View Full Version : Pull length and shortening synthetic stocks

Michael Carlin
January 5, 1999, 03:13 PM
I find my Mossberg 500A in 12 gauge feels as though it might benefit from a shortening of the buttstock. I am 5'9" and wear a 33" sleeve, weigh 170, the pull measured from the buttpad most directly to the center of the trigger is about 13 and 5/8".

Question 1.

What are the merits/contraindicators for shortening the buttstock by say 1/2" to 1"?

Question 2: Can I lop the back end off the synthetic stock (I believe it to be factory) as if it were wood and refit the recoil pad?

Question 3: If I do this is there any reason to change the angle of the butt, would that change the way the guns shoulders?

Question 4: How does one go about judging in a more than cursory way whether a stock fits?

Thanks for you input.

Ni ellegimit carborundum esse!

Yours In Marksmanship


Rob Pincus
January 5, 1999, 03:33 PM
1. IF you shorten the stock, the gun will "shoulder" quicker. Many bird hunters, sporting clay shooters, and tactical shooters shorten the stock for this very reason.

2. THat depends on the make, I believe you can cut the Mossberge stock down without trouble, but you better check with someone who knows for sure.

3. I don't think you would want to chane the angle. This would most likely result in very awkward shouldering and if you got used to it, you'd be ruined for any "normal" shotgun.
I would think that it would aslo "focus" recoil at ne point or another.

4. That depends on what you want to do with the gun. A trap shooter "fits" a gun completely different from a bird shooter. there are a number of arcane measurements and formulas that stock-fitters can use, but the best ones in the business just observe you shooting, make some modifications, observe you shooting some more, make some more adjustments, etc, etc.

Rosco Benson
January 5, 1999, 03:40 PM
Most shotgun and rifle stocks are too long for most users as delivered. The old guideline of resting the buttplate in the crook of the elbow and seeing if one can comfortably reach the trigger does not take into account the pull-lengthening effect of heavy coats or body armor.

It is easier and more comfortable to handle a stock that is too short than too long. If the shooter "crosses over" with his thumb, he must take care not to smack his nose with his thumb upon recoil.

The heel of the recoil pad should be rounded to facilitate snag-free and quick mounting of the piece. Whether there is any benefit to changing the angle of the butt-plate is beyond me. The elaborate "try" guns of the high-dollar shotgun makers allow for adjustment of this angle, so perhaps there is some advantage to be gained.

I have no idea if your particular synthetic stock is amenable to easy shortening. I reckon you'll need to remove the butt-pad and have a look. Most are hollow, so it may take a bit of ingenuity.


Michael Carlin
January 6, 1999, 09:58 PM

I did indeed pull the recoilpad off the stock and though it is hollow, it appears that all I need is to cut and drill.

Anybody have any experience cutting a synthetic stock, can I set things up carefully and cut with a carbide tipped 10" radial arm saw? Any other methods?


Ni ellegimit carborundum esse!

Yours In Marksmanship