Question: I have lowered my adjustable comb as far as possible, and yet I still find myself being slightly high on the gun — I see the mid-rib bead with far too much separation to the end-bead. To compensate, I have to push forward more, and while I shoot OK like that, it’s not as natural as I would like it to be. What should I do?
Answer: What should you see when properly mounted? You should be “no lower than snowman,” meaning that you should see the mid-rib bead immediately below the muzzle bead with no space in between.
Many shooters I fit have the misconception that they need to be flat on the rib, with no rib visible at all. This is incorrect and will diminish your visual connection with the target. Some shooters shoot with more “float” than others and see more of the rib, and that’s OK. Verifying the point of impact on the patterning board, and particularly on actual targets, is the real test. If your gun shoots where you’re looking, you’re in good shape.
With that said, you should never adjust your mount to make a shotgun fit. If you are, it is time for a gun fitting. Adjusting your mount to compensate for a poorly fitted shotgun can result in the formation of some very nasty habits that can be very hard to break.
If you have verified that you’re shooting high when properly and comfortably mounted to the gun, you have three options given that your comb is already at its lowest adjustment:
1) Sand down the top of your comb until your gun shoots where you are looking, but no further. Be careful not to encroach on the hardware inside your comb.
2) Raise your rib slightly by adding an aftermarket add-on rib. A number of companies will make a custom rib for your shotgun, but you will need to have some idea of the height that is ideal for your fit. I use a piece of balsa wood to achieve the correct height.
3) Get a gun fitting from an expert gun fitter and have a custom stock made for your gun.
Don Currie is NSCA’s Chief Instructor, an Orvis Wingshooting School instructor, and Master Class competitor. To get free shooting tips and videos, sign up for his monthly newsletter. You can also see more tips from Currie at www.doncurrie.com.