What stock style reduces felt recoil the most?

Shootist43

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I've read time and time again on AH that some stock designs reduce felt recoil better than others. Most of my firearms were made by Winchester and Remington with a few Rugers and Mausers thrown in. The recoil seems to be more commensurate with caliber than manufacturer. What causes the perceived reduction in felt recoil and what manufacturers provide and or utilize that style of stock?
 

Tom Leoni

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For the most part, when they talk about felt-recoil vis a vis stock configuration, they talk about recoil to the cheek rather than the shoulder. Older rifles were made with more drop at a time when the shooting stance was with the head more upright; with today's more hunched stance, felt recoil to the cheek is considerable on these older-style guns.

In theory, the (to me butt-ugly) Montecarlo stocks, where the recoil slopes away from the face, are the more gentle configurations. This is why Weatherby, with its powerful calibers, is normally associated with this stock-type--as they tried to find ways to make shooting less uncomfortable.

But shoulder-wise, I don't think there is any choosing between more or less drop. You are absolutely right when you state that shoulder-wise, recoil is a function of bullet weight, velocity and powder charge rather than stock configuration.
 

Von Gruff

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No disrespect to Tom for his post but I believe there is a corelation between stock design and felt recoil with a number of factors being involved.
Starting from the butt pad and the pitch of the stock needs to correspond to the individual shooters stance and build. A shooter who leans forward into the shot has need for more pitch than one who stands upright as shown with a friend and me who are similar builds but he leans more into the rifle than I do so when I do his stocks I have to add 1 1/2 degree of pitch over what I need for myself. The chest shape also needs to be taken into account as a heavy chested shooter may need negative pitch to get the full buttpad to shoulder contact so this is an area that can effect felt recoil. One stock I did for a tall shooter was to replace a straight buttstock combline that only had the bottom third of the buttpad contacting his shoulder so he required a montycarlo stock to suit his height and build
The heavier the recoil impulse the more important is the stock design and as far as the comb line is concerned the drop at nose is by necessity below the center of barrel and it is dictated by the sights the rifle has but this point and the difference down to the heel is also crafted to suit the shooting stance and of course the more drop at heel will enable or encourage a rifle to climb in recoil. The drop at heel should be less than double the drop at nose (my opinion) Having said that the balance of the rifle with the forward weight enabled by a heavier muzzle profile can help to aleviate the muzzle rise which also helps to tame the felt recoil attributed to cheek slap.
The wrist shape is another factor. If the grip curve is too tight then the hand is in the wrong position to propperly hold against the recoil which is why the old English custom makers used the more open grip because it allows the hand to have the best angle to hold firmly.
The forestock shap also has an effect on the ability to hold the rifle and the depth of the wood and its circumference is very important as well.
The shallow forestock allows the barrel to be closer to the center of the hand and a round rather than slab sided forestock allows the fingers to engage on top of the wood and next to the barrel giving a more secure hold against muzzle rise.
 
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RogerHeintzman

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Most factory gun stocks LOP is 13 3/4", which is to long for over 60% of shooters. Have a stock made for your LOP,(with hunting attire), the fit will be awesome, check contact improved as well as grip will lessen felt recoil. Check out Boyds Hardwood Gun Stocks in Mitchell South Dakota.
 

Shootist43

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Thanks guys, I'm beginning to understand my dilemma. Recoil felt in the cheek area is a matter of head position, if not erect but canted into the stock more recoil is felt. Von Gruff's explanation and corresponding stock adjustments result in a larger contact surface between the stock and the shoulder. With the recoil being dissipated over a larger area the shooter perceives it as being less. Both of the aforementioned factors come into play once the LOP has been adjusted to the shooter.

Is there more to consider, or does just about wrap up the discussion?
 

Von Gruff

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Width of butt pad makes a difference as well. A narrow buttpad makes for more concentrated recoil and of course the weight of the complete rifle also has a bearing on the recoil impulse, depending on where the weight is of course as the balance effects HOW the rifle recoils.
 

Erny

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To me it is the weight of the stock. But all my rifles are the same basic standard american hunter stocks.
 

Divernhunter

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The biggest difference is if someone else is shooting the rifle. Then I get little/no felt recoil :)
Width and length of recoil pad and shape of stock are big differences.
 

Royal27

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Thanks guys, I'm beginning to understand my dilemma. Recoil felt in the cheek area is a matter of head position, if not erect but canted into the stock more recoil is felt. Von Gruff's explanation and corresponding stock adjustments result in a larger contact surface between the stock and the shoulder. With the recoil being dissipated over a larger area the shooter perceives it as being less. Both of the aforementioned factors come into play once the LOP has been adjusted to the shooter.

Is there more to consider, or does just about wrap up the discussion?

My Lott hits me in the cheek pretty good occasionally. That's when I know I've pulled the trigger, much more so than in the shoulder.

I have wondered if the LOP is too long and now I'm really wondering. Dont remember the exact length, but it's over 14 and I'm only 5'9. I think @RogerHeintzman might just be onto something. The rifle likely "feels" right because I've likely always had rifles that were too long. My latest rifle took some getting used to because it was "short." Now I'm wondering if it was actually the first one that was right?

Something to think about and try. Luckily the Lott has a spacer, so shortening it is a quick thing to do.
 

Von Gruff

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I know that when I built my 404 Jeffery I put a 1 in decelerator pad on it and had it at my (sort of) max lop. I was finding a little awkwardness in working the bolt from the shoulder as it felt like I was reaching a bit because of the weight on the forward hand, so I changed out the pad for a 1/2 in solid pad. That improved the bolt work dramatically but it also seemed to lessen recoil a little even with the hard pad against the softer decelerator pad. I put that down to being able to hold the wrist in a slightly better position to leverage against the recoil impulse and fractionally reduced the leverage of the muzzle trying to rise during the impulse.
 

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