Custom Gun-fitting

Jon Hollinger works with a shooting client, fine-tuning the client's
measurements on his "try gun".

“A properly fitted stock is the final step in becoming the best wingshot you can be.”

--Michael McIntosh, author of “Shotguns and Shooting,” “Best Guns,”
and a 16 other sporting titles

A properly fitted shotgun is essential to shooting success, and Jon Hollinger, owner of Aspen Outfitting Company, is recognized as one of the finest gun-fitters in the United States. With over 35 years’ experience, including significant time spent fitting guns for Holland & Holland and E.J. Churchill Gunmakers, Mr. Hollinger has provided accurate measurements for hundreds of clients to have shotguns custom-built to their personal specifications.

A gun-fitting session with Jon Hollinger is not only a means of arriving at the “magic numbers” so a gunsmith or gun-maker can build a shotgun to your exact measurements, it is also a lesson in proper shotgun shooting technique from one of the sport’s master instructors. Shooters will come away from a gun-fitting with Jon Hollinger with not only a good set of measurements, but an understanding of proper technique so that the shooter can maximize his or her shooting performance. Shooters typically experience a significant boost in their shooting performance after a gun has been made to their measurements. It’s quite common for an intermediate shotgunner to experience a 10-15% jump in clay target shooting, and wingshooters often comment that the numbers of birds in the bag are significantly greater once they’re shooting guns that fit them. As the eminently knowledgeable Michael McIntosh likes to say, “A gun that fits is a gun that hits!”

Master gun-fitter Jon Hollinger and his "try gun"

A gun-fitting session involves a half day spent at the range, using a “try gun” that can be modified to fit any shooter, large or small, petite or blocky, tall or short. After shooting a series of rounds at a patterning plate (a large metal plate painted white), Jon makes adjustments to the try gun to properly place the gun’s shot pattern exactly where the shooter is looking.  This demands a knowledgeable combination of the six important stock measurements: length of pull, drop at comb, drop at heel, cast, pitch, and cant. (see our article on gun-fitting for a more detailed description) After the measurements are made, the gunner has two choices—sending an existing gun to Jon’s gunsmith to be modified to the measurements, or having a new gun made exactly to specifications.

Shooters should plan to wear comfortable outdoor clothing that allows flexibility and range of motion; a brimmed hat; adequate hearing protection; protective glasses; comfortable hiking shoes or boots; and sunscreen. We use light loads for comfortable shooting, so don’t worry about being sore from heavy recoil.


A right-handed shooter's first five rounds at a patterning plate are quite often high and left, with "off the rack" settings on the try gun.

After a little tweaking, the second five shots are high,

but in the center of the plate.

After fine-tuning the try gun's settings,

you can see the results--right on the money!

***Jon Hollinger typically conducts gun-fittings in the Aspen area,

but may be booked for shooting clinics and gun-fittings world-wide.***