December 28th, 2008

Madison Builds Prone Smallbore Stock with Integral Tuner

Madison tuner stockJeff Madison, a Michigan gunsmith, has created a new stock for Anschütz 2000-series actions. This action uses a separate forward barrel block so the entire action floats. The barrel block allows easy barrel indexing (so long as the barrel is fitted with a cone breech.) Interestingly, Madison has fitted his stock with an integral tuner. Jeff wanted to be able to tune his rimfire rifles for improved accuracy. However, he found that the typical large, heavy, rotary tuner at the end of the barrel was not practical for a prone rifle.

So, Jeff came up with an innovative “tuner-in-stock” design. Jeff explains: “The tuner is the ‘knob’ just in front of the trigger guard. With the barrel mounted, the action (receiver) is fully floated. The tuner itself is fixed in the stock and attaches to the Anschütz action. The tuner is a harmonic balancer of sorts and can be adjusted to change the vibration characteristics of the rifle. At first glance the tuner appears to simply be a screw that exerts pressure to the receiver. In actuality it is an eight-piece assembly that incorporates a matched pair of elastomers that can be pre-loaded as a means of vibration control. The ‘in-stock’ tuner accomplishes the same thing as a muzzle tuner, but by using the action (receiver) for tuning, this set-up provides better balance for a prone or 3P shooter.”

Developing a New King of Rimfire Tuner
Madison was inspired by the successful muzzle-mounted tuners used by rimfire benchrest shooters. However, Jeff felt a muzzle-mount design was not optimal for a prone or position rifle. Jeff told us:

“The use of a heavy weight on the muzzle didn’t fit with shooting from the prone position. Putting extra weight so far out caused early fatigue and the balance of the rifle was compromised. After several meetings with Mike Ross of Ross Precision, I learned about ‘barrel indexing’, and came to the conclusion that a properly-indexed barrel could be tuned in a barrel-mounted stock from the receiver end.

Madison tuner stock
Madison smallbore stock

Mike graciously donated one of his Ross stocks for me to use for tuner testing and development. After a year of testing with different prototypes, I completed a tuner that could successfully control the vibration. I built two rifles with wood stocks converted to barrel-block mounts with tuners and also adapted the tuner to my ‘loaner’ Ross stock. With all three stocks, the tuners worked and enhanced rifle performance using a variety of ammunition.

It was time to design my own prone stock specifically for the Anschütz 2013 barreled action. I used 6061-T6 aluminum to make the new stock stronger than the original, cast Anschütz 2000-series stock. However, my new design still accommodates the butt, grip, cheek-piece and side panel hardware from the original Anschütz stock. Four stocks were created. One is at my shop for continued tested by me. The second was sent to a national-level competitive shooter who has access to lab testing facilities. The third was sent to Mike Ross for his experiments. The fourth is warming the bench.

Madison tuner stock

Tuned Stock Works with a Variety of Ammo and Barrels
In testing the integral ‘in-stock’ tuner’s ability to improve accuracy, I used a variety of mid-grade ammunition from Eley, Lapua, SK, and Wolf. My tests confirmed enhanced accuracy from all brands and lots of ammunition used. This is not to say the tuner will make cheap ammunition shoot like match grade, but it will extract the best potential from all levels. I have also tested the performance of the stock with several barrels: a modified Anschütz barrel, a 17-twist, 2-groove Benchmark, and a Bartlein 1:16.5″ to 1:16″ gain twist barrel (currently mounted). All barrels and ammunition tested by me were able to shoot quarter-inch (or better) groups at 50 yards. The .250″ criteria is very competitive for a prone shooter, and a number of groups fired were in the mid to high ‘Ones’.

Stock Proves Successful in Competition
The stock that is being tested by a competent, national-level shooter (name intentionally withheld) is undefeated in seven matches to date. Seven matches, seven wins. That shooter has also achieved many ‘personal bests’ with the tuned rifle.

What does the future hold? I plan to build a second design specifically for the 1900 series Anschütz action. The target price for the complete stock, ready to accept a barreled action, is $1,500.00. The stock stem only is targeted at $875.00. The details of the butt and cheek piece hardware along the select wood portions will be finalized shortly.”

Jeffrey Madison is the sole proprietor of M. Werks, LLC located in Traverse City, Michigan. M. Werks, LLC manufactures a limited selection of specialized shooting products. Jeff can be contacted by e-mail at jeff [at]