You mention that you can noticeably affect felt recoil through stock pitch adjustment. It just so happens that I’m putting together a Beretta 303 that has a curved, hard plastic butt plate (courtesy of Cape Outfitters) It’s a Monte Carlo that has been sanded down and paralleled (sp.). I’m getting ready to send it off and have a Kick-eez or Decelerator installed and I guess I have the luxury of deciding the pitch of the butt pad.
What do you suggest to reduce the recoil as much as possible. Keep in mind this is possibly a future “flyer gun”. I like the idea of it’s solid full choke on pattern quality.
Thanks in advance for your expertise and wit.
If its a flyer gun, you are going to want to pay particular attention to keeping the muzzle down after the first shot. While I don’t normally recommend porting because, though it works it doesn’t work enough to matter with target loads, in the case of a flyer gun you might give it a try. Flyer loads generate more gas pressure than target loads, so the porting might actually do something. At least a little bit.
Porting does nothing for rearward recoil though. Since you are using a good gas gun (303- you lucky dog. Those things are sainted) and are running the comb parallel, about the only thing left other than adding weight (not always a plus for flyers), is to mess with the recoil pad and the pitch.
A zero pitch will be kindest to your face and reduce the stock rise into the face the most. That’s why most trap guns have zero pitch. Unfortunately, zero pitch does nothing to control muzzle rise after the first shot. Most trap guns (not doubles guns) only have to shoot once, so they don’t worry about muzzle rise.
Positive or down pitch will help keep your muzzle down for the second shot. A heavily pitched gun drops its muzzle as it recoil rearward because the positive pitch causes the stock to rise into the face as it slides slightly up the shoulder on recoil due to the angle. This drops the muzzle. It can also whack the face. Which way to do you want it? Muzzle rise and happy face or flat muzzle and cherry chops. But there is a happy point in between for most people. Something between zero pitch and 2″ of down pitch suits most people.
Here’s what I’d do. Get Brownells catalogue at Brownells, 200 South Front Street, Montezuma, IA 50171-1000, tel: 515-623-4001, <www.brownells.com>. Order up your favorite recoil pad (Kickeez or Terminator), but also order some of the 100 Straight Products beveled stock spacers. Most stock spacers are just 1/8″ and 1/4″ slabs, but 100 Straight sells some cut like wedges so that you can fool with the pitch.
Get the stock height and comb slope to what you want, but don’t permanently install the recoil pad. Start experimenting with spacers as to length and pitch by trial and error. Don’t cut anything to fit the stock, just screw them on for trial. When you finally get what you want, leave everything bolted in place and send it off so that they can grind everything down and make it look pretty.
First as to length and comfort: for comfort (and since you are shooting a pre-mounted gun) shoot the longest stock which feels right to you. The longer the stock, the more securely it is held to the shoulder and the less of a gap there is for the gun to build up steam and whack you. Longer stocks also mean less movement along the face. Obviously, too long a stock inhibits your swing, but make the stock too long and then shorten it, not the other way around.
Once you get the length the way you want it, start with zero pitch and see how well you can control the muzzle for the second shot. Then try one pitch spacer and see if that improves your muzzle control and/or slaps your face. You can try a second pitch spacer to see if that makes a difference, but my guess is that one is all that will ever be necessary if the stock starts out with zero pitch.
Different amounts of pitch affect different shooters differently with different shells at different games. This is called the “different”ial fudge factor, a convenient smoke screen for gun writers like me. The only way to really do it right is to “self-fit” and experiment. You can fool around with different spacers and pads all day if you don’t grind them down. You may wear out the screw holes in the stock and want to get some of those metal “moly’s” that take bolts.
When you test your stock, make sure to use your pigeon loads, not light target ones. There is a difference. But you knew that.
The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC
I believe a “flyers gun” is also known as a live pigeon gun. In Europe and in certain parts of the world, there are shotgun games where shooting live pigeons and downing them in a prescribed area is the name of the game. The guns used are typically double guns with both barrels choked very tightly. There is money bet in these events, how exactly, I’m not sure, but I’m told the amounts can be quite large.
What in the world is a “flyer(s) gun”?