Gun Fit Vs Barrel Work


The pull on my Beretta 390 Trap measures out to 14 3/4″ including the solid Beretta pad which I think is a little too long for me. My face is a little sore after only 100 rds. and my shoulder is tender. The length is forcing me to position the gun out too far almost into my arm. what is your recommendation for a pad?

Reading your responses to similar inquires indicates you a not a fan of back boring especially with the chrome. I intend to put a lot of registered targets through this thing and am not into the macho pain thing.



Dear Terry,

Waddaya mean “not into the macho pain thing”? Pain is good! Well, pain is good for the poor guy that you have to compete against. It sure is no good for us.

Gunfitting over the ether is always tough. I would really have to see you shooting the gun to get a proper idea. To give you an idea of length, I am 6’1″, somewhat barrel chested and my shirts have a 35″ sleeve. I shoot a 15″ to 15 1/4″ gun for sporting and feel best with about a 15 1/2″ stock for mounted gun games like trap and wobble. I tend to crawl my stocks a bit and set them up so that I have about 1″ between the lower back part of my right thumb and my shooting glasses. I do NOT like to shoot with any part of my hand touching the lens of my glasses, though I have seen some good shooters do it that way.

It is always tough to measure gun length as so much of it depends on the shape and position of the pistol grip. The measurement from trigger to center of the butt really is not all that meaningful, though it is convenient for gunsmiths because it is consistent. A far more meaningful measurement would be made from the web between the 2nd and 3rd fingers when they are grasping the pistol grip thence to the center of the butt. That is what really determines practical length. I have gone over this more in some depth in other Technoid letters. Root through the archives using our semi-reliable search engine.

At any rate, the best way to come up with the right length is to experiment. If you feel that the stock is too long, then remove the recoil pad and TAPE on a thin rifle recoil pad. Test and add cardboard spacers and the like until you get what you want- all slathered up with tape and festooned with clay target boxes. Cart if off to the local pad installer and have him do what is necessary to stick on a Kickeez or Terminator.

You will know that the installation will be correct because you will have spent some time shooting the gun with that length stock. Using the tape/cardboard method, you can also make minute changes in length until it is just perfect. If necessary and if you want your stock much shorter, you can always pull off the pad and just put some protective masking tape over the raw wood end. This will give you the idea of proper length and you don’t have to shoot it very long like this.

As I say elsewhere on our site (probably ad nauseum), proper gun fit is not an ingredient in the Free Recoil formula, but it probably has more to do with perceived recoil than anything else. If it were my gun, I would not perform any barrel modifications until I was sure that the gun fit me correctly. No amount of reaming and drilling will help a sore cheek bone. Fit the gun right first.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid

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1 Response to Gun Fit Vs Barrel Work

  1. Ed Sybert says:

    I agree that an inch between the base of your shooting hand’s thumb and your glasses or cheek bone is an excellent way to “set” your length of pull. You may also reduce perceived recoil by shooting proper target loads through your gun barrel rather than putting registered targets through it. – LOL.


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