This is probably one of the most important and at the same time controversial subjects related to shotgun shooting!
Gun Fitting is all too often shrouded in mystery and sometimes made more complicated than necessary, however occasionally you come across a refreshingly clear and easy to understand article covering the topic. I recently came across such an article in the Feb issue of a newly released publication to hit the high street in B.C. …. “CALIBRE” The Canadian Firearm Magazine. I picked up my free copy of this issue whilst shopping in Wanstalls Gun shop in Maple Ridge. Within this well illustrated article they talk about choosing your first shotgun gun for clay shooting and the importance of Gun Fit. The article discusses the fundamental points of how a gun should fit.
As pointed out in this issue and other articles written on this subject a consistent gun mount is an essential part of the process, however the initial information needed when purchasing a shotgun can be kept relatively simple.
Proper Gun fitting is something that should not be undertaken alone but with the help of an experienced fellow shooter with the correct knowledge or better still, a skilled gun fitter. Sadly this advice is something that is all too often ignored and results in a somewhat less than perfect fit.
There are many sources of information on the topic, one of the most extensive versions that I have encountered is a book written by Michael Yardley called GUNFITTING The Quest For Perfection For Shotguns & Rifles; [expanded & Revised 2nd Edition available via Amazon @ $29.95 U.S.] Another great article about this topic relating to competition guns is that written by Derek Partridge http://www.bunkershooting.com/Customising1.html
There are many more options open to today’s shooter to obtain a well fitting gun. Unless you are one of the lucky few who can find a perfect fit off the shelf, the options available to the rest of us are a custom made stock [historically the most expensive option], a factory made gun with adjustable comb and butt plate as offered by Browning, Beretta and several other manufacturers. These options can also be fitted after market by a competent gun smith. Another option is to buy a fully adjustable / anatomical stock that will fit to the specific action that you own. Two examples of these are Precision Fit Sock by Apogee Ordinance http://www.precisionfitstocks.com/ and the other is the Ergosign EvoComp http://www.ergosign.com/ Anatomical stock distributed by Nill-Griffe as preferred by many of today’s Olympic shooters. Although there is always an option for every budget, the pursuit of excellence comes at a price, and some of these custom options can cost more than the average trap gun!