View Full Version : Testing the heck out of the Houge Compstock

June 21, 2002, 12:54 AM
Today we were finally able to put together a test of the Houge Compstock. We had seven shooters of various sizes and skill levels.

The drill we ran was a basic hammer drill. 5 IDPA targets, 1 yard apart, ten yards away. Shooter starts at the low ready and engages the targets as rapidly as possible.

The shotguns used were matching 12 gauge Remington 870s. One was equipped with the Compstock, the other had the standard wood, with basic Remington Wingmaster recoil pad. The shotguns were equipped with mag extensions and riot length barrels.

A little background on the shooters. I've removed the TFLers names who participated to protect the innocent. I figure if they want to they will identify who they are. :)

Myself. (Correia) 6'5" 310 lbs. (but not fat!) :) Been shooting shotgun recreationally most of my life. Your average gun nut.

Shooter A: 6'5" 250 lbs. Police officer. Firearms instructor.

Shooter B: 5'11" 195 lbs. Police officer. Firearms instructor.

Shooter C: 5'11" 220 lbs. Former army ranger/ former sheriff's deputy. Not really into shotguns, but knows how to use one.

Shooter D: 6'0" 178 lbs. Former Marine. 2nd place rifleman in the Military in Utah. Not really into shotguns, but knows how to use one.

Shooter E: 5'9" 175 lbs. Average gun nut. Owner of the compstock in question. Some recreational shotgun shooting background.

Shooter F: 5'8" 150 lbs. Average gun nut. Shoots some shotgun, but mostly uses a semi auto Beretta.

So the shooters recruited were a good cross section of gun folks. 6 of the 7 are current TFLers. If the shooter experienced a malfunction it is noted in parenthesis. 2 shooters sat out the slug stage because of a miscalculation in the number of slugs needed for the test.

00 Buckshot Results

Shooter Compstock Regular stock
Correia 3.41 2.54
A 3.74 3.30
B 3.78 3.06
C 3.45 3.51
D 3.65 4.23
E 3.66 3.28
F 7.28 (w/shortstroke) 4.41

Rifled Slug Results

Shooter Compstock Regular stock
Correia 2.99 4.40 (w/shortst.)
A 3.06 5.08 (w/shortst.)
B 3.31 4.32
D 4.61 3.62
E 3.16 3.21

After the drills we played with the shotguns some more just to form opinions, and see how the different stocks felt.

There were a few instances where the shooter got a little excited and shortstroked the shotgun. Also interesting because these were done by some of the most experienced shotgunners there. It can happen to the best of us.

As you can see there isn't a whole lot of difference between the compstock times and regular stock times while shooting buckshot. But when we moved to the harder kicking slugs there was a definate difference. As you can see just about everybody was a bit faster on the slug drill with the compstock.

The compstock works, but in a weird way. Most of the shooters could feel the difference in recoil. The problem we found was that since the stock collapsed a couple of inches to absorb the recoil impulse, it would slap you in the cheek if you didn't have a perfect cheek weld. Also for our shooters with big arms it was neccesary to put the thumb on the right side of the stock to keep from getting the thumb in the nose.

At the end of the test most of us were ambivilent about the stock. It worked for most of us. But all of us had reservations. Shooter D hated the compstock, it just didn't feel right to him. It is hard to explain if you haven't tried it, but it feels kind of squishy while you are shooting.

One negative of the compstock is that if you need a shorter stock you are out of luck. It comes with some extensions to make it longer, but on the shortest setting it is the same size as a standard Remington stock.

Shooter B, who is a firearms instructor for his department, said that he would skip the compstock for issue in his department. He figured that for the expense the average officer would be better off just using reduced recoil buck shot or slugs, and a better recoil pad.

Shooter E found the "stickiness" of the rubber grip to be a little distracting. But figured that is just something that you would get used to.

We started from the low ready for the drills, so I didn't notice this early on, but the floppiness of the Compstock pad made shouldering it kind of "different". The pad is very soft, and getting it into a good position wasn't as positive.

So in conclusion, if you are going to shoot lots of hard kicking loads, the compstock really does reduce recoil. On the lighter kicking loads there was almost no difference. I imagine that if I was going to participate in a shotgun class where I had to shoot 250 rounds of buckshot in a day, and 50 slugs, your shoulder would probably feel better at the end of the day with the compstock than without.

For regular sporting shotgun use, I don't think that loads are heavy enough to make a difference. But if you plan on shooting lots of full power slugs, it might be worth the investment.

Dave McC
June 21, 2002, 05:21 AM
Thanks to you and the crew, Corriea. Kudoes for doing and publishing this. A coupla questions, tho...

First, was the 00 full power or Lite? How about the slugs?

Second, were all the shooters familiar with the COF and had done it prior to the test?

Too bad there weren't any pixie newbies available to see how a shooter smaller and unused to shotguns would compare the kick.

Also,Senior Gun Fairy(G)?....

June 21, 2002, 08:44 AM
Dave, all slugs and buck used were full power.

The shooters were familiar with the course of fire. However we started cold. Our first shooting of the day was on the drill. All of the shooters were able to familiarize themselves with the shotguns first.

Alas no pixie newbies. I asked my wife to come, (shoots a big 20 ga. occasionaly), but for some reason the idea of shooting piles of buckshot and slugs turned her off. :p Shooter F was our lightest at 150, and doesn't shoot much pump shotgun. Other than that we had a pretty well rounded crew.

Senior Gun Fairy... :rolleyes: It is a long story. Running joke around these parts is that I have united seven local shooters with guns they were looking for or their first guns, in the last month. One of those was George Hill. So now I'm the gun fairy, la la la. I'm going to bug him today to change that to something less gay. Oh like Senior member or something.

June 21, 2002, 11:06 AM
Erick, fair enough. But I will abbreviate it to SGF. Sounds more tactical that way. :)

We shot quite a bit afterwards, with various guns. I shot a Beretta 1201 FP for the first time, now that thing had some recoil to it.

I ran the hammer drill again afterwards with my 870, using birdshot, time was 2.15. (Shameless self promotion :p )

George Hill
June 21, 2002, 12:18 PM
The beretta suto guns has a much "sharper" recoil feel to it, just like the Benelli autos (since they are the same thing). Very fast guns, but not that comfortable to shoot in my opinion.

I'm a little sensitive to hard kicking long guns due to an old shoulder injury. I liked the fact that the compstock softened the blow just a bit. Not much, but it was softened. For me that softening was in the pain spectrum. Torn rotor cuff that never healed right. Speed wise I dont think it really made any difference. When your hammering, your hammering. The feel of the jackhammer is moot. And for that one first shot with the compstock - it actually slows you down just a touch.

Also noted was the way the stock was sprung and it kinda collapses into you a little, your normal shotgun shooting grip might have to change. We had a lot of cheecks and noses getting hit with the shooter's thumbs because all the sudden the stock in 2 inches shorter.

I agree with the suggestion that your better off with a softer load and better pad... Maybe you don't even need that better pad. Just change your load. I wouldn't buy one. Maybe for an all day 250 round shotgun course - maybe. For general shotgun use... I'll pass.

June 21, 2002, 12:29 PM
Hey George, thanks for helping out in the test, I appreciate it.

I also appreciate not being the SGF. :p Lesson learned, never make silly jokes around a moderator.

June 21, 2002, 12:37 PM
Comparing the Loads fired, the 00 Buck and the Slugs had less recoil that my Rottweil SuperGame Loads. I tried some in the CompStock and those loads had more hit that the slugs.

As to the Beretta, I would love to try the compstock on it but I doubt one is made. I don't think it is really the gun makes the recoil, but the load. I should have tried the 00 Buck and Slugs in it as well to compare.

Either way, it was fun. Those Pump shotguns, I can't handle it. Too much to worry about when you really need it but it COULD just be my inexperience with it. Semi-Auto all the way.

Could you imagine if you had to rack the slide each time you fired your 1911?

Dave McC
June 22, 2002, 04:44 PM
Thanks, folks, I appreciate all the work that went into this, tho the company of TFLers must have lightened the burden a bit.

Corriea, I doubt I'll ever get into the habit of calling a 6'5", 310 lb Cop who's heavily armed any kind of fairy. Sheer survival instinct forbids it(G)...

About the Compstock....

It sounds like there's room for improvement. The idea's sound, all those trapshooters with Gracoils,etc, are by and large happy with them.

Let's posit a stock built along the lines of the PF Robostock,but minus most of the adjustables and not costing 4 figures.

Make the grip and comb one piece, with a cylinder/spring setup mounted behind and below the grip, and a good pad(Spacer adjustable) on the back.This would keep thumbs off noses, and give enough flexibility to fit a large range of physiques.

Set the spring thingie up so that it takes a bit of kick to activate, but once activated it has about say an inch of travel. This should be enough to spread out the recoil forces long enough to attenuate the kick.

June 22, 2002, 11:41 PM
Dave, I'm not a cop. I'm the gun-nut accountant. But thank goodness I'm just a good old senior member again, though it was fun to be the SGF for a couple of days, and I will miss the pixie wand and fluffy pink tutu. I had to turn them back over to the moderators. :p

I agree with your take on the situation. If you notice there is that new Cop-Stock, from the same folks that make the detachable 10 round 870 drum. It is a folding stock, with pistol grip. IIRC I heard that it was designed by the same guy who came up with the comp stock. I think it has the spring and buffer in the pistol grip. So it is at the pistol grip that the stock compresses. I'm not a fan of wire folding stocks on any weapon, (hard to get a good cheek weld) but perhaps something like that set up with a regular type stock?

Dave McC
June 23, 2002, 05:48 AM
(Wiping coffee off monitor) the idea of a heavily armed individual in pink tutu made my day, thanks.

Got to thinking about this last night. The technology's on shelf right now. Bet there's a Motorcycle shock out there someplace that will work fine for the compression and attenuation.

Got a hunch someone's out there working on this rat now.

June 23, 2002, 07:59 AM
I have a compstock on my 590. It's ok and does what I want it to... I get some out of it because I usually shoot 3" slugs.

However, it would be nice if it wasn't squishy and if Hogue didn't have a Pontiac-esqe body cladding affinity for putting that rubber stuff everywhere. It's great for a handgun, but it feels weird on a long gun.

When I first starting shooting with it, I was afraid it'd collapse all the way down and pinch me.

I like the product for what it's provided, and just about anything is an improvement for that POS pad that comes with the Mossberg, but I wouldn't buy one again.

George Hill
June 23, 2002, 10:54 AM
I have to admit to loving a folding stock on a rifle or shotgun... Especially on the shotguns. And especially of not only the "Butler Creek" folding stock. The Chotes are crap in my opinion but the Butler Creek is nice and solid, and the right length. The wire could be uncomfortable to shoot. Some foam rubber wrapped around the wire secured by some black duct tape is ugly, but works great.
Just wish that such a stock could be fitted to the Nova.

June 24, 2002, 03:10 AM
a pretty well rounded crew
Ahem. You called us that once to often - some were more rounded than others... :D

I think the test would reveal more if used over a greater number of rounds and, as you said, heavier loads. Heck we were just getting warmed up after those first twenty rounds! Once we were functioning at peak capacity the times would've told more about the recoil being experienced. But then again timing a shotgun neophyte pixie during thier first five rounds might've been informative too...

Twas very fun though, thanks!

June 24, 2002, 04:13 PM
Stratford, Yorec. Thanks for helping out.

I plan on abusing Jay's compstock a bit more to see if there is anything else to learn about it.

And Yorec is right, I think that if we would have kept on shooting it would have been a more realistic test. But none of use could afford 200 slugs a piece. :) Honestly though, I think over an extended shooting session the compstock might be worth considering.

June 24, 2002, 04:21 PM
Hey.... who payed for all that ammo?

June 24, 2002, 11:46 PM
I heard tell it was the "ammo fairy." (nudges Correria ;) )

Let's just say is was a great deal.

July 16, 2002, 01:15 PM
Good question. I'll check when I get home. Standard Remington Wingmaster stock, the Compstock was the same length.

That is one of the things I didn't like about the Compstock, if you want to make it shorter, you are out of luck.

July 19, 2002, 07:51 PM
The rub against the cheek can be handled after you learn to space yourself a fraction from the stock. The one problem I had with the compstock was the rub on my trigger finger. After about 50 slugs I started developing a blister, but then, thats alot of slugs (went through 350 before my finger started to scream).
When you consider that my shoulder was spared from ANY pain with this kind of load, a blister seems like a good trade-off. ;)

All in all, I love my compstock. And I think it has helped me to be a better shotgunner.

August 13, 2002, 03:38 PM
Out of curiousity, what is the length of pull on these stocks?

13.5" per the company Knoxx Industries. They stated that the Compstock is almost 3/4" shorter than the stock Remington although it looks about the same to me. I live near Knoxx Industries and I went and purchased one yesterday. Knoxx Industries are the ones that designed the Compstock and then sold the design to Hogue. They recently purchased the design back and improved it a bit. A comparsion between the Hogue version and the new Knoxx version would be interesting.

I can't wait to try this thing out. The people at Knoxx are very nice by the way.

August 14, 2002, 01:56 PM
Nightwatch, I'm going to have to disagree about suspending your cheek above the stock. A good check weld is super important for good accurate (and fast) shooting.