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Gun fit terms you need to know

Spending an hour or so with a gunsmith having your gun adjusted could make a massive difference to your shooting.

Gun fit

People come in all shapes and sizes, so some change may be needed to get the gun to shoot where they're looking

Do you know this gun fit terminology?


Cast off: This is the degree to which the shotgun’s stock is offset from its centre point and to the right. The aim is to allow the right-handed user’s line of sight to be directly down the centre of the rib from the breech to the bead at the muzzle end. It should also feel comfortable in the right shoulder pocket. For a left-handed shot, the reverse is known as ‘cast on’.

Toe, centre and heel

Toe: This refers to the bottom rear section of the gunstock, and is at the opposite end to the “heel” with the “centre” in between. A trick for remembering which is which is to set an unloaded shotgun on its butt alongside your feet with the trigger guard facing away – the toe of the stock and the toes on your feet will be side by side.


Also known as “pull”, length is the measurement from the centre of the trigger to the centre of the butt.


Drop is the difference in height between the top of the stock comb and the rear of the rib, and it is measured at the comb and the heel. A gun with less drop normally shoots higher, and a gun with more drop shoots lower. As a general rule the measurement is correct when the gun is mounted and the user is able to see the bead and a little of the rib from the breech end.