Some basics on Cheek Weld

Cheek weld is important, and not just because it’s (arguably) the one element of marksmanship and gunhandling we can replicate every single time.

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Cheek Weld – An Overview

Cheek weld - it's a topic we could talk about for hours.

This article originally ran in June 2014.

Wait. No, not that kind of cheek weld! Get your mind out of the gutter, it’s not even Wednesday.

Consistency equals accuracy. We have – you should have – been hearing this for years.  There is no “one element” to being a good shooter. Rather they’re a collection of small skills that must be reliably and consistently executed with each and every shot. If you think about it, the fundamental of marksmanship is actually a pretty short list of very basic things. Stance, grip, breathing, trigger control, sight picture, etc.  All are small, simple pieces of the puzzle. The tricky thing is doing all of them exactly the same way, 100% of the time.

Having recently spent some time on the range with some novice shooters, we were surprised by their lack of some extremely basic shooting knowledge.  This is fine; we all have to start somewhere. Modern American Jedi that we are, we weren’t always master blasters ourselves; in fact, we still have improvements that need to be made. As we all like to say around here at Breach-Bang-Clear, we are all students of the gun. There is no such thing as an expert, only those that possess more skill, knowledge, and experience than others. Becoming a good shot isn’t a destination to work towards; it’s a lifelong journey.

Fundamentals of marksmanship - cheek weld is important. But what is cheek weld?

The question arose as to what exactly “Cheek Weld” is, and why it is important. Guns have names, and parts or “areas” of the gun also have names (or, more accurately, it has nomenclature).  On the back end of a long gun, you will find the stock.  This is most commonly referred to as the “buttstock”.  The top line of the buttstock, where you place your ugly mug, is called the “comb” of the stock.  It is this area that we place our cheek when shouldering the gun and acquiring our sights.  Not your chin, not your neckbeard, not your nasty lips. Your cheek, and your cheek alone mates against the stock. This creates “cheek weld”.

Mike Kupari is operator as fuck - tiger stripes and a revolver?!

The exact place on the stock you place your face is going to be determined by the type of stock on the long gun, your individual body size, your choice of sights and a few other factors (wearing armor verse not wearing armor, warming layers, etc.). What is important, is that you firmly smoosh (yes, smoosh) your face to the stock in a consistent place, in a consistent manner, that allows you a good, comfortable view of your sights or optic.  This is essential to achieve accurate fire, and cannot be stressed enough.

If you do not have a proper cheek weld, it will show with your first shot. You will get “kissed” by the scope, if you are too forward and not aware of your setup, feel your face slide off the stock,( requiring readjustment) or feel the stock slam against your face (we’ve seen people bruise their own face with shotguns because of this). Understanding cheek weld, and executing it consistently is a critical skill, especially if you plan on using magnified optics. Your cheek weld is what determines the proper set up of the optic so that you achieve proper eye relief from the rear lens.  Overall, you will end up with different cheek welds on different firearms. It’s up to you to determine which is best for your shooting style, based on that individual weapon.   Remember, it should be comfortable. Comfortable enough that you could fall asleep while on the gun. If you feel uncomfortable, you need to slide your face around until you find the sweet spot that works. It’s not rocket science, it’s a fairly intuitive thing to figure out. The more you shoot, the easier it will be to acquire proper cheek weld. It’s just a small, but important aspect of shooting.

Jared Ross or Rockwell Tactical burning it down with controlled pairs - you'll note he has a good weld to the butt of his weapon.

If you’re not familiar with this stuff, let us know. Leave us a question, we’ll do our best to answer. If you’d like to weigh in the topic in the comments, we’d love to hear it – constructively, if you don’t mind. We’re trying to educate people here, not be assholes. There are a lot of salty folks reading this blog, lots of savvy shooters of both genders. Let’s get some good material out there for them what needs it.

So do our readers have any suggestions? Any of you use a physical reference point? Let us know! 

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7 thoughts on “Some basics on Cheek Weld

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  • December 18, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    Question: On my old marlin 60 .22LR my scope 40mm is mounted higher (can’t change this….long story) so it’s more of my cheek and chin and not a good weld. As for my bolt 30- 06 to look through the scope isn’t perfect eithier.
    Both have the normal stock not the fancy nice ($$$) stock. What’s a quick easy CHEAP way to raise the comb? I have used them a while and shoot well but not optimum since the weld is horrid for consistency. For my 06 I have synthetic stock so I am probably going to do a bondo pvc pipe and paint job to raise it……but my nice wood stock marlin I don’t want to Frankenstein it. Should I just break down and buy one of those slip on butt wrap things that can hold ammo and has a built in comb riser?
    My budget is preferably $40 or less per gun. I hunt and want something that will hold up and be reliable.
    Any products or DIY projects welcome!!! I have more time than money lol.

  • November 3, 2014 at 1:45 am

    A mate put a “pin” not sharp in the stock in the optimum position and used that as reference point and it worked well!

  • June 6, 2014 at 3:33 am

    It wouldn’t be a bad idea to use something as a reference point for cheek weld. The military way was nose to the charging handle on an AR, but depending on the length of pull of the stock you might not be able to do that. What I suggest is using a paint pen to mark the spot, or using a tight ranger band as raised reference point that you can feel. Another cool thing about the ranger band on the stock is that you can also use it to stow the sling, or hold a tourniquet to the rifle if needed. Just make sure that it stays in the same spot and doesn’t move forward or backwards. And of course you could always go super old-school and just cut a notch into the stock and use that…. Whatever works as long as you do it the same way every single time.

    • August 7, 2014 at 1:51 pm

      One other thing – Find the sweet spot for your cheek then move the optics to get a proper eye clearance. If you don’t, long hours behind the gun will become very arduous. If your head does not automatically index to the same spot, you are gonna have parallax problems to contend with.

  • June 6, 2014 at 12:57 am

    Lefty shooting a .30 caliber, with a big wheelgun hanging in an old police rig….izzat Mike Kupari?

  • June 5, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    dammit! I thought it was still Wednesday! >.<


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