How to Measure The Length of Your Pull for a Rifle: Quick Tips

The internet is a wondrous place filled with abundant information. It provides you with the right insights that you need to buy a product. Firearms are no exceptions in this case. So, if you are new to the world of firearms, rifles to be specific, there is one term that you need to be very familiar with. And that is the Length of Pull.

LOP, known as the length of pull is one of the most crucial aspects of a rifle that determines whether a gun is a right fit for you. A proper LOP-fitted rifle will help you to shoulder your firearm comfortably and get a more compatible view.

As easy as it sounds, people often make mistakes while measuring the length of pull. So, this could be your beginner’s guide on how to measure length of pull.

Brushing Up Your Rifle Basics

Brushing Up Your Rifle Basics

Before we talk about how to measure the length of pull, let us go over the basics. The primary components of the rifle that we will be talking about mostly.

Rifle Stock:

The segment of the rifle lying at the back of the firearm which lies against the shooter’s shoulder is the rifle stock. This integral part of the rifle gives the shooter control over the firearm and the ability to mount it. It is also known as shoulder stock or buttstock.

Recoil Pad:

The recoil pad is fitted to the end of the rifle which helps to absorb some of the recoils while shooting. It is usually made of soft materials like rubber, foam, or leather. It also serves as a protective layer between the stock and the shooter’s shoulder.

What is The Length of Pull?

For a rifle, the length of the pull is the length of the trigger to the rear portion of the rifle that lays against the shooter’s shoulder. This rear part is known as the recoil pad.

As mentioned before, the LOP determines the usability of the rifle for the shooter. It ensures a well-fitted gun that matches the physique and application style of the user. So, it is one of the primary factors that you have to consider while purchasing a rifle.

What is The Length of Pull?

Usually, rifles have LOP based on the measurements of an average adult. But it is highly unlikely that you measure the same as the average adult. And so, modern-day rifles give you the scope of making adjustments to the rifle you want to own.

Factors That Affect The Measurement of LOP

There are a few factors that influence the measurement of the length of pull.

Keep these factors in mind when measuring the LOP:

  • Height of the shooter.
  • Length of the neck.
  • Thickness of sheathing or clothing around the chest.
  • The position of the shooter i.e., whether the shooter will be standing or in a prone orientation.
  • The gun’s drop at the heel and comb.

Why Do You Need LOP?

Length of Pull is undoubtedly one of the most important features of a gun’s dimension that one must not overlook. It not only determines your comfort and fitting when you mount the rifle, but it also ensures your accuracy while firing.

Why Do You Need LOP?

The rifle with the accurate length of pull will give you an accurate line of sight. Every time you mount the rifle on your shoulder, you will get the right view on target. You will not be feeling any strain to reach the trigger or rest your neck on the firearm’s cheekpiece.

Is The Length of Pull Too Short or Too Long?

Whether the LOP is shorter or longer than your preference, the outcome will be discomfort in mounting the rifle. It will make movement with the rifle very difficult and uneasy. On top of it, it will also hinder the precise field of view you need to use the firearm.

When raised in position, it will be difficult to comfortably set up the gun if the pool’s length is too long. Because it will end up dragging beneath the gunman’s arm, causing the gun to stick out too much into the front and make it very uncomfortable.

It will also restrict the gunman from having a compatible view as this will cause the head to position farther back from the scope.

In the case of a short LOP, the shooter risks hitting himself on the forehead by the scope and ends up encountering more recoil. Your thumb will block your field of view.

How to Measure The Length of Pull

Pull Too Short or Too Long?

Usually, companies manufacture rifles with a standard measurement of 13.5 inches or 34 cm suitable for most shooters. But there are rifles designed with multiple recoil pads. And so, it provides the chance to personalize the firearm according to the shooter’s comfort and preference.

Taking the measurement of the length of pull and ensuring the proper fit is a three-step process:

  1. Checking the Rifle’s Measurements.
  2. Trying out the Rifle’s fit.
  3. Ensuring Eye Relief.

Keep in mind that your fingers will be touching the trigger for both steps, and so you must unload your rifle, clear out all the ammo before testing.

1. Checking The Rifle’s Measurements

At first, you will have to measure the length between the trigger and the rifle’s recoil pad. This will need you to take the measurements with tape. You should begin by holding the tape at the center of the back of the recoil pad and then extend it up to the center of the trigger. Of course, you must get someone else to take these measurements.

This measurement that you see on the tape, is the length of the pull of the rifle.

The average measurement of riflesLOP varies from 13 inches to 13.75 inches. You will understand whether the LOP is too long or too short for you when you compare this with your measurement.

But checking the rifle’s fit is also important Ensuring comfort and the proper field of view when mounting the rifle is as crucial as knowing your measurements. This leads us to the second part of the process.

2. Trying Out The Rifle’s Fit

  • Hold onto the rifle with the hand that you usually shoot with. Make sure your index finger is resting on the trigger when you do this. Keeping your finger on the trigger, extend your arm and bend the elbow at 90 degrees. While doing this, keep in mind the recoil pad should be resting on your elbow.
  • Hold onto the rifle with the hand that you usually shoot with. Make sure your index finger is resting on the trigger when you do this. Keeping your finger on the trigger, extend your arm and bend the elbow at 90 degrees. While doing this, keep in mind the recoil pad should be resting on your elbow.
  • Hold onto the rifle with the hand that you usually shoot with. Make sure your index finger is resting on the trigger when you do this. Keeping your finger on the trigger, extend your arm and bend the elbow at 90 degrees. While doing this, keep in mind the recoil pad should be resting on your elbow.
  • Hold onto the rifle with the hand that you usually shoot with. Make sure your index finger is resting on the trigger when you do this. Keeping your finger on the trigger, extend your arm and bend the elbow at 90 degrees. While doing this, keep in mind the recoil pad should be resting on your elbow.

3. Ensuring Your Eye Relief

To understand how to ensure eye relief, let us get a better understanding of the term first.

The distance from the shooter’s eye from the rear lens of the scope of the rifle that allows the shooter to see the entire view from the scope is eye relief.

Length of pull affects your eye relief. You must get the right view when you mount the rifle on your shoulder.

Ensuring Your Eye Relief

You may not be shooting in the same position always. So, you must check your eye relief in all the positions that you may be shooting in. The accurate LOP will help you to find the exact eye relief for a multitude of positions.

How to Make Adjustments to The Stock Length

Now that you took the measurements of your length of pull, you need to think of the right fix. There are quite a few ways to fix this no matter how long or short it is. Although most companies manufacture rifles according to the length of the average adult, you can still adjust the stock length to your liking.

  • For a quick fix, if the LOP is too long, removing the recoil pad of your rifle is the way to go. But removing the recoil pad will result in your shoulder taking on more impact than usual when you shoot.
  • When the LOP is too short, the quick fix would be to get a thicker recoil pad. Usually, the thickness of recoil pads ranges from 0.5 inches to 1.375 inches. And they weigh around 4 oz to 7.2 oz depending on their thickness.
  • If that does not work, you can also insert spacers. A spacer, if you do not know, is a piece of material made of plastic polymer that we place between the recoil pad and the stock to increase the length. The thickness of spacers ranges from 0.125 inches to 0.5 inches.
  • You have to glue the recoil pad and the spacer together to grind them close to the stock’s surface. You can give the finishing by sanding the stock’s surface and the recoil pad at the same time with the help of a disc or belt sander. In case you have it in mind to remove the spacers later, you can grind the spacer separately.

To avoid damaging your rifle, you should take the firearm to a gunsmith. Grinding and sanding the new recoil pads and spacers to your rifle may seem like a hassle you want to avoid. Your local gunsmith will be able to help you achieve a personalized fit. Or you can instruct the gunsmith to trim the stock or extend it to your preferred LOP.

Traditional Vs Modern Rifles

The stocks of traditional rifles are generally shorter compared to that of modern rifles. If you prefer a traditional rifle over a modern one, adjusting of length of the pull may be a bit difficult. But with an additional cost, you can obtain traditional stocks that have an adjustable length of pull.

Traditional Vs Modern Rifles

Modern rifles on the other hand come with multiple adjustable lengths. Not only that, with the dedicated hardware available, making adjustments are comparatively easier as well.

So, if you must choose, opt for modern rifles unless you want to make that additional expense.

What You Should Keep in Mind

Before you purchase the recoil pads and spacers, there are a few elemental pieces of information that you should keep in mind.

  • Purchase a recoil pad that is large enough to fit the entire length from the toe to the heel of the stock.
  • The pad should be at least ⅛ inch longer than the length between the toe and heel of the stock. You should ensure this before the fitting.
  • It should also have an extension of about ½ to ¾ inch beyond the toe of the stock.
  • The rifle’s barrel should point at the exact spot where you are aiming your eye.
  • If the LOP is too long, it will require you to cut down the stock to make it shorter.
  • Always consider how you mount the rifle on your shoulder and how it affects your eye relief.

You must ensure this extra space in the recoil pad to avoid having a flat setting on the finished pad.

Misconceptions You Should Avoid

Over the years, there have been a lot of speculations regarding the measurement of LOP. Bear in mind, the perfect LOP does not exist. Unless of course, you build it from scratch.

But here are a few things you should avoid doing to ensure the proper fit.

  • The accurate length of pull has no relations to your arm’s length
  • It also cannot be determined from the measurements of your elbow to the trigger finger
  • Avoid making the stock too long or else it will be very uneasy to mount the rifle
  • Making the stock too short will increase the felt recoil
  • Do not forcefully try to adjust to the gun’s length of pull

Conclusion

Now that you know how to measure length of pull for a rifle and the quick fixes to adjust it, think thoroughly before you customize. Try to make sure that you customize your rifle to be usable in different positions. It should be able to make bullseye at target shooting, but also be functional while you are hunting.

The length of pull is often overlooked by beginners who are learning to use the rifle. They may end up trying to adapt to the incorrect LOP forcefully. But as a beginner, you have the opportunity to start from scratch. With your newfound insights on how to measure the LOP and its quick fixes, you will be able to find the rifle that fits you best.

Follow the basic rules of measurement and avoid mix-ups. If needed take help from your local gunsmith and they will customize the rifle to your preferred fit.

Pursue your passion for shooting with the right rifle. Make sure to follow the laws regarding the purchase of firearms and ownership in your state. Happy Hunting!

More Resources:

Leave a Comment