RIA: Cripple Stock Shotgun

Okay, so the name may not be considered very PC today – you could also call this a cross-dominant stock. The concept was to allow a shooter to mount the gun in one shoulder but sight with their opposite eye. This was useful for cross-dominant shooters (ie, right handed but left eyed) or shooters who had suffered a crippling injury to one hand or one eye.

The craftsmanship involved in properly making such a gun is quite impressive. The frame and tang are made with a slight curve to them, and then the stock must be made paying careful attention to the direction of the wood grain, so that it can withstand the bending moment created when firing. A fantastic piece of work, and something generally restricted to the rather wealthy.


  1. I have a 1913 L.C.Smith sxs 12 guage that was custom built for my father’s father. It has a “cast off” buttstock like this but much less. Maybe an inch “off”(stock pitches to the right). My grandfather had an impaired left arm and shot the gun one handed. It is the gun that most naturally falls on target when shouldered of any I have fired.

  2. I too have the crippling left handedness disability, and to my great irritation worked out last year that I’m right eye dominant (also discovered an undiagnosed slight lazy eye, which is why it took me so long to work out). So a version of this might be right up my alley :P.

  3. I saw one of these in a museum (I think the Imperial War Museum) many years ago. I think they were also used by former soldiers of WWI who had lost an eye or a hand but wanted to keep hunting. Also they had examples of wheelchairs that had been modified for shooters. Another good video.

  4. This reminds me of the Type 11 LMG in that the cranked stock may permit one to get a centralized sight picture and a conventional trigger without having to resort to a tripod and spade-grip trigger setup… Or am I wrong?

  5. Ian I’m a lefty as well and I suspect I’m older than you (51) so I can remember the teachers trying to make me write right handed. And of course we both remember the school desks we had to sit cross wise in because it was for the dominate right handers.

  6. Is there any indication of whether that was an Anson and Deeley style boxlock (relatively easy to adapt to a bent trigger plate / lower tang).

    or an action with the hammers mounted on the lower tang (much more difficult to line up correctly with a bent tang).

    Are there any stock modifications which mitigate the disability of having been born in [town/county/country]?

  7. If you’re willing to forgo beautifully shaped walnut in your scatter-shooter, this could be made today using synthetics heat-formed to fit your personal deformity, excuse me, individuality. My father was left-handed but aimed a handgun with his right eye. Damfino how he did it. So I understand the problems that can bother a southpaw and/or a southeye.

  8. Bent stocks, if made after barrel regulation, very much tends their users shots to throw to the opposite side where the stocks bent. Though this may be not noticed with light shots, the result would be unavoidable with heavier shots.

  9. John Amber of Gun Digest fame had to move to this style of stocking in his later years and published photos of a bolt gun which he’d had maid up. IIRC, it was mid 1970s.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.