After shooting my new over/under for a few weeks, my instructor, Elizabeth Lanier, said that my gun was a tad bit too big for me and needed to be adjusted. E said that I needed to have the length of pull shortened (the distance from the trigger to where your shoulder touches the stock) and the pitch adjusted (the angle of the butt in relation to the top of the barrel). The drop at the comb and heel, which means that if properly fitted, the gun aligns right below your eye without having to move your head up or down, was fine for me.
After doing several sets of measurements, E packed up my gun and dropped it off with her gunsmith, Danny Patton. With these measurements, Danny knew just how much of the stock to cut off and at what angle to attach the new butt plate. Since I'd only had my gun a few weeks, I was sad to see it go, but I knew the wait would be worth it. A properly fit shotgun can make all the difference when hitting targets as you won't have to lift your head off the stock to see the targets.
After our trek down Route 15, Dave and I finally made it to Danny's place. I'd never been to a gunsmith before and I was mesmerized by what I saw in his workshop. So many tools, lots of equipment and guns galore. A little tour...
The machinery Danny uses
Hardware in every shape and size
All the pieces of stock that Danny has removed from guns. It's all catalogued in case he needs to match wood color or even use a piece of the original wood for a repair.
Buttplates that are attached after the stock has been fit.
The stock and forend of a beautiful side-by-side that Danny just refinished
Stocks waiting to be worked on
My gun fits me so much better now! Thank you, E and Danny! I've shot several times since I got the gun back and also was in a tournement a few weeks ago. My scores haven't skyrocketed, but I did score 10 higher than my previous tournament best. ;-) Practice makes perfect.