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Old August 31, 2014, 08:20 PM   #1
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Shooting rifles and Cancer

I am not sure if this is the correct place to post this, and if it is not please feel free to move it.

My wife had her lymph nodes removed on her right side when she had breast cancer. she loves to shoot and we have been unsure if the recoil from the shotguns and rifles would cause issues for her.

She does just fine with handguns, but they don't recoil into her pocket where her lymph nodes have been removed. What worries us is that if she damages the area there is no Lymphatic system to assist in healing from a bruise.

We thought about a thick recoil pad, but still not sure.

I think I articulated that correctly.

Thanks for any input.
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Old August 31, 2014, 08:35 PM   #2
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Depending on how long ago she had the surgery. Recent, then stick to 22 LR other wise she can use one of these:

My mother also had a radical mastectomy.

Good luck and stay healthy and safe.
Si vis pacem, para bellum

Last edited by Jim243; August 31, 2014 at 09:55 PM.
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Old August 31, 2014, 11:32 PM   #3
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I was under the impression that the lymphatic system functions as a defense in the immune system rather than absorption of blood resulting from damage to external tissue. I'm not a physician, so a doctors advice is better than any shooters opinion.

I was once briefly a quadriplegic and thanks to an excellent surgeon, I made a dramatic recovery. I shoot some cartridges that many consider grossly over powered, 300WBY and 340WBY. I try to moderate the amount of shooting I do. I also read about and tried a a simple remedy for bench shooting. I took a new pair of long tube socks filled one nearly full of #8 lead shot, sewn tightly with heavy basting thread, inverted it inside the other tube sock and heavily basted it with the thread inside the other sock. This must weigh nearly 10#,. Placed between the butt of the rifle stock and my shoulder. This greatly reduces felt recoil.

I also have stared shooting a varmint type rifle, a Cooper MDL 22, VLM in 6.5-284. This is a ten pound rifle w/o a scope. The recoil from this set-up is negligible after shooting the WBY's. This set-up has made shooting fun again. It is also much easier to shoot accurately. Of course this is a very accurate rifle. The recoil in this set-up is less than a 308, w/o any recoil reducing aids.
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Old September 1, 2014, 07:21 AM   #4
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She can wimp out like I do and use all of the following:
Heavy, smaller caliber rifle.
Thick, mushy recoil pad, like Limbsaver or Kickeeze.
Shoulder pad, like in the link above.
They come in several thicknesses.
If that's not enough, and it's not for me, add a gell pack under the shoulder pad.
And fill the stock with lead.
I do all of them with my 12 gauge.
Yeah, I'm a wimp in my old age, and proud of it.
Did you know that recoil can damage the eyes?
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Old September 1, 2014, 08:17 AM   #5
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You should always consult with you physician about engaging in activities that concern your physical well being after such medical procedures.

I had some intestinal replumbing done last year. The doc took me off shooting for about a month and then suggested low recoil firearms for the following month until things were more or less fully healed. He noted that I would probably be good to go after the first month alone, but everyone heals differently and the consequences of not being fully healed and needing additional (potentially emergency) surgery outweighed the benefits of getting back into shooting, hunting in particular, right away.
"If you look through your scope and see your shoe, aim higher." -- said to me by my 11 year old daughter before going out for hogs 8/13/2011
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Old September 1, 2014, 08:37 AM   #6
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Mom had a mastectomy 30+ years ago. They still refuse to check her blood pressure in her left arm. If that can cause damage, shooting a gun could. My advice is to ask the Dr. for advice.
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Old September 1, 2014, 08:37 AM   #7
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We are planning a talk with the docs. It has been several years now and I kind of wanted to she what others are doing in order to know what is out there. The docs may not know about the options unless they are shooters.

Recoil damaging eyes is new to me. That may explain a great deal.

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Old September 1, 2014, 02:11 PM   #8
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I have heard of detached retinas from shooting dangerous game cartridges from the bench, but always assumed it was another urban myth. Who knows though. I would need to have a first hand report, before I considered it factual.

I have quit shooting the WBY's from the bench w/o the ;lead sock. When hunting, I use the 300WBY, I have only had to fire one shot and don't recall the recoil. When I used to shoot it from the bench w/o the sock, six rounds and I was groaning. I got smart though and let my teenage son, do the testing reloads for me. He, all 130# of him, is able to accommodate recoil better than me. He goes with the recoil, where I tend to absorb it.

I finally broke down and asked my neurologist, about shooting heavy recoiling rifles and he said it probably wasn't such a good idea to shoot it repeatedly w/o some sort of recoil reduction, from the bench. He was a hunter and shooter also and sympathized with my reluctance to give my hobby of almost 50 years. He also advised that I not hunt alone in the mountains anymore. I had told him that the last two deer I hauled out, nearly wrecked me. After hauling them a mile or so back to the old Dorango, and driving two hours home, I folded up like a lawn chair, with mighty leg cramps, when I stepped out of the truck. That was four years ago and i haven't gone deer hunting since. I have turned the 300WBY over to my son, who is 23 now. He shoots better than me anyway.
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Old September 1, 2014, 05:09 PM   #9
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Well the first thing I would suggest is a Pachmeyr Decelerator recoil pad plus a PAST recoil shield. I use the magnum size which is a bit thicker and wider and does help a lot when I'm doing a long session load work up. A 100 round session with a 30-06 with serious big game loads on a hot day where even a T-shirt feels like too much clothing feels a lot better with the Past shield. I have the Decelerator pad on several rifles and it sure goes a long was toward taking the sting out of the .300 Magnum.
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Old September 2, 2014, 02:12 PM   #10
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I've heard that prone shooter's, shooting a boys 20mm antitank rifle, have a chance of suffering detached retinas.
That rifle hanging on the wall of the working class flat or labourer's cottage is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there."

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Old September 3, 2014, 08:37 AM   #11
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Back when I did the cancer dance, and they installed that infernal Groshong Catheter, I made sure it was installed in the left upper chest area so I could shoot. (Right handed)

They removed all the axilla lymph nodes under the right armpit, so I can relate to her discomfort. It took a long while to stretch out that area there doing those "spider crawl" hand exercises on the wall, but in time the pain and discomfort diminished.

After a long while, maybe a year and a half or so, I was able to shoot without discomfort, including steel buttplate Sharps rifle in BPCR.

I do not know how long your wife has been since the surgery, but a year or two later she will no longer have discomfort there, if she does those stretching exercises, and probably be able to shoot whatever she wants to shoot. At least that is my experience.

I cannot comment on the area where the breasts were removed. If she places the butt in the pocket probably it won't bother her after a time.

Hope this helps, and you have my sympathies.
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Old September 6, 2014, 02:51 PM   #12
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Best wishes to you and your wife. I hope you find the answers you need.
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Old September 7, 2014, 04:29 AM   #13
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On another forum there was a question about pace makers. While some advice I've seen says only a light recoiling gun this group were shooters wanting to shoot heavy recoil guns .The group consisted of shooters with pace makers and doctors who installed them, both who shot heavy recoil guns.The concensus was not much problem at all !
In recent months new technology has developed .One already in use is a capsule that goes into the heart !
So you have to ask people who really know !
Each person is different , workit out for you.
And Watson , bring your revolver !
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