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RECOIL PADS Gunfitters observations

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by gun fitter, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. gun fitter

    gun fitter TS Member

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    Having just spent about 3 hrs and 20 PM's on the subject I thought some may like to read my version of a Recoil Pad Review.

    In no particular order here are some observations.

    Pachmayer pads there are many Pachmeyer pads but for the target shooter there are only three to consider. The Decelerator series pads are ok in my opinion but are quite dirty to grind and offer no great advantage over many competitors pads. Triple magnum series is a great pad it grinds well and is messy to but it is very good at recoil absorption. the downfall of the pad is they don't last too long especially when stored but down in a gun rack. My favorite Pachmayer Pad is the XLT trap pad. the only configuration is a curved trap style and it grinds like hell. It is really good at recoil absorption and seems to hold up better than most of the super soft pads.

    Kick-eez pads are by far my favorite pads they have decent recoil absorption and hold up much better than the super soft pads. What I really like about Kick-eez is the various pad styles available which should cover most shooting styles quite well. I particularly like the modified Trap which is a great pad when a big chest or more down pitch may be indicated. Kick-eez is not the softest in composition but it seems to be towards the top in recoil absorption. If a Kick-eez pad has any drawback it would be that they are a bit harder to mount (drag) than some other pads like the pachmayer decelerators or the 100-strait terminator. Kick-eez has solved this by offering Slick-eez a paint on coating that makes the pad sides quite smooth just an extra step and it is not the pretty solution but for a target shooter performance over looks.


    Gooey pads They work but they are a mess! last about 3 month with gun solvents and grease in the Florida heat. I would assume that they would be great in cold weather but that's only because I have to freeze them before grinding
    about -10 seems to firm them up a bit.

    Sims pads I like them and think that they work well and are a good choice when you can buy the prefit ones; the grind to fit ones never look good.

    Hi-viz X-Coil seems to be really good as a pad for sensitive shoulders but it's ability to hold up to gun solvents isn't the best. They grind well for me.
    not a great selection of profiles or shapes but its a good product for those that need a soft composition pad that doesn't tear with a bit of use.

    100-strait Terminator pads. I think if you need a pad that will mount without dragging this pad should be considered. Its soft but I think its a bit bouncy reacting to the recoil with a bit more forward movement of the gun than I like.
    for light loads and fast mounts like International Skeet it's a consideration.

    My apologies if I missed your favorite pad.

    I use 2 pads almost exclusively at present any Kick-eez and the Pachmayer XLT trap pad.

    Joe Goldberg
     
  2. Rubicon_Joey

    Rubicon_Joey Active Member

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    Couple of observations as a shooter and not a gunfitter....

    I don't particularly care how well a pad grinds just as long as it's capable of being ground correctly. Most of us who would attempt to grind their own pads, probably are only going to do it less than a handful of times (most likely only one or two) and so a mess is of little concern.

    Who is soaking their pads in gun solvents? You shouldn't have solvents anywhere near that end of the gun. If you do, your doing it wrong.

    Otherwise, thanks for the great info. I'll be replacing my kick-eez sometime in the near future and this will be helpful when selecting a new pad when that time comes.
     
  3. skeet_man

    skeet_man Well-Known Member

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    Gooey pads typically last 1-2 years. Mine usually last a year because I blow them out (they tear away from the backing, not a fault of the pad, more a fault of the way I mount the gun, which is very low in my shoulder, so only the top half of the pad actually contacts anything, I've had the same blow-out problems with every other pad I've tried). My friends w/ more traditional gun mounts get 1-2 years out of them, sometimes more. You do need to be mindful of them, don't stick them in the dirt, don't pour solvents on them, try and keep them out of the heat as best you can, don't rest guns on the pad if you're going to be storing it for extended periods of time, and you'll be fine. I've ground them both ways, frozen and unfrozen, frozen is a LITTLE better if I have the time. What I've found is that if you dunk them in a bowl of cold water (they are quite hygroscopic) they get nice and firm and it makes it much easier to grind. Once the dry out they return to normal.

    The latest generation of Kickeez pads I've come across have all been hard as a rock. Something changed when they went from the style that required screw hole plugs to the style that didn't. Kickeez denies it, and claims the pad composition is identical, but feel a pad of each generation, and tell me they aren't dramatically different. I played with a couple @ the Grand last week, and found a couple that were SLIGHTLY softer than rocks, but not even close to as soft as the old ones were. Gunsmiths LOVE Kickeez pads. Why? Because they're the easiest/quickest to install. More installations/hour=more $ in the gunsmiths pocket.

    Never had a problem with the Limbsaver pads. They are a pain to grind (as are the XLTs), but finish pretty nicely.

    I probably take more time than most when I grind pads. I start with either a 60 or 80 grit belt to remove a majority of the excess, then switch to I think a 100 grit belt to get it close, then a 220 grit belt to finish and polish (along with soapy water sprayed on the belt which helps to keep it cool and gets a little better finish). Finish on the hard pads (decelerator, kickeez) will always be better than the soft pads (gooey). Just the nature of the beast.

    Bottom line is recoil pads are a tradeoff. If you want the most recoil reduction, you have to live with the least lifespan (gooey). If you want the most lifespan, you have to live with the least recoil reduction (decelerator). Everything else is somewhere in the middle, with Kickeez being near the decelerator end, and XLT/Hiviz/Limbsaver being toward the gooey end. Kinda like car tires, soft ones have the best handling and stability (snow tires) but wear out fast, harder ones (all season) last longer, but don't handle as well...
     
  4. sptnclays

    sptnclays Member

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    I am with joey. I pay somebody to put the pad on so how they grind is not my concern. What is, is the recoil absorbtion. I have found the super gooey the all around best. if I have to spend $100 a year for a new pad that won't kick the crap out of me its worth it.
    If you are worried about how often you need to replace the pad have the butt of the stock checkerred like the old brit guns and forget about it.
     
  5. skeet_man

    skeet_man Well-Known Member

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    Here's an example of a Limbsaver pad I did. Owner bought the gun used, and it had been cut down significantly. 1" spacer and limbsaver pad brought it back to factory length.
     
  6. Ruck

    Ruck Well-Known Member

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    Ian, how many pads do you actually install per year?

    Ken Rucker
     
  7. skeet_man

    skeet_man Well-Known Member

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    Only a handful (maybe a half dozen) b/w myself and friends, and some local shooters.

    I was doing it by mail for a while, but it wasn't worth the time and hassle (having to unbox, install pad, rebox, ship, drop off at the carrier) and risk (if I had to deal with insurance claims caused by damage to or from me) to make 35 bucks on the labor, and maybe a buck or two on the pad if I was lucky.

    Why?
     
  8. miketmx

    miketmx Well-Known Member

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    Joe, thanks for the thread. I am very happy with the Kickeez Modified Trap pad; I tried a couple of Gooeys and they were OK for recoil but I am too cheap to pay the cost of installation when they break down and fall apart far too soon.
     
  9. Ruck

    Ruck Well-Known Member

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    Just wondered how you got to be such an expert, that's all. I install 1200-1500 per year and find most what you you wrote to not hold water.

    Ken
     
  10. Ruck

    Ruck Well-Known Member

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    I have been doing stockwork full time for 11 years. In that time, I've done well in excess of 10,000 recoil pads. I've installed every brand imaginable and find that based on style selection, recoil absorption, appearance and customer satisfaction that Kick-eez pads fill the bill. Here in Texas, Gooeys and Hi-Vizs melt in a short amount of time. Pachmayrs last forever but have poor recoil absorption. I don't find the current line of Kick-eez pads to be appreciably any harder than those of years past. Sorbothane Corp. added an agent to the formula to make the Kick-eez pads a little more tear resistant, but the durometer remained unchanged.

    Ken Rucker
     
  11. skeet_man

    skeet_man Well-Known Member

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    Never said I was an expert. Just offered my observations as both a shooter AND a (part time) pad installer. One doesn't need to install a bunch of pads to be able to get to know what each type is like, what their durability is, and how they perform. Hell, you don't need to install any pads to know that, as long as you shoot with and and play with the different types. I've shot just about every recoil pad known to man over the years.

    As I said before, I invite anyone to take one of the old kickeez pads w/ the plugs, and the new kickeez pads w/ out, squeeze both, and tell me you can't feel a difference, because I sure can. Unless you're getting different pads than I am. There are also 2 different generations of Hiviz pad as well, the newer one being stiffer than the older (and a bit more durable), but that change occurred 8-10 years ago, and most of the old ones have probably worn out by now.

    One thing I do know for sure, the profit margin on a Kickeez pad as a dealer is quite a bit more than the profit margin on a Gooey, another reason gunsmiths like Kickeez pads...

    Out of curiosity, what else did I say that you disagree with?
     
  12. skeet_man

    skeet_man Well-Known Member

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    "Sorbothane Corp. added an agent to the formula to make the Kick-eez pads a little more tear resistant, but the durometer remained unchanged." Thats different than what I was told when I called them to ask. They told me they were EXACTLY the same.
     
  13. skeet_man

    skeet_man Well-Known Member

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    CB- Only ever seen the XLT in a curved trap configuration. Do you have a link to something different?
     
  14. Ruck

    Ruck Well-Known Member

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    That's what I said.....they are exactly the same hardness. The addative was for toughness, not hardness.

    Ken
     
  15. skeet_man

    skeet_man Well-Known Member

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    Do you have access to a durometer gauge?

    I still have an old style one here. It was ground, but never used, so its essentially new. Its considerably squishier than the ones I handled @ the Grand last weeek.

    If you have a gauge, or access to one, and you're game, I'll send it down to you and you can compare it with a new one and post back with the results.

    I'll make the same offer to anyone else if Ken doesn't have a gauge and someone else does. I'll mail my pad to you, you measure it and compare it with a brand new one and post the results back.

    Either way, I don't need the pad back. I'm willing to sacrifice it for some definitive answers.
     
  16. Avaldes

    Avaldes Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if a Gooey Pad is for everyone, but I recently switched before the Ca State Shoot and found it to be a very positive change. The shape of the Gooey fits my shoulder well, as does the Rocker, but the Gooey is better for felt recoil.
     
  17. tracyhunter

    tracyhunter Member

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    may be a little off subject but here goes.after reading all the above i will be buying a kick eez for my m-50 and i don't have the tools to remove the stock.so my question is if i draw around the butt of the stock.send the outline to someone can they grind a kick eez pad and then i can put it on w/o taking the stock off?
     
  18. skeet_man

    skeet_man Well-Known Member

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    Not without knowing the angle of the heel and toe and taper of the stock, all of which are determined against the stock, not by taking taking actual measurements in length or degrees then transferring that to the pad.

    And even then, best case scenario would be that it would be pretty close, and might look "decent". Chances of a perfect fit like you'd get normally would be pretty slim, chances of it looking horrible would be greater.
     
  19. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    Joe:
    I enjoyed your comments. I personally like the kick-eez 400 trap pad, but hard to find. Another pad I like is the terminator pad, but I have a tough time grinding them as you need high RPMs which I don't have.

    My all time favorite pad is the pad that Jack West uses on his adjustable stocks. Have no idea what brand pad that is?

    The worst two pads in my opinion are the Morgan pads and the Jones pad from years ago.
    Steve Balistreri
    Wauwatosa Wisconsin
     
  20. ljutic73

    ljutic73 Well-Known Member

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    I just had a KickEez Rocker pad installed on my ST-100 doubles gun with a little extra negative pitch thrown in for good measure.....haven't shot it yet...might get to one or 2 shoots before winter...hope it treats my face better now...

    Ron Burr
     
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