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Dillinger 07-12-2008 06:59 PM

How To: Measure YOUR Length of Pull
How To: Measure YOUR Length of Pull

Adjustable stocks, butt spacers, differing sizes of recoil pads, all sorts of ways to make a rifle stock longer, or shorter if necessary, but how do you know what size you need?

The internet has become a powerful tool to every informed shopper on the planet. With a few clicks, you can find just about anything you are looking for, and in most cases, save yourself some money in the process. While this is a great thing for do it yourselfers, it also leads to sometimes making less informed decisions as you don’t have that “hands on” that you do in a store or shop environment.

Rifle stocks are one such category so here I will show you a very easy way to measure your length of trigger pull to insure that, should you want to, you can order up a stock for any of your weapons that will be the right size and fit for you.

Standing straight up, with your arms hanging at your sides, you need only to bend your arm at the elbow to 90 degrees to the front.

Keeping your wrist straight & in line with your forearm, now make an imaginary pistol style grip with your hand. Curl your finger into a natural trigger position.

Now, using a tape or similar device, measure from the inside of the elbow, just below the bicep, straight down the forearm to the middle of the pad on your trigger finger.

You now have the measurement for your length of pull on a rifle stock. 13.50” is the standard length of pull for a US made rifle stock. If you are over that number ( like the person in the picture ), you need a longer stock. If you are under that number, you need a shorter stock. If you live, or are going to operate/hunt, in a climate that is extremely cold, needing heavier clothing, subtract 0.25” from the measurement to offset for the difference when that clothing is put on.

Best of luck and Happy Shooting!


Fayettedave 07-13-2008 01:44 AM

JD, you are just plain awesome! Excellent post.

Dillinger 07-13-2008 01:55 AM

Thanks brother - I appreciate the kudos...


Bob Wright 07-14-2008 02:00 PM

I have heard that most of my life, with variations. You were, so far as I know, the first to put it into print. Not only that, but graphically and clearly.

Thanks for the input.

Bob Wright

Sniper03 02-17-2011 12:57 AM


Thanks for the post!


therewolf 02-18-2011 03:19 AM

OKAY, stupid question #1:

How do you put this information to good use?

To continue your example, say you actually measure 13.5" length of pull, by measuring your arm.

Do you measure that on the rifle from the center of the trigger guard to the end

of the stock, for instance? Or is there some formula to figure out,

once you have this measurement, the proper rifle stock size for you?

How do you handle it, if it is not an American rifle, or it's already been altered?

Dillinger 02-18-2011 02:46 PM

Thanks Sniper, appreciate the bump and the props. ;)

therewolf - This is how you determine the length of pull for a rifle. The standard length of pull on a factory stick ( for the most part ) is 13 1/2".

This is the measurement from the end of the recoil pad to the trigger when in proper position to fire, in the basic of sense.

In the pictures the shooter is measuring 14 1/2", so he needs an additional spacer in the stock, or an extra thick recoil pad to be able to correctly address the weapon in the same shooting position each time.

If the stock were say 12" in length, it would be far to short for the shooter and to get into position to fire, it would be a different set up/angle/cheek placement each time they went to the range, thus adding another equation to compensate for when shooting.

Getting the right length of pull is like getting gloves or shoes that fit. You can wear smaller ones, or larger ones, but they aren't "right' for you.


therewolf 02-18-2011 08:45 PM

Thank You, Dillinger,

for your patience and clear explanation.

Now it's time to get out the tape measure...

This is an important issue to me, because I suspect one of my rifles

doth recoil too harshly... :)

Davyboy 02-18-2011 08:53 PM

Measure the length of pull. Tooooooooo many smart remarks where's Superdave when you need him. Brain crash toooooo many possibilities :confused::confused::confused:

Davyboy 02-18-2011 08:59 PM

Sorry JD had one too many tonight I do not mean any disrespect.

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