Trapshooters Forum banner

My #1 Gunsmithing Failure - BUTTPAD SCREWS

7723 45
Yeah, this is a trivial issue but it bugs me every time I work with a stock. I enjoy refinishing wood and shotgun stocks are a pleasure. I take my time and do a nice job hand rubbing the finishes.

Removing and replacing the pad is a massive pain to me. I'm not even talking about fitting a new pad - just unscrewing and screwing what's already on the stock.

Sometimes, I find drywall screws buried in the rubber, and sometimes there's one drywall and one flathead wood screw.

When I'm lucky, the pad is attached with two identical screws or bolts, both with the same head - Phillips.

Regardless of what is actually under the rubber, it always seems to be a crapshoot over which screwdriver I should start with. Just fumbling around with any screwdriver poses a risk of damage to one or both of the screw heads. I usually start with a Phillips.

When I'm lucky, I hit it right the first time and both screw heads are the same. Then it's a matter of physically removing screws that have been rammed into place.

I've watched numerous videos online and real gunsmiths seem to always have the perfect bit in their drill that instantly lines up and removes the screws. When reassembling, the professional grabs the perfect electric drill and smoothly attaches the pad. It seems the pros can do this ten times in the time it takes me to do it once. I suppose I could use a drill to speed things up but that wouldn't help me know which bit to start with.

Can someone offer tips - or at least let me know that more experienced folks stumble with the same problems?
  • Like
Reactions: Tom2536
1 - 20 of 46 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
2,459 Posts
Follow their best trick. Delete all videos which show they have the same problems with screws as you describe. If you never see their worst work it automatically make all their work look better. For me I find a little lubrication on the screw drive help keep from chewing up the holes in the pad. I make my screwdriver no wider than the shaft width if possible. Most pads are not that tightly screwed down if properly done. Armatures seem to over tighten every screw.

One fellow I knew put red lock tight on every screw going into metal. Then could not get them out. Took the gun to a real gunsmith who struggled to get one out. Once he did he saw locktight had been used. He cussed te owner out so much a fly would not land on him. Told he anybodyas dumb as he was should not own a set of screwdrivers. Fellow said he did not own a set. He just had one size fits all. Gunsmith said don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
492 Posts
Personally I don't like any type of Phillips screw to hold my butt pads/plates to the stock. I like to sink threaded inserts into the stock and use socket head cap screws (button for pads and flat for plates) requiring a hex wrench used somewhere on my adjustable comb. The less tools I have to carry around the better. Also the screw holes never wallow out after pulling a pad or plate off the stock repeatedly.

I guess I didn't really solve your problem, just pointed out there are even more possibilities than Phillips head screws. :) I have encountered the mismatched screws on used guns and it drives me nuts too. It's the first thing that gets changed out.

I also find screws holding on grind to fit pads that are not very well centered in the stock. That often means a bigger replacement pad is required, which in turn means more grinding. I buy the smallest size pad necessary for coverage and sink threaded inserts in the necessary centered locations. I like to drill a hole larger than required for the threaded insert, put a dowel in it, then drill the dowel for the threaded insert. Usually the dowel hole takes out the old poorly aligned screw holes.

When I'm not sure what screw is holding on a butt pad, I start guessing with a #2 Phillips head.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,967 Posts
The kind of videos you’re talking about are staged and/or edited. Would you want to watch a gunsmith fumbling around cursing at buggered up screw heads? Of course not, and you’d be even less inclined to send an item to them if they presented as less than competent.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,740 Posts
1755593
So I had an extender piece installed to lengthen the pull, I just took the butt pad off and I find that I cannot budge the spacer, it appears to be nailed???? Visible pins is all I can see, wtf
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,773 Posts
View attachment 1755593 So I had an extender piece installed to lengthen the pull, I just took the butt pad off and I find that I cannot budge the spacer, it appears to be nailed???? Visible pins is all I can see, wtf
Frank, looks like screws. Pilot holes were drilled then the screws were driven in and cut off. The good news is the spacer will never loosen up. The bad news is you will probably never get it off.
 
  • Like
Reactions: KS-5 Spec.

· Registered
Joined
·
766 Posts
View attachment 1755593 So I had an extender piece installed to lengthen the pull, I just took the butt pad off and I find that I cannot budge the spacer, it appears to be nailed???? Visible pins is all I can see, wtf
Hope those were not grind off screws. Then you will have to drill it out, or open up a dish then turn them out.

If they were nails, just pull the piece and see if it will move.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
36,787 Posts
I remove screws, drill out the wood enough to accept a brass furniture insert. The inserts are wood thread on the outside, machine thread in the inside. I use machine bolts with a rounded hex head which requires an Allen wrench to attach or remove.
 

Attachments

· Premium Member
Joined
·
1,362 Posts
I never us slotted head screws to attach a recoil pad, only phillips head screws. When I find one with a slotted head screw in it, I discard the slotted head screw and replace it with a phillips head screw. A little grease in the hole for a rubber recoil pad keeps it from getting chewed up. I loosen the screws with a hand held screwdriver then spin it out with a bit in my drill motor. Same way putting them in. Regards, Bob
 

· Registered
Joined
·
5,326 Posts
I once removed a pad that was clearly glued on. So I did my usual. I gently worked open a tiny gap at the bottom (toe) and then used a garotte made from an old high E guitar string (9 thou wire). That normally goes through the glue no problem.

Which it did, until I got to the NAIL that had been used in the bottom screw hole.

So I went to the heel. Same thing. a nail in the top hole.

I ended up cutting the pad off with a fretsaw after loosening the glue around the nails and levering out the nails with an old screwdriver I had modified. The nails were over 2" long. I can only assume someone put them in with a very narrow punch.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,107 Posts
One fellow I knew put red lock tight on every screw going into metal. Then could not get them out. Took the gun to a real gunsmith who struggled to get one out. Once he did he saw locktight had been used. He cussed te owner out so much a fly would not land on him. Told he anybodyas dumb as he was should not own a set of screwdrivers. Fellow said he did not own a set. He just had one size fits all. Gunsmith said don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
There should be an aptitude test required before you can buy Loctite 271. I can’t imagine anywhere on a gun where 242 wouldn’t have been more appropriate. That red stuff can get you in trouble.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,097 Posts
You dont need gun nuts if you know how to restart a wood screw in wood.
You gently push the screw in..without turning it..until it bottoms out on the first thread in the wood.then..by hand..turn it slowly counterclockwise.it will back out a little..then drop into the first thread..then continue clockwise.you will be able to turn it with 2 fingers if you got it right.if you got the feel down..you can feel that spot with a long thin screwdriver.you will never strip it out either..just do not use a power tool ever..you don't work in a factory.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
36,787 Posts
Slotted and Philipps screws are obsolete. How many times are #2 Phillips bits needed to be replace after a couple of uses? Allen or Torx heads are the only way to go. Less chance to strip with correct sized bit.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jk80 and Shutnlar1
1 - 20 of 46 Posts
Top