View Full Version : Reducing recoil in my 870...

September 6, 2001, 12:14 AM
Sorry for bugging everyone with details lately, but for the time being, it looks like my 870 is going to be my only gun while I start to ramp up my trap shooting. It took me a few months after getting into the game (I got sidetracked by a rifle), but I finally got a nice shooting 870.

Over the last few days I have shot about 15 rounds of trap, and have to admit that for a big guy (6'1", 210 lbs.) I'm sore as hell and pretty well bruised.

My form is getting better, and I am now consistently in the 20's, but I need a short term fix to recoil in this gun.

Should I shoot 7/8 oz loads at 16 yards exclusively? How about decent recoil pads, or vests? What would help to allow me to shoot a couple more rounds when I go out?



Herr Walther
September 6, 2001, 02:55 AM
Brownell's sells several different recoil reducers that are fitted internally in the butstock.

Check out their catalog.

old hawk
September 6, 2001, 07:38 AM
what i would suggest is get a nice thick shoulder shooters pad,a pachmyer decellerator buttplate for your stock as well,they make also a mercury filled tube what slips inside the buttstock too,you can also get a cutts compensator with tubes or a polychoke with compensator as well.if you loaded it with the merc tube,decellerator pad and a shoulder pad you can go for days.on some of my old 12,s i just used a standard pad on the butt but the old cutts compensater took alot of the brunt out of it.what bit was getting the barrel cut 6" and getting that creation installed,the poly choke adjustable comped tube help alot but not as much as the longer cutts tube did.hope this helped.get a shoulder pad you can strap on and start theyre with the pach buttplate.thats the cheap way out and also effective.

September 6, 2001, 08:02 AM
I am a new shotgunner as well but everything I have read points towards adding weight to the gun. Use the longest barrel that you have and add a mag tube extesion (and a bayonet, that'd be cool at the range!).
I just went out last weekend with some buds with my 20" 870 and another guy's 28" (I'm guessing) w/extended mag and the difference in kick was huge. There were four of us shooting and everyone noticed the difference.
A slip-on butt pad by Uncle Mike's would also be a cheap way to reduce felt recoil without a lot of dough.
A heavy gun and good technique would be my thoughts.
Good luck and show those clays no mercy. ;)

Dave McC
September 6, 2001, 11:34 AM
Spazz, the Archives have tons of stuff, and you sound like you know something about shotguns. So....

First, the standard Remington pad isn't bad, but there's better ones out there. I like the Pachmyer Decellerator, but KICKEEZ and Gooey pads get their praises sung on trap BBS. The big thing is to have the stock fitting you and use good form.

A wearable pad like the PAST also can help, tho I prefer mine for benching stuff.

Add some weight. I use a short bowhunting stabilizer attached to the mag cap to add about 6-7 oz forward,and an old hull filled with 8 1/2 shot and crimped under the butt pad to keep it balanced.The TB here runs 8 3/4-9 lbs. Not much kick even if I look for it.

Next, limit yourself to say, 100 rounds a day.Once you're acclimated, and have unconsciously imporved your mount, then go to more each range day.

Since I reload, my trap loads are an oz at 1150 FPS,still plenty good for 16s and more. I've also done 7/8s oz, and while it seems a little sparse to me, some folks who use them outshoot me regularly.

If all this doesn't quite do the trick, then is the time for a longer forcing cone(Tho I like them for pattern improvements more than kick cutting), ports, overbores,etc.

Adding a lb of weight to a 7 lb gun reduces FELT recoil by 14%.

Captain Bligh
September 6, 2001, 10:39 PM
And, here I think my 870 in 12 gauge kicks so much less than my Browning A-5 in 20 gauge. I think it's such a -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- cat that I can't imagine a wish to lighten recoil. I guess it's all a matter of perspective? :confused:


September 7, 2001, 07:33 AM
Hi, I have had my 870 since I bought it new with trapping money at the age of 13, (1973)
I have shoot it so much in the last 26 years, a lesser gun would be worn out, mine still functions like new.
That being said, I have found that on my own clays range, I build up stamina over the weeks I shoot, but still, after 6 or 7 boxes of shells, I have had enough.
I bought an 11-87 two years ago, and it makes a lot of shooting less tiring.

Take care, Lance

September 9, 2001, 02:28 PM
Mine kicked the S#!t out of me with hunting loads (Federal field and range), but its a whole different game when I load it with AA light 8's.

I've shot about 1000 of the AA's in the last 2 months, with none of the problems you've mentioned.

Tim W.

September 10, 2001, 01:49 AM
Despite my improved scores, my form apparently sucks. I went out and talked to some real shooters at the range yesterday and had a few watch me, and it seems that my problem is as much with stock fit than anything. For whatever reason, when I weld the stock to my cheek and get a good site picture, the butt hits my shoulder a little south and to the right of where it should, hence my bruising on my upper arm.

As much as I want to succeed as well as possible with my trusty 870, it seems as though it doesn't fit me that well...I guess now I know why they have been calling me a pencil neck all these years :-) .

I need to shoot a bunch of different guns or look into a higher sight rib barrel for the 870, and perhaps a stock rebuild...I would like to try the 30" trap barrel.

The Beretta 391 Trap seems to fit real well when I've shouldered them at the store...the stock seems to fit right where it should in my shoulder.

Thanks for all the tips...


Dave McC
September 10, 2001, 07:21 AM
Spazz, there's light at the end of your personal tunnel, w/o major expenditures. Got yourr attentio yet(G)?

Get that sucker fitted to you.

You can adjust a bit for a too long stock by gripping it a bit further back on the forearm. This should also speed up your swing.If this isn't enough,have a smith shorten it and remount the pad.

Another cheap fix, get a Morgan adjustable pad, or similar. Get that fitting you,take all the measurements and write it down. If you ever decide to go back to a standard pad,get a custom stock,or just do not care for the Morgan, you now know what works for you. You can balance the +/- 3 oz more weight by removing wood under the butt or adding the same to the front of the forend and mag cap. An old hull filled with just shot and crimped shut in the magazine in front of the spring, should do the trick.


September 11, 2001, 12:05 AM
Great info Dave...much appreciated.

I'm not sure of any shops around here that can do a fitting...most of the shops in the San Jose area are pretty sparse when it comes to shotgunning knowledge. I'll ask around at the club...

I'll also look into the Morgan pad.



Dave McC
September 11, 2001, 06:01 AM
Maybe we're going after a hardware solution to a software prob.How high is your elbow?

The best way I know of to keep the butt where it belongs instead of out on your arm may be to elevate your elbow. This forms the "Cup" the butt fits into for proper form.

Try bringing your strong side elbow up until the arm lies parallel with the ground.