I first encountered RAT Pads while attending Accuracy First long range precision shooting school. This school is run by Todd Hotnett, the designer of TReMoR2 and H58/H59 scope reticles. While attending the course, Todd tossed them over to us and told us to try them out. Initially, I thought they were a gimmick, not impressive and probably unreliable. I could not have been more wrong.
When I decided to install four RAT Pads on my Savage Arms .300 WM long action I was in for a surprise. The scope height over bore on my .300 WM is 1.75” and the eye relief ended up being over 2.75 “. With over an inch difference there it was clear that I needed to build up my cheek rest badly. There was no way that I was going to be able to recreate a solid cheek-to-stock weld consistently without a build-up of some kind. There are no available after market stocks for my long action so I was faced with using those RAT Pads I had gotten us at Accuracy First.
It took only a few short minutes, a YouTube search to get the tutorial on installation and I was ready to get going. The RAT Pad material is simple and easy to work with; although one will get better the more times they use it. To heat up the material I ended up using a blow torch on its lowest setting and it worked like a charm; have a little bit of caution to overheating.
I ended up using four pads to achieve the desired build up on my cheek rest. I have to say that after I finished the final molding process, the custom feel that you get is unmistakable. With the custom molded cheek pad, I can achieve the exact same cheek-to-stock weld position every time. Plus, it is very comfortable to have my face in contact with the butt stock for an extended period of time.
With the recommended method of installation, using the hook side of industrial hook and pile tape, the RAT Pads will not shift but can
still be removed if you so desire. The RAT Pads is without a doubt the
best and cheapest solution available to remedy a bad eye relief situation on all your scoped rifles. Once removed the Rat Pad does not leave any residue so it is safe to use on all your wood stock rifles as well.
All in all I give the RAT Pads a 5 out of 5 for customization, 5 out f 5 for economy and 5 out 5 for practicality. The only area in which I can honestly say the RAT Pad needs improvement is in it raw aesthetic appearance on the rifle. Although, the more times you work with the RAT Pad material the easier it is to achieve your desired appearance (especially if you use a cloth material to apply a texture to the material). As with any product of this nature, the limit of the uses for the RAT Pad are only limited by your imagination.
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