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View Full Version : Gun Fitting a new Citori (Long Post)


tallengnr
03-10-2005, 2:10 PM
I had posted this on shotgunworld.com, I thought someone might like to read it here as well.

I hope this is useful to some of you...
I had previously posted a topic called "Caught the bug...bought the gun". I finally received my new Browning Citori 525 Sporting Clay on Wednesday. I immediately cleaned it, oiled it up and took it to the Livermore trap range to try my very first attempt at trap. I ended up busting more clays than loosing them which is promising I suppose. In the process the gun really did a number on my shoulder and buzzed my cheek pretty good with the 100 rounds I put through it.

I had previously done some research on Gun Fitting. I found that I had one of the U.S.'s premier gun fitters/gun makers within an hour of me (Northern California), Dale Tate (http://www.fittedbytate.com note, he is not a gunsmith, but a gun maker). I was fortunate to get an appointment with him today (Thursday) to have the gun fitted to me. I think he was just a little dismayed when I told him I was 6'-9". He felt he could fit the gun but it would take some work and I might be there all day.

Upon arriving at his shop, he greeted me and made me feel welcome. I explained that I wanted this gun to try all the possible clay sports and that I was a complete newbie at this sport. He patiently explained everything he was doing throughout the process. He measured me and the gun for LOP and Cast. He did this by having me hold the gun to my shoulder, aim it and he stood at the business end of the gun and looked back at me. This was disconcerting at first, but I accepted it. He showed me how I could see about 1/2 of the barrel's length with my left eye and this was a casting issue to be corrected.

He determined that the gun needed just a little work and was not going to be as much trouble as he had imagined. He put on an extra long Kick-eze butt-plate to accomodate the LOP issues. He carefully ground the pad down to match the stock, and after he was done it was like the Kick-eze pad was made for the gun at Browning.

He then adjusted the cast by carefully removing a predetermined amount of wood around one side of the the stocks action area. The interesting part came when he took out a kerosene lantern and proceeded to "burn" the action with the flame! http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif I asked him what he was doing and he explained that the soot of the burning lantern coats the steel. When the action is placed on the stock, the soot rubs on the wood and reveals the actions pressure points on the stock. He then relieves the pressure points so that the action connects to the stock in a uniform manner. He spent a significant amount of time doing this step, making sure the action and stock were perfectly mated. He did this by removing small amounts of wood with a file, sooting up the action and mating the action with the stock again (i.e. shampoo, rinse, repeat).

After this step was completed, he then bedded the action in the stock with a bedding/epoxy compound, making the two joining surfaces a perfect fit. Some final touch-ups on the Kick-eze and he was done, about two hours worth of labor. When I took the completed gun from him at the workshop and tried it out on my shoulder, I could really tell the difference. I was looking straight down the rib and I could not see the barrel with my left eye. It felt natural to hold and point the gun where I was looking

The best part came when he took me out for a lesson on Sporting Clays, right outside his workshop door! I thought I was in for trouble due to my tortured shoulder from the previous day....lo-and-behold the gun was a COMPLETELY different gun! It did not have the shoulder tearing kick or the cheek buzzing anymore, it conformed to my body like a third arm and was a delight to hold and shoot. This was my first attempt at Sporting Clays, and his one-hour lesson gave me shooting tips that I hope will stay with me for a long time.

In the end, I think this was money well-spent and a very educational three hours. I can do nothing but recommend Dale's services, a true skilled craftsman (which, in my opinion are a dying breed in this country).

P.S....he has a letter on his workshop wall from Pres. Bush thanking him for making/working on his shotgun...gunmaker to the Presidents! He also makes some amazingly beautiful side-by-sides, real works of art.

tallengnr
03-10-2005, 2:10 PM
I had posted this on shotgunworld.com, I thought someone might like to read it here as well.

I hope this is useful to some of you...
I had previously posted a topic called "Caught the bug...bought the gun". I finally received my new Browning Citori 525 Sporting Clay on Wednesday. I immediately cleaned it, oiled it up and took it to the Livermore trap range to try my very first attempt at trap. I ended up busting more clays than loosing them which is promising I suppose. In the process the gun really did a number on my shoulder and buzzed my cheek pretty good with the 100 rounds I put through it.

I had previously done some research on Gun Fitting. I found that I had one of the U.S.'s premier gun fitters/gun makers within an hour of me (Northern California), Dale Tate (http://www.fittedbytate.com note, he is not a gunsmith, but a gun maker). I was fortunate to get an appointment with him today (Thursday) to have the gun fitted to me. I think he was just a little dismayed when I told him I was 6'-9". He felt he could fit the gun but it would take some work and I might be there all day.

Upon arriving at his shop, he greeted me and made me feel welcome. I explained that I wanted this gun to try all the possible clay sports and that I was a complete newbie at this sport. He patiently explained everything he was doing throughout the process. He measured me and the gun for LOP and Cast. He did this by having me hold the gun to my shoulder, aim it and he stood at the business end of the gun and looked back at me. This was disconcerting at first, but I accepted it. He showed me how I could see about 1/2 of the barrel's length with my left eye and this was a casting issue to be corrected.

He determined that the gun needed just a little work and was not going to be as much trouble as he had imagined. He put on an extra long Kick-eze butt-plate to accomodate the LOP issues. He carefully ground the pad down to match the stock, and after he was done it was like the Kick-eze pad was made for the gun at Browning.

He then adjusted the cast by carefully removing a predetermined amount of wood around one side of the the stocks action area. The interesting part came when he took out a kerosene lantern and proceeded to "burn" the action with the flame! http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif I asked him what he was doing and he explained that the soot of the burning lantern coats the steel. When the action is placed on the stock, the soot rubs on the wood and reveals the actions pressure points on the stock. He then relieves the pressure points so that the action connects to the stock in a uniform manner. He spent a significant amount of time doing this step, making sure the action and stock were perfectly mated. He did this by removing small amounts of wood with a file, sooting up the action and mating the action with the stock again (i.e. shampoo, rinse, repeat).

After this step was completed, he then bedded the action in the stock with a bedding/epoxy compound, making the two joining surfaces a perfect fit. Some final touch-ups on the Kick-eze and he was done, about two hours worth of labor. When I took the completed gun from him at the workshop and tried it out on my shoulder, I could really tell the difference. I was looking straight down the rib and I could not see the barrel with my left eye. It felt natural to hold and point the gun where I was looking

The best part came when he took me out for a lesson on Sporting Clays, right outside his workshop door! I thought I was in for trouble due to my tortured shoulder from the previous day....lo-and-behold the gun was a COMPLETELY different gun! It did not have the shoulder tearing kick or the cheek buzzing anymore, it conformed to my body like a third arm and was a delight to hold and shoot. This was my first attempt at Sporting Clays, and his one-hour lesson gave me shooting tips that I hope will stay with me for a long time.

In the end, I think this was money well-spent and a very educational three hours. I can do nothing but recommend Dale's services, a true skilled craftsman (which, in my opinion are a dying breed in this country).

P.S....he has a letter on his workshop wall from Pres. Bush thanking him for making/working on his shotgun...gunmaker to the Presidents! He also makes some amazingly beautiful side-by-sides, real works of art.

Snorkel Bob
03-10-2005, 4:10 PM
Curious as to how much you paid for the 525 Citori, and where did you get it?

ivanimal
03-10-2005, 11:56 PM
Getout! What a great experience! I would have been a little nervous seeing my new or even old gun burned in front of me! Snorkel Bob knows of my desire to have a Citori. It would take a lot of faith to see it treated with fire! Glad to know he is out there. Would you mind giving us his info for later reference?

ivanimal
03-10-2005, 11:57 PM
DOH! read right past the link! Nevermind.

tallengnr
03-11-2005, 4:17 AM
The Citori was $2400 plus tax. I purchased it in Stockton at Outdoor Sportsman.

advocatusdiaboli
10-18-2010, 11:53 AM
I recently bought a new Beretta 12 gauge (Silver Pidgeon III) and my clays instructor, after seeing me shoot it, said I needed serious fitting and recommended Dale as one of a kind who does peerless work. I have a call into him for an appointment--it's 2 1/2 hours for one way for me but I am sure it'll be worth it. I'm a lefty and both my O&Us are RH--the 26.5" 20 ga (silver Pigeon II) is no problem, but the 28" 12 ga doesn't fit well-enough.

Killawhale415
10-18-2010, 1:31 PM
Holy crap dude this thread is 5 years old

BigDogatPlay
10-18-2010, 2:23 PM
And the link is 404.

advocatusdiaboli
10-18-2010, 5:01 PM
That link was the only CalGuns link to come up in Google. So what? Who cares how old? And Dale Tate still fits shotguns out of Ione CA--Camanche Hill game Preserve--same place. His link is now: http://www.camhills.com/dale.htm