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To shoot well or to shoot up to anywhere near your highest potential regardless of your shooting discipline, your gun must fit you and the way you shoot.

With all the different shapes and sizes that shooters come in, one set of stock dimensions will be correct for less than half of the buyers of a particular gun. This is also true for guns with adjustable combs, the most common form of optional adjustment.

That statement ignores guns equiped with numbered shims or spacers; that is because they are a very questionable way to change dimensions to make a gun to fit. That is because one dimension by itself, cannot be changed with the exception of minor increase of the length of pull. With that exception, at least one additional dimension is changed in additon to the one that is in need of change.

For example, adjusting the height of the comb also changes the pitch of the stock and the drop at the heel dimension. Changing the cast of the gun at the comb where the cheek is placed, also changes the location of the recoil pad on the shoulder.

While untargeted changes may be correct at times, it is not something that can be counted on.

To check how well your gun fits, try the following exercise. Before starting, be as certain as possible that your shooting form ) gun mount, body posture, weight distribution, and foot placement) are those recommended by coaches and top shooters. Shooting form has a significant affect on your correct stock dimensions.

1. Decide on an imaginary target and set up as though you were going to fire at that target. Sure, targets move but there is a point where you are most likely to shoot.

2. Close your eyes and mount the gun. Try to mount it the same way you mount it when shooting at targets.

3. Open your eyes. The recoil pad should be nearly even with the top of your shoulder for trap shooting and slightly lower for the other disciplines.
The gun should be making contact with your shoulder inside of the shoulder joint, in the shoulder pocket.
Your upper trigger arm should be horizontal or close to horizontal for high gun disciplines and lower for low gun disciplines. The top of the recoil pad should be on or just below your collarbone.

4. You should be looking down the center of the rib without wiggling the gun to reposition your eye.
Your eye should also be as far above the rib as has proven to result in your preferred point of impact. If you're looking right along the the top of the rib, your gun should be shooting "flat" with half the pattern above and half below the point of aim.

5. With the gun mounted and your eyes again closed, swing to the extreme of a usual swing on the side of your gun mount. When you get there, open your eyes. Your eye should still be looking down the center of the rib with the preferred amount of rib visable (from none to some.) It should be the same as when you mounted the gun originally and found your eye position to be correct.

If everything turned out OK, your gun probably fits. If you had to reposition the gun or your cheek to get things to line up, you have at least one stock dimension that is not correct for you.

All dimensions with the exception of grip dimensions, can be changed. Some are easy and some get more complex but chances are very good that your existing gun can be made to fit.

The benefits of a well fitting gun are many. Included are faster improvement with practice, more acurate shooting, less felt recoil, no or fewer unexplained misses, postponment of fatigue, and more consistent shooting/scoring.

If hitting things is important to you, consider finding and visiting a good, professional, stock fitter. Remember, be sure to use the shooting form that you intend using after the gun is fitted. Also ask for a set of your correct stock dimensions in case you trade guns in the fututre. Also be aware that your correct dimensions will change if you gain or lose much weight. They will also change if you change shooting form; that's why you want to use the form at the fitter's that you will use in reality.

If you can't visit a fitter, click on the following Website link.
http://stockfitting.virtualave.net/...you'll ever need to know about stock fitting.
 
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