August 24th, 2008

Teflon Benchrest Stock Tape Sources

Mike Ratigan, author of the definitive print guide to benchrest shooting, Extreme Rifle Accuracy, knows the importance of a smooth-tracking stock. A gun that recoils more consistently is easier to shoot accurately. Reducing friction on the fore-end and toe of your riflestock can help the gun track better in the bags. The easiest way to reduce friction is to apply stock tape. Ratigan says the best stuff he’s tried is clear 3M-brand Teflon┬« tape. According to Mike it adheres well, lasts a long time, and reduces friction “as well as anything you can buy”. Mike reports “You won’t wear this stuff out–it’s basically a permanent fixture”. The tape is sold by Ron Hoehn, Hoehn Sales, Inc., (636) 745-8144. Ron’s 5-mil thick Teflon tape kit ($7.00) is enough for two rifles, with 5″x5″ sections for the front and 2.5″x6″ panels for the rear.

3M Skived Teflon Stock Tape

You can purchase a Teflon stock tape kit from Sinclair Int’l for $12.50. This has four 5″x5″ segments, enough for two rifles. But if you have a large collection of rifles, you’ll save big bucks by buying directly from a bulk tape supplier. C.S. Hyde Company, CSHyde.com, (800) 461-4161, sells 6″-wide, flexible Teflon-coated and UHMW tapes that work great, with either rubber, silicone, or acrylic adhesives. The price works out to about $1 per rifle.

MiKe Ratigan recommends the “Skived” (blade sliced) PTFE Teflon .005″ tape with silicone adhesive, item 15-5S. This is very low-friction and highly conformable, so it bends easily around your stock contours. You’ll need to call for custom 5″ or 6″ widths, and expect to pay about $50 for a 5-yard-long (180″) roll.

A less expensive option is the UHMW (ultra-high molecular weight) Polyethylene Tape with High Stick Acrylic Adhesive, item 19-5A. C.S. Hyde explains: “UHMW Polyethylene provides a nonstick, low-friction surface similar to PTFE tape but with much higher abrasion and puncture resistance. It is ideal for anywhere high-pressure sliding contact occurs.” The price is just $33.96, for a 6″-wide by 5 yard-long roll, enough for 36 rifles! Compare that to spending $12.50 for four 5″x5″ pieces. On Benchrest.com, AbinTX reported that C.S. Hyde “sent [him] samples of various thickness to try out before ordering. They will price a roll for you depending on how wide and how long you want.”

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