Probably the most common symptom of recoil is a bruise or graze to the face and yet this is one problem that can be completely eliminated by a correct gun mount technique.  Rarely is the cause the gun or cartridge unless the load is heavy and the gun light, even then, correct technique will overcome the problem.

The correct way to mount a gun for any discipline is to adopt your shooting stance and bring the gun up to the face.  The gun should touch your face and drop into the shoulder pocket at the same instant.  It is as easy as that.  

Whoa!  what is a “shooting stance”?  

Weight slightly forward, about 60/40 distribution between leading leg and back leg.  Head up and craned slightly forward towards the target.  Knee joint of forward leg unlocked and heels about 4″ (100mm) apart if terrain allows. Gun evenly balanced between the hands and brought up level onto the line of the target. Mount with a push forward, lift towards the face and pull into the shoulder as you make contact.  All accomplished in one smooth easy movement.  Do not rush, just push, lift and pull.  Keep head movement to a minimum.

The opposite and incorrect way is the gun brought up to the shoulder and the head dropped forward and down onto the stock.  Two distinct and separate movements.  If you drop your head during gun mount you cancel out your natural ability to point because you cannot point accurately whilst dropping the head.  When you tip your head forward and down you bring the cheekbone into painful contact with the top of the comb, no flesh between the two, just a thin layer of skin.  When the gun recoils the energy is transmitted directly to the cheekbone, trapping the skin between bone and comb.  Result is a bruise and/or a graze.

If you lift the gun to the face you will find a layer of flesh between cheekbone and comb.  Head position is upright and the bone is not in contact with the top of the comb. The recoil is absorbed by the soft tissue with no ill affect.

Note that you do not need to jam your head down onto the comb in order to maintain a consistent sight picture. Repeated practice builds muscle memory and the gun will locate comfortably in the natural pocket between jaw and cheek.

Learn to mount your gun in this manner and you will never suffer a bruised face again.

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