Shotgun Forum banner

Drop at comb and heel

3959 Views 11 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Rollin Oswald
I am new to shooting skeet (own 5 guns that only spit one piece of lead each time I pull the trigger) and I'm confused about the differences that I see between the drop at heel and comb for "field models" and "sporting" or "skeet" models of the same shotgun.

At the extreme, the "field" model of one O/U I'm considering buying has a DAC of 1.5" and a DAH of 2.5", while the "sporting" model has a DAC of 1" and a DAH of 1.5".

Can anyone 'splain why a "skeet" or "sporting" gun would be better with less overall drop than that of a field gun?
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Just that......some prefer a higher shooting gun for targets, than for field work. Those measurements you listed for the target gun, is still lower than the gun I shoot for sporting, everything really.
TT, you sound like me! If it isn't a trap stock, it just doesn't fit me! I either adjust them like a high comb trap model, or add to the top of the comb! Everything else, I either see only the back of the receiver and/or shoot under everything. I lost too many roosters, flying away, with both legs dangling! If they made it over a hill, I do not ever remember recovering one, even with dogs! If they came down within sight, they were usually pretty easy to find again.

I carried pure trap guns for years for hunting. In my old age a trap gun is just too danged heavy anymore. I now modify or adjust a light field gun to my style of fit.

Trap, skeet and sporting, I like them all stocked the same! 6 O'Clock sight picture and it's dead! I just hate to cover any bird, clay or feathered. Can't see what the bird is doing or does at the shot, when the muzzle is covering it!

Clyde, I've found alot of people out there shooting guns that shoot below 50/50, some alot below. And some that have learned to use a soft touch of the cheek, but they don't always keep that soft touch when going after targets.
Yep, I think so as well, and have read a few experts that say the average shooter would be a lot better off with a higher comb.

That sure fits my view of things.

I'm with y'alls, shooting a higher stock/comb for all target disiplines and for about 30 days a year waterfowl hunting. My 3.5 inch chambered Citori shoots high enough be used for trap doubles. Ducks and uplands rise just like targets. Back in the 70's and 80's we had great quail hunting in SW Iowa and NW MO. I did choose to use a lower impact 20 or 28 ga. for this favorite sport.

Quattro - If you want to see the effective difference with your own gun, it can be done with two shots.

Shot #1 - set up a large piece of cardboard, newsprint, butcher paper with a big easily seen black spot in the center. Pick a distance, something like 20, 30 or 40 yards, and fire the shot with your gun mounted normally and the front bead held steady on the black spot.

Shot #2 - same set-up and distance with a fresh piece of cardboard or paper with the black spot in the middle. This time, however, use some cardboard and tape to raise the top surface of the comb of your stock between 1/4" and 1/2" and fire the shot as before with the bead on the spot.

Look at the two patterns side by side: the 2nd should be quite a bit higher than the 1st. The precise amount of this difference will depend upon the length of your barrel and the distance at which you chose to shoot your pattern test.

If it is 36" from your eye to the bead, then at 40 yds raising the comb at your cheek 1/4" raises the pattern by 10".

In any case, the higher comb will automatically build in some vertical lead for a rising bird. This is the reason we so often see the shallow drop together with a high rib on guns specialized for trap competition. The Montecarlo shape in a trap (or rifle) stock is just to eliminate unnecessary wood at the heel.

When considering the subject of drop, the important thing to remember is that it is drop at the cheek which determines where the eye will be in relation to the centerline of the bore and the bead, and positions the pattern for the gun. Drop at the heel simply whatever it takes to connect the gun to the shoulder. Drop at the comb is whatever is necessary to get the other two. (NB - The more drop at the heel, the more felt recoil on the cheek, all other things being equal.)
See less See more

Who determined the drop measurements?

How were they measured - where on the comb?

Did the guns both have field rather than Monte Carlo stocks?

Have you mounted any of the guns, the dimensions of which you quote?

On guns with upward sloping field stocks, the DOC measurement is taken at one point on the stock that represents where the cheek of an "average" shooter would be placed.

You, on the other hand, may or may not have a separation of cheekbone and eye pupil that equals that of the average shooter. If you don't, the DOC measurement is a useless figure to you without comparing it to a gun with the correct DOC for you that you shoot well.

Where the cheek of any shooter is placed on the comb is affected by the height of his gun mount, the length of his neck and the position of his feet, his stance, when he shoots.

The correct drop at the heel dimension itself, is also affected by or is a product of the length of the shooter's neck and the height of his gun mount.

Without a well fitting gun to use for dimensional comparisons, the drop dimensions are meaningless to you. As to why the sporting gun has a DOH an inch less than the other gun, it was apparently designed for shooters with shorter necks or thosse who use a higher gun mount. DOH dimensions differ more than DOC dimensions on various guns because of common shooting form corruptions.

The way to tell if either of the drops are correct for you is to mount the gun with the heel of the pad even with the top of your shoulder. If the DOH is correct, you will need only a slight forward nod of your head (if any) to place your cheek on the comb. When you do, your eye should be looking right down the surface of the rib or ever so slightly down-onto it.

If above is not the case, the gun does not fit you when you are using the correct gun mount or other stock dimensions that do not fit you or other flaws of your shooting form are screwing things up.
See less See more
1 3/8 x 2 1/8 with 1/4" cast will fit most shooters for skeet or sporting, or 1 5/8 x 1 5/8 with same cast works for some shooters who like parallel combs.

Your fit can and probably will vary from above but it shouldn't be much unless your facial structure is very unusual.

The key to a proper gun fit it to have a gun that lines up when you mount the gun properly and comfortably.
... and correctly so the head/eye will remain in the same place relative to the rib, during swings.
In short, order Rollin's book. No, he did not pay me to say this :)

Seriously though, if you're serious about shotgunning, you owe it to yourself to understand what gun fit is all about.

Thank you, Zeede. The wisdom of your advice (tongue in cheek) is excellent.
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.