Cheek pads are an essential part of a rifle. They absorb the recoil of your gun and make it comfortable on your shoulder to handle the hit. While most modern rifles come with some sort of cheek pad pre-installed, most of the time they are not comfortable at all.
What do you do then? You find a comfortable cheek pad and replace your stock one. Before I begin to suggest to you guys some of the best rifle cheek pads I came across recently, let’s talk a bit about cheek pads first.
What Is A Rifle Cheek Pad?
The cheek pad aka cheek riser/rifle cheek riser/comb riser is a rifle part that aligns the shooters eye and the scope. The secondary job of a cheek pad is to mitigate the recoil and the aftershock from firing a rifle.
What Are Some Of The Best Rifle Cheek Pads On The Market?
Now that you know what cheek pads are and their primary job is, let’s find out the best cheek pad that will improve your accuracy and make your shooting experience better.
1. TOURBON Leather Buttstock Cheek Rest with Rifle Shell Holder
The first cheek pad that I want to recommend to you guys is from Tourbon. They are a very reliable brand that makes great leather buttstock cheek rest and their cheek pads also have holsters where you can store your rifle shells.
The height of the Tourbon leather cheek pad is around 35 mm. Making it compatible with most wooden stock rifles out there. It can also work on a synthetic stock like a shotgun for example.
As it’s made out of leather, it doesn’t retain any stinky smell every time you come from a hunting session. The leather holster is capable of holding up to 8 rifle shots. That’s a lot of shots when you are hunting and want to quickly reload. Saves a lot of time.
Will this fit 30 06 Springfield rounds?
Yes, it will. You can use it with .308 and 45-70 with ease.
Will this fit on a M1A with scope installed?
Depends on the stock your M1A has. If your M1A has a walnut stock for example, then it will fit without any issue.
Will this fit the British 303 Lee Enfield?
Yes, sir. It will fit. But sadly you won’t be able to fit a bottle of water in the holster. Instead, you can store some shells.
2. Matthew’s Fabrication Adjustable Kydex Cheek Rest Riser
If you don’t like a leather cheek riser, then you might want to venture into Kydex cheek risers. If you own a pistol and have a holster for it, chances are you are aware of what Kydex is and why it’s so popular.
If you don’t, don’t worry. Kydex is a type of material made from thermoplastic acrylic-polyvinyl chloride materials. It’s a very durable and flexible material. Sekisui SPI is the manufacturer and they are not cheap. The material is durable and lightweight. It absorbs shock well without adding in extra bit of pressure on the stock.
Thus giving you a good way of handling the recoil of your gun. It works well with most rifles out there even with the stock scope. While you might want to invest in a scope as well, it’s not necessary with this cheek riser. Also, this cheek pad is adjustable. If you want to compensate for the height a bit to get a better shooting posture with your automatic rifle, you can do that.
Where is this cheek riser made in?
The riser is made in the USA. Matthew is an American manufacturer.
What’s the height of the cheek riser?
The height of the cheek riser is .125”.
Will this work on the AK 47 stock?
Yes, it will. But the fit will depend mostly on the type of scope you are using. If your scope is too high, then this might not work well.
3. Kydex Cheek Rest Riser Adjustable Custom Operator
This is also made out of Kydex but it’s a bit different from the leather riser I mentioned earlier. Not just the texture and the material, in terms of adjustability as well. This one is also adjustable while the leather one wasn’t. Then again, everyone doesn’t want an adjustable cheek riser.
There is nothing new to be said about Kydex. You already know how good this material is and how durable it is. What is noteworthy however, is the height. The height of this pad is .080″ and it only comes in black. If you are looking for other colors to match it with your rifle’s stock, you are out of luck.
The bolts that you will need to install it and raise/lower the height are made out of blued steel and they are rust free. Even if you leave it out in the open for a long time, you can reuse it without needing to replace the screw mechanism.
Does this come in different colors?
Yes, it does. The cheek riser is available in olive drab green and gunmetal grey as well.
Will this fit on a Savage 10T-SR?
Yes, it will fit that gun with no issue. This is a universal cheek riser made to be compatible with most guns out there.
Will this work on the SKS?
By default? No, it won’t. But if you can drill the stock of the SKS, you can easily install this on your gun.
4. OneTigris Tactical Buttstock Shotgun Rifle Shell Holder Cheek Rest Pouch
If you are looking for a shotgun cheek pad that won’t require any drilling on your stock and still will provide the performance of an aftermarket cheek pad, then this OneTigris tactical buttstock cheek rest will come in super handy as well.
The tactical cheek rest is made out of 1000D Nylon. Nylon is a very durable and flexible material. A great thing about this cheek riser is the internal pocket of the riser. You can hold a total of 12 rounds in this pad.
You can either store 5 shotgun shells and 7 rifle shells. A great thing about this is the chain system. It’s extremely durable and won’t get rusty over time. Something that is a big problem in most cheap pocket style pads.
Will the shell holders lose elasticity over time?
While none can provide a guaranteed answer of this, it’s safe to assume this might happen down the lines. But that won’t happen any time soon. Maybe in 3-5 years.
Will this fit 6.5 Creedmoor?
Yes, it will fit if your stock is the regular one. If you have a modified one, then this might not fit.
Will this hold 410 shells?
Yes, it will. The pockets are large and grippy enough to hold it and store it without letting it fall.
5. AIRSSON Tactical Rifle Cheek Rest Holder
Another great nylon made cheek riser. AIRSSON is not a new name in the gun accessory maker in the market. This cheek riser from them is available in two colors. Depending on the color of your gun, you might want to choose based on that.
As this is not made out of Kydex, there is no screws or drilling involved. You can just wear it like gloves over the stock of your gun. Each part of the riser is detachable. You can dissect the riser into 4 parts.
To fasten the parts, the riser uses a metal buckle. Plastic buckles are bad for longevity and they break down often. The elasticity of the cheek pad is extremely good. The soft texture doesn’t irritate the skin. You can hold up to 8 rounds of ammo in the shell holders of the pad.
Where is this made?
AIRSSON is a Shenzhen based company. So, yes they are made in China.
Will this fit on the Winchester 270 Savage?
Yes, this will fit the Savage. This is also a good M1A cheek riser.
Will this fit a Mossberg Patriot 270 Bolt Action?
Yes, it will. It fits on most Savage 308 axis as well.
Will this fit a DDM4 AR 15?
It won’t fit on the AR 15 with collapsing stock.
6. PETAC Gear Tactical Rifle Stock Pack
The Petac gear tactical rifle cheek riser is made out of 500D nylon. A very well known and durable material that is often used in most pistol gears as well. As the nylon is flexible and has no open ends, the longevity is quite good as well.
The internal compartment of the cheek riser is made out of mesh. The mesh is thick and foamy enough to hold your shells without damaging them from the drops. The elastic cord lacing system on this riser is shock proof. Thanks to that, you can easily use this in a harsh environment.
Even in a well heated area like a desert, the riser won’t give up on life and hold on pretty strong. There is a detachable tool area on the pouch that you can take out and attach different accessories.
How many shells can it hold?
The shell holders have a total of 10 pockets. So, you can hold 10 rifle shots.
Is this ambidextrous?
No, it isn’t. You will need to distinguish between left and right hand usage.
Is this a leather cheek riser?
It isn’t. The Tourbon cheek riser I mentioned earlier is a leather one.
7. M1SURPLUS Tan Rifle Cheek Rest
The last cheek riser I want to recommend to you guys is from M1SURPLUS. This cheek pad is made out of nylon. It’s a very flexible and durable material. Instead of screws, the pad is installed through straps from the bottom of the stock.
While most of the cheek risers so far are universal to some degree, this one isn’t one of them. You can see how many guns it supports. Besides those mentioned ones, the riser can be used on other weapons as well but not as effectively.
The easy installation and removal process makes it a breeze to use. If you feel like you don’t want to use it in certain scenarios, then you can just un-tighten it on the fly and store it in your backpack. With the screwed in ones, removing them is a hassle.
Will the magazine of a Mini 14 fit snug in the pouch of this?
Yes, it will. The riser itself will sit snug on a mini 14 as well.
Will this fit an A2 stock?
Not entirely. The A2 stock is a bit wider than Mini 14. This pad won’t be able to cover most of the stock surface.
Will this fit the Savage 6A Springfield stock?
If the stock of your gun is factory default, then yeah it will.
Benefits Of Using A Rifle Cheek Pad?
Are there really any benefits at all or is it just a gimmick to make you spend more money? Before you go further ahead, it’s not a gimmick. I’m not here to sell you snake oil. Cheek pads have been used by shooters long before. With that said, let’s learn about some advantages of using them.
The first thing a cheek pad will do is reduce your inconsistency and improve your accuracy while shooting. How exactly does it do that? Well, first of all, it aligns your eye with the scope.
It also functions as a support to hold the gun on your shoulder and never let it slip from the recoil. As it increases the stability and improves your vision through the scope, it improves your rifle’s and your accuracy alongside as well.
A cheek pad reduces the shock from the recoil and it also decreases the shaking of the gun entirely. Thus increasing the comfort as well. Some cheek pads also come with a bit of cushioning where you can rest your chin if you want to.
As it decreases the total pressure a gun is putting on your shoulder, your gun becomes more comfortable to use.
Different Types Of Rifle Cheek Pads
If you read the overview of the rifle cheek risers I mentioned above, you already know there are more than one types of cheek pad available for a rifle. Let’s take a bit time to discuss what they are.
Cheek riser does exactly what the name suggests. It raises the cheek of your rifle and makes it comfortable for you to rest the weight of your head and not feel uncomfortable while doing it either. Essentially it’s a cheek pad with extra step.
Rifle Stock Cheek Pad
The stock cheek pad is basically an entire cheek pad system that gets on top of your rifle stock and makes the stock disappear completely underneath it. Some of them won’t go all the way around and that’s okay. But a stock cheek pad is still better than a rifle without any cheek pad.
Shotgun Cheek Riser
Just like your automatic rifle or bolt action rifle, a shotgun benefits a lot from a cheek riser as well. The stock height of a shotgun may not be tall enough for you to rest your head on it or get a comfortable eye level out of it.
If you are feeling uncomfortable using the rifle at its stock from, then you might want to get a shotgun cheek riser. If you hunt a lot with your shotgun or use it for competitive clay shooting, then you absolutely need a shotgun cheek riser.
Adjustable Cheek Rest
Last but not least, cheek rest but with an adjustable feature. If you read the reviews above, you already know there are cheek pads that you can install once and be done with it and there are cheek pads that come with a raisable portion.
What I mean is, if the stock height of that cheek riser isn’t tall enough for you to rest your head, then you can use some screws to unscrew the top portion of the cheek riser, screw it back again and find the perfect resting position for you. Think of it as bicycle seats. You adjust the height till you find the perfect position for you.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Different Types
Now that you know what are some of the available options, what are their advantages and disadvantages? They have to have some, right? Of course they do. Let’s find out.
Let’s talk about advantages first. A cheek riser will raise the height of your gun and make it level to your eyes so you shoot better. And there are quite few types of cheek risers available on the market that you can choose from. They are also quite inexpensive.
As for disadvantages, the main one will be the consistency. If your cheek riser has anything other than a solid object increasing the height of the cheek, then it might start to wear down with time and the height will decrease a lot. On the other hand, if you are using a solid Kydex cheek riser, then it might be uncomfortable for a lot of people.
Rifle Stock Cheek Pad
They are super comfortable and easy to use and often come in several pieces. Putting them together is fun and the guides are usually super easy to follow as well.
The main disadvantage of this pad is the wear down. It wears down faster than most pads out there and won’t hold the longevity after years to come by. That’s why, you might change it more often than you would like.
Shotgun Cheek Riser
The key advantage of a shotgun cheek riser will always be the stability. Once you install a cheek riser on your favorite shotgun, the comfort level of your gun will increase a lot as well.
While there are no major disadvantages of them on a shotgun, one of the major one is that you will need to drill your base if your shotgun doesn’t support risers from the factory.
Adjustable Cheek Rest
On the surface, this is the best type of cheek pad on the market. It seems like it has no cons at all, right? Well, that’s not the truth. It does have some disadvantages as well. But let’s see the advantage first.
Well, the obvious one is the adjustability. You can adjust the height and compensate for the gun being too low. They are also secured with screws. Making them more secure than something that straps on.
The main disadvantage is exactly that screw system. Not a lot of guns have bases pre-drilled from the factory. And chances are your gun doesn’t either. If that’s the case then you will need to seek a gunsmith. Another one is, they are not the softest thing in the world. Some of them can be pretty hard.
Tips For Choosing The Best Rifle Cheek Pad
Here are a couple of pointers that might get a hint towards the right direction in your next cheek pad purchase.
Consider Your Needs
The first thing that you should do while purchasing a new cheek pad is to find out your needs. As you can see above, I have mentioned all sorts of cheek pads and their usage. As well as the points where they struggle. If you know what your needs are and what you want from the cheek pad, then your decision making is simple and will be a breeze to handle.
If you are using a shotgun then shotgun riser, if you are using a rifle and want adjustability, then you know which one to get already. That’s the point, you will need to identify what type of cheek pad you need.
Consider Your Budget
The next thing you should consider is your spending limit. Sometimes, we just pretend we have an unlimited budget and try to find the most expensive thing out there. If you are someone who shops like that, I suggest you stop doing that and start thinking more rationally.
If you have a specific budget in mind, then you know what your options are in that limited budget and what they are good for. The budget also makes it hard to go after things that might have no use in your life. Basically, budget = less options.
Consider The Quality of The Materials
This can be also considered as the build quality of the item you are about to buy. For example, Kydex will outlast any PU leather made cheek pads on the market. As Kydex is more durable and rigid, it will outlast most cheap products.
But real leather cheek rests are quite good. Their longevity isn’t questionable and they have wonderful finishes. Depending on which cheek riser you are after, you will need to think about their material quality.
And that’s about it. These are some of the best rifle cheek pads you can buy right now and I also tried to give you a little idea on how to choose the best among them. I’m well aware about more alternatives on the market but all of them aren’t good for everything. If you are looking for versatility then you might lose performance. If you are looking for performance only, then you might lose versatility.
That’s why I tried to keep the list and the method of choosing as beginner friendly as I possibly could. This is a guide that I probably would have appreciated back in my days. Corny jokes aside, hopefully you got the answers you were looking for. As always, appreciate you guys reading it. See you on the next one. Take care.
Hi, I’m Brent Hansford. A writer turned hunter & now sharing my love for the sport through writing. As I practically breathe weapons, I firmly believe I’m capable of providing you with new knowledge about firearms and hunting. My mission is to help more people get better at hunting & master the weapons. Let me help with unleashing the beast within you!