May 11, 2009
Bourjaily: Do-It-Yourself Recoil Reducer
By Phil Bourjaily
A week ago I picked up a cool late-70s vintage 870 Wingmaster. It’s left-handed, with a 30-inch, Full-choked, 2 3/ 4-inch barrel. I found it in great shape and at the unbeatable price of $250. I didn’t really need it, but because I help coach the new trapshooting club at my son’s high school, almost any gun acquisition is now justifiable on the grounds that “one of the kids might need to shoot it.”
After a few shots I decided it kicked too much, thanks to the hockey-puck hard factory recoil pad on the end and an overall lack of weight.
I replaced the factory pad with a pre-fit Sims Limbsaver, and before I put the new pad on I dropped an Edwards recoil reducer I had lying around down the bolt hole of the stock.
Better, but the reducer made the gun butt-heavy. I looked through my shooting stuff for a solution, and in my blackpowder box I found the Knight Rifles Speed Shell Tube quick loader shown above. Unlike most quick loaders, this one looked slim enough to fit inside the magazine spring of a 12-gauge pump.
I cut off the plastic piece that connects the top to the tube, and trimmed off the fingernail tab on the cap. Then I filled with lead shot and fixed the cap firmly in place with a wrap of electrician’s tape. It now weighs four ounces and replaces the factory magazine plug almost perfectly and limits the magazine to two shells. Between the Edwards reducer and this one, I’ve added about 12 ounces of recoil-absorbing weight to the 870 without ruining its balance.
Three Speed Shell Tubes sell for $8.99, and I figure they hold roughly .25 worth of shot, so my total investment comes to $3.25.