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Improve Your Shotgun Fit By Raising The Comb

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November 01, 2011

Improve Your Shotgun Fit By Raising The Comb

By Phil Bourjaily

Azduane recently wrote: Phil--I noticed some comments about having a fitted gun so I was curious if you have ever had a gun to test that you felt would be better if it was tweaked a little to fit you better. Another reason I ask is when I've watched Gun Nuts on TV, it seems you do well with all the guns you try/shoot. I've had a couple of shotguns that I had to tweak, generally raising the comb, in order to get them to shoot where I wanted them to. Just curious.

Azduane--First of all, don’t believe everything you see on TV. I do practice my gunmounts a lot, which helps me adapt to different guns, and I have a thin face that means I can do okay with most stocks regardless of cast or thickness of comb.* A gun that gave me a hard time on the TV show was the Caesar Guerini Evo Light, a wonderful gun that just didn’t happen to fit me very well. I would have liked to tweak it, but I doubt the Guerini people would have been very happy with me if I had attacked the comb of their gun with a wood rasp, so I left it alone.

As for how to tweak gunstocks, and specifically how to raise the comb, a useful aid I have been fooling around with lately is Beartooth products’ Comb Raising Kit. It comes with a neoprene sleeve that fits over the stock and five foam inserts ranging from 1/8- to 5/8-inch which can be used individually or in combination to raise the comb of a long gun.

The Comb Raising Kit allows you to easily try different dimensions to see what suits you best without permanently altering your stock and you can switch it from gun to gun with ease. It’s especially effective if you want to raise the comb of a field gun for target shooting.

The 1/8 and ¼-inch inserts work better than the thicker ones because they are thin enough to contour to the curve of the comb. The thicker inserts have a square-edged feel that I don’t like as much. However, a ¼ inch is a huge change upward, so you may not have to use the thicker inserts anyway if you’re trying to elevate the comb enough for target shooting. The best part is, the kit costs just $22.95.

*One of the secrets to the 870/1100’s success, I believe, is the thin comb that allows faces of all shapes to get down on the stocks and center their eye over the rib.

Comments (10)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Anhinga wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

Just purchsed a used Spanish 12 ga. double with about 1/4 in. "cast off". Felt great in my hands and the sight picture looked great, but when I tried it on doves I consistently missed. Put it away and picked up my SKB with neutral cast and dropped a limit with a box of shells. Got home and put a lace-on leather pad (cheek piece) on the 'new' gun and went out and broke 9 out of 10 hand-thrown clays. I then ordered a velcro-type, attachable comb/cheek-piece with gel material from CSMC. It works great, but the white edges of the gel foam sheet shows when attached on the stock, so an edge touch-up with a brown marker is in order. however, even on the straight stock it doesn't slip, unlike the lace-on cheek piece. Fit is so critical when fast shot/target acquisition is the rule as in wing shooting; unlike "snuggling down into firing position" when looking through a scope.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

Sir Phil, have you ever seen something and you should of thought of that yourself?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RES1956 wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

Shooting a shotgun that does not fit is like walking in shoes that don't fit: it'll work, but it just seems like it takes twice a long to get there.
Most folks would fare better with less drop at the comb than the 1 1/2" that the S&W 1000 (pictured) has. Although, the immensly popular 870/1100's were all stocked 14" x 1 1/2" x 2 1/2". They must work for some folks.
The Beartooth product will do the same thing we used Dr. Schol's moleskin for, just in a more aesthetically pleasing manner. Good product.
The only shotgun I ever found I had problems with too straight of a comb were the Beretta scaled frame 28 an 410's. The 410's were just too straight.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from scratchgolf72 wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

only gun ive ever adjusted was my beneli...it shot low and had to raise the comb to see more rib, fixed the problem

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from scratchgolf72 wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

well not true, only gun ive ever had to adjust the comb on, i usually take a bit off the butt on hunting shotguns for easier mounting when hunting with big jackets on.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dneaster3 wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

I have used the Beartooth kit to raise the stock on a shotgun with a scope. Works great, and the neoprene+foam combination really helps with felt recoil in the shooter's cheek.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from azduane wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

Thanks for your response and the Beartooth product. I'll have to check it out. My 870 hasn't needed any adjustment, neither has my Win Model 12. But a Browning O/U I got was in need of a higher comb, for me, when trap shooting. I thought about taking it to a gunsmith to see what he would charge to make the stock adjustable but the Beartooth product will cancel that. Thanks again.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jim Mayer wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

I own many VINTAGE DOUBLES. I USE THE "wrapid" comb TO ADJUST STOCKS. i COMPETE WITH SHOTGUNS FROM 1886 TO 1930S WITH NO PROBLEM HUNTING GROSE IN NORTH I TAKE 2 SO THEY CAN DRY BETWEEN USE IN SNOW& RAIN;I USE CLENZOIL ON MY GUNS WOOD,METAL&RUBBER FOR ALL WEATHER PROTECTION.FEELANDS-KEN EVERSOL& WOODCOCKHILL BEND MY STOCKS FOR A PERFECT AND LASTING FIT.IT LETS ME SHOOT GUNS WITH GREAT DROP SUCCESSFUL;LARRY FEELAND HOUSTON SAYS HE CAN RAISE DROP 1/4-3/8 INCH.GOOD SHOOTING JIM MAYER & COCO MY FRENCH BRITANY

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jim Mayer wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

I own many VINTAGE DOUBLES. I USE THE "wrapid" comb TO ADJUST STOCKS. i COMPETE WITH SHOTGUNS FROM 1886 TO 1930S WITH NO PROBLEM HUNTING GROSE IN NORTH I TAKE 2 SO THEY CAN DRY BETWEEN USE IN SNOW& RAIN;I USE CLENZOIL ON MY GUNS WOOD,METAL&RUBBER FOR ALL WEATHER PROTECTION.FEELANDS-KEN EVERSOL& WOODCOCKHILL BEND MY STOCKS FOR A PERFECT AND LASTING FIT.IT LETS ME SHOOT GUNS WITH GREAT DROP SUCCESSFUL;LARRY FEELAND HOUSTON SAYS HE CAN RAISE DROP 1/4-3/8 INCH.GOOD SHOOTING JIM MAYER & COCO MY FRENCH BRITANY

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Johns220@outlook.com wrote 21 weeks 1 day ago

Hey guys, I've got another product that I found that works great, its called the ITC CheekRest. It seems more versatile than the others because it can be placed anywhere on the stock. As a left handed shooter it helps me quite a bit. The most useful part is that the foam can be cut to create what they call a saddle effect and I can put my face in the same place everytime without having to adjust at all.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Anhinga wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

Just purchsed a used Spanish 12 ga. double with about 1/4 in. "cast off". Felt great in my hands and the sight picture looked great, but when I tried it on doves I consistently missed. Put it away and picked up my SKB with neutral cast and dropped a limit with a box of shells. Got home and put a lace-on leather pad (cheek piece) on the 'new' gun and went out and broke 9 out of 10 hand-thrown clays. I then ordered a velcro-type, attachable comb/cheek-piece with gel material from CSMC. It works great, but the white edges of the gel foam sheet shows when attached on the stock, so an edge touch-up with a brown marker is in order. however, even on the straight stock it doesn't slip, unlike the lace-on cheek piece. Fit is so critical when fast shot/target acquisition is the rule as in wing shooting; unlike "snuggling down into firing position" when looking through a scope.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from RES1956 wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

Shooting a shotgun that does not fit is like walking in shoes that don't fit: it'll work, but it just seems like it takes twice a long to get there.
Most folks would fare better with less drop at the comb than the 1 1/2" that the S&W 1000 (pictured) has. Although, the immensly popular 870/1100's were all stocked 14" x 1 1/2" x 2 1/2". They must work for some folks.
The Beartooth product will do the same thing we used Dr. Schol's moleskin for, just in a more aesthetically pleasing manner. Good product.
The only shotgun I ever found I had problems with too straight of a comb were the Beretta scaled frame 28 an 410's. The 410's were just too straight.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

Sir Phil, have you ever seen something and you should of thought of that yourself?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from scratchgolf72 wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

only gun ive ever adjusted was my beneli...it shot low and had to raise the comb to see more rib, fixed the problem

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from scratchgolf72 wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

well not true, only gun ive ever had to adjust the comb on, i usually take a bit off the butt on hunting shotguns for easier mounting when hunting with big jackets on.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dneaster3 wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

I have used the Beartooth kit to raise the stock on a shotgun with a scope. Works great, and the neoprene+foam combination really helps with felt recoil in the shooter's cheek.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from azduane wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

Thanks for your response and the Beartooth product. I'll have to check it out. My 870 hasn't needed any adjustment, neither has my Win Model 12. But a Browning O/U I got was in need of a higher comb, for me, when trap shooting. I thought about taking it to a gunsmith to see what he would charge to make the stock adjustable but the Beartooth product will cancel that. Thanks again.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jim Mayer wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

I own many VINTAGE DOUBLES. I USE THE "wrapid" comb TO ADJUST STOCKS. i COMPETE WITH SHOTGUNS FROM 1886 TO 1930S WITH NO PROBLEM HUNTING GROSE IN NORTH I TAKE 2 SO THEY CAN DRY BETWEEN USE IN SNOW& RAIN;I USE CLENZOIL ON MY GUNS WOOD,METAL&RUBBER FOR ALL WEATHER PROTECTION.FEELANDS-KEN EVERSOL& WOODCOCKHILL BEND MY STOCKS FOR A PERFECT AND LASTING FIT.IT LETS ME SHOOT GUNS WITH GREAT DROP SUCCESSFUL;LARRY FEELAND HOUSTON SAYS HE CAN RAISE DROP 1/4-3/8 INCH.GOOD SHOOTING JIM MAYER & COCO MY FRENCH BRITANY

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jim Mayer wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

I own many VINTAGE DOUBLES. I USE THE "wrapid" comb TO ADJUST STOCKS. i COMPETE WITH SHOTGUNS FROM 1886 TO 1930S WITH NO PROBLEM HUNTING GROSE IN NORTH I TAKE 2 SO THEY CAN DRY BETWEEN USE IN SNOW& RAIN;I USE CLENZOIL ON MY GUNS WOOD,METAL&RUBBER FOR ALL WEATHER PROTECTION.FEELANDS-KEN EVERSOL& WOODCOCKHILL BEND MY STOCKS FOR A PERFECT AND LASTING FIT.IT LETS ME SHOOT GUNS WITH GREAT DROP SUCCESSFUL;LARRY FEELAND HOUSTON SAYS HE CAN RAISE DROP 1/4-3/8 INCH.GOOD SHOOTING JIM MAYER & COCO MY FRENCH BRITANY

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Johns220@outlook.com wrote 21 weeks 1 day ago

Hey guys, I've got another product that I found that works great, its called the ITC CheekRest. It seems more versatile than the others because it can be placed anywhere on the stock. As a left handed shooter it helps me quite a bit. The most useful part is that the foam can be cut to create what they call a saddle effect and I can put my face in the same place everytime without having to adjust at all.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment