An important part of the gunsmith’s tasks is the ability to install a properly fitted recoil pad. Occasionally you may find a factory replacement pad that aligns perfectly, but more often than not, you’ll end up having to grind a pad to fit. Recoil pads are typically attached to stocks with a pair of screws; however, in some cases, the pad is glued directly to the stock, which makes installation slightly more complex.
We had a Kimber 84 walk into the shop in need of a new recoil pad. Inspection of the factory pad found it was not screwed in place but glued. Once I removed the majority of the pad, I also observed that the stock was hollow. Had this stock been solid, I could have simply screwed a new recoil pad in place. After consulting with the customer, we decided to glue a new recoil pad on (alternatively the cavity could have been filled and the new pad screwed into that).
A detailed post on fitting a standard recoil pad can be found here, Installing a LimbSaver grind-to-fit recoil pad.
Before we begin work, please take a moment to read the following disclaimer:
The contents of Rifleshooter.com are produced for informational purposes only and should be performed by competent gunsmiths only. Rifleshooter.com 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.
For this project I ordered the following parts from Brownells:
I began by removing what I could of the factory recoil pad. I could have either cut into the stock, or cut into the recoil pad. I decided to leave the small rim of plastic from the factory pad and cut the pad rather than the wood. This was mostly because the wood finish was excellent. To square off the rear of the stock, I used a series of shims to align the stock on my miter saw and make the cut.
I began by scribing and grinding the replacement pad. I am grinding this pad proud of the stock, I’ll fine tune the finish at the end. To initially grind the pad, I use a grinding fixture (not shown, but it can be found in the recoil pad installation post I reference earlier).
Next, the stock is prepped for gluing on the pad. I wrapped the stock with blue painter’s tape and a heavy plastic bag.
I secure the stock vertically in a multi-vise and apply Marine-Tex to the area the recoil pad will mount to, then I press the pad into place.
Once the epoxy has cured I wrap some painter’s tape around the stock to protect the factory finish on the wood. I then use some 220 grit sandpaper with Kroil (oil) as a lubricant to ensure the pad is precisely aligned with the wood.
The finished recoil pad installation looks better than new!