Adjusting Comb Height with a Shotgun Cheek Pad.
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Adjusting Comb Height with a Shotgun Cheek Pad (What You Need to Know)

Shotgun Cheek Pad

Adjusting Comb Height with a Shotgun Cheek Pad (What You Need to Know)

Clay shooting is a discipline the likes of which can hardly be rivaled by any other shooting sport. Sure, it’s fun to punch tight groups over iron sights with a handgun at 30+ yards, and hearing a metal target sing after connecting at 500 yards with a rifle is pretty cool, too.

But dusting clays? Absolutely middling them with your shot pattern? That’s exhilarating on a level that can hardly be matched.

Of course, missing consistently can be just as frustrating as it is rewarding to hit clays – especially if it’s your equipment, and not your form or habits, causing the problem.

Now, everyone knows about length of pull, or LOP. If your LOP is off, you’re going to miss a lot, period.

But what about comb height? Let’s take a look at how comb height affects shotgunning, how to diagnose the issue, and how a shotgun cheek pad may be able to rectify the matter.

Comb Height: What It Is, Why It Matters

Simply put, comb height is how high off the stock your cheek is when you mount the shotgun.

Many shotguns, especially sporting models specifically designed for clay shooting, are modular. You may be familiar with the fact that you can adjust LOP by adjusting the stock.

In many, however, you can also raise or lower the cheekpiece (comb) to adjust comb height.

But why does this matter?

Well, comb height is critical to how your eye interacts with the rib and the bead on the shotgun. If comb height is either too high or too low, you’re going to miss, and you’re going to miss consistently.

You can learn to work around a comb height that’s inappropriate for your dimensions, but you will be fighting an uphill battle. It’s better to identify the problem and fix it.

With that said, here’s how you can tell if your comb height is too low.

How to Tell If Your Comb Height Is Too Low

When your comb height is too low, your eye will be too low on the sighting plane – that is, too low on the rib.

While you will still be able to see the bead, it will be pointing at a point of aim that is below where the shot string will travel.

As a result, when you shoot you will miss – underneath – clays.

If you can see the target clearly but are confident you are shooting under them, the culprit is most likely a low comb height.

What makes this more frustrating is the fact that, if it is not apparent that comb height is too low, you may still be leading the target properly, but still inexplicably missing.

If you have a partner, there is an even surer way to pinpoint if your issue is a comb height that’s too low.

Fire on a few clays and have your partner watch for your wad, which you can often use as a rough tracer for your shot string.

Is it constantly running below the clays you’re shooting at? If so, and you’ve eliminated all other factors, you need to raise your comb height.

This is something you can rectify with the addition of a shotgun cheek pad.

How a Shotgun Cheek Pad Can Fix Comb Height Adjustment Issues

A simple adjustment with a shotgun cheek pad will raise your comb height, lifting your eye higher along the sighting plane (rib), bringing it more in line with the bead.

When you line your eye up with the sighting plane, creating a line of aim that is as nearly parallel as possible to the bore’s centerline, you have a setup that is conducive to accuracy.

Try it. If your shotgun doesn’t have a modular cheek rest, install a shotgun cheek pad and see if that positively affects your clay shooting accuracy.

If your problem was a low comb height, causing you to shoot low, we are confident that will fix the issue.

Moreover, our Caparison shotgun cheek pads offer high-quality at an affordable price.

Made of Blended, closed-cell EPDM, SBR, and neoprene foam, they are lightweight yet durable, and offer a precision fit and construction that resists moisture, air, and gas absorption.

They are available here and compatible with an exceptionally broad range of rifles and stocks, including AR-15, CVA Accura, Bergara B14, and Ruger American Rimfire rifles, as well as in a universal, trim-to-fit format.

What If Your Comb Height Is Too High?

A separate issue is when your comb height is too high. This, unfortunately, is not easy to fix if your shotgun does not have a modular cheek piece.

When your comb height is too high, your eye will rest too high above the shotgun rib. When shooting, you will see some of the rib, making this fairly easy to diagnose.

Your shots will also track above the target. If you can see the rib and your shots are trending above the clays, it means your comb height is too high and needs to be lowered.

This is easy enough with a shotgun with a modular cheek piece. If not, you may need a new gun.

Other Clay Shooting Foils

When it comes to clay shooting, improper adjustments are not the only thing that can cause you to miss. Here are some other common problems.

  • Shooting too soon: Some shooters have a tendency to rush the shot. Don’t; take your time to find the target before you shoot.
  • Not leading the target: If you point the bead directly at the clay and pull the trigger, you will miss every time. Shotguns shoot fast, but not fast enough to get to the target without leading it. Pass through the clay and put your bead just on the leading edge of the target or just in front of it, then pull the trigger.
  • Not following through: Breaking away from your mount before completing the shot is a recipe for missed clays. Keep swinging through even after you pull the trigger and don’t break your mount until you can see that you’ve hit the target.
  • Not getting a consistent mount: Ideally, you want the same exact mount, every single time. Rushing the mount is a good way to throw off your whole form and miss clays.

Questions? Contact Us!

Even with a shotgun cheek pad and properly set comb height, the secret ingredient to more broken clays is not equipment, it is practice.

Shoot more, and you’ll break more clays. It’s as simple as that.

Meanwhile, if you have questions about any of our gun upgrades or parts, give us a call at 833-980-0333.

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