Shoulder recoil pads


May 30, 2005, 09:16 PM
I posted this over in the rifle forum, but I think it would be better off here:

I have broken my right collar bone twice in my years, and it no longer even reaches my shoulder. This makes shooting a rifle or shotgun a painful experience. 5 buckshot out of my shotgun or 20 rounds out of my rifles and that is it for the day, which is not that fun.

I try different positions, different stances, and different places on my shoulder, but they all pretty much kill.

I am thinking that maybe a shoulder recoil pad, such as the Kick Killer or PAST might help, but want some opinions on them before I lay down the cash. So, does anyone use one, or have used one? Do they help reduce shoulder punishment?

BTW, I would rather have just a shoulder pad than a recoil butt pad for each of my long guns. Less cost in the long run, and I would not have to modify my firearms.

If you enjoyed reading about "Shoulder recoil pads" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
Dave McCracken
May 31, 2005, 08:21 AM
The PAST pad, nicknamed The Wonderbra, has been used here for about 10 years. Alas, I find it great for the bench but not for wingshooting. It complicates getting the butt exactly in the same place each time. YMMV.

In your shoes, I might switch to the other side. How's your sinisteral side skills?


June 4, 2005, 02:07 AM
I find it great for the bench but not for wingshooting.

Same here on the PAST pad.

Rifle shooting at the bench gives you plenty of time to position the rifle. I use the PAST for bigger rifles at the bench. Works great at reducing felt recoil. Well worth the $25 or so.

But when you need to snap that shotgun up for clays, I think the PAST pad would be a pretty big obstacle. I've never bothered to try it.

I have thought about buying one of those fancy looking city-slicker shotgun-shooting shirts with the thin shoulder pad built in. That may be an option for you too.

Not sure how well they work. Would love to hear a report. I have a bruise on my right shoulder -- two boxes of 12 ga. -- as I type.

P.S. I see good things about a LimbSaver device over in this thread. (

June 4, 2005, 08:20 AM
I've used numerous recoil pads on my shotguns over the years and nothing has reduced perceived recoil like the Knoxx CopStock: Cabela's has the best price ($80). When I got my first (I now have 3) I fired nearly 60rds of 2-3/4" Magnum 13-pellet #1 buck with only a little tenderness to show for it (no shoulder padding, just a t-shirt). Now I practice exclusively w/full-power loads when before the CopStock I used light loads for heavy practice sessions.

Dave McCracken
June 4, 2005, 12:16 PM
After a PM or two, I did some cogitating on this....

First, the best ways to reduce kick are heavier guns and lighter loads. 7/8 oz loads from my TB weighing close to 9 lbs bring a new level of meaning to the word "Creampuff". They bust clays well out there at 35 yards or so. The same loads from a 7 lb shotgun are still quite mild. From the 5 lb, 8 oz NEF here, they barely produce noticeable thump at the butt.

A couple boxes of Winchester Feather loads will tell you if this is enough by itself.

Of course, good fit and form are prerequisites. A half hour with a fitter may wll be worth the money it costs. So may a lesson or two.

The PAST pad, or the vest they make with interchangeable inserts may be of use. Other, similar designs like the Browning also. Look around, there's lots of options.

Finally, one avid and successful hunting bud uses a 20 gauge for most stuff and a 257 Roberts. He gives away little to the Magnumistas in range or effect.

Do try a 28 gauge.


June 6, 2005, 02:39 PM
I have a PAST pad and use it frequently. It is a VERY effective way to reduce the pounding that your shoulder takes. I don't find that it inhibits gun mount at all. In fact, I would think that one built into a vest would actually help.

I suggest you get one and try it. The big Magnum pad might get in the way, but a standard PAST pad should not bother you.

Dave is on target about finding a combination of gun and load that works to reduce recoil. Remember that switching to a 20 gauge alone won't do it. An Ithaca Model 37 that weighs 5 1/2 pounds is going to kick the bejesus out of you with any 20 gauge loads, and it will bring you to your knees with two boxes of 1 oz. field loads. An 8 pound Remington 1100 12 gauge is a much more comfortable gun to shoot. If you do the math, a 7/8 oz. 20 gauge load is launching about 22% less shot than a 1 1/8 oz. 12 gauge load. If the average 12 gauge gun weighs 8 pounds, a 20 weighing 6 1/4 pounds will have about the same recoil as the 12. Get inventive. I do most of my shooting with a 20 gauge 1100 LT20. It is very comfortable to shoot. It has enough weight to keep you from getting pounded, and it has a gas action to spread the impulse out. I would think that a 28 gauge Model 1100 would be a pusscat, but I have not actually shot one, so.........


If you enjoyed reading about "Shoulder recoil pads" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!