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ITUS A1 Shot Shield

ITUS A1 Shot Shield

Recoil is always a concern when you first start shooting, as a bad experience with harsh recoil can put you off shooting or cause a flinch that is hard to shift. Padded jackets or smaller calibres are fine but a simple device to slip in or out of your shooting vest can make shooting any calibre so much better.

Technology moves very quickly and new technological break throughs have now turned up a superior recoil reducing pad from ITUS. This is supplied by www.A1Shot.co.uk. It is designed for shotgun use primarily and makes good sense when you shoot at a clay ground; 100 shots with a heavier gram load can become noticeable. Minimising recoil allows you to concentre on shooting and not fearing recoil.

Spec

The A1 Shot shield is actually quite an innocuous looking piece of kit that does not immediately show how good it is. It looks like an over-sized, large yellow odour eater! But there’s a lot of technology in that shield. It measures 9-inches high by 3.75-inches wide, with a waisted profile to fit better in the shoulder. It is also very slim at only 6mm deep and is very flexible. It has a ‘wet’ feel and is perforated with a segmented sectioned area of hexagonal form. These are a single row around the rim sector and joined in the central area and are designed to spread the recoil evenly.

It’s is made form a gel type flexible material called ‘Armourgel’, which is a silicone gel material that changes its form when impacted, called sheer thickening. This has the property of a higher absorption or shock dissipation the harder you hit it, which makes it ideal for recoiling guns, as it is instantaneous. The A1 Shot design with those hexagonal profiles allow movement which is crucial for the pad to work and its 3-dimensional shape allows this. What you get (and this is the clever part) as each cell reacts to recoil by falling in on itself inwardly and as such the walls of each cell therefore increases in thickness, in fact by 300% dissipating the recoil extremely well. The technical term is viscoelastic non-Newtonian silicone, i.e. the harder you hit it, the more shock it absorbs.

The Armourgel’s other really good feature is its ability to re-generate itself, in other words it can ‘spring’ back to its original form and have repeated impacts on the same area without damage, unlike some foam type recoil shields. You also have an air flow system to allow breathability.

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  • ITUS A1 Shot Shield - image {image:count}

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  • ITUS A1 Shot Shield - image {image:count}

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  • ITUS A1 Shot Shield - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • ITUS A1 Shot Shield - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • ITUS A1 Shot Shield - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

In practice, the Armourgel A1 Shot shield absorbs up to 80% of the recoil from the gun that is transmitted to the shoulder/body. It is also fully washable at 40-degrees for at least 50 times without loss of impact and it is also effective at temperatures at -20C and +40C. You also have a very slim, unassuming pad that slips into a vest or coat’s shoulder region with a pocket, so you don’t look like you have a steroid fixation.

Let’s test

Firstly, you need a vest or jacket with a pocket in the shoulder area to put in, but for by stalking jackets, due to its wet grippy texture, it fits quite nicely with a small pocket sown in. It feels wrong, as it is so slim and to be honest you do not notice it. Unlike some foam type pads that feel like a soft squeezy cushion the A1 Shot sits still and does not affect your correct mounting of the shotgun or rifle. This is important for correct swing or aiming.

I used a 20 gauge 28-gram load in my son’s Browning B325, a 12g 32-gram load in a Winchester English Field and Browning 10g pump. I have to say, I was impressed, as that slim pad really dissipated the recoil, so that it feels more spread across the whole shoulder and not concentrating it into one spot.

With the rifles, my .308 Tikka felt like a .243, a 300 Win mag like a 30-06, which was good and the mighty 458 Lott, which is seriously hideous to shoot, was more like an old British like the 450/400 Nitro, i.e. a shove rather than a thump.

Conclusion

The ITUS A1 Shot Shield retails for only £39.95, which is a bit of a bargain to be honest, especially if you suffer from recoil or flinch. As a tool to teach new shooters proper gun hold without fearing recoil, it will pay for its self in a trice. Its easy to use but you do need a vest or jacket to slip it into or be prepared for very simple home fitting into a jacket. If you don’t fancy getting the sewing kit out, A1 Shot can add a pocket to a skeet or trap vest for £14.95 plus delivery.

When I bench test big bore rifles this makes working up reloads so much easier and saves on all that dental treatment too!

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