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Tommy B
Advanced Member



USA
724 Posts

Posted - Jul 06 2005 :  23:47:27  Show Profile Send Tommy B a Private Message  Reply with Quote
How do I determine length of pull when choosing a custom stock?

ricciardelli
Advanced Member



USA
1581 Posts

Posted - Jul 07 2005 :  00:46:49  Show Profile  Visit ricciardelli's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The length of pull or LOP is measured from the forward face of the trigger to the end of the butt plate or butt pad. It should be measured to the point halfway between the heel (top) and the toe (bottom) of the butt plate.

LOP is considered a very important measurement for any stock because the length of the buttstock will greatly affect how well you can hold your rifle and how well you will shoot.

If the LOP is too short, you will tend to pull your shots to the right if you are a right-hand shooter. If the LOP is too long, the rifle will tend to ride upward and outward during recoil which will usually make you shoot low and to the left if you are a right-hand shooter. Reverse these directions if you are a left-hand shooter.

Correct LOP can be determined by placing the buttstock along your forearm. Slip your trigger finger onto the trigger and the rest of your fingers around the pistol grip or wrist just like you would do if you were shouldering the rifle. Look down and see if the face of the butt plate or butt pad rests against your biceps.

If it is just touching the surface of your biceps then the LOP is very close to being correct. You can further test for a correct LOP by shouldering the rifle and relaxing your right arm and letting your elbow drop as low as possible without being uncomfortable. Your elbow should be approximately in the centreline of the side of your body.

If it's too far forward the LOP is too long. If it's too far rearward, the LOP is too short. These tests are just initial indicators of correct LOP. Because of variations in shooting styles you may still need to lengthen or shorten the buttstock to gain a correct fit.



http://stevespages.com/page8c.htm
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Tommy B
Advanced Member



USA
724 Posts

Posted - Jul 07 2005 :  01:09:56  Show Profile Send Tommy B a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks Steve that cleared it up a bit. I will do some testing when i get home.
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6.5mike mike
Senior Member

240 Posts

Posted - Jul 07 2005 :  21:34:26  Show Profile Send 6.5mike mike a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Tommy B,

Stephen has given a good definition of length of pull as well as describing the most generic of ways to try to get an idea about length of pull. But neither of those methods will truly establish your real length of pull. And the approximations that they will give can be decidely wrong.

Most of us think that length of pull is just the one measurement and that's that. But there is a long list of variables that get included in just that one measurement.

- How long is your neck, is it shorter or longer than the average?

- How fat or skinny is your cheek on the stock-side?

- How much muscle do you have in the pocket of your shoulder?

- How developed are your pectoral mucles? Your biceps?

- Does your clavical protrude across the top of your shoulder?

That's the short list and you can see how picky it gets real quick if you want a true custom stock.

If you are looking for a true custom stock, I suggest that you go to a professional stockmaker. They can do all of the right measuring and assure you of a perfect correct fit. If you are just getting the length of pull for a fiberglass stock, you should be measured by a professional as well. If you think that you do not meet the "average" description of the "average" shooter, take a look at an adjustable stock in fiberglass.

I'm not trying to beat this into the ground but I am an example of a non-average shooter and I have to make custom wood stocks for myself and because fiberglass doesn't allow for all of the adjustments in a regular stock, I have to use the adjustable ones. It makes a huge difference!

FWIW - measuring from my bicep to the pad of my trigger finger is 13-1/8" and my correctly measured length of pull is 14-1/4".

Good luck with your rifle!

Opinions vary...
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ricciardelli
Advanced Member



USA
1581 Posts

Posted - Jul 07 2005 :  23:41:24  Show Profile  Visit ricciardelli's Homepage  Reply with Quote
- How long is your neck, is it shorter or longer than the average?

- How fat or skinny is your cheek on the stock-side?

- How much muscle do you have in the pocket of your shoulder?

- How developed are your pectoral mucles? Your biceps?

- Does your clavical protrude across the top of your shoulder?

Are all important measurements, however, they are more important to cast-on/cast-off and drop.


http://stevespages.com/page8c.htm
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6.5mike mike
Senior Member

240 Posts

Posted - Jul 08 2005 :  00:42:21  Show Profile Send 6.5mike mike a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The question was length of pull. And yes, some of these callouts do figure into cast-off and cast-on and drop but these also figure into length of pull as well. Many of these measurements are intertwined which is what makes getting one correct, somewhat complicated. That's why I prefaced that list with:

"But there is a long list of variables that get included in just that one measurement."

And then I followed up with the statement:

"That's the short list and you can see how picky it gets real quick if you want a true custom stock."

There have been many, many books written on the art of custom stockmaking and I'm not going to try and paraphrase any of them here. But the concept of making a truly CUSTOM stock is much more complex than just cutting off a fiberglass or wood stock to some dimension and one that should have been measured correctly by someone who is qualified. It's the mis-use of the term "custom" by gunsmiths that irritates me. It's like the overused and incorrect term "blueprinting" that gunsmiths use regarding the accurizing work done on receivers.

I was merely trying to indicate to Tommy B that this dimension was more difficult to arrive at correctly than most of us actually know.

Best of luck!

Opinions vary...

Edited by - 6.5mike mike on Jul 08 2005 00:47:32
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6.5mike mike
Senior Member

240 Posts

Posted - Jul 09 2005 :  09:46:10  Show Profile Send 6.5mike mike a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's always interesting to be able to poke fun at yourself sometimes. I have a tendency to treat some topics way too seriously and I get to read responses such as "lighten up dude" and other such nonsense. But when reading this same topic on another forum last night it dawned on me that I should be chuckling at myself and the situation rather than trying to write another reasoning response about the proper way to do something.

The advice given, this time by one of that forum's house gunsmiths, will eventually be self-reinforcing when enough folks cut their stocks off and realize that their method of measurement was only very approximate. But this is how some people learn.

The internet has allowed a phenomenal amount of information to become readily available to anyone with access to a computer. This is a great thing in my opinion. The drawback is that there can't be any control over the quality and correctness of that information. Self-monitoring by folks like our forum members is the only way to exert some control over quality.

So in the future, if I get a little anal about certain responses, I will attempt to remember to add a couple of these smiley things to the end of my posts so that I realize that I shouldn't be quite so serious about some of this.


http://longrangehunting.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=0&Board=UBB3&Number=75755&page=0&fpart=all

Opinions vary...
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skyline
Advanced Member

Canada
2807 Posts

Posted - Jul 09 2005 :  10:02:31  Show Profile Send skyline a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Don't worry 6.5 m.m. I will get on your case, as I am sure you will get on mine.

Actually I think your expansion on the topic, listing the many variables, is right on. Maybe it will encourage those that are considering getting out the measuring tape and handsaw to take their firearm to a good gunsmith and have it done properly in the first instance. Kind of like the old carpenters line, "measure twice and cut once".

One other thing to consider on determining a trigger pull length for hunting rifles, is how much cothing you will be wearing when you are out in the hinterland. Those of us that routinely hunt in -30 or -40, and have to wear parkas and many layers of clothing, will find that a slightly shorter than optimum trigger pull length is required.

On several occasions over the years I have seen southern boys that are use to hunting in T shirts, get the butt of their custom rifle hung up in their arm pits on the way up and miss out on a shot.

As 6.5 mike pointed out, there are many things to consider.

"Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but it had better be a learned one!"

Edited by - skyline on Jul 09 2005 10:03:16
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Pat
Starting Member

USA
1 Posts

Posted - Dec 29 2007 :  23:46:49  Show Profile Send Pat a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks, I appreciate all the advice. I'm very much a novice in these matters, with a tendency to think about the variables and nuances involved. I've been deer hunting with the same rifle for 20 years and just recently became interested in LOP because I obtained another rifle and am considering the purchase of a third.

Here in Wisconsin, how much clothing you have on is critical because it may be anywhere from 40 degrees above to 30 degrees below zero when you hunt, which means a very wide range of thickness of clothes you're wearing. You learn to adjust somewhat but if the LOP (with the coat you usually wear) is too far off to start with, you're in trouble. Regardless of what you're wearing, you had best put the rifle up to firing position several times before that buck walks into view.

Another variable is the smoothness of the recoil pad against your clothes. If that interface it too rough, the rifle will hang up and delay your shot.
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skyline
Advanced Member

Canada
2807 Posts

Posted - Dec 30 2007 :  00:38:37  Show Profile Send skyline a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Pat............welcome to the nest.

Let no good deed go unpunished.
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skyline
Advanced Member

Canada
2807 Posts

Posted - Dec 30 2007 :  00:51:14  Show Profile Send skyline a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh............and I miss 6.5 Mike Mike..................anybody else?

Let no good deed go unpunished.
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Wolfgang
Advanced Member

3316 Posts

Posted - Dec 30 2007 :  08:12:49  Show Profile  Visit Wolfgang's Homepage Send Wolfgang a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Tom,

Oh, I am so glad you brought this up! Just had a discussion a few days ago with a fellow who was telling just how well his Browning shotgun fit him.... after watching him shoot a few stick birds, I was quick to tell him that the gun did NOT fit him, he adapted to fit the gun. That's not necessarily a bad thing and I'll explain that in a bit.

6.5mike is on the money about the major things that go into stock fitting and they are all equally important to the overall fit, not just LOP or Cast. You can have everything fitted well and being 0.250" shy on the heel drop will wreck the whole system just as quickly as being 0.090" too heavy on the cast.

To obtain your general LOP measurement - LOP only, this means ignoring all other parameters - hold your trigger arm out in front of you, upper arm strait out and at a 90° angle to your chest elbow pointing away from you, forearm parallel to your chest, index finger bent 90° at the knuckle joint. Now, without jamming the end of the rule into your skin, measure from the inside of the elbow joint to the pad of the index finger - you must make sure you maintain a 90° bend at the elbow & knuckle and that your wrist is perfectly strait in-line with the forearm. This will put you in the ballpark for LOP ONLY WHEN YOU ARE WEARING THE CLOTHING YOU ARE WHEN YOU TAKE THE MEASUREMENT! If you're looking for a hunting rifle and you live in some horrible cold place where the temps can require the use of thick clothing, you need to measure the LOP while wearing all the clothes you'll be wearing when you're out there hunting....it may shock you at just how quickly you'll be shaving at least 0.5" off the LOP measurement and it will shock you even more when you find out how much better you can shoot because of it.

LOP is way over rated in my opinion and 99.9% of the time incorrectly used as the sole determination point of how a gun will fit you. Just look around at all the people who bought a Mosin-Nagant and complain about the "too short LOP" when in reality the LOP (13.5") on these rifles is more correct for average American hunter than they will care to accept.

You see, the problem is that Americans & Canadians as a whole have come to accept whatever was available to them and after a century of seeing the same basic stock style on every single gun, anything different seems out of place to them. One must look at the roots of this geographic region to see why this happened. The strongest influences in gun design here have come from western Europe - England, France & western Germany for the most part.

Being a custom muzzleloader builder, I get into this because it's all important to determin if someone wants a gun that fits them well for hunting or if they want a gun that is historically correct. There is no difference in the choice when it comes to a centerfire gun - either you want a gun that fits you well or you want a gun that "looks right" simply because that's the image you have burned into your brain simply because that's all you've ever known. Go to a well stocked gunshop and pick out any ten rifles from various domestic & west European manufacturers and lay them next to each other see how little difference there is in the stock design....now ask youself "why"? Here's where the answer becomes as simple as the stock shape choices you have available - "because it's what people have adapted to". The stocks are not adapted to the people, the people are adapted to the stocks - yes, simple as that, you don't know any different. I mean afterall, are you going to be the one guy who has the guts to be different and show up at a club shooting match with a Romanian or Ukrainian style stock....what would all your friends think???? That's the stigma north American's have come to live with, it has nothing to do with how the stock fits the person, it is simply a matter of those who fear to change or be different even if it's for the better.

Before I got into building ML's for customers, I did a lot of research and experimentation on my own cartridge guns. With the exception of those that have considerable collector value, all my stocks have been either modified or completely replaced. I'm an average size & shape fellow and I can adapt to the basic North American stock style and LOP but why should I feel compelled to do so when so many simple changes can make a world of difference in how a gun fits me?

All the things listed come into play to some extent but more so the overall shape of the stock make much more of a difference in how the gun will the person than any adjustments you can make to the basic stock style. Not that long ago I saw an ad for a shotgun that comes with wedges and spacers to allow adjustment of the basic stock. Of all the options included, none of them make that much difference and for the cost, one can have a custom stock that is not only properly fitted to measurements but is also properly shaped for the shooter.

Okay, here's an example: Joe lives in mindrot ND where tee shirt shooting weather lasts about as long as the fourth of july. Joe is stuck in the stigma that he needs a 14" LOP on his rifle & shotgun because that's what the book says he should use. Joe shoots well with the gun during the 3 days of tee shirt weather and when he dresses up to hunt in November, he can't even get the rifle shouldered correctly let alone make a decent shot with it. Now, let's take Joe's rifle and whack 0.875" off the butt and while we're at it, we're going to round off the edges - now ole Joe can actually shoulder the rifle correctly when he's hunting. Joe is still having problems getting a decent sight picture, seems Joe mounted a scope atop the rifle raising the eye level beyond that afforded by the generic stock. We fix joe up again by adding a generic cheek pad, this helps a little but now he's laying his head to the side putting stress on his neck and taking even more away from his accuracy level. Last thing we do is make Joe a properly sized & shape cheek & comb rest and now his rifle is more adapted to him rather than he to his rifle.


Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don't ever apologize for anything."
Harry S. Truman
mark@fire-iron.biz


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Wolfgang
Advanced Member

3316 Posts

Posted - Dec 30 2007 :  08:32:03  Show Profile  Visit Wolfgang's Homepage Send Wolfgang a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Pat

Here in Wisconsin, how much clothing you have on is critical because it may be anywhere from 40 degrees above to 30 degrees below zero when you hunt, which means a very wide range of thickness of clothes you're wearing. You learn to adjust somewhat but if the LOP (with the coat you usually wear) is too far off to start with, you're in trouble. Regardless of what you're wearing, you had best put the rifle up to firing position several times before that buck walks into view.

Another variable is the smoothness of the recoil pad against your clothes. If that interface it too rough, the rifle will hang up and delay your shot.



Welcome to the forum!

See my other reply and I'll expand on the your observation a little more. If you properly fit the gun to the primary hunting conditions, in your case the cold, you're LOP is going to be shorter, a little more cast, a little more drop with a higher & more rounded comb usually helps a great deal too.

As for the recoil pad...forget it completely! You don't need it. If you fire that many rounds while hunting that you need a recoil pad, you should re-think your shooting ability. That's in no way a dig either, I'm going to explain... Seriously, you don't need a recoil pad when you've got winter clothing on and you're not going to sit there hammering out 10-20 rounds at a time. One, maybe two shots is all you're going to fire at any given time unless you've got a bunch of tags to fill. Besides, even if it does kick a little, you won't notice it anyway because you're focused on the hunt. A good smooth well rounded metal buttplate is far more user-friendly than anything on a hunt, it's going slide over the clothes easily and come right into position provided you have the LOP properly adjusted.

For those days when you've got less clothes on, by all means, you may want to consider a slip-on recoil pad but it's got to be copasetic with your handling of the rifle.

I was going to get into this with my other reply but got called away for a bit and forgot about it. If you use a shorter than normal LOP, say you consider 14" right for you, now you drop to 13" which works well when you've got the cold weather gear on. It is far easier to adapt to shooting with the shorter LOP when you are in a tee shirt than it is to try and adapt to shooting the longer LOP with the clothes on and you simply run out of arm length and movement.

So many times I have seen people trying on winter hunting clothes in the store and they make on like they're shouldering a gun by first raising their shoulders way up. This ain't gonna happen in the woods, the gun is going to come up as normal and you ain't gonna be stretching the jacket up using your shoulders so just forget about doing it in the store.

LOP is not critical to shooting unless it's too long, people can quickly adapt to a short LOP and shoot just as accurately no matter if it's a hunting rifle or a skeet gun. The same as you have trained yourself to deal with the North American style stock, you can train yourself to the shorter LOP a whole lot quicker and easier. It may feel wierd at first but if the cheek and comb are shaped and sized correctly, you won't have any problems.


Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don't ever apologize for anything."
Harry S. Truman
mark@fire-iron.biz


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Mike 257
Advanced Member



USA
905 Posts

Posted - Dec 30 2007 :  09:53:16  Show Profile Send Mike 257 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Oh............and I miss 6.5 Mike Mike..................anybody else?



Yes , where did he go ?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I Made A Lot Of Money In My Lifetime, Most Of It I Spent On Guns And Women, The Rest I Just Wasted !

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