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Best Recoil Pad For Long Range Shooting

A Few Points On Recoil Pads For Long Range Shooting

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Long-range shooting has become synonymous with precision shooting. Gone are the days of just hitting a large steel gong at super long distances. Today shooters are focused on shooting small controlled groups at what previously would-be unheard-of distances. The factors that go into this are many and include a newly developed interest in the long-range arena. Equally as important however are advancements in equipment and technology. The term MOA or minute of angle refers to the size of a group of shots at a specific distance. Its baseline is set at 100 yards and is equal to a one-inch group at this distance. So, a one MOA rifle will be able to shoot one-inch groups at one hundred yards. Not that many years ago, a MOA or especially a sub-MOA gun was a unique and special production. The reality today is quite the opposite. Finding a gun that is not MOA capable is the anomaly in the firearms industry.

Run the gun

The X factor in all of this, however, is more than just the gun and its ability to perform. The person running the gun must be capable to do what they need to do in order to experience that level of performance. In short, you need to be able to run the gun well in order to get the precision it is capable of. There are many factors that go into this with a mix of training and supplemental equipment. Training on the techniques and methodology behind precision shooting is critical simply because it is unique to that arena.

Long Range Shooting Mechanics and Equipment

While obvious things like smooth trigger press and follow-through are found in all shooting skills, the ability to get a good position on the rifle and knowledge of ballistics are also important. Equipment-wise, a serious shooter needs good optics on their gun. Clear, reliable, and durable scopes are one of the cornerstones of accuracy. To many, this is a well-known principle. There is however another item that many shooters overlook, a well-made recoil pad. The laws of physics never take a day off and are a major part of long-range precision shooting. This is, even more, the case in rifle shooting above handgun or even shotgun for that matter because hyper precision is involved.

When the gun is fired, there are a series of events that generate recoil on the gun. There is no escaping it and if not managed correctly, it will ruin your chance of enjoying serious accuracy. A good recoil pad helps in a few ways:

  1. Mitigates excessive push against the shooter’s shoulder, which can push the shooter out of position even slightly.
  2. Improves the shooter’s ability to get back on target quickly and reengage with follow up shots.
  3. Large caliber rifles without a recoil pad will affect a shooter’s physical and psychological mindset in training and competition. Recoil becomes annoying at first and then painful. This can lead to losing focus on the task and worse, a preemptive flinch in anticipation of the discomfort that is headed their way when the next shot fires. This flinch will eliminate any hope at high-performance accuracy. A recoil pad can mitigate these effects.

In most cases, there are slide on rubber devices that have a variety of air spaces or proprietary honeycomb “shock-absorbing” designs. Some provide a modest amount of relief while others are nothing more than a hard piece of rubber attached to your gun.

Hydraulic Recoil Pad for Long Range Shooters

There is another device that falls into the category yet should actually be in a category by itself. It is a custom fit recoil pad that utilizes patented hydraulic dampening technology. This is the FalconStrike and it borrows its design from the aerospace industry. This advanced recoil pad converts up to 80% of the generated recoil energy into heat. That heat, in turn, is then absorbed and distributed evenly at the point of contact with the body. The hydraulic fluid in the device works to match the shooter’s body shape that contours the shoulder when the gun is fired. The result of this is that the gun wraps around you as opposed to the shooter wrapping around the gun. The device touts some very impressive numbers as well. It provides 80% less recoil energy, 35% less muzzle rise, 25% less peak force, and 35% less rock back.

While it may sound cliché, the FalconStrike Hydraulic Recoil Reduction System takes care of everything. The beauty of this design for precision shooting is that it allows the shooter to more effectively stay on target while experiencing no discomfort. It is one item that while overlooked by many, should be an essential part of any precision rifle set up.


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Do recoil pads work?

Do Recoil Pads Work?

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Recoil will NEVER be totally eliminated, but it can be very easily managed to seem as though it has. So, yes, they do work as long as the recoil pad is made properly.

No matter what firearm platform you choose to shoot there is one ever-present factor that plagues them all. One undeniable force that has caused not only frustration but depending on the firearm literal physical discomfort as well. This force that most shooters consistently fight against is recoil. The amount of recoil can drastically differ between different firearms. Some have less and are much easier to run while others may make you feel as though you’ve physically taken a beating. Regardless of the recoil amount, the simple fact remains that’s it’s always there.

Recoil is an Issue We are Constantly Combatting.

Sharpening our shooting skills and fundamentals can help. Through proper grip, stance and trigger control we can absorb and dissipate recoil with our bodies. In no way are we getting rid of recoil, we are just learning how to control it better. Utilizing your body for this is much easier when it comes to shooting handguns. Switching it up to certain rifles and shotguns however, this becomes a much more difficult task. Even with proper grip and stance, there’s a certain amount of recoil shooters have just accepted as part of the process. Waking up after a long-range session to sore arms and possible bruises have become expected and we just deal with it.

Over the years certain products have come to light that actually aid in recoil management. The one I want to shed light on today are recoil pads and the common question of’ “Do recoil pads really work? I could list out reviews from the general public showing statistical answers, but I really don’t feel that is truly beneficial. That is still only an “opinion” and not fact. Instead, I want to bring out black and white facts, physics and concrete reasons to support what I believe to be true, that recoil pads do in fact work.


Hydraulic Recoil Pad for Wood Stocks

First, we need to understand recoil. Newton’s third law comes into play with every action having an equal and opposite reaction which goes hand in hand with momentum conservation. I promise not to inundate you with a long-winded physics lesson here, but it is important to understand the principle. Every round and shell has a certain amount of gun powder, or “explosive material”. When the firing pin strikes, the “explosive” is ignited causing the round/shell to propel forward from the gun, this is Primary Recoil. Once this happens the gas that is released from behind the round/shell accelerates the gun backward. This is Secondary Recoil.

Primary Recoil is not the Recoil That we Feel.

What’s socking us in the shoulder is the effect of the secondary recoil. Depending on what you’re shooting the aftermath can be quite painful. Without proper grip and stance, shooter’s often end up stumbling back, or worse yet, on the ground. When the correct shooting fundamentals are there, shooters can handle and absorb the recoil but typically with a painful price that follows a bit later. This is where products such as a recoil pad come into play.

There are many manufacturers who have come out with recoil pads promising an elimination of recoil. The question is, do recoil pads really work?

Now that we understand primary and secondary recoil as it pertains to Newton’s third law, it should be evident that incorporating a barrier between you and the stock should be able to protect you from the punishing effects of recoil. Recoil will NEVER be totally eliminated, but it can be very easily managed to seem as though it has. So, yes, they do work as long as the recoil pad is made properly. Not all recoil pads are even in the same league. Any soft barrier will obviously help take out the “sting” but only a well-designed recoil pad will make you really feel the difference.

Remington-Hydraulic-Recoil-Pad-for-870As a consumer, you need to be looking for a product that does more than just soften the blow. A good recoil pad should reduce the recoil energy, muzzle life, peak force and rock back. This is done through scientifically converting the recoil energy into heat which causes it to be absorbed and distributed evenly at the point of contact, which would be the shoulder. This energy conversion is typically done through water or air which expands to wrap the recoil pad around your body vs you wrapping your body around the gun. When utilizing a good recoil pad you should notice quite a difference in your shooting such as; less flinching, less pulling and less compensating for absorbing felt recoil.

A sound recoil pad that is scientifically engineered beyond just “another rubber pad” absolutely works when paired with good shooting fundamentals. Utilizing recoil pads will enhance your shooting experience and enable you to shoot longer. They are also a wonderful option when introducing people that may be more timid or fearful into the shooting realm. Shooting doesn’t have to be punishing, with the right products that are true to what they claim it can be a very enjoyable experience that doesn’t leave any punishing effects.


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