So what is a shotgun or rifle’s length of pull? What does it mean and why is it important?
Length of pull (LOP) is the distance from your bent elbow joint to your bent trigger finger (keeping your wrist straight). The average length of pull on most rifles and shotguns is about 14 1/4″. This length of pull fits most people quite well. Whenever you buy a rifle or shotgun take notice to this specification. It is very important, especially on firearms that have more recoil.
Too little length of pull will cause a firearm to kick up in your face. It will be very unpleasant to shoot. It will hurt. I owned a Remington SPR10 double barrel shotgun that had a length of pull of 13″. It kicked me in the nose everytime I pulled the trigger. I sold it shortly afterwards. Not fun!
It is always better to have too long a length of pull (LOP) than too short. A longer length of pull keeps the gun out of your face when it recoils. The standard LOP of 14 1/4″ works fine for me but I really prefer 14 3/4 – 15″. This makes a gun much more pleasant to shoot.
On really hard kicking rifles like the .500 Jeffery or 505 Gibbs, you will want a LOP of 15″ or more. This will help manage the recoil better and keep it out of your face. You do not want one of these kickers to hit you in the nose.
You can easily increase the LOP of any rifle or shotgun by adding a thicker recoil pad or by adding a slip on recoil pad over the existing one.
Here is one of the best slip on recoil pads. The Limbsaver is a fantastic recoil pad. It takes the pain out of shooting.
Installing a recoil pad on a rifle stock is not that hard but you will need some power tools like a grinder or belt sander and drill. Anyone with some mechanical abilities can install a recoil pad on a gun stock. Just take your time and it will go well.
Watch this tutorial on how to install a recoil pad on a rifle stock.
Rifles and shotguns do not have to hurt when you shoot them. This will negatively affect your shooting/marksmanship. And it has nothing to do with being macho either. The law of physics takes it’s toll on any person shooting a firearm. Smart shooters take steps to reduce recoil.
The easiest way to reduce recoil is to use a recoil pad. Recoil pads absorb and spread out recoil over a longer period of time thus reducing it’s effect. Some work well while others do not. The 2 best recoil pads I have ever used were the Limbsaver and the Kick Eez. These 2 will make a huge difference in recoil.
The slip-on Limbsaver is a great way to reduce recoil on a rifle or shotgun without modifying the stock. You just slip is on the butt and you’re ready to shoot.
It is extremely important for a rifle or shotgun to be comfortable when shooting otherwise you will not shoot well. In other words, if it hurts when you pull the trigger, your shooting will suffer and you will not enjoy it.
The easiest way to make a gun more comfortable to shoot is to add a quality recoil pad. A good recoil pad can make the difference between a painful gun and a pleasant gun.
Typically the recoil pads that come on a rifle or shotgun from the factory are not effective and most are poor quality like the recoil pads on Ruger rifles. They are thin and hard and do nothing to reduce recoil. However the Browning Citori and Maxus have excellent recoil pads. You get what you pay for.
I have experience with 2 after-market recoil pads, the Kick Eez and the Limbsaver. I have used these 2 recoil pads on some really heavy kickers like the .458 Win Mag, .470 Capstick and .416 Rigby. I have also used the Remington SuperCell recoil pad on the Remington 870 Express Tactical Shotgun. It was more effective than the stock pad but nothing close to the Limbsaver and Kick Eez.
These 2 recoil pads reduce recoil somewhere around 40% – 50%. It is a big difference. You can tell when you shoot a rifle with one of these pads on and then off. They are very effective.
If you enjoy shooting rifles and shotguns frequently then you might enjoy it even more by reducing felt recoil.
I love to shoot my 12 gauge Browning Maxus at the Trap field but the effects of recoil, even field loads, takes its toll on my shoulder. 75 rounds is about my limit with the Maxus shotgun. I would love to shoot more…there is a solution though.
The PAST recoil shield can minimize the effects of recoil from rifles and shotguns and you do not have to alter your firearm. It simply straps on your shoulder and absorbs the recoil so your shoulder does not. The 1/4 inch thick energy-absorbing foam is light weight at only 4 ounces. Guns mount easily and quickly without snagging. The PAST recoil shield is adjustable to fit most men and women.
I really love the PAST Recoil Shield. I can now shoot about 150 rounds of Trap without getting sore.
The Remington SuperCell recoil pad is a very effective recoil pad. It is a true improvement over subsequent recoil pads and is comparable to the Limbsaver and the Kick Eez.
The Supercell recoil pad features an advanced polymer material with energy absorbing characteristics. It not only absorbs recoil but also slows the recoil energy down. This makes firearm “kick” much easier on your shoulder. Remington claims a recoil reduction of 54%.
I bought a Remington 870 Express Tactical shotgun a while ago and the first thing I did was replace the factory recoil pad with the Remington SuperCell recoil pad. It was a lot softer than the factory pad and it was very easy to install.
After shooting several boxes of buckshot and slugs, I did not suffer from shoulder bruising or any pain. You certainly know when a slug goes off but it never hurt my shoulder. I would say the SuperCell pad was very effective. It is smooth around the edges and so mounted easily without catching on my clothing. It was not gummy like some recoil pads. I would give this product 4.5 stars out of 5 stars.
If you have a Remington 870 Express, you might want to consider replacing the factory pad with the SuperCell recoil pad. It a heck of a bargain too.