Butt plates – hard or soft?

Hi Bruce,

I would be grateful for your advice and wisdom about my predicament with mounting my shotguns.

I have 2 Miroku’s, a MK38 Sporter with a rubber Pachmayr pad and an MK70 with the plastic/bakelite smooth pad. The stocks are both very similar dimensions but the MK38 comb is 2mm higher [5/64th inch] and I have an extra ¼ inch spacer in, without the spacer they are identical LOP’s. When I dry mount I get the same figure of 8 view along the rib with both guns but there the difference ends.

I just cannot seem to shoot well with a fully pre mounted stance and seem to naturally mount just out of my shoulder and then do my very best to mount to the cheek and let the shoulder roll into the butt pad. It does not always work and I seem to cant the gun a little [so I am told] and the MK38 Pachmayr pad seems to catch or grip at times whereas the MK70 bakelite pad smoothly fits into my shoulder.

Thankfully I don’t suffer from recoil so a hard butt pad is not an issue. My predicament is trying to get a gun mount that is consistent, correct and repeatable. I know that at times I am mounting too low and seeing too much rib and shooting over the target, and on occasions think I might even be mounting too low. Very frustrating.

Any help gratefully appreciated as the above is starting to drive me nuts. On a final note I have been told by a local highly respected gunsmith and two well qualified instructors that both guns fit!

Andy Wilson


It’s hard to tell without seeing you shoot, but one thing that you might try is to fully mount the gun in the shoulder with your head properly down, as you would in trap. Then, for sporting clays, lift your head slightly when you call for the bird. This will allow you a wider range of vision. When the target comes out, put your head back down properly on the stock and shoot. You don’t have to lift your head much when starting this. Usually 1/2″ is plenty, but you can experiment. This may help and its worth a try.

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid

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1 Response to Butt plates – hard or soft?

  1. Another option would be to mount the gun in your shoulder as you would normally, with a correct alignment over the barrel with your dominent eye. Then shrug your shoulders down as if someone punched you in the chest, keeping your head steady, and the muzzle stationary. All that moves is the butt stock. Only go down about an inch or so off your cheek. This will allow full view of the target, and as you move the gun upward, as you are turning, the muzzle will stay on the target, the alignment with the rib should be correct, and it may solve your issue. Remember, your head does not move as the gun lowers. This insures as you mount, everything “should” be correct as you move with the target. You can practice this in a full length mirror at home with an empty gun. Put a dot on the mirror………place your muzzle on that dot…….lower the gun from the shoulder, and make sure that muzzles does not come off that dot. Now as you come back up…….the muzzle should stay on that dot as well. Now do the same thing with a line on the mirror. Start at one end of the line. As you mount and turn, the muzzle should never leave that line. When you can do both consistently, you have it. For more fun, put a cheap Amazon $5 laser on the barrel. If you are smooth, you will see the laser follow the line exactly……..if you are not……….the laser will look like a picture of an EKG……….all over the place. Hope this helps


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