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How effective are comb raisers on a shotgun?

What do comb raisers do anyway?

Comb raiser

A homemade comb raiser on a BSA rifle. Basic but effective in raising the comb.

Comb raisers are useful to know about because they help to ensure you don’t lose sight of the target when the gunstock meets your face. (Read our full guide to the importance of gun comb height.)

Whilst they are useful, they should only be viewed as a temporary measure. If you find the comb on your shotgun is too low, what you really need to do is to get your gun and gun fit looked at by a professional gunsmith.

More on comb raisers

  • You can buy off-the-shelf comb raisers as a temporary measure. They can be a useful stick-on accessory when a gun stock really is too low.  By adjusting  the comb you are able to keep your master eye in alignment with the target over the rib, when the gun is mounted.
  • If your gun does have a low comb and the master eye loses sight of the target, your other eye will take control of muzzle alignment and send the shot wide of the mark.
  • If, by raising the comb height, you find it easier to hit targets, your next job is to have the wood raised permanently by a professional gunsmith. An experienced fitter will be able to determine by how much the comb needs to be raised.
  • There are some useful comb raising devices available, but steer clear of those that not only add height, but unwanted width at the point you place your face. Too much bulk could affect eye placement in relation to cast.
  • If you think comb height (or lack of it) is an issue, then you can temporarily add thin strips of suitable packing material to the top of the stock and hold them down with insulating tape. By raising the height a little at a time you will soon settle on a happy compromise, without affecting the gun’s cast in any way. Once you’ve found the ideal height, send the gun to a gunsmith and have it altered permanently.
  • The trouble with rubber comb raisers is that their bulk can also affect the cast of the stock, putting your eye out of lateral alignment with the rib of the gun.

This article was originally published in 2014 and has been updated.