Long Arms, Short Stock


I’m looking to buy a new shotgun, one that will take 3″ mag. and will fit me. I’m 6′ 5″ tall, skinny and have long arms, every gun I pick up and throw to my shoulder I see all rib.

My question is if I buy a Super Black Eagle and move the stock down will this cure my problem and make the gun fit me?

Thank-you for your help.


Dear Joel,

Raising and lowering the stock isn’t going to begin to cure your problem. I’m much smaller than you at 6′-1″ with a 35″ sleeve length. To me, it seems that the Benellis have always had extremely short stocks, or at least they feel that way due to the placement and angle of the pistol grip. The Benelli is going to be really, really short for you.

Of course, it all depends on your style of shooting. If you shoot with a very erect head, then the stock won’t be all that much too short, but your eye will be so far above the rib that you will have to use binoculars to see the rib! That sounds like what is happening now.

If you lengthen the stock to something around 15-1/2″ or so, that will allow you to tip your head forward slightly, bringing your eye closer to the rib. Remember, the amount of rib you see is directly attributable to the angle of your head. Short stocks make you hold your head upright and show a lot of rib. Longer stocks let you tip your head forward and get your eye closer to the rib.

It is all really a question of matching your shooting style to the gun. Since I can’t see you shoot or even how you hold a gun, I am sort of guessing. Of course guessing and Technoidal pontificating go hand in hand, so that never stopped me. Bad advice is better than no advice at all, right?

If you can borrow a gun, start by taping some cardboard or an old recoil pad to the back of the gun to lengthen it. Then see how it fits. One of those rubber slip on pads by itself won’t give you nearly the extra length you will need, but you might try packing it full of cardboard. If you buy the Benelli, any gunsmith can properly add length to it by adding spaces and a recoil pad.

When adjusting a stock, always get the length right first, then work on the height. The Benelli has shim adjustments and isn’t too hard to move up and down in modest amounts. You will find that as you lengthen the stock, you will need less and less height adjustment because your eye will be tipping down towards the rib as the stock gets longer. You will find the right length when you have about 1″ to 2″ space between the rear of your right thumb and the lens of your shooting glasses. For someone 6′-5″ with long arms, expect that to be in the 15-1/2″ to 16″ area. In guns, one size does not fit all.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck

The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC

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