The art and science of gunfitting is fundamentally different to just cutting a stock to length.
A custom fitted stock is a stock that has areas that are built up to fit the shape of your cheek, and areas that are shaved off to fit the shoulder and face protruding bones.
Fitting an existing stock is possible to an extent. But existing stocks are limited when it comes to filling up the areas that you'd need to have filled in, in order for the stock to become the negative shape of your face shape.
Below, a quick sketch that depicts just how different the cheek-pad shape can be, depending on the shooter's face profile. (Not to mention the difference in cheekbone height, market with blue):
Most of our customers are usually very surprised to discover the difference it makes to shoot with a custom fitted stock. Accuracy and speed are visibly improved when a custom fitted stock is installed on a firearm, and the recoil of the firearm ceases to leave painful marks on the shooter's cheekbone or bruises in the shoulder pocket.
The industrial mentality of speed of production resulted in standards stocks being made and commercialized to all shooters. But the shooter with a diamond face would have serious issues shooting the firearm that fits the square-faced shooter. And neither one of them would be comfortable shooting a stock that is a "fits all sizes" stock!
In addition to the face shape, there are a myriad of other criteria that will define the shape of a custom fitted stock. Brubaker Arms Manufacturing developed a form that allows us to record complete measurements of the shooter - from height of cheeks to length of pull, limb length, body shape, height of the shooter, eye dominance, trigger pull length, shoulder pocket angle, which all contribute significantly to determining the shape of the stock that will be optimal for the shooter. In addition, the form collects information about the weather and humidity conditions the stock will be used in. This will affect the type of finish recommended.
Custom fitted stocks can be made as one-offs, or, a method preferred by us, is to first build a pattern. The stock areas that need to be raised in order to fit the shape of the shooter's face and shoulder pocket will be built up with bondo. The areas that need to be leveled will be shaved off. This pattern will then be installed on the firearm and provided to the customer, so the customer can shoot it. If the customer is local, we prefer to go shooting together, so we can make any necessary adjustments on the spot and shape the stock as we observe the shooter in action. Most of the times, this is the key to a perfect fitting!
This way we obtain a complete set of individual measurements for your own firearm stock, and we can custom-fit your gun to your personal measurements.
Once this pattern is finished, we then duplicate it in your blank of choice, and the best part is, you get to keep your pattern for any additional multiplication! By investing in having this custom fitted stock pattern, you don't need to ever have measurements taken again. Just keep duplicating it for all your rifles and shotguns with minimal inlet adjustments!
Sometimes existing stocks can be modified to fit you better, but if your physique is very unique, you will need to purchase a blank and start from scratch, for optimal fitting.
Gunftting and testing can take up to 2-3 sessions with our gunsmniths, of roughly 1-2 hours each.
Custom Stock Pattern: Shaving off areas that are, according to our dimensions and palm fitting, too thick for the customer's grip.
Custom Stock Pattern: Marking the areas of the stock that need to be built up, in order to fit the client's cheek profile like a glove
Custom Stock Pattern: Fitting the pistol grip to the right length of pull. The customer has long fingers, and a typical grip is just too short!
Custom Stock Pattern: Building up the comb line for a customer with tall cheek bones.
Custom Stock Pattern: All areas that need to be removed have been leveled. Time to build up the stock in the areas marked for adding material.
Custom Stock Pattern: Building up the cheek piece
for a customer with diamond shaped face.
A custom fitted stock is made especially for your personal dimensions; that means it fits you.
Off-peg-guns are intended to suit the average shooter with an average build and height. In a sense, they are very much like the “one size fits all” clothing that are supposed to work for everyone but don’t.
In addition to not all of us sharing the same size, length of pool, and style of shooting, a surprisingly high percentage of population is cross eyed dominant (approximately 29%).
People with cross eye dominance do not achieve their best shooting the off the peg stock, especially if the eye dominance is not a matter of habit but a matter of strabismus. Especially when hunting, that first shot might be the only one that really matters; with a fitted stock, you can maximize your chances.
Gunfitting is the practice of analyzing and measuring an individual in order to produce the best fitting rifle or shotgun for that individual. Gun fitting is more complex than merely making sure the stock is long or short enough. It has to do with the entire physiology of the shooter.
Gun fitting takes in account the shape of the cheek, the shape of the shoulder pocket, the length of pool, the position of the grip, and eye dominance. In other words, gun fitting has to do with designing a tool that is most suitable for your whole body and how you carry yourself.
Brubaker Arms Manufacturing is one of the American shops leading in custom fitted stock design, gunfitting accuracy. All our customers have experienced a serious improvement in their shooting skills once they had their custom stocks installed.
Once the pattern is fitted to the shooter like a glove, it is ready to be duplicated into a carefully chosen wood blank. Below, footage from our shop. Bryan is using our single stock duplicator in this case. Our shop is equipped with this single position duplicator, but also with a 6 position duplicator as well, which allows a pattern to be copied in up to 6 blanks with one copying action.