Saturday, July 18, 2009

Winchester Limbsaver Recoil Pads

Recently Sunny and I bought our first shotgun (a Mossberg 500 12 gauge if you're interested). The shotgun itself is awesome, but what I'd like to review is the Winchester Limbsaver recoil pad we bought today.

Up until now, my primary shooting interest has been small-caliber rifles. A .22 rifle can be pin-point accurate, cheap as chips to shoot (500 rounds for about twenty dollars) and because a .22 long rifle cartridge has no significant kick, you can shoot them all day with no problems.

A 12 gauge shotgun is just a little bit different. Load one with 00 Buckshot and even a big, heavy gun can kick like a mule. I'll be completely honest and say that the first times I fired my shotgun, just six rounds of number 8 birdshot was enough to leave me feeling a little sore the next day. Scale that up to buckshot and it's just a few rounds before you're done.

When I bought the recoil pad I was a little dubious about the claim on the box that said it can reduce up to 70% recoil…but after trying it out, I'm a believer. I don't know about 70%, but it definitely made the gun a hell of a lot more comfortable to shoot.

Installation is easy in that there's really no 'installation'. You simply stretch the rubberized pad over the end of your rifle or shotgun's stock. The pads come in three sizes, but luckily the back of the packaging has a list of every major gun and rifle that size of pad it will fit. It was a tight fit with my Mossberg, not so tight I had trouble getting it on, but it was definitely tight enough that you don't have to worry about it falling off.

After shooting a few shells I can honestly say there was a significant difference.

Starting with No.8 birdshot, the difference was amazing. No.8 doesn't exactly 'kick' without a pad, but considering you might fire fifty or more of them in a day's skeet shooting, it adds up. Without a pad, six shots was enough to make me 'feel it', with the pad I honestly feel I could shoot them all day. It doesn't exactly turn your 12 gauge into a .22…but it makes it almost as comfortable to shoot.

Stepping it up to 00 buck I was even more impressed. The first time I ever fired 00 buck, I didn't pull the shotgun into my shoulder quite enough and ended up with a really sore shoulder and a bruise that took over a week to fade. Even when holding the shotgun properly, 00 buck is not a round you fire for fun. With the recoil pad, it makes the 00 buck feel slightly softer than the No.8 without the pad.

It's a little hard to explain, because the pad doesn't 'eliminate' recoil exactly. The best way I can describe it is that it's the difference between a punch and a push. Without the pad firing buckshot is like a punch in the shoulder. With the pad it's like a flat-handed push with slightly less force. However, whatever way you look at it, it's a lot more comfortable. Previously, two or three rounds of buckshot and I was done for the day. With the recoil pad I could easily fire ten or twenty before any real fatigue would set in.

Basically, if you own a shotgun or hunting rifle I don't understand why anyone would not own one of these. At around twenty bucks they're as cheap as they are effective. Personally, I don't ever want to fire a shotgun without one again.

1 comment:

Sunny said...

I'm curious- what would be the ultimate must-have list of weapons for the normal home for basic self-defense?
And then what would the goodies be - the not basic- but on the would LOVE to have list.....and why for each weapon?
A Future Blog-post on this, maybe?