poor fitting gun (even in a good fitting gun) will lead to a flinch and eventually to your ortho surgeon for some shoulder work
     
  13. PonyKiller

    PonyKiller Member

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    I've found that I get striped up from my Mossberg if I don't have it good and tight and squarely seated on my shoulder, it tends to skip and I get more pinched than bruised. Hold it straight and tight no bruising.

    The only legitimate bruising I've ever had shooting was putting 25 rounds of slugs through it sighting in and goofing off. That got the ice.
     
  14. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

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    You`ve got a lot to learn.......................
     
  15. AKElroy

    AKElroy Member

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    I agree with those saying a good fit and hold should prevent any bruising. That said, during dove season, the excitement of having birds come in from an unexpected direction occasionally has me getting off a shot or two using bad form, earning me an occasional bruise. And a miss.
     
  16. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Member

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    Things that help reduce felt recoil, in order of cost:

    Proper shouldering/mounting of the shotgun, tight in the shoulder pocket and a tight cheek weld will help immensely. I usually experience more cheek sting than shoulder sting.

    Low Recoil/Reduced Recoil Ammunition, available in everything from birdshot to slugs.

    PAST Recoil Shield, a shoulder mounted closed cell foam/nylon recoil pad available in Magnum and Double Magnum types. These will reduce felt recoil 50-75%. I can shoot roughly twice as many buckshot and slugs when wearing one of these, with no bruised shoulder afterwards.

    A quality recoil pad. Lots of older shotguns, including the Remington 870 Express the OP mentioned, have rubber recoil pads that can harden up over time, negating the felt recoil absorbing aspects. The newer pads made from the softer Santoprene rubber, like the Limbsaver and the KICK-EEZ, are worth their weight in gold.

    Porting, Mercury Recoil Reducers, and spring loaded recoil reducing buttstocks like the Endine and the Compstock work well but each of these cost about 100 bucks a pop and up. Porting works better with the heavier loads than the lighter loads, especially at reducing the muzzle rise of the shotgun, but at a cost of a louder report closer to the shooter's face.

    Having the shotgun professionally fitted to you. In my area the fitting/measurements is about 200 bucks and the stock modifications another 200 bucks. Works wonders for your shooting, especially if you shoot in competition. Keep in mind though if you substantially gain or lose weight, especially in the facial area, you might have to have another fitting done.

    Buy a semiautomatic gas operated 20 Gauge shotgun :).

    Just my .02,
    LeonCarr
     
  17. jrdolall

    jrdolall Member

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    I have loads of shotguns from .410s up to 3 1/2" magnum 12g. I shoot sporting clays 2-3 times per month as well as a few times in the field each month shooting with friends and family. I hunt dove in the Fall(actually summer here) and ducks in the winter. I have been to Argentina on a dove shoot several years back.
    I never have any bruising or soreness when shooting clays. Targets are generally coming from a known direction with known timing and I start with the gun ready. With dove and duck hunting I can never get those pesky birds to come from the direction I want them nor do they show up when I expect it. On a good dove shoot I will always take at least a few shots at odd angles and wind up with some soreness or the occasional bruise.
    Having a good gun that "fits" your shoulder and shooting light trap loads should keep recoil pain and soreness to a minimum and really eliminate any pain if you hold the gun correctly. I have a couple of 12s that are a joy to shoot and recoil is almost absent with the lite loads. I can shoot 100 rounds with my Beretta and never even feel it. I can shoot 2 rounds in a 20g Franchi and feel it the next day. That is a great gun but doesn't "fit" me as well.
     
  18. belochine

    belochine Member

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    How many rounds did you put through it that day and exactly what rounds did you use.

    I've run through 9 to 10 rounds of trap in a day and I am sore and bruised as well.
    It comes with the territory in my opinion.

    If I go through a box or two of slugs and buck plinking around the range, I also hurt plenty.

    I too am shooting Remington products.
     
  19. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    I highly endorse the Limbsaver.
     
  20. Schwing

    Schwing Member

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    I respectfully disagree as do the laws of physics. Its Newton's second law: every action has an equal or opposite reaction f=ma how much force the bullet has leaving the chamber is how much force you will feel "kicking" in the opposite direction onto your body (subtracting whatever other factors such as action type and porting) regardless of where you hold it. Proper placement and holding techniques can certainly decrease perceived recoil dramatically and will reduce bruising etc but repetitive thumps against any part of your body will eventually lead to bruising or discomfort. If you are shooting a few rounds here and there or even a few dozen then I agree that there should be no problems. Hundreds of rounds will almost always lead to some discomfort.
     
  21. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Definitely second the motion on looking into getting a PAST shoulder pad and if that doesn't reduce the effects of the recoil, get a Limbsaver boot for the buttstock.

    If you're still having problems you might want to consider getting a gas operated semi-automatic shotgun to further cut down on felt recoil.
     
  22. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Schwing - when you shoot the heaviest gun you can handle with the lightest loads that work in your gun, the recoil is minimal. The mass of the gun is the key, coupled then with the velocity and mass of the payload

    I shoot several cases per week. I shoot at least three times per week. With torn cartilage in my shooting shoulder, I am NOT about to that discomfort. I have ZERO pain, ZERO bruises, and am able to shoot 300 or more in one day without pain, bruising, or discomfort (fatigue - yes, the rest - no)

    Using this recoil calculator:http://www.omahamarian.org/trap/shotshellenergy.html

    MY 3/4 oz 1210 fps loads in MY gun have 10.25 foot/pounds; changing the load only to 1-1/8 @ 1300 gives you 22.6 - remember this does not increase in a linear fashion.

    Light loads do the job, do not cause pain or bruising, and will prevent you from making your doctor's Mercedes payment... ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2013
  23. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

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    Put on a good recoil pad or trade it for a gas operated model.
     
  24. Praxidike

    Praxidike Member

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    I shot about 15 rounds. I should also admit that the factory stock is to long for my short arms.. I'm almost fully extended out. I researched a lot before buying the shotgun, but I've never see anyone really mention having any pain (other than women) or techniques to reduce it.. Glad to hear I'm not the only one experiencing this.

    Hogue has a shorter stock that should fit me, and I guess I could pair it with the LimbSaver that was mentioned above.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2013
  25. Sauer Grapes

    Sauer Grapes Member

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    Light gun + heavy loads= PAIN, if you shoot enough of them. :neener:

    If your shoulder hurts, you probably have the gun in the wrong place.
     
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