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Explain pitch to me

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Bridger, Mar 30, 2008.

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  1. Bridger

    Bridger Member

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    I know what it is, I'm just not sure I understand it and the effects it has on recoil and controlling the gun. As I look at the guns I own and try to measure the pitch by standing it flat on the recoil pad against a wall, it seems all of my guns have various amounts of pitch. My Kolar with its standard factory stock has almost no pitch. Looking at the stock, the toe sticks out quite a bit further than the heel. If you stand it flat on the recoil pad against a wall, the barrel is close to parallel to the wall. At the other end I have a Krieghoff K20.. Its difficult to measure on the Krieghoff as the opening lever is so large it prevents getting the gun up close to a wall by trying to stand it flat on its recoil pad. But just looking at it, its cut just about opposite of the Kolar with the heel out further than the toe. The other guns I have seem to be somewhere in between these two. Recoil is not an issue with either gun and I am shooting both of them pretty good but why the great difference in the way the stocks are cut? Is one preferable over the other ? I know I can experiment with washers but where should I start?
     
  2. jimrich60

    jimrich60 Member

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    Bridger:

    Shotgun gun varies greatly by manufacturer. In my experience, Beretta usually has a great deal of down pitch, others have more or less neutral pitch, have not run across any with negative or up pitch but I suppose it is possible.
    In very general and broad terms, the pitch of your gun can affect both the comfort (i.e., felt recoil) and the POI to some extent. As far as felt recoil, excessive pitch can mean that the shooter is not getting the benefit of the full area of the buttpad making full contact with the shoulder. Reduced contact area concentrates felt recoil, thus making the gun "kick harder" (perception mostly). In an extreme case, too much down pitch (i.e., the toe is much shorter than heel) recoil can force the gun to pitch downward at the moment of firing since the toe of butt might not be fully supported in the shoulder, thus lowering the actual point of aim before the shot exits the barrel. Extreme negative pitch or up pitch (heel shorter than toe) could have the opposite effect. In most cases, most shooters will probably not see any significant different with different factory pitches, but a few shooters do notice some issues, and thus alter the pitch to something more to their particular liking/need. If you are comfortable with your guns, then whatever their factory pitch is just fine. If you want to experiment for some reason, then use the above guideline-increasing down pitch (washers or whatever in the upper pad screw) may mean you actually shoot a bit higher, and increasing the negative or up pitch, the opposite. But the main effect may be only a slight increase in felt recoil reduction, or an increase in some cases. I did change the down pitch on my Beretta 391 (decreased the down pitch by a small amount, and do feel it increased shoulder contact and thus reduced felt recoil, but not a great amount. Mostly pitch issues are a purely personal or perceived thing.

    Jim R
     
  3. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    I suggest experimenting with the washers. Increase and decrease the amount of pitch and see if it makes the gun more comfortable to shoot. And most important find the sweet spot where you break the most targets with comfort. HMB
     
  4. miketmx

    miketmx Well-Known Member

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    With the right amount of pitch, the top and bottom of the recoil pad should make contact with your shoulder pocket at the same time. I need a fair bit of down pitch otherwise the toe of the pad digs into my shoulder pocket.
     
  5. skeeljc

    skeeljc Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    I once asked a good gun fitter about pitch. He said my gun should have some.

    Jim Skeel
     
  6. over the hill

    over the hill Active Member

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    Jimrich.

    Since you have a 391 you may be able to give my son some advise.

    He bought a 391 Urika that someone shortened the stock. It now has downpitch of about 82 degrees. It appears to have been shortened about 5/8". He has long arms and has tried a factory Optima which he said felt good.

    We are going to make a spacer to try since 1/2" is as thick as I can buy.

    Would you suggest washers to start?

    Thanks...Gerald
     
  7. jimrich60

    jimrich60 Member

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    Over the Hill:

    While I do not understand your reference to "87 degrees", if your 391 has been shortened and now has excessive down pitch, I would use several pitch spacers glued together to regain a proper pitch angle at the butt. Pitch spacers are available at most gun supply shops (Brownells, Midway, etc) in various thicknesses (i.e, tapered 1/16th to 1/4, etc ) and can be combined in many ways to both increase the length of the buttstock and change pitch angle. You can use a combination of pitch change, and single thickness spacers, along with a recoil pad of greater or lesser thickness to return to stock to factory length (Beretta 391 typically has a factory length of about 14 5/8 inch LOP) so if the butt has been shortened 5/8 inch, combine the spacers so that they are 5/8 inch thick at the mid point, lesser at the heel and greater at the toe to reduce the existing pitch back to something more comfortable and reasonable for your son. You will then have to use screws of much longer length to attach the pad and combined spacer to the butt. Just what pitch is best is a personal thing, so you may have to experiment with various pitch angles to determine what works best. Using washers to space as a test bed is ok to determine this. Just add/remove spacers to get the LOP right and the pitch right, then when you determine the right dimensions, buy a combination of spacers from one of the suppliers, glue them together, grind to fit along with the recoil pad and you should be good to go. Note that if the butt has been shortened excessively, you might find it easier to try to find a replacement butt stock which has not been cut of course.
     
  8. skeeljc

    skeeljc Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    I have had goos success using a rubber slip-on pad and spacers cut from a sheet of plywood. Jus cut the spacers with a jigsaw to fit inside the slip-on pad. The slip-on pad can be temporarily secured with duct tape. I made a temporary pitch change spacer by glueing pieces of heavy cardboard from the back of a writing tablet together in a stair step fashion.

    Jim Skeel
     
  9. over the hill

    over the hill Active Member

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    Thanks to all for the help. I determined the degrees by laying a long precision level along the rib and used a combination of straight edge and protractor to determine the angle of cut. (pad off). Most Berettas I have seen are about 0 pitch (new). Sorry if this doesnt make any sense.

    I am going to have to get in line for one of Rollin Oswalds new books I guess.

    The stock combination gauge advertised on this site shows what I attempted to measure.

    Thanks...Gerald
     
  10. jimrich60

    jimrich60 Member

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    Gerald:

    I think I understand your pitch now-if so, what you actually have is about 8 degrees of pitch ( I assume down pitch) which is 90 degrees (vertical) minus your measured 82 degrees. However, pitch is not normally expressed in degrees, but in inches of deviation from a line drawn along the rib (the rib is used as the measurement start because it forms the line of sight (not the barrel/bore which of course deviates to a greater or lesser degree from the line of sight, thus giving lower or higher POI. The common way to measure pitch is to place the butt flat on the floor, up to flat surface (wall), then check distance rib is from wall (normally in inches) but the tools such as you used, or those made specially for the purpose are more accurate.

    Using your measurement of degrees though, 8 degrees of down pitch would not be that unusual, particularly for the 391. But if this is not comfortable for you, then experimenting with various pitch changes may help you settle on what is best for your shooting/style. Then when you have determined what works, combine one or more pitch spacers between the butt and recoil pad to get what you want in the way of pitch. The main thing in this is to get the most surface area of the pad fitting into the shoulder pocket-that is, it should touch firmly at heel, toe, and the middle.

    One other thing, proper stock length (contrary to popular myth) is not properly determined by the arm length, etc. It has much more to do with neck length (which determines face placement on the comb) facial contour, and other factors. One rule of thumb to use is that the face should naturally fall about an inch or so from the thumb when the stock is gripped properly and the check placed on comb. In a trap gun particularly, most shooters like longer length stocks than in skeet or sporting clays (tho longer lengths are becoming more common in these sports also) but comfort and the gun cheeking comfortably, with the eye falling naturally to the bead/rib alignment are what really matter. Too short a stock will result in crowding the comb while too long will make the gun more difficult to properly align and swing. But within reason, stock length is personal preference as much as anything unless having the gun fitted by a pro.


    Jim R
     
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