What's involved in professional gun fitting? What's a try-gun?
Q: I would like to have the stock on my new Beretta Silver Pigeon professionally fitted because I don’t feel as though I am shooting with it as well as I should. What do you think?
A: A try-gun is a very useful tool when assessing gun fit. You can take a try-gun out on the shooting range to test on targets and have it fully adjusted for stock dimensions, trigger pull and lengths.
A professional fitter will measure the try-gun against you for a first fit. You will mount the gun into your shoulder and the fitter will look down the barrels to check the cast, making any adjustments necessary for you after the gun has been tried on the pattern plate and the stand.
With the adjustment figures noted the gunsmith will alter the cast, stock length, trigger and rim on your own gun to suit you.
A skilled gun fitter will use a try-gun to great effect and achieve an excellent result. Some fitters who are experienced shotgun coaches can even make accurate assessments of what a gun needs without the need of a try-gun. They just watch how somebody goes about shooting.
Perhaps you should start by seeking out an experienced coach in your area and asking what they think about your gun fit.
Everyone should start shooting with a gun that fits reasonably well but the full benefit in using a gun that fits precisely can only be achieved when the shooter has a clear understanding of his own shooting technique and is able to mount the gun properly and consistently each and every shot.
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Things to consider with professional gun fitting
- A try-gun can be a useful tool if you’ve having a bespoke gun made
- You may not need to have your gun refitted – it may be an issue with your gun mount and your shooting technique
- A good shotgun coach will be able to assess your gun fit and see what the next steps should be.