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Stock fitting experiences?

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Questor, Dec 10, 2007.

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  1. Questor

    Questor TS Member

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    Have you had a stock fitted to you? Was it worth it? Is it better to get an adjustable stock and do it yourself? About how much do these options cost? Thank you in advance!!!
     
  2. Capt. Morgan

    Capt. Morgan TS Member

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    As car racers are fond of saying, "Speed costs money; how fast can you afford to go?"

    Yes, without doubt, a fitted gun is worth every penny.

    How much does it cost? I guess that depends on how much is done and by whom. Mine cost about $500 to have an adjustable comb and adjustable butt pad and steel thread inserts installed, the comb reshaped and the stock shortened, the pistol grip shape refined and the wood refinished.

    Can you do it yourself? Can you do WHAT yourself? The wood work? Yes, if you're talented enough. I know shooters who have made their own stocks but I wouldn't try the project myself.

    Morgan
     
  3. Barry C. Roach

    Barry C. Roach Well-Known Member

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    Yup and Yup, if you get the right people.
     
  4. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

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    Go here.

    Not jsut, "go to this website" but this is the guy to go to.

    Even better if you can go visit him and have him adjust the stock to you after he's put on the adjustable hardware.
     
  5. Ron Frazier

    Ron Frazier TS Member

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    If you are thinking of getting your gun fit, I strongly suggest Rollin Oswalds book. It will give you a thorough understanding of the terms and relationships involved.It's well worth the price and you will find yourself referring to it later.
    http://www.stockfitting.com/
     
  6. mt

    mt Member

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    If i can offer any advice, get fitted as close to your home as possible. Multiple trips are occasionally required. The fitters were very nice.


    The mistake i think we made is that we went someplace quite far away. What that meant was that we were spending a lot of money and time away from work, flying there and back, taking a hotel, renting a car etc. It never really worked out for me, i spent a lot of money. To be quite honest with you, as a result I rarely shoot trap anymore.
    We have taken several classes with pro's and learned a lot, I have Rollins book which is excellent as well. I'll likely sell many of my trap guns in the spring unless something changes.
     
  7. Ron Frazier

    Ron Frazier TS Member

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    If you decide to go the PFS route you would be wise to talk to these people first.http://www.targetshotguns.com/ I've called them regarding a Western Retro and you won't find a nicer more helpful group anywhere.
     
  8. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    I have had several custom made stocks fitted to me by different professionals. I also made custom stocks for many years. For me, the very best combination is Rollin's book and a PFS.

    If you want to have a wood stock fitted to you, reading Rollin's book is very useful. It is important to communicate with the stock fitter and stock fitting has its own language.

    Pat Ireland
     
  9. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    I've had a dozen or more custom stocks stocks made for me. I'm still shooting two of them after I modified them. Several are gone - impossible to shoot with. The rest are on a shelf because with modification they probably can be made to work.

    I'd call some them - so far at least - a good start on a good stock, a far better setup than anything I've gotten on a gun from the factory. But then, I need a lot of cast, a lot of twist, and can never make up my mind about how high I want it to shoot - so I'm still messing with them all the time, even after 20 years. If your needs are more conventional, maybe all you need is a bit of professional filing and filling and you can be on your way. It's never happened with me, that all.

    A good stockfitter can give you something which is very, very good, but still you will likely have to personally supervise that last step, the part about getting it _exactly_ right, and it's not until you have shot it quite a bit that you can make that final, perhaps tiny, tweek which will give you something which will suit you for the rest of your life.

    What you should be doing, Questor, is mounting your gun on a regular basis and determining exactly what you see when you look down it. Is your master eye completely, totally, centered on the rib? Are you too low, and so behind the receiver as most are with a field stock? If you are above the receiver, as you must be, is the amount of rib you see appropriate for the POI the gun shoots in conjunction with your personal style (which is going to change a lot anyway as you gain more experience)?

    So the way I see it, your first job - and anyone's who is asking himself or herself this question - is not to get on the phone with a custom-stocker, but rather to make an assessment of the stock you have now, it's good and bad points, whether it makes you tilt your head or not, everything about what happens when you mount it. As many have said here already, Rollin's book will be a big help in doing this, but even it must be used as a general guide as to what to look for, not a prescription for fitting a stock since in the end, only the shooter will be able to say, "OK, this is finally it."

    Here's what I'd do. First, come to understand that a stock is a long-term courtship, not a purchase, and you have time to get it right. If mole-skin and spacers can't give you something pretty good, then I'd put away the good wood and get something dinged and rasty that fits your gun, get some Acra-Glas from Brownell's and set goal your as having something which fits no matter how it looks by next autumn or so.

    You will have gotten to understand your gun - and hey, this is trapshooting, you may have sold it and others by then anyway - and then you have a model for a stockmaker to compare with his advice and the new one will be close to what you want, maybe even better. You will also have in your own head a standard by which you can evaluate your next step, be it your own or professional work. Until you have that internal, personal standard, you are counting on opinion and there too much money involved to get it wrong.

    If it's too long now cut it off or better get a pro to do it. Recoil pads look and work best if the person doing the work knows what he or she is doing. But all those small changes are cheap and rectifiable if they turn out to be mistakes. A multi-thousand dollar piece of beautiful, but useless-to-you wood is another story.

    Neil
     
  10. Questor

    Questor TS Member

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    I can't thank you enough for sharing your insights with me. I really appreciate it. This really clears up the nagging thought that fitting a stock once doesn't really make a lot of sense. For example, for winter shooting I want to wear a thick coat, but for summer I want to wear a t-shirt.

    The advice from Neil about mounting the gun regularly is something I have taken to heart. One of the reasons I picked my trap gun was that I really liked the picture when mounting the gun. My field gun was the same way. I just handled guns at stores until I found guns that seemed to handle naturally for me.

    I appreciate the tip on the book. I'll read that because I think that gun fit in general, not just for shotguns, is a topic of great interest.

    It is just stunning to me how much good information I have gotten in a short time from the fine people on this forum.
     
  11. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    I would add to Neil's post one important phase of stock fitting that gives me a little problem. If you do not mount the gun exactly the same way each time, the stock fit will change with each different mount.

    I have often raised my comb around 1/16 of an inch and noticed that I am mounting the gun +- 3/8 of an inch differently. I think I should work first on a consistent gun mount and then adjust the comb, but adjusting the comb is so much easier than doing what I should do.

    Pat Ireland
     
  12. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    I've learned the hard (and expensive) way, so I can tell you Neil is right on this one. I'll also add that a goodly number of "stock fitters" aren't. They are just mechanics that chop up stocks to add adjustable combs or butt plates or the like. Many have strange one technique fits all approaches. Like snake oil salesmen of yesteryear, what I have to sell cures all your ills. Trust me, it's just the ticket. Bull!

    I recently made major adjustments to my custom stock, and I just ignore all the comments from the experts. I know it's a little longer than normal. I know it has less drop at comb and more drop at pad than you consider "right". And oh yes, I DO need that much cast-off. So now, for the first time in 2 years I'm comfortable on the line.

    I called Fred Wenig and told him what I wanted. He cut out a semi-inletted stock from low grade wood . It is oversized in all the dimensions I gave him. I'm going to fit the stock and hack away at it, or add bondo, or whatever so that at the end of next year I have a stock that fits perfectly, and one I mount consistently for months on end. Then I'll send it to Fred, or another stock maker and say, make a nice one just like this. Even then I'll probably add an adjustable comb and pad, just in case.
     
  13. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    Go with a PFS and save yourself 30 years of hassels. Unless of course, you just like the look of polished wood. As well as, have lots of money and time. Then two years later it won't fit, and you'll have to do it all over again. Buy a PFS, and save yourself lots of time, money, and hassel.
     
  14. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    Well, I tried a PFS and liked it a lot. I sent it back because I could not get enough offset out of it, even with the Ultimate Fit Comb. So a PFS is not a cure for everyone's woes.
     
  15. Rollin Oswald

    Rollin Oswald Active Member

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    Ron, mt and Pat;

    Thank you for the praise for my book.

    Rollin
     
  16. Ron Frazier

    Ron Frazier TS Member

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    Well deserved praise, my friend. I don't know why anyone would pursue getting fitted without having some sort of understanding of the process and reasoning. Your book should always be the first step.
     
  17. dverna

    dverna Active Member

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    Most "fitters" are not good at what they do. I need a lot of cast and most of the local stock hackers can not accommodate that. One so called "fitter" completed his work for my girlfriends gun and he made it with a LOP 1" longer than she ultimately needed. Very frustrating - and that after spending over $300.

    Get Rollin's book and understand what your needs are.
     
  18. omahasportingsupply

    omahasportingsupply TS Member

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    I have been considering a custom stock also. Most gun stocks are for large hands with all the fingers in the correct place. My ring and baby finger got smashed and the surgery to repair the spacing could render them worthless. My favorite pistol grip is the 3901RL on the Beretta which is about 2.75" from the pistol grip to the trigger. I think the PFS, would be good since I change weight from summer to winter and then add winter clothes. The problem is I don't think the PFS can be adjusted to compensate for the shorter distance from the pistol grip to the trigger. Wenig could make me a custom grip and stock but then would I have to have several stock for different weights? I sweat off a few pounds selling shells at shoots in the summer. In the winter, I load shells and watch football games so I put a few back on. I have used Rollin's book to help a number of kids on our youth trapshooting team, but there ain't a picture in Rollin's book of anything that remotely looks like me. Add the short neck and big shoulders and you have a ....... weeble! I currently shoot the 3901RL, BT99 MICRO, and a Model 12 that I bought from a short shooters estate, custom wood! If I would sell some of the guns that don't fit me and a few reloaders I don't use, I could afford either. Maybe I just need to reread Rollin's book and look for the weeble diagram. IMHO Omaha
     
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