Monday, June 25, 2012

The Mossberg Raptor Grip Review

The Mossberg Raptor Grip Review
With two steel plate and over a dozen screws in my dominant arm I am usually left swearing or wiggling my arm hoping feeling comes back after shooting high recoil firearms such as full 158gr .357 loads in my Ruger LCR, or in this case 00 buckshot with my pistol gripped Mossberg JIC II 12 Gauge Shotgun. 


The head scratcher is that I do not have that problem shooting a standard shotgun stock even from the waist, so why is the pistol grip so painful for me to shoot?  The biggest reason is that the recoil is not coming straight back because the hand and arm position are under the centerline of the barrel’s recoil with the wrist already 50% through its range of motion. The result is a lot of back and up recoil force leveraging on hand, wrist and forearm versus recoil straight back which could use the nature wrist, elbow, and shoulder as a spring. 



Additionally because wrist only has 50% of its motion left, once recoil occurs the wrist locks out quickly and then that back and up recoil of the pistol gripped shotgun moves where it attempts to flex to the forearm.  My arm with “extra reinforcement” does not flex which makes for really painful shooting. A standard shotgun stock locks the wrist all the way in the forward/down position which maximizes the range of “up” motion the wrist can offer during recoil and aligns the bones in the arm to structurally take the weight in a linear straight back manner.


A lot of people like pistol grips on shotguns because they do provide a lot of maneuverability, control and if needed in a rare circumstance eye level single handed shooting.  
Shockwave Technologies decided to develop the Raptor pistol grip for the Mossberg 500 shotgun platform which delivers substantially less felt recoil to the shooter in a very durable and comfortable grip. The Raptor shotgun grip may look familiar.  This style has been known as the birdshead grip, witness protection grip, chicken head grip, and the sawed off grip however the Raptor has a few refinements. 


FIT, FEEL & FEATURES
The Raptor shotgun grip fits Mossberg 12-gauge and 20-gauge shotguns from the 500, 590, 835, 600 series as well as the Maverick 88 shotguns. I bolted the Raptor up to my Mossberg JIC II packaged 12 gauge 500 series shotgun with the included hardware.  The fit is not perfect and had a slightly fatter and taller profile than the 500’s receiver to assure any sharp edges of the receiver are not exposed.  The grip did have one rough spot from the casting on the underside near the trigger gaurd; however this did not affect function or shooting comfort.  The fine textured surface gives your hand plenty to hold on to.



The solid fiberglass reinforced polymer Raptor grip feels far more comfortable and more substantial than the stock pistol grip. It has that once you are out of ammo use me as a club feeling; after all it is solid fiberglass reinforced polymer and is designed to take more a beating that your shotgun may be able to handle.


The big attraction to this grip is the substantial reduction of recoil; however there are a couple side benefits to this longer grip.  If you have your shotgun sticking out of your bug out bag, the handle could be mistaken for a machete versus screaming “I have a pistol gripped shotgun”.  This was one complaint I had with the JIC package was that assembled it sticks out of the JIC II pack.  Now the case just looks like a big machete sheath.



Although totally badass looking, style wise it is a little lower key if you just see the handle.  The other upside suggested by Shockwave is that according to the ATF a shotgun which has never had a stock attached, nor was intended or sold that way is not considered a shotgun or AOW (Any other weapon) by the ATF. 


Additionally Shockwave suggests that by installing the Raptor grip and shortening the barrel to 14” it will still be above the 26” or less concealable classification by the ATF which means with a Raptor gripped Mossberg cruiser or JIC series shotgun you could have a 14” barrel shotgun (26.5” overall) legally without any need for required ATF tax stamps which is an interesting idea for those that need a little more stock and a little less barrel.



FUNCTION
I love this grip. During testing I shot an a half 00 buckshot rounds plus another dozen BB rounds without any pain and at a cycle rate significantly faster than I was able to before. Frankly one round with the old pistol grip was a bit tingly for me and three rounds were downright painful. With the Raptor grip I could have easily shot another couple boxes. At least for me, a single handed eye level shot is tough to manage as you do not have the leverage like you do with the pistol grip; however I was far more accurate with waist and two handed eye level shots with the Raptor stock.  


FINAL THOUGHTS
Will I go back to the stock pistol grip on the Mossberg JIC II 12-gauge 500? No, probably not, however I will be able to look lower profile, shoot without pain, and hit my target more often which is the reason you are carrying the shotgun in the first place. If you have a Mossberg 500 or other compatible shotgun, I would highly recommend this grip and especially for those which are a bit sensitive to recoil.


SPECS
Material - Fiberglas reinforced Polymer
Retail - $29.95
MADE IN USA!


SOURCES
Shockwave Technologies
http://shockwavetechnologies.com

3 comments:

Marty said...

Thank you. Wonderful writeup. One quick note on the fitment between the grip and the receiver. As you mentioned, the grip is ever so slightly oversize. This is intentional, as to ensure that all the sharp corners on the rear of the receiver are adequately "masked" by the grip. :)

Thank you again, Marty

1.0 said...

Do you have to stretch to reach the trigger with this new grip, or does it reach naturally?

Major Pandemic said...

It feels just like it would with a regular wood stock.