A Well Fitted Gun is Essential

A well fitted gun is a gun that is both accurate and comfortable. Simply put a fitted gun works with you… not against you.


At Orion Outdoors, we believe that great shooting is built upon good shooting fundamentals, sound technique and a well fitted gun.
To fully appreciate the importance of “gun fit,” one must understand the basic principle of shooting a “shotgun” compared to that of shooting a “rifle.” A shotgun is pointed, not aimed. Your gun should feel like a natural extension of your body and should be pointed where the eyes are looking.
In order for the gun to point where the eyes are looking, the shotgun has to be fitted to the physical characteristics of the user. How so? This is accomplished when the rib of the barrel sits directly underneath and center to the Iris of the shooter’s eye.
In addition to shooting where the eye looks, a well fitted gun is intended to be more comfortable to shoot. A well fitted gun recoils less and is comfortable on the shoulder and face. Gun fitting is as much of an art as it is a science and our fittings ensure that your gun works with you and not against you.
Although it is possible to shoot an unfitted gun, there will always be some type of compromise in your stance, style, and/or technique. This means, over time, you will inevitably incorrectly fit yourself to the gun to get an eye-barrel alignment and doing this will prevent you from achieving your full shooting potential.
A properly fitted gun will ensure you enjoy successful and comfortable shooting for many years to come.


Our basic gun fit check-up is free of charge and takes about 30 minutes in our showroom. This service is intended for individuals who are seeking an evaluation of their existing shotgun for proper fit. Our check-ups do not include the use of a “try gun” or an analysis of shooter technique and gun mount.
This free service is mainly intended for experienced shooters and/or owners of new guns who are uncertain as to how their adjustable comb should be moved or if their length of pull needs to be lengthened or shortened.


Our comprehensive gun fitting includes the use of our “Try Gun” to determine the exact dimensions required for the perfectly fitted gun. We will videotape the gun mount, address technique, shoot the pattern plate and take aim at selected targets using the try gun with the new dimensions.
Complete written fitting sheet with your exact specifications will be provided as a PDF which can be used when ordering a custom shotgun or to supply a stock maker for altering existing guns.
Our comprehensive custom gun fit service takes approximately two hours and costs $299. This service is included free of charge to any client who ordered or desires to order a bespoke or custom guns from us.

Parts and labor for any modifications to the shotgun in order to achieve the specified dimensions is not included.


Our bespoke fitting experience includes our comprehensive gun fitting session followed by an hour and a 1/2 lesson with a professional instructor. A shooter’s technique and gun mount consistency are critical to a properly fitted gun.
This service is strongly suggested for individuals looking for a custom fitted gun who may be relatively new to shooting or have never had formal tuition.
This service takes approximately 4 hours and costs $425.

Parts and labor for any modifications to the shotgun in order to achieve the specified dimensions is not included.

All gun fittings at Orion Outdoors Co. are conducted by its founders, Patrick or Drew Lieske.

Patrick Lieske is a world renown sporting clays shooter, coach and range owner.  He has been coaching and providing gun fitting services since 1994. He is the
proprietor of Michigan Shooting Centers and has thousands of hours of instruction and gun fitting experience across the globe.
Some of Pat’s most notable wins in the realm of clay shooting as a shooter include winning both the NSCA National Sporting Clays Championship and NSCA National FITASC Championship in 2014. He was also the runner-up at the World Sporting Championship in 2012. He was inducted into the Michigan Sporting Clays Hall of Fame in 2013 and into the National Sporting Clays Association Hall of Fame in 2014.
In total, Pat has over 30 years of experience in the shooting sports industry.
Drew Lieske was practically raised on the range. The son of Pat, Drew began competing in the clay target sports at the age of 12. He holds several records, including the youngest Michigander to ever achieve NSCA (National Sporting Clays Association) master class – a feat which he accomplished at the age of 15. In 2017, Drew became the youngest individual to ever win the Michigan State Championship, at age 21. He has been named to the NSCA All-American team eight e times and to the NSCA U.S. Team twice.
Drew graduated from Davison High School in 2014 as the valedictorian. He received a full-ride academic and athletic scholarship to Hillsdale College, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2018 with a double major in Finance and Mathematics. Drew is the first and only member of the Hillsdale College Shotgun Sports Team to earn ACUI (Association of College Unions International) All-American honors for all four years of his collegiate career. He led the team to Division III first place titles in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. In 2017, he edged out all 900 individual competitors to win the 2017 Collegiate National Championship by a record-breaking 12 targets.
Drew has been full-time with the family’s businesses since 2018 and has been devoted to learning the art of gun fitting and coaching from his father. Drew has a unique and creative approach to design and is incredibly skilled in crafting custom, bespoke guns.
To arrange for a custom gun fitting session, contact us at gunfitting@orionoutdoorsco.com.
Q: Does your gun need to be fitted well to shoot well?
A: Consider the first thing that you do on entering a new car. You adjust the seat and mirrors to suit your personal requirements, in particular the height and leg room of the seat so you can easily reach the controls, and ensure good vision of the road, instruments and mirrors. These adjustments are an essential aid to good and safe driving. A secondary consideration is comfort. A well-adjusted seat allows you to maintain concentration when the car needs to be driven for long periods. We have all suffered from a poor driving position and the resulting agony to back or neck it can cause. An off-the-rack shotgun will do the job, but a custom-fitted one becomes a source of confidence and comfort and a joy to own and use.
Q: Is it possible to shoot well with an ill-fitting gun?
A: You can shoot an unfitted gun with a great deal of success; however, this will always be achieved by a compromise in either shooting style, technique or comfortability. You will have to adapt yourself to the gun to achieve proper eye-muzzle relationship. This need to conform to the gun will necessarily create a pause or break in your natural mount or swing that on those split-second timing targets causes a miss, or at minimum, inconsistency.

Q: What is a pattern plate?
A: The pattern plate’s role in gun fitting is to check the point of impact of the pattern, its pellet distribution and position. This is utilized in gunfitting by firing at the plate from fixed positions. The eye, on average, is three feet from the end of the barrel. If the plate is shot from the 16 -yard marker, the mathematics of three feet into 16 yards equates that 2 inches on the plate is an eighth of an inch on the gun. Thus, if you are a right-hander shooting four inches to the left of the aiming mark then you would require one quarter inch of cast-off to align the gun to the eye. This formula is applied equally at 32 yards with 2 inches representing a sixteenth of an inch on the gun. Used this way, the pattern plate gives accurate feedback to the gunfitter to make the necessary adjustments to achieve a perfect fit.
Q: What is a try-gun?
A: The try-gun, invented by W.P. Jones in the 19th century, is a gun with a stock that can be adjusted for length, cast and bend or drop. When used in conjunction with the pattern plate it enables the fitter to make a series of alterations to achieve perfect fit. Once the fit is obtained at the pattern plate, the try gun can be shot on moving targets, where comfort and accuracy can be double-checked.
Q: How are guns altered to make them fit?
A: Once accurate sets of measurements are taken from the try gun the measurements can be taken to a competent gunsmith. There are many ways to adjust a gun to the desired dimensions. Some techniques involve aftermarket installations of things such as recoil pads, spacers, shims, adjustable combs and adjustable butt pads. There are also waysto alter a gun by using heat and oil to bend or shape the gun to the desired dimensions, and the adding or reduction to the stock easily achieves length. Stocks can also be custom ordered to the specification provided during your gun fitting session.
Q: What are my cross-eyed dominance options?
A: If you are cross dominant, that is, you shoot off the shoulder opposite your dominant eye, you will need to close the dominant eye or obscure it in some way when shooting. A patch or an opaque lens on the lens of your dominant eye on your shooting glasses will do the job just fine. The failure to cover the dominant eye will result in your missing the target two to four feet to one side. If it is at all possible, you should learn to shoot off the shoulder of the dominant eye. If the desire is great, it is possible to convert successfully, even later in life.