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 Post subject: New guy, small town, how to find the right fit?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 12:00 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2021 7:05 pm
Posts: 3
I am just starting into clay shooting, after getting my son a shotgun so he could shoot with friends. I am looking for my own first shotgun.

With my son, I got lucky, bought something local, it seems to fit, and the price was reasonable.

Having done some online research, everyone talks about finding the right gun that fits you. Living in a small town, there’s only a few gun dealers with limited stock. At our next outing, I will try to ask folks to handle or maybe even shoot their shotguns.

What’s the best way to find the best fit for a shotgun?

And if I can’t find the right fit, being where I am, how do I find my first shotgun ?

If it matters, I’m in Ridgecrest, CA. Two hours drive from anything

Alan




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 Post subject: Re: New guy, small town, how to find the right fit?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 9:23 am 
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Perfect is the enemy of good. Find a gun that is comfortable and go shooting. Your style will evolve over time and you can refine the fit.

All the baloney here about prefect fit is just that--baloney.

_________________
Nsca # 540300. Been loving this game since 01.

Our prentice Tom may now refuse
To wipe his scoundrel master's shoes
For now he's free to sing and play
O'er the hills and far away.


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 Post subject: Re: New guy, small town, how to find the right fit?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 9:57 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:57 pm
Posts: 224
Two hours from quite a lot! I’d suggest you budget a full day, and get into the LA area. Got to Pacific Sporting as a good start, and start with what you just told us.

If you call ahead, you may be able to arrange shooting some used guns at either of two fairly nearby ranges. It’ll be a long, but very informative day for you.


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 Post subject: Re: New guy, small town, how to find the right fit?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 9:59 am 
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Location: Creston, Iowa
As a studied gun fitter and user of the PFS stock (robo stock). A perfect fit is exactly the reason I spent $1550.00 on a mechanical stock that looks to be from the future. Can change the fit if shooting in cold weather bulky clothing to warm weather. Weight gain or loss. Have custom high grade English walnut on other guns, but compete with the robo. Also enjoy the reduced recoil of mechanics.

Having the proper gun fit encourages keeping your head on the stock during the shot. Not moving the back site from start to finish adds targets to the score. Adding comfort and confidence to your routine.

If your not of average size male then a factory configured shotgun will fit like a saddle on a sow. Where you place shot will vary and coming home beat up by a gun, usual. Just a close fit or what I call a a field fit helps, but there is a reason people pay 3 to 4 thousand dollars to have a stock custom made to fit the operator. I have several of those as well, but we change over time and clothing and shotgun stocks stay the same.

I say a perfect gun fit is like magic. A poor fit keeps your scores down and always wondering why you do not quit.

Maltz

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Have gun, will travel


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 Post subject: Re: New guy, small town, how to find the right fit?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 10:13 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2006 9:04 pm
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Location: Upstate NY
Most modern semi-auto shotguns include a shim kit that allows you to alter the stock's cast and drop. Changing or shimming the recoil pad can adjust length of pull. I'm much larger than average and being able to add some drop, cast off and LOP really helped my shooting.

I'd look for a gun that included a shim kit.

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"The freaks can't be normally formalized, nor can we be formally normalized. What we want is complete weirdification."
KD2TTM
Member: NRA, New York Rifle and Pistol Association


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 Post subject: Re: New guy, small town, how to find the right fit?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 11:37 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 3:09 pm
Posts: 1384
Location: Coolidge, Arizona
Desmobob has a good point! You don't need to start out with an expensive O/U even though that is probably where you'll end up if you stay with clay shooting.

Buy a semi auto with shims and some moleskin to make the stock fit. This is a good starting point and the least expensive way to start.


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 Post subject: Re: New guy, small town, how to find the right fit?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 11:39 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 9:07 pm
Posts: 2373
desmobob wrote:
Most modern semi-auto shotguns include a shim kit that allows you to alter the stock's cast and drop. Changing or shimming the recoil pad can adjust length of pull. I'm much larger than average and being able to add some drop, cast off and LOP really helped my shooting.

I'd look for a gun that included a shim kit.


^^^^^^^^^^^^


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 Post subject: Re: New guy, small town, how to find the right fit?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 12:03 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:59 pm
Posts: 1414
Location: Soda Springs, Id.
I'm in the same boat where I live.
I have to drive about 75 miles minimum just to shoot trap or anything like it.
so needless to say target type guns are not common around here.

when you start out, about anything that says trap, target, or sporting will get the job done.
but then the work starts, LOP too long/short, comb height off, left to right off. etc.
so you find yourself having to either get lucky and find a local guy to help you out or you end up watching video's and reading Rolland's book then kinda guessing on what you need.

eventually you figure things out little by little and you do pretty good breaking targets, but your off just a little bit and you can feel it, but are afraid to be dinking around with things because it's mostly working.

then you see those twisted stocks and pads, things shuffled forward and backward on a couple of stocks, and their owners are shooting the better scores from the 27yd. line.
wait for them to get done shooting and go ask them who did the work and if they can get you in touch with them.
by this time you have gained some knowledge, and will understand what the guy you call is saying, and will understand why you want it done.

that or you get real lucky and the gun you find is actually a pretty good fit,, and you adapt to it after a pad change.


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 Post subject: Re: New guy, small town, how to find the right fit?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 8:34 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2020 9:38 am
Posts: 121
Location: North Bay Area
Flyingtargets! wrote:
Two hours from quite a lot! I’d suggest you budget a full day, and get into the LA area. Got to Pacific Sporting as a good start, and start with what you just told us.

If you call ahead, you may be able to arrange shooting some used guns at either of two fairly nearby ranges. It’ll be a long, but very informative day for you.


^^^ This ^^^

I'd for sure go check out Pacific Sporting, they've got a ton of stuff and they're awesome to work with.


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 Post subject: Re: New guy, small town, how to find the right fit?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 8:49 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2021 7:05 pm
Posts: 3
Thanks all, will be in LA at the end of the month, will see if I can fit a trip to pacific sporting in.

I am leaning toward an o/u , just because I am a complete newbie with shotguns, and dealing with a semi auto that fails to cycle because I bought the wrong ammo doesn’t appeal to me. But budget creeps in, as well as availability, so I may wind up with a semi auto.


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 Post subject: Re: New guy, small town, how to find the right fit?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 9:00 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2006 9:04 pm
Posts: 1511
Location: Upstate NY
Frog111 wrote:
Thanks all, will be in LA at the end of the month, will see if I can fit a trip to pacific sporting in.

I am leaning toward an o/u , just because I am a complete newbie with shotguns, and dealing with a semi auto that fails to cycle because I bought the wrong ammo doesn’t appeal to me. But budget creeps in, as well as availability, so I may wind up with a semi auto.


You might be underestimating the reliability of modern semi-autos. Once broken in, something like a Beretta A300 will run just about anything but the very lightest loads; loads I think you would be unlikely to encounter in the ammo section of the average sporting goods retailer, big box store or local hardware store.

_________________
"The freaks can't be normally formalized, nor can we be formally normalized. What we want is complete weirdification."
KD2TTM
Member: NRA, New York Rifle and Pistol Association


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 Post subject: Re: New guy, small town, how to find the right fit?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 8:37 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:32 pm
Posts: 7039
Location: Creston, Iowa
Frog111 wrote:
Thanks all, will be in LA at the end of the month, will see if I can fit a trip to pacific sporting in.

I am leaning toward an o/u , just because I am a complete newbie with shotguns, and dealing with a semi auto that fails to cycle because I bought the wrong ammo doesn’t appeal to me. But budget creeps in, as well as availability, so I may wind up with a semi auto.


Wise decision.....Try to pick one with some stock adjustments already installed. It is easy to learn what your specific needs are and how to fit yourself. You can get a field fit (comb height/ pupil center) at the range by someone with experience. For example: a new shooter pulled into the range last Saturday and 2 of us set up his new Browning 725 (comb, pad angle, POI, LOP), went to the pattern board and set POI in less than 1/2 hour. The newby breaks hit his first target in the center and went on to shoot low 20's from the 16 yd line practicing. His first target gun. Previously he shot last years league with field guns and hit much lower than average scores.

Maltz

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Have gun, will travel


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 Post subject: Re: New guy, small town, how to find the right fit?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 2:33 pm 
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Frog--do you have access to all this stuff that Maltzie is talking about ? I think not.

Go to LA and meet the folks at Pacific Sporting Arms. They are truly knowledgeable and can help you.

_________________
Nsca # 540300. Been loving this game since 01.

Our prentice Tom may now refuse
To wipe his scoundrel master's shoes
For now he's free to sing and play
O'er the hills and far away.


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 Post subject: Re: New guy, small town, how to find the right fit?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 7:08 pm 
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Location: Brillion, WI-25 mls S of Green Bay
Alan.

Most shotguns come fairly close to fitting a man about 5' 10" tall, weighing about 175 pounds.

Shotgun "fit" describes how well the (primary) stock dimensions allow the shooter use a good "shooting form," to...

1) shoot with a naturally erect neck and head posture (not needing to lean the neck forward to "hang" the cheek on the comb),

2) to use a proper gun mount with the recoil pad making contact with the "shoulder pocket" inside of the shoulder joint,

3) to see just a little of the rib's surface when shooting trap, and less or no rib surface at all when shooting other clay games (Trap guns are said to shoot "high" while other guns are said to shoot "flat" or not as hign),

4) to be able t o mount the gun using a slight forward bow at the waist and have the whole recoil pad, top to bottom, make simultaneous contact with the shoulder at the end of the mount (problems arise when the pointed toe of the pad makes contact very much before the top heel of the pad makes contact),

5) and to be able to reach the trigger without having to slide the hand up and forward on the grip,

6) and finally to have a little over an inch separation between the nose and the trigger-hand thumb when the gun is mounted.

It is true that some guns come with stocks that have shims to adjust the angle of the stock relative to the receiver, but if the comb needs to be raised to move the eye higher relative to the rib, that shim change also changes the "pitch" of the stock and by so doing, causes the pointed toe of the recoil pad stick out farther, possibly inviting problems with increased barrel (and comb) rise during recoil, which can put a lot of miles on the cheekbone with very little shooting. This is often called "cheek slap."

With the possible exception of the size of a gun's grip, the other stock dimensions can be changed/corrected by a competent gunsmith.

Guns that fit the shooter in addition to increasing the speed of improvement with practice, also reduce "felt" recoil, a subjective feeling that describes how pleasant the gun is to shoot.

_________________
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


Last edited by Rollin Oswald on Tue Mar 30, 2021 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New guy, small town, how to find the right fit?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:17 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:45 am
Posts: 549
Location: Missoula, MT
Read Rollin's book. It is very helpful.

Randy

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 Post subject: Re: New guy, small town, how to find the right fit?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 9:01 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:32 pm
Posts: 7039
Location: Creston, Iowa
There ya go..... Rollins book is the place to start understanding gun fit. From a comfortable fit that enhances a consistent shooting form. to then learning how to set the point of impact (POI) to help center patterns on moving targets. The gun should place shot exactly where your looking and subconscious expecting it to be.

From there it all about you. You developing your skills, making fewer errors. A place to grow in the game. No master class or All American in clay shooting hasn't started with good fit and proper equipment to excel.

Maltz

_________________
Have gun, will travel


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 Post subject: Re: New guy, small town, how to find the right fit?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:23 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2021 7:05 pm
Posts: 3
Thanks for the thoughtful reply. Still trying to sort all of this out.




quote="Rollin Oswald"]Alan.

Most shotguns come fairly close to fitting a man about 5' 10" tall, weighing about 175 pounds.

Shotgun "fit" describes how well the (primary) stock dimensions allow the shooter use a good "shooting form," to...

1) shoot with a naturally erect neck and head posture (not needing to lean the neck forward to "hang" the cheek on the comb),

2) to use a proper gun mount with the recoil pad making contact with the "shoulder pocket" inside of the shoulder joint,

3) to see just a little of the rib's surface when shooting trap, and less or no rib surface at all when shooting other clay games (Trap guns are said to shoot "high" while other guns are said to shoot "flat" or not as hign),

4) to be able t o mount the gun using a slight forward bow at the waist and have the whole recoil pad, top to bottom, make simultaneous contact with the shoulder at the end of the mount (problems arise when the pointed toe of the pad makes contact very much before the top heel of the pad makes contact),

5) and to be able to reach the trigger without having to slide the hand up and forward on the grip,

6) and finally to have a little over an inch separation between the nose and the trigger-hand thumb when the gun is mounted.

It is true that some guns come with stocks that have shims to adjust the angle of the stock relative to the receiver, but if the comb needs to be raised to move the eye higher relative to the rib, that shim change also changes the "pitch" of the stock and by so doing, causes the pointed toe of the recoil pad stick out farther, possibly inviting problems with increased barrel (and comb) rise during recoil, which can put a lot of miles on the cheekbone with very little shooting. This is often called "cheek slap."

With the possible exception of the size of a gun's grip, the other stock dimensions can be changed/corrected by a competent gunsmith.

Guns that fit the shooter in addition to increasing the speed of improvement with practice, also reduce "felt" recoil, a subjective feeling that describes how pleasant the gun is to shoot.[/quote]




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