The muscular coat (tunica muscularis) is situated immediately beneath the serous covering, with which it is closely connected. It consists of three sets of smooth muscle fibers: longitudinal, circular and oblique.
The longitudinal fibers (stratum longitudinale) are the most superficial, and are arranged in two sets. The first set consists of fibers continuous with the longitudinal fibers of the esophagus; they radiate in a stellate manner from the cardiac orifice and are practically all lost before the pyloric portion is reached. The second set commences on the body of the stomach and passes to the right, its fibers becoming more thickly distributed as they approach the pylorus. Some of the more superficial fibers of this set pass on to the duodenum, but the deeper fibers dip inward and interlace with the circular fibers of the pyloric valve.
The circular fibers (stratum circulare) form a uniform layer over the whole extent of the stomach beneath the longitudinal fibers. At the pylorus they are most abundant, and are aggregated into a circular ring, which projects into the lumen, and forms, with the fold of mucous membrane covering its surface, the pyloric valve. They are continuous with the circular fibers of the esophagus, but are sharply marked off from the circular fibers of the duodenum.
The oblique fibers (fibræ obliquæ) internal to the circular layer, are limited chiefly to the cardiac end of the stomach, where they are disposed as a thick uniform layer, covering both surfaces, some passing obliquely from left to right, others from right to left, around the cardiac end.