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Old August 21, 2013, 06:47 PM   #1
sernv99
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Rifle stock length of pull: why so short?

My better half asked me what I wanted for an early Christmas present so since I don't have a rifle in my arsenal, I was thinking about a rifle...probably a varmint specific bolt action rifle since I would shoot at a lot more groundhogs than big game.


One thing I noticed on off-the-shelf rifles, is the LOP is mostly under 14" on any given brand of rifle.....something on average of around 13.75". I usually have to have a LOP of around 15" on my shotguns (field and sporting). Thus, I was thinking to go with a rifle where I can order a specific LOP.

Is there any specific reason why the nominal LOP is so short on rifle stocks? When using a scope, do you want a shorter LOP for proper eye relief?
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Old August 21, 2013, 06:54 PM   #2
Jim Watson
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Yes, a rifle stance calls for a shorter pull than a shotgun.
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Old August 21, 2013, 07:03 PM   #3
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Maybe just hold a few rifles up to your face and see if your really need such a long stock.
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Old August 21, 2013, 07:37 PM   #4
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You can get spacers to go under your recoil pad. They're not as aesthetically pleasing as some would prefer but they're cheap

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Old August 21, 2013, 07:51 PM   #5
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I've put a lot of spacers on them over the years for people, but seldom will anyone need anything longer then the normal 13 3/4 or 14". Unless you swing through the trees and eat a lot of bananas, you probably won't need anything longer. You get too much longer, your neck probably wouldn't reach forward enough for proper eye relief with a scope.
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Old August 21, 2013, 07:59 PM   #6
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A rifle with a 15" LOP is very awkward to shoot. Unless maybe you're the Jolly Green Giant.
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Old August 21, 2013, 08:06 PM   #7
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13"-13.5" is going to fit the vast majority of shooters just fine. For anyone needing a shorter LOP it is easy to cut one shorter. A LOP of 14" would be considered long. Never heard of anyone needing 15".
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Old August 21, 2013, 08:17 PM   #8
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rifles are aimed as opposed to pointed so the stock dynamics are different - your face/eyes are a lot closer to what would almost be the top lever on an O/U when shooting a rifle as even with a long eye relief scope, you are still right there, thus while the "normal" shotgun LOP is usually 14.5-14.75, the "normal" rifle LOP is about 13.5-13.75
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Old August 22, 2013, 07:52 AM   #9
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Also figured into the "normal" length of pull on a rifle is that what the customer handles in the store in a shirt is one length, what they need when wearing heavy clothes is different. And also that people can manage a pull that is a little too short for them better than one that is a little too long.

And the average length has to work tolerably well with the average shooter.

If you look at the length of pull on the old military rifles (designed for iron sights) you will find they run shorter than what is optimum, for just that reason, works acceptably for the majority, rather than optimally for one individual.

What works for me is with the butt in the crook of your elbow, your finger should fall naturally on the trigger. If you have to reach forward, or back to find the trigger, the pull isn't right for me. Of course, you might be different.
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Old August 22, 2013, 08:13 AM   #10
sernv99
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I wear a dress shirt sleeve lenght of 34/35. I have long arms and long piano fingers and a long neck so hence my inquiry as to maybe I would need a longer than normal LOP on a rifle stock. But as one poster said, I need to handle a few different rifles and see how the factory LOP is and how it "fits" before deciding that a longer LOP is needed.
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Old August 22, 2013, 08:21 AM   #11
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My sleeve is 37", & I have no issues with a normal 13"+ stock... more depends on action type ( lever, bolt, or semi ) & the length of the action, & the eye relief of the scope... the last couple Vortex scopes I've bought, had generous eye relief, ( where I could actually use a longer stock ) but most "normal hunting" & "higher power" scopes ( like typically used for varmints ), have a much shorter eye relief, meaning you need to move your eye closer, meaning you need a shorter length, than you would need from a shotgun
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Old August 22, 2013, 10:25 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sernv99

I noticed on off-the-shelf rifles, the LOP is mostly under 14" on any given brand of rifle.....something on average of around 13.75".
I usually have to have a LOP of around 15" on my shotguns (field and sporting).

Is there any specific reason why the nominal LOP is so short on rifle stocks ?

The issue isn't that the nominal LOP is short; it's that your specific needs are different than the average/norm.

If any particular rifle proves too short for your comfortable use, there's any number of 1" thick buttpads that should easily meet your needs.

FWIW, many find a shorter LOP useful when speedily mounting a rifle in a game/hunting situation, where a longer LOP would get fouled in clothing during the maneuver - most especially for those folks living/hunting in cold areas requiring heavy outerwear.



.
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Old August 22, 2013, 11:08 AM   #13
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Determine how you're going to shoot it before deciding on the length of the stock.
For a rifle, prone, sitting and standing all might have to be included as possibilities.
As does how you will face the target - bladed or square.
You might need a compromise to accommodate some or all of the above shooting positions.
Maybe an adjustable stock would be a good choice.
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Old August 23, 2013, 12:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
I've put a lot of spacers on them over the years for people, but seldom will anyone need anything longer then the normal 13 3/4 or 14". Unless you swing through the trees and eat a lot of bananas, you probably won't need anything longer. You get too much longer, your neck probably wouldn't reach forward enough for proper eye relief with a scope.
Did you just call me a monkey

I'm 6'4" 290 lbs and a 15" lop plenty for me. Most productions stocks are a bit short for me but I've never needed more than extra inch. Well except for my SKS.

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Old August 23, 2013, 02:07 PM   #15
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Sorry about the monkey comparison. I am probably a little too hairy, and my jaw tends to swing to and fro when I am walking the woods, but I can be comfortable with a 14" stock on most anything. We might have a shared gene pool somewhere along the line though...I'm 6'5" and 260 lbs.
How about that thumb thing? You think that will ever catch on?
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Old August 23, 2013, 04:13 PM   #16
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I'm slightly taller than 6'1". Prefer a length of pull around 13 1/2" to not quite 14". depending on design of the stock or the particular scope on a rifle. I've made or fitted around 12 stocks for myself and have made a few stocks for gents who've seen my work at range I'm a member. Have also altered length of pull of rifles for a few gents. These alterations just depended on what the person wanted me to do. One guy had a very very nice CZ rifle. He was about my height and the 13 1/4" length of pull on it really bothered him.....I added about 1/2" to the it and he was satisfied. Right now, I'm making a stock for a gent and I'm making it a 13 1/2" length of pull. He's around 5' 10". I'll have him handle the rifle to check its fit before I finish it.

Problem is, whats right for me may be not right for someone else when it comes to length of pull. But, my comment of preferring a minimum of 13 1/2" and max of 14" seems to be in ballpark for stock work I've done.
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Old August 23, 2013, 06:54 PM   #17
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Quote:
If you look at the length of pull on the old military rifles (designed for iron sights) you will find they run shorter than what is optimum, for just that reason, works acceptably for the majority, rather than optimally for one individual.
One must also remember with old military rifles that the average size of folks from WWI and WWII were several inches shorter than today, so that was also a factor in determining stock dimensions
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Old August 24, 2013, 03:01 PM   #18
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Thank-you Boomer58cal, I also do not appreciate the monkey comments. I'm 6'5" and my sleeve length is longer than my inseam. I have always found standard LOP to be a little short. Perhaps those of you who think 13.5in LOP is fine can get together and sing us an oompa-loompa song about it.
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Old August 26, 2013, 05:27 AM   #19
Old Stony
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I don't think anyone suggested a 13 1/2 inch stock was ideal for everyone and in fact suggested options of stock spacers. A recoil pad can add an inch also without a problem.
I'm not sure what Willy Wonka can do to help your situation any more than the solutions that have been offered.
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Old August 26, 2013, 11:55 AM   #20
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I am 5' 9" and the standard 13.5" pull fits me fine for shotguns.

But for rifles I shoot prone with a bipod and a rangefinder, I want it longer so I do not shorten the stock blanks. Then I add a recoil pad. That only gets me to 14.25" ~ 14.375".
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