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Adjustable comb...Is it worth it?

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Wonko the Sane

Comb offset is the new cast unless maybe for the deformed

 

As everyone knows I am a total fan of adjustables but obviously if you don't know what you're doing or have someone helping you that does then what Hamster says is spot on

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tiptop
6 hours ago, Adam17 said:

Im sure they have the comb that goes left and right aswell as up & down, is that not classed as cast? (or just 'cast' for the face?)

No its not cast. All you are doing, as you say is moving the comb. To alter the actual cast you need to bend the stock. If a stock has 10mm of cast, no matter how you move the 'adjustable comb', the stock will still have 10mm of cast. Moving the comb left/right is doing just that, and aligning the eye to the rib.

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chippy
12 hours ago, Martinj said:

How?

Take your empty gun out into the garden. Imagine a mid height left to right crosser mount your gun and take the shot with both eyes closed now open your right eye ,(assuming you're right handed) and check if your eye is central to the rib and at the height you like to see. Now do the same to imaginary targets in all directions and angles. 

12 hours ago, Martinj said:

How?

Take your empty gun out into the garden. Imagine a mid height left to right crosser mount your gun and take the shot with both eyes closed now open your right eye ,(assuming you're right handed) and check if your eye is central to the rib and at the height you like to see. Now do the same to imaginary targets in all directions and angles. 

12 hours ago, Martinj said:

How?

Take your empty gun out into the garden. Imagine a mid height left to right crosser mount your gun and take the shot with both eyes closed now open your right eye ,(assuming you're right handed) and check if your eye is central to the rib and at the height you like to see. Now do the same to imaginary targets in all directions and angles. 

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jonz
2 hours ago, tiptop said:

No its not cast. All you are doing, as you say is moving the comb. To alter the actual cast you need to bend the stock. If a stock has 10mm of cast, no matter how you move the 'adjustable comb', the stock will still have 10mm of cast. Moving the comb left/right is doing just that, and aligning the eye to the rib.

So what does cast do if not aligning the eye to the rib?

 

 

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chippy
12 hours ago, Martinj said:

How?

Take your empty gun out into the garden. Imagine a mid height left to right crosser mount your gun and take the shot with both eyes closed now open your right eye ,(assuming you're right handed) and check if your eye is central to the rib and at the height you like to see. Now do the same to imaginary targets in all directions and angles. 

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rocky
13 hours ago, Will Hewland said:

You can certainly ascertain whether a gun is practical for you to shoot in two minutes, with the help of somebody half-knowledgable or a mirror if you are half-knowledgable. The basis of it is simply getting your eye in line with and just above the rib. That bit is pretty damn simple and is actually 90% of the matter, in a pure mechanical sense. 

However, as with all things, the last 10% is the part that makes 90% of the difference in terms of elevating your performance from ordinary to nearer the best you can be. So then all the other elements come in to it, such as how the pad contacts the shoulder pocket, the angle of your elbows, trigger hand grip, how your face weight is applied to the stock, how the gun sits when you reach extreme right or left swing and more. These final elements mostly contribute to sheer comfort which allows you to forget the gun, making it feel part of you, so that you can forget it and think only about the target. 

May I ask what the angle of your elbow actually affects? Mine drops if I’m not making a conscious effort to keep it up but I’m not entirely sure why it is I’m meant to keep it raised..

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Will Hewland
6 minutes ago, rocky said:

May I ask what the angle of your elbow actually affects? Mine drops if I’m not making a conscious effort to keep it up but I’m not entirely sure why it is I’m meant to keep it raised..

Not that angle.. it’s the amount of bend. Too bent or too extended both can hinder smooth movement and inherently are uncomfortable. Mainly it’s the forend arm that makes the difference 

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Hamster

Put it this way, most if not all famous names would have won most if not all of their titles with guns that were never "fitted" in the classic sense, not by a gunsmith anyway. Yes of course as they get better many would have made sure certain things were to their absolute liking such as the length, type of recoil pad, comb height, etc, BUT these things are often easily achieved via picking the correct standard gun off the rack (with the exception of length which is an easy peasy fix). You can even get used to the "wrong" + or- 5mm length - how do I know ? Experience and having picked up thousands of other guns, I'm afraid "fit" is not nearly as black an art as some will have you believe, very occasionally I'd pick a gun up and know instantly that there is no way I could shoot with it (Ed Solomon's K80 is one) but by and large even so called custom fitted Perazzi's I've picked up and shouldered come up nice enough, it's generally about one or two minor changes which YOU have to identify and TELL the stock man to carry out.

Absolute gun fit is only of critical importance to people who are in a position to win, close enough (comfort and good recoil management) is good enough, "gun fit" won't be the cause why you lost that shoot, there are at least half a dozen other factors to address first. 

Barrel weight and other dynamics are in my opinion more critical than millimeter perfect fit. You can overcome (at least temporarily) less than perfect gun fit with knowledge, you can't bypass lack of knowledge with perfect gun fit. 

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MJJ
4 minutes ago, Hamster said:

you can't bypass lack of knowledge with perfect gun fit. 

I beg to differ - I have walked past plenty of people with lack of knowledge and my gun fits me perfectly 😁

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Bebo
35 minutes ago, Hamster said:

very occasionally I'd pick a gun up and know instantly that there is no way I could shoot with it (Ed Solomon's K80 is one)

Funnily enough, Ed has shot my gun a couple of times when I've been up at Sporting Targets seeing him. He hates it. Shoots better with it from the hip than he does from the shoulder.

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jwpzx9r
13 hours ago, tiptop said:

No its not cast. All you are doing, as you say is moving the comb. To alter the actual cast you need to bend the stock. If a stock has 10mm of cast, no matter how you move the 'adjustable comb', the stock will still have 10mm of cast. Moving the comb left/right is doing just that, and aligning the eye to the rib.

I am no expert but I really don't think that is right. If you have a gun with an adjustable comb and you put an angle on that comb you are changing the cast of the stock in relation to you the shooter, where you look and where the gun is pointing. Much the same as if you have a gun that has a stock with an adjustable comb and you put but plate adjuster on it and  Monte Carlo the stock you have changed the cast and drop at heel of the gun.... ??? 

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Hamster
56 minutes ago, jwpzx9r said:

I am no expert but I really don't think that is right. If you have a gun with an adjustable comb and you put an angle on that comb you are changing the cast of the stock in relation to you the shooter, where you look and where the gun is pointing. Much the same as if you have a gun that has a stock with an adjustable comb and you put but plate adjuster on it and  Monte Carlo the stock you have changed the cast and drop at heel of the gun.... ??? 

It's a bit like putting a cushion under your bum to get a more optimum driving position, is it the same as using the lever, no of course not, but then using the lever will also (usually) push you forward somewhat so to compensate you end up having to either tilt the seat back or push the steering wheel forward.

Neither is wrong if it gets you from A to B - cast is the "bend" in the stock relative to the barrel which is there to compensate for our eyes not being in line with our shoulders but a good enough job can usually be made using adj combs providing the stock is not dead straight to begin with. 

One of the oft forgotten but main purposes of adj combs is to dial out discomfort or noticeable cheek slap during the recoil phase, the changes made may not necessarily be conducive to absolute so called "fit" (meaning you may, at least academically, lower or raise the POI by whatever amount but in practice this simply doesn't matter) because the end result will be worth it all the same.

It's a pity nobody's taken the bait ref my earlier post so I could bore you all with a few examples of famous wins (and winners) who did so with off the peg guns. 😜😂

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tiptop
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, jwpzx9r said:

I am no expert but I really don't think that is right. If you have a gun with an adjustable comb and you put an angle on that comb you are changing the cast of the stock in relation to you the shooter, where you look and where the gun is pointing. Much the same as if you have a gun that has a stock with an adjustable comb and you put but plate adjuster on it and  Monte Carlo the stock you have changed the cast and drop at heel of the gun.... ??? 

We are talking adjustable comb here, not adjustable butt plate. If you take your straight edge down the centre line of your barrel and measure to the heel/toe of the gun it will be X. Now move the comb over, and take your straight edge and measure to the heel/toe of the gun, what is that measurement now? I'll have a little wager with you that it is exactly the same. So you haven't change the cast have you.

Edited by tiptop

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tiptop
Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, jonz said:

So what does cast do if not aligning the eye to the rib?

 

 

Obviously cast does help with aligning the eye to the barrel, but moving the comb doesn't alter the cast.

Note, Hamsters point above about, bend, eyes, shoulder.

And Wonkos' point of off setting the comb.

Edited by tiptop

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jwpzx9r
47 minutes ago, tiptop said:

We are talking adjustable comb here, not adjustable butt plate. If you take your straight edge down the centre line of your barrel and measure to the heel/toe of the gun it will be X. Now move the comb over, and take your straight edge and measure to the heel/toe of the gun, what is that measurement now? I'll have a little wager with you that it is exactly the same. So you haven't change the cast have you.

Depends how you interpret what you have done. To my way of thinking if what you have done changes the position of the gun on your body when mounted then the cast has effectively been changed because when it is on your shoulder the previous measurements, with respect to you the shooter, have changed. We have already debated what happens when you raise the height of the comb with respect to how a gun shoots in terms of POI /POA using an example of a gun held in a vice to demonstrate that the gun points/ shoots in exactly the same place regardless of what you do with the comb... but the moment you put the gun in the Hands of the shooter the whole thing changes and the comb height does indeed seem to make the change have an effect.

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Westward
14 hours ago, jonz said:

So what does cast do if not aligning the eye to the rib?

If the cast is wrong you can still align the eye but the pad will not sit properly in the shoulder pocket. An adjustable comb might compensate a for a few mm here and there but mostly it's better to get the cast fixed properly.

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Adam17
17 hours ago, tiptop said:

No its not cast. All you are doing, as you say is moving the comb. To alter the actual cast you need to bend the stock. If a stock has 10mm of cast, no matter how you move the 'adjustable comb', the stock will still have 10mm of cast. Moving the comb left/right is doing just that, and aligning the eye to the rib.

Ah I understand. Thanks for the confirmation.

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tiptop
1 hour ago, jwpzx9r said:

Depends how you interpret what you have done. To my way of thinking if what you have done changes the position of the gun on your body when mounted then the cast has effectively been changed because when it is on your shoulder the previous measurements, with respect to you the shooter, have changed. We have already debated what happens when you raise the height of the comb with respect to how a gun shoots in terms of POI /POA using an example of a gun held in a vice to demonstrate that the gun points/ shoots in exactly the same place regardless of what you do with the comb... but the moment you put the gun in the Hands of the shooter the whole thing changes and the comb height does indeed seem to make the change have an effect.

You cannot physically change the actual cast on a stock just by moving the comb, the stock needs to be bent. Agreed you can move the comb to see a better picture, align the eye, up/down, side to side, in effect moving your head position relative to the barrel. But we will have to agree to disagree that you cannot physically move the stock with out it being bent. Otherwise why are all shotguns not made straight stocked and you adjust it to fit your own shape, or left right handed? It doesn't happen because the stock has to be bent.  

You may think you have changed the position on your body, I would like to think it has changed my head position on the stock. Something else we will have to agree to disagree on.

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Wonko the Sane
Posted (edited)

Cast does not alter the gun butt/ body point of contact.  What it does is move the face in relation to the gun and that is ALL it is intended to do.  Nothing more or less.  An adjustable comb does exactly the same thing.

With an anatomical adjustable stock it is possible to put massive amounts of butt plate offset into the gun and that is NOT cast.  That will not necessarily align the eye/barrel unless the comb is set to allow that relationship to exist.  Exactly what try guns did.  Exactly what traditional bending of the stock accomplished and was called "cast' which gave some indication of the COMB offset built into the stock.  I'm puzzled as to why those two adjustments have to be considered as one when in simple fact they are not.

Perhaps some posters fail to realize the solutions arrived at by traditional stock/gun makers who responded with low tech and simple by just bending the stock - - and of course the persistence of those solutions as they are the least expensive to implement.

Edited by Wonko the Sane
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MJJ
2 hours ago, Wonko the Sane said:

Cast does not alter the gun butt/ body point of contact.  What it does is move the face in relation to the gun and that is ALL it is intended to do.  Nothing more or less.  An adjustable comb does exactly the same thing.

So - does the stock wag the barrels or the barrels wag the stock??? I was always under the impression that having cast on/off (ie- bending the stock) just moved the barrels over the 'shooting eye' to align the rib with that eye. The 'face' surely cannot be in a different plane/position on the stock, unless the actual comb is moved in relation to the heel/butt plate position. An adjustable comb however, does have that facility to move the face in relation to the heel/butt plate,  usually up,down,left and right. Oooh crikey, time for bed 😁

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Westward

The shoulder pocket and the eye are not in the same vertical plane. Cast simply allows the gun to have the rib in one plane and the pad in another. Cast adjustment such as bending is used because people come in all sizes. If the cast is increased by a significant amount for someone with say, very wide shoulders,  the eye or head position relative to the rib could be compromised and it may be necessary to alter the comb or fit an adjustable to overcome this.

Adjustable combs are different because they exist to compensate for variations in both facial and neck dimensions as well as the shooter's preference for line of sight, either level along or above the rib. If the comb is raised to lift the line of sight it's typical that the head will become more upright and simple mechanics tells us that this can cause the eye to move sideways by a few mm. An adjustable comb addresses this by having horizontal movement to reposition the line of sight.

Despite the folks out there on forums like ShotgunWorld, trying blind us with science, stock fit theory is pretty simple stuff.

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MartynB
Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, Wonko the Sane said:

 

Perhaps some posters fail to realize the solutions arrived at by traditional stock/gun makers who responded with low tech and simple by just bending the stock - - and of course the persistence of those solutions as they are the least expensive to implement.

Just now, MartynB said:

 

Whoops didn’t get point in . What I was going to say is that having a stock correctly bent is not necessarily  the simplest or cheapest method . In many cases it is simply the best method if you don’t want a nicely stocked  piece ( game gun for example)  , ending up looking like a surgical attachment. 

Edited by MartynB
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Wonko the Sane
Posted (edited)

I'll try one more time

Traditional "cast" incorporates two fitting adjustments by building in those dimensions in (or maybe later bending) the stock.  First the regular measurement for "cast" at the heel offsets the comb to bring the eye to the center of the gun.  The "cast" at the toe is added to accommodate the conformation of the shooter's body where the butt rests.  Comb height for vertical POI adjustment is of course a separate dimension   -  that would be drop at the heel.  Try-stocks did all of those things just like an anatomical stock.  It is perfectly feasible, tho I've not seen one, to have a zero offset at the heel and not move the line of sight at all  and an offset at the toe to fit the butt to the shooter's body and be devoid of "cast".

Anatomical stocks (like try-stocks) are superior in regard to the ability to offset the entire gun by offsetting the butt plate horizontally, accommodate the shooter's mount by twisting the butt plate, and offsetting the comb to align the eye - all as separate functions.  This is not to say that a carved solid wood stock could not incorporate those things as well but it would be as strange looking as the anatomical stocks are.  The traditional stock configuration comes pretty close without looking obviously strange.

Edited by Wonko the Sane

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