Long Range Hunting Online Magazine

Recoil Management: Take The "Ouch" Out Of Shooting
Since that time Knoxx has joined with Blackhawk, and now the stocks are sold through them. They have a lot of different styles now, and the list of the firearms they fit is getting longer. They have stocks for pump shotguns also. The Axiom stock on the Howa is a Knoxx/ Blackhawk stock but in a slightly different configuration.

Recoil Management
The Compstock: A cutaway view of the recoil reduction system.

Recently I saw that they had come out with a thumbhole stock with double recoil reducing features built into the wrist of the stock instead of the butt. I ordered one from Blackhawk to fit my Remington LTR in .308. This particular rifle was capable of consistent groups under one half MOA with match ammunition. It took me about five minutes to mount the stock on the rifle. I pulled out a box of the same match ammunition I had previously used in testing and sat down at the bench. I shot a string of four shots. The recoil was reduced quite a bit, but I felt the Compstock recoil reduction was better. I decided to put the rifle down for a few days and give it another try later. The stock is designed to free float the barrel and give plenty of room for extra cooling.

Recoil Management
Tim Miller of Lucy Creek Arms trying out the new Compstock on the .300 H&H.

After a week or so I cleaned the rifle again and started anew. I checked the mounting to make sure everything was tight. This time the recoil seemed less but my groups were up around a MOA. It very well may have been my shooting and the one half MOA increase is really not that bad. This stock is actually two pieces that fit together in the grip area (see photo). The action rides on the front piece and slides ever so slightly to the rear when fired. There is a storage area under the butt pad and it has interchangeable rubber grips. I found the use of the Axiom helped me get back on target quicker than with the factory stock.

Overall I give the Compstock an A+ and the Axiom Thumbhole stock an A- in their ability to reduce recoil. The stocks are very comfortable to use. If you are stock crawler, and by that I mean a person who has to have his eye right up to the scope, these stocks are not for you. You need to keep a good eye relief distance. When the rifle is fired, there is a slight compression of the stock. The amount is governed by the load being shot. For me this was not a real consideration and I did not even notice it. The stocks do not eliminate recoil, but they absorb quite a bit and what you do feel has been slowed down which makes it more like a gentle push.

They do sell a version with full aluminum bedding. I think I will try that setup next to see if it could maintain or improve the accuracy of one of my better shooting rifles. I will keep you informed.

After twenty-five years with a major law enforcement agency, John Johnston retired to the hill country of central Texas. His law enforcement career was diverse with assignments with the tactical/motorcycle unit, patrol, and criminal investigation. After retiring, writing became his calling. He started with a newspaper column which, he still writes and then moved up to major magazines in the area of shooting and hunting. He is known for his unbiased product testing and evaluations. Having a full size range from 25-450 yards next to his home was his dream come true. 2010 marks his fiftieth anniversary in the hunting, shooting and reloading sports. You will notice his writing style is quite relaxed and he prefers to write like he is speaking to you around a camp fire. John welcomes questions and comments whether good or bad. You can reach John at olsingleshot@gmail.com.

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