Adjustable Stocks


Dear Technoid,

Another silly question though. I read your recent “Stocks” on the Technical Track, and have read other articles you have written about stock fit and am curious why you always suggest “stock bending” as opposed to a fully adjustable up/down/left/right comb?

I had one installed on my Citori Trap gun, went to the patterning board and messed with it until I moved my point of impact to the right enough to center the pattern (I’m a right handed/eyed shooter), and high enough for a consistent and comfortable mount. No bending, just move it around until it’s right.

So…what’s wrong with adjustable combs?

Thanks again for a great information source!

Dick
San Jose

Dear Dick,

The big drawbacks to adjustable combs come mainly in the low gun sports like sporting clays and hunting:

1) many of the combs do not hold adjustment, and

2) most add weight to the rear of the gun.

Weight added to the rear of the gun isn’t a big problem for those who shoot pre-mounted gun games like trap and American-style skeet, but some of those prosthetic aluminum constructions people use will absolutely destroy the balance of a gun which has to be mounted as it is shot.

I feel that the most satisfactory adjustable combs employ a washer system, rather than just a pair of grub screws on a brass post. After a little use, the brass can wear and the comb will start to slip out of adjustment. Also, some adjustable combs are better at dealing with cast than others. Adjusting the top of the gun without dealing with the rear of it is only doing part of the job. A gun which is cast off at the face should also move out at the shoulder, usually more at the bottom for additional toe-out. On an fully adjustable stock, the typical aluminum butt plates involve a lot of extra hardware and weight.

While I don’t normally bring up the issue of esthetics, that being so personal and all, the metal involved in a fully adjustable stock does not appeal to everybody. You don’t see a lot of Holland & Holland Royals with them, that’s for sure.

In spite of all this, I do think that adjustable stocks can be a good idea on certain guns, particularly trap guns. I generally use gas guns on clay targets, especially trap where you can take a pounding. One big advantage to the gas gun is that you can shim the stock and move it very much like an adjustable comb. It’s the best of both worlds. I’ve been using plastic shims to move my 1100 stocks since the early ’70s. I am glad to see that Beretta and Benelli have legitimized the idea today. The O/U doesn’t lend itself to shimming, so you are stuck with re-inletting, bending, tape add-ons or an adjustable stock. The gas gun has a lot of draw backs, but in fitting a gun and reweighting a gun it beats the O/U all hollow.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid

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