Runnin’ and Gunnin’ with the Twins: Rifle stock fitting 101

Unless you are an average-sized man, you have probably shot a rifle or even own one that doesn’t fit you. If you want to get the most out of your firearm and be as accurate as possible, you need to make some simple adjustments to your stock so it fits like a glove. We are going to walk you through these basic steps to insure a proper stock fitting.  If you don’t have an adjustable stock on your rifle and you aren’t willing to take a saw to the stock, we recommend getting an Advanced Technology International Adjustable stock. You can make all these adjustments necessary with an ATI stock that allows you to fit a rifle properly and become a more accurate shooter. 

Before you start any adjustments, make sure the gun is empty and you are always pointing it in a safe direction.

Tracy Barnes rifle

Tracy Barnes practices from the prone position.

Trigger measurement

The first thing to check is your reach to the trigger. The best method is to bend your arm at 90 degrees and place the butt of the gun in the crook of your elbow so that your arm wraps around and up to the trigger well. If your finger sits comfortably on the trigger at a 90-degree angle, than it fits perfect. If your finger is stretched and doesn’t reach the trigger, than you have to decrease the length of the butt plate/shoulder pad. If your finger wraps around the trigger than you need to add more length to the butt plate/shoulder pad. Adjust the butt plate either forward or backwards until your finger is resting comfortably on the trigger.

Lanny Barnes_ATI stock

Lanny Barnes and an ATI-fitted stock.

Cheek Piece Height

 Another really important adjustment is the height and angle of the cheek piece.  The first thing you should do after you adjust your butt plate is to get into the prone position and with your eyes closed rest your head on the cheek piece. Then open your eyes and look down the sights/optics. Does your eye look directly down the sight? If you are looking at the bottom of the sight/optic, than you need to move your cheek piece up until your eye is looking directly through the center of the sight. If you are looking at the top of the sight, than move your cheek piece down. Keep checking this by lifting your head and with your eyes closed, rest your head back down on the cheek piece and open your eyes until you are looking directly down the optic with a relaxed head and neck. Once you’ve made the final adjustment, your head and neck should be in a relaxed position on the stock and you should be able to look comfortably down the sight without moving your head to do so, after you’ve made the adjustment.

twinbiathletes_BarnesEye relief on scope/sight 

Once you have positioned the height of the cheek piece, you need to adjust the eye relief of your sight/optic. [For more information on how to work with your scope, please see this primer from Babbs in the Woods.] This can be done in the same way you used to adjust the cheek piece. Place your head on the cheek piece with your eyes closed. Then once in a comfortable position open your eyes. Move the sight forward and backward until you have some. Then secure the sight. Also make sure that the sight or scope isn’t too close to your face as you may get hit by it during recoil.

Editor’s note: And they’re off … to Estonia, where they are racing for the U.S. Biathlon team in Europe. Good luck, Twins, and thanks for the tips!

Runnin’ and Gunnin’ with the Twins is underwritten by Advanced Technology International.