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"Stock Fitter's Bible" Removing limitations

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Rollin Oswald, Mar 26, 2009.

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  1. Rollin Oswald

    Rollin Oswald Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Brillion, WI
    "Stock Fitter

    All of us suffer from limitations that affect our shooting. If they could be eliminated or reduced, we could shoot better. Unfortunately, most are either difficult or impossible to reduce, let alone, eliminate. Some involve impaired vision, reduced hand/eye coordination, psychological factors and reaction time. These are ones that are most difficult to combat.

    Limitations to your shooting success caused by a flawed shooting form (stance, gun mount, body [particularly head] posture) unlike the others, CAN be eliminated. For example, use the wrong stance and the swing can get sloppy or we run out of swing distance before reaching hard-angled targets. This can cause arm-swinging the gun rather than using body rotation. The risk is moving the stock away from the cheek and changing the gun’s POI.

    Using the wrong gun mount causes a number of problems, all detrimental and score-robbing. The head and/or neck may be leaned forward; this can cause head-raising during swings and result in shooting over targets. It may not cause a clean miss but when coupled with an imperfect sight picture, targets WILL be lost.

    A comb at the wrong height, either too high or too low, can cause lost targets as well. To make matters worse, like head movement, the cause of these occasional losses like a solution, is difficult to come up with.

    The solution to these and other problems is a bit of knowledge and a willingness to change.

    Over the years the elements of shooting form have changed; they have evolved. In so doing, they have improved and become more effective. Over time, it became obvious that certain shooting postures (particularly, head position), stances and gun mounts resulted in more successful shooting. It is the reason old guns have different stock dimensions than newer guns. Stock dimensions are key because they determine the shooting form that can be used.

    When shotguns are designed, the stock dimensions are chosen by their manufacturers - for "average" shooters. Sometimes manufacturers are successful. A small minority of gun buyers find that off-the-shelf guns fit them very well and they can shoot them very well. This is because the dimensions of their stocks fit their particular size and shape. That allows the fortunate few to use the correct shooting form.

    Unfortunately, that does not include most of us. We are forced to shoot guns that do not fit. To be able to shoot them, we are forced to use flawed shooting forms and pay the price in lower scores, delayed improvement with practice and even an unacceptable amount of felt recoil.

    The recent availability of stock shims, adjustable combs and recoil pads has helped considerably but still, many shooters do not know how to adjust them to best enjoy the benefits of correct shooting forms. Many of us do not know what a correct form is nor the benefits that would be ours if we could use it.

    To be able to benefit from a correct shooting form your gun's stock dimensions must allow someone of your particular size and shape (conformation) to use it. If your stock dimensions do not fit YOU, you cannot use a correct form. It's as simple as that.

    Each dimension and sometimes two dimensions in combination, affect different elements of shooting form. For example, the height of the comb affects the vertical POI just like the cast at the comb (and, unfortunately, sometimes gun canting) affects horizontal POI.

    The height of the top of the recoil pad (the heel) or as it is identified, its distance below the rib to determine the drop at the comb dimension, like the gun mount that is used, has a great effect on the position and stability of the head (and eye). Along with it comes the chance of the head remaining in position during swings to targets. This is very important; when the head moves relative to the rib during swings, the pattern 'goes south' and the often too familiar call of "LOST" is heard.

    "Stock Fitter's Bible" explains correct shooting form in detail, how to determine if yours could be improved and what stock dimensions would need to be changed to allow you to correct your form. Instructions are given for checking stock dimensions and if necessary, changing them. This is done in a particular order to avoid mistakes. The book takes you through each dimension step-by-step and discusses the affect(s) on shooting form and explains your options for changing them, if necessary.

    The book explains it all, everything you will ever need to know about trap shooting form and how to fit your gun so you can use the correct form. (It also explains the slight variations in form for skeet and sporting clays shooting in addition to providing tips that will further improve your shooting success.)

    This is not to say that fitting your own gun with the help of a gunsmith or adjustable comb installer is as good as having your gun fitted by a good, professional stock fitter. It is not. A good fitter would instruct you in the correct shooting form and then fit your gun to allow you to use it. Having a gun fitted professionally is always preferable to doing it yourself. It also takes less time.

    If you cannot visit a fitter but have patience and are willing to pay the price of lower scores while getting used to a correct shooting form, you will be well on your way to higher scores, more rapid improvement with practice and very possibly, to enjoying the benefits of reduced felt recoil.

    Click on the Website URL above for more information about the book.

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