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September 17th, 2014

Thumbhole and Pistol Grip Tactical Stocks from McMillan

McMillan stock gunstock A-2 A-TH A3 tacticalMost of us are familiar with McMillan’s popular “A” series of tactical gunstocks. The original A-2 is a still-popular “tactical classic”. The A-3, a modified, lighter version of the A-2, is probably the most widely-used field sniper stock. The A-4, originally designed for the USMC, features a butthook on the underside of the stock — a feature you now see on many other tactical designs.

In addition to its conventional A-series stocks (A2-A5), McMillan now offers two very different tactical stock designs: the A-TH and the TPR. These stocks are designed to work well for off-hand as well as prone shooting. They offer many of the advantages of a chassis-style stock with durable, user-friendly fiberglass construction. If you are planning a tactical rifle project for the Precision Rifle Series or other application, you may want to consider the A-TH and the TPR.

McMillan stock gunstock A-2 A-TH A3 tacticalMcMillan A-TH Thumbhole Stock
The A-TH stock was created after numerous customer requests for a thumbhole stock in McMillan’s tactical line. It uses a flat, square-type forearm very similar to the popular A-3 but with textured grooves on the sides for better grip when shooting off-hand. The butt-hook also has texture and a thumb groove for enhanced grip and control when shooting off a bench or prone. The ergonomics of the pistol grip are designed to put the shooter’s hand in the most natural and comfortable position. The A-TH must be ordered with one of the integral cheekpiece options and is available in right hand only. It can be inletted for most Remington, Sako, Tikka, and Savage blind magazine type actions and for barrel contours up to a 1.250″ straight blank. Color shown: Tan, Dark tan, Olive vertical marbling.

McMillan stock gunstock A-2 A-TH A3 tactical

McMillan TPR Stock
In designing the pistol grip TPR stock, McMillan came up with something completely different — not just another “A” series variant. The design evolved from a desire to create a stock that offers everything that a straight line chassis stock offers along with the enhanced accuracy, vibration damping, and recoil reduction characteristics of a fiberglass stock. Fully ambidextrous, the TPR can be inletted for most Remington 700 type actions and Savage blind magazine actions. The forearm can be inletted for most barrel contours up to a 1.350″ diameter straight contour and has enough depth for installation of a Versa-Pod bipod stud. Color shown: 50% olive, 25% black, 25% tan marble.

McMillan stock gunstock A-2 A-TH A3 tactical

McMillan stock gunstock A-2 A-TH A3 tactical

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May 7th, 2012

New Blaser R8 Rifle with Thumbhole Stock

The unique Blaser rifle design features a straight-pull bolt with “patented Radial Locking System” of outward-expanding lugs that lock directly into the barrel. Their modular design permits Blaser rifles to be dis-assembled (with barrels exchanged) in less than one minute, using a single hex wrench. The straight-pull action allows Blasers to be cycled very rapidly by the shooter.

Until lately, if you wanted a Blaser, you had to settle for a conventional-style, solid-wrist stock. Now Blaser has introduced an ergonomic thumbhole stock with a more vertical-style pistol grip. This new stock will be offered on the Blaser R8 “Professional Success” (R8 PS) hunting rifle. Blaser claims the new stock provides a comfortable, stable hold in all shooting positions — prone, sitting, kneeling, or standing.

Blaser R8 Professional Success

The R8 PS is available in green/gray, or black/brown colors. The standard R8 PS features elastomer inlays on the forearm, pistol grip and cheek-piece. MSRP is $4,356.00. Toss in another $1100 or so, and you can upgrade the black/brown version with fitted leather inlays on forearm, pistol grip and cheek-piece. That’s a hefty surcharge for about $15.00 worth of animal hide, but Blasers were never for bargain-hunters.

Watch Blaser R8 in Action
In the video below, filmed on safari in Africa, hunter/writer Ron Spomer reviews the Blaser R8 with standard stock (not the new thumbhole). Starting at the 0:52 mark you can see how the rifle is assembled and how the straight-pull action works. Spomer’s rifle review begins as the 1:10 mark. Spomer explains that a single rifle can be fitted with multiple barrels in an assortment of chamberings/calibers.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product 1 Comment »
March 18th, 2012

Amazing Make-Over Transforms Homely Howa into Sizzling 6BR

Dansig Howa 6mmBR 6BRDansig’s Hot-Rod Howa – Forum member Dansig has been busy during the long, cold winter in his native Iceland. He transformed a homely-looking Howa m1500 Axiom into a beautiful candy-red thumbhole Varminter that shoots in the threes. This was truly a “labor of love” that required many dollars invested and dozens of hours of home-workshop labor. But the results speak for themselves. Dansig now owns what may be the best-looking Howa on the planet. And this rig isn’t just a beauty queen — it’s very accurate as well. With a new Krieger barrel chambered in 6mmBR Norma, the Howa shoots repeatable, five-shot groups in the threes, and Dansig has managed a few “wallet groups” in the low twos.

From this beast….
Dansig Howa 6mmBR 6BR

To this beauty … All it takes is imagination, hard work, and the right components….
Dansig Howa 6mmBR 6BR

Dansig Howa 6mmBR 6BR

Dansig Howa 6mmBR 6BR

Read Dansig’s account of the project from start to finish…
For this project I acquired a new Howa m1500 axiom. The transformation began with a $99.00 (USA retail) Boyds’ thumbhole stock.

When I got the stock, I found that even the standard barrel was too big for it, so I had to modify it quite a bit. To help ride the front bags, I added a wood block to make the fore-end wider, and to provide a flat section in the front. This required cutting the sides of the fore-end to mate with the wider block, which was glued in place. I also added an inch to the stock length.

Then I spent a few weeks sanding and filling…

Then it was time for the paintjob ($270). The multi-coat finish was applied by a professional, using car paint and clear coat so it’s very strong and scratch resistant. The color was a customized red with gold metal-flakes, and it looks awesome on a gun.

Bolt Sleeved, Trigger Tuned, and Krieger Barrel Fitted
While I was working on the stock I took the action to the local gunsmith. He fitted a new 1:13.5″-twist Krieger HV barrel and he put a sleeve in the action to make it tighter. He also tuned the trigger, taking it down from 56 ounces (ouch!) to just 14 ounces. Finally, my smith bedded the stock before I took it in for the paintwork.

Project Completed — Looks Great and Shoots Great
And this is the finished product of very hard labor. The project was a lot of work, mostly because it was all done by hand and not with machines. I may do a similar project again, but I would make the stock from oak or other strong wood. The wood I used is a bit soft for this kid of project.

Dansig Howa 6mmBR 6BR

Hot-Rod Howa Shoots as Good as She Looks
Dansig reports: “How does my Hot-Rod Howa shoot? Repeatable 5-shot accuracy with me as a shooter is in the threes, but with a more experienced shooter, the gun could probably shoot even better. I say this because I just started shooting Benchrest for the first time when this project gun was completed. Here’s an exceptional (much better than average) ‘wallet group’ that shows what the gun can do ‘when the stars align’. This group, shot with VV N135 and Nosler Ballistic Tips, made my buddies really roll their eyes! I wish I had more groups like this one!”

Editor’s Note: Groups shown were shot on Caldwell “Tip-Top” laminated weatherproof targets, which display a distinctive punch — similar to a wad-cutter hole — as opposed to the standard gray donut smudge on a normal paper target. The holes appear black because the targets were placed over a black background sheet before being photographed.
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January 24th, 2012

SHOT Show: New Skin Kits for Accuracy Int’l AE and AW Rifles

Accuracy Internation AW AE chassis skin

Accuracy Internation AW AE chassis skinAt SHOT Show, Accuracy International (AI) unveiled a new line of pistol-grip skins that will allow owners of the AE and AW rifles to match the ergonomics of the pistol grip on AI’s new AX rifles. This “skins” bolt on to the underlying AI chassis system, providing a new look from fore-arm to buttplate. We expect these new skins will be hugely popular among AI shooters, many of whom will ditch their old thumbhole skins and bolt on the new pistol grip models. Availability is unknown at this point, but pricing will be in line with AI’s other skins.

Accuracy Internation AW AE chassis skin

Accuracy Internation AW AE chassis skin

Accuracy Internation AW AE chassis skin

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 6 Comments »