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A few weeks ago, an AO member accidentally had a 1955 RC slip out of a partially opened bag and hit the ground on its buttstock. The buttplate shattered and the stock was badly damaged.

Years ago, after a long day of pheasant hunting, I had a Belgian Browning A5 shotgun slide out its zippered guncase and land on the toe of its buttstock on a concrete driveway. That shotgun only wore a plastic buttplate. The result wasn't pretty, and that shotgun was never the same again.

I realize, for a lot of people, there's a certain aesthetic when it comes to lever actions and they don't want a recoil pad on their rifle. Others want some recoil protection when shooting. I'm pretty recoil tolerant, but am considering a recoil pad mainly to protect my rifle against being accidentally dropped on the ground.

What do folks think would be the minimum thickness needed in a recoil pad to protect a rifle's buttstock from splitting (if that's possible at all) from a drop of say, two or three feet? I realize the question is a little out there, but what happened to that Browning A5 still haunts me.

Thanks.
 

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The padded plates supplied on rifles like the 336C I had, 2005 vintage, were/are about 3/4" thick at the toe. That would be the minimum. If I were going to add one I would go full bore with one of the really good ones like the Limbsavers. They feel like rejects from the breast implant factory and softened 45-70 recoil on an 1895G very well for my wife.

You're not getting any younger.
 

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BFPGW, I'm with you on adding a pad with shock adsorbing qualities to save a nice firearm and gunstock. I also like the softening of recoil from the upper end 45-70 loads and some 12ga. loads I've shot, in the past. By the way ''Thanks'' for reminding me of my advancing age, it's raining and my aching joints are reminders enough. Keep MidWay out of trouble. Take care, John.
 
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At the moment neither of our 30-30's recoil enough to worry about their old plastic butt plates. Doc's comments do raise some issues. Nobody intends to drop their rifle, but a hard plate doesn't help with anything, whether during handling or when shooting. If I were compelled to install a recoil pad on a rifle that had a hard plate, I would go full tilt. The price is pretty close to the same regardless of what model pad purchased. Then it is just a matter of cutting the stock which has to be done in every case. No additional charge for cutting off 1.5" versus .75".

Sorry 'bout your aches glockmeister. We wish we had that trouble in our part of the state. It is dry as a popcorn fart here. Friends north of I-70 are bragging about their food plots. My milo looks like a long neglected house plant.
 
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I use a Pachmayr Decelerator Slip On Recoil Pad on my 336. It's brown, so it looks good, and has enough padding. I really use it to extend the reach with my long arms, but the less recoil is a nice benefit.
 
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I have used the "Marlin" red rubber butt pads on several of my work-over projects. All have been purchased on Ebay for a minimal expense. The most recent one was $6.00 total including shipping. None were too small. Easy to fit with little grinding ( disc sander on a drill or angle grinder). They are narrow enough, so shortening the stock wasn't necessary. They help recoil a small amount, but the esthetics are good and you have the Marlin look!
 

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There is an easy thing to do to protect it.

That white spacer if you gun has one. If not add it. When you do JB Weld it to the wood. If necessary they can be removed with heat. That will add significant strength to the wood without adding a pad. Plus them are vinyl and generally won't shatter or crack.

If you like them adding a pad will really work well.
 

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I have not dropped one of my Marlins on it's butt, yet, but I feel like the Kick Killers I use should help in most cases. The Kick Killer (ordered from Cabelas for about $35) is a simple nice looking leather butt cover with some hi-tech medical gel that doesn't add much length, but does add some recoil relief and drop protection. To me they look appropriate on Marlin lever guns. They come in 3 sizes. The extra small works on most Marlin lever guns.
If you use a Kick Killer and glue on the white spacer as Swanny recommends I would think you would have enough protection for the majority of mishaps and yet the stock remains "stock".

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Recently added the limbsaver, really does help with recoil- bout an inch think, and unless anyone looks closely I don't think they'd notice.
 
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A Limbsaver tamed my Marlin 45-70 when shooting heavy loads. They may not look great but sure make shooting more pleasurable. :top:
 
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I know things can happen and preventive measures can be taken to eliminate possibilities. That being said, I`d rather pay more attention to making sure my gun case is zipped up
than install a re-coil pad. So far ...So good. That`s just my take.
 

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I've got a slip on style limbsaver for my 336. I know 336's in 30-30 don't have much kick, but I've got some shoulder problems from playing volleyball and shooting from a bench was pretty painful. The recoil pad adds about an inch of pull, which I really needed anyway, so I'm happy with it. You can get the slip on styl from Walmart fro about $20. I wanted the direct fit, but after printing out the templates from Limbsaver's webpage, it didn't look like the screw hole pattern was going to line up right on my 336W. I didn't feel like messing with it, pluss the same model slip on also fits my Remington 870 as well as my old Mosin Nagant, which is great.
 

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I just happen to have a new unfinished Marlin factory stock set on my desk. The rubber is basically a third inch thick going to a tad over 4/10 at the toe. Then add the black and the white strips. I do not know what it was originally made for and it may be several years old as it is not checkered, but it is for an end cap 336. I have repaired several cracked or broken stocks with Brownell's Accuglass bedding compound. I have never found a glue of any kind that is as strong, although Accubond carpenters glue may be close.

Best wishes,
 
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Accidents that crack and splinter stocks do happen. I was carrying a pristine little Iver Johnson single shot .410 into my local gun store to have it checked out before I shot it, and the darn thing slipped out of its case and slammed into the sidewalk. The plastic butt plate cracked and a big chunk of wood popped off of the stock tip.

I'm hoping to find a replacement stock. The repaired stock looks horrible.

A protective butt pad or other means of preventing stock damage is a great idea.
 

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this thread has covered the recoil pad/butt plate stock damage and recoil issue quite well, but there is another issue for hunting rifles in the woods....noise. There are noises in the woods that are natural and do not bother game animals. If your hunting rifle has a hard plate,you stop for a call of nature or whatever,and when you set you rifle down or lean it against something and that buttplate "thunks" on a rock under the leaves, THAT noise will send every deer in the area running for cover......Mike
 
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