Finding Length Of Pull


How do I find my length of pull? Can I do it my self or do I have to go to someone that does this? I would like to think I could do this.

Thank you for your help

Mike M


You don’t really have an exact length of pull. There. I’ve said it and I’m glad. That old saw about holding the gun with your finger on the trigger and the butt stock in the crook of your arm really doesn’t tell you anything.

Gunsmiths and the trade measure length of pull from the trigger to the center of the butt. That is an easy measurement to make but it’s hooey. It doesn’t really tell you much. Your trigger finger can happily bend half an inch either way, so it’s a lousy way to measure pull. It is complicated even further by the adjustable triggers found on many of today’s guns. By that measurement, adjusting the trigger changes the length of pull, but obviously it doesn’t change the feel of the stock, which is what counts.

Your real length of pull is measured from the center of the pistol grip to the center of the butt. That’s the measurement that matters. Guns with tight grips will fit the same in a shorter length than will guns with open field-style grips.

Most people are most comfortable with a stock length which permits 1″ to 2″ between the rear of the rear of the right hand thumb and the lens of the shooting glasses when the gun is mounted. Some are happy with the rear of the thumb almost touching the lens, but that can move the glasses when recoil pushes the gun back. 1″ to 2″ is about right for most people.

So, when you mount the gun, if you have between 1″ and 2″ between the rear joint of your right thumb and your shooting glasses, you are in the ballpark. You can easily fine tune length by temporarily lengthening with spacers or using a thinner recoil pad. Don’t fit the pad or spacer when you are testing. Just screw them in place and test the length until you get something that feels good to you. Then you can grind it permanently to fit.

And remember, since true proper stock length depends on the placement and type of pistol grip, you can have guns of different lengths which all fit correctly if their grips are different.

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid

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1 Response to Finding Length Of Pull

  1. jon bastable says:

    Length of pull…by necessity, I had to saw off the comb and add a pistol (kind of) grip. The rear stock is as short as I can make it; the gun now resembles an assault gun. All this has help me reach the safety and trigger. If you lose the deltoid muscle in your right shoulder, this is a perscription for a redo on your gun – not very stylish, but it works!


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