Stocking For A Long Neck

Dear Technoid,

My friend, a typical stock crawling shooter, wishes to learn a more upright stance and head position for shooting sporting clays. He shoots a 12 ga CVC with 30″ barrels. The stock is of “normal” (per industry standards) measurements with relation to drop at comb/heel and pitch. His LOP is 14 1/2″. Their is minimal cast off.

He is of “normal” facial features (eye-cheek relationship) but has a longish neck. When mounting in this upright position (w/o an exaggerated raising of the shoulder) he finds the following: an acceptable eye/rib alignment producing a figure eight bead configuration but the heel of the butt is a above the line of his shoulder. The following questions assumes proper confirmation of stock fit by a stock fitter and pattern board work.

1). Will an adjustable butt pad significantly alter the balance of this gun?

2). What are the pros/cons of a Monte Carlo style stock in sporting clays?

3). For “longish” neck individuals desiring to shoot upright, w/o an exaggerated shoulder raise, is a Monte Carlo style the way to go? Won’t a “standard” stock for this individual produce too much of a variance in the drop at comb vs drop at heel and worsen subjective recoil?

Again, thanks for the site and information.


Dear Randy,

I want to help, but your friend will have to understand that analyzing stock fit at a distance is like trying to tailor a suit over the telephone. You really have to see the person shoot the gun. Of course, none of this will stop me from opining and pontificating, but it does mean that I could be even further off the mark than usual.

I have seen shooters who mount with part of the butt above their shoulder. I have never seen good shooters do this though. It is usually the less experienced shooters. The best shooters tend to shoot normal looking stocks in a normal manner. Very seldom do shooters go from crawling to upright. Usually, it is the other way around.

The adjustable butts that I have seen have tended vary in weight from slightly more than usual to trap contraptions that weigh an entire ton. I depends on whose you get and also the weight will depend on whose recoil pad you use. Pachmayr Decelerators are a couple of ounces lighter than Kickeez pads because the Pachmayrs have egg carton interiors and the Kickeez ones are solid.

Monte Carlo stocks were built to accommodate people like your friend. Actually, they started for pigeon shooting in Europe. The whole purpose behind them is to allow a more upright head position. I do not like them very much in low gun games because they remove just that much more butt area from the shoulder. Needing a higher stock for International Skeet, I went to a Monte Carlo, but filled in the “notch” and put on a bigger pad to gain all the butt area that I could.

Parallel combs as used in the Monte Carlo are not necessarily a good idea at sporting. The argument made is that the MC stock always positions the eye the same distance above the rib, no matter what the head position. This may be true in skeet and trap where the gun is premounted and where the targets do not vary vertically too much, but it is not true in sporting.

The rearward sloping stock is an advantage in sporting, as it is in the field, where presentations can be very high or low. High and low presentations not only place the face in different positions on the stock, but (most importantly) they alter the angle of the face in relation to the stock. Low presentations result in a more upright head, but positioned further back on the stock. Driven presentations cause a more crawled forward posture and angled downwards head. The rearward sloping stock automagically compensates for this head tilt. The MC stock does not.

If we are to judge what works in sporting clays by what the better shooters use, the adjustable butt plate and Monte Carlo are virtually non-existent. Sporting clays stocks do tend to be somewhat longer though. This is particularly surprising because sporting is generally shot low gun. One would think that the mounted gun games, which really encourage crawling, would have the longer stocks, but that it not the case. The longer stocks common in sporting are the result of the English influence on the game.

Before I went to a dropped recoil pad or a Monte Carlo for sporting, I would recommend to your friend that he try and extra 1/2″ of stock length and shoot with his elbows out.

There. That is all the baloney and bad advice that the internet can handle this morning.

Best regards,

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

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1 Response to Stocking For A Long Neck

  1. Robert O. SHEMELD says:

    My wife had a similar problem. Her long neck does nice things for a cocktail dress, but not so much on a sporting clay range.

    Her Silver Perdiz didn’t fit well and occasionally bruised her cheek. On a Monday morning after a weekend of sporting clays, she was called into her employer’s HR office. The HR Director looked at her solemnly and said it was obvious from the bruises on her face that she was being abused, and the primary suspect was me. She laughed, thanked the woman for her concern then explained that her shotgun didn’t fit very well and was smacking her on the cheek. I suspect the HR executive is still puzzling over that retort.

    Our next outing was to the Beretta Gallery where we had the gun professionally fitted. That and a moleskin did the trick.

    The point being, have the gun professionally fitted, it’s cheap and lasts forever.



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