Recoil Pads

Dear Sage of the Shotgun,

Would like your opinion on recoil pads. I need to replace a pad on a Suhl 12ga SxS. The gun weighs approx 6 3/4lbs. I intend to use it mainly as an upland field gun but as a new SxS shooter will probably shoot quite a few targets in the beginning learning to handle it. 3 dram 1 1/8oz will be about max load.

I think I will need to add 1/4-3/8in to LOP, the current pad is a ventilated Pachmayr that is 1in thick including the base. The gun balances just in front of the hinge pin as it is and this suits me fine.

I know in the past you have liked Kickeez pads and I have used these on a couple of O/U’s with great results (very soft shooting & smooth mounting-these are both important criteria for me). More recently I thought I read that you now give a slight nod to Terminator pads.

Can you give a quick….sorry, I should know better than that; make that a thoroughly exhaustive comparison of Kickeez vs. Terminator and throw in any others that you deem apropos.

With boots, beer, bated breath and many thanks, I await the eruption of knowledge and sagacity.

Okla. City

Dear Bruce,

You have it right. More is always better. I mean, which would you rather have- the Encyclopedia Britannica or some comic book. Information is the currency of life, even if you don’t spend it right away. Knowing stuff is just as important as having stuff, except that your relatives don’t inherit it by the garage full when you die.

For me padding a game gun is a very different thing than setting up a target gun. You don’t normally shoot a game gun as much as you do a target gun unless your hunting is a lot better than mine. Also, I wouldn’t worry too much about the recoil absorbing qualities of one pad vs another. Most of them are sort of close while they are fresh and new. Gun fit has far more to do with recoil anyway.

So, having established that the absolutely, positively most recoil absorbent pad isn’t a requirement, we can look to other criteria such as weight and appearance.

Appearance first. Pardon me for suggesting something that is in the realm of taste, not mechanics, but you really ought to use a solid pad or solid looking pad on a nice little German gun like that. Egg crate pads with white lines just don’t look right on snappy little SxSs. You are on the right track with the solid look.

Since your gun sets up the way you want with that 1″ egg crate Pachmayr, we ought to stick with that weight. That leaves the Kickeez out. Kickeez makes a good pad, but they are heavier than normal.

Terminator is relatively light weight (for a solid pad), but they are incredibly “sticky”. I haven’t owned one long enough to know if they slick up with use and age. Also, the Terminator, for some odd reason, does not come in 1″ thickness. It is closer to 15/16″. Finally, the Terminator may be too soft for use on a light gun. If a pad on a light gun is too soft, it will collapse too much on firing and actually increase your face slap. That is why only guys with scope scars shoot soft pads on magnum rifles.

The Pachmayr Decelerator has a nice solid look. It is egg crate design, but hidden inside. It is made of miracle goo just like the Terminator (sticky- but the Decelerators do slick up with use and time). Personally, I just hate the plastic insert. As the pad ages, they stick out like a sore thumb, though they do help clumsy mounting when the pad is new. Also, the Decelerator has a lot of give, like the Terminator, and may have too much movement on a light gun.

My light field guns are a 6 3/4# Belgian Superlight and a 6 1/4# Webley & Scott. Both have standard black Pachmayr Old English pads. I like the old fashioned material on these guns because it has less give. Enough, but not too much. The pads also clean up much better than the new sorbothane Terminators, Kickeezes and Decelerators.

There it is. More than you ever wanted to know once again.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid
(Often in error, never in doubt.)

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