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 Post subject: I think I have a long neck -- adjustable comb to the rescue?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2020 7:09 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:20 pm
Posts: 59
Started with shotguns 6 months ago. All trap so far.

Bought a BT-99 (1976 "High Shooter" model--designed for 80/20 or so). REALLY hurt my neck until I slammed the Morgan recoil pad as low as it would go (raising the comb an absurd amount) and tweaked the pitch a bit. Looks silly on the rack, but kinda fits.

I've been told I have kind of a long neck, kind of high cheekbones or a "long face," and possibly somewhat sloping shoulders. Great. I'm a ballerina from the waist up! :)

For reference: 5'10" (though my legs are shortish, so I'm probably about 6', as far as torso and arms are concerned. 160 pounds. So within average/typical range, I'd say.

I also have an Ithaca 600 I was hoping to use for skeet / sporting clays. Shoots flat (50/50)--dead-on point of aim at 16 yards. I'm 100% crawling the stock / craning my neck, and shooting trap at 16 yards, I need to obscure the target a bit to hit it. If I raise the stock high , with the top above my collarbone and sort of weld toward the back of my cheek below the cheekbone and just in front of my ear, I can shoot it pretty well. I instantly add 5-6 clays to my score--and get the crap beaten out of my cheek, with a goose egg after 2 rounds.

Clearly, the Ithaca is not the right fit, by a lot, and the BT isn't right without the absurd raising of the stock I'm doing with the Morgan pad.

I did once shoot a 725 with an adjustable comb that was a fair amount up and a couple clicks left, and that shot better. Not perfect--but my neck felt better, and I shot OK.

Are there any specific things I should be looking for in guns? An adjustable comb seems like an obvious one. A high rib? I know you don't want to go TOO high for skeet and clays.

Thanks!




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 Post subject: Re: I think I have a long neck -- adjustable comb to the res
PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2020 8:39 pm 
Tournament Grade
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Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:11 pm
Posts: 141
If you are going to try to shoot trap, sporting clays, and skeet with one gun, I'd recommend a gun with an adjustable rib and adjustable comb.


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 Post subject: Re: I think I have a long neck -- adjustable comb to the res
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 7:12 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 4:51 pm
Posts: 10928
Location: Phoenixville PA
Just for laughs, try finding someone with a gun with a longer "LOP" and try mounting it. You might just be able to correct the problem (or part of it) with a recoil pad to correct the LOP, if required.

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BobK


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 Post subject: Re: I think I have a long neck -- adjustable comb to the res
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 8:59 am 
Limited Edition

Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2020 9:56 am
Posts: 341
Not exactly, OP. The height adjustable comb is mainly to tune the gun to the the distance between your cheek pocket and the pupil of the eye. With an adjustable rib or an add-on rib the combination can deal with a long neck or an erect neck and head to a small degree before the gun starts to look bizarre. The main tool for dealing with an erect head and neck or long neck is the adjustable butt plate. The adjustable butt plate sets up the gun for the distance between the shoulder pocket and pupil of the eye. You are proving this yourself with the Morgan pad. Unfortunately sometimes a lot of adjustment is needed. The look is the look unless you have a custom stock made. From what I can see online however, the Morgan pad is nowhere nearly as functional as other makes like Graco and Jones which have to be custom installed by someone adept at stock work. You might look into those.

Adjustable combs are very powerful tools, but they are mistakenly thought to solve problems that they actually don’t have anything to do with. Kind of like taking a hammer to a screw. My advice is to try to understand how the different adjustable features relate to the three main aspects of gun fit: the vertical distance between the cheek pocket and eye (distance between the rib and comb), the vertical distance between the shoulder pocket and eye (distance between the butt and rib), and horizontal distance between the shoulder pocket and eye (cast). When you understand that, it is much easier to know what fixes what.

I understand that LOP or where on the comb your cheek sits can affect eye height due to the slope of the comb. But using LOP that way, while inexpensive and convenient, is less than ideal. I prefer to set LOP for its own sake, i.e. ideal positioning of hands on the grip and fore end and proper clearance between the nose and eye and the shooting thumb. Then fix comb height, rib height, and butt height directly rather than indirectly.


Last edited by friend of a friend on Mon Dec 21, 2020 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: I think I have a long neck -- adjustable comb to the res
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 2:49 pm 
Crown Grade
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Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 4:08 pm
Posts: 2701
Go see a gun fitter or at least a knowledgeable instructor with some fitting experience. You are obviously stabbing in the dark for a solution and you will probably make things worse. It's almost impossible to diagnose gun fit issues online. Everyone tries to help, but they may not be qualified. Think about it, we can't see what's going on.


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 Post subject: Re: I think I have a long neck -- adjustable comb to the res
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 3:54 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:20 pm
Posts: 59
drawdc wrote:
Go see a gun fitter or at least a knowledgeable instructor with some fitting experience. You are obviously stabbing in the dark for a solution and you will probably make things worse. It's almost impossible to diagnose gun fit issues online. Everyone tries to help, but they may not be qualified. Think about it, we can't see what's going on.


Good point. Video here -- apologies for the exaggerated movements, but this is basically my issue with that particular gun.

This Sunday, I have a 2-hour lesson with an instructor who's also a respected fitter, so we're going to spend the first of the two hours going through fit/stance/mount/etc.


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 Post subject: Re: I think I have a long neck -- adjustable comb to the res
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 6:37 pm 
Limited Edition

Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:26 pm
Posts: 378
cormacf wrote:
drawdc wrote:
Go see a gun fitter or at least a knowledgeable instructor with some fitting experience. You are obviously stabbing in the dark for a solution and you will probably make things worse. It's almost impossible to diagnose gun fit issues online. Everyone tries to help, but they may not be qualified. Think about it, we can't see what's going on.


Good point. Video here -- apologies for the exaggerated movements, but this is basically my issue with that particular gun.

This Sunday, I have a 2-hour lesson with an instructor who's also a respected fitter, so we're going to spend the first of the two hours going through fit/stance/mount/etc.


You are on the right track. The cheapest and quickest one as well.


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 Post subject: Re: I think I have a long neck -- adjustable comb to the res
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 8:16 pm 
Limited Edition

Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2020 9:56 am
Posts: 341
Okay, OP, the video is very helpful. Apparently besides your height and long neck, you favor an upright head posture on the gun. Well so do I. In fact, all the best people do. You need to drop your butt pad at least 2 inches. I know. I know. It is going to look bizarre. Nothing you can do about it except spend $3-4000 for a custom stock, and guess what. That is going to look funny too. But IMO it is the best way to shoot, so there is that going for you.

One thing is for sure. The primary adjustment will not be from raising the comb. Now if you max out the rise of an adjustable butt pad and still need more height, then you could raise an adjustable comb and also add on a rib riser to get the rest of the rise without changing the relationship between the comb and the rib.

My Jones adjustable pad can get 1 7/8" drop (gun rise) if I remove one of the three screws so that the movable bracket can be lowered beyond its normal limit.

This is where Rollin Oswald's advice that up to 1" of butt pad above the clavicle being okay comes in handy. It looks like even with all the available adjustments, you might still need to have that.

One other thing I notice is that you seem to be mounting the gun with too open a stance. Try placing your hips and shoulder at 45 degrees to the muzzle direction and see if you aren't more comfortable. That will lessen the need for cast somewhat and bring your cheek closer to the stock. I doubt the LOP is too long for you like it looks. I think the open stance is causing that appearance.

You clearly need a good fitter. Good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: I think I have a long neck -- adjustable comb to the res
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 12:24 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2003 4:23 pm
Posts: 5608
Location: Brillion, WI-25 mls S of Green Bay
cormacf wrote:
Started with shotguns 6 months ago. All trap so far.

Bought a BT-99 (1976 "High Shooter" model--designed for 80/20 or so). REALLY hurt my neck until I slammed the Morgan recoil pad as low as it would go (raising the comb an absurd amount) and tweaked the pitch a bit. Looks silly on the rack, but kinda fits.

I've been told I have kind of a long neck, kind of high cheekbones or a "long face," and possibly somewhat sloping shoulders. Great. I'm a ballerina from the waist up! :)

For reference: 5'10" (though my legs are shortish, so I'm probably about 6', as far as torso and arms are concerned. 160 pounds. So within average/typical range, I'd say.

I also have an Ithaca 600 I was hoping to use for skeet / sporting clays. Shoots flat (50/50)--dead-on point of aim at 16 yards. I'm 100% crawling the stock / craning my neck, and shooting trap at 16 yards, I need to obscure the target a bit to hit it. If I raise the stock high , with the top above my collarbone and sort of weld toward the back of my cheek below the cheekbone and just in front of my ear, I can shoot it pretty well. I instantly add 5-6 clays to my score--and get the crap beaten out of my cheek, with a goose egg after 2 rounds.

Clearly, the Ithaca is not the right fit, by a lot, and the BT isn't right without the absurd raising of the stock I'm doing with the Morgan pad.

I did once shoot a 725 with an adjustable comb that was a fair amount up and a couple clicks left, and that shot better. Not perfect--but my neck felt better, and I shot OK.

Are there any specific things I should be looking for in guns? An adjustable comb seems like an obvious one. A high rib? I know you don't want to go TOO high for skeet and clays.

Thanks!


Adjustable combs are very useful but they are not what you need.

If you raise your gun mount so much of the recoil pad is above your collarbone, you should be able to shoot with a naturally erect head and neck posture. So... in stead of doing that, a better way would be to lower the whole recoil pad with a unit known as a pad adjuster.

The Jones and the 100-Straight are two of several pad adjusters available. A pad adjuster is inserted between the recoil pad and the stock. The two parts of the adjuster , one attached to the pad and the other to the stock, allows the part attached to the recoil pad to be raised, lowered, moved to the left or right and rotated.

In your case, you would want to lower the recoil pad and possibly also rotate the pad to put the pointed "toe" of the pad in your armpit. (Rotating the pad would help correct the "pitch" on your stock so it better matches your chest configuration.)

You can check the pitch on your stock by slowly mounting your gun with the barrel raised to a normal shooting height; then bring the gun back to your shoulder. If the toe makes contact very much before the top "heel" of the pad, the pitch doesn't match your shoulder configuration.

You should consider having the pitch corrected when you have a gunsmith mount the pad adjuster. The pitch is correct for you when the whole recoil pad, top to bottom, makes simultaneous contact with your shoulder at the end of the gun mount, which incidentally, should be practiced wearing the same clothing worn when you are shooting targets.

Consistent gun mounts are very important because inconsistent mounts can affect the position of your eye relative to the rib, which, in turn, will alter where the pattern goes from one shot to the next. Practice is the best way to achieve a consistent mount

Changing the stock length was mentioned above. The stock is the correct length for you when, with the gun mounted, the tip of your nose and the second knuckle of your thumb are separated by 1.25 to 1.5 inches.

High cheekbones may be another challenge for you. With an upright shooting posture and your cheek only snugly on the comb, you may not be able to see along the surface of the rib for sporting clays or slightly down onto the rib with some rib surface visible when shooting rising trap targets.

If that happens to be the case, using excessive cheek pressure to lower the level of your eye to see along or only slightly down onto the surface is asking for trouble, i.e. excessive felt recoil to your cheek bone and/or raising your cheek off the comb during swings, which will cause you to shoot over targets without knowing why you missed them.

_________________
Rollin

Author of "Stock Fitter's Bible, Second Edition," which explains the interrelationships between shooting form, stock dimensions and a shooter's size and shape http://www.amazon.com/Stock-Fitters-Bible-Second-Edition/dp/1451570384


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 Post subject: Re: I think I have a long neck -- adjustable comb to the res
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 12:47 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:20 pm
Posts: 59
Thank you! The recoil pad on my gun that has one (my BT) is maxed out as you suggested, and I routinely shoot 22s with it (and have hit as high as 24 so far). And an adjustable Kickeez for the Ithaca is going to be a lot cheaper than a new O/U.



friend of a friend wrote:
Okay, OP, the video is very helpful. Apparently besides your height and long neck, you favor an upright head posture on the gun. Well so do I. In fact, all the best people do. You need to drop your butt pad at least 2 inches. I know. I know. It is going to look bizarre. Nothing you can do about it except spend $3-4000 for a custom stock, and guess what. That is going to look funny too. But IMO it is the best way to shoot, so there is that going for you.

One thing is for sure. The primary adjustment will not be from raising the comb. Now if you max out the rise of an adjustable butt pad and still need more height, then you could raise an adjustable comb and also add on a rib riser to get the rest of the rise without changing the relationship between the comb and the rib.

My Jones adjustable pad can get 1 7/8" drop (gun rise) if I remove one of the three screws so that the movable bracket can be lowered beyond its normal limit.

This is where Rollin Oswald's advice that up to 1" of butt pad above the clavicle being okay comes in handy. It looks like even with all the available adjustments, you might still need to have that.

One other thing I notice is that you seem to be mounting the gun with too open a stance. Try placing your hips and shoulder at 45 degrees to the muzzle direction and see if you aren't more comfortable. That will lessen the need for cast somewhat and bring your cheek closer to the stock. I doubt the LOP is too long for you like it looks. I think the open stance is causing that appearance.

You clearly need a good fitter. Good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: I think I have a long neck -- adjustable comb to the res
PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2020 2:12 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:20 pm
Posts: 59
Thanks so much for the replies, everyone. The session with the fitter/coach helped a TON. Changing my stance, weld, and mounting process helped SO much, and the SKB is now shootable, if not completely comfortable. I'm definitely good to shoot it now while I figure out what I really need, and I won't be getting rid of it. It's bulletproof, and we can all use a spare bulletproof shooter.

I also did my first round of sporting clays, as well, and it was pretty life-changing, so I now know that's where I want to spend my focus and money. I'll definitely want something with an adjustable comb, ultimately, and definitely something with swappable chokes, but this will work for now while I decide what to buy. Thanks again!


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 Post subject: Re: I think I have a long neck -- adjustable comb to the res
PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2020 11:43 am 
Crown Grade
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Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 4:08 pm
Posts: 2701
cormacf wrote:
Thanks so much for the replies, everyone. The session with the fitter/coach helped a TON. Changing my stance, weld, and mounting process helped SO much, and the SKB is now shootable, if not completely comfortable. I'm definitely good to shoot it now while I figure out what I really need, and I won't be getting rid of it. It's bulletproof, and we can all use a spare bulletproof shooter.

I also did my first round of sporting clays, as well, and it was pretty life-changing, so I now know that's where I want to spend my focus and money. I'll definitely want something with an adjustable comb, ultimately, and definitely something with swappable chokes, but this will work for now while I decide what to buy. Thanks again!


So it sounds like a lot of changes were made that helped you without any changes to the gun at this time. Even good, experienced stock fitters will have a hard time diagnosing problems without seeing you in person. You may eventually need to make some of the changes recommended but you just saved yourself a lot of headache and confusion by investing the time in the essential first step. Have fun on this journey.




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