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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a bit confused about checking point of impact via pattern testing. As I see it, I spent lots of time getting my shotgun to fit me so that I have the proper site picture (eye aligned left to right with rib, and mid bead convering front bead). I assume that when I pattern test, I should put the superimposed beads in the middle of the pattern board and pray that my pattern is centered where I'm pointed. With that in mind, I've read and had people suggest that if your point of impact is off, you can correct it with a stock/form adjustment. It seems to me that any stock change would just change my site picture and in effect be 'cheating' by pointing the barrel somewhere other than at the target just to correct for a point of impact that isn't 'true' with the site picture. Am I missing something? Is there some way to move the point of impact with a stock adjustment while retaining the correct site picture? It seems to me that my eye is in effect the 'rear site' and it doesn't really matter how I've contorted my body to get my eye in position, but that if my eye is in the same place, the pattern won't move. Thanks in advance for any help.

-Steve
 

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You are right about stock adjustments not changing your point of impact if you still keep the gun lined up the same way. I think that you are also slightly incorrect in your line up procedure. I find it best to line the gun up left to right as you said but I find it better to align the front bead so it is sitting on top of the middle bead. This is perfect for my gun at 16yd trap but when shooting 27 yd handicap I purposly align the front bead a little above the middle bead. This seems to help correct forr shot drop over distance. If you are feeling contorted when you align the barrel to your whole upper body then a stock adjustment probably is in order. I have an adjustable recoil pad and comb on my trap gun, both of which make my desired point of aim almost automatic. As a matter of fact when my scores go to [email protected] I call for the bird with the gun down and usually this instictive style shooting will straighten me out. It is usually the mental part of the game which fails first and the instictive method eliminates any pre guessing.
 

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Yes you are correct. for "sighting purposes" your eye is the rear sight on a shotgun. Moving the position of the eye changes the sight picture and thus the point of aim. Seeing some rib or the beads in a figure 8 alignment is not bad it's just the sight picture you will see with a given gun and shooter. Getting things like length of pull, cast of the stock, drop at the comb and drop of the heal only make getting the right sight picture easier and more comfortable for the shooter. If you have to twist your head or reach for the stock to touch your shoulder, you will miss some targets due to your inability to hold the proper sight alignment when shooting. Trap guns are built to shoot high to compensate for the rising target. Most trap guns you will see rib and the figure 8 of the beads. Most clays, skeet and field guns you will find shoot flat and you don't see much if any rib. Remember, shotguns are pointed and not aimed. Practice mounting your (unloaded) gun at home each day. Close your eyes and mount the gun. Then open your eyes. If you do not see the right "sight picture" your either not mounting your gun properly or you need to have your stock fitted to you to adjust for your physical difference to the factory stock. This is where we Americans fail to understand that in Europe, almost all guns are fitted to the shooter. We just take the factory gun and make due. If your 5 ft something with an average length arm, you will do fine with most factory stocks. Taller (like me) or shorter, you need to do something to get the right ergonomics of the stock to fit your body. If all things are right and your fit is good and you are focused on the target as you should be, you will never notice the beads or the rib. It is amazing to see how many folks on the range do nothing to adjust there gun to fit them (spacers in the stock or stick on comb adjustment) and contort their bodies to shoot a gun, then complain about how the gun kicks so bad. Manufacturers like Beretta and Benelli (and others) have done a lot by offering guns with spacer/shims that fit between the stock and receiver to allow some adjustment of cast, length and heal positions for shooters. Unfortunately this will not help guys with OU or SxS guns. There are four things a guy should do if he is serious about shooting and wants to do all they can to make his gun fit:

1 - get fitted for your stock for those who can afford it or get coached. Find someone to adjust a "try gun" to determine the right stock length, length of pull, comb height and cast for you.
2 - Take the measurements and adjust your stock your self as you can to get the ergonomics close to correct.
3 - Practice mounting (unloaded) and getting the right sight picture naturally, without having to adjust your body.
4 - more practice !

Have fun and shoot more.

APEXDUCK
 

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Thanks for the info guys. I feel that I have achieved a fit that allows me to repeatably mount the gun with the proper site picture. As of today I've confirmed that the pattern is centered around where I point the bead by shooting at a pattern board. Now all that's left is to select the best choke for my gun (at this point I only shoot American skeet) and practice maintaining the proper site picture subconsciously while focusing on the bird (much easier said than done, I'm sure). Are there any rules of thumb for choke selection? I've heard things that suggest an optimum pattern size at a given yardage for skeet choke selection. If this is true, what is the pattern size and yardage? Thanks again...

I forgot to log on when I posted the question...... - speed3172
 

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Great post, APEXDUCK.

APEXDUCK said:
Manufacturers like Beretta and Benelli (and others) have done a lot by offering guns with spacer/shims that fit between the stock and receiver to allow some adjustment of cast, length and heal positions for shooters. Unfortunately this will not help guys with OU or SxS guns.
Out of curiousity, why are the O/U and SxS guys out of luck? Is it simply that these makers only offer these options on pumps and/or semis?

-- Sam
 

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SAML,

OU and SXS shooters can nto use shims the go between the stock and action because they are fitted together such that will not allow the use of shims. You can add stick on combs and spacers to the butt and even adjustable butt plates but to adjust cast on or off , like done with the use of shims, you will need serious stock work done.

APEXDUCK
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Assuming a stock fits correctly and that no change in stock dimensions are necessary to allow a good swing or to help keep the cheek on the comb, only the adjustment of an adjustable comb is useful in changing the POI.

It is because the comb is affectively positioning the position of the eye acting as the rear sight on a shotgun. If the rib on a gun does not slope down in the front, aligning the beads with one directly behing the other should create a flat shooting gun, one that does not shoot a little high to allow forward lead on straightaway targets without covering the target.

With the beads in a figure-8 pattern, the gun should shoot about 4" high at 40 yards, depending on the length of barrel.

Shims to alter stock dimensions is near the bottom of useful ways to change stock dimensions. Except for using a flat shim to lengthen LOP slightly, shims always change more dimensions than the one needing change. for this reason, it isnearly impossible to get a gun to fit using shims.

Manufacturers began using shims as a quick and dirty way to change stock dimensions. Something had to be done because shooters were beginning to learn about stock fitting and were realizing that one set of dimensions cannot be correct for the vastly different sizes and shapes shooters come in.

Unfortunately, shims are being used while their users ignore other dimensional changes (besides the targeted dimension) that are also occuring.

Without stock fitting knowledge, it is the best that can be done (along with anadjustable comb) to get a stock to fit. The addito0n of a stock adjuster to reposition the recoil pad helps, but only if the user knows what he's doing. Using one to create more drop at eht heel also changes the correct LOP and sometimes, the necessary pitch.

Rollin
http"//stockfitting.virtualave.net
 

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With an automatic, the buttstock literally butts right up to the end of the receiver with the stock bolt going through the buttstock to hold the stock and receiver together. The trigger assembly, bolt, and all the action parts (except the recoil spring) are inside the receiver. Shims are an excellent (and inexpensive) way to adjust the cast and drop on an automatic shotgun. LOP can be adjusted by adding/removing length from the end of the stock such as by changing recoil pad thickness.

With an O/U, the buttstock must fit snugly with the top and bottom tangs and enclose the lockworks (hammers, springs, etc). A good mating of the stock with the shoulders of the receiver is crucial or else the stock would crack from the recoil. If you will remove the buttstock from an O/U, you will see all the contours that must match up so well where the receiver/tang/lockworks meet the wrist area of the buttstock.

With an automatic, the changing or adjusting of a shim will allow a person to easily change the cast or drop of a stock (within certain limits of course) to suit them. The change takes only a few minutes and can easily be changed again with no permanent modification to the stock.

With an O/U, changing the cast or drop of a stock usually involves bending the stock or removing wood from the comb. Both of these things cost several hundred dollars to get done and are generally considered permanent changes to the stock. Once you spend hundreds of dollars to get the stock to fit you, it may not even come close to fitting the next person who may be interested in buying the gun. Also, if you gain or lose weight or change your shooting style, the stock may no longer fit you, requiring yet another expensive stock modification.

Just thought you might want to know.
 

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Gee, I guess I could have looked at my semi and my O/U to compare how the stocks were mated to the receivers before I asked that question... Duh. :oops:

Makes perfect sense. Thanks.

-- Sam
 
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