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How much to cut off the stock?


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My wife (Fox Creek Stitcher) and I just aquired our first shotgun.  It's a 97 clone.  My wife is short, and since she's not likely to get longer arms any time soon it looks like the stock needs to be cut down for her to shoot comfortably.  My question is, how do we determine what the proper length of pull should be for her?

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The EXACT stock length to fit anyone is a process of fitting the stock and requires someone experienced in shotgun stock fitting to get Just Right!

That being said. You can get very close by having the shooter hold the stock in a normal shouldered position and finger on the trigger. (Make sure gun is unloaded)

measure the distance from the trigger to the inside of the elbow joint. This should be close to the shooters normal length of pull. Mark the stock at this length and make the cut parallel to the original cut minus the thickness of any recoil pad you intend to add.

 

Shooters shooting pump shotgun may desire a shorter pull because of the operation of the pumps action but beware of thumbs hitting noses when the gun is fired.

I suggest a high quality sorbothane recoil pad for all female shooters. Remember that ladies tend to put a shotgun on their arm rather than the shoulder. Make sure the butt of the gun is directly where her bra strap would normally be. (Sometimes the physical makeup of the female shooter prevents this)

A properly fitted shotgun is a joy to shoot and misses are almost nonexistent on stationary targets when properly shouldered. A poor fitting shotgun can be a triple threat. Misses, excessive felt recoil, and a frustrated shooter.

 

 

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GENERALLY, with the butt resting in the crook of the elbow, the trigger finger should rest on the trigger. Some folks cut their doubles shorter because it's quicker to reload off the shoulder. For this game, we are generally shooting ground targets, rather than aerials, so it's also beneficial to many shooters to cut the butt to some degree of negative pitch.

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Sorry guys but elbow to trigger just doesn't work for the ladies and kido's. 

The crook of the elbow to the trigger method is a good method for skeet and other games where the gun is already mounted and you don't have to work the action. Doesn't work well for what we do. What I've found for both but particularly for the ladies is the stock should be just long enough to allow the thumb of the trigger hand to be no closer than an 1" but not more than 2" from the shooters nose. Generally, if the stock is longer the crook of the elbow will be extended beyond 90% and because the ladies and youths generally don't have the upper body strength that men do and the ladies also have those protrusion there on their chest that can get in the way, so the gun will be too front heavy. When you see that new shooter leaning way back struggling to hold the gun up that is usually the reason why, the stock is just too long.

Also the stocks on most of the CAS SXS guns are designed for aerial targets. When you point them toward the ground the positive toe of those stocks tends to dig into your shoulder when you fire. This will eventually cause the shooter to let the stock move down on shoulder which brings the front end up. Shot goes high. Savvy shooters will lean way into the shot but that usually doesn't’t work for the lady shooters. So, now that positive toe is nailing them. For the shotguns besides shortening the stock I like cut them so the pad is about 5 degrees negative. That helps take some of the felt recoil away shooting at our ground targets.

 

Here’s a good example. This young lady was 11 years old when this picture was taken. This first pic is her with one of the youth size Henry 22’s and as you can see she is still struggling to hold it up.

 

[url="LousiannaStarsrifle.jpg 

Here she is with a 12ga Baikal SXS that is cut to about 10”LOP with a mercury recoil reducer and good pad at about 5 degrees. Her stance isn’t that great but she is definitely in more control of the gun.

 

[url="LousiannaStarsShotgun.jpg 

 

 

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If possible buy a spare stock. Less pain if you miss the cut. Possible to use leather to build up under recoil pad. If you cut 'just a little to much off'.

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3 minutes ago, Texas Joker said:

If possible buy a spare stock. Less pain if you miss the cut. Possible to use leather to build up under recoil pad. If you cut 'just a little to much off'.

 

That's exactly what I did when the boys were big enough to plink with a Stevens Crackshot.  I remodeled another buttstock for them.  A few years lster,  put the original stock back on.

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And the Calvary comes to the rescue with Nate riding the lead horse with pictures to boot ... Thanks Nate for your time detailing the post and the pictures ... best read ever on cutting a stock to the proper length and angle

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5 hours ago, Texas Joker said:

If possible buy a spare stock. Less pain if you miss the cut. Possible to use leather to build up under recoil pad. If you cut 'just a little to much off'.

My ‘97 is an original Winchester so I purchased a new Boyd’s stock from Midway USA and cut it down to fit my wife.  I added a Limbsaver recoil pad which is pretty thick so I cut off a lot of wood. 
 

That’s the shotgun that Stitcher tried in Greenville.

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If they are out of stock on Limbsavers, the Remington Supercell is very good too. It really will soak up 100 rounds of 00 Buck and slugs in an afternoon.

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Whoevers advise you choose to follow on here is your choice. We all have our opinions on how things should or should not be done.

The video posted is a good point to start in my opinion.

Some facts is not debatable. A shotgun must fit correctly to be comfortable to shoot and be able to be repeatedly pointed naturally at whatever the target may be. 

I do not agree with Nate on starting out with a -5 degree cut on the stock to start with. But, once again, we are all entitled to our opinion. A properly fitted stock has to do with proper alignment of the sight plain to the shooters eye not the height of a target above the ground.

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22 hours ago, Abe E.S. Corpus SASS #87667 said:

My ‘97 is an original Winchester so I purchased a new Boyd’s stock from Midway USA and cut it down to fit my wife.  I added a Limbsaver recoil pad which is pretty thick so I cut off a lot of wood. 
 

That’s the shotgun that Stitcher tried in Greenville.

Thanks again for that.  Having shot yours was very informative to this process.  I'll post an update on what I ended up doing later this evening.

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28 minutes ago, Fretless said:

Thanks again for that.  Having shot yours was very informative to this process.  I'll post an update on what I ended up doing later this evening.

It’s like a haircut-you can always take more off.

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Nkj is dead on.     Every 97 and 73 we have has been shortened.  Even mine.   Better balance and faster moment

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First of all, thank you all.  This thread was extremely helpful. 

 

Here's what I did:

On Monday, after reading and measuring, I made a conservative cut decreasing the LOP to 12".  We kept the angle the same and preserved the curve of the original butt plate.  I also sewed a leather sleeve for a 4" long solid steel rod to be inserted inside the stock.

 

PXL_20210105_193242654.thumb.jpg.453f21bd8c8fd213da29ac42556a2978.jpg

 

Monday night we read more, watched some videos, did more measuring, and decided on a plan.

 

Tuesday, I made a second cut.  The finished length of pull is 11 5/8".  We still preserved the curve, but changed the angle by 5 degrees. 

 

PXL_20210105_194618768.thumb.jpg.5e73539f22d4ed7e031dceb3c031863f.jpg

 

We also abandoned the original butt plate and made a cushion from 6 layers of 1/8" closed cell foam attached to each other with spray adhesive.

PXL_20210105_200907546.thumb.jpg.e61273cf89e59d1e5421cda6c58f3f84.jpg

 

I put it all together and made a leather cover to dress up my handiwork.

PXL_20210105_205348794.thumb.jpg.f3ce3c416b9109362f4766eaa676b60b.jpg

 

The last picture is Fox Creek Stitcher checking the fit.

PXL_20210106_010200252.thumb.jpg.693a01fb01aed607aa6e6ab94d797fd2.jpg

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That turned out really nice, well done!

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