Bruise from shooting rifles/shotguns etc??
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Thread: Bruise from shooting rifles/shotguns etc??

  1. #1

    Bruise from shooting rifles/shotguns etc??

    Does anyone else get bruises from shooting rifles, shotguns, ARs etc??

    I'm fairly new to this whole shooting thing... really got started past two years. Had only been to shooting range maybe twice before that in 10 years. Really can probably still count on 2 hands the number of times I'm been in last 2 years. So... maybe it's being inexperienced?

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  3. #2
    I have with shotgun but never an AR.
    Certified NRA Firearms Instructor
    Oklahoma SDA Instructor
    Utah CCW Instructor

  4. To put it very bluntly: If you're getting bruised shooting a rifle, especially an AR, you're shooting incorrectly and need better instruction on how to seat the rifle into your shoulder. Not trying to insult, just stating the truth. We all have to learn sometime :3

  5. OUCH!!! I think if everyone were honest, we’d all admit to having been beaten, bruised and sometimes even bloodied, by shooting. I’ve gotten a bruised jaw while bird hunting because I raised my face from the stock to see whether I’ve hit the bird. Or bruised my shoulder from improperly mounting the gun. Then there was the time I had to sight in my 12-gauge slug gun after adding a scope and was having problems. Not only was I bruised but I developed a bad flinch for awhile there too. And I’ve been popped in the forehead and bloodied (but only that once – ha!) by the scope of a high-powered rifle because I was crowding too far down the gun. Experience is a great teacher but a good instructor is a lot more forgiving.

    We all have to learn and proper instruction is key. Also a gun that really fits you I think is imperative and a good quality recoil pad helps. I’ve never shot an AR so cannot offer any advice there but I know a lot of women have trouble with a 12 gauge shotgun and prefer a 20 gauge with it’s lighter recoil. My husband put a mercury recoil suppressor into the stock of a friend’s 12 gauge Remington 1187 and it helped her tremendously.

    There are all kinds of options but the bottom line is developing good habits and practicing regularly. Nothing beats time on the range but you have to be taught the proper technique or you’ll develop more bad habits than good ones. If there’s a gun club in your area I’d bet there are plenty of people there who would be more than willing to offer advice and instruction. You might also check at your local gun shop to see if there are any beginners courses offered somewhere close by. My state’s (Indiana) Department of Natural Resources offers a program called “Becoming an Outdoors Woman” that provides introduction and instruction into many aspects of shooting, hunting and other outdoor pursuits. I imagine a lot of other states do as well so maybe something to look into where you live. Just some thoughts. At any rate I wish you the very best of luck, be careful and have fun.

  6. #5
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    If you are getting bruised then that means the stock is sliding into you. If it is sliding into you then it is not seated and a part of your shoulder. The recoil from a shotgun should have the shotgun and you move as one body. If the shotgun moves and then you move, then the shotgun, in essence, is hitting into your shoulder. This is what causes the bruising.

    The AR... I'm really stumped why you would be getting bruising since the recoil is tremendously less than that of a shotgun. However, if you truly are bruising from the AR too, then you must definitely be keeping the stock forward of where it should be seated in your shoulder. This will allow the stock to slide backward into your shoulder, rather than have the shoulder and firearm work as one body.

    Get someone to go out shooting with you next time and watch what you are doing. If this is not possible, then set up a video camera of you shooting and send it to one of us and we'll take a look at what you are doing wrong.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote."
    ~ Benjamin Franklin (maybe)

  7. #6
    Don't worry I'm not offended at all by all the comments! I appreciate the input! As much as I would LOVE to take multiple classes, it is not something I can afford in the near future.

    The long guns I've shot have been friend's guns except for the shotgun. I am sure the time I bruised from the shotgun was partly because somehow I managed to "pinch" my skin between the stock and my bra strap. That's something unique to women shooters!

    I tried to make sure I was holding it tight against my shoulder, but maybe I'm not holding it in the correct place. Is there a possibility I could be holding it too tight?

    I did go to an open house at a local gun club recently and actually shot an AR for the first time there. The guy there was telling me to hold it further into my chest than my shoulder. I shot a friend's yesterday and probably wasn't holding it right, but all the instruction I've received from friends/family has been along the lines of "just shoot it".

    I'll probably just refrain from shooting anything like that very much til I can afford to take a class. Thanks!

  8. Sorry to read that you might refrain from shooting until you can afford some classes. Here’s a thought, and although not like shooting on the range under the guidance of an experienced shooter, it sure can’t hurt and might give you some insights. Research on-line. There’s a MULTITUDE of info out there about EVERYTHING. I’ve found some very useful videos on youtube recently while researching the proper lead for bird hunting. I looked just now and found several that focus on the basics of shooting, from the proper stance to mounting the gun. etc. Also, and I’m sure the more tech savvy folks might scoff, go to the library and check out their book selection. I don’t know what you might find in the way of instructional books on shooting but it can’t hurt. I’ve learned a lot over the years by taking advantage of what’s available at my local library. I just hate to see you sideline your shooting efforts when you seem so interested in learning and participating. As regards holding the shotgun too tightly: you definitely want it to fit snugly into your shoulder but at the same time you don't want a death grip which will likely affect your accuracy. Good luck to you!

  9. #8
    I had issues with my new-to me tactical shotgun. I replaced the recoil pad with one from Limbsaver. The difference is amazing but not perfect. I agree about getting instruction. You might find a friend who shoots one an invaluable resource. My AR has been known to bruise the shoulder too. I bruise very easily. I thought about putting a recoil pad on that as well but haven't really investigated that yet. A sling might help with stabilization of the gun.

  10. FUnny you should bring this up... I haven't shot a shot gun for many years... I just came home with a bruise on the side of my chin???? ouch! I know I don't remember how to hold it right.. obviously!

  11. #10
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by medicechic View Post
    Don't worry I'm not offended at all by all the comments! I appreciate the input! As much as I would LOVE to take multiple classes, it is not something I can afford in the near future.

    The long guns I've shot have been friend's guns except for the shotgun. I am sure the time I bruised from the shotgun was partly because somehow I managed to "pinch" my skin between the stock and my bra strap. That's something unique to women shooters!

    I tried to make sure I was holding it tight against my shoulder, but maybe I'm not holding it in the correct place. Is there a possibility I could be holding it too tight?

    I did go to an open house at a local gun club recently and actually shot an AR for the first time there. The guy there was telling me to hold it further into my chest than my shoulder. I shot a friend's yesterday and probably wasn't holding it right, but all the instruction I've received from friends/family has been along the lines of "just shoot it".

    I'll probably just refrain from shooting anything like that very much til I can afford to take a class. Thanks!
    If the bruising is caused due to pinching your skin, then there are a couple of options. I like that the guy from your gun club said to try moving the butt of the shotgun more toward your chest and away from your shoulder (you'll need to find the "sweet" spot where it's just right). But there is also something else that can give you immediate relief.

    They make a shooting pad that you can wear on your shoulder that is designed to absorb some of the recoil. In addition, this would also eliminate your pinching problem too. They aren't very expensive ($30-$60), or if you're crafty you could make one out of leather and poly-fill and then drape it over your shoulder. You'll want some sort of strap to hold it in place.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote."
    ~ Benjamin Franklin (maybe)

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