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 Post subject: A question about butts and recoil pads
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:49 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:32 am
Posts: 20
Location: New York
Hey Everyone -

So I just set up my first shotgun shooting lesson for my brother in law and I - we’ll be going over our guns (I have a 1973 Ithaca Model 37 and he has a Mossberg 500 Persuader) and shooting some trap.

Question I wanted to ask you all is the following: my gun currently has what I assume is the original butt - it Is black and says “Ithaca” on it - no recoil pad of any kind. I’ve seen a lot of folks in this Ithaca forum have a nice custom fitted recoil pad on their guns. I had purchased one of those from Pachmeyer but have not yet put it on because the instructions want you to remove the current butt, fill the screw holes, make new screw holes when you install and fit the recoil pad.

I want to use my new old shotgun a ton and not just keep it at home in a case but it is in beautiful condition so I was just wondering do most people wind up removing that original “Ithaca” butt to install a more permanent recoil pad for target shooting or hunting or do you opt to keep that original butt on there and either not use a recoil pad at all or use a slip on.

I am sure this is a very newbie question but that’s me right now and wanted to learn from all of you.

Thanks !

Joe



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1973 Ithaca Model 37, 12 Gauge, Old Blue


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 Post subject: Re: A question about butts and recoil pads
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 5:08 am 
Utility Grade
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2020 12:04 pm
Posts: 15
Location: Europe
Depends as of what u want to do with the gun... Since u plan to shoot it extensively remove the plastic pad, plug the holes and install a recoil pad of ur choise. Pachmeyer has some recoil pads with the exact hole distances, if im not mistaken those are the F250 and F325B (They come in different sizes) but they might require sanding to be level with the stock.
As for myself i wouldn't drill and plug the stock if that wasn't necessary since parts in EU are unobtainable, but since ur from USA, i suppose u can find a cheap stock to replace it down the road if so desired, so why care so much ? Just have fun with the gun.


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 Post subject: Re: A question about butts and recoil pads
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:13 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:11 am
Posts: 4009
Location: Western Tampa, FL
I agree with Zarkadi, because if you are going to use the gun, then the addition of a good recoil pad will make it more enjoyable due to less recoil sensation. An added benefit that most don't mention is that the pad will keep the butt from slipping on your shoulder during operation of the pump. That is very possible when shooting multiple shots quickly with a pump action like your Ithaca. A model 37 in great condition with just normal maintenance will still be working fine when you hand it to an heir.

Limbsaver here makes several model recoil pads that after you match up with their supplied templates (see below) will mate to your buttstock without a custom installation job. Once you remove the butt plate and make some careful measurements, you should be able to find one to fit your gun. Then you could see about ordering that particular model. I believe they have international offices and here is that number 360-427-6031. Good luck!


https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1999/ ... 9279426438


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 Post subject: Re: A question about butts and recoil pads
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:01 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:44 pm
Posts: 1283
Location: Ohio
The biggest problem with adding a recoil pad to the end of the stock is that it makes the stock longer. Often times the gun then becomes to long and the user ends up cutting an inch or so from the stock. Then you have devalued the gun to the eyes of the collector. Before I would do anything I would shoot the gun for several outings to see if you even like it and then go from there. I am a big 37 fan myself but that does not make them the right gun for everybody.

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 Post subject: Re: A question about butts and recoil pads
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:17 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
Posts: 5027
Location: Hemingway, S.C. 29554
I have never been big on recoil pads. The guns that I own that have heavy recoil, 10 ga. mostly, already had factory recoil pads on them. Unless you shoot a gun a lot at one time, it doesn't seem to make much difference but since you say that is what you plan to do, you may benefit from one. I would definitely save the original butt plate. A recoil pad will change the length of pull which means you will likely have to shorten your butt stock for proper fit. Should stock fit become a trial & error affair, as it usually is with me, you may want to put it back on. I just cut the thickness of the recoil pad off of a stock this week. The gun is a used Beretta model 410 & it has a laminated aftermarket stock on it. I wonder if the previous owner put the recoil pad on it without adjusting the length of the stock? If that was the case, it wouldn't be the first time I have had that happen! Ditto to what 1977cutcher says, we commented at the same time.


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 Post subject: Re: A question about butts and recoil pads
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:44 am 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:08 pm
Posts: 551
Location: North East Ohio
Okinawa - there are two related issues here" First, do the standard stock dimensions on your Ithaca fit you well right now? When you mount the gun, do you see right down the rib? Does it shoot where you point it? The stock dimensions from the factory work well for the average size American. If you are really tall - say 6'3' or more or really short, say 5'7" or the like, they will probably need some alteration. True trap guns are stocked straighter than field guns, but there is no reason why you cannot shoot trap all you want with a field gun.
A recoil pad is a good idea for any gun you intend to shoot a lot, especially a lighter gun like a M37. There are many styles of pads out there, but there is only one that looks correct on an Ithaca and that is the classic Ithaca "sunburst" pad. Excellent reproductions are available from Galazans. Now, if the gun's current stock dimensions seem to fit you well, than the stock will need to be shortened by the length of the pad to maintain the same length of pull - i.e. the distance from the trigger to the end of the stock. Listen to me here: this is not a job for amateurs! If you are not a skilled stock man, then send the gun to Diamond Gunsmithing and have it done correctly. I work in a gun auction house and see the horrible results of bad amateur stock work on a regular basis!
To sum up: if you are going to shoot your 12 ga. M37 a lot, then a pad is a good thing. The only pad that belongs on an Ithaca is Ithaca's own pad. Have it installed by a professional and you will preserve the beauty and value of your gun.


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 Post subject: Re: A question about butts and recoil pads
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:18 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2020 7:40 am
Posts: 194
Location: Houston, TX and Fairfield Glade, TN
I'm a rank newbie, so take this with a large grain of salt....

IF, however, you happen to need to lengthen your LOP somewhat, buy an Allen & Co. slip-on pad for ten bucks or so, and enjoy shooting your gun.

I did that on a good kicking 12 gauge REM. 870 and, even at my advanced age, have no recoil issues what-so-ever. I shoot 1-ounce shells Fifty at a time and it works for me.

Most everything that I do, I do because of learning about it on this or other forums.

A tiny investment has made my new hobby fun!
https://www.amazon.com/Allen-Company-Re ... B003TX0X0C


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 Post subject: Re: A question about butts and recoil pads
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:23 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
Posts: 5027
Location: Hemingway, S.C. 29554
Really!! If you are a complete dufus & have no woodworking skills or you have a lot of money you don't want, send everything to a pro so his helper can shorten your stock. Duh! cutting a little off of a butt stock is not rocket science, as the saying goes. I will take something that is above my pay grade to somebody with more skills than me but I do most of my own stock work, including bending, myself. I will add that I have done so very successfully! Minor adjustments are not beyond the ability of a person with basic woodworking skills & a brain! Getting a stock right can be a trial & error affair, taking it to a stock expert for every tweak could get quite expensive & only you know when it fits you when you mount it!


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 Post subject: Re: A question about butts and recoil pads
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:01 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:08 pm
Posts: 551
Location: North East Ohio
As I said before, I work in a firearms auction house. I handle more guns of all types in a few months than most people see in their lifetimes - no brag, just fact. We have a saying at the store: " the world is full of idiots and most of them work on guns..." We constantly see the sorry results of amateur stock makers and metal workers - butchered checkering, pads fitted poorly, holes drilled out of line and off center, etc. If you a competent stock fitter, I'm happy for you. The vast majority of people are not, and should pay someone who is competent to do the job right. It's a simple as that.


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 Post subject: Re: A question about butts and recoil pads
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:05 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2019 2:51 pm
Posts: 2734
Location: Houston, TX USA
nesto wrote:
As I said before, I work in a firearms auction house. I handle more guns of all types in a few months than most people see in their lifetimes - no brag, just fact. We have a saying at the store: " the world is full of idiots and most of them work on guns..." We constantly see the sorry results of amateur stock makers and metal workers - butchered checkering, pads fitted poorly, holes drilled out of line and off center, etc. If you a competent stock fitter, I'm happy for you. The vast majority of people are not, and should pay someone who is competent to do the job right. It's a simple as that.

+100

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Robert


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 Post subject: Re: A question about butts and recoil pads
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:09 am 
Crown Grade
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2008 2:26 pm
Posts: 3382
Do an internet search for used or take-off butt stocks. Ebay currently lists a checkered stock and forearm for under $100.-. The stock has a recoil pad fitted.

If you have woodworking skills, you can buy a new, semi-inletted stock that needs to be fitted and finished.

DF

Montani Semper Liberi


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 Post subject: Re: A question about butts and recoil pads
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2020 11:32 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
Posts: 5027
Location: Hemingway, S.C. 29554
So the world is full of idiots, what else is new?? I am getting to the point that I don't trust anybody I don't know to do anything. That comes from getting burnt from idiots that claim to be experts that in many cases were also crooks. Some of the best gunsmiths I have known were "country" gunsmiths that were very talented craftsmen. One built a SXS DOUBLE RIFLE, from scratch!! I would never attempt anything near that complicated. Another fitted a semi inletted LC Smith stock to an Elsey I picked up cheap because the stock was a mess. I could have done it but it would have been a long & tedious job. He did a beautiful job & did more than I asked him to do & I didn't have to mortgage the house!! He also fixed a SXS 20 ga. that had been to 3 previous smiths that miss diagnosed the problem. The cocking lever was broken! If you have a bespoke shotgun worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, you probably shouldn't work on it yourself. However, there are a couple Zillion good solid working guns out there that have owners that are much more concerned about how they shoot than what they will bring on the auction block. You have to know your limitations. Don't attempt anything you are not confident you can do. So, Old Betsy is worth about $700 bucks & she is your go too duck buster. Are you going to pay an "exoert" $250 an hour to do something you can do yourself?? Even if you screw up, it ain't the end of the world. You would be surprised what a good stock guy can do with a botched up stock. I have had used guns that may have fit the previous owner but surely didn't fit me. I had the comb raised on one & you can't even see the splice joint !
So you have seen what an idiot can do to a gun stock? So have I, but I have done a lot of relatively minor stock alterations very successfully & so have millions of other gun owners!


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 Post subject: Re: A question about butts and recoil pads
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:22 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:31 pm
Posts: 1999
Frank Vallone, http://www.sycamorehilldesigns.com/ has NOS (new old stock) or did, Ithaca recoil pads. Give him a call. Having them install it would be well worth them money. He bought them up when the original Ithaca went out of business in New York many years ago.

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drcook = David R, not Dr. but thanks for the compliment :). Most people just call me Dave


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 Post subject: Re: A question about butts and recoil pads
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:06 am 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:08 pm
Posts: 551
Location: North East Ohio
"Even if you screw up, it ain't the end of the world."

"Having them install it would be well worth them money"

I rest my case....


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 Post subject: Re: A question about butts and recoil pads
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:13 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
Posts: 5027
Location: Hemingway, S.C. 29554
Nesto, I don't dispute that you are probably right, provided he knows the dimensions he needs before hand!


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 Post subject: Re: A question about butts and recoil pads
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:54 am 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:08 pm
Posts: 551
Location: North East Ohio
Geometric - you obviously enjoy doing some of this work, and have some skill at it. That's fine and, as you point out, you can save yourself some money, or perhaps rescue someone else's mistake. Fair enough!

What breaks my heart is to see a fine double with the stock cut and a pad bolted on, completely out of alignment, or the comb raised on a Knick by just sawing and gluing on a slice of non-matching wood. Or a vintage Model 70 with four extra holes in the receiver because an amateur "gunsmith" couldn't drill a straight hole. The list goes on.

I can disassemble most guns, clean them and put them back together. But I have no skill at wood working. So, if I need a pad installed I will select the correct one for the gun and era, and send it to the right person, and pay what it's worth to have it done right. For most people, that is the best course in the long run.


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 Post subject: Re: A question about butts and recoil pads
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 4:29 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:44 pm
Posts: 1283
Location: Ohio
Well here is my view. Depends on the person and the quality of the gun. I have some skills in a lot of areas but I am far from an expert in most. I would probably try my hand on a run of the mill well used $250 field grade gun. I would not however try it on a excellent condition trap grade gun.

_________________
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 Post subject: Re: A question about butts and recoil pads
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 8:44 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
Posts: 5027
Location: Hemingway, S.C. 29554
I think we have more common ground here than it might seem. You have to know your limitations. My biggest issue is I have to keep trying things until I get it right, or until it fits. I have researched the issue. I use Rollin Oswald's, "Stock Fitter's Bible" as a reference & I have read what Brister & others have said on the subject. Professional stock fitters are great but also expensive & you don't usually get to shoot it to see if it works before the stock is given the final finish. I also proceed slowly & cautiously!




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