What does a BB gun with an adjustable stock have in common with grandma’s recipes for good fit? Lots!

“When buying shoes, gloves, anything that requires a good fit, always ask to try a size smaller and a size bigger than the one that you think fits you. Then you will know you have the right fit.” This was grandma’s recipe for good fitting shoes and clothes.

The adjustable comb set way high, and predictably shots went high too.The two knurled dials allow comb adjustment in a cariety of positions and comb slopes, from parallel Monte Carlo to forward or rearward slope and anything in between.

A BB gun with an adjustable stock invites experimentation with dimensions not feasible with the usual trygun. Naturally, the tendency at first is to adjust the stock so that you have the desirable pointing picture. A few BBs later and some fine tuning with the adjustment dials and you send the BBs right on target. You can stop there and have a fair idea of what dimensions fit you.

You can go a step further and play with the dials and see how changing dimensions affects your shooting. Changing the pitch is a revelation of how this often neglected dimension affects both the pointing picture and the shot placement. Once you see the results of wrong fit you learn the feel of the opposite, of good fit.

Here the pitch (angle of butt plate to sight line) is set for down pitch.

And here the butt plate is set for up pitch, with a few twirls of the dial.

Sounds funny to deliberarely seek out the experience of a wrong fitting stock. But top shots do it too. I once interviewed the late Giovanni Metelli, head of Beretta’s custom shop and he described how top shooter Matt Dryke used this technique. Giovanni said that Matt Dryke would deliberately shoot to miss in practice so he could get a feel of the wrong setup of stock and pointing picture. He could then avoid them when it counted.


First attempt to get a fitting stock resulted in a non adjustable set up. Adding adjustments made it a lot more fun!

Once you have the right fit the BB gun allows infinite practice for pennies. It is comfortable practice without noise and recoil, at home. According to shooting coach Leon Measures, getting good at shooting requires a period of intense practice. A noiseless, recoiless, low cost system (including a BB trap and safety glasses) lets you put in that period of intense practice. Removing the sights from the BB gun obliges you point and not aim it. Without sights the whole body gets involved in pointing, as opposed the purely visual process of aiming with sights.

The BB method is not new. It was used by pioneer shooting coach Lucky McDaniel and later adopted as the Quick Kill method by the US Army. It teaches instinctive shooting fast. It will not replace “live” shooting with a real smoothbore, but it is fun!

The ability to hit a with one single BB boosts confidence. After a few shots you can see the BB in the air and that instant feedback lets you see how you hit and how you miss. First at stationary targets and then at moving ones.

The humble BB gun has a lot of potential as a gunfitting tool.

Moving targets with a single BB? With a little ingenuity you can set up moving targets. Some people toss biscuits, some use old CD disks. A soap bubble machine (cost 5 Euros from the novelty shop) providespractice on non polluting soap bubbles. In a gentle breeze the bubbles present a challenging target. They force you to pick one, and concentrate on that one ignoring the rest.

Employing the BB method with an adjustable stock kills two birds with one stone. In addition to the practice, it makes gunfitting a fun process of discovery. Which is arguably more than you get in a formal fitting session. Few, if any, professional fitters woud let you play and experiment with wrong stock dimensions on an expensive trygun. But, if you do not try the wrong fit, how can you know that the right one is in fact right? Like grandma said, only if you try the wrong one can you be sure of the right one.


For the Leon Measures training system: Home

Lucky McDaniels book surfaces now and again used on Amazon, the prices are steep!