I have a Sako TRG-S in .338 Lapua Magnum. For those who may be unfamiliar, it is what I would describe as a much scaled back TRG geared more towards hunting. It has a lightweight synthetic stock, no bipod, no muzzle brake, and it has a tapered free floating barrel. The rifle weighs about 8.5 lbs. With my Schmidt & Bender PMII scope mounted on it, the total weight is 10.92 lbs. unloaded.

For the serious tactical sniper or bench rest shooter it seems insane to have a .338 Lapua magnum this light weight with no muzzle brake or recoil protection built into the rifle. When I first bought this rifle many years ago, I did a little research on muzzle brakes, mercury recoil reducers that are embedded into the buttstock, and recoil pads to mount to the buttstock. I did not want to make any permanent alterations to the rifle without thinking it through so I picked up a PAST recoil pad that you wear over your shoulder.

I ended up shelving the rifle for many years as I did not have a decent scope or very much time to play around with it. Recently I mounted the S&B scope on it and finally started to spend some time with it. I was surprised at what I found out regarding the recoil. I am playing around with 250 and 300 gr. bullets. I am currently pushing the 250s at 3000 fps. The recoil is what I would classify as a "violent recoil" but while wearing this PAST recoil pad I don't really feel it. I know that is hard to believe but it does not hurt my shoulder at all. I also have a Browning Reactar pad in my shooting shirt underneath the PAST pad, but the Reactar pad is pretty thin and I don't think it is contributing much at all. I measured the thickness of the PAST pad and it is over 1" thick. So far I do not think it has interfered with my shooting even as thick as it is.

Now, I think it is important to mention that I am a pretty small built person. I weight about 170 and stand about 6' tall. So I'm pretty boney (that is why I chose to use the Reactar pad as well) and don't have much natural padding. In addition to this, my right shoulder has an injury. It was shot with a .410 shotgun when I was 13 at point blank range. I still have flare ups from time to time from that injury some 22 years later. I have fired about 25 rounds each of the past two weekends through my Sako TRG-s and my shoulder was never sore or in any pain whatsoever from shooting this rifle. It definitely kicks and what I notice most is how that I completely lose the sight picture and have to reset my stance (I am shooting from a bench right now) after each shot.

In comparison, I also shot my 7.5 Swiss Schmidt-Rubin this past weekend. I took the PAST recoil pad off and all I had between the metal buttplate and my shoulder was a Browning Reactar pad which is pretty thin. After 3 shots, I put the PAST back on. With my shoulder I am just never going to be able to shoot bolt actions with any kind of recoil without it. But my point is that I felt the recoil from the 7.5 Swiss significantly more without the PAST recoil pad than I felt with the .338 Lapua with it. That is what really surprised me.

In conclusion, I am greatly impressed with how effectively this recoil pad deals with the recoil of the .338 Lapua. I currently have no plans to make any modifications to the rifle to deal with the recoil now that I know I can shoot 25 rounds with no ill effects. This greatly pleases me as I like the idea of keeping the rifle as lightweight as possible. I like to shoot it recreationally from a bench and eventually will be shooting from a mat on the ground, but ultimately this will be for big game. I like the light weight and cleaner look and feel of the rifle as it is. I will be shooting this more and more, but I don't forsee ever shooting more than 50 or so rounds in a sitting so I am quite satisfied that the recoil will be manageable with this PAST recoil pad.

Here is a link to the product: http://www.battenfeldtechnologies.com/p ... bidextrous

You cannot tell from the picture, but mine has a crease in the pad so that it can bend and contour to your shoulder. I put the rifle butt right about on that crease and I hold it very tight.