Old Timey Shotgun Fitting Film

Looks like a film from the 70s. The fitter looks like Christopher Lee. I don’t delve into the custom fitted shotgun world so I found the adjustable shotgun stock to be more interesting that watching them make the shotgun. Fitted shotguns are great just like any custom made item. However a good shooter can use anything. One of my shotgun friends recalls a shooter that won trap competitions with a Remington 870.

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


  • pun&gun

    Proper gun fit is necessary to shoot a shotgun effectively. It takes the place of the rear sight for aligning the line of fire with the focal point.

    • LG

      People who have not had there firearm stocks taylor made to their specific body habitus and shooting style will never appreciate how remarkable a feel it gives to the shooter. The difference is comparable to the different fit and feel of a completely hand made tailored suit to an “off the rack” model.

    • overlander

      Agreed. Proper shotgun fit is more vital than Nick thinks. A person should be able to throw up their shotgun with eyes closed and be looking directly down the rib. To argue for the side of ‘good shooters can shoot anything well’ is to perpetuate BS machismo.

      95% of people who shoot shotguns don’t set the gun up for them, they learn to shoot it. That doesn’t mean it’s the right way to do things. That doesn’t mean they can’t hit what they’re shooting at. But to perpetuate the ‘shoot it the way it was made’ thought is silly, especially when a bit of LOP change can make a world of difference, and more and more guns are coming with stock shims to help tune drop and cast.

      Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

      • Nicholas C

        No doubt a fitted stock is the bees knees. But is it necessary? Not really. It is like having a racing seat custom molded for you vs buying one off the shelf like Sparco or Recaro.

        • pun&gun

          “Necessary” is a tricky word, but not having a gun fit to your body when you’re wingshooting (or going for clays) is objectively the wrong way to do it, because (as mentioned above) gun fit replaces the function of the rear sight. If you’re looking at the bead, or the barrel, and not directly at the target, your technique is off. Proper gun fit (comb height primarily, LOP secondarily) is critical to allow that gun to come up into your line of sight and already be aligned with where you’re looking.

        • overlander

          Incorrect. It’s more like the need to have your car properly aligned before heading out to the race track. Sure, a pro driver would be able to make it around the track with the suspension all out of whack, but do you think they’ll turn their best time? If it’s far enough out, do you think they’ll be able to compete with people of equal skill?

          Shotguns are built to whatever that particular manufacturer thinks is the ‘average’ male dimensional requirement. How about women — are they just supposed to suck it up and learn how to work with guns that will properly fit an incredibly low percentage of the female population?

          @pun&gun is exactly right, you should never ‘sight’ a shotgun at a flying target. If you aren’t looking at the bird/clay, you’re doing it wrong. With an improperly-fit shotgun, the first thing you have to do when putting the gun to your shoulder is get everything aligned properly. Whether that means cramming your cheek into the stock, or lifting your head from the comb, all of that is bad juju.

          Fitting a stock to you is easier than ever nowadays. Many shotguns, even inexpensive ones, come with shim kits. My CZ 612 Trap has a number of shims and I was able to get cast and drop dialed in to match my long frame. Add to that a simple pad job using a KickEez pad and spacers, done by Pads by Neale ($120 for the standard pad job plus three $10 spacers for a total of $150, padsbyneale@gmail.com), and I’ve got a gun that cost me under $600 and fits me perfectly.

          So no, getting a properly fit shotgun isn’t a luxury. It’s a common sense way to hit more clays or birds and doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

          I hate to say it, but you’re out of your depth on this topic and perpetuating falsehoods.

          • pun&gun

            Its even cheaper the way a lot of sporting clays shooters do it. Moleskin. Soft, cheap, comes in thin adhesive layers. Build it up on the comb until it fits, lasts a long time and only costs a few dollars. My competition O/U has an additional layer of adhesive neoprene over the top for softness and added durability.

          • Phil Hsueh

            Any suggestions for doing the opposite? I have a Mossberg 500 and it’s too long for me and not that comfortable to hold, is there a cheap and/or easy option for shortening the LOP?

          • overlander

            Funny that TFB deleted/disallowed my original reply to your post.

            You’ve got two options, the first is to have your stock cut to your proper LOP by a gunsmith, then have the stock pad trimmed to match the stock’s new profile. That’d cost nearly as much as the pad job I had done, and it’d probably be worth it to get a standard pad job and have a quality KickEez pad installed instead of the factory pad.

            The other would be to purchase a 500 youth stock and hope that it’s closer to your LOP needs. Might be a bit cheaper, though who knows how close it will be to what you really need.

            While you’re at it, I’d look around on the web and find a cast/drop shim kit for the 500, I see mention of them and discontinued kits listed several places, so they should still be able to be found with some digging.

          • carlcasino

            If you LOP is too long a GOOD Gunsmith can trim to your build and put a limbsaver on at the same time. Not all that expensive. I used to run all our JR shooters thru our gunsmith IF THEY WERE INTRESTED FOR THE SPORT AND NOT SATISFYING DAD.

      • carlcasino

        Gee ! I guess that’s why all the top shooters have the high $$ guns custom fit to them. I have seen several teen shooter with really high$$ guns that have adjustable LOP and Cheek adjustments. I’m 78 and have learned to ADJUST to a lot of different shotguns in 70 years.

    • iksnilol

      Not a big deal. I mean, only things I would use a shottie for is plinking and gangland execution (gotta have class)… oh, and redneck duels.

      • pun&gun

        Shooting something that’s flying through the air is an entirely different ball game.

        • iksnilol

          I take care of those things with a rifle before they fly. I mean, not “sporting” but I am hungry so screw it.

  • SirOliverHumperdink

    Haha, the same kind of guy was at an auction on Sunday. He was doing that with mini 14’s, Enfields, an P14 drill rifles.

  • Jay

    And that wholle industry is dead and burried in UK….

    • Julio

      The bespoke gun trade in the UK may be tiny in scale now compared to what it was a century ago, but the handful of companies that remain are still making guns of exceptional quality, for around the cost of a nice new car. The difference is that the car will lose its value steeply and be scrap in a decade or so, whereas the gun will probably gain in value, certainly gain in character, and still be going strong long after its original owner has swapped grouse for angels.

      • Nicholas C

        I dont see how someone would want to by a bespoke shotgun. It wouldn’t fit them.

        • pun&gun

          The whole point of a bespoke shotgun is that it’s made to order and thereby has perfect fit…

          • pun&gun

            Buying used, I guess it’s mostly history and status.

        • MeaCulpa

          Just fit new wood or modify the existing wood, the value and function of a nice box lock isn’t just in the wood.

  • vwVwwVwv

    when the shotguns barrel shoots, the shaft hits the target.
    (we say in germany)

  • gunsandrockets

    “One of my shotgun friends recalls a shooter that won trap competitions with a Remington 870.”

    What do you wanna bet that that 870 fit that winner perfectly?

  • gunsandrockets

    What’s the thinking today about shotguns with straight-wristed stocks vs pistol-grip wrists?

    • pun&gun

      I can’t say much about skeet and trap, but the sporting clays guys definitely tend toward the pistol grip (though not the full-on pistol grips you see on tactical shotguns sometimes). I think the straight wrist mostly lives on as a classy throwback among the wealthier bird hunting afficionados.

    • overlander

      Straight grips (English-style stocks) were used originally on double trigger guns, so that you could easily slide your hand back to engage the second trigger. They’ve shown up on modern single-trigger guns occasionally more for their classy look than their functionality.

      • gunsandrockets

        Aren’t pistol gripped stocks without much drop more of a modern rifle feature? Brought on by prone shooting target matches in the 19th century?

        Feature which rifles exhibited first and then shotguns aped?

  • Biker6666

    Nothing wrong with an 870. Mine is a trap model 870 B.

  • Don Ward

    Mall ninjas just don’t get it, do they? There’s more to the shooting world than the latest, idiotic 3-Gun fad.
    I mean holy sheet, Nicholas, educate yourself about the wider world of shooting sports before you make yourself look even more like a dolt.