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Fitting guns for women

2345 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  rajaniblue
As many of us have noticed, women are built differently than men. It is for that reason that most women cannot shoot a gun well that was designed for men. This is because mens' guns have a stock on them that was designed for an "average" man, 5' 9" tall and weighing 165 pounds.

Even if a woman matches the above description, a man's gun is not likely to fit. There are several reasons. The first is because women have different chest configurations. Men's are flatter. For that reason the "pitch" (angle of the end of the stock relative to the barrel) on a ladies stock must be greater to keep the pointed end of the recoil pad from trying to punch a hole in the chest.

Aother reason is that the location of the comb (the top surface of the stock) will usually not allow women to get their cheek snugly on the comb and be able to look along the rib. It will usually be blocked by the action/receiver of the gun. As a result, the head must be raised to look along the rib and this not only decreases accuracy but also invites painful recoil to the cheek.

A men's stock is also likely to be too long. Shortening one will not make the gun fit for the above reasons.

The grip will also be too large. This requires the shooter to roll the hand upward in order to be able to reach the trigger. That disrupts timing when firing and does not allow the gun to be pulled back snugly into the shoulder. When the gun is mounted loosely, the perceived recoil to the shoulder is significantly increased.

A partial solution to the fitting problem is involves the use of a woman's or youth stock. It is still not likely to fit well but it will usually fit a lot better than a man's stock. It will also be a lot easier to change the stock dimensions to make it fit well.

As an aside, more than 80% of right-handed woman shooters are left eye dominant. That means that at times, the left eye will take over seeing the sight picture and cause the shot to miss to the side of the eye not directly behind the rib.

The solution is to close one eye or put something on the lens of the glasses to prevent the "off" eye from seeing the target as the shot is about to be fired.

The shots that are most easily missed due to cross eye dominance are those with the target traveling to the side opposite the eye behind the rib (to the left for right-handed shooters.)

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There are a few other pieces of advice that should be added:

Hold the gun snugly to your shoulder. Don't let it accelerate and allow it to impact (as it can when the gun is held loosly)
rather than push your shoulder.

Wear a sports bra or at least one without metal strap adjusters.

If possible, wear a shooting vest with a good interior pad. (Browning makes the best pads that I've seen and they are sold seperately.) Also wear shooting glasses along with good ear plugs or muffs. Recoil seems to be significantly reduced when you don't hear such a loud "bang".

:D Great article. Take note gals. It amazes me how many men take their girlfriend or wife out shooting and give them a gun to shoot that comes no where close to fitting them. No wonder why we have low count of women shooters. Maybe they really don't want them to shoot.
Well Gal Shooter welcome to Shotgun World Shooting Forums! As you can see at the top of our forum were trying to set a chat date, and when we do i'll post a link to the chat site where we chat at. You don't even have to register at the good place we chat at! Yes i've seen many women shoot a couple of shells through there boyfriends guns and be like no way this hurts to bad, i am normally willing to loan a gun of mine out to a female or a kid that is just starting out since they are shorter stocked and fit a little better.
While I pretty much agree with the statements posted above, it should be pointed out that this isn't always the case. I am a 5'8" woman who weighs about 150 pounds and I shoot a big 32" barreled Browning Special Trap over and under that fits me so unbelievably well almost right out of the box it's scary. The men's grips don't bother me because I have big hands and long fingers. A woman's grip is usually too small for me, to the point where my fingers sometimes even come close to overlapping, especially on handguns, and there is not enough grip for me to control it. As for modifications, I put a little cast-on on my comb and that's about it. And I shoot great with it. I can mount the gun and have the beads come up in exactly the same place every time, even with my eyes closed, without thinking about where they are going to be. No cheek bruising, no shoulder soreness, nothing but busted birds.

I am left eye dominant, but I am also left handed (which makes me a big joke at the trap range, because the guys always say they are embarrassed to be beaten by a left handed girl!!!)

Even the so-called "men's" guns don't fit all men very well. I was talking to a guy the other day that has to order custom stocks because he's 6'4", weighs more than most guys and has long arms. The point of this is that whatever gun you choose you have to make sure it fits you because everyone has a different body type and a gun is going to fit each person differently. It doesn't matter if you are man or woman, have the gun fit to you.

Of course it's nice if you get lucky and they fit you out of the box, or you can at least get close.
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