A step-by-step guide to altering a shotgun comb

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The owner of a Beretta Ultralight shotgun wanted to alter the stock. Whilst he loved the gun and was delighted with his purchase, he had very large hands and consequently found the comb made his grip uncomfortable. After taking advice and having an expert look at his gun fit, the recommended requirement  was to take the comb back three-eighths of an inch.

I thought it would be useful to readers if I provided a step-by-step guide on how to do this, with pictures.

Guide to alter the comb on a shotgun

1: After marking out the lines of the new contours with a scribe – more of a visual aid really, just to make sure I didn’t take off too much material – the first job was to take off the majority of the wood with a rasp.

Beretta comb alteration2: The next stages are similar and are simply all part of the process of removing wood to produce the desired shape. Here we’re keeping the desired radius by using a half-round file. To make the finishing easier, the coarseness of the files is reduced as we get nearer the final shape.

Beretta comb alteration3: Various grades of sandpaper are used – getting finer as the work progresses – to achieve a smooth finish. A sanding block is used where it’s important to get a straight edge.

Beretta comb alteration4: A sprinkling of water is applied with a damp cloth. This helps lift and tighten the grain of the wood.

Beretta comb alteration5: Moderate heat from a gas gun helps lift the grain. This will also help provide a better finish after further sanding.

Beretta comb alteration6: All that now remains is the cosmetic finishing, a small amount of wood stain, red oil and then sealer. Job done.

This is not a typical job, so it would be charged simply on the time taken. In this case the bill would be around £70.