Proper Length of Pull, LOP
There is length of pull and there is your length of pull. Length of pull is the distance from the trigger face to the butt plate when nestled or “socked” into your shoulder. The standard length from the factory on most but not all shotguns is between 13.25 and 13.5 inches. Youth and certain tactical models will have a shorter pull length right “out of the box”.
Eleven and one half inches from center and end of plate to trigger face.
The above-depicted photo is usually considered the standard way to measure your own pull length. Some experts recommend this and others say it is not an accurate depiction of actual pull length because of muscle mass in shoulders and biceps that will have an effect. Some even recommend holding the weapon in this position with the trigger finger on the trigger and butt plate resting on the bicep. This is not recommended however because the weight of the weapon will depress the bicep unless heavily muscled and may cause a misrepresentation of actual pull length.
You Know Your Pull Length Now What
You bring the weapon up and it still feels wrong. Your elbow is supposed to provide bone-to-bone support for more accurate shooting versus allowing muscle to hold the weapon steady. Muscles will tremble when weight is applied no matter how strong or developed you think they are. Your accuracy will suffer if the elbow joint is not tucked in tight where is can be supported by the body. Having a pull length that does not suit your particular body style will affect your shooting. You will never achieve your natural point of aim unless you can find the proper pull length for your body.
Heavy clothing and body armor will affect the pull length so if you routinely wear armor or padding in the shoulder area (heavily muscled) your pull length will be roughly ¼ to ½ shorter.
Neck cramps and eyestrain can be the results of improper pull length. You have to be comfortable when shooting, and you must be able to find your cheek weld each time you raise the weapon to a firing position. If you have to squirm and adjust every time, you will never become an advanced shooter. In some circumstances, having to “play around” with positioning can have dire consequences.
Options you have is to change out butt plates to either increase or decrease the pull length or fit a custom stock to the weapon that allows for pull adjustment. An adjustable stock is ideal because you can then adjust for armor and heavy clothing. If you only target practice or sport shoot and never expect to have on armor or heavy clothing fitting different butt plates would be a less expensive fix.
Some may recommend that you cut the stock to decrease the pull length. This is not recommended unless you have experience with this type of procedure. The angles have to be precise and typically, you will only get one opportunity to get it right.
Seek help from a friend so your measurements can be verified and measure with the weapon shouldered and use the illustration above as a guideline.
Recommended reading: Remington Length of Pull Spacer Kit