How to Measure for Recoil Pads on a Shotgun

Written by jeremiah blanchard
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How to Measure for Recoil Pads on a Shotgun
A shotgun recoil pad can reduce bruising caused by impact. (Aimed shotgun, with depth of field image by cdbdi from

Many conventional firearms such as pistols and rifles are built with a recoil-softening mechanism consisting of a buffer and spring, but shotguns aren't. They typically have a hard wooden or plastic stock with no buffer, and this allows the recoil to be significant. Shotgun recoil pads have been designed to soften the impact of the buttstock on the shoulder, and to reduce bruising. Most recoil pads are made from rubber and fit almost any stock; but since shotguns are produced by numerous manufacturers, you'll have to measure the buttstock to get the right fit.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Tape measure or ruler

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  1. 1

    Unload the shotgun and check that the weapon is on "safe."

  2. 2

    Measure the width of the buttstock end at the widest point, typically the centre.

  3. 3

    Measure the length of the buttstock end from top to bottom.

  4. 4

    Find the model number and manufacturer of your shotgun. You can use the model number as a reference to find a suitable shotgun recoil pad at a sporting goods store or hunting supply store.

Tips and warnings

  • Some shotgun buttstocks are curved or tapered. These may require grinding in order to fit a rubber recoil pad securely. If this is the case, then having the recoil pad installed professionally is the best idea.
  • Never allow a shotgun to point in the direction of anything that you do not intend to shoot or kill.
  • Never attempt maintenance on a loaded weapon.

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