Pneumatic Stocks


I have tendonitis in my shoulder and have developed a really nasty flinch when shooting trap–in spite of switching to 1 oz. loads. I think it’s time for a recoil reducer.

I have notice several advertised in the journals–Soft Touch, G-Squared, Graco. Any opinion on which is best. They all seem relatively expensive for what you get.


Dear Steve,

For pre-mounted games like trap shooting, the “trick” stocks as marketed by Soft Touch and G-Squared will greatly reduce felt recoil. I am not yet seen the Graco pneumatic stock, so I can’t comment on that.

As between the Soft Touch and G-Square, I can’t really choose. I have seen and shot a number of Soft Touch installations and found the workmanship excellent and the function reliable. I haven’t shot the G-Square. I have a number of friends who say that the G-Square is even better. Both these stocks work on the same principle. The stock collapses in upon itself using a spring and air shock absorber arrangement. When the gun butt is firmly mounted to the shoulder, the reduction in recoil is very similar to shooting a gas gun. It is remarkable.

Both makers attach the comb and the butt so that when the butt slides into the stock on recoil, the comb moves with it. This is important as you don’t want the comb moving along the face. I’m not sure if Graco has this advantage.

I understand that G-Square offers an adjustable (or at lest replaceable) comb as part of their package so that you can get any comb height you want. The Soft Touch models I have shot come with an adjustable comb, but you can get a fixed comb if you wish it. The G-Square seems to attach the comb to the butt directly, forming an upside down “L” along the top and rear of the stock. The Soft Touch attaches the butt to the comb internally and looks like a standard adjustable stock. I find the Soft Touch more attractive, but when you are fighting a flinch and tendonitis, handsome is as handsome does.

Prices are around $600 for the machinery and installation for both. The work I have seen from Soft Touch has been very nice indeed. I also hear that G-Square does a fine job. In addition to Soft Touch and G-Square there are a number of other smaller companies who are doing the same thing.

I have also shot a couple of Soft-Touch type installations on Beretta 390 gas guns. The trick stock helps a bit on a gas gun, but not nearly as much as it does on an O/U, because so much of the recoil is already spaced out on the gas gun. The installations which I have tried seem to add around 6 ounces to the rear of the gun. For a mounted gun game, a bit of extra butt weight probably won’t be noticeable. The reduction in recoil sure will.

The pneumatic stocks don’t work as well in the low gun games because they depend on a firm and precise mount to the shoulder to function well. If they are held on the shoulder loosely, they don’t seem to offer much reduction. This shouldn’t be an issue for a trap shooter. Both the stocks have an interior piston arrangement which can be adjusted for the strength of a particular shell or for personal preference.

If my sport were ATA trap and if I preferred a fixed breech gun, I would definitely, positively get one of these stocks. You can’t believe how much more pleasant life is until you try one out. Those 500 bird marathons will be a breeze.

As to a pneumatic stock eliminating your flinch, that I can’t guarantee. Flinches are funny things and people get them for different reasons. While the stock will reduce felt recoil dramatically, it may or may not affect your flinch. Sometimes the different recoil tempo of a pneumatic stock helps. A release trigger is also an option which has worked for many. The stock will make life much easier on your shoulder though.

$600 is a lot of money, but it isn’t THAT much money when you consider that it could mean the ability to continue in the sport you like so much. If I were you, I’d do it in a heartbeat. Life is too short to suffer when you play your favorite game.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck

The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC

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1 Response to Pneumatic Stocks

  1. Bill E. says:

    As usual the Technoid has summarized the advantages of Pneumatic stocks accurately. However, his statement that the stock will not necessarily cure your flinch is very important to note and it too is spot on. What will stop a flinch dead in its tracks is a release trigger!

    The newer Beretta with a Kick Off system is something like the pneumatics, but in my trials doesn’t work well at all and is distracting to me the way it wiggles on my shoulder. Others swear by them.

    The cost for a quality release trigger is about the same as for the pneumatic stocks, so you don’t have much to help with a decision between the two. I know that for me, ATA trap is the one clays game where I will definitely, always flinch. Even when I use a gas gun like a Super X-1!

    However, I had a release trigger made for it; and the flinch disappeared immediately!

    There is something about contracting the muscles to pull a trigger VS relaxing them to use a release that just inhibits a flinch completely. BTW, contrary to popular opinion, it does not take long to get used to using one.

    So for the flinch I know a release works. For the tendonitis I say get the pneumatic stock! Whoa, twice the cost! Good luck!


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