Making A Shotgun Fit by Rollin Oswald
One of the very best purchases you can make is Rollin Oswald's Stock Fitter's Bible. A
poor fitting gun can be a constant source of frustration, recoil,
discomfort, and just isn't any fun. Following are some comments direct
from Rollin, but for the full story add his Stock Fitter's Bible to
your working library today.
a gun fit means changing any gun's stock dimensions that require the
shooter to use a poor "shooting form." Shooting form
includes the stance (position of the feet) and a body posture that
can be duplicated each time the gun is shot.
The head and neck posture are particularly important to avoid the need to lean the neck forward to put the cheek on the comb and to turn the head toward the stock very much to horizontally align the eye with the rib. A good form along with a stock that fits located the eye vertically where the shooter prefers since the height of the eye relative to the rib and its horizontal position relative to the rib both affect where the center of the pattern relative goes to the "point of aim."
Point of aim describes the location of the front bead relative to the target when the gun is fired. Most trap shooters prefer their guns to shoot "high," meaning that the center of the pattern will impact above the gun's point of aim. This compensates for trap targets' rise during flight and avoids the shooter's having to cover the targets with the barrel to achieve the required vertical lead needed to break them.
When the gun is being used for trap, it is best to have the level of the eye slightly above the level of the rib so the gun shoots a little high, with the point of impact (center of the pattern) above the point of aim) for the rising targets.
When using the gun for other disciplines, the level of the eye is usually preferred a bit lower so the gun's point if impact is closer to its point of aim.
In some cases, the drop at the comb dimension (distance of the comb below the level of the rib) needs to be increased so your eye will be lower and nearer to the level of the rib.
As many have discovered, when you shoot with your eye above the level of the rib, all your shots go higher than you expect, often causing you to shoot over targets.
The preferred alignment of the eye with the rib is greatly influenced by the gun mount that the shooter uses. It is important that the mount be consistent without the need to wiggle the gun after the mount to align the eye with the rib. When wiggling, it is very easy for the eye to move during swings to targets.
As was stated above, when shooting a shotgun, the eye serves the same purpose as the back sight on a rifle. When the eye is misaligned with the rib, the pattern does not go where the shooter expects. That is why consistent gun mounts are important. It is difficult to hit targets when inconsistent gun mounts locate the eye in different places relative to the rib from one shot to the next.
A good mount with a well fitting gun consistently positions the eye in the same place relative to the rib each time the gun is mounted using a posture that will not change the location of the eye relative to the rib during swings to targets without the shooter's knowledge. When that happens the target may not break and the shooter is left wondering, "How did I miss that? I was right on it."
A gun that fits allows a good shooting form to be used, which promotes increased shooting success and more consistent shooting day to day.
Since shooters are different sizes and shapes, a gun that fits one shooter will not necessarily fit other shooters. One shooter can shoot well with a gun while another shooter will shoot it very poorly. Gun stocks are a little like shoes in that one size does not fit all.
Copyright 2017 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.