Reducing Recoil Effectively


I shoot a Beretta A390 for skeet. It weighs 7.6 pounds. I would like to make it heavier to help with recoil (yes, I read your information and am going to play with my loads a little as well).

My problem is I don’t know a good supplier for weights. Are any made for the Beretta or is there a generic set that I could get? Internet shopping doesn’t bother me if someone is on line.

Thanks for any help…..

Dear Bill,

If you want to add weight to the rear, I think that the best way to do it would be to drill a hole in the stock and install lump or lead or a mercury recoil reducer.

Adding weight to the front is easier. GRACO Corporation in Gravette, AR makes a Graco Recoil Reduction System for the Beretta 390. It is basically a tubular shaped mercury recoil reducer which screws on in place of the forend cap.

Graco also sells the stock mounted tubular mercury recoil reducers  a 10 oz one and a 14 oz one. You will need a gunsmith to drill a true hole in the butt of the stock to install it.

I am sure that there are makers other than Graco who sell similar products, but none of them come to mind at the moment.

Mercury recoil reducers “slosh” a bit when you move the gun around, but you will get used to it. I have never been able to decide whether the mercury system (heavy liquid flowing through an orifice) does a better job of reducing recoil than an equal amount of inert lead. I don’t think that I could ever tell the difference. If you get one or both of the reducers, I would love to hear your opinion.

Just how much good will the recoil reducers do? Here are some numbers. They are based strictly on the weight of the reducer and do not take into account any additional benefit from the timed flow of the mercury.

I am starting out assuming that you are shooting a 1-1/8 oz 2-3/4 dram target load in your 7.6# gun. I don’t take into account the recoil reduction already inherent in the gas action because the formula for free recoil does not take this into account. The following figures would be equally true for a fixed breech gun as they are for a gas gun. Gas guns actually give you the same amount of recoil as a fixed breech gun, but the gas guns just space the recoil out over a longer period of time. That’s why they seem softer.

As it is now, your 7.6# gun has 16.8 ft/lb free recoil with a 1-1/8 oz 2-3/4 dram target load. With the addition of a 7 oz forend weight the total recoil is 15.89 ft/lb. With only a 10 oz reducer in the stock the recoil totals 15.53 ft/lb. With both the 7 oz forend and 10 oz butt reducers in place, the total recoil falls to 14.74 ft/lb. At best, that is a 12% reduction in recoil with both reducers in place when compared to the “bare” 7.6# gun.

By comparison, reducing the shot load from 1-1/8 oz at 1145 fps to 1 oz at the same 1145 fps, and leaving the original gun weight at 7.6 lbs, lowers the recoil from 16.8 ft/lb to 13.65 ft/lb, a 19% reduction. If you add the 17 oz of recoil reducers to a one oz shell, the total recoil would be 11.9 ft/lb, a 29% reduction.

A quick and dirty guesstimate of recoil reduction is that adding weight reduces recoil by roughly an equal percentage. That is, if you add 10% weight to the gun, it will reduce recoil by about 10%. Reducing shell velocity or lead, reduces recoil by twice the percentage of reduction in the shell. These numbers aren’t exact or linear, but they do give you the right idea that you are usually best to add/subtract weight from a gun to make the gun handle better and you reduce the load to make it shoot softer.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid
(Often in error, never in doubt.)

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1 Response to Reducing Recoil Effectively

  1. Ray says:

    I added weight to my gun by buying 1/8″ x1’x1′ square of lead on amazon, traced my recoil pad on the lead then cut it out with shears. Trimed with a file, but it under my recoil pad with longer screws. It was a fair amount of work but does the trick. Actually I used 2 layers.


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