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BinaryB

Recoil concussion.

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Posted (edited)

Dear all

After a couple of sessions on the clays recently (approx 100 birds each time), I seem to wake up the next day with what could be described as a mild migraine. Pain up the back of one side of the neck (my right side) and into the head and vision slightly affected. I can't seem to shift it with pain killers and it's only when I wake up the following day that it seems to disappear.

I did a couple of searches and it seems there is a condition known as recoil concussion. I hope I've got the wrong end of the stick but after the last 2 occasions I've had exactly the same symptoms the day after.

I wondered if anyone else has encountered this or has any experience of recoil concussion? I hope I'm wrong. Just for the record I am shooting 28 gramme Eley Selects, plastic.

Kind regards

Edited by BinaryB

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Yes, I have had similar side effects a few times shooting 11/8oz 6s but that was after shooting a lot of cartridges on rape stubble when they were coming to the field like bees and it was almost constant shooting all day, the fumes/smoke from a fired cartridge can also give you an headache.

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Is your head or neck in an uncomfortable position as you fire ?

How do you start, gun mounted or unmounted ?
Are you slightly built or larger framed ?

The recoil should go through your shoulder, with your body relaxed enough to absorb it, dont stand rigid and try to fight it.
The cheek sometimes gets a bump, but thats only because your mount is wrong or too tight, and it certainly shouldnt be rattling your brain about.
Relax.

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I'd be amazed if you are getting any ill effects from plastic wad clay loads. However several years ago now I had a major issue with my neck and had 3 vertebrae at the base of my new fuse together. Shooting was agony and I had a recoil reducer fitted to my gun. Similar to the ISIS one but with hydraulic damping. I have no issues now at all.

Do you find that you are being knocked about by the gun? I shoot a Blaser F3 and prior to the reducer being fitted I didn't notice the recoil but everyone else that shot it remarked on how hard it seemed to kick.

It may be worth having the fit checked even if it is only a  basic check for length and comb height.

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Posted (edited)

How old are you, how well built, what gun were you shooting (what is its actual weight), do you fully understand "fit" in the sense that the gun needs to recoil in such a way as to minimise recoil concussion (you can't fully get rid of recoil as wrongly assumed by many), what discipline, firing lots of shots quickly in a small time frame is much worse than firing a single shot every few minutes as per Trap for instance, is your gun fitted with a good recoil pad, are you experienced enough to know how to hold the gun so it doesn't hit you in the face for instance, what is your previous shooting experience (is this a sudden occurrence), are there other potential factors (do you typically drink a bit on days off shooting), have you shot clays with friends guns previously that didn't cause these symptoms, there could be many reasons but be in no doubt whatsoever that "gun headache" is a real thing. 

Edited by Hamster

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1 hour ago, Rewulf said:

Is your head or neck in an uncomfortable position as you fire ?

How do you start, gun mounted or unmounted ?
Are you slightly built or larger framed ?

The recoil should go through your shoulder, with your body relaxed enough to absorb it, dont stand rigid and try to fight it.
The cheek sometimes gets a bump, but thats only because your mount is wrong or too tight, and it certainly shouldnt be rattling your brain about.
Relax.

Good points.   Allowing your whole body to absorb recoil is essential and takes practise. Many moons ago our tactical Team had shotguns supplied..cheapy jobs, cut down Baikal side by sides and we where shooting slug and SSGs.  I had been shooting shotguns almost since I was in nappies and shooting these 'kickers' was not a problem but some of our team had not shot shotgun before and I could see they had one foot way infron of the other and brasing themself aginst the recoil and consequently got the doo doo shot out of them. The guns had hard plastic butt pads as well.   I just stood as normal feet more or less side by side and slightly, ever so slightly leaning into the gun and RELAXED, my whole body then absorbed the recoil, as I would shooting Ball Trap, DTL even Skeet.  They never did learn and suffered accordingly.    Check out your stance and relax, add all the gun fit suggestions above and the headcahes should go away.

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All good points gents and thank you for your feed back.

It could well be that I am tensed up and perhaps not aware that I am.

To answer all of the questions; I am 6' 1" and 13.5 stone and I would say average build. On both occasions I was shooting on a sporting layout. I am 47 years old and I had my first shotgun at the age of 11 and have been shooting rifles, handguns (before the ban) and shotguns all my life and a regular basis. I would consider to be fairly experienced but I haven't (I don't think, experienced this headache thing before). The gun is a Browning 525 Sporter Adjustable 30" and has been fitted correctly. I don't get any issues with pain on my cheek area in terms of my cheek weld and associated recoil and also no bruising or shoulder pain either - at all. I was shooting with my gun mounted (i'm thinking this could also perhaps be a contributing factor rather than starting unmounted with perhaps a more natural relaxed position). I don't feel I'm being knocked about by the gun at all and recoil seems/feels minimal. It's a lovely shooting/fitting gun and seems to hardly have any felt recoil. Actually on that last point - that is the strange thing. I feel that I could keep shooting and shooting it is that comfortable to shoot with which is the bizarre thing. All shots are taken in fairly quick succession - probably 10-15 in pretty quick order and then onto the next stand and so on.

I think I've answered all the questions and very good to get everyone's opinions and also very interesting to know that some of you, if not all of you think that gun headache is a real phenomenon. I am going to the same clay ground this weekend again and I will certainly check my stance and shooting position - I do think the relaxed point is worthy of investigation.

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Had similar problems last year,reduced the amount of clays I shot and went onto soft shooting Hull CompX 28gr ...result problem went away in a matter of a few weeks.

Personally i think it was based in nerve/muscle deterioration through age but whatever it seems to have gone.

Hth.

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Posted (edited)

Hmmmmmm ????  I still think you might be 'fighting' the recoil a bit and as you say give a bit more thought to relaxing. Never know your scores might improve, hope they do.

Shooting guns can have strange effects sometimes. I had a friend who was a professional gun writer and shot a whole range of rifles and shotguns on a fairly regular basis both within his job and for sport.  He suddenly suffered a detached retina which the consultant thought may have been caused by recoil, so always a good thing to get these symptoms checked out.

Edited by Walker570

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Posted (edited)

Yes I may well be Walker. I consider myself old enough and ugly enough to know that things can change over the years with age (eye dominance potentially being one example of this) and also bad habits can form subconsciously too. I will double check all the basics next time as you and some others suggest. If that doesn’t sort it I will try a light load next but I think when you get to that stage it might be clutching at straws somewhat. 

Edited by BinaryB

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Also if you shoot, try the lightest load you can get. Like CompX 21g. There is 'almost' no recoil in a clay gun with these, and will likely break anything you shoot at. Oh, and they are cheap!

 

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Gun Fit!

Done over a 1000 shots 5 days on the bounce and chaffing was my only issue.

Argentina next month 8000-10,000 cartridges in 4 days is expected. 

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