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Why Are Most Guns Stocked Too High for Americans?

Here is another phrase we have heard in conversations: “To shoot that gun well, you’re going to have to apply more cheek pressure and have to roll your head forward to pull your eye down closer to the rib.”

This will not work, but it’s a phrase used by people who are trying to sell a gun.

Excessive cheek pressure will result in bruising your cheek and a loss of bone mass in your cheek bone if done for any length of time. We’ve pondered for a long time why most guns are stocked too high for most Americans, and on a trip to the UK a few years ago, we think we figured it out.

There is a dramatic difference in the facial shape of the European face and the American face!

The European facial shape is taller and oval with high cheekbones, whereas the American facial shape is more rounded with lower, less pronounced cheekbones. This basic difference makes a dramatic difference in the comb height, shape and cast for a shotgun to fit the average American.

Since most of the higher end shotguns come from Europe, this could be why almost all the European shotguns have combs that are too high and too wide for most Americans. They almost all pattern high with 70 to 80 percent of the pattern being above the point of aim at 20 yards.

“No problem,” the salesperson will say. “Just hold a little under the line and this will enable you to see the bird much better.”

Well, that will not work either because you will have to consciously think to hold under the line. And the last thing you want to be doing is thinking when shooting a moving target with a shotgun.

What few know (but we have proven) is that the upward deviation is exponential at distance. If the gun shoots 75 percent high and 25 percent below the point of aim at 20 yards, it will be almost two patterns high at 50-60 yards. But if the gun is flat with 50 percent above and 50 percent below, it will be 50/50 at 50-60 yards.