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I just got a new Benelli and want to do it the right way. How do I measure for the gun, shims, etc?
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There is no way to answer your question as asked. You will need to shoot the gun and compare POA to POI and go from there. You have to put in the work to make the gun shoot where you look. A book or throrough article on gun fitting may be helpful.
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That's about it. You really need to go shoot it and let the gun tell you what to do. I did however take a drop at heel measurement off of my old 870 and set up my benelli to match. It worked out for me but that was probably more luck than anything else.
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The one thing that most shotgun users overlook is the one thing that will pay them dividends in the long run. It is a professional gun fitting. I had my first gun fitting done three years ago for a cost of $250. I had it done because I was not shooting one of my O/Us well. What I found out was that none of my guns actually fit me. I was fitting myself to the gun and not the gun to me. It was the best money I have ever spent for a shooting item. After it was done I had the guns with wood stocks bent to my dimensions and the ones with shims I simply put in the shims that were required to attain my dimensions. There was no longer any guess work. My shooting averages on clays games went way up and my averages on game followed suit. Do yourself a favor and have this done! You will not regret it. A professional fitter will be able to fit you in about a 2 hour session and it will really make a difference. If you happen to live in the New Jersey area, I had my fitting done by Griffin and Howe. They have several professional fitters/shooting coaches at their Hudson Farm facility and they are all superb at what they do. I cannot stress more strongly how important to your future shooting it is to have this done, you will not regret it!
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But short of being professionally fitted a starting point is to put on the clothes you will be wearing while shooting and with the gun unloaded stand in front of a mirror and with your eyes closed mount the gun pointing it at your eyes in the mirror. Without adjusting your mount you should open your eyes and see your eyeball as a "rising sun" over the rib and you should be looking straight and level down the rib. As for LOP adjustment a "rule of thumb" is to have 2 fingers width between your cheek and thumb of your trigger hand. Once you get the shims installed to get this sight picture you can go to the pattern board to test the results.
"Shoot low boys...they're riding shetland ponies in search of true grit" Lewis Grizzard
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I saw an article where a guy put a mini mag flashlight in the barrel of his 12 ga., stand close to where two walls and the ceiling comes together and mount and point the gun at the corner and see if it put the beam on the corner.
Probably not the "best" way but a good starting point!
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