Warren, if it felt good, you can't go wrong. Feeling good should include weight, balance, natural swing and most importantly, the correct relationship between your eye and the barrel's rib.
Try closing your eyes and mounting the shotgun; when you open your sighting eye you should see a small "figure eight" made by the alignment of the center and front beads. If there is only the front bead you should be aligned to barely see the flat plane of the entire rib. If you're looking down on the rib the length of pull is too short for you or there's not enough drop in the stock. If your eye is below the rib it's just the opposite: The length of pull is too long or there's too much drop. If your eye is off to the side of the rib, there's incorrect "cast on" or "cast off", depending on which side you're off.
Thanks for the info Harley I took it out last week with my small trap thrower.The first 5 I smashed. Then started missing. The gun only has a front sight. I took it to have a center bead installed. I'm 5 foot 7 and the LOP is 13.75. I'm kinda meaty in the shoulder and chest area for a short guy so it may need a little taken of the stock. I'll keep you posted.
Warren, the center bead will help you see if the shotgun is correctly mounted and pointing where you are looking, but it will do nothing to correct a stock that doesn't fit. If you were shooting a rifle, okay, you could take the time to align the beads, but that's not how it works with a shotgun. It just has to fit.
I brought the Upland and my CZ Bobwhite home the other night. Both have straight English stocks. I had center beads put on both. The Bobwhite when I pull it up makes the figure 8 with the beads like you said. The Upland does not. The beads line up at best and at times the center bead is at the top of the front bead. would that mean the stock is to short. I shot the CZ fine before I had the center bead installed. Thanks Warren
I’m in 100% agreement with Harley that a shotgun has to fit for fast paced shooting. For upland shooting I love having an over/under shotgun. Now turning back the hands of time I got my 1st over/under shotgun about 20 some odd years ago and had a heck of a time getting the pattern on target. My pattern was really high and I just couldn’t get a repeatable shoulder fit for a consistent pattern location.
It was then suggested to me to get an adjustable tailstock butt for height fit. When I 1st seen it I didn’t like the looks of how it would fit the stock and drape low at the back end. But after a few years of frustration of missing a lot of birds I decided to give it a go and had one installed. Next it was patterning the shot. Here with eyes closed I would shoulder the shotgun and when I opened my eyes I would place the front bead on a target and fire. Once I established a 60% high, 40% low pattern at 30-yds because I like having my bead just below my moving target my hits improved immensely. After a summer of shooting skeet to develop a good lead and follow through I began to make some good consistent shots of fast targets that even impressed the boys. ;D
I don’t off hand remember the name of this adjustable butt plate and can only describe that is has slots and ribs that interlock when shifted. I still don’t really like the looks of it but love what it has done for my shooting. It’s now easier to remember the number of misses than the successful hits.
Warren, it's no surprise the CZ shoots well for you with the center bead installed because the figure eight that it makes with the front sight just confirms that it always did fit you.
ET has described one type remedy for the Browning. The adjustable butt plate gives you a world of adjustment options, but unless you cut the stock be aware that you will lengthen the pull. For your particular situation I'd start with something simple.
I'd like you to fold something (felt, cardboard, moleskin, foam, etc) over the top of the comb at the point that your cheek contacts the stock. This will in effect raise your sight plane so that you are looking more downward onto the rib, and should give you the figure eight if you adjust the thickness of the pad.
If this solves the problem you can order different type pads for permanent installation: there's a leather lace-up and a foam type pad that I think's called Cheek-Eez. I believe Brownell's sells it in different thicknesses.
I took the Upland to the trap today after shouldering it a few time at home. I broke 23 out of 25 with the mod choke at 16 yards and 20 with the full choke at 25 yards. If I do my part and remember not to crawl the stock I get a sight picture similar to my trap 870. I can see some rib in between the two beads Harley I think your right I will need something to raise my head off the stock. But I was tickled the way a field gun shot today. I would have settled for 18 or 19 at the 16 yard line. I only broke 24 at the 16 yard line with my trap gun and 16 at the 25. Thanks for your help guys Warren