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Gun Fit Fact or Fiction


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For what its worth here's my opinion from the other side of the counter  so to speak .

You can not it a gun to someone who has no experience of handling a gun or can not shoot.

You can not fit a gun to someone who won't listen and take your advice .

There are to many so called coaches who have opinions on what is needed not on what the customer actually needs eg . " I like long stocks and I shoot well ,therefore a long stock will make you shoot better " 

70% of most shooters problems can be down to stance and mount .

An experienced gun fitter does not  necessarily need a try gun for most gun fittings but thats not say they are not useful especially in cases of custom built guns .

I have done hundreds of gun fitting and stock alterations with out one and have also recommended customers to go to specific shooting grounds that have them .

You can have several guns that fit you but the dimensions may vary .

No matter what you do to a gun you still have to learn where it shoots and how to use it .So a new gun needs to be used first as you may have learned bad habits with a previous gun , The gun may fit you but you dont fit the gun .

Too many people are ready to give advice without knowing what the problem is , so telling someone they need an adjustable comb because they have a problem can be so wrong  .

It all comes down to talking and looking , analyzing the problem and making adjustments . I always advised a step at a time  as long as the overall perimeters were about right may be a bit of cast , alter the length , or just practice holding the damned thing right first  .

 

 

 

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This thread brought to mind an incident of some years ago about gun fit and the shooter .

To be as brief as possible , a man orders a new gun from a smaller British gunmaker ,he is know to be a good game shot and a county clay shooter  he is measured for the stock , he then goes to 2 shooting grounds that have try guns and is measured again . 

In consultation with the gun maker the measurements are coordinated and agreed, the gun built and tried before the stock is fully finished  , some minor alterations are made . The gun is finished and delivered .

 The customer is delighted and bores every one he knows showing off his new gun . Problem is he can not shoot it as well as his older Italian sidelock he has shot for many years .

He is measured again and the stock is exactly as ordered so whats the problem ? 

Eventually it was discovered that the gun fitted him but as he had adapted his style of shooting to his previous gun that did not fit him as well as it  could have , that when mounting the new gun he was automatically adapting to the old gun thus throwing the measurements out . 

Answer was to either make the stock on the new gun the same as the old one ,so in fact it did "not fit him " or effectively  learn to shoot again . 

Old habits the hardest to break and can be one of a gun fitters biggest problems .

 

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Thanks everyone who have contributed so many interesting posts on this topic. When I originally started this post I never imagined there would be so much interest. I thought that there would be a handful of posts at best. Clearly "gun fit" strikes a chord with many shooters. It seems clear that we can adapt to pretty much any gun but it's easier to adapt to something that is half right in the beginning. For example I have seen big guys with small guns which are way too small for them and small guys with guns far too large. Getting a gun that is of roughly the right size is paramount. Might be obvious but a starting point. Obviously linked with size of gun is weight. A small guy will struggle with weight and consequently another reason why he might shoot badly. In my opening gambit, I mentioned that I was sold a gun which appeared to fit me. It didn't it was too big and a lump. It was a rushed purchase. When purchasing a gun try a few. Put them down and go back another day and see which gun flies to the shoulder with ease. Don't rush the process. Admittedly this might be difficult if you have your eye on a secondhand gun which may not be there on your next visit. In which case put a deposit on it. The Dealer will almost certainly transfer your deposit to another gun should you decide against your original choice. Finally and this may seem obvious, decide primarily what your gun will be used for. Clays or field. The manoeuvrability is important in a hide but not on a clay ground. Maybe, just maybe I can see some reason for attempting a fit for clay shooting but for pigeon shooting in a hide, don't bother. And while you are at, anathema to some, a decent semi-auto with no shiny bits has to be the weapon of choice in a hide. And don't forget some semi-autos have the clay ground in mind. Again, make sure you buy the right gun for the right job. Any other choice whether O/U or SBS will be based on tradition.  Nothing wrong with that if it's what you are comfortable with.  Next up from me will be Gun Mount.

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I was allowed to try out as many guns, as I wanted at parklodge. I had a budget so just stuck to that. I shot around 25 clays with 4 guns before I decided the one I wanted. It was the one I obviously shot the best with, a Spanish game gun. 

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9 minutes ago, washerboy said:

I was allowed to try out as many guns, as I wanted at parklodge. I had a budget so just stuck to that. I shot around 25 clays with 4 guns before I decided the one I wanted. It was the one I obviously shot the best with, a Spanish game gun. 

Well done, That's the way to do it. Just as a matter of interest, I've witnessed stocks being "fitted". This is not a slur, just an observation, I couldn't believe just how crude the process is. Hack a bit off with a band saw, shave some off with an electric file and all done in a matter of minutes.  Sand it down and voila. Quite incredible when compared to a bespoke suit that I had made.  

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9 minutes ago, Balotelli said:

Well done, That's the way to do it. Just as a matter of interest, I've witnessed stocks being "fitted". This is not a slur, just an observation, I couldn't believe just how crude the process is. Hack a bit off with a band saw, shave some off with an electric file and all done in a matter of minutes.  Sand it down and voila. Quite incredible when compared to a bespoke suit that I had made.  

If I was spending thousands then I would want as you say a stock, comb etc properly fitted. I spent £400 but did shoot one gun double that and one if I remember rightly was nearly £1100.

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