Went to the range again today. Unfortunately, this time A Bad Thing happened. Fortunately, it wasn’t the sort of Bad Thing that ends with somebody getting shot. Basically, what happened was that I wound up pretty much confirming something that I’ve long suspected: there is something wrong with my right shoulder.
I’ve been seriously toying with the idea of a 12-gauge shotgun, probably a Mossberg 500/590 for my next firearm purchase. As you may remember, I fired a shotgun some months back, and I enjoyed it. However, said shotgun was a Remington 870 that featured a recoil-reduction mechanism in it’s buttstock and was loaded with low-recoil shells. I prefer the control layout of Mossbergs to the Remington, but Mossberg does not offer their shotguns with the BLACKHAWK! stock that the Remington had, and the location of the Mossberg’s safety makes it hard to manipulate when the shotgun is fitted with a pistol grip. So, in a nutshell, I wanted to see just how stout the recoil of a “regular” shotgun loaded with “regular” ammunition was before I committed to buying one, so I rented Targetmaster’s other Remington 870, the one with a “normal” synthetic stock. Bought a 25-round box of 00-Buck too. 2.75″ shells, standard velocity, not 3″ Magnums. Just regular shells. This is important.
Took it out onto the range, set up my targets, loaded up the shotgun, braced the stock real good against my shoulder, racked a load in, fired.
Not “that’s gonna leave a mark” pain, or “you’re gonna feel that in the morning” pain, but the kind of exquisite, agonizing pain that makes you stop what you are doing, step back, and say to yourself “I need to seriously re-evaluate my life choices.” Not the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life (that would be my appendicitis), but pretty darn bad nonetheless.
Unfortunately, I didn’t take the hint. I thought I hadn’t had the stock braced up against my shoulder very well, which would’ve allowed the weapon to get a “running start” from the recoil and really wallop me. So I braced up even harder and fired off the five shells left in the magazine. Each one brought forth another bout of “You have made several bad life choices” pain.
Worse, I’m both stubborn and cheap (I paid $25 for this box of ammo, and I’m gonna get my money’s worth, dammit!) so I kept plugging away. By the time I was down to the last six shells, my shoulder was hurting so bad that even shouldering the shotgun was markedly unpleasant. So I switched shoulders, opting to the shoot the shotgun left-handed instead of right-handed.
It hurt, sure, but on a “that’s gonna bruise” level rather than the “bad life choice” agony my right shoulder felt. Nowhere near as bad. Forget same ballpark, it’s not even in the same city. It’s been about two hours since I left the range, and Left Shoulder doesn’t hurt at all, while Right Shoulder is still in a significant amount of pain.
And like I said, this only confirms something I’ve suspected for quite some time. My right shoulder has been bothering me for a number of years now. It’ll start aching after only a relatively-moderate amount of physical activity. Carrying a somewhat-heavy backpack, paddling a canoe or rowboat, lifting weights, etc. all aggravate it, and sometimes it just starts hurting for no reason. I suspect that I injured it somehow at some point in my not-so-distant youth, but being the stubborn fool I can be sometimes, I never bothered getting it checked out.
That ends now.
Or, at least, it’ll end pretty soon. My benefits from work kicked in recently, so I’ll be making a doctor’s appointment for my day off next week. I gotta get this figured out, and I gotta get it fixed. But until then, I’m off long guns, or at least anything with more oomph than a .22LR.
I’ll be keeping y’all posted on this. Until next time, peace.