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Factory built rifles of standard dimensions, especially all the old models, are too short in the stock. There is no good reason why a man should use a fourteen-inch stock on his shotgun and but thirteen for the rifle. The rifle, being shot more deliberately as a rule, would, if anything, permit the longer stock. With a long stock the recoil is apparently less severe than with a short one, probably because the kick is caught by the shoulder rather than the face. Certain positions in rifle firing, as the hip and body rest, favor short stocks, but with arm extended, as a hunter should shoot, stocks should be of like length with those used on the shotgun.

In its drop the rifle stock would be dependent a good deal on the sights used; a telescope mounted high above the barrel necessitates a raised comb. Ordinarily the comb of a rifle will be higher in proportion to heel drop than we find on a shotgun.

A man doesn't assume the same attitude in shooting the rifle as with the shotgun, standing erect in place of leaning over his gun. For this reason the rifleman requires a greater drop at heel in proportion to comb. The average marksman would be suited with a rifle having a stock fourteen inches long, comb one and one-half inches for open sights, one inch for telescope; heel three inches. More drop might be demanded in some instances; ease and grace of posture should always be studied, without any contortion of shoulder, neck, or face to make the stock fit. I believe the worst fault in the general run of stocks is a low and sharp comb. Then when the rear sight is elevated the face is carried quite away from the wood and when the rifle jumps with the shot the comb gets in an uppercut on the chin.

Askins, Charles. Rifles and Rifle Shooting. New York: Outing, 1912. Print.

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