Shotgun Fitting



Fitting the shotgun to a shooter. An overview of how a master gunsmith molds a shotgun to a customer.

by Sergey Lyalko

Shotgun fitting is becoming more popular custom gunsmithing service. This is a result of growing understanding among shooters that fit of the shotgun plays a major role in placing the shot where it is expected. Shooting at flying target requires pointing rather than aiming and pointing is a rapid, intuitive motion, combined with concentration on the flying target, leading it, and pulling the trigger. In such conditions, with limited time and multiple variables, only the correct fit of the gun ensures that the impact is where the shooter intends to put it. Well, all other mistakes excluded.

I would like to exactly define what the fit is but at this point it is easier to explain what it is not. Misfit means a physical inability of the shooter to line up the aiming eye with the top rib of the shotgun. In other words, the projection of the rib-line cannot be placed into the center of the eye or can only be achieved with awkward position of the shooter’s head, neck, and shoulders. If this is so, then either the geometry of the stock is inappropriate for the body proportions of the shooter or the way of shouldering the gun is incorrect.

The “correctness” of shouldering requires explanation. The competition for the highest scores in the shotgun shooting sports have developed a pretty standard way of shouldering the gun. There are several basic requirements: First, keep weight of the…

Read more in the November 2021 issue.

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