Less Recoil With Wood or Synthetic?

Q: will a wood stock lesson recoil, over a synthetic stock?, if all things are equal, ammo load, fit, same gun. I’m going to be helping my grandkids get started on clays.

I don’t really think so. In fact, the synthetic stock might lessen recoil a touch more a the synthetic stocks are mostly hollow and will flex more. That said, there won’t be much difference. The biggest factor in recoil is velocity and payload of the shell. Example: using an 8# here are some interesting recoil calculations:

1.125 oz @ 1200 fps = 20.3 ft/lb recoil
1.125 oz @ 1150 fps = 18.8 ft/lb recoil
1.125 oz @ 1100 fps – 17.4 ft/lb recoil
1 oz @ 1200 fps = 16.7 ft/lb recoil
1 oz @ 1150 fps = 15.5 ft/lb recoil
1 oz @ 1100 fps = 14.4 ft/lb recoil

Gun weight also matters:
8# gun 1.125 oz @ 1200 fps = 20.3 ft/lb recoil
7# gun 1.125 oz @ 1200 fps = 23.2 ft/lb recoil

You can do your own calculating here: http://www.omahamarian.org/trap/shotshellenergy.html

Then there is FELT recoil vs Calculated recoil. Felt recoil is not calculated, but is subjective. Gas operated semi-autos kick less than O/Us or pumps because they give more of a push than a poke, stretching out the recoil into a longer time. It’s the same amount of recoil, just delivered over a longer time period so it doesn’t hurt as much.

Bottom line: the softest recoiling gun will be a gas operated (not recoil operated like Benelli) auto that is heavy and is using the lightest payload and slowest speed possible. What the stock is made of really doesn’t matter, though a good recoil pad does help. And, of course, the stock has to fit pretty well so that it doesn’t bang the shooter in the face. Autos have shim adjustable stocks. O/Us don’t (except for the new Benelli O/U).

Best regards,
Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid

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2 Responses to Less Recoil With Wood or Synthetic?

  1. Andy Mannich says:

    I think a 20 gauge gas semi would be good. If Remington ever brings out their V3 model in a 20 gauge, and if it has the same gas system as the 12 ( which I have in walnut and like very much ), I`m not sure you`ll feel ANY recoil ( just kidding, but only a little ) . The 12 ” shoves ” more than kicks.


  2. Jay says:

    For rifles: I find the moulded “tupperware” kind of stock such as on my Sako Model 75 rifles seems to soak up some recoil whereas the very stiff synthetic “hand laid” stock on my Weatherby Ultra Light seems to kick harder that wood. But, this all percieved racoil.

    As to grandkids: Get a used 26″, 12 ga. Citori and a new Precision Fit stock. It has a great shock absorber and will adjust from “little kid” to “big guy”. There are plenty of low recoil 12 ga. loads these days and Clever Mirage has a soft kicking international, 24 gm. (1/64th of an oz. less than 7/8 oz.) load that is often sold for $6/box or less.


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