I might need the comb of my stock raising but a custom stock seems expensive... is there a cheaper option?

Q: A friend of mine seems to think I need a custom stock because the comb of my gun is too low. Is there an alternative as it seems very expensive?

DON BRUNT replies: Without seeing how your gun fits it’s a difficult question to answer. Ideally, you should be able to see a good percentage of the rib of the gun when mounted fully, but sadly it seems that a lot of guns are manufactured with stocks that are too low for many shooters, even by the biggest manufacturers. It’s important to make sure, before making changes, that you consult someone who knows what they are doing, as a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing when it comes to gun fit.

There are ways to get around the problem even if you are on a budget. If indeed the comb is too low, you have several options before reaching the point where a custom stock is needed. My first suggestion would be to try a rubber comb raiser – these cost around £20 and can be bought in various sizes. Versions are available that can be held onto the stock with insulating tape (which usually doesn’t mark the woodwork) while others are self-adhesive; I prefer the former as it can be easily removed at a later date with minimum fuss.

If you want a more permanent solution, consider having an adjustable comb fitted to your gun; this usually costs around £300 and will give you the extra height that you need.

Alternatively, if for example you have a Sporter, you may find that a stock from a Trap gun will better suit you as generally they are higher in the comb. Secondhand stocks aren’t always widely available but if you can find one it may be the answer.

Going down the route of a custom stock can cost from around £1,000 with the sky being the limit depending on the grade of wood you desire. It can be more cost-effective to change gun rather than look at changing the stock, so do carefully look at the numbers and get expert advice before jumping into what can be a very expensive process.