Rifle buttstock fitting for a tall person

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by valnar, Sep 17, 2020.

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  1. valnar

    valnar Member

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    I've been meaning to post this forever...so here goes.

    I've been a gun owner for a couple decades now, but rarely shoot my long guns. It's mostly pistols at the range. The reason is because I can never get the few ones I own to fit or feel comfortable. I'm 6' 4" with long arms and a long neck (and cross-eye dominant to boot).

    I suspect I am not doing something right, but I also think a factor is my height and long appendages. At the risk of being ridiculed, I'm hoping some of you experts take the "high road" and help a fellow member out.

    Here is popular gun fit link: http://home.insightbb.com/~bspen/fit.html

    The two rifles I'll use for examples:

    PWS AR-15 with Holosun + 3/4" mount. Straight stock extended out.
    B-drop at comb: 1 5/8"
    C-drop at heel: same
    D-trigger pull: 14"

    Vz.58 Military stock, iron sights
    B-drop at comb: ~ 1 3/4"
    C-drop at heel: 2 3/4"
    D-trigger pull: 12 1/2"

    And my Wicked Ridge Crossbow, to the scope
    B-drop at comb: 1 3/4"
    C-drop at heel: 3 3/4"
    D-trigger pull: 12 3/4"

    Here is a video on the issue:


    What am I doing wrong? What can I do to make it better? Or what could I buy for each gun?

    I didn't even show the military surplus rifles and bolt actions I own, but similar problems. Assuming a fixed stock & sight, like a Mosin-Nagant or Swiss K31, what could I do?

    -Robert

    PS. All guns were cleared before the video!
     
  2. danez71

    danez71 Member

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    I have shorter guy issues. I don't make fun of people for being the way they were made.

    It does seem like your arms and neck are a little longer than typical for your height. My wing span is a little on the shorter side for my height. My wife has a shorter neck. We were all just made this way.

    I'm sure someone else can give better feedback....

    Raising the gun up that much creates other issues.

    The simple answer is craning your neck down more and keep the stock in the pocket instead of at the top of your shoulder. Or get a scope... maybe with tall mounts even.

    Lengthening the LOP would probably be good for you. You coukd try just by adding a recoil pad of some sort. It may help with the neck issue too by not for forcing you to not only crane down a lot and also forcing you to try keep good face distance
     
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  3. stillquietvoice
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    stillquietvoice Contributing Member

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    Well it's easier to the stock longer with an after market recoil pad like the slip on limb saver.... As for the drop there are cheek risers to adjust height. Of course there are always after market stocks like boyds at one available, they will make up your specific dimensions.
    Hope this helps
     
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  4. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

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    Start with your posture. When holding your rifles, it looks like your leaning back with more weight on the rear foot than the front. Try leaning forward at the hips and adjust your feet a little bit to keep your balance. Shift your weight evenly divided between both feet. Square up your upper torso to the target. Squaring up will shorten the LOP needed. You can raise (shrug) your shoulder(s) a bit, and if you need to lower your face, push it forward and down, not sideways. Build your stance, then bring the rifle up to your face. Adjust it as necessary.

    If your optics end up too close to your face, push the optics forward.

    I'm about 6'1" with long arms and neck (not quite as long as yours) and have been shooting rifles with stocks a bit short since I turned 14. I find I can mount a rifle with a shorter stock faster. Stocks that are the "right" length catch on my shirts & shirt pockets.

    Work on your stance. It may not eliminat all your problems, but it will go a long way to correcting them.
     
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  5. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

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    Here's a video showing how to build a good stance (the instructor calls it "platform" because the shooter is the platform, not the rifle). The guy demonstrating the stance is short and compact, but the basics are the same.

     
  6. valnar

    valnar Member

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    I think I've tried all these suggestions but nothing gets my head and eyes comfortable while at the same time getting over 30% of the butt on my shoulder. It's like one or the other.
     
  7. Outlaw75

    Outlaw75 Member

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    OP, how tall are you?
     
  8. valnar

    valnar Member

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    6' 4"
     
  9. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

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    If Hickock45 can do it, so can you:thumbup:
     
  10. Outlaw75

    Outlaw75 Member

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    I was going to suggest that the OP drop Hickock45 a note on Facebook or his YT page, both he and his son are 6'8" and I'm sure they've dealt with similar issues.
     
  11. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    Have you tried those comb-riser pads?
     
  12. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    Check out this video by Boyd’s. This is how I figured out an issue I had with a couple of stocks. Maybe it’ll work for you.

     
  13. WrongHanded
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    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    I'm 6'-5" on a short day. Drop pistol grips stocks aren't my preference. But I can use them fine.

    Put the bottom corner of the stock in your shoulder pocket. Push your shoulder forward a little (the opposite of good posture), to deepen the pocket and move the rifle forward relative to your centerline. Push your face down towards the back of the receiver.
     
  14. valnar

    valnar Member

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    I don't think his height matters. He doesn't have a long neck.


    I'll keep working on it, but I think my neck is the issue, not the arms. However, this is helping a bit. It does feel weird, but works better than stretching my neck down & forward.
     
  15. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    You can add a butt pad to the stock to give you a little more LOP, but most tall folks square up more when running an AR and the stance if more cheek forward to the point that your nose is almost touching the charging handle. The negligible recoil of a 5.56 will make this possible. If that doesn't get your LOP where you want you can purchase either an AR10 tube or an extended buffer tube (both will require additional changes to protect your bolt/gas key from over travel).
     
  16. RKRCPA

    RKRCPA Member

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    I run into the same problem and feel it is a combination of issues. I'm 6'3" and wear a 20/37 dress shirt, but my biggest issue is that I have a severe slope to my shoulder that drops the rifle stock comb further from my eye than it would with someone with a more squared shoulder.

    To combat this I need to increase the length of the stock in order for my cheek to hit the comb in a spot that allows my eye to align with the sight. This is true for rifles and shotguns. I have also learned to "crawl" the stock in order to accommodate this. However, this can cause it's own issues. On an AR type rifle this puts my nose up against the charging handle. And I can forget about using BUIS.
     
  17. Thomasss

    Thomasss Member

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    I'm 6' 10" with 39 inch sleeves. The type of gun you choose can make a difference, but in saying that talk to gunsmith about your problems. My AR is a 5.56 Bushmaster Varmenter; longer gun, more length for adjustment. And I used a conventional scope with extra eye relief, like a Leupold Rifleman. Shotgun; add a Morgan Pad will help out on the comb and add need length.(Field shotguns will shoot like trap guns.) Remington 700 and M1Garand, add a Limb Saver pad. Either a slip on or screw on. And ya, I do schrunch down a lot when I shoot.
     
  18. valnar

    valnar Member

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    Do you have a long neck? I can’t seem to scrunch down enough while keeping the buttstock on my shoulder. I’d be thrilled if ‘only’ scrunching solved it, but getting the toe down far enough is the real problem.

    The main reason I created that video is because, surprisingly, I couldn’t find anyone on YouTube addressing this exact problem.

    I’m sure there are solutions I could find for my AR, but each of my guns may require something different (??).
     
  19. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Member

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    Try the Kentucky rifle solution - use a deeply-cupped buttstock on a rifle and brace it against your upper arm in stead of your shoulder.
    This worked for my Grandpa Claude, who was a long, skinny Alabama hillbilly.
     
  20. valnar

    valnar Member

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    Looking into those Morgan pads. They add more drop below the toe. I think that might do it...
     
  21. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    I really can’t add any more suggestions for the OP’s problem as it’s been pretty well covered. I just wanted to say I now have a backache and my knees hurt just from watching that guy in the first video hold that stance for over six minutes. That may be great for that “instructor” and his “ demonstrator” but not for me. We humans are vastly separated in size and physically abilities and what works for some doesn’t apply to everyone. We each have to seek our own solution.
     
  22. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    The hardest part, really, is what "we" probably ought to fix first--the cross eye dominance.

    OP really needs "chin weld" rather than "cheek weld" to the stock (and I haven't a clue about how to use the non-dominant eye, either).

    Now, a couple of the responses above hinted at part of the rest of the answer. That, with the cross eye dominance, the rifle needs to be less "across" the chest, and more, well, "isosceles" which is going to suggest a more "squared up" stance, than is typical for long arm shooters.

    For people of an average wingspan, such a stance would steal some of the ribcage support for the supporting arm. OP might be long-limbed enough to move the elbow over and carry it off.

    Otherwise, the simplest answer might be to "left hand" rifles, in which case only the LOP needs adjusting.

    Maybe.
    Perhaps.
     
  23. valnar

    valnar Member

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    I'm using my non-dominant eye to maintain my dominant (right) arm. That statement was more anecdotal. I'm not trying to move my head over to use my left eye. Yeah, that would be bad!
     
  24. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    Is your discomfort a matter of where you are contacting the rifle under recoil, or difficulty getting behind the sights?

    I'm not sure whether the following will be of help, but I'm 6'2", long arms and fat and here's my personal take:

    Mostly I shoot bench-rested bolt-action milsurps with buttstock LOPs that are too short for me and offer little hope of a proper cheek weld. Comfortable fit just isn't an option, so I don't think about it -- but then I also reload my ammo in a way that minimizes recoil. My shooting positions from the bench are awful to look at but as long as I'm hitting the target I try not to care.

    I've never really had a stock made to fit me. I don't shoot sporting shotguns, which require a good stock fit in order to point naturally. I'm not into long-range precision rifle (I'd love to try, but there are no suitable ranges within my driving radius), where stock fit is important to maximize stability and minimize movement, usually favoring one shooting position. I haven't been able to afford a Schuetzen rifle, which have stocks are specifically fitted to the individual shooter for the standing position only -- most of those can't even be shot from prone.

    As a barely-related aside, check out the gun yoga toward the end of this short video:



    While I own a few rifles with cheekpieces or thumbholes, my general preference is a stock I can operate effectively from any typical shooting position, and from either shoulder when necessary. I might get pilloried for admitting this, but right now my favorite all-around stock is 'that horrible factory handle' that came with my Kimber 84M Hunter:
    Kimber 84M Hunter.jpg

    When I think of a really uncomfortable stock, I envision a super-short length of pull or sights so low that gymnastics are necessary to line them up. The Chauchat 'autorifle' comes immediately to mind, plus my 4'11" wife's Henry Mini-bolt .22 rimfire rifle with the original stock. Also there's that thing these days about shooting a 'pistol brace', which is too short for just about anyone, from the shoulder.

    I've dealt with my own mild case of cross-eyed dominance with shooting glasses or simply closing my left eye; my late brother had such poor sight in his right eye that he learned to shoot rifles left-handed when he was in the Army National Guard.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2020
  25. Thomasss

    Thomasss Member

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    Here are some more suggestions 1) I am also cross-eyed dominant. I close my left eye when I shoot. I've learn to open it at times, like to scope a deer before I pull the trigger and then close it again. In trapshooting I do the opposite, I close it as I bring up the gun and then open it as I pull the trigger. I have a 93.4 average, so it must work. I don't believe having both eyes open is a true benefit to shooting, so don't worry about it. 2) If you have eye relief or don't have your thumb up your nose scrunching can work when snap shooting. Otherwise I have put my rifle butt pad on the outside of my shoulder and that helped a lot. Later I learned to raise my right elbow above my shoulder which produced a better pocket to put the rifle pad against my collar bone. An elastic comb cover helped a lot as well as a military leather cheek pad. I also added a second bead to my shotgun halfway up the ribb and an old timer taught me that if I see a little space between the 2 beads when I bring the gun up, I will know I am looking down the barrel correctly My shotgun "bible" is on u-tube, "Shooting with the Remington Pros" by D. Lee Braun.
     
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