How To: Measure YOUR Length of Pull

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by Dillinger, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    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!

    JD
     
  2. Fayettedave

    Fayettedave New Member

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    !

    JD, you are just plain awesome! Excellent post.
     

  3. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Thanks brother - I appreciate the kudos...

    JD
     
  4. Bob Wright

    Bob Wright Member

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    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
     
  5. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    Dillinger,

    Thanks for the post!

    03
     
  6. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    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?
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011
  7. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    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.

    JD
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011
  8. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    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... :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011
  9. Davyboy

    Davyboy New Member

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

    Davyboy New Member

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

    therewolf New Member

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    OKAY... ...14.75... ...HOLY COW! Fourteen and three quarters!

    Zoiks, I'm screwed!

    What did you say a good company for recoil pads was?
     
  12. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Wow! You are a damn Gorilla.... LOL

    You need to look for a spacer in front of the recoil pad but Limbsaver and Pachmeyer Decelerator are both top quality recoil pads. ;)
     
  13. freefall

    freefall New Member

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    Very few rifles fit their owners. But when they don't, a short stock is easier to adapt to than a long one. -Paraphrase from Jeff Cooper
     
  14. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    Turns out the Pachmeyer recoil pad for the Marlin is working wonders, between

    absorbing recoil, and also helping adjust the length of pull.

    Thank you once again, Dillinger, for a VERY HELPFUL thread on rifle stock

    adjustment.
     
  15. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Good to hear. Glad to help & happy shooting!
     
  16. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    Yeah, the Marlin .44's doing great. And it's my favorite rifle furniture. The Black Walnut grain is clear, distinctive, and manly.

    Now if I can just get that dagnabbitt .44 Desert Eagle to stop jamming...:rolleyes:
     
  17. big shrek

    big shrek Well-Known Member

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    Heh, I just modify myself to whatever rifle I pick up, I'm too tall for anything but Custom stocks :)

    As long as you've got good cheek weld & line yer sights up properly, you'll hit what yer aiming at :D
     
  18. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

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    I am very short and whenever I shoot someone else's rifle, I can't get close enough to the scope or sights to use them properly.
     
  19. greydog

    greydog Member

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    The method described by Dillinger has long been accepted as a quick and dirty method for ascertaining a shooter's required length of pull.
    Thirty five years ago, my mentor told me this was a valid system if a person shot his rifle from the crook of his arm. That was a little harsh but in truth, the method doesn't take a lot into account.
    For instance, I am long armed (35 inch sleeves) but I am relatively narrow shouldered . I get away with a much shorter length of pull than would be indicated by measuring my arm. A friend is slightly shorter than I but has wide shoulders and tends to shoot across his body. He is more comfortable with a LOP which seems too long, to me.
    Other factors which have considerable effect are the shape of the grip, the location of the trigger in the guard, and the type of shooting anticipated. A prone stock is usually a bit longer than one for off-hand use, for instance.
    When I am trying to figure how long a shooters stock should be, I usually have him shoulder the rifle and hold it comfortably with his eyes closed. If his thumb is closer than 1/2 inch to his nose, I'll recommend a longer pull. If he is well back from his thumb, I might recommend a shorter pull. At the same time, I can check to see if he naturally cants the rifle (most do) and I can cheat a bit when grinding the pad to compensate for this.
    The crook-of-the-arm measurment remains a decent means of performing a quick check but not always a means of determining ideal pull length. GD
     
  20. TRAPPER1

    TRAPPER1 New Member

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    Hi maybe you can help with this I have a Benille Super Nova Pump which I love only one problem I find it a little to long . I gave the shot gun to the Gun Smith to fit for me . but with out a wooden stock . he could do nothing for me . he wanted to cut the butt down to shorten the trigger pull how ever I did not think this is the way to go about it . any ideas ?