Point Of Impact

Dear Technoid,

I recently bought a single barrel trap gun. It does not have an adjustable comb or butt. I am a one eye right hand shooter, abut six feet tall and weight about 240 lbs. When I checked the point of impact, it was about six to eight inches to the right. This has always been a problem with the guns that I buy.

Can I correct the point of impact problem with a 1)adjustable butt place, or 2)adjustable comb, or 3)do I need to have stock bent. If I go with an adjustable comb or butt, what direction do I move them?

I can break targets well with the gun, but I feel that I could do better if I could move the point of impact. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Dear Leo,

If you are consistently shooting to the right of your point of aim, it sounds as though you need less cast, i.e.- the stock should be bent towards from the face of a right handed shooter.

It is easy enough to test. Get a roll of duct tape and start layering it up on the left hand side of the stock where your cheek goes. Just put it on the side, not over the top. You don’t want to make the gun shoot higher. Keep adding layers of tape onto the left side of the stock until the point of impact is shifted to the left and is centered.

Once you get the point if impact where you want, you have two choices. 1) You can take it to a stockmaker and get the wood permanently bent to that dimension. When you take it to the bender, make sure to leave the tape on and put a mark where your cheek goes so that he can make the proper measurements.

2) You could also install an adjustable comb. The installation of an adjustable comb on your stock will also enable you to do the same thing as bending IF (big “if”) the comb mechanism is laterally adjustable. The additional advantage of the adjustable comb is that you can also tinker with height and rake of comb if you get one with all the adjustments. Dont’ get an adjustable comb that just moves up and down. That won’t solve your problem. You need one that moves sideways too.

The downside of the adjustable comb is that they can be quite heavy and they are definitely not the best looking things. Butt weight in a trap gun isn’t necessarily bad as it is a mounted gun game and handsome is as handsome does, so I wouldn’t let either of those things bother you. If it were a sporting clays or field gun, that would be a different story.

As your problem is occurring with eye/stock alignment, I don’t think that any sort of adjustable butt plate is going to solve the problem. It has to be lateral adjustment at the comb.

One thing that you should be aware of- when you reposition your face on the stock, your sight picture of the beads is going to change. Since trap shooters tend to “aim” more than other shotgunners, bead alignment can be important. If your beads now align like about a “figure 8”, with the middle bead directly below the front bead- and your guns shoots to the right, when the point of impact is moved to the center, your beads will NOT line up perfectly. Many trap shooters would find this disconcerting as they lose their bead reference point and would consider it a flaw in the barrel or bead installation. If it were my gun and that was the case, I would simply remove the middle bead.

I doubt that it is a flaw with the gun as you mention that this happens to you with other guns, so my guess that you have never had the right bead alignment. By moving your head placement to the left, not only should the point of impact move left, but the beads should line up correctly for the first time.

Best regards,

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

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2 Responses to Point Of Impact

  1. Gerald A Packard says:

    i.e.- the stock should be bent towards from the face of a right handed shooter.
    Bruce, shouldn’t this read (outwards)?


    • We made a correction, and there should be “less cast”. The direction of movement is correct, towards the face of a right handed shooter. You move your rear “sight” in the direction you want your shots to go. In this case, you want the shot pattern to go left, so you move the head or eye left, which would be less cast.


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