How to Measure Length of Pull

To measure length of pull, use a calibrated ruler or a specifically designed length of pull gauge. The length of pull is an essential aspect for a comfortable and safe shooting experience while holding a firearm.

Measuring the length of pull is a crucial process for hunters, shooters, and gunsmiths to ensure that the firearm fits the shooter’s body appropriately. To ensure that the length of pull is accurately measured, a calibrated ruler or a special length of pull gauge can be used.

Length of pull gauges are designed to measure the distance between the center of the trigger and the center of the buttplate accurately. Understanding how to measure the length of pull is crucial for achieving comfortable and safe shooting experiences.

How to Measure Length of Pull


Understanding Length Of Pull

Definition And Explanation Of Length Of Pull

Length of pull (lop) refers to the distance between the trigger and the end of the gun stock. As such, it is the length of space where your stock meets the butt of your gun. Lop is an important measurement that gun enthusiasts use to ensure their rifles are properly and safely configured for their unique body frame.

Incorrect values can adversely affect the accuracy, comfort, and safety of shooting for the owner.

Importance Of Measuring Length Of Pull

Measuring the length of pull for firearms is crucial to ensuring a good shooting experience. At its core, the paramount significance of measuring lop stems from the comfort, safety, and accuracy of shooting. Here are some specific reasons why measuring lop is important:

  • Appropriate length of pull encourages a secure hold on the firearm, a steady trigger pull, and thus better precision.
  • A comfortable shooting position can be achieved with an appropriate length of pull, resulting in reduced fatigue and greater control on the firearm.
  • A firearm that is not properly sized for an individual can result in incorrect firing mechanics or lead to safety issues, such as shooting someone or accidentally pulling the trigger.

Historical Context – How Length Of Pull Has Evolved In Firearms Usage

Historically, the length of pull has developed from the demand for safer and more comfortable shooting experiences. In the 19th century, shotguns and rifles were designed with a one-size-fits-all approach. However, as better and safer shooting practices demanded more personalized configurations, lop became a critical measurement.

Through time, gun stock designs, shapes, and materials have evolved to provide optimum comfort and tailoring options to each individual shooter. Nowadays, firearm makers have manufacturing options that offer different length of pull configurations, including shortened or extended length of pull stocks that better suit individual ergonomic needs.

Measuring Length Of Pull

As a gun enthusiast, measuring the length of pull is an important skill to have. An accurate measurement will help you select the right gun and ensure that you’re comfortable and safe when shooting. In this section, we’ll dive into the importance of getting an accurate measurement, the tools required for measuring length of pull, the step by step guide to measuring length of pull, and different methods of measuring.

The Importance Of Getting An Accurate Measurement

Getting an accurate measurement is crucial when selecting a firearm. A wrong measurement may lead to an uncomfortable shooting experience, poor accuracy, or worse, an unsafe shooting experience.

Tools Required For Measuring Length Of Pull

Before you start measuring the length of pull, you’ll need a few tools. These include a tape measure, a length of pull gauge, and a stable surface to position your firearm.

Step By Step Guide To Measuring Length Of Pull

To find the ideal length of pull, follow these simple steps:

  • Position your firearm in a stable position with the butt plate facing your abdomen.
  • Place the zero end of the gauge on the trigger.
  • Extend the gauge until it reaches the end of the stock’s top edge.
  • Read the measurement number on the gauge (in inches).
  • Repeat this process a few times to ensure accuracy and consistency.

Different Methods Of Measuring

There are different methods to measure length of pull. Some gun enthusiasts prefer the traditional method of measuring from the center of the trigger to the end of the buttstock, while others prefer using a length of pull gauge. The method you choose will depend on your preference and availability of resources.

Measuring the length of pull is easy with the right tools and knowledge. Ensure that you follow the steps carefully to get an accurate measurement and enjoy a comfortable and safe shooting experience.

Factors That Affect Length Of Pull

Physical Factors: Body Type, Height, Weight, Shoulder Width, Arm Length, Etc.

When measuring length of pull, it is essential to consider physical factors that can impact the shooter’s ability to properly aim and fire their firearm. Below are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Body type: Individuals with a larger frame may require a longer length of pull.
  • Height: Taller individuals may require a longer length of pull to achieve proper stock contact.
  • Weight: Heavier individuals may require a longer length of pull to accommodate thicker clothing worn during colder months.
  • Shoulder width: Individuals with wider shoulders may require a longer length of pull so that their stance is not too narrow.
  • Arm length: Individuals with shorter arms may require a shorter length of pull for easier trigger access.

Psychological Factors: Level Of Comfort With Firearms, Experience Shooting, Etc.

In addition to physical factors, psychological factors can also impact length of pull. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Level of comfort with firearms: Individuals who are less comfortable with firearms may require a shorter length of pull to prevent overextending their arms.
  • Experience shooting: More experienced shooters may prefer a longer length of pull for greater accuracy and control.
  • Purpose of firearm: The intended use of the firearm should also be considered when selecting length of pull. For example, a shotgun used for hunting may require a shorter length of pull for better maneuverability.

It’s important to note that both physical and psychological factors can vary from person to person, highlighting the importance of individualized measurements when selecting length of pull. By taking these factors into consideration, shooters can ensure a more comfortable and effective shooting experience.

Adjusting Length Of Pull

The Importance Of Adjusting Length Of Pull

Length of pull is a crucial measurement in ensuring the right fit between the shooter and their firearm. Choosing the appropriate length of pull can influence accuracy, comfort, and overall shooting experience. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach as shooters come in different sizes and shapes.

Following are the key reasons why adjusting length of pull is essential to improve one’s shooting ability:

  • Comfort: An incorrect length of pull will cause discomfort when shooting for an extended time. Fatigue and pain can also set in, discouraging the shooter and impacting accuracy.
  • Accuracy: Perfect length of pull will place the shooter’s eye in the right position and enable them to sight the target accurately. Any deviation can result in misalignments and missed shots.
  • Control: The right length of pull will ensure proper control and handling of the firearm, preventing any injury or accident.

Different Ways To Adjust Length Of Pull

Various techniques are employed for adjusting length of pull. The type of firearm being used, the shooter’s body type and personal preference determine the technique to be used. Common methods include:

  • Spacers and pads: Spacers or pads are added or removed to adjust the length of pull effectively. Pads are softer and absorb significant recoil.
  • Adjustable stocks: Adaptation stocks come with inbuilt features that allow the shooter to fit the firearm to their body correctly.
  • Cutting/extending the stock: Cutting or extending the stock is a permanent modification of the firearm. It’s ideal for shooters who use their firearm frequently, while it may not be suitable for those who share the gun.

How To Adjust Length Of Pull – Step By Step Guide

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to adjust the length of pull:

  • Measure the length of pull: Use a measuring tape or ruler to measure the length of pull. To do this, hold the firearm in the shooting position and measure the distance from the trigger to the end of the butt of the gun.
  • Determine the optimal length of pull: The optimal length of pull ensures that the firearm is comfortable, and the eye is in line with the sight. To achieve this, the shooter must hold the firearm in the proper shooting position, with their finger resting on the trigger.
  • Select the right method: Choose the ideal approach to adjust the length of pull, depending on the firearm, and shooter’s body type.
  • Apply the selected method: Follow the instructions provided to increase or decrease the length of pull. For spacers, add or remove them as necessary, while for adjustable stocks, turn the screws to achieve the appropriate length of pull.
  • Test the adjustment: After adjusting the length of pull, test it to ensure that it feels comfortable and enhances accuracy. Shooters should also note if any other modifications are necessary.

Remember, adjusting the length of pull is vital to ensure optimal performance and heightened accuracy. Shooters must take enough time and consider all factors before making any adjustments.

Troubleshooting Length Of Pull

One of the most challenging aspects of shooting is achieving the correct length of pull (lop). Getting it right can improve the shooter’s accuracy, comfort, and consistency. Unfortunately, many shooters experience problems with their lop, which can negatively impact their performance.

Fortunately, this section provides guidance on how to troubleshoot common issues with lop.

Common Issues With Length Of Pull

  • Too short lop
  • Too long lop
  • Inconsistent lop
  • Poor fit

How To Identify Issues

To identify issues with lop, there are a few key steps you need to take:

  • Assess your shooting position: Start by assessing your position while shooting. Ensure that you are in the proper stance and your upper body is correctly positioned.
  • Check your gun mount: Ensure that your gun is mounted correctly and fits snugly against your shoulder.
  • Align your sights: Next, align your sights. Ensure that everything is in line, from the front sight to the rear and your eye is focused on the sight picture.
  • Assess your lop: Assess your overall lop by checking your elbow placement on your side.

How To Troubleshoot And Correct Issues

Correcting common issues with lop will depend on the specific problem experienced by shooters. Here’s how to address each of the common issues:

Too Short Or Too Long Lop

  • Consider changing your stock and recoil pad if you’re not comfortable. You can add or remove shims to adjust your lop, ensuring you have the correct length.
  • Change the length of the pull by removing or adding spacers between the stock’s body and the recoil pad to adjust the stock’s length.

Inconsistent Lop

  • Ensure that your grip is consistent and firm.
  • Check that you’re not changing your cheek placement when you mount the gun.
  • Make sure that you’re mounting your gun in the same position every time.

Poor Fit

  • If you have a poorly fitting gun, consider getting it resized or re-stocked.
  • A customization shop may be able to help you create a custom fit stock.
  • Determine if tweaks can be made to the existing stock.

By being able to identify and troubleshoot issues with lop, shooters can improve their gun fit, accuracy and consistency. Happy shooting!

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Measure Length Of Pull

What Is Length Of Pull (Lop)?

Length of pull is the distance between the center of the trigger and the center of the end of the stock. It is an important measurement for gun fit to ensure proper shooting form and accuracy.

How Do I Measure Length Of Pull (Lop)?

To measure lop, place the end of the tape measure in the center of the trigger and extend it along the center of the stock to the end of the butt pad. Be sure to measure from a shooter’s position while shouldering the gun.

What Is A Good Length Of Pull (Lop) For Me?

A good lop depends on the shooter’s physical build, shooting style and gun type. Shooters with longer arms require a longer lop. A good rule of thumb is to choose a lop that allows the shooter to comfortably and consistently mount the gun to their shoulder.

How Can I Adjust My Length Of Pull (Lop)?

Adjusting lop can be done by changing the stock’s length. This can be achieved by adding or removing spacers or purchasing a new stock. Professional fitting by a gunsmith is recommended.

What Happens If I Have An Incorrect Length Of Pull (Lop)?

An incorrect lop can result in poor shooting form and reduced accuracy. Too long of a lop can cause the shooter to lean back to reach the trigger, resulting in poor shoulder position and inability to maintain consistent sight picture.

Too short of an lop can cause a cramped position and fatigue during longer shooting sessions.


Properly measuring length of pull is crucial for the fit and comfort of any firearm. By following these simple steps, you can be confident in your ability to accurately measure the length of pull on any rifle or shotgun. Remember to always use the correct tools and take multiple measurements to ensure accuracy.

Whether you are a hunter or a recreational shooter, ensuring a proper fit will enhance your shooting experience and improve your accuracy. Don’t neglect the importance of proper measurements, as an ill-fitting firearm can lead to discomfort and ultimately affect your accuracy.

Keep these tips in mind and enjoy your time in the field or at the range with the confidence that your firearm is custom fit to you.

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