The L.C. Smith Collectors Association
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Re: Can you remove a recoil pad and the stock is still original?
The stock could have been ordered originally with a pad; and if so, it should be very easy to make that determination. As you say, remove the existing pad; and if you see the "half moon" indents in the butt underneath created by the stock shaping machine, you can be assured of two things. First of all, the pad would be original to the gun (and thus the gun original); and secondly, the stock has obviously not been cut. And yes, one can simply remove the pad and replace same with a butt plate; but if the stock was cut for the pad, the LOP will not be original and the end result could look a little strange if the stock was shortened a bit much prior to the pad being added, as the LOP could be adversely effected. In those instances where a pad was added to increase LOP and the stock was not cut for the pad; one will always see the aforementioned cuts from the stock shaping machine along with 3 or 4 screw holes (sometimes the pad installer will reuse one of the original butt plate screw holes, and sometimes not). In these instances one can certainly remove the rubber pad and install a replacement butt plate and restore the originality of the gun. But for whatever my opinion is worth, I would not let the after-market addition of a pad impact my decision on what otherwise would be a great Smith gun. Hunter installed after-market pads every day; you simply locate a period original and replace the pad on that stock to period correct.