Call it a cheek piece, a cheek rest, whatever you want… it’s a way to allow you to rest the weight of your head on the stock of your rifle to give you a better view of your target.
We’ve found that many people don’t know if they should be using one of these or not, so we’ve put together some arguments for each. Check them out and make the decision for yourself.
Yes to a cheek piece
The right cheek piece adjustment means you can rest the weight of your head on the stock of your rifle, meaning you’re not using your neck muscles to hold up your head to get your eye in alignment.
The main question to ask yourself is whether or not you’re straining your muscles to get the proper view. If you’re not fully relaxed while long-range shooting, your form is all off. You need to be able to relax your shoulders and feel comfortable in position. If you’re straining your neck and shoulders in order to get a good view, you’ll never be able to keep this position for long. Imagine sitting in position for an extended period of time. If you’re not comfortable, your body will tense up and your muscles can even begin to shake. In long range shooting, there’s no room for this. Even the smallest movement (like the slight shake of a muscle) can make you miss your target.
You’re going for consistency in head placement. A cheek piece will give you a better idea of exactly where to rest your head and your face so you can easily get into position every time. If you learn to shoot in a position that’s comfortable to you one day, but you’re unable to find that exact position the next, you risk being inconsistent, which is everything in long-range shooting. A cheek piece acts as a reference point to help get your body into perfect position every time.
No to a cheek piece
While there are many benefits to using a cheek piece, the reality is that not everyone will need one. Sometimes, you can luck out and find a rifle that fits the shape and length of your head and neck perfectly.
Other times, cheek pieces can be too large or contain too much cushion. If that’s the case, you can get creative and stuff it with something else (Currin has even used beer koozies in the past to stuff his in order to get the stuffing perfect for what he wanted).
What to look for in a cheek piece
You’ll want a cheek piece that’s comfortable, adjustable, ambidextrous (or custom-made for you based on which side is dominant for you), and secure. Plus, having some extra storage compartments for your shells doesn’t hurt.So, what do you say? Yes or no to a cheek piece? If you have any thoughts or tips on the matter, or if you’ve found something else that works for you, let us know. Head to our Facebook page and join in on the conversation.