Bad Back Shotgun

Comment: I have just found Bruce Buck’s article “Reducing Recoil” very helpful. It contained and clarified a lot of reading i have done recently. Following back surgery in 1991 I gave up my shotgun and rifle as virtually unable to walk. Over 20 years on and more surgery plus some very accommodating friends I have returned to the field. I started with a pcp air rifle on barn rats. Same gun, I have had the odd rabbit and pigeon that were accessible from not too great a distance from my car. By being dropped off by 4×4 I have enjoyed being a beaters stop and had great fun on a couple of cock days. My problem is the recoil. It upsets my back for the rest of the day and the next or two. It looks like the answer is a semi auto? No problem in the pigeon hide or harvest field. As the auto is essential on disability come health grounds, is it reasonable to be expected to be welcomed with it on a driven game/cock day? I would expect to ask the keeper and or captain and use a red breach flag. Even display it to be unloaded before negotiating a gate/fence or getting into a vehicle. Or am I asking too much? I ask because I am about to apply for new SG/FAC tickets and am doing my homework. Will the best shot gun for my needs be Sec 1, probably not. Also I have muted the question to one keeper who could see no problem under the circumstances but I cant help wondering how universal his understanding will be. what do you think please.

Julian Mamo


It’s great that you are well enough to get back to shooting after such a long period recouping. Well done! As to semi-automatics at driven shoots, I’m sure that asking the keeper or shoot master ahead of time and explaining your reasons should be enough. You might call around now, before buying a gun, and ask others, as you have already done with one venue. I’d also explain it to the other hunters when you gather before the hunt to choose the pegs.

All semi-autos are not alike in reducing recoil. The recoil-operated semi autos like Benelli, Franchi and Stoeger kick more than most of the gas-operated autos. Of the gas-operated autos, the Remington 1100 is one of the softest shooting, though it is not the most durable. The new Beretta autos (391 and 400) are not as soft. The older Browning Gold was quite a soft shooter, though I’ve not tried their new VersaMax.

You might also look into a recoil-absorbing butt attachment. Not all of them will fit on a semi-auto due to the recoil spring tube in the stock. But some might and it would be worth looking into. Graco and Isis make recoil units for Over Unders and might be able to point you in the right direction for an auto.

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid

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2 Responses to Bad Back Shotgun

  1. Although they look a little “paramilitary” the recoil absorbing stocks from KickLite (Phoenix Technology) and Blackhawk/Knoxx Stocks (make sure you buy the recoil reduction stocks about $100 at Brownell’s or Midway USA) do a fine job of reducing recoil. I am kind of a recoil nut, experimenting with everything to avoid recoil. Of the two stocks, I think KickLite works better. While I know they make one ore the Remington 870 (it sure needs one) I am almost certain that that stack will also fit the 1100. Then add a LimbSaver (Sims Vibration) recoil pad (the one made for the AR-15/M4 model 10019 fits) and you have take out about 50%-60% of the preexisting recoil. As an added bonus, you can change the length of pull on the stocks. While you are at it, wear a PAST or LimbSaver (Sims Vibration) recoil shoulder pad and I guarantee you will be out shooting trap.


  2. Julian Mamo says:

    I have read Bruce’s reply and I am indebted to you. Thanks for your advice and recommendations as to which are the more suitable or softer autos. I would put up with a Remington not being the most durable to get a problem free day out. A little extra care and maintenance is small price to pay. I will do as you say and make my situation clear, politely and well ahead. Any odd looks on the day and I’ll explain with a smile and do as I originally said and display safe practise with a red flag etc.
    I am off to find a softer auto, thank you.


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