Adjustable Butt Pads 101...


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Dave McCracken
July 15, 2006, 09:09 PM
Some lucky folks can pick up a factory stock shotgun and shoot well with it right from the start..

Not me. I'm bigger, thicker and less flexible than most people. I find a 36" shirt sleeve about right on a size 50 Long coat and have more neck than a young ostrich.

I've shot standard stocks since boyhood.While I can shoot them fairtomiddlin', I got there the same way I got to semi pro status as a guitar player, with perspiration and repetition, not pure talent.

Reading Brister, Batha, Hill, etc, didn't help either. Their emphasis on proper fit left me uneasy since I was reasonably sure the stocks I had available to me didn't line up like they should.

So, I've added spacers, moleskin, neoprene, etc and tried to get things right.

Best would have been a fitting by an expert and a custom built stock, but such was out of reach as long as Son is getting educated at MD's finest and most costly college.

About 5 years ago when I started shooting the clay games, The Hull Elf gifted me with a Morgan adjustable pad. This device dates back to the 50s, and sired a variety of butt gadgets that can add drop, cast, toe-out, and so on.

The Morgan helped, but lacked enough drop to suit me. It also required a fair amount of torque to keep it screwed down, otherwise it had a tendency to adjust itself in the middle of a round.

The pad itself is one the small and hard side. I find I like big pillow pads on shotguns these days, especially those I fire a few K rounds through each year.

So for Father's Day, my family gave me ( after being told what I wanted) a Jones adjustable plate and a KickEez pad. I chose the Magnum pad because its thickness and that of the Jones added 1 1/2" to the LOP on my TB. The model I got is the Through The Pad adjustable plate because it has 1.5" total amount of possible drop. A simpler and cheaper model with 1" of drop is also offered.

I could have used the belt sander here to fit the plate, but taking both the extremely pretty wood on the TB and my usual clumsiness into consideration, I had a traveling gunsmith fit the base plate. The pad itself was left untrimmed and serves very well at cushioning due to its large size and composition.

A bit of patterning and some mounts showed the proper amount of drop and enough toe-out to work with my chest and shoulder. The stock comes up nicely from Low Gun and settles consistently where it should be.

So now I've one less excuse for missing. Not to worry, I've plenty left.

A couple things...

The Jones weighs 3-4 oz more than the pad it replaces. No matter for me, I had a 3 oz weight in the stock hole which was removed when I swapped hardware. Balance remains the same.

The trick with this stuff is to get things right, lock the screws down and forget about them. I keep seeing folks messing with the adjustments, trying to fix with hardware a prob more due to focus, form or lack of committment.

Prices on this stuff start at around $30 for the Morgan and go up to $1100 or so for the Precision Fit stock, which is adjustable in all dimensions and provides some recoil attenuation also.

Out the door, my Jones plate and KickEez was $114 with shipping and the smith charged me $65 for perfect shaping and mounting.

Adjustable gadgets are not panaceas. but can help with fitting problems for some of us...

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sm
July 15, 2006, 09:30 PM
:D

Thanks Dave, excellent review as always.


Other good uses for Adjustable Butt Pads:

- well as one ages the body changes, meaning a gun that did fit - does not.

-physically limiting factors such as arthritis, accidents, surgeries and one - no matter age - simply cannot mount gun to face as they once can. Something changed or something now restricts them.

Dave McCracken
July 16, 2006, 10:46 PM
Thanks for the response, Steve. You're right about aging. I'm not only less flexible than in days of yore, my neck makes snapcracklepop sounds when I turn my head.

Since I want to continue to shoot lots and well, an adjustable pad becoimes less of a gadget and more of a prosthetic.

IDriveB5
July 17, 2006, 12:44 AM
great timing, again.

ive been itching to get one of those morgans. morgan(not the pad) and i agree that a little more drop would help my gun fit.

had a little meet out at PGC today, few students and i from school are working on setting up a trap and skeet club.

see ya 'round

Kelem
July 17, 2006, 02:37 AM
Whats the weight like on the Jones Dave?

Cheers K

PJR
July 17, 2006, 09:10 AM
I've had adjustable butt pads and combs installed by these folks. Great people and excellent products.

http://www.gunfitter.com/index.html

Dave McCracken
July 17, 2006, 09:25 AM
B5, it probably would. A bit more LOP might also.

About 5 oz, Kelem. The pads were about the same weight.

Thanks, Paul. From the views, I'd say folks are interested.

PJR
July 17, 2006, 10:19 AM
The best advice I got about adjustable stocks was when I took possession of a Browning BT99 Plus years ago. One of the more seasoned shooters noted my new gun and said, "Take that gun out and pattern it. Adjust the parts until you get the POI you want and the gun feels comfortable. After you do that, throw the wrenches away."

It was good advice. The temptation to start fiddling with the adjustments after a bad round or two is almost overwhelming.;)

Here are some other thoughts. If you use a hard case for your gun make sure that the gun still fits in the case with the adjustable pad in the right position. Sometimes they don't and adjusting the pad each time you go shooting is a pain.

When you get the butt adjusted to your liking inscribe marks into the metal to let you line up the butt should it come loose. Also have holes drilled in the recoil pad to make the adjustment screws accessible without having to take the pad off.

Paul

Dave McCracken
July 17, 2006, 09:16 PM
Amen, Paul. I'll scribe witness marks to ease putting things back if needed.

This one has through the pad adjustments, A great idea IMO....

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