498 Kings Road, London SW10 0LE - info@londongunservices.co.uk - Tel+44 (0) 207 351 0005

Gun Fitting

Gun fitting is an art and with our help, which is included when you buy a gun from London Gun Services you will be certain that the gun you leave with properly fits both you and the type of shooting you are pursuing.

Stock length

There are three important stock measurements but the one which most people refer to is the length, which is the distance from the trigger blade to the centre of the butt of the stock, normally anywhere between 14½” to 15¼”. But while these are average lengths, it should be remembered that ¼” can make a lot of difference to both comfort and accuracy. You may be partridge shooting in a cotton shooting vest in early autumn, but by mid-winter, you might be wearing thermals, a thick sweater and waterproof coat, which could add anything from 1/8” to ½”.  To resolve this dilemma the simple solution is to have a recoil pad fitted into your shooting vest. This will automatically add anything up to ¼” which will compensate for not wearing your usual winter shooting garb. It will also give you kinder shooting on those hotter days.

Gunmounting is difficult with a short stock - the gun is not so controllable and likely to give the user some knocks. While a stock which is too long will result in the user mounting the butt onto the end of his/her arm as opposed to in the shoulder pocket. In which case both the cast and drop measurements will work against you, and definitely not for you.

Your master eye will be out of alignment at the breech, looking down the side of the rib rather than the centre. The eye will be lower than it should be, the drop measurement increased, the cast in effect reduced.

There are three stock measurements - centre, heel, and toe. Reducing the toe measurement can be helpful for ladies or men who are fuller in the chest, and make it easier to achieve good contact in the shoulder pocket.


Cast is the sideways movement of the stock from the central line of the gun.  Cast is referred to as ‘On' for left and ‘Off' for right, whilst there is cast at comb, face, heel and toe.

Cast on your gun adjusts the east and west movement of your pattern. The amount of cast needed on a side-by-side or over-under is determined by the use of a try gun to make and take accurate measurements so that when the shooter's eye is placed centrally over the breech with a natural head position, the gun fitter will make small adjustments until he sees the perfect eye/rib correlation

The amount of cast on or off is wholly dependent on the shape and width of the Gun's face, and what it takes to get the master eye in the correct position when the stock is correctly mounted.

You tend to find that someone broad in the face requires considerably more cast at ‘face' than someone who is slimmer, with more narrow facial features.


The drop measurement on your gun adjusts the north and south placement of your shot pattern. There are three measurements in drop - at comb (top of the stock), at face (midway position between nose of comb and heel of comb) and heel.

This is one measurement which makers of off-the-shelf side-by-sides and over-under frequently get wrong. Unless we are talking about trap guns, the majority have too much drop in the comb. 

Generally, the length is OK, and for cast they tend to opt for standard measurements of 1/8”at comb, 1/16” heel and ¼” toe. But drop at heel can be anywhere from 1½” to 2½” - and the latter is simply far too low for most people. Certainly for driven shooting. And remember just 1/8” out on the cast or drop measurement at face equates to the center of the pattern being 6” off the target at 40 yards. 

Too much drop results in the master eye looking at the top lever rather than the quarry,  causing head lifting and subsequently the stock banging the cheek and resulting in a stopped swing.

So, therefore, small adjustments such as 1/16” can make a huge difference to the point of aim of your gun - at 40 yards we are talking about the difference between killing a partridge and wounding or missing it underneath.

In my eyes comb height is a crucial measurement in gun fit.

But a word of warning... always remember that a little knowledge can be dangerous so before you start tinkering with your gun and the advice of a professional gunfitter who will tell you whether your gun fits or not is time well spent. 

For the game Shot who specialises in grouse, it is suggested that the comb height be set so that half the pattern is placed above and half below the aiming mark at 40 yards. For the driven pheasant Shot I would suggest that the comb height is set a little higher ie. 2/3 above and 1/3 below. This results in the pattern being thrown a little higher than the aiming mark at 40 yards in the field,  thus reducing the chance of wounding rising/crossing birds and enables the Gun to see a little more of the bird in flight.

With short-term parking outside alternatively, we offer a collection and delivery service within the M25. 

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London Gun Company

Like Frederick Beesley, London Gun Services is part of the London Gun Company group of businesses. As a group, we have built a reputation for delivering exceptional levels of service at competitive prices.

Our companies are run by people who are as passionate about shooting as you are and who understand what is needed to get the best out of our sport.  Click here to find out more information about the London Gun Company team.

When attention to detail, professional advice and the choice of the best guns for any budget re important, come and talk to the experts who really care.

Terms & Conditions

Shop Opening Times

Monday – Friday 9 am – 6 pm
Saturday 9 am – 5 pm
Sunday  (1st August – 31st Jan) 12noon – 5 pm

By appointment times for existing storage customers

Monday – Friday 7 am – 7 pm
Saturday 7 am – 6 pm
Sunday 12noon – 5 pm By Appointment only (from 11/2/2018)

Out of hours appointment charges apply.


Out of hours appointment charges

Monday – Friday

5 am – 6 am - £60
6 am – 7 am - £50
7 pm-8 pm - £50
8 pm – 9 pm - £60

Saturday - Sunday

Please call to discuss your
requirements and our charges

By appointment times must be agreed via email before the appointment (using booking@londongunservices.co.uk). 

All chargeable out of hours appointments must be booked via booking@londongunservices.co.uk with charges being paid in advance.

Third party collections will incur a £12 administration charge.


All by appointment times are booked in 15-minute time slots (whether chargeable or not), late or no arrival will incur a charge of £10.



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