About Us

                                                                        Custom Fitted Stocks
                                           
 The making of a custom fitted gunstock at Elite Custom Gunstocks is a meticulous process. Before fitting a client, they must have a consistent gun mount to begin with for without one, there is no way to make a stock that will consistently work for them.
  I do not use a "Try Gun" for fitting, instead I make a fitting stock. This insures a truly custom stock for each client from the design of the pistol grip, the fit of the palm swell, the shape and radius of the comb and so on, something that can not be accomplished using a traditional "Try Gun". The fitting stock is then sanded and shaped until a perfect fit is achieved, then it's off to the pattern board to check point of impact. When satisfied at the pattern board, we then shoot some targets to check fitting, comfort and performance. I then encourage them to take the gun home and shoot it for a while. When satisfied with the fit, and the final wood is picked out, we make an exact duplicate of the fitting stock. After it's fitted to the receiver and sanded, it's back out to the pattern board to check point of impact one last time. When everything checks out, the stock is finished to the client's specifications. The end result is a truly custom fitted stock.
 

                                                                                     My Story

                                         

                                      Alan Braner, President of Elite Custom Gunstocks, Inc.


   My woodworking career started at an early age, my father being a craftsman himself, I wanted to be just like him so I followed in his foot steps. As long as I can remember, I was always making something out of wood, a passion I carried with me all through my life. 


                                         

                                                         That’s me at the age of five

   My passion for woodworking never dwindled and always had something in the works. Some of my projects where making a Grandfather clock from scratch , complete front room furniture set, (complete with sewn cushions) kitchen tables, rebuilt baby grand piano, cedar strip canoe, even built an ultra light airplane in the garage! I flew and owned an airplane for twenty four years, my last being a Cherokee Arrow which I got my instrument rating in.


                  
                    16’ Cedar strip canoe                                      Covering the wings on my ultra light plane

   As time went on, I started my own business as a carpenter contractor followed by becoming a general contractor and building many custom homes in the area. Later I decided I needed a change from house building so I started a custom stair company which I had for 12 years.


                   



 
   I can also remember at a very young age going to the gun club with my Dad to watch him shoot trap with his friends. One of the other kids would be down in the trap house cocking the thrower and moving it by hand while I pulled back a long pipe on their call to release the clay target, those where great days! I also remember the trophies and how impressed I was in the fact he had won them. We would talk about shooting, he told me that when he shot, he never saw the gun, just focused on the target and let the shot go. Even to this day, with my Dad being in his late seventies, going through a quadruple heart bypass operation, and a hip replacement, he has still maintained that smooth, fluent move to the target.
 
   When I was old enough I got my first BB gun followed by an air rifle, 22 cal rifle and then at 16, my first shotgun. It was a Ted Williams 12 ga. pump that I ordered through the Sears catalogue and still have to this day. I hunted a lot of pheasants, doves, and rabbits with that gun.


                                                    

                                                       Me and my faithful dog Missy after a hunt

   One day a friend invited me to shoot a sporting clays tournament at Green Acres Sportsman’s Club in Roberts Illinois. I accepted his offer and from that point on, I never missed a weekend tournament if there was one being held in the area. I enjoyed everything about it, the challenge, the competition, and the camaraderie. It didn’t take long to realize that to improve my shooting, I needed to take some lessons. I soon started taking lessons from John Woolley. John is a leading international instructor, a world sporting clays champion, and a world championship sporting clays course designer. With John’s help, I learned the importance of a good gun fit, technique, and mental focus. I am currently a Master Class shooter in NSCA, shoot tournaments regularly. I know without a doubt that without John’s help, I could not have reached this level of shooting.
 
 
                                                  

                                                            Shooting the Illinois State Shoot


   It wasn’t long into my lessons that it became obvious that my stock needed some adjustments and being a woodworker myself, sending my stock to someone else to work on it just wasn’t an option, so started my stock making career. My work started getting noticed by fellow shooters and soon they where asking me to work on their stocks. Eventually it became a full time business and Elite Custom Gunstocks, Inc was created.
 
   I have made many custom stocks for different individuals. For those who just shoot on Sundays at their local club to competitive trap, skeet and sporting clays shooters such as Diego Duarte, a 2 time Olympic competitor in International Skeet. Many times I hear people asking the question, “what makes a good stock maker?” My opinion of a good stock maker/ fitter is a combination of criteria. First, they must be craftsman in the true sense of the word. Working on gunstocks is an exacting endeavor. Gunstocks are not only functional they also contains artistry and detail as well. They should understand the fundamental of gun fitting. The intriguing thing about stock fitting is everyone is built differently, so each person has their own individual needs. They should be part instructor and have knowledge of different shooting techniques and the importance of mental management to help head their customers in the right direction. No matter what level of shooting someone is at, understanding the importance of sound fundamentals and good mental discipline, then learning to master them is the building block to success. They should be able to indentify eye dominance issues also. Many times I have had customers come to me thinking they need their stock modified then after evaluating their gun mount and doing a couple of exercises, it becomes apparent that they have an eye dominance issue. In closing, a stock maker should be aware of all these different situations and should be able to recognize and help correct these issues. With that being said, making a custom stock or modifying one, if possible to make it fit, is only one piece of a puzzle. The rest lies in the commitment of the shooter.

 

 

 

 

 

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