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Thread: Shotgun Fitter

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,638

    Default Shotgun Fitter

    Do any of you know of a shooting instructor that is good at fitting shotguns? My Browning Citori seems to shoot a little high on a fairly consistent basis. However, it could be like the guy who sold me my golf clubs said: "It's not the arrow, it's the Indian!"

    Anyway a Google search for a gun fitter didn't bring me any luck in Indiana. I'm hoping that one of you folks might know of somebody in your area. I thank you for any leads you can give me, but the pheasants won't appreciate it very much!

    Swack

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    199

    Default Arnold missouri, browning repair center about 30 minutes south of arch.

    Will fit your browning for free. But you of course have to get there.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Winchester, KY
    Posts
    109

    Default Gunfitter

    Swack,

    I know it would be a long trip, or maybe you could meet up with him when he's on the road, but, arguably, the best in this country is Todd Nelson. It's money well spent!

    http://www.gunfitter.com

    His web site says he visits Indiana in July, annually.

    Now you have the two extremes to work from.

    Chuck DeArruda
    6 Dec. 2009
    Last edited by ChuckDeArruda; 12-06-2009 at 03:07 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Near Peoria IL (Dunlap)
    Posts
    576

    Default

    Swack,

    I echo Chuck sugestion. I've had them work done on my trap gun and they are excellant. Like Chuck said they travel and have their shop on the truck and you can catch them at various parts of the country and I know they hit the big skeet and trap shoots. They, as many other good fitters, will be in at the Grand in Sparta in southern Illinois the second week in August.

    I think I'd like my field gun shooting 50/50 (center of the pattern at point of aim), but my trap gun is 70/30, and it's adjustable anywhere from 50/50 to 90/10. If my field gunt shot 60/40 I think that would be acceptable as I'd make sure I floated the target slightly above the sights. Fitters will work with you on gun fit and it's not very likely they can do much without an adjustable comb and maybe butt plate. For a field gun some can bend stocks and that can adjust point of impact.

    Good luck
    Bob

    "Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend. "
    -- Corey Ford

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,638

    Default

    Guys,

    Thanks for the info. I wonder what they can do for an aging wingshot with a well carried game gun? It sounds like there may be little they can do without making some major modifications to my gun. If so, maybe a session with a "fit" gun can help determine the proper dimensions for me and I can look into buying a new gun that more closely matches those numbers. Something to look into for sure! Thanks again for the help!!!

    Swack

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Near Peoria IL (Dunlap)
    Posts
    576

    Default

    I work with a few people on gun fit and most if not all are trap shooters where there are some significant differences in what you can do and should do with gun fit.

    With a trap gun you get the advantage of mounting the gun relatively slowly and in way as not to catch your clothing with the gun butt. Field guns have the butt cut at a steeper angle and most have the following dimensions 14.25 inch trigger pull, drop at comb is 1.5 (which varies along the lenght of the comb as the comb is not usually parallel to the sights/rib) and drop at the heel of the stock is 2.38. There is also very little if any cast so they are not set up to align to your left or right eye. This fits maybe 10% of the male population.

    After a person learns the basics, poor gun fit accounts for much of the problems for trap shooters and I assume that is true for us wing shooters as well. But, these are guns we all shoot and that includes me.

    If I had a field gun I liked, and it could take a wood stock, another option is to order a hand fitted stock in the New American Dimensions from Wenig and then file and grind on comb it until you get correct sight picture/point of aim. Finishing is easy with the True Oil. I did that for an older trap gun, but got the machine fitted stock and it took a lot of work to get the inletting fit to the metal. That's all done for you on a hand fitted stock.

    I use to pick up a gun and throw it up and think, man I could shoot this gun, but what I was doing was adjusting the gun to my face so as the sights looked right. I now look at spot at 20 or so yards, close my eyes, mount the gun without moving my head, and then open my eyes to see where it's pointing. For me, if I do that all I see is the rear of the receiver on about all field guns. I don't have field gun that fits, but I do get three shots at relative short distances!
    Bob

    "Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend. "
    -- Corey Ford

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,638

    Default

    Bob,

    At least you get three shots! I have a gun with dual exhaust pipes, so I only get two. I am an "instictual shooter", meaning I have had no instruction other than that I get in the field during the season (which is limited by the scant pheasant population) and a box or two at clay birds before the season opens. That term also means that I am usually unaware of the sight picture until after the shot. When asked how much I led a crossing bird I'd hit I told my partner "Heck, I don't know! If I was looking at the gun trying to figure out how much I was leading the bird I would have missed!"

    My gut feeling is that either the LOP is too short or that the drop at the comb is too great. LOP is probably the easiest to fix. Do you have any idea how adding to the LOP will affect the point of aim?

    Swack

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Winchester, KY
    Posts
    109

    Default Fitting

    Swack,

    With most field guns (stock slopes down at the butt end), theoretically (sp?) increasing LOP will cause your cheek and therefore your eye to set slightly lower. Therefore the gun would shoot a little lower. If the top of the stock were parallel with the barrel(s) (some target guns), adding to LOP should not appreciably change eye - muzzle alignment therefore gun shoots the same.

    The problem with getting the eye too low, as Bob mentioned, is you end up seeing the back of the receiver (and can't possibly see the rib or the bead),,,, which may lead to picking the head off of the stock,,,, now the gun shoots way high.

    It's common for experienced shooters to "get down into the gun". This is a good thing (makes for consistent gun mounts), and if not already, you will be mounting the gun like this when the fitter is finished with ya. , , , Now, as Bob pointed out, none of the off the shelf field guns will fit you (assuming you are somewhere close to "Joe average"). Hence the need for stock work or an adjustable comb. The more you learn about this shotgun stuff the more it will cost you,,,,, ain't this fun! :-)

    Now that I've muddied the water, you'll need a good fitter to straighten out your gun, your gun mount, and what you thought you understood.

    Todd added almost an inch to LOP on my gun (I'm only 5' 11"),,, but it's for shooting the "premounted" games. I wouldn't want a field gun with that much LOP (and the soft sticky pad). A lot of what the fitter can or will do for you will depend on the gun(s) you take him and what you plan to shoot with them. He helped me a LOT!

    Chuck

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Near Peoria IL (Dunlap)
    Posts
    576

    Default

    Swack,

    I think being an instictual shooter is the best as you have this build in mechanism that adjusts for all conditions. This is the way we all learned to throw a baseball or rocks at each other depending which side of town you grew up on. As Chuck said all you need is a consistant anchor point and sight picture that has your eye looking down the barrel and where the gun is shooting. The only easy way to make that happen is with an adustable comb and butt plate. Not that big of deal, but it takes away some of the excuses we all need (%#@* I need to get that gun fitted.).
    Bob

    "Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend. "
    -- Corey Ford

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    76

    Default

    This Gunstore in Traverse City, Mich has a good reputation for gun fitting.

    http://www.fieldsportltd.com/customg...gunfitting.php

    I’m 6 ft. and I find Browning field guns too point high for me, they seem to fit guys under 5’10” best. However their target guns have different stock dimensions that fit me fine. Berettas also fit me well off the rack.

    Before you get fitted, you should “groove” your gun mount for a few weeks. Unless you mount the gun consistently, they won’t be able to help you at all. Start in front of a mirror and check your form paying attention to the following: 1) FRONT HAND MOVES FIRST. If you notice the muzzles “dip” as you shoulder the gun that’s your problem. 2) HEAD STAYS STILL. Don’t try to adjust your head to the gun, it’s much easier to focus on a moving target this way. 3) MOVE AT A NATURAL PACE. If you always mount the gun at the same pace, your brain will be able to calculate leads subconsciously. If you move quickly one time and slower another, your perceived lead will change accordingly.

    Practice mounting your gun 10-20 times a day along the line where a wall meets the ceiling. I find that by doing this a couple weeks before an important shoot really makes a difference.
    "The bird hunter watches only the dog, and always knows where the dog is, whether or not visible at the moment. The dogsí nose is the bird huntersí eye. Many hunters who carry a shotgun in season have never learned to watch the dog, or interpret his reaction to scent."
    Aldo Leopold, Round River

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