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How to Build a Homemade Recoil Pad

Updated July 20, 2017

When you fire a rifle or a shotgun, it produces recoil, or a force pushing back on you as the gun is fired. A recoil pad will reduce and redistribute the amount of force that the gun exerts against your shoulder. Rubber is a good material to use for creating a recoil pad. The rubber should be at least a half-inch thick to properly absorb the force. There are many grades of rubber hardness; if you are using hard rubber, you should use at least a one-inch thick piece of rubber and use screws to anchor it.

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Lay your rubber pad flat on a clean working surface.

Trace a thin oval shape on the pad. If you have your rifle or shotgun nearby, you can lay the butt of the gun against the pad and trace the outline onto the rubber.

Cut out the shape that you have traced with your X-acto knife.

Lay a piece of double-sided duct tape across your rubber pad.

Stick the pad to the butt of your gun with the double-sided tape. Hold it in place for two minutes so that the glue can set.

Trim the edges of the rubber and tape with your X-acto knife so that your pad fits cleanly against the butt of your gun.

Cut out your traced pad using an X-acto knife. Use deep cuts; this will make your pad look more even. Sawing back and fourth will cause the pad to look wavy.

Drill two holes in your pad; one an inch in from the top, the other an inch from the bottom.

Drill into your pad about 1/2-inch, using a slightly wider drill bit. This will allow the screws to hold down the pad, and not dig into your shoulder when you shoot.

Place one washer in each of the holes you've drilled and screw the pad firmly to the rifle's butt. The washer should be as big as the second hole, but too big to slide into the first hole. This will allow the screws to hold down your pad better.

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Things You'll Need

  • Rubber pad
  • X-acto knife
  • Silver Sharpie
  • Double-sided duct tape
  • Drill
  • Wood screws
  • Washer
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill bits

About the Author

Austin Cross began writing professionally in 2007, with work appearing on the websites for KAPU Radio and CBS Radio. He specializes in restoration of vintage studio electronics including microphones, radios, tape players and record players. Cross received his Bachelor of Arts in music theory and composition from Azusa Pacific University.

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