Gun fit is arguably the most important thing when shooting, behind safety of course. Every person is different. Muscles are more or less defined, arms are different lengths, height has a huge impact, and as a woman boobs get in the way. Women also have a longer distance between their shoulder and their cheek bone, and we typically have a pocket that is canted (your pocket is the soft spot between your chest and your shoulder. Canted means that it has a tilt to it or is at an angle.) I am going to talk about specifically shotgun fit, but this really applies to most firearms.
All of these things affect how you hold a firearm and how efficiently you can use it. Now for most men, they are capable of just throwing up a firearm, and they can manhandle it enough that it’s no big deal how it fits as long as it’s close to the right length. Women, on the other hand, tend to have a little more trouble. Now I’m not saying that women can’t manhandle a firearm too, but I don’t see the point in doing that. If your just going to shoot someone else’s gun or are just trying something out then yes manhandling is the best solution.
But if you are going to shoot that firearm a lot then fit is very important. A firearm that doesn’t fit right can take all the fun out of shooting.
So first things first. The length of pull, how long it is, needs to be right. Put the palm of your hand on the palm swell; this is right where your hand would go if you were going to touch the trigger, then rest the stock of the gun on the inside of your forearm. It should fit perfectly in that spot. If not you know it’s either too long or too short; either can be adjusted.
Next, let’s find that pocket we talked about earlier. So stick your right arm out to the side (left if you are a lefty) and put your left hand (again flip it for a lefty), in a karate chop hold, between your shoulder and arm. Then bring your arm towards your chest in a parallel to the ground fashion, SLOWLY. As you move it in let your hand melt into the soft spot, it’s ok if it’s no longer straight, do this until your arm is straight out from your chest. This is your pocket! This will also show you if you have a cant in your pocket, this can also be adjusted for.
Next thing we need to talk about is how you hold the firearm. So as a woman your not as muscular as a man on top and your boobs can and will get in the way. This is not a fashion show; a sports bra works best, get those babies out of the way. It’s ok that you don’t have huge muscular arms you are still more than capable of holding the firearm, you just have to do it a little different. So mount the firearm in the pocket and put your left hand up on the forearm. Put your head down and see if you can look down the barrel.
Now as a woman you have a longer distance from your should to your cheek bone. Don’t scrunch your shoulder up to see down the barrel. First, move the barrel up your shoulder to see if that helps, this will show you how much drop you need. They make adjustable butt pads for this. You can also have someone put their hand on the stock where your cheek goes; this is called the comb. You can have an adjustable comb put in too. Or you can go to any outdoor store and pick up a gun comb raiser for pretty cheap.
This all may seem like a lot of modifications but if you’re going to shoot you should be comfortable and give yourself every advantage to shoot well.