Although it arrived too late for our “Black Friday pumpkin extravaganza”, the Demonstrated Concepts Recoil Strap has been a welcome addition to the project Shockwave. This clever piece of gear promises to help tame the recoil of even the heaviest loads. For reference, the Shockwave is about 2 pounds less than a full-size Mossberg 590 shotgun. While that makes it easy to carry, some rounds can be downright punishing.
Unlike semi-automatic firearms, the Shockwave has no reciprocating parts that can help reduce recoil. Typical shotguns have more weight, and a padded buttstock. Being a compact firearm, the Shockwave has neither. Although the birds head grip does direct rearward energy somewhat better than a pistol grip, its effect is small. Upon firing, unless you have a firm grip, the Shockwave wants to slide back in your hand. This can cause the safety to “bite” into your thumb webbing. It also makes it harder to stay on target, so follow up shots are slower.
Enter the Recoil Strap. It’s really nothing more than four simple components, but together, they do a great job. There is a short length of hook and loop fastener, and some cord. The strap is nylon webbing, with a plastic ladderlock style adjuster. Installation only takes a few minutes, but some extra care and patience will pay off. Note that my install was somewhat non-standard, due to the existing Tractiongrips.
First remove the swivel mount from your grip, if it has one. Then, make sure your grip is clean and free from oils. Next, install the loop half of the hook and loop material on the grip. For best results, you want the ends pointing at the receiver, not the safety or trigger housing. So neither too high nor too low. From there, install the hook strip to the inside of the strap. Installing the soft shackle is best covered in the video below. Since I didn’t remove my Tractiongrips, it was a snug fit. At this point, you can install the strap, and adjust it. You’re now ready to test it out.
For my trip to the range, I brought along three varieties of ammo. Starting out with 2-3/4″ #8, I noticed the Shockwave was easier to shoot. But that’s a pretty mild load to begin with. Moving up to 00 buck, it was clear that the strap helped tame the recoil. Then I tried some slugs. Although still not what I would consider fun, it was much more manageable. Other than for bear defense, my guess is most folks will opt for 00, 0, or #1 buck from their Shockwave. So I shot some more of that, and found it easy to shred the center of my silhouette target.
There is simple logic behind the Recoil Strap. While an iron grip will help you use your body to soak up some recoil, not everyone has the hand strength for that. The strap basically fixes your hand to the Shockwave, preventing it from moving in your hand. This is great for those of us with a less than perfect grip. I found the installation a little extra work, due to having Tractiongrips already installed, but the result is clearly worth it. I can stay on target easier, and shoot more rounds before fatigue sets in. It also makes the Shockwave less intimidating for a new shooter.
Overall, this may be one of the best upgrades for your Shockwave (or Remington 870 Tac-14). Shooting heavier 12 gauge loads from a lightweight firearm is definitely more manageable with the Recoil Strap installed. It’s nice when a product does exactly what it’s claimed to do. For those that don’t like the idea of an extra strap, I say “Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it”. Get yours here.
A special thanks to Rhett at Demonstrated Concepts for sending a Recoil Strap for this review.