I have a sporting clays gun that I have been shooting for about two years, and I’m not sure that it fits me. I’m thinking about ordering a custom stock or custom gun. What do you suggest?
If you have a gun that you love, except for the fact that it might not fit, visiting a gun fitter for a fit check would be the way to go. A good gun fitter can tell you whether or not your shotgun fits and, if it doesn’t, what modifications can be made to make your shotgun fit properly. Installing an adjustable comb, adding an adjustable butt pad, lengthening the reach or adjusting length-of-pull and/or pitch angle are all modifications that can be made to a shotgun to make it fit.
The important question that the gun fitter needs to answer is, “Can my shotgun be made to fit with some modifications and without getting fitted for a custom stock?” In some cases, the answer will be, “No, you will need to invest in a custom stock or custom shotgun.” If your gun is significantly ill-fitting, it might not be possible to make the gun fit you. If the comb is far too high, if you need significantly more cast than an adjustable comb will provide, or if the reach is too large for your hand, a custom stock or custom shotgun will be the best option.
The next decision you will need to make is whether spending $3,000 to $4,500 on a custom stock is worth the investment given the market value of your gun.
Whether you are opting for a custom shotgun or a custom stock for your existing gun, your next step is the same. You need to seek the assistance of a gun fitter who will either fit you to a try-gun to determine the proper specifications for a factory custom gun or fit you to a pattern stock if you intend to have your existing shotgun re-stocked. If you are serious about your shooting, and particularly if you are a competitor, you will never regret making the investment in a well-fitting shotgun that shoots where you are looking.