View Full Version : recoil problem in a trap shooting newbie

April 8, 2009, 11:31 PM
Hello everyone,

Allow me to first say that I did do a search, but didn't find anything relevant.

I've shot around 20 rounds of trap with the remington 870, and I never found the recoil a problem. I now have a stoeger condor o/u and the last time I went shooting trap and skeet, I banged up my right cheek so bad I had a purple spot on my face for the next week.

Both guns were 12 ga and I use target loads.

Is it bad technique? I'm wondering if it's because I'm not holding the gun correctly, or if it's something else I'm not aware of?

Any advice will be appreciated, and I will try it to my best knowledge. I'll also ask the friendly people hanging around the range for help next time I go.


April 9, 2009, 01:04 AM
Different gun = different stock = different fit. In this case the new stock fits you so poorly that you're taking a beating. I suspect your new gun has more drop than the old one. You might try building up some padding on the stock. Stick on mole skin (used for fitting shoes) works well. An old trick that may give you some temporary relief is to use a liberal application of a talc stick (electric razor pre-shave) on your cheek while shooting. You never thought you'd be going to the pharmacy for shooting stuff.

April 9, 2009, 01:20 AM
What Z13 said. Also you might try griping the forearm and pulling the gun in a little tighter to your shoulder. I also would consider trading the Condor in on a good 870 if the problem persists.:D

April 9, 2009, 07:42 AM
YEP, The Zip is spot on! I am a true blue dyed in the wool redneck and know nuttin' of "proper fit" but I have always welded the stock butt to my shoulder and my cheek to the stock in a very deliberate manner. Then I find my bead...
That has worked for me but I do not claim to be a trap or skeet competitor.

April 9, 2009, 01:49 PM
Zippy13 is right.

What you want a gun to do - is recoil under your cheek bone. If you bruised your face ( and this is a common problem ) - its probably sore right where the meat in your face contacts that cheek bone.

If you put your hand up to your face / fingers flat toward the floor - and just in front of the cheek bone ... If you angle your hand - close to your cheek bone - you can probably feel the soreness - if you move it straight back. Now as you flatten out your hand next to your face - imagine the hand moving back and forth just under that cheek bone ( there is probably no pain ). So like Zippy said - that angle has changed.

You can see it on your guns - if you unload them - and lean them both up against a wall ( with the rib flat on the wall ) and look at the angle of the comb next to each other ..... Even a difference of 1/2" is a lot.

The best long term fix - and cheapest - is a stick on comb pad sold thru Brownells and others.

Here is a Brownells link for Scope EEZ - a product I've seen work on shotguns too - but they have others too.


April 9, 2009, 10:46 PM
My first question is, is the condor A trap gun? I had the same problem with A Browning Superposed it was A field gun but I thought I could teach it to shoot doubles,WRONG, I eventually I had A trap stock fitted to the gun,end of problem. If you continue to let this gun get the best of you,you'll begin to lift your head off the stock each time you shoot,that's not good. You might be able to send the gun to Midwest Gun Works, and have them make an adjustable comb for you see how much it cost, but remember this, it has to cost far less than the pain you're going through.

April 10, 2009, 09:21 AM
Thanks for all the responses.

Questions: When zippy says my gun has more of a "drop" what does that mean? Is that related to the comb angle that Big Jimp is talking about?

Yes, the condor is a field gun, but I thought people could go trap shooting with field guns...right?

What is the comb? :)

My current plan of action, since I'm going shooting again

1) like hogdog and olddrum said weld that thing to my shoulder
2) bring some talc just in case (people will think I'm nuts)
3) buy a stick on mole-skin/ or stick on comb pad
4) Have a gun smith look at the gun, again

I forgot to mention that the gun stock was already shortened for me because I was looking down onto the barrel...it wasn't a straight line from my eye to the bead, it now is, but now my cheek hurts.

if problem persists I may just trade that in for a wingmaster...or an 1100...or just buy one anyway, oh no they're multiplying

April 10, 2009, 09:41 AM
you may want to try a morgen recoil pad,they are adjustible. i put one on my 870 tb and it realy works for me. 100rnds, no cheek bump. eastbank.

April 10, 2009, 09:48 AM
Had a similar problem with a Remington 1100 Classic Trap 'beating up' my cheek bone. I spent a few bucks and had the stock modified with an adjustable comb and butt plate, had the gunsmith fit it to me, and the problem was corrected. As others have said, it's all about the fit of the gun.

April 10, 2009, 10:00 AM
san chang4837

Here's a link (http://www.perazzi.it/Contents/Images/Catalogo/Tabella_calci.jpg) to some standard shotgun stock sizes with diagrams.


April 10, 2009, 11:09 AM
The comb on the stock is the portion of the stock you rest your cheek on.

Yes, Zippy and I are talking about the same thing - I was just trying to describe it to you ( maybe in a clumsy way ..).

If you look at the specs on a shotgun in a catalog it will tell you how much drop there is at the comb and at the heel (the recoil pad).

Yes, casual Trap shooters shoot Trap will all kinds of "field" guns - meaning a gun with an angled stock. Most serious Trap shooters go to a "monte carlo" stock that is parallel to the rib - for lots of reasons ( adjustability, consistent sight picture whether you're shooting in a winter coat or a T-shirt.

A "field" gun is just a term applied to a stock that is angled from front to back - and it can be in a pump, semi-auto, SXS or Over Under - and at virtually any price level.

April 10, 2009, 02:09 PM
I shoot trap with a Stoger Condor Competition. Similar to yours except it has an adjustable comb. Maybe you could order just the buttstock from the competition model. I started out on a Mossy 500. Found the Condor Competition more comfortable. The adjsutable comb also alows you to move your point of impact relative to the front bead. After fitting a fiber-optic front, I found I was shooting low (amazing what a pattern board will show you). Adjusted the comb upward and now I can "float the clay" just above the bead. Went 23 for 25, first time out.

April 22, 2009, 07:19 PM
I went shooting last Friday, and everybody I talked to says I'm holding the gun wrong because they can't imagine why my cheekbone is getting hit (after seeing me hold the gun).

Holding it tight does avoid some smacks, I'll agree to that.

However, I never have this problem with the 870 so I'm skeptical. And everytime I place the shot right, I get smacked.

I may take it to Gander mountain since none of the locals here seem to have experience with this. But as for right now, I'll give it a few more shots and see if it lessens...

Thanks for all the feedback, it does seem I have a fitting problem from what has been said.

April 22, 2009, 07:39 PM
san chang - if you have the time - go down to Silver Dollar near Tampa - there are LOTS of folks who can help...not just shooters but gunsmiths and fitters.....sounds like your stock needs some adjustments

April 22, 2009, 08:52 PM
san chang4837

One thing you didn't mention, is your Stoeger Condor new or used? I ask because of something not typically discussed: Sometimes with a used gun, the previous owner may have made some drastic changes to the stock and failed to disclose same. When buying a used gun, it can't hurt to compare the existing stock dimensions with the manufacturer's specs.