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How can my 12 ga shotgun fit so badly?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by rpenmanparker, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. rpenmanparker

    rpenmanparker Member

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    I’m not a big, tall guy. I’m not a giraffe. But in order for me to sight down the rib of my Yildiz 12 ga O/U without bending my neck over to the side, I have to raise the butt plate about 3/4 of it above my clavicle totally unsupported by my shoulder pocket. Suffice it to say I have been compromising and bending my head over the gun with the butt plate quite a bit lower. Not ideal. Optimally I want to get my neck and head straight up and relaxed.

    Before anyone suggests I get a fitting, fear not. I am going for one tomorrow. But I expect so much work will be needed on a $450 gun, it will be a real quandary. What to do? I think the stock will need bending down or shimming down about 15°. And then an adjustable comb will need to be installed to raise the comb back up to my cheek pocket.

    Also when I don’t bend my neck over the stock, I can see the need for cast to the left (I’m left handed). That isn’t obvious when I displace my head to the left to get over the stock.

    I’m guessing I’m looking at a $600 bill or more for the work. The fitting analysis is free. Briley only charges for the actual smith work. What to do? Some folks will say the gun isn’t worth it. But because I paid so little for it, I am better able to spring for the fitting work. And the gun shoots great. I do quite well with it considering the bad fit and my inexperience. Decisions, decisions.

    I will report tomorrow what the fitter says.
     
  2. rpenmanparker

    rpenmanparker Member

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    Well this thread hasn't exactly garnered a ton of attention. No matter. I will still let you know what happened today at the fitting. Mike, the fitter at Briley, surprised me by not being the least disturbed by the butt of the stock being partly above my clavicle with my usual mount or my needing to bend my head into the gun to sight along the rib. He rejected any idea that a lot of work was necessary and just recommended bending the stock to reverse the cast since I'm left handed. Currently there is about 1/4 in. cast off. He recommended bending the stock 1/2 in. the other way to get 1/4 in. cast on. He said that alone would be a big help in getting my head more upright. So I signed on for that. Pretty convenient since it is a 7-10 day job, and I will be travelling just about that entire time. Cost will be $140 which is very acceptable to me.

    One other thing he did mention was the use of an adjustable butt plate to get the pressure lower on my shoulder pocket, but he really didn't recommend it. His main objections were how funky it looks and that it tends to allow some upward and backward rotation of the gun due to the chamber/barrels being so far above the point where the gun is pinned in place at the shoulder. He said that if I were comfortable at the shoulder (I am) with the mount I am currently using and the recoil I normally experience, the adjustable butt plate would probably be more trouble than it was worth.

    I can't complain about a gunsmith advising against doing any work at the cost of business to himself. I will report when I get the gun back how the fit has changed and how I like it.
     
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  3. kudu
    • Contributing Member

    kudu Moderator Staff Member

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    Glad you have an economical solution that I hope will work for you.
     
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  4. jaguarxk120

    jaguarxk120 Member

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    Chances are changing the cast will solve many problems. I once had a Russian
    Remington single shot in 20 gauge. Never shot it too much cast off and I too am left handed.
    The gun would not shoulder well.
    All of my guns are neutral cast and handle OK for me.
     
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  5. Wis-Harpo

    Wis-Harpo Member

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    When I was in High School 2 friends had Ithica model 37 pump shotguns , a 16 gauge and a 12 gauge. Both of them kicked like a mule. Fit must have been all wrong for me. That was in the mid 1960's and I shot a Remington model 31 in 20 gauge, and I have never wanted to shoot a model 37 again. I shoot my Remington 100'S and 870'S with no problem.
     
  6. Jeb Stuart

    Jeb Stuart Member

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  7. rpenmanparker

    rpenmanparker Member

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    Thanks Jeb, but I’m afraid that is the wrong answer. My problem is my eyes being too high above the rib. If I raise the comb with a pad without raising the rib, the problem will be worse. Or so it seems.
     
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  8. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    One option is to sell the shotgun and buy one with an adjustable stock.

    There are auto loaders that take shims to adjust the stock. Never seen an O/U that has shims.

    I like O/U's for targets and SxS's for field. I would give that up and buy an auto for a stock that fits. A shotgun is worthless unless the stock fits. Beretta and Benelli both use shims.
     
    George P likes this.
  9. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    The comb is too high. They may be able to shave the comb down and steam some cast on for you. Most stocks have cast off for a right hand shooters. You need more cast on which effectively is cast off for a lefty. Cast off is always away from a right handed shooters cheek. It won't be cheap.

    Looking above the rib is fine for trap as targets are always rising and it forces you to put the POI above the target. Built in lead. You need your eye right down the rib for a bird gun because not all birds fly up. Some fly level or down.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  10. rpenmanparker

    rpenmanparker Member

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    Thanks. I like your idea, BUT I’m a leftie. Maybe the gases blowing out the gun across my face wouldn’t be a problem, but maybe it would. That’s why I gave up on the idea of semi-autos. Left hand models only come at the top of the lines of the major producers. Too rich for my blood.

    Also If I lowered the stock butt with shims, I would still need to raise back the comb.

    But frankly, the fitter basically said the gun fits pretty good. Let’s see how the change in cast works out.
     
  11. rpenmanparker

    rpenmanparker Member

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    If I press a lowered comb into my cheek pocket, yes that will raise the rib toward my eye level, but the butt won’t be on my shoulder at all. It will be floating above my shoulder. That's no good. The butt would need to be bent at an angle to lower it to catch the main part of my shoulder while raising the rib. Then the comb would need to be raised back up to my cheek pocket.

    But as I said above, the fitter isn’t as concerned as I was. He thinks the cast will do the trick.

    As for cost $140 isn’t too bad. And another gun would not likely be any better. It isn’t going to be left handed. And it will be made for an average guy. Nobody has ever accused me of being average. ;)
     
  12. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    Listen to the fitter. They usually know what you need. Basically they can look at the muzzle when you have the gun in a natural comfortable position and tell what they need to do to the stock to get your eye looking perfectly down the rib. I'll bet the fitter learned his trade in England. Ask him about it.

    I've messed around with this enough that I can tell you what my stock dimensions are from memory. It's like a shoe size for most people.

    I think you have found your solution.:D
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
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  13. rpenmanparker

    rpenmanparker Member

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    Yep, the fitter said I was looking right down the rib perfectly level. I agreed but pointed out the heel of the butt about 1 1/2 inches above my shoulder. He said don’t worry about it if shooting my regular loads isn’t painful. And it isn’t. No problem with recoil at all up to 150 rounds of 1 1/8 oz, 1180 fps loads (or 1 oz, 1250 fps loads) or more. Then I pointed out my head canted a little forward and to the side, and he said that the cast should fix that, at least . Also I understand that an erect head is desirable, but a little forward and/or sideways cant isn’t the end of the world. You see lots of shooters in photos like that. So I’m hopeful.
     
  14. Dibbs

    Dibbs Member

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    The OP is a perfect example of what I was talking about in the other thread. As I got older,
    I came to realize that there were hidden costs to saving too much dough. Like half-baked
    problems at the range, lost time fiddling with problems I didn't need to have in the first place, etc.
     
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  15. rpenmanparker

    rpenmanparker Member

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    If I understand you correctly, I think you are just plain wrong. Unless I had sprung for a custom Purdy or the like, I would have always had the same problem. And If I had paid up the scale for off-the-rack like a Citori, I wouldn’t now be able to afford to have the problem corrected. The money I saved is now being used to customize the gun to my needs. I think that is an ideal situation. Well, it isn’t as ideal as not having any issues to correct at all, but that wasn’t going to happen for less than $10,000.

    And you are ignoring the hobby aspect of shooting. Having a project to work on is a major part of the fun. Just ask Gunny. Getting this shotgun to fit right isn’t a nuisance in the hobby sense; it is a project to be enjoyed. The fact that I don’t have the skills to do the work myself is neither here nor there.
     
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  16. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    I have a couple of lace on cheek pads I've used for a similar problem. Another solution is an "add-a-rib" which is a glue on rib to add height to the original.
     
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  17. rpenmanparker

    rpenmanparker Member

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    Yeah, adding a taller rib wouldn’t be much help for an extreme case, but now that the fitter says things aren’t so bad, that might be a good partial fix to get closer to perfect. And maybe another look at the adjustable butt plate will make sense. A work in progress. Thanks.
     
  18. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    My vote is for an adjustable pad. Works for me.
     
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  19. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    Hopefully the minor tweaks the 'smith is doing will get you on the clays from the first shot.

    Let us know how it goes once you get it back...
     
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  20. rpenmanparker

    rpenmanparker Member

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    What did it cost you, parts and labor, if you don’t mind saying? Thanks.
     
  21. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    I bought the gun used with it already installed.
     
  22. FLNT4EVR

    FLNT4EVR Member

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    Morgan adjustable pad, works great and very comfortable
     
  23. RKRCPA

    RKRCPA Member

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    I was in the same boat with a CZ O/U I purchased recently and added an adjustable pad. I installed it myself without cutting the stock since I needed extra length as well. It is not a perfect fit as I did not sand all the way to the wood but it is close enough that I can go to the range and try it without getting strange looks. I figure after I get it adjusted to the point that I'm happy I can take it to a pro and have the pad fitted the final bit.
     
  24. Random 8

    Random 8 Member

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    https://www.accu-riser.com/categories/Accu%2dRiser-Cheek-Pads-and-Comb-Raisers/ This product may help if you do have a fit problem and not a form problem, and is quite affordable. This is just the first one I found in a quick search.
    I assume from your comments you are shooting this gun for clay games...trap, skeet or sporting. Are you relatively new to the games or a seasoned vet with many bad habits? Have you ever had any formal coaching? I work with a lot of youth shooters (and their parents) and I get similar complaints to yours from people who are trying to AIM rather than POINT a shotgun. Most of them are shooting low-end guns, and it is surprising how well those stocks actually fit the average shooter, sometimes with some minor tweaks.
    What I advise shooters with fit problems of having to ride the buttstock up in the shoulder pocket to try, is to put the butt in the pocket and put their cheek against the comb. Observe "sight picture," there will be considerable daylight between the beads. This is absolutely proper for rising targets with most shotguns. I then have them mount and quickly (without aiming) fire a pattern at 20 yards on the front bead and see the amount of rise. About 70% above center is correct, no fitting required. They then have to break the habit of covering the bird with the barrel, and float it above the bead where it should be. If a high bead is still throwing low to center, or if they cannot maintain cheek to stock within a reasonable realm of bead, then fit is addressed. In most cases of low cheeked or long necked shooters, an add on as posted above is sufficient with 1/4-1/2" of rise to the comb.
     
  25. rpenmanparker

    rpenmanparker Member

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    I’m not aiming. My coaches and the fitter have all agreed that my eyeball is correct along the rib when I raise the butt half way above my shoulder and bend my head over the comb to get the comb planted properly in my cheek pocket. So I am trying for a more erect head to keep my eyes level with each other. Hopefully the cast correction will offer some help. I will tackle this bit by bit.

    I don’t get setting up a gun for rising targets when there are so many other kinds encountered. Seems to me the gun should be set up dead on and each type of target should be handled as encountered by appropriate lead.
     
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