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These have all been great posts, BUT...there is a whole lot more to good gun fit than what anyone can put down on paper.
For example, all of us see a different target/bbl relationship, and because of this there is no amount of writing that can describe how to make a gun fit anyone EXACTLY. We can get a very close fit-and by the way, a good fit should include comfort as no one wants to get beat up by their gun-by following the advise posted, but the proof is in the shooting. This is why all professional fitters worth their wages insist that you shoot your gun at the sport you intend to pursue as they make adjustments. Even shooting patterns to check point of impact is not enough as when you make your move to the target the alignment with your cheek will change. For most of us, however, this is as close as we can get without the assistance of a competent fitter. Too, some guns simply do not shoot exactly where they should. That is to say, if you were to align the beads precisely on a target and fire (as in shooting a rifle)
the point of impact may be right, left, high or low. This can be corrected by repositioning your eye (ie modifying the stock since your eye serves the same purpose as the rear sight on a rifle) or by making a barrel modification (moving the front sight on a rifle). Most changes on shotguns are done to the stock.
This is all well and good, but when you have the gun shooting exactly where you are looking and then shoot at a moving target
you will probably not hit exactly where you feel you should. This is where the comfort of the fit starts to come into play. Too, there are other variables such as: the type of shirt you are wearing: the type of targets thrown: the way you are feeling, etc, etc. Gun fit changes as we age, add/lose weight, start wearing glasses and on and on.
So, what am I advising? Well, from a whole lot of both experience and experimenting this is what I do. I set up a large paper target with a small dot in the center, step back 20 yards or so, bring the gun to my face once, take it down then bring it up and fire without aiming-just look at the spot and fire as soon as it hits my face. I do this 10 times and don't look at the target between shots. I also use a full choke as the point of the test is to determine exactly where the center of the pattern is. A few shots may be slightly off, but the center will be apparent. Be sure the target is at about chest height. I then make any adjustments I feel necessary to the stock/butt and repeat the test. All of this is my starting point. Then I head to the range and see how the setup actually breaks targets at about 20 yards and at greater/lesser distances. I tweak the adjustments to get better target breaks if necessary and then shoot it on paper again to see where it patterns. Now, leave it alone and shoot it. After about 6 months or when the seasons change take it back out and shoot it on paper again. If it has changed points of impact don't start adjusting until you review your techniques...are you leaning more/less into the shot, is your front hand where it used to be, etc? If all this is the same then change the poi back to where it was 6 months prior and go back to the range.
Sound like a lot of trouble? It can be or it can be fun, but it is a necessary thing for most of us if we are striving for consistency. Just remember this, it has to be comfortable. I have set guns up to shoot really well, but I couldn't use them-hurt too bad.
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