Correct length of pull has the shooter’s nose one to two fingers from the thumb knuckle. However, I noticed most top shooters have their noise very close to, if not touching, their thumb knuckle. I have a customer stock on my gun, but if I force my face forward to get my nose to touch my thumb knuckle, it’s uncomfortable and I get a totally different sight picture to the target. Should I consider shortening my stock?
To a certain degree, the proper shotgun dimensions for a given shooter will depend on the shooter’s body type, stance and shooting style. An experienced shooter has a well-established and consistent mount, which means that the position of his eye in relationship to the comb will be very consistent. A gun fitter, fitting this shooter, should tailor the dimensions of the shotgun to the shooter’s natural stance and shooting style, rather than to some “ideal” or “classic” fit.
There are a number of gun-fitting dimensions that vary when considering a shooter’s stance and style. A shooter that creeps forward on the comb, like the shooters you describe, will need a longer length of pull and less pitch, and they will be unlikely to need a Monte Carlo stock. A more upright shooter will need a more standard length of pull and a bit more pitch, and, depending on the vertical distance between the shooter’s cheek ledge and shoulder, they may need a Monte Carlo.
I would also point out that not all top shooters shoot with the stance you describe. If you were to observe Wendell Cherry, Pat Lieske and Bill McGuire, you would see a more upright stance. The saying “different strokes for different folks” comes to mind. Robert Churchill had a very different body type, stance and athleticism than did Percy Stanbury, yet both were two of the world’s finest shots in their day.
The stance and shooting style a shooter adopts should adhere to certain fundamentals. However, each shooter should favor the one that affords the best visibility of the target while also enabling an efficient physical move to the target. With that said, I would advise against modifying your shotgun in an effort to change your shooting style to one that may not work for you.