Recoil Absorbing Stocks

Dear Technoid,

Do those recoil reduction systems effect the control of the gun? i.e. spring or hyd. loaded pads.

I’m an avid sporting clay shooter and know the best shooters can fire a shot and recover very quickly and fire again. If the gun is bouncing around the face and shoulder pocket fast recovery seems difficult. I shoot a K-80 and recoil is my enemy. I know, i know, you shoot a 303. I put my K-80 away this winter and shot over 5000 targets with a 303. I don’t shoot as well using the gas gun. Short shots are easy but the longer ones give me trouble.

Richard, Texas

Dear Richard,

Well, I can’t hold it against you. You did give the gas gun a try. They aren’t for everyone, but then again, no one gun is. It is odd though. Most people, especially the pros, find that the gas gun helps MORE on the long shots than it does on the short shots. The gas gun’s 3 1/2″ longer receiver means that the muzzle is out there just that much further and the long shots can be dealt with more precisely.

However, since you did pick an O/U, you certainly chose the softest shooting one. Krieghoff managed early on to combine low recoil design (tight head space, split barrels, long cones, .735″ backbore) with an entire ton of road hugging weight to produce a soft shooter.

The shock absorbing stock has pluses and minuses. Other than the cost, they add a bit of weight to the rear of the gun. I doubt it you will notice the added tonnage on a K-80.

Do they recycle fast enough for a quick second shot? Probably. Many years ago I fooled around with a Krieghoff M-32 for International Skeet. It had an exquisitely made (Dockwiller did the work) Hydrocoil stock. That stock was pneumatic and it did NOT recuperate quickly enough to dampen a second quick shot. The recoil from the first shot was absorbed as the mechanism collapsed, but the second shot seemed to me to have normal recoil. Perhaps the pneumatic struts could have used some puffing up, but I had trigger problems with the gun and sold it. It also had another problem in that the stock had to be firmly seated on the shoulder to work properly.

The current shock absorbing stocks (I speak of Soft Touch here, but I believe G Squared also is made the same way) use a combination of springs and pneumatic struts- much like a spring wrapped shock absorber on your car. The pneumatic strut keeps the bounce down, but the spring gives the rapid shock absorbtion and recovery. At least this is what the Soft Touch people told me. I never had a chance to pull one apart, but I do know that Soft Touch offers springs of different strengths.

Do the current stocks work? Yes, they do – BUT…. Here’s the deal. I shot an FN B-25 and a Beretta 303 with the Soft Touch system installed. On wobble trap with the FN, the Soft Touch worked very well indeed, on both the first AND the second shot. It recovered in plenty of time and really did dampen the recoil (subjectively) about 30-40%, just as they say it does. When the stock “collapses” to absorb the shock, it really doesn’t move very far at all, so it can recover quickly under spring pressure..

G-Squared’s stock must also work because that is what Kim Rhode used on her Perazzi when she won the Olympic Gold in Double Trap at Atlanta. By definition, double trap requires a quick second shot.

I shot the Soft Touch 303 at FITASC and was less impressed, but for a different reason. It had a bit of the same problem that I had with the Hydracoil M-32 at IntSk. The stock had to be firmly seated on the shoulder to work properly. If it wasn’t it recoiled back, slapping all your different body parts just like an ordinary stock, until it got firmly seated somewhere and then started to collapse and absorb recoil the way it was designed to. It wasn’t the fault of the stock, but the butt has to be planted firmly for the mechanism to work correctly. Poor gun mount or a particularly awkward presentation may not permit proper mounting firmly into the shoulder.

Bottom line: The Soft Touch that I tried, and probably also the G-Squared, will definitely recover fast enough to work on a second shot. It may require some spring swapping to get the right one for your load and gun weight, but it can be done. The stocks will work just fine if you are consistent in your gun mount. If your gun mount is all over the place, they are not going to help. Nothing is.

Best regards,
Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid

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One Response to Recoil Absorbing Stocks

  1. Rich Dettinger says:

    I know that Soft Touch now as a magnetic “lock” system for those people that want a very firm plant on their shoulder without collapsing the system. I took a clinic with Ron Sutton and he let me shoot his K80 with the Soft Touch installed and it worked fine. Led me to purchase one myself for my CG Impact.


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