Rifle fit (stock length, pull, drop etc)

JMH123

Well-Known Member
I know the importance of this with shotguns, but despite owning numerous rifles over the years (many second hand) I suddenly realise I have never given any thought to this with rifles, perhaps taking the view that (other than in extremis) I can adapt to fit. I now notice my Rigby has a very short pull for my hands (pistol grip to trigger) but I seem to manage.

Assuming one holds the rifle properly to avoid excessive recoil etc, and pulls the trigger with the first joint of the finger, is gun fit really a big deal with rifles? Some feel more 'comfy' than others, but is there more to it than that?

thanks
 

mallettn

Well-Known Member
Yes - right length and cheek weld height both matter. Especially cheek weld height so you get perfect sight picture though scope when you mount the rifle. I have had all my rifles lengthened to the same length so they feel right and have fitted cheek raisers (not expensive adjustable ones) where necessary.
 

Southern

Well-Known Member
Just try shooting iron sights, especially open sights, and especially walking up deer or boar, or shooting driven boar from a stand. You will want your sights to be aligned when the buttplate presses into your shoulder. You should be able to mount the gun with your eyes closed and find the sights aligned when you open your eyes.

Fit is also important in more subtle ways. If the rifle doesn't fit you well, you must adjust yourself to it, which requires stretching or compressing your frame and tensing muscles, pulling on the rifle instead of just letting it sit in your hands - all of which contributes to movement of the sights all about the target, instead of settling down like a fly on honey.
 

welshwarrior

Well-Known Member
As above gun fit with a rifle is as important as a shotgun, by we are also seeing less people have shotguns fitted and just making do.
 

Taff

Well-Known Member
Rifle fit is as important as shotgun fit, but more important is correct eye relief and scope height, both effected by rifle fit, most of our customers will come in with a particular brand in mind, convinced by advertising that one make will make them a better shot than another, where as most guns will out shoot the shooter, having a minimum of seven different makes on the shelf at anytime proves this point often, take today a customer came in for a tikka t3x, apparently the best gun available according to his mates, yet after shouldering several rifles, he was left with a browning A bolt, and a Kimber hunter to choose between.
As much as he wanted the Tikka, he said it did not feel right. Tomorrow he will be back to try the rifles with his choice of scope fitted.
when he leaves with his choice of gun , it will come up like a extension of his arm.
 

McKenzie

Well-Known Member
I'm not questioning your opinion, just curious as to why people aren't getting it done?

I shoot both sbs & o/u & there's just no way I could pick up a new un-fitted gun & use it in a meaningful way, although I'd have a better chance of hitting something with an un-fitted o/u. I tend to use the sbs in a quick, instinctive manner for game & the o/u in a more considered style for clays.

My most recent o/u purchase has an adjustable comb & I'm finding it fantastic to be able shoot at pattern plates & adjust the positioning accordingly. Even with the adjustable comb I'm still considering having some cast put on the gun to make it come to the shoulder/eye quicker; I have a feeling that I'm fitting my body to the gun rather than the other way round, with the sbs allowing me to have a squarer (more natural) stance & the o/u requiring me to angle my body more.


The people I see as a shooting instructor and gun fitter
 

Gunner

Well-Known Member
It's a pity there isn't such a thing as a "try rifle" along the lines of a "try gun" used for shotgun stock measurements. I guess it could be easily developed but that there just isn't enough demand for one. Also the number of custom rifle stock craftsmen willing to adjust a factory wooden rifle stock is probably limited - more's the pity.

I agree with previous comments that the rifle stock and fitting make a huge difference. I might go down the route of a GRS adjustable stock one day to gain some ability to fit it to me.
 

jcampbellsmith

Well-Known Member
Rifle fit is important. I observe folk shooting my rifle well, but to a slightly different point of impact when they are of a different build to me. Regards JCS
 

Southern

Well-Known Member
It's a pity there isn't such a thing as a "try rifle" along the lines of a "try gun" used for shotgun stock measurements. I guess it could be easily developed but that there just isn't enough demand for one.
There actually are, in some of the target rifles, and the AR-15 choices, which all have very adjustable stocks.
 

JabaliHunter

Well-Known Member
Out of interest, why do you think more people are making do without fitting shotguns?
Money - most people are buying guns and rifles off the shelf with factory dimensions. It costs extra to have a gun fitted and stock altered. And how many guns are now bought from gun makers who have the capability to do the fitting and altering?
 

enfieldspares

Well-Known Member
There's a rough and ready formula that says a rifle should have a shorter LOP that your shotgun and about 1/4" to 1/2" more drop.

The reason being for the drop that a shot gun puts 60% of its charge above the "mark" whereas a rifle puts its charge on the "mark" (in effect 50% above). The LOP as the sole trigger in a rifle is usually nearer the butt of the rifle than the front trigger of a shot gun.

OTOH the British Lee Enfield was fitted according to what was needed to give clearance between the rear of a fully drawn back bolt and the firer's cheek. The instrutcor would then order the firer to take a shooting hold and then snap back the bolt to show the firer that a bolt rapidly withdrawn would now not strike his cheek.
 
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The Singing Stalker

Well-Known Member
I was looking at a very nice sauer that was for sale on here and very nice it was to. But, I had to leave it because the stock was too short for me and I would have had to spend a lot of money to get it to fit me correctly. My rifles have raisers and rubber boots fitted on the stocks to adjust the lop. Most rifles out of the shop are about 14.1/4 to 14.1/2 I think. I need about 15.1/2 I think. I worked it out a while ago now.
So it really cheeses me off that I cant buy a rifle that fits from a manufacturer.
 

welshwarrior

Well-Known Member
There's a rough and ready formula that says a rifle should have a shorter LOP that your shotgun and about 1/4" to 1/2" less drop.

The reason being for the drop that a shot gun puts 60% of its charge above the "mark" whereas a rifle puts its charge on the "mark" (in effect 50% above). The LOP as the sole trigger in a rifle is usually nearer the butt of the rifle than the front trigger of a shot gun.

OTOH the British Lee Enfield was fitted according to what was needed to give clearance between the rear of a fully drawn back bolt and the firer's cheek. The instrutcor would then order the firer to take a shooting hold and then snap back the bolt to show the firer that a bolt rapidly withdrawn would now not strike his cheek.
thats got to be very rough as depending on bore and grip type also weight a shotguns length of pull will vary massive you could easily have an inch difference in the lop for 2 guns for the same man both fitting correctly.
 

enfieldspares

Well-Known Member
Shotguns length of pull will vary massive you could easily have an inch difference in the lop for 2 guns for the same man both fitting correctly.
Only if one is a single trigger and the other a double trigger. But between one double trigger gun and another double trigger gun for the same shooter the LOP should be the same assuming he/she is fitted wearing the same jacket.
 

welshwarrior

Well-Known Member
Only if one is a single trigger and the other a double trigger. But between one double trigger gun and another double trigger gun for the same shooter the LOP should be the same assuming he/she is fitted wearing the same jacket.
the different in the lop between a straight hand and pistol grip stock is a lot more than the difference between single and double triggers.

So my dimensions SbS single trigger game gun 16" to centre lop OU full pistol grip clay gun 15 1/8"

I believe your maths is a bit to rough to be of any use, but this is just my experience as a professional gun fitter.
 

McKenzie

Well-Known Member
Almost exactly the same measurements as mine, with the same differences between sbs & o/u..

the different in the lop between a straight hand and pistol grip stock is a lot more than the difference between single and double triggers.

So my dimensions SbS single trigger game gun 16" to centre lop OU full pistol grip clay gun 15 1/8"

I believe your maths is a bit to rough to be of any use, but this is just my experience as a professional gun fitter.
 

enfieldspares

Well-Known Member
So my dimensions SbS single trigger game gun 16" to centre lop OU full pistol grip clay gun 15 1/8"
Ah. Well vis-a-vis SBS vs OU I'll plead total ignorance. Never having either shot an OU nor been fitted for one. In fact I don't think I have even held one "closed" as it were. But from one SBS to another SBS I'll stand by what I said.
 

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