What’s It All About?
Rifle fit is less critical than shotgun fit. With a rifle there is either a rear sight or an optical sight. Generally, there is time to move the head around if necessary so the eye can align the sights or reticle on the target.
With shotguns, the shooter’s eye is the rear sight. The target is usually moving quickly, so the shooter must rapidly position the gun, index it on target and deliver the shot. A proper fit is essential for the eye to be consistently and quickly positioned.
Mostly, we can get by with even a badly fitting rifle stock. Nonetheless, it’s better to have one that fits. We don’t always have time to carefully position the head to align the eye with the sights. In still-hunting for example, opportunities can be sudden and fleeting.
Following up wounded game, shots can also be close and fast, making stock fit important. And, if the game being followed up is potentially dangerous, it can be really important.
Previously, I’ve talked about factors such as weight, balance and length of pull. Briefly, for cartridges of the .270 or .30-06 class, I like a rifle weighing around 7 or 8 pounds, balancing around 4-3/4″ or 5″ ahead of the trigger and with length of pull from 13″ to 13-1/2″.
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