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Normal Topic Does my firearm fit correctly - Part five (Read 551 times)
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Does my firearm fit correctly - Part five
Sep 9th, 2018 at 11:58pm
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So to actually sorting out the fit.

Firearm fitting is like load development, it usually takes a series of incremental adjustments with a test of each to arrive at the most desirable “recipe” of comfort, dimensions and configuration. It will also involve a bit of confusion and hair pulling at times. To put it bluntly, firearm fitting is equal parts science and witchcraft. The better fitted a firearm is for one particular position of use i.e. prone on a bipod, the less useful it will be in any other position so it is either compromise on final potential accuracy or number of ways of use. Generally, the firearm becomes all but unusable for anyone but the fitted firer.

As stated earlier - The very first step is to closely inspect and prepare the firearm. Have any faults rectified before attempting to address the fit.  At this time it is vital to ensure the scope is correctly mounted with the ocular lens at the correct position to suit the firer and the reticle perfectly aligned on the X & Y axes.  The X axis (central line or bore) of the scope should be concentric with the bore axis and centred directly above it. Ideally, the x-axis of the scope should be the lowest possible to lower the centre of gravity and therefore stability of the firearm. I will go more into correctly mounting and aligning the scope in a later post.

Once the firearm is prepared it is time to take some measurements from the firer. Start with working out the required length of pull as this determines a great deal of the other dimensions.
A good easy explanation and video here

A couple of tips here,
1.      Have an assistant photograph you from a number of different angles whilst firing a simple grouping test (using a firearm that you feel confident of your ability to produce good tight groups) h before you start with the fitting. The photos should show clearly how and where the five points of contact occur/ align and the various body position angles employed. You should also take measurements of the various points of interest noting which ones feel comfortable to the firer and which do not. Take a look when you are at the range, nobody does things exactly the same.
2.      Buy or use an old rifle that will not matter if you co*k things up. Go right through the fitting process with it as a practise run. This really does work for first timers with stock fitting.

This information will be of great help later. When doing the fit testing make sure you are carefully replicating these same body positions, points of contact, angles and alignments etc. In this way, you will be fitting the firearm to match you proven, comfortable shooting configuration and stand the best chance of correctly fitting the firearm for that use.

Another way to get good information is to visit a gun shop and try a range of rifles taking note of which particular dimensions feel right to the firer. This will help you to work out what the final finished fitted stock dimensions will be.

Once you have found the correct dimension, make any required adjustments. Remember you cannot put back if you take off too much so go in small increments.  I recommend the installation of a good quality aftermarket four-way adjustable butt. I use Accuracy International offerings as they are lightweight, indestructible and easily adjustable in the field. It is almost inevitable that some trimming of the stock will be required to install such an item.

The above-mentioned item allows very accurate fine tuning and gets the very best results. (there are quite a few good options available) It also allows for adjustments according to clothing and gear in the same way you adjust the turrets for range and windage etc. Whatever you do you must ensure you take time to fit the best possible recoil pad you can find. Especially for prone shooting where the shoulder bones tend to take more of beating.

What you are trying to achieve when you mount the rifle with the butt in the soft muscled fold between the deltoid and pectoral muscles, your master hand falls completely naturally to the grip in the correct alignment to grasp without reaching torquing or crimping. At the same time your cheekbone should fall to the comb so that cheek muscle and not the bone is providing the weld to the comb. This must also achieve a completely natural, effortless and stress-free head/ eye angle to look through the sights. Do not worry about correct eye vertical or lateral alignment yet.

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