LOP Issues

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ronaldrothb49

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Seeking knowledge:

I see a lot of folks take issue with Length of Pull on here. I'm not a small guy and having shot many rifles (well) with various lengths of pull, I find it hard to believe that the difference between 14½" and 13" will make or break a shooter (unless you're Bill Brasky). Some of the most popular, well-loved, lever-action unmentionables built ca. 1866 have a 12½"-13.38" length of pull.

So what's the deal? Why ask that question in every sale ad for production rifles? I can see it being a factor in a nice, custom build, but for regular schmos, does it matter that much?

RM
All factory made guns are built to what someone decided was the average size shooter, Unfortunately the majority of us are NOT average size. Length of pull, cast off and drop all affect how you line up the sights. You will never know how much better you can shoot unless you have a rifle that actually
fits you.
 
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better to have a shorter length of pull than too long. If you have too long of length of pull it will really affect your shooting ability. Most common for average build is 13 3/4.
 

R Ellis

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If I have a factory gun it needs to be one without a recoil pad from the factory then I remove the hard butt plate and install a thick recoil pad and I can shoot it a lot better
 

Are. M.

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That's some good information @Brokennock and I completely understand it with fowling pieces and shotguns.

More knowledge needed:

Fowlers and shotguns aside, where does practice and learning how to shoot the gun come into play if the LOP is a perceived issue in a rifle? I know not all of us burn pounds of powder a year in competition, but I feel proficiency with a firearm can be attained regardless of the length of pull. Within reason, of course.
 

Brokennock

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That's some good information @Brokennock and I completely understand it with fowling pieces and shotguns.

More knowledge needed:

Fowlers and shotguns aside, where does practice and learning how to shoot the gun come into play if the LOP is a perceived issue in a rifle? I know not all of us burn pounds of powder a year in competition, but I feel proficiency with a firearm can be attained regardless of the length of pull. Within reason, of course.
Unfortunately no amount of practice will allow someone who has a gun with a length of pull that is too long to get their face and trigger finger where it needs to be. As I said earlier, this could be a positional thing and/or a clothing issue. The smoothrifle I mentioned is very shootable for me in warm weather clothing. In the several layers I wear for December hunting, I can make it work if standing, it's okay but not ideal kneeling, but in the sitting position I find myself in most often it is nearly impossible to get my face in a hood place on the stock with a good cheek weld and I really can't reach the firing trigger for a proper trigger squeeze. I have to set the trigger and just kind of bump the now hair trigger firing trigger. Practice can't overcome this.

Fixes for these issues are more problematic if trying to remain pc/hc.
If not, adding material, like gluing on some leather or putting on one of those slip over rubber butt pads or lace on leather butt pads might be an option for a stock with too short an lop. For the too long lop, there are only labor intensive options, that may not even be viable depending on stock design and if there is carving behind the cheek piece. Unless the gun has a flat butt plate like a modern shotgun or rifle, shortening the lop is not just a simple matter for trimming away material.
 

Gunny5821

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For me, (71" height) I've never considered length of pull much of a factor in rifles, only shotguns. I guess I'm just too used to a standard issue U.S. military length of pull of 13.25" - 13.5" for issue rifles, which has been pretty much a standard fit all length for over the past 100 years. I spent much of my time as a marksmanship coach, rifle, pistol, and revolver, as well as a competitor, and never heard a Marine, Sailor, or Soldier complain about his rifles LOP being either too long or short. When a shooter who regularly qualifies Expert (with issue rifles) can keep their rounds in the black 75% of the time in the offhand at 200 yds, I would believe a length of pull of 13" to 13.5" should suffice. I wonder if frontiersmen such as Boone, Crockett, or Carson were much concerned with LOP or cast when either purchasing a rifle or having one built. Maybe they learned to "Improvise, Adapt, Overcome".
 
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I wonder if frontiersmen such as Boone, Crockett, or Carson were much concerned with LOP or cast when either purchasing a rifle or having one built. Maybe they learned to "Improvise, Adapt, Overcome".
Well, if they had one built, then it would have been built specifically for them, right? So it would have fit the buyer. That would eliminate any amount of improvising, adapting, and overcoming -- just as buying a custom-made gun or stock does today.

I don't quite get what seems to be the dispute here. But some people seem to be saying that considering LOP in buying guns is silly and unnecessary -- when there's an abundance of experience and evidence that says just the opposite. Are people really trying to encourage others not to even think about LOP when buying a gun? That seems really strange. Like "Real men don't need to worry about LOP." But hey, if that's what you like, and you like to spend time improvising, adapting, and overcoming, then go for it. If I'm going to spend money on a gun that I plan to use and enjoy a lot, I prefer not to end up with one where I have to improvise, adapt, or overcome. So I pay attention to LOP. Sure, maybe not down to the the eighth or quarter inch. But I do pay attention to it. And when I discover that it does matter to me for a specific gun or application, then I will modify that as necessary.
 
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I am not a big fella, for many years I shot factory stocked guns with generic LOP's. I did OK, made it work so to speak, but then one day I had a custom gun made and its all the difference in the world to me. Will never go back. Same for cast on a shotgun. Once you get one fixed up and fitted to you its hard to go back to generic fitting stocks.

JMHO

RM
he's right ... had the same experience (but it was a stock i made form a blank) cast off, too
 
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And don't forget the time of year affects how your rifle fits ...cool and winter means more clothes... unfortunately I'm cursed with short arms so my lop is 13 to 13.5 and yes those youth shotguns and rifles feel pretty good...I had thought about trying to build a Kibler rifle but the lop has me reluctant..
 

45man

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I am 5-10 and I make everything to 13-1/2 since I hunted a lot with a heavy coat. I hate throwing a gun out to get into my shoulder. 14 will catch under my arm. Cheekpieces are cut to get instant alignments to sights.
 

Capt. Jas.

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Not so long as making it hard to mount in the clothes you plan to wear and not so short you have your thumb up your nose. Find a measurement that is comfortable between those two extremes. Its that simple. The other measurements that are built off of that chosen LOP measurement are not so simple.
I see many people rattle off a very specific LOP they think they need and then are unconcerned about the more critical measurements. For example, I had a friend that insisted he had to have a rifle with a 13 5/8" LOP. I had him try two different guns with that LOP. One he could not get down on the comb enough to line up the sights and the other which he thought was just right smacked his jawbone every shot because he was ever so slightly off the comb to see the sights. It was not the LOP that he needed to be so specific with but the other measurements that were created on each gun based on that LOP. Neither rifle had a correct fit for him.
Generally, if a rifle has fairly standard stock features one can contort any way that is needed within those two aforementioned extremes of LOP and they should be able to line up on rifle sights to get a fairly decent shot downrange. Its more important to get a complete fit on a birding piece.
 

ke6wym

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Hello All, LOP for a double gun is important to me as I shoot left handed. If the LOP is too long I have trouble with both barrels going off. I really didn't worried about LOP until I got into double guns. On longer LOP I will fire the left barrel first or only load one barrel. Most single barrel guns I don't have an issue with.
 
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LOP, too short, or too long, is just another excuse for poor marksmanship!
You can shoot anything you practice with.
Yeah! Real men don't even want guns that fit them! Now where's that saw? I gotta go cut an inch off all the butt stocks on my guns so I'll feel better about myself and be a better marksman. 👍
 
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There is a point on the stock where your eye is on the same level as the sights. If there is substantial drop, the further you move your face back on the stock, the more you have to lift your head to see the sights. I like a tight cheek weld to stock.
 
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