High Shooting Gun

Hey Bruce !!

Assuming the barrel is straight what are the contributing factors to a shotgun that shoots high. Could it be pitch at comb, pitch at heel etc.

Best Regards


Dear Allen,

If the barrel is straight, the only thing that makes a gun shoot high is the placement of the master eye in relation to the front bead. (assuming that you shoot with the front bead on the target)

Example: Let’s say that you have a standard shotgun with a low, flat normal rib. Mount the gun so that the front bead is on the target. The gun should shoot just about dead on. Now, put some pads on the stock so that your head is higher and readjust the gun so that the front bead is still on the target. The gun will now shoot high because the eye, which is the rear sight of a shotgun, has been raised in relation to the front of the gun.

Now, keep the high stock, but add a high rib. If the rib is only high at the rear (a stepped rib), but not at the front, the gun will continue to shoot high because you haven’t raised the front bead, which is all that counts. If the rib is high front to back (a fully raised rib), this will have raised the bead at the front and the gun will begin to shoot level again.

Again, the whole key to whether a guns shoots high or not is where your eye is placed in relation to the front bead of the gun (again, assuming that you always put the bead on the target). The higher you put the eye in relation to the front bead, the higher the gun shoots. It is really pretty simple if you think about it.

Shotgun pitch is the angle of the butt pad in relation to the rib. Zero pitch is a 90 degree angle to the rib. Pitch is measured differently in England and America, so it gets confusing. Most of the gun writers say that pitch affects where the gun shoots, but I have not found that to be so. Regardless of the angle of the butt pad, by the time that the gun has recoiled enough to compress pad, clothing and muscle and start to affect the muzzle angle, the shot is long gone out the barrel. Positive pitch will help keep the muzzle down a bit for the second shot and to me, that it its main value. As an aside, most trap guns have zero pitch, while most field/skeet/sporting guns have around 2″.

What I notice most about pitch (also about cast off) is that a lot of it drastically increases face slap. I believe that face slap, not point of impact, is why you see most trap guns at zero pitch. My opinion is not shared by everyone of course, but that is their worry.

Best regards,

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

This entry was posted in Shotguns. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.