Recoil Pads For Synthetic Stocks

Installing recoil pads on synthetic stocks instead of wood.

by RK Campbell

A common job around the shop is to replace an aging recoil pad or to fit a new pad to an existing firearm. Recoil pads may increase the length of pull and modify fit. Sometimes they just perform their intended function of decreasing the rap received on the shoulder when firing a hard kicking firearm. Fitting the butt pad is a steady job for gunsmiths that is accomplished mostly with hand tools and time proven techniques. Measuring tape, duct tape, and a scribe are just a few of the tools needed. About half of the recoil pads I install are because of problems with length of pull rather than any problem with severe recoil. There is a distinction between the butt plate and a recoil pad. The butt plate may be thin and it may be steel and it doesn’t do anything but cap off the stock. The recoil pad is also a butt pad in a manner of speaking but serves an additional purpose. It’s fine if the customer is concerned with recoil but you still need to be certain that you do not affect the length of pull in an undesirable manner. The length of pull is the distance from the trigger to the end of the stock and the area where the butt pad snugs into the shoulder. Most individuals will be best served with 13-14 inches of pull. Be certain to check and see if the individual will be firing the gun with a heavy hunting coat. Clothing and seasonal choices may affect the desirable length of pull. While recoil is always a consideration, be certain that the length of pull isn’t compromised.

Read more in our August 2015 issue.

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