It’s easy to blame factory loads, uncalibrated optics, and a million and one other factors on flagging accuracy. The rifle stock – not so much.
But, with that said, the rifle stock you pair with your gun – and how you adjust it – can potentially make more of an impact on your consistency and accuracy and any other single factor. Let’s put it this way: there’s a reason that many stocks can be adjusted for pitch and cast.
Before you go looking for new loads or ditch your scope for iron sights, consider these factors. Your issue may be none of them – it might just be that you need to adjust the stock.
Cast and Length of Pull
The first and most important measurement is known as cast. Cast refers to how far to the left or right a rifle stock forces the shooter to shoulder the gun.
Too far in either direction and the shooter will have to strain in order to line up the sights or see through a scope.
Length of pull is the distance from the trigger to the end of the stock. The longer the length of pull, the more the rifle will “cast off” away from the shooter. The shorter, the more tempting it will be for the shooter to pull the rifle into their chest – creating “cast in.” Neither scenario is good.
Pitch and Cheekpiece Height
Pitch is another quality of a rifle stock that affects how high off the stock’s comb the shooter’s cheek will rest. A higher pitch pushes the cheek above the barrel, lower pitch sits at a lower angle with respect to the angle of the bore.
Again, too much or too little pitch is not necessarily a good thing. Many rifle stocks have modular or adjustable cheekpieces or combs that can be raised or lowered to adjust the pitch to the shooter’s dimensions or the optics being used.
So let’s take a look at how adjustable rifle stocks can solve some of these problems.
Why It Matters: Consistency, Eye Relief, Sight Picture, and Accuracy
Consistency – getting your cheek on precisely the same exact spots, and the butt locked into your shoulder in the same location, every time – is one of the keys to accuracy.
Rifle stocks adjustment for LOP and cheekpiece height help to establish consistency, and they solve other problems along the way.
Whether your cheek is too high or low on the comb, or the rifle is cast on or off, you’re going to experience significant difficulties.
For one, it will take your eyes out of line with the sights. If you’re shooting over iron sights, that can be devastating and attempting to intentionally rectify the issue can compound the problem.
If you’re shooting through a scope, but pitch and cast are not adjusted to your needs, your eye relief (the distance from your eye to the scope) as well as the angle at which you are shooting, will not be optimal.
When eye relief and angle are not adjusted to a shooter’s needs, either the sight picture through the scope will be out of focus or there will be a black circle encroaching on it. Both situations hinder target acquisition and accuracy.
So, in short, without getting too much further into the details, rifle stock adjustments – both for length of pull and cheekpiece height – matter, and they matter a lot.
Still Can’t Get It Right? Get a New Rifle Stock
Fortunately, those of you shooting over modular sporting rifles have an easy way out for a stock that just doesn’t fit you right. Either adjust the stock currently on the get or get a new rifle stock and install it.
MCS Gearup carries a wide range of rifle stocks, including tactical stocks with vertical grips for sporting rifles as well as A2 stocks with straight combs. Take a look through their collection at the link above and get yourself a new model for your rifle if your shooting has felt “off” recently.