Mercury Recoil Reducers


Bruce,

I was reading the shotgun talk yesterday on shotgun resource guide and someone mentioned mercury recoil reducers. Are these any good?

I tried some so called recoil reducers years back and did not think much of them except for one called “The poor mans recoil reducer” which goes into the magazine of guns like 870’s and 1100’s. That one really works but the others seemed to have no more effect than adding a comparable amount of weight.

I notice the Mercury recoil reducers have several models one of which mounts in the magazine like the old “Poor Mans reducer”. These methods of mounting are imaginative and certainly give more options than just stuffing them in the stock, but the question remains; will these things do more than just adding 10 oz. of steel in the same location?

Joe

PS I really appreciate the answer you gave me a few months back about the Browning BPS. I am building one up now. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Dear Joe,

I’ve fooled with mercury recoil reducers before, but never found that they made a noticeable difference compared to an equal amount of inert weight. In theory, they should be superior because they not only add mass to the gun, but the movement of the mercury through the orfice on recoil, should create a second recoil peak while further reducing the first and major recoil peak.

This “twin peak” recoil effect is the way gas guns work. The recoil from a gas gun is the same as it is from a fixed breech gun with the same weight and shell, but the gas gun spaces the recoil out into two separate peaks, one right now and one a tiny bit later. The area under the curves is the same as it is with the fixed breech gun, but the recoil takes just a moment longer to arrive. It’s like a push instead of a jab.

In theory, the mercury reducer also spaces out the recoil just a tiny bit as it takes a small amount of time for the mercury to flow through the reducer under recoil. The Edwards Recoil Reducer used to do the same thing using a solid weight and a spring. It’s the same idea of spacing out the recoil by using a moving weight.

Like so many things with recoil, what works in theory often isn’t noticeable in practice. At least, it never was for me. If I wanted to reduce recoil, I usually just added weight. Still, other people claim that they can notice a better recoil reduction with mercury or an Edwards. In the end, some things about recoil are pretty subjective. Frankly, I just found the “sloshing” of the mercury in the tube to be disconcerting.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC
(Often in error, never in doubt.)

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