What Are Recoil Pads?
Specifically, the action of igniting gun powder in a closed space to propel a bullet at high velocity out of one end of a rifle or shotgun results in an equal force being applied at the other end. And since that other end is pressed against your shoulder, Newton can be cursed frequently during any extended shooting session.
Since gun stocks are often made of wood or other hard synthetic materials, that rearward force can do a number on you over time, resulting in sore and bruised shoulders. That is where the recoil pad comes in.
A recoil pad is a piece of rubber, gel, foam, or other cushioning material that attaches to the shoulder stock of a shotgun or rifle to lessen the impact of the recoil from firing. These pads, which can either be temporarily or permanently affixed to the end of the stock, work to minimize the impact of the gun’s kick by spreading out and/or softening the force of the recoil.
Here’s a quick list of our choices for top recoil pads:
Features of Recoil Pads
Recoil pads are specifically made to reduce the kick back of your gun, meaning that they are usually constructed out of a material that absorbs some of the kinetic force coming towards your body after firing your gun. Recoil pads can range in construction from simple slip-on pads made of rubber and impact-reducing gel similar to shoe inserts, to more complicated stock additions that help reduce both the impact to your shoulder and the movement of your gun after firing.
Recoil pads come in a large array of sizes and general uses, from smaller recoil pads meant for comfort and convenience, to larger stock replacements that can help reduce up to 70% of impact to your shoulder after firing your rifle. Most recoil pads are installed to the stock of your weapon, either using a generalized screwdriver that you can find in a gunsmithing kit, or as part of an interlocking system in more modern guns for a more customizable comfort level.
The average recoil pad is made to allow the material of the recoil pad itself itself absorb more of the impact before it reaches your shoulder. Depending on the kind of gun that you use, you may require a more specialized form of recoil pad in order to ensure the best possible kick back reduction after you shot.
Choosing The Right Recoil Pad
A good recoil pad should be able to take the brunt of the damage that comes from firing your weapon repeatedly. It should sit comfortably against your shoulder, while also adding some distance between you and the stock of your weapon.
Some of the most high quality recoil pads offer balancing capabilities that help make sure there is not too much drift in your shots from one to another, allowing you to be more accurate in the long run. However, these more complicated recoil pads are made to be used in tandem with top tier weapons, and as such may not be what you are looking for when it comes to outfitting your basic hunting rifle.
A good recoil pad should be able to protect your shoulder from the prolonged wear-and-tear of rifle kickback, while also fitting comfortably on to the stock of your gun. The kind of recoil pad you are looking for depends on the amount of kick back that you are looking to reduce, as many different types of recoil pads offer up kick back reduction anywhere from 20-70%.
When you are looking for a specific recoil pad for your hunting rifle, do your research to see what other people have purchased for your particular rifle, as they have more hands-on experience with the product than anyone else. If you have a wide range of guns with interchangeable stocks, you may consider investing in a higher quality recoil pad in order to allow it to be used across your entire hunting arsenal, or you may consider investing in more than one recoil pad for each of your hunting rifles.
Best Recoil Pads For The Money
Here are some of our top picks for the best recoil pads for your money:
- Gel filled material Reduces Felt Recoil Up To 70% for more shooting with less soreness
- One size fits most makes and models. Fits Rifles and Shotguns
- Slip On, Easy Installation. Won't damage your gun
- Uses Latest High Tech Gel pads. Thick Gel pad stops the shock
- can be easily moved from gun to gun without any tools or modifications to the gun
- Slip-on recoil pad for most rifles, shotguns and muzzleloaders; reduces up to 70 percent of felt recoil
- Easily installs over existing firearm stocks without any modifications
- Incorporates anti-muzzle jump technology for faster target re-acquisition
- Made from LimbSaver's proprietary vibration-dampening NAVCOM material
- Non-slip surface ideal for use in all harsh weather conditions
- Advanced recoil control
- Unique speed mount insert
- Easy installation
- Non slip and snag free design
- Available in three sizes
- Comes with 4 Standard Lead Sled Weight Bags
- Holds approximately 7 pounds of sand or 25 ponds of lead shot.
- 5.5" x 10" x3"
- Designed to be placed in the shot tray of your Lead Sled
- Uses high tech recoil reducing polymer to reduce felt recoil up to 70%
- Slip on, installs in seconds
- For guns with straight stocks
- Great for long days at the range
- Perfect for people who don't want to wear a shooting vest
- Shoulder stress and vibration reduced
- Comfortable to wear
- Proper placement on the shoulder
- Anti-bacterial and anti-allergenic material
- One size fits most-Ambidextrous
- The visco elastic gel in the Shooterpads recoil pad is and excellent energy absorbing material.
- The three mini-cell pads can be added or removed to increase energy absorsion and to adjust the pull length.
- The pads install on the butt of any long rifle or shotgun in a matter of seconds.
- The Shooterpads Recoil Pad can be easily moved from gun to gun without any tools or modifications to the gun
- One size fits all makes and models.
- All mounting hardware included
- Optional replacement butt-pad for the CTR and MOE Milspec stocks as wall as all STR, ACS-L, ACS, and UBR stocks
- Designed for enhanced shoulder purchase as well as offering improved recoil reduction with its thicker, vented construction
- Can also be installed on Commerical-spec MOE/CTR stocks, but may prohibit use of fully collapsed position
- Made in USA
Recoil Pads Video
Here is a video discussing installation of Recoil Pads: