Stock Bending

Hello Technoid.

I wrote to you about fixing up a Remington 3200 for sporting clays vs. buying a new gun. What I did was sell the 3200 and buy a Browning Citori Lightning Sporting. I’ve shot about 600 rounds with it and I really like it. However, (I guess there is always a however when someone is writing to you) I’ve repeatedly tested my point of impact, by the method you have described, and I consistently hit 5 to 6 inches to the right.

I’m a left handed shooter. I also require more lead on right to left crossers than on left to right crossers but I can only really notice this beyond 30 yards and when the target is moving fairly fast. Looking at my gun I notice the stock has a very slight cast off. Therefore, I think I need a little stock bending. I’ll bet you’re thinking how much better off I’d be with an auto-loader.

Anyway, my problem is there are no stock benders anywhere near me. I’ve contacted a few stock benders I’ve located on the internet and in magazines. I’ve heard several different methods of determining how much cast on I would need. I wanted to know what your opinion is on getting a stock bent without having access to a try gun and doing it by long distance.

Thank you for sharing your knowledge and opinions.


Dear Clint,

Guesstimating the amount of bend you need is sort of like self-dentistry. It is convenient and quick, but the results may not please you.

Yes, if you had a Beretta gas gun you could fit the gun properly with just a wrench and a few shims, but gas guns aren’t for everyone. The gun you chose is an excellent one. To bad for you as a lefty that Browning and Beretta are casting so many of their guns these days.

The way I see it, you have a number of choices. I list them in increasing order of desireability.

1) since the gun is curving into your face too much, you could sand and refinish.

2) you could send it off and have an adjustable comb installed (which would not cure the position of the butt on your shoulder)

3) you could send it off to a stock bender and tell him how much you want it bent.

4) you could send it off to a stock bender and let him decide how much to bend it.

5) you could travel to someone who could give you a fitting and do the work.

The standard Churchill method of determining point of impact change by stock movement is to measure 16 yards from your shooting eye (when the gun is mounted) to the pattern plate. That is eye to plate, not muzzle or toe to plate. Pacing is no good. You must measure.

Now install your fullest choke and shoot at the aiming point on the pattern plate. Note how many inches the center of the pattern falls from the aiming point. The stock must be bent at the place on the stock under your eye where you put your cheek 1/16″ inch for each inch you are off on the pattern plate at 16 yards. The point of impact will move in the direction you move the stock.

Obviously, it would be best and easiest if you could journey to a fitter to get a fitting and perhaps take a lesson while you are at it. No shooter, no matter how good, is so good that they can’t use a little outside opinion from a pro every now and then. Dame Margot Fontaine took dancing lessons every day of her career.

If you can’t journey to a fitter, give the man you select a call and ask him what information he needs to do the job by mail. He will probably tell you that he needs the divergence of point of impact from center at a certain distance and he can work back from that. He will probably be using the formula above.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid
(Often in error, never in doubt.)

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1 Response to Stock Bending

  1. Steve Jacobs says:

    I have a 725 that shot to the left. I am right handed. After seeing a stick fitter I had an adjustable comb installed that fixed the problem. Position of the butt on my shoulder was not a problem as long as I keep my elbow up. My 725 sporter has a thicker stock than my other shotguns and I feel that was part of the problem.


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