Gun Fit: Adjustable Combs and Cheek Pressure
November 6, 2023
Gun fit is a fairly broad topic that encompasses many different facets, starting with how consistent the shooter can mount the gun. Of course, this comes from repetition, repetition, repetition.
We are sure you have been told or have read that gun fit is important and is a key to being successful on the range or in the field. While that is true, there is a little more to fitting a gun to someone than most would suspect.
We do two kinds of gun fitting after assessing the shooter’s posture and consistency in their mount. Depending on their experience, we do either a novice gun fit for a beginning shooter or a more advanced and detailed fitting on someone who had experience in the field or on the range. Most shotguns in our experience come from the factory with a length of pull (the distance from the center of the trigger to the center of the butt pad) of 14 ¾ inches. They are made to fit someone who is a little less than or more than six feet tall who weigh 190-200 pounds!
While helping shooters with fitting their guns for decades, we have come to learn several facts that were not obvious to us in the beginning.
Almost every shotgun out there has a stock with a comb that is too high and too wide to fit 90 percent of shooters in our country. Even the ones with an adjustable comb are too high for most shooters. Having a shotgun shoot high in some cases is an advantage, but in others it becomes a distinct disadvantage.
In the game of trap, where all the targets are going away from the shooter and rising, it becomes an advantage for 70 or even 80 percent of the pellets to be above the end of the muzzle so the targets can be centered in the pattern without covering up the bird with the muzzle.
In shooting skeet, where again, both targets are rising, having a gun that shoots a little high is preferred by many shooters. They just float the target by putting the muzzle a little under the line on crossers.
In shooting sporting clays and for hunting, where all angles can be experienced with targets flying in curling lines and more than 40 percent of the targets are thrown to be shot on a dropping trajectory, we have settled on a flatter sight picture with 50 percent of the pellets above and below the point of aim.