How To Raise Comb and Lower Heel?

Someone stopped by searching for “how to raise comb and lower heel.”

Given that the comb of a gunstock is the top of the stock, and the heel is the top of the butt plate, the searcher evidently has a thin face and a long neck. A thin faced shooter needs a higher comb to raise his or her eye enough so the shooter is looking at the sights instead of over the front sight; and some long necked shooters need to drop the top of the butt plate below their collarbone.

Any way you go with that combination, you will have some wood butchering to do. The first thing to consider is that lowering the heel of an existing stock will either reduce the size of the buttplate, and make bruising more likely; or require the entire stock to be bent down, increasing felt recoil. Or both.

If it is at all possible, I would advise against lowering the heel of a gunstock. In any event, I would certainly try a good recoil pad before I bent the stock to lower the heel. If the pad takes the hurt away, shorten the stock enough to fit the shooter and add a permanent pad. That will be much more satisfactory in the long run than creating a flinch inducing monster that slaps your face and makes your head rattle every time you pull the trigger.

Next, one of the accessory cheek pads will raise the comb enough to compensate for most faces. If there is some reason a cheek pad should not become a part of the gun, a skilled stockmaker can inlet a piece of scrap wood into the top of the stock, blend the new cheek piece’s lines into the original stock, refinish it, and make a very nice job of it.

The best I have seen along those lines was a piece of highly figured myrtle grafted on the top of a rather plain dark walnut stock. The contrast between the light tan comb and cheekpiece and the balance of the stock was very attractive.


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A collaborative effort, Extranos Alley is primarily concerned with providing up to date data on the relationships between privately woned firearms and crime, violence, and politics. The site is maintained by nine volunteers who have given up their identity that the work here may be considered without regard to the individual data. The contributors are a diverse group, ranging from a retired physicist to a board certified psychologist.
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