Installing a recoil pad on a fiberglass stock

I am a big fan of fixer-up projects.  I love taking something that is in poor condition and bringing new life to it. Recently, I purchased one of the roughest used stocks I’ve seen in my life.  The stock, an HS Precision PST012 started life as a Remington 700 Police take off.  The previous owner got a hold of it; and well, take a look at the pictures below.

In addition to the poorly installed QD studs,  you’ll notice the recoil pad didn’t go so well (trust me, this is the good side).  In this post we are going to replace the recoil pad with a new one.

The steps we’ll be using here, on a fiberglass stock that needs to be repainted, are different then those you would use on a wood, or finished stock.  In those cases the pad would be fit off the stock before it is attached.  For an idea of what that installation would look like, please see Shortening a shotgun stock and fitting a recoil pad.

Before we get started, please take a few minutes to read and understand the following disclaimer:

The contents of are produced for informational purposes only and should be performed by competent gunsmiths only. and its authors, do not assume any responsibility, directly or indirectly for the safety of the readers attempting to follow any instructions or perform any of the tasks shown, or the use or misuse of any information contained herein, on this website.

Any modifications made to a firearm should be made by a licensed gunsmith. Failure to do so may void warranties and result in an unsafe firearm and may cause injury or death.

Modifications to a firearm may result in personal injury or death, cause the firearm to not function properly, or malfunction, and cause the firearm to become unsafe.

I ordered the following products from Brownells for this project:

  1. Pachmayr 750B Decelerator recoil pad
  2. Marine-Tex epoxy
  3. Abrasive cloth

To learn more about the HS Precision PST012 stock shown in this post, click here.

Many recoil pads are held in place with a pair of screws.  In this case, I took a utility knife and cut away the pad to expose the screws, which I then removed.

Next, I needed to remove the pad and give myself a flat surface to attach the new pad to.  The easiest way I’ve found to do this is to cut the stock on a miter saw.  I use a 80 tooth finish blade that does leave any tear out.  In this case I was happy with the length of pull, so I simply cut off the old recoil pad without removing any extra length from the stock.

I take a minute to line up the new recoil pad.  In this case a Pachmayr Decelerator 750B.  Sizing a pad is important, a smaller one obviously won’t work.  Too large and you can cut into the inside of the pad.  This a a medium, just the right size.

To attach the pad I am going to glue it on with Marine-Tex epoxy.  While the screws are necessary for a wood stock, I like to simply epoxy recoil pads in place on the fiberglass stocks (Pachmayr still recommends screws).  Before gluing the pad in place I’ll take time to wrap the sides of the stock with tape to prevent excess Marine-Tex from sticking to it.

I use a parallel jaw clamp to hold the recoil pad in place for 24 hours while the epoxy dries.  Make sure the pad is centered on the end of the stock when you set this up.  Also, make sure the pad doesn’t slide when you clamp it.

After the epoxy has cured, it is off to the belt grinder to make the pad flush.  For this operation I started with a 100 grit belt and moved to 220 grit.

Coming along. Since the stock was in pretty bad shape and required a lot of patchwork (not shown in this post) I blended it on the grinder more than I normally would have.  I follow up with some 220 grit paper on a sanding block to hand finish the remaining parts.

Here is a view of the finished recoil pad installed on the completed rifle.  Looks good, doesn’t it?

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