• LimbSaver Slip-On Recoil Pad

    Not to long ago Jody had the opportunity to evaluate a SVL LimbSaver 'Grind-to-Fit' Recoil Pad on his Savage 114W .30-06 Spfld. This month we are happy to bring you yet another new product from Sims Vibration Laboratory in the form of their LimbSaver Slip-On Recoil Pad.

    For those of you unfamiliar with the SVL (Sims Vibration Laboratory) name, they have been a major player in the archery industry for a number of years producing top quality vibration and sound dampening devices for bows. Within the last couple of years, SVL has expanded into the firearms market and offers an ever growing line of recoil pads and vibration dampeners to hunters and shooters.

    This is not my first experience with SVL or their LimbSaver products by any means. As mentioned above they have been a major player in the archery market for a number of years, and I utilize several of their products on my bow.

    The LimbSaver Slip-Fit Recoil Pad supplied to me featured their molded in camouflage pattern, which is new for 2005. Like most slip-on recoil pads, the LimbSaver is installed by stretching the boot of the pad over the existing recoil pad and buttstock of the rifle. Due to the inherent flexibility and stretch of SVLs NAVCOM material, I found installing the pad much easier than any other slip-on recoil pad Ive tried in the past. This was a very nice surprise, as those made from harder compounds can be a real bear to install.

    Installation of the LimbSaver pad will increase the length of pull of your firearm approximately three-quarters of an inch. For larger framed shooters this may be a blessing, but may have negative effects for shooters of smaller stature. The only time I found the additional length to be troublesome was when bundled up for hunting in extreme cold weather. The additional bulk of my clothing combined with the added length of pull combined to make the firearm very difficult to shoulder quickly. Fortunately under such circumstances the pad can easily be removed.

    To test the effectiveness of the SVL LimbSaver recoil pad, I installed it on my Savage 10ML-II muzzleloader. This is the only rifle I currently own with any noticeable recoil, and has been known to leave shoulder bruises after continued shooting at the range. Also, with over 300 rounds to be fired from this gun for an upcoming bullet comparison, the LimbSaver will be more than welcomed by my shoulder.

    Unfortunately, measuring recoil accurately (either felt or total energy) is next to impossible outside of a lab environment. This being the case, I have simply included my personal observations based on the felt recoil of certain loads both with and without the slip-on pad. Not very scientific, but any noticeable reduction in felt recoil goes a long way when it comes to enjoying a hard kicking firearm.

    To start things off, I loaded up my typical hunting load of 43 grains of IMR-SR4759 and a Hornady 250gr SST bullet. This load averages 2330 feet-per-second across the chronograph with 3015 ft.-lbs. of energy at the muzzle, and has a fair amount of recoil without being overly excessive. While a difference in felt recoil was noticed, it wasn't a substantial amount.

    My second load to be tested consisted of the same 43 grains of IMR-SR4759 combined with a Hornady 300gr SST bullet. This load typically chronographs at 2200 to 2225 feet-per-second with 3300 ft.-lbs. of energy, and a sizable increase in felt recoil. With this load, the LimbSaver recoil pad did make a noticeable difference. So much so that I had to weight my bullets to make sure I didn't get some 250gr SSTs mixed in with the 300s.

    My final combination for this test consisted of 48 grains of Accurate Arms XMP-5744 and a 325 grain saboted hollow point from Buffalo Bullets. This load checks in at 1935 feet-per-second with just over 2900 ft.-lbs. of energy. Felt recoil was a good bit more than the 300 SST without the pad, but with the LimbSaver in place felt recoil for the 325 grain bullet was comparable to the 250 SST without the pad.

    Comments and Observations:

    Throughout the course of my evaluation of the LimbSaver recoil pad, two things became very obvious. First, the more recoil you subject the pad to the better it works. The felt recoil with the 250 grain SST load above didn't show much of a difference, but that quickly changed when I stepped up to the heavier 300 and 325 grain bullets that pack more of a wallop. Second, the LimbSaver pad greatly reduces the harshness of the recoils kick to that of a firm push, effectively taking away the sting of the recoil.

    Overall, I am impressed with how the SVL LimbSaver effectively reduced felt recoil, and look forward to using it more when I conduct the remainder of my bullet comparison with the muzzleloader. I am especially interested in seeing how manageable this product will make shooting the Buffalo Bullets 375 grain Saboted Hollow Point, a bullet which packs plenty of punch at both ends of the gun!

    Editor's Update: According to Steve Sims at SVL, this slip-on pad is designed to be installed in place of the original recoil pad and not in addition to the original recoil pad as indicated in the article. This would negate any significant increase in length-of-pull as indicated in the article.

    Additional Photos:

    Sims Vibration Laboratory
    301 W. Business Park Loop
    Shelton, WA 98584
    Phone: (360) 427-6031

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. big honkin jeep's Avatar
      big honkin jeep -
      I have used both grind to fit and slip on pads from limb saver. The ones I have start going soft and melting over time. I like the way they soften the recoil but hate the way they have gone gooey and "melted" ruining one of my rifle cases and the bottom of my safe. This has not been caused by solvents or heat and just seems to happen over time. Hopefully this is something that they have addressed but I'm not sure.
      I'll try to get some pics up later

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