If you have been following Sniper Central for any length of time, then you have likely heard us mention, or seen us use, the Tac Ops strap-on cheekpads (stock packs) in many of our reviews. These are handy little devices that we have been using for at least a decade, but are now realizing we have never did any sort of official review on. Time for that to change.
We are not sure what the official name is supposed to be, but the two most common names used are “Strap-on Cheekpad” or “Stock Pack”. It really does not matter what you call it as long as you understand what we are referring to. There are several reasons why one of these devices might be useful for a sniper, the most common that we run into is to elevate the cheek weld a bit to better align the shooters eye to a scope that may be mounted a bit higher than ideal. If the stock is non adjustable, then the shooter can use one of these cheekpads to raise the cheekweld. Sure, using some tape and foam will work and is cheaper, but not as elegant and there are other nice features on these cheekpads.
The Tactical Operations version of these stock packs comes in both right and left hand versions and in several different colors and patterns including OD Green, Coyote Tan (FDE), Black, Multi-Cam, and Forest Camo. The one pictures here for the review is their Multi-Cam version. They are made of very durable canvas material with high quality stitching and they are made here in the USA. As can be seen in the picture above, there are three straps that go under the butt stock and one that goes around the back recoil pad of the stock. All of these straps have aggressive Velcro that attaches to the opposite Velcro material on the underside of the stock pack. This allows for an infinite amount of adjustments to get it fitted just right for your rifle. We have even gotten them to work on top of odd shaped buttstocks and even on stocks with butthooks like the McMillan A5
When the stock pack is properly setup they can be synched down very tight which minimizes any unwanted movement. There is no real way to prevent 100% of movement without going to some extreme like gluing it down, but that movement can be reduced enough so that it does not effect a shooters cheekweld and accuracy while shooting. The Alcantara material where your cheek rests provides a very comfortable cheekweld that does not slip, even with facepaint on and sweat mixed in. It does gather some of that sweat and we have seen the Alcantara wear out only after many years of use, nothing can last forever. The one pictured above has seen about 5 years of hard use and you can see some of the wear, but it still has lots of life left. We would like to see a bit more padding to increase the height more by default, but you can tape some foam or other material to the stock first and then put the stock pack over it to add more cheek height if needed.
On the opposite side of the stock pack are loops for 8 rounds of ammo for easy access. The loops are durable and tight with a bit of elasticity to them and they work very well for 308/6.5 CM diameter cartridges. They are a bit tight, but still work well, for magnum cartridges like the 300 Win Mag, but I would say they are too loose for small 223 cartridges. They hold them, but if you are using it in the field, some of those small cartridges would inevitably get displaced. Eight is a good amount of spare rounds and while they are not as easy to access as say a SAP Two Round holder right next to the chamber, they are still handy to reach with the firing hand.
Additionally there is a good sized zipper pouch for holding various items. Typically we put Allen wrenches for use on the turrets, writing devices, other tools, or even a small set of Fix-It sticks in this pouch. If you really wanted, more ammo (lose rounds) could fit as well. There is one other “hidden” pouch at the back that is closed with Velcro and is where small ballistic cards are intended to go (see the picture above). Honestly though, this slot is too difficult to open easily to get access to when the stock pack is firmly tightened down and we put the ballistic cards in the zipper pouch instead.
For $35 USD, these little packs are very useful and provide a lot of utility. They have stood the test of time and while they are not a necessity, they are a nice addition to just about any Sniper Weapon System. They are available from various retail outlets, and we find them handy enough that we even sell them here at Sniper Central. We have used enough of these over there years and have been satisfied with their quality that we give them the Sniper Central Endorsement tag.