The Subject of Recoil

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allaboutshooting
 
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The Subject of Recoil

Postby allaboutshooting » June 20th, 2009, 6:15 pm

I shoot a pretty good number of 3" 12 gauge and 20 gauge turkey loads each year testing various choke/barrel/shotshell combinations for my clients and my readers. That has added up to many hundreds of shells each and every year for the past 10 years or so.

I shoot all of them off my right shoulder and have paid a price for that. As far as can be determined, my retinas are okay but I have seriously torqued my spine and there is a definite twist in my back. it happens that the left-side back muscles are very much overdeveloped and put a lot of stress on the right-side back muscles. It's quite evident if you see my back.

(As an aside, my hearing is a bit better than normal for a man my age. I've used ear protection for the past 20 years.)

At this point the only "remedy" is to strengthen the right side of my back through specific exercises that target that area. That can help reduce the stress and hopefully, eventually the pain that's currently 24/7.

I am either fortunate or unfortunate in that I do not bruise, so there's never been any evidence of bruising on my right shoulder, just the constant torque of having round after round shoving my shoulder backward.

I started using various recoil absorbing products about 9 years ago when I first contracted with some shotshell companies to test their products. I met the man who invented the Shooter's Friend Recoil Pad and began using that product, even doubling it at times with some light guns. It certainly spread out the recoil and disbursed it over a larger area but did not keep me for getting "punchy" after a day of shooting 100+ shells.

A couple of years ago I was asked to do some pre-market testing for the Evo Shield recoil reduction shirt. I've used one ever since to help me "remain aware of where I am" after a day at the range. I still use the Shooter's Friend Recoil Pad & the Evo Shield and that combination helps a lot.

Recoil effects all of us even if we don't bruise or if we dont realize what it's doing to us. I'd urge anyone who's shooting heavy loads to take precautions, not only for your eyes but for your back and spine. Take it from someone who's learned but a bit too late to prevent the real damage that recoil can produce.

This is a wonderful sport but just like any other "contact" sport we need to wear appropriate protection.

Thanks,
Clark
"If he's out of range, it just means that he has another day and so do you."

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mark hay
 
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RE: The Subject of Recoil

Postby mark hay » June 20th, 2009, 6:29 pm

Thanks Clark, I appreciate the information . It is a side of the shooting sports that is rarely dicussed in detail as to the longterm effects it can and does have on our bodies .

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Steve_In
 
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Location: Ari, Indiana

RE: The Subject of Recoil

Postby Steve_In » June 21st, 2009, 6:47 pm

Clark, have you tried the lead sled or similar products?  My brother got the Cabalas version last year and swears by it for heavy pattern testing.  He also used it for sighting in some light muzzle loading deer rifles. 
Steve, I love "smoked" turkey

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allaboutshooting
 
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RE: The Subject of Recoil

Postby allaboutshooting » June 21st, 2009, 7:40 pm

Hey Mark,

I hope by sharing my experience that I may help someone else prevent an injury. Overuse and just too much shooting heavy loads is responsible for my current situation. I'm now having to try to strengthen the opposing muscles to lessen the stress and resultant pain. It's just better not to have the injury in the first place than to have to try to "repair" it.

Thanks,
Clark
"If he's out of range, it just means that he has another day and so do you."

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allaboutshooting
 
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Joined: April 8th, 2008, 11:47 am
Location: Southern Illinois, U.S.A.

RE: The Subject of Recoil

Postby allaboutshooting » June 21st, 2009, 7:47 pm

Hey Steve,

Yes, several years ago when I was very heavily involved in testing a new turkey shotshell, I used a lead sled for a period of time. Unfortunately, I used a couple of bags of shot for weight and had several internal parts break in a couple of guns that I was using for many of my tests.

It turned out to be a pretty common problem for shooters who were shooting a lot of magnum type loads. I found out from a couple of gunsmiths that they'd repaired guns with the same "symptoms" from shooters using that product extensively.

It works just fine for a shooting occasionally to sight in a shotgun or rifle but when nothing moves, the gun takes the full impact of the recoil. Guns just are not made to absorb that type of punishment without breaking. Something has to give. That's usually our bodies that move and also absorb a lot of the recoil.

I also found that patterns were not the same when shot off the lead sled and off my shoulder. Since many of my tests are to determine how a particular combination of choke/barrel/shotshell will work for a hunter, my tests need to be as realistic as possible.

There are some other types of devices that allow a gun to move naturally and you can even use a remote device to press the trigger. I looked at them but never really tried one.

A lesson learned for me and hopefully by sharing my experience, I can help someone else.

Thanks,
Clark
"If he's out of range, it just means that he has another day and so do you."


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