Semi-hard and rigid noise- and vibration-dampening material is comfortable on the shoulder and dampens vibrations from shooting. Different sizes fit most types of rifles better than universal sizes. Good customer service.
Recoil pad has a tendency to slip around, possibly off, when shooting over a period of time.
Has just enough thickness to reduce the recoil kick without feeling bulky. Adds a little bit of mass to the rear of the gun, which helps accuracy.
Brown color option is too light for most natural wood grains, especially darker tints.
Thick padding feels comfortable on the shoulder while shooting. Universal-size fits most rifles and shotguns. Easy to move around to different guns quickly.
Fit can be tight around older rifle and shotgun stocks. Padding is prone to wear after seasons of use.
Thick padding helps to tame the recoil and kick for faster shooting and reloading. Comes in different shapes and styles to fit specific rifle models.
Included pad screw holes may fail to line up with the holes on the gun's stock.
Slip-on pads with reduced noise and vibrating effect. Absorbs and reduces spring tension. Adaptable to most firearms models. Available in Airtech and classic models to provide more recoil reduction. Also comes with a belt grinder so you can grind to fit your stock.
Won’t work with Magpul or any other stock without a 1/4" step-down.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Newton's third law of motion states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Every time you fire a rifle or shotgun, you’re going to feel that law right in the shoulder. Each time the trigger is pulled, an explosion occurs inside the weapon that generates an incredible amount of force. Much of this force pushes the projectible forward, but a noticeable percentage is sent to the stock or butt of the firearm, making a tool like a recoil pad all the more necessary.
Recoil pads are generally constructed from rubber polymer, foam, and other soft materials. A recoil pad attaches to the buttstock of a rifle or shotgun, and, as the name implies, helps cushion the recoil of the fired weapon. Another benefit is that the pad’s textured surface prevents slippage when aiming. Some variants attach to the shoulder with straps, allowing the user to switch firearms easily.
Recoil pads come in a variety of sizes and shapes to fit different firearms as well as shooters. Some are sold with built-in ammunition holders for added functionality. Which one is right for you? Take a look at our recommendations and buying guide for some help.
Recoil pads attach to the end of a weapon’s buttstock, or stock, but there’s more variety than you might think. There are three main types: slip-on, precision-fit, and grind-to-fit recoil pads.
Slip-on pads: These do exactly what the name implies and simply slip over the stock. They are available in fairly standard sizes and often leave some wiggle room.
Precision-fit pads: These models are tailored to specific firearms. They often have screw mounts to guarantee a snug, long-lasting fit.
Grind-to-fit pads: These offer shooters much more personalization than the other two types. Commonly available in screw-on styles, the grind-to-fit pads are shaped and smoothed with a belt grinder to fit flush with the stock for a clean look and smooth feel. You can also grind the pad down to be as thin as you like for a shorter pull length.
Now that we’ve covered the primary mounting styles of recoil pads, let’s touch on how they reduce the recoil you feel.
Rigid: Some pads are made from rigid rubber polymers. These dampen vibration and recoil naturally, and many feature internal atmospheric chambers to dissipate energy. This type of recoil pad isn’t always comfortable on your shoulder, but it’s sure to last many years thanks to its simplicity.
Gel-filled: There are also gel-filled recoil pads. These neoprene and Lycra pads are filled with thick recoil-reducing gel and stretch over the gun’s stock to guarantee a comfortable shooting experience. Some pads have individual pockets of gel, which allows you to move the material around to conform to your body.
Outside of different color choices and proprietary shapes, the only additional feature you’ll find on recoil pads is an ammunition holder. This generally holds four to six shotgun shells or a handful of rifle rounds and makes reloading much faster than reaching into an ammo bag or pocket.
Gel-filled recoil pads are extremely effective at reducing felt recoil, but they won’t last quite as long as rigid rubber polymer units. Thankfully, even high-end recoil pads are fairly inexpensive and can be replaced as needed.
Recoil pads are available in countless sizes, shapes, and colors, but overall, they’re still a very inexpensive product.
Inexpensive: For about $10, you can expect to find basic rigid rubber recoil pads that slip on the end of your rifle or shotgun stock. These are generally sold in small, medium, and large sizes, and they may not fit perfectly flush with your firearm. There are inexpensive grind-to-fit models at this price point, too.
Mid-range: Spend $20 and you’ll find thicker rubber pads, gel-filled variants, and weapon-specific models that require screws to fit snugly.
Expensive: At the top of the range, expect to pay $30 or more for a thick, well-cushioned pad with atmospheric chambers for greater recoil reduction. High-quality gel-filled pads exist in this bracket, too, and feel exceptionally comfortable on the shoulder. Also, you’ll find pads with built-in ammo holders at this price.
A. Generally speaking, no, especially when compared to the installation of optics, muzzle brakes, laser sights, grips, and other accessories. The simplest version is obviously the slip-on pad, because it takes no more effort to install than putting on a glove. Screw-on pads are still fairly simple and only require the use of a drill and a keen eye to avoid splintering the stock. Grind-to-fit models are the most complex, but the toughest part is getting the shape of the pad flush with your weapon, not installing the unit for use.
A. First thing’s first. You should always have proper safety gear any time you’re using a firearm. This means eye protection (safety glasses or goggles) and ear protection (earmuffs or earplugs). Outside of that, tactical gloves can offer additional padding and weather protection to keep you comfortable when shooting outdoors. Consider knee and elbow pads as well if you’re shooting in prone or kneeling positions. Finally, noise-reducing attachments such as suppressors can save your ears in the long run.
A. A recoil pad offers an excellent way to reduce the amount of recoil you feel after pulling the trigger, but it doesn’t actually reduce the kick of the weapon. There are several ways to do that, though, if you find the recoil too harsh even with a pad or shooting vest. The most obvious is to shoot a lighter projectile with less power, although this isn’t always an option. If not, consider a muzzle brake or compensator to use the weapon-discharge gases to your benefit. The idea behind these products is rather than venting these gases normally, you can direct them at an angle that pulls the weapon forward slightly, canceling out some of the recoil. You’ll never mitigate 100% of the energy doing this, but you’ll definitely notice the reduction.
A. A proper stance can greatly reduce the effects of recoil on your body, and, best of all, it’s absolutely free! There are countless shooting stances recommended by professionals, and they can vary depending on the type of firearm you’re using. For a shotgun, stand with your non-firing leg slightly forward and lean your body into the weapon. Bend your knees slightly to maintain balance, and make sure you have a solid grip on the weapon, with the stock fitted snugly into your shoulder.