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April 3rd, 2022

Sunday GunDay: The Art of Stress-Free Pillar Bedding

richard franklin pillar bedding stress rifle mounting
Richard Franklin’s Step-by-Step Guide to Pillar Bedding

The Art of Stress-Free Stock Bedding

by Richard Franklin
Richard Franklin prepared this article for our readers. Richard tells us: “I’m happy to do pillar-bedding work, but this is a job which many shooters can do themselves, with some practice and the right components. I do suggest you practice first on an old ‘beater stock’. When done right, you end up with a perfect fit of receiver to action, with no twisting, stretching, or compression forces being applied to the receiver through mis-alignment. That’s what I mean by ‘stress-free’.”

This article covers all the steps in the process. If you want to see more, Richard has a 200-minute DVD, Stress-Free Pillar Bedding, that shows the entire job–from start to finish–and contains many tips to help you achieve perfect results. Richard shows how to properly relieve the bedding area, how to make pillars, how to set up the barreled action, and how to test your work to ensure it is truly “stress-free”. In the DVD, Richard does a complete pillar bedding job on both a finished custom stock and a Remington stock. You can order the Pillar Bedding DVD by visiting the Instructional Video page on RichardsCustomRifles.com.

[Editor’s Note: This article was first published a decade ago. So, some of the listed bedding materials may have been enhanced slightly, or the product names may have changed. But the procedures described by Richard are still valid and still achieve great results.]

Before You Begin — Some Comments About Inletting
Richard told us: “You can’t do a great bedding job unless you start with really good inletting. Unfortunately, many ‘inletted stocks’ really require quite a lot of work to get the inletting right. You cannot inlet a stock 100% correctly just using a stock duplicator. That’s one reason I do bedding jobs only on the stocks I make. If the inletting isn’t right, you can have a myriad of problems–such as the holes for the action bolts being in the wrong place, or the stock not having enough clearance for the barrel or the trigger hanger. So, BEFORE you start your bedding job, make sure the inletting is really right. Don’t assume the inletting is really complete (and correct) just because the manufacturer claims that to be the case. This applies to both wood and fiberglass stocks.”

Pillars For Bedding
The BAT action featured in this article has three pillars, with the middle pillar sitting under the front of the trigger guard, and the third pillar at the rear of the guard. More typical installations will use two pillars. For either system, the installation procedures are the same.

In Photo 1, you will see part A, the bottom part of the front pillar which we call the “escutcheon”. Part B, which is a 1/4″ X 28 action bolt that is slightly longer than part C which is the top part of the front pillar. The two parts of the front pillar were machined as one piece and then the escutcheon was cut off just below the shoulder that is inside. This shoulder is for the head of the action bolt to tighten up against. I’ve found that a two-piece pillar has many advantages, particularly for hunting stocks where the underside of the stock is angled (i.e. not parallel with bore axis). I make the pillars I use, machining them from cut-off stainless barrel stubs.

Part D is a 1/4″ X 28 hex-head bolt with the head turned down to 1/4″ which permits the insertion of a hex-head driver to tighten and remove the bolt. This headless bolt will be inserted in the rear tang hole of the action and part E, the rear pillar will be placed on it.

STEP ONE — Getting Started
Photo 2 shows tape on recoil lug, pillars bolted in place and putty in voids. Release agent is polished to a very thin layer. The top half of the front pillar (part C) is placed on the action receiver ring and the bolt (part B) is inserted thru the pillar and tightened against the action. This bolt must have a tapered head on the underside so that, when it is tightened, it will center the top half of the front pillar around the action bolt hole. (This is also true for the middle pillar if the action has a middle bolt.)

PHOTO 2

The headless bolt is inserted into the rear tang hole of the action and the rear pillar is slipped down on it. You will notice in Photo 3, below, that the pillars have the hole drilled oversize so that a 1/4″ bolt has a little space around it. (I like to drill the pillars with a .260″ bit inside.)

The above scenario is the placement of the pillars prior to applying the bedding compound, which I call “Mud”. Devcon 10110 is my bedding compound of choice (and the only product I use) as the mud must set up as hard as concrete and most other epoxies will not do this. Also Devcon shrinks very little if at all. My comments on other bedding compounds are in the sidebar below.

STEP TWO — Relieving the Stock Before Bedding
Relieving the right amount of wood in the area to be bedded–not too much, not too little–is very important to achieving the best results. You need to create some space for the mud to fill around the action, but you don’t want to alter the inletting too much.

PHOTO 3

Photo 3 shows the wood removed from the inside of the stock bedding area. Remove enough wood everywhere except along the top sides of the stock to allow at least 1/8″ to 3/16″ of room for the mud. Remove 1/4″ of wood behind the recoil lug. I like about .012″ clearance on the top inside edges.

NOTE: Leave a small area of original wood just behind the rear tang bolt hole as this wood will determine the elevation of the bedded action in the stock.

Photo 4 shows the tang area of the stock. Note the elevation wood left at tang. Be sure to leave some original wood for the action tang to sit on. This is very important.

STEP THREE — Wrapping Tape on the Barrel
Photo 5 shows the barreled action in the vise. It also shows black electrical tape wrapped around the barrel just behind the front of the stock forearm. Wrap enough tape to hold the front of the barreled action at the proper elevation in the stock.

The idea is that the barreled action does not touch anything except the bit of original “elevation” wood left at the rear tang (behind the pillar) and the forearm resting on the electrical tape. This is very important to obtain 100% stress-free bedding. You want the bore of the barrel to be parallel with the top edge of the stock so wrap just the right amount of tape to ensure this. The tape also centers the barrel in the fore-arm. Done right, the barreled action will be contacting just at two points (tape in front, tang in rear) and the barrel’s bore will be parallel with the top of the fore-arm’s sidewalls.

Comments on Alternative Components and Methods

Bedding Compounds
There are at least a dozen popular products used for rifle bedding. At one time or another, Richard has tried most of them. Devcon 10110 “Plastic Steel® Putty” is the only compound he currently uses and the only product he endorses whole-heartedly. “The Devcon 10110 is expensive, but it is the best bedding product I’ve found. First, it sets up extremely hard. That is very important to the performance and longevity of the bedding job. You want it to get it as hard as concrete. You need it really hard so when you tension the action screws it doesn’t squish down or migrate. Some of the brown stuff other folks use is way too soft. Marine Tex is also too soft. Many products will shrink. Any compound that shrinks is useless in my book. Devcon has absolutely near-zero shrinkage. Acra-Glass I keep in my shop, as it is useful for stock repairs. However I would never bed with Acra-Glass.

Devcon also has just the right consistency — about that of peanut butter. So, it is easy to apply but not runny. It stays in place when I turn the stock upside-down. Devcon is also relatively forgiving to mix–the proportions of the two elements are not super-critical like some other products. I know Marine-Tex can give real problems if you don’t use just the right amount of catalyst. Overall, Devcon does everything you need it to do, and does it exceptionally well. Some other smiths think it’s too expensive–and yes I’ll use $10-$15 worth of Devcon in doing a typical bedding job. But I think the customer deserves the best possible, longest-lasting bedding, and that means Devcon. Among the products I’ve used, Bisonite is my second choice, but I think Devcon will last longer.”

Release Compounds
Richard tells us: “People use all sorts of release compounds and I’ve tried many. I strongly prefer Kiwi shoe polish (neutral color). With the Kiwi, I’ve never had an action stick in the stock. It goes on easy, and you can use a paper towel to polish it very thin and that’s a big benefit. If you have a thin layer of release compound the finished bedding is that much closer to the exact dimensions of the action. I’ve heard of guys using PAM spray. I don’t trust that stuff. The Brownells release compound goes on too thick. Car wax is not a great choice either because it can separate and it gets dusty as it dries. Go with the Kiwi stuff–a little can will last for years. But be sure to use the clear (neutral) kind so you don’t stain your stock or action.”

Clamping and Tension Materials
Read a few articles on pillar bedding and you’ll see many different systems for holding the barreled action to the stock when the bedding compound cures. We’ve seen surgical tubing used, or strips of bicycle inner tube. Some writers have even advocated using mechanical clamps (a bad idea). Richard has tried various tensioning set-ups over the years, and electrical tape is his strong recommendation: “First, let me say it’s crazy to use a C-Clamp or something like that. The clamp will cause a point-load where it attaches and that is just the opposite of what you want.”

Richard has tried many materials: “Surgical tubing I’ve found to be cumbersome to use, and it tends to loosen up during the curing time. Same thing with strips of inner tube. That’s bad news because any loosening or stretching will allow the action to shift. It’s absolutely critical that the action not move one bit while the bedding cures. Once you’ve bedded the action if it dries the wrong way you’ve screwed everything up. Using the electrical tape that isn’t an issue. The tape goes on very tight, doesn’t stretch (if you use enough turns) and I have no fears that the action will shift while curing. Just follow my advice and put a strip of paper towel under the electrical tape so you don’t mar the finish of the barrel or stock.”

Contoured vs. Straight (Flat-top) Pillars
Many factory rifles come with contoured (radiused) pillars, and many gunsmiths prefer to use these. The idea is that the contour provides a better fit with the bottom of round actions. Richard has tried contoured pillars and doesn’t recommend them. He explains: “Most of the contoured pillars don’t really match the contour of the action anyway. And every action is slightly different. Even some of the most favored custom actions aren’t exactly the same from one unit to another. What happens when the contour or curve of the pillar is too narrow is that the action touches just the extended top edges of the pillar (left and right of center). That is not as solid as when the action contacts the center of the pillar where the action screw runs. (And those sharp sides of curved pillars tend to point-load and dig into your action.) Also I feel you get a better match of the Devcon to the action with flat-top pillars. What you want is the bedding compound to cradle the action all the way around. I’ve found this works best with flat-top pillars and a very strong, hard compound like Devcon that doesn’t squish down or shrink.”

STEP FOUR–Applying Release Agent and Plumbers Putty
Failure to apply release agent (and putty) properly is a recipe for disaster. One of the most common mistakes novices make when doing bedding jobs is locking in the action. This happens by not covering enough of the action with release agent, not taping off the lug correctly, and not adding putty to plug any slots or spaces into which the mud can migrate. Remember, you are doing a bedding job, not a glue-in job! When you’ve completed the process, you want to be able to pop the action loose without difficulty.

PHOTO 6 — Showing putty and release agent before polishing, tape on lug.

First, remove the trigger, bolt release and spring, and anything else from the bottom of the action. Then, clean the action and recoil lug area with brake cleaner or parts degreaser. Apply plumbers’ putty to any hole or crevice that you don’t want the mud to get into. Wrap two layers of masking tape on the outside edges of the lug and trim with a razor blade. Do not apply tape to the front or back of the lug. (Apply tape to the front of the lug only if you do not have a way to remove the hardened mud). Let this tape go right around to the top of the action. Wipe the putty smooth with the brake parts cleaner. I highly recommend neutral Kiwi shoe polish as release agent. Apply liberally to the entire action using a Q-tip to get in around the lug (including front and rear of lug), bolt handle slot and loading port edges. Let the shoe polish dry for 10 minutes and then use a paper towel and buff and polish the release agent as thin as possible. You want any release agent to be as thin as possible so as to let the action set as close as possible to your bedding. You also want to apply release agent to the rear (headless) bolt.

STEP FIVE — Installing the Pillars
Now is the time to place the pillars. Screw the top half of the front pillar and middle pillar (if the action has a middle bolt) to the action with the tapered head bolt. Screw in the headless bolt and slip the pillar down around it. Apply release agent to the area of the guard around the rear bolt hole (and to the rear headless bolt). Apply top and bottom and from the inside out. We don’t want the guard stuck to the bedding. (This guard sits on the bolt head that is secures the middle pillar to the action. We need the guard in place to align the action in the stock.)

Install the trigger guard back in place on the stock as the guard is used to align the barreled action in the stock. Now is the time to make a trial run to ensure that everything fits properly. Slip the upside-down stock down over the pillars with the headless bolt coming up through the rear bolt hole in the guard. See Photo 7. Ensure that the stock is resting on two spots only–the tape you’ve wrapped around the barrel, and the little bit of wood you left behind the tang bolt. Ensure there is room everywhere around the action to accept the mud. The barreled action cannot be touching anywhere except the tape and the tang. Not even on the top edges of the stock.

STEP SIX — Applying the Mud
Mix up a generous portion of the Devcon 10110 Mud and apply to the pillars as shown in Photo 8. Do not get mud on top of the bolt head and front pillar(s). Do apply a little mud on top of the rear pillar and if a little gets on the headless bolt that is OK as you should have applied release agent to this bolt. This will properly bed the guard to the rear pillar. The front bolt that holds the front pillar need not have release agent applied to it. Note, as shown in Photo 8, each pillar has a bolt inserted.

PHOTO 8 — Showing mud on the pillars.

You cannot use too much mud as the hydraulic action of pressing the stock down on the barreled action is going to squeeze the mud everywhere it need to go and the excess will be forced out (falling on the floor for you to step in).

PHOTO 9 — Showing mud applied to stock.

Now apply the mud very generously to the stock as shown in Photo 9 above. If I am not bedding any portion of the barrel shank I will only apply a little mud behind the recoil lug area.

STEP SEVEN — Assembly and Compression
Now slip the upside-down stock down over the pillars as you did in the trial run. Ensure the stock is bottomed-out on the tape at the front end. Squeeze slowly, pressing the rear of the stock down and squeeze out the excess mud. After pressing the stock down, the action area should appear as in Photo 10. During the compression stage, stop a few times and use Q-tips to clean off the excess mud that is squeezing out between action and stock.

PHOTO 10 — Rifle right side up, with the mud squeezed out.

Cut a piece of paper towel about two inches wide by the length of the towel. Lay this on the stock 1.5″ in front of the action. Wrap black electrical tape around the stock and barrel, running the tape over the strip of paper towel. (The towel is to protect the stock finish.) Squeeze the stock and action together while taking wraps with the tape. If you have a skinny, pencil-thin barrel don’t apply too much pressure with the tape as the weak barrel can be curved slightly. That can cause the barrel to touch the stock when everything is done (not good). If you have a big, fat barrel don’t worry about deflection. With a heavy contour tube, whatever bend you put in the barrel will spring back when the tape is removed.

STEP EIGHT — Mud Removal and Curing Time
Using Q-tips, clean up very thoroughly around the front pillar and the bolt head. You need to be able to unscrew the bolt to separate the stock from the rifle and you do not want the bedding protruding above the pillar. (The escutcheon still has to have room to fit in there without touching the end of the pillar.) Before turning the rifle right-side-up, reach under with a few Q-tips and clean off the mud hanging there as it may get inside the action.

Turn the rifle right side up in the vise and, using lots of Q-tips, clean all of the mud off of everything. Remove the excess mud every place you can see it. Use a paper towel to wipe the stock as there could be some invisible mud hiding somewhere on the stock or action. After using Q-tips, I sometimes use Butch’s Bore Shine solvent. It does a good job of removing the mud residue (other solvents with ammonia would work well also).

When you’ve cleaned off all the excess mud. It’s time to let the bedding cure. Lie the rifle upside down with the weight on the rear of the action and about where the tape is on the barrel. Let the gun sit for about 8 to 10 hours or overnight. IMPORTANT, you should remove ALL the excess mud around the action before you let the rifle cure for this time period. Photo 11 shows the rifle upside down, but you want to have the excess mud cleaned off before curing.

PHOTO 11 — Position for curing the mud–but excess should be removed first.

IMPORTANT: Avoiding Mechanical Lock During Bedding
One major problem that can arise when novices bed their own stocks is mechanical lock. This occurs when some part of the action or barrel is trapped below the bedding. Effectively, the barreled action becomes anchored in the stock and can be very difficult to remove. Richard says avoiding mechanical lock is not that difficult, but you must be careful: “Locks usually occur because the bedding is applied too far up. Never, and I repeat, never, bed above the centerline of the action (bore axis), or the widest point of the action (whichever is lower). You need to leave the edge of the bedding at least 1/16″ below the centerline of the action and centerline of the bore axis. I normally leave about 1/8th of vertical clearance. If the widest point of the action is BELOW the bore axis, you have to keep the bedding below that. The other thing to watch out for are projections and holes in the sides of the action. All holes must be filled with plumbers’ putty. All projections–anything that sticks out–need to be removed. If some little part or fixture sticks out, even if you tape it over, and it is below the top of the bedding, it can lock the action in.”

STEP NINE — Popping the Barreled Action Loose
After the required curing time, you need to remove the barreled action to check the beading and fit the pillar escutcheons. If you cleaned away all the excess mud and there are no mechanical locks in the bedding, it should not be difficult to pop the stock loose. You can see how this is done in the short Video Clip from my DVD (Right-Click and “Save As” to download). Here is the procedure.

After the mud has set up and hardened, clamp the barrel in a vise with the gun upside down. The vise should camp just ahead of the forearm. Remove the bolt in the front pillar (and middle pillar) and the headless bolt. Remove the trigger guard.

With the left hand, apply upward pressure to the forearm and then with the right hand slap upward on the forearm. You will hear a crack like you might have busted the stock. Not to worry, that is just the bedding popping free. Now wiggle the stock up off the recoil lug as it is the only thing holding the stock down. [Editors Note: Here’s an older video clip that shows Richard “popping” the stock loose from the barreled action. CLICK HERE to download a 6 Meg Windows media file, or click these links for MPEG (2.3 megs), and Real Media (2.3 megs) versions.]

Remove the tape from the barrel and recoil lug and clean up the putty. Wipe the action down with brake parts cleaner. On the stock, remove the squeezed mud that went into the trigger and bolt release area. Relieve the lug area on both sides and the front. Lay the stock back on the barreled action. Be sure to check under the trigger guard to see if any cleanup of mud is required there. Then re-install the guard and insert the rear action bolt just snug (not tight).

STEP TEN — Installing the Pillar Escutcheons
Pillar escutcheons are a nice extra feature I add to my custom rifles. These are stainless, made from barrel stubs. The two-part front pillar is originally machined as one piece. I believe front pillars with the escutcheons (or outer ring) offer advantages over conventional pillars in terms of strength and alignment.

Before you actually install the escutcheons, you need to do some fit testing. Have a trial run at setting the front bolt to the proper length by placing the escutcheon in the hole and screwing in the bolt. Loosen off the back bolt to see if the bolt that is thru the escutcheon is holding the stock firmly in place. Retighten the rear bolt a wee bit.

Apply release agent to the front bolt, being careful to not get it on the escutcheon. Insert an Allen wrench into the head of the bolt so you can hold it easily. Slip the escutcheon over the bolt. Apply mud to the escutcheon and around the bolt. Photo 12 shows how much mud to put on the escutcheon. You want enough so when you tighten the bolt it will force the mud everywhere it needs to go, even though a bit will be squeezed in around the bolt. Photo 13 shows how the escutcheon should look installed, with the bolt tightened. Photo 14 (below right) shows the escutcheon after the mud has been removed–be sure to remove the excess while the Devcon is still soft.

PHOTOS 13 and 14 — Showing escutcheon before (left) and after mud clean-up (right).

Clean up the excess mud with Q-tips and paper towels. You need to do this before the mud hardens. I used Butch’s Bore Shine as a solvent, once I have removed the excess mud with Q-tips and towels. When the escutcheons are cleaned up, you’ve finished working with the mud. Now let the stock lay for another 8 hours or so to allow the escutcheons to become.

After the mud has hardened around the escutcheon clamp the rifle back in the vise. Remove the back tang bolt first then the front bolt that is through the escutcheon. The bolt will be tight in the hole and sometimes may need to be punched out with a punch unless it has threads right to the head in which case it will screw out. Go in the hole with a .260” bit and clean the mud out of the front pillar. Let the bedding harden for a day or two and then torque the bolts with about 35 inch-lbs of torque on the front bolt and maybe 25 on the tang bolt.

The finished result is an even coat of Devcon with no voids, air pockets, fissures, and perfect stress-free support for the action, as shown in Photo 15.

PHOTO 15 — Completed pillar-bedding job

Photos and text Copyright © 2010 Richard Franklin and AccurateShooter.com, All Rights Reserved.
No reproduction without advanced permission in writing.

Topics: Gunstock, stocks, stocking, laminated stock, wood, pillar bedding, piller, pillars, aluminum pillar, Devcon, putty, stockmaking, Richard Franklin, Richards custom rifles, 10110 Devcon, Acra glass, Brownells, glass bedding, fiberglass, stock bedding, bed, escutcheon, Butch’s Bore Shine.

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February 28th, 2021

Experiment with Fore and Aft Rifle Position on Rest and Bag

Benchrest stock

To get the best accuracy out of any benchrest rifle, you need to find the optimal position of front rest and rear bag. The important point to remember is that each rig is different. One gun may perform best with the front rest right at the tip of the forearm (Position ‘D’ in photo), while another gun will work best with the rest positioned much further back. This Editor’s own 6mmBR rifle has a laminated stock that is pretty flexy in the front. It shoots best with the front rest’s sandbag located a good 6″ back from the forearm tip (position ‘A’).

Here’s some benchrest advice that can help you reduce vertical and shoot tighter groups… without spending another penny. Many benchrest shooters spend a fortune on equipment and devote countless hours to meticulous handloading, but they never experiment with their rifle’s position/balance on the bags. This article explains why you should test your rifle in various positions. What you learn may surprise you (and improve your scores).

Next time you go to the range, experiment with the position of your rifle on the front rest, and try a couple different positions for the rear bag. You may find that the rifle handles much better after you’ve made a small change in the placement of your gun on the bags. Recoil can be tamed a bit, and tracking can improve significantly, if you optimize the front rest and rear bag positioning.

front rest Sally benchrest IBS
This competitor has the front rest positioned fairly far forward but not all the way out. Note the stop on the front rest — this limits forward stock travel.

A small change in the position of the forearm on the front rest, or in the placement of the rear bag, can make a big difference in how your gun performs.

Balance Your Gun BEFORE You Spend Hours Tuning Loads
In the pursuit of ultimate accuracy, shooters may spend countless hours on brass prep, bullet selection, and load tuning. Yet the same shooters may pay little attention to how their gun is set-up on the bags. When you have acquired a new rifle, you should do some basic experimentation to find the optimal position for the forearm on the front rest, and the best position for the rear bag. Small changes can make a big difference.

Joel Kendrick

Joel Kendrick, past IBS 600-yard Shooter of the Year, has observed that by adjusting forearm position on the front rest, he can tune out vertical. He has one carbon-fiber-reinforced stock that is extremely rigid. When it was placed with the front rest right under the very tip of the forearm, the gun tended to hop, creating vertical. By sliding the whole gun forward (with more forearm overhang ahead of the front sandbag), he was able to get the whole rig to settle down. That resulted in less vertical dispersion, and the gun tracked much better.

stock position benchrest forearm sandbag front rest
Fore/aft stock position is important even with very wide fore-ends.

Likewise, the placement of the rear bag is very important. Many shooters, by default, will simply place the rear bag the same distance from the front rest with all their guns. In fact, different stocks and different calibers will NOT behave the same. By moving the rear bag forward and aft, you can adjust the rifle’s overall balance and this can improve the tracking significantly. One of our shooters had a Savage 6BR F-Class rifle. By default he had his rear bag set almost all the way at the end of the buttstock. When he slid the rear bag a couple inches forward the gun tracked much better. He immediately noticed that the gun returned to point of aim better (crosshairs would stay on target from shot to shot), AND the gun torqued (twisted) less. The difference was quite noticeable.

A small change in the position of the forearm on the front rest, or in the placement of the rear bag, can make a big difference in how your gun performs. You should experiment with the forearm placement, trying different positions on the front rest. Likewise, you can move the rear bag back and forth a few inches. Once you establish the optimal positions of front rest and rear bag, you should find that your gun tracks better and returns to battery more reliably. You may then discover that the gun shoots smaller groups, with less vertical dispersion. And all these benefits are possible without purchasing any expensive new gear.

Rifle photo courtesy Johnson’s Precision Gunsmithing (Bakersfield, CA).

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July 25th, 2017

A Look Inside the Kelbly’s Manufacturing Facility

Kelbly Kelbly's Stolle Panda Video Action Stock Super Shoot F-Class Action

Want to see new-born Pandas? No, not the furry kind — rather Stolle Panda actions produced with state-of-the-art CNC machinery. If you’ve ever wondered how precision benchrest, long-range, and tactical rifles are built, check out video from Kelbly’s. You’ll see actions finished, barrels chambered and crowned, pillars installed in stocks, barreled actions bedded, plus a host of other services performed by Kelbly’s gunsmiths and machinists.

CLICK Triangle to Launch Kelbly’s Video

If you’re a fan of fine machine-work, this video should be both informative and entertaining. You can see how precision gun work is done with 21st-Century technology. Tip of the hat to Ian Kelbly and crew for producing this excellent video visit to the Kelbly’s production center.

Kelbly's Panda Action gunsmithing video barrel stock bedding

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April 4th, 2017

Hammerhead Stocks for Long-Range Benchrest

hammerhead stock Precision rifle tool Ray Bowman

hammerhead stock Precision rifle tool Ray BowmanWe know that many of our readers have never seen a “Hammerhead” benchrest stock before. This is a design with an extra wide section in the very front, tapering to a narrow width starting about 6″ back. When paired with a super-wide front sandbag, the hammerhead design provides added stability — just like having a wider track on a racing car. Some folks think mid-range and long-range benchrest stocks can only be 3″ wide. Not so — IBS and NBRSA rules now allow much wider fore-ends. While F-Class Open rules limit fore-end width to 3″ max, there is not such restriction on IBS or NBRSA Light Guns or Heavy Guns for 600- and 1000-yard competition. Here’s a 5″-wide Hammerhead design from Precision Rifle & Tool (PR&T).

Ray Bowman of PR&T sent us some photos of another hammerhead benchrest rig. Ray reports: “Here’s another benchrest rifle that Precision Rifle & Tool crafted. The customer shot this rifle at the 2014 IBS 1000-yard Nationals in West Virginia.” This IBS Light Gun sports PR&T’s “Low Boy Hammer Head” stock in red/black laminate. Other components are a 6mm BRUX 30″, 1:8″-twist barrel, Borden BR Action, and a PR&T 20 MOA scope rail.

hammerhead stock Precision rifle tool Ray Bowman

hammerhead stock Precision rifle tool Ray Bowman

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 4 Comments »
February 11th, 2017

Preacher’s ‘Axe Job’ — Crafting a Gunstock with Hand Tools

hand made axe job stock 17 VMA varmint
A little work with the hand axe, after a trip through the band saw…

A while back, Forum member Preacher crafted a nice varmint rifle for fellow Forum member Dave 0. (aka “Waskawood”). But rather than buy an off-the-shelf stock, Preacher crafted this stock all by hand, starting from a laminated blank panel. He calls this stock project his “Axe Job”.

CLICK for Full-size Photo
hand made axe job stock 17 VMA varmint

This stock is being used on a prairie dog rifle, chambered for a 17-caliber wildcat, the 17 VHA, which is based on an H&K 4.6x30mm parent case. With about nine grains of 300 MP pistol powder, the 17 VHA drives 20-grainers at about 3850 fps. (SEE details at end of article).

The ‘Axe Job’

Report by Preacher
I like carving with the laminates because all the lines are right there in front of my eyes, so it’s easy to follow along and get it just right, until it’s pleasing to the eye. I never use a template, I just keep checking the lines as I go along. I have all the needed equipment to power build one of these, but I really enjoy the time spent on the hand work. From start to completely ready-to-install, I’ll have about six (6) weeks into one of these stock projects. A lot of that is drying time for the clear coats.

The majority of the laminated blank panels I use for my gunstocks are purchased directly from Cousineau Wood Products or from Rutply.com. You have to buy at least four full panels at a time, all the same color, but that will yield eight (8) stocks. Seems like I have a little over $150.00 in a blank large enough to start making a full-sized, benchrest-style stock.

A little work with a chisel…
hand made axe job stock 17 VMA varmint

A little work with a rasp. (Before I was rich and famous and could afford really good rasps, I used a good old horse shoe rasp.)
hand made axe job stock 17 VMA varmint

A little more work with the chisel…
hand made axe job stock 17 VMA varmint

Preacher’s Advice on Carving Your Own Stock
The one main advantage of being older that dirt, and tormented with MS the past 40 years, is lots of free time to enjoy what ever I can do these days, as long as I can set down to do it, and I can make a lot of wood chips setting down.

Any one can do this if they have the time to devote to it. All it takes is time and a good eye for details. I made a lot of firewood over the years, until I got the hang of it. Most all those problems were inletting, and screw hole spacing. Get those right the first time and you’re on your way….

A little more work with the rasp…
hand made axe job stock 17 VMA varmint

A few coats of Auto clear has it about buttoned up…
hand made axe job stock 17 VMA varmint

Micro 17 VHA Wildcat
Here’s the finished rifle built by Preacher for Dave, using the ‘Axe Job’ stock. Dave tells us: “Preacher chambered the rifle for the 17 VHA, a wildcat based on the H&K 4.6x30mm MP7 PDW case necked down to 17 caliber. There are numerous articles in the Varmint Hunter’s Magazine about it. This efficient little round shoots 20gr ballistic tips at 3850+ fps. That’s not too shabby for ‘nine point something’ grains of pistol powder.”

“My intentions for my 17 VHA rifle are to plop down in the middle of a PD town with my swivel bench and shoot prairie dogs. I also thought it would be a nice platform to test the accuracy of the cartridge. If I like the little round as well as I think, I plan to build a more practical rifle that I can carry. I really want to thank Preacher for his patience with me through this project, as it was my first custom build.”

hand made axe job stock 17 VMA varmint

Permalink Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
December 26th, 2016

Doan Trevor Carves a Silhouette Special from Koa Wood

Doan Trevor gunstock koa wood silhouette Anschutz rimfire carve stock

Our friend, gunsmith/stockmaker Doan Trevor recently created a lovely, one-of-a-kind silhouette stock for an Anschutz rimfire action. Built as a true custom design, this stock combines ideal standing position ergonomics with light weight — the entire stock weighs a mere two pounds. This project really showcases Doan’s remarkable skills with wood. Read the full story about this project (with more photos) at DoanTrever.com.

Doan explains his design process: “A customer came to me wanting to know if I could build a silhouette stock that was 2 pounds or less. I used the Koa wood because it is a lower specific gravity than Walnut (which makes it lighter) and stronger. I was still able to use pillar bedding and keep the weight down. The fore end could be shortened to reduce the weight even more. Since the drops on a silhouette rifle are different than a prone rifle, I kept the pistol grip from the prone rifle which is comfortable and tried to come up with a higher cheek piece and more drop to the buttplate. All of this required lots of hand carving.”

Doan Trevor gunstock koa wood silhouette Anschutz rimfire carve stock

Doan Trevor gunstock koa wood silhouette Anschutz rimfire carve stock

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing 1 Comment »
June 18th, 2015

Save Big Bucks on McMillan Stocks — Father’s Day Sale

McMillan fathers day fiberglass gunstock stock sale

McMillan just announced a great Father’s Day Sale, with big savings on a wide variety of fiberglass stocks. You can save hundreds of dollars on hunting, tactical, benchrest, and long-range stocks, inletted for various popular actions. CLICK HERE for McMillan Stock SALE.

McMillan fathers day fiberglass gunstock stock sale

Sale tip by EdLongRange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Hot Deals No Comments »
May 2nd, 2015

Hot Deal on McMillan Fiberglass Stocks — 20% OFF

McMilland 20% off stock sale

We know you guys like bargains. Well here are some very good deals on popular fiberglass stocks from McMillan. Save 20% off the regular retail price. Plus, for a limited time, McMillan is offering FREE shipping on online orders over $50.00. These prices are good through 5/15/2015. Use Discount Code “20%OFF” during check-out.

CLICK HERE to see all the deals.

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Permalink Hot Deals, Tactical No Comments »
May 1st, 2015

Stunning Hand-Crafted Walnut Tactical Stock for the ‘Hide

Sniper's Hide Trophy Rifle Black Hills gunstockszoom photo

Even in the “tactical” world, hand craftsmanship is not dead yet. Chad Dixon of Long Rifles Inc. (LRI) is building the lastest Sniper’s Hide Cup Trophy Rifle. These photos show the exquisite stock crafted by Chad and Jesse Kaufman of Black Hills Gunstocks & Engraving. Chad cut the stock on his CNC mill and Jesse did the final sanding and finishing on the wood. Here’s what master craftsman Kaufman had to say about the project: “We delivered the Long Rifles Inc. Mausingfield today! I was so very pleased that Chad and the staff at the shop thought it looked great. It means a lot to be able to support my family and household with the income I receive from my labor. May the Lord bless you all. — Jesse.”

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Permalink Gunsmithing, Tactical 5 Comments »
May 23rd, 2014

Forum Member Does Master-Grade Checkering and Carving

Larry Scott, who runs GreatScottShooters.com, has a friend, Ray Mabry, who is a very talented wood-worker and carver. Ray does master-grade decorative work and checkering on gunstocks, and he also carves realistic nature subjects from wood. Larry says: “If you need stock checkering/carving or any wildlife creation, check out a friend of mine, Ray Mabry. His finished products are superb.”

Ray Mabry stock carving checkering

Ray Mabry stock carving checkering

Ray Mabry stock carving checkering

Ray Mabry stock carving checkering

Ray Mabry recently joined the AccurateShooter Forum, and you can see many fine examples of his work in this FORUM Thread. Ray tells us: “I do this work as a hobby. I do checkering and relief-carving on rifles. I also carve out of solid tupelo and bass blocks of wood. Along with rifle stock work, I carve wildlife subjects — I’ve carved eagles, owls, quail, ducks, and even prairie dogs. If you have a project in mind, call me at 270-885-6066 or send email to: rayzr [at] twc.com.”

Ray Mabry stock carving checkering

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 1 Comment »
February 24th, 2014

Hot Deal: Kelbly Fiberglass Stocks on Sale at PMA Tool

Looking for a high-quality fiberglass stock at a bargain price? Then check out the Kelbly over-run stocks at PMA Tool. You’ll find a wide variety of stocks on sale at extremely attractive prices (from $200 to $350.00). There are 3″-wide benchrest and F-Class stocks, Hunter Class benchrest stocks, and a variety of general-purpose hunting and varmint stocks. Most of the benchrest stocks are priced at $300.00 to $350.00 — that’s hundreds less than you’d ordinarily pay for a first-tier fiberglass stock from McMillan or other big name manufacturer.

PMA Tool Kelbly over-run stocks sale discount

PMA Tool Kelbly over-run stocks sale discount

And price isn’t the only attraction. With these Kelbly over-run stocks, there is no waiting. PMA Tool can ship you out a stock in a matter of days. By contrast, you might wait months to get a newly-made stock from another maker. PMA Tool has acquired dozens of Kelbly stocks so there is a large selection. If you go to the PMA website, you can select from three categories of stocks. Then choose a stock that has the appropriate inlet for your action. Some of the over-run stocks are inletted for Pandas, others for BATs, and some for other round actions.

PMA Tool Kelbly over-run stocks sale discount

Permalink Gunsmithing, Hot Deals No Comments »
October 18th, 2013

NBRSA Changes Sporter Rules — Bukys Builds to New Standards

The National Benchrest Shooters Association (NBRSA) has adopted new rules, loosening restrictions on the Sporter Class of benchrest rifles. Now a Sporter fore-arm may be any width (or angle), and the underside of the buttstock can have any angle. Previously, fore-arm width was limited to three inches, and the bottom of the buttstock had to be angled up. (NBRSA Rules will continue to require this “up-angle” geometry for all Light Varmint (LV) and Heavy Varmint (HV) rifles). In addition, the NBRSA opened the Sporter Class to any caliber “no larger than .308 Winchester”.

The idea behind these changes is to allow greater innovation in at least one class of benchrest bag guns, and to avoid “redundancy”. Currently a 10.5-lb Light Varmint can be shot as a Sporter, so long as the LV complies with caliber rules. For practical purposes, that meant Sporter Class was redundant with the Light Varmint Class, and there was no real reason for the Sporter Class to exist anymore.

The Sporter weight limit remains unchanged at 10.5 pounds (including optics). All current LV and Sporter rifles will remain 100% legal under the new rule, so no one is forced to go out and build a new rifle to shoot in Sporter class. But if you want to try a more radical stock design, now you have the opportunity to do so. Here is the text of the new rule:

NBRSA Rule Book (New Sporter Rule)
B. Definitions: 2. Equipment (d) Sporter Rifle

A Sporter Rifle is defined as any rifle having a safe manually and mechanically operated firing Mechanism and must not weigh more than 10.5 lbs, inclusive of sights. The stock can be flat, or convex, but not concave. The Forearm can be any width and have any angle. The butt stock can have any angle including a reverse angle, the barrel shall not be less that 18″ long forward of the bolt face and can be any diameter or configuration including a straight taper or a reverse taper. The Sporter Rifle can be no larger than .308 Winchester. Sporter Rifles do not have to conform to the Varmint Rifles diagram. All sand bag rules apply to the Sporter Rifle.

View NBRSA Rule Book (Includes New Sporter Definition) PDF

Bukys Explains the Thinking Behind the Sporter Rule Change

NBRSA Gene BukysOn Benchrest Central, leading benchrest shooter Gene Bukys discussed the new NBRSA Sporter Rule Changes: “[This] does not create a new rifle or an experimental class — it simply removes most of the restrictive rules from the existing Sporter class. Every existing LV rifle and every existing Sporter Rifle in this whole world is still legal, and competitive, under these changes.

My purpose in all of this is to make the Sporter class, and the LV rifle, no longer redundant classes, and to have a class where we can have some innovation in Benchrest. If there is a better stock configuration out there or a better barrel profile shouldn’t we benchrest shooters be the leading edge of this innovation? Benchrest used to be the leading edge of virtually all accuracy innovation. I’m not sure if that’s true anymore. I would like that to be… true again.

For right now, I don’t see this as making any huge radical changes to benchrest, but given time and a venue to work in (Sporter Class) there may be some really meaningful innovation that comes about. Let’s have some fun with this.”

Gene Bukys Commissions New Convertible Sporter/LV Stock by Bob Scoville
Under the new NBRSA Sporter standards, stock designers/fabricators can now experiment with a wider variety of stock shapes and geometry. Gene Bukys commissioned a new stock from Bob Scoville that shows what can be done under the new liberalized Sporter stock rules.

Gene’s latest NBRSA Sporter rifle features a stepped forearm that can fit a 5-inch wide bag rider plate. In the rear, this stock can run different size/shape “keels” (buttstock underbellies). The larger keel, shown attached in the photos, exhibits the flatter angle now allowed under the new NBRSA Sporter rule. (In fact, this keel may have a slight reverse angle, i.e. lower in the front than in the back). At any time, this Scoville stock can be switched back to a 100%-legal Light Varmint configuration by: 1) removing the 5″ front bag-rider plate; and 2) changing to the smaller, up-angled rear keel piece.

CLICK Photos to View Full-Screen Version
Bukys Scoville Carbon Fiber Sporter Benchrest Stock

Bukys Scoville Carbon Fiber Sporter Benchrest Stock

Bukys Scoville Carbon Fiber Sporter Benchrest Stock

Bukys Scoville Carbon Fiber Sporter Benchrest Stock

Photos and Links provided by Pascal Fischbach.
Permalink Competition, Gunsmithing 3 Comments »
October 10th, 2013

Laminated Stocks Offer Value, Performance, and Style

Some folks think of laminated stocks as modestly-priced, “low-tech” alternatives for varmint and hunting rifles. In fact, for shooting disciplines that do not demand ultra-light weight, good laminated stocks give up nothing in performance to the most sophisticated composite stocks. And with laminates, it is relatively easy to fine-tune fit and ergonomics to suit the individual shooter. Available in a wide choice of colors, laminated stocks can also be very handsome.

In our Shooters’ Forum, you’ll find a thread showcasing laminated stocks. It’s worth viewing. There are many interesting designs, and a wide variety of rifles ranging from “walking varminters” to long-range prone rifles. CLICK HERE to View Laminated Stock Forum Thread

GRS Laminated Stock from Norway (Imported by Kelbly’s)
March 1-8x24mm FFP scope

March 1-8x24mm FFP scope

FalconPilot’s Shehane Tracker in Sierra Laminate with Clearcoat

20 Practical Varminter (UK Custom posted by PNSE)

Prone Rifle by Carl Bernosky (posted by 1Shot)

F-Class (Special) by Alex Sitman (posted by J. DeKort)
Veteran’s Team Rifle #2 by Doan Trevor (posted by GermanS1)

Permalink Gunsmithing 3 Comments »
September 21st, 2013

Fajen Composite Stocks for Ruger 10/22 Just $49.00

Need a rugged, durable stock for your Ruger 10/22? EABCO (E. Arthur Brown Company) has you covered. EABCO is offering a limited quantity of Fajen Composite 10/22 Stocks for just $49.00. EABCO tells us: “We bought out the last 24 of these, so get them while you can.” These are new-in-box, non-warping composite target stocks finished in black, with checkering on the grip and fore-end. Sling swivel studs, and rubber buttpad are installed. The stocks, sized for adults, are drop-in fits for your Ruger 10/22. There is enough clearance in the barrel channel to handle .920″-diameter heavy contour target barrels. If you are interested, call EABCO at 800-950-9088. The super-low $49.00 price is available via phone orders only.

Product tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions
Permalink Hot Deals 1 Comment »
August 21st, 2013

How to Add Texture to Your Stock Grip and Forearm

If you have a match, hunting, or tactical rifle that needs a little more “stiction” in the grip or fore-arm areas, particularly in wet or humid conditions, consider adding a non-slip coating to the stock. This is easily done with inexpensive materials. R+D Precision has a simple do-it-yourself procedure for adding texture to your stock. Be forewarned — this is basically a permanent addition to your stock, so you might want to practice first. Also the application of the bedding compound will change the color of the stock, so you may want to re-finish the stock.

Marking the Area to Texture with Steel-Bed or Similar Material
Tape off the area you want to put the texture. Spread a very thin coat of the Steel-Bed on the stock, just enough to cover the area. This can be done using Marine-Tex or Steel-Bed. Other products could be used but Steel-Bed is proven, and it’s what R+D prefers for the job.

Best Method for Applying Texture
Here is the secret to adding texture: Using the tongue depressor that is in the kit or something similar, BOUNCE the flat part of the stick on the still-wet bedding to get the textured effect. Once the bedding has dried for about an hour, and still kind of tacky, remove the tape, pulling at a sharp angle to leave a nice sharp edge. If the bedding has a sharp raised area where the tape was, wet your finger and rub along the edge and it will knock off the edge but still give that nice sharp transition.

Click HERE for more photos.

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
March 2nd, 2013

MidwayUSA Videos Show How to Finish a Hardwood Stock

In a series of YouTube videos, Larry Potterfield of MidwayUSA shows how to prepare, finish, and polish a wood gunstock. The first video covers sanding, sealing, and filling. The second video shows how to apply a multi-coat finish by hand, with light sanding between coats. In the third video, Larry applies a final polish to his project stock. The principles illustrated in these videos can be applied to most types of stocks. However, keep in mind that Larry is working with a hardwood stock.

By contrast, with a typical Rutland laminated stock, the finishing process is somewhat different and (usually) more time consuming. You’ll probably have to do more aggressive sanding, and the sealing process can be more time-consuming because laminates typically have very porous surfaces that soak up a lot of sealant. You may have to do multiple sealant passes with aggressive sanding in-between. Alternatively, you can use multiple coats of high-solids clear coat to fill the pores.

How to Prepare a Riflestock for Finishing

YouTube Preview Image

How to Apply a Multi-Coat Finish

YouTube Preview Image

How to Polish the Finish on a Riflestock

YouTube Preview Image

Clear-Coating Your Stock
While you can put an oil-type finish on a Rutland laminate, we think these often look best finished with an automotive clear coat. Rub-on finishes can cause small changes in stock coloration. If you want to preserve the colors in your laminated stock, a quality, spray-on clear-coat is probably the best way to go. CLICK HERE for expert tips on how to prep and clear-coat a laminated stock.

laminated Shehane wood stock

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tech Tip No Comments »
August 25th, 2012

V-Block, Composite Rifle Stocks from John Whidden

Whidden Composite Works StocksJohn Whidden, multi-time NRA Long-Range Champion, runs a stock-building enterprise, Whidden Composite Works. This is a sister operation to Whidden Gunworks, which crafts V-Blocks and other specialized gun components and reloading tools. John Whidden’s stock-making business, the Composite Works, is producing a series of high-quality, V-Block-equipped stocks using state-of-the-art composite construction. The first two stock designs, the models 105 and 140, are general-purpose stocks that will work for everything from Elk hunting to tactical comps. Both models are currently available in multiple color choices: Desert Sand, Forest Green, Flecked Black, Silver, and Custom Mix. Other colors may be offered in the future.

The Whidden Composites model 105 has a familiar hunting rifle profile. The model 140 is designed as a hunting stock incorporating tactical features for shooters who prefer a more vertical strong-hand grip. Both include the Whidden V-Block (in configurations for right-handed short and long actions based on the Rem 700 bolt pattern), three installed sling studs, and a Pachmayr® Decelerator pad.

Model 105 Offers Hunters a Familiar Design with Enhanced Rigidity and V-Block
The Whidden 105, priced at $360.00, is shaped along the lines of a classic North American hunting rifle. But under the skin it is a greatly enhanced platform. Solid-core construction gives a solid feel that is often absent on lesser synthetic/plastic stocks. The V-Block system is integrated, the composites used increase stiffness, and the material is impervious to weather. The V-Block system allows the owner to easily use multiple barreled actions in the same stock.

Whidden Composite Works Stocks

Model 140 Provides Improved Ergonomics for Prone and Tactical Shooters
The Whidden 140 offers the ergonomic advantages of a vertical grip and raised comb for eye-scope-target (EST) alignment. For many shooters, the vertical grip feels more natural in prone position, and allows a very solid “hard hold” for a heavier-recoiling caliber. The semi-beavertail fore-end will rest solidly on sandbags, while the radiused edges still allow for comfortable grip and carrying. Whidden model 140 stocks are available for $400 in Desert Sand, Forest Green, and Flecked Black.

Whidden Composite Works Stocks

Model 175 Whidden Stock Design
In addition to the models 105 and 140, John produces a model 175 stock featuring an (optional) adjustable cheekpiece and other enhancements favored by tactical, prone, and F-Class competitors. The basic model 175 stock includes the V-Block, three sling studs, and a Pachmayr® Decelerator pad. Options include Foreend Rail, Adjustable Cheek Piece, and Butt Spacers. Model 175 stocks start at $549.00 plus shipping. For more information on the Whidden models 105, 140, and 175, visit Whidden Composite Works or call (229) 686-1860.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product No Comments »
July 4th, 2012

STOKBOOT Shields Stock from Solvents and Scratches

Benchrest shooter Bill Gammon offers a nice product that helps prevent solvents and oils from marring the finish of a fine wood stock, or a painted fiberglass stock. The STOKBOOT also prevents solvents from softening the bedding, while guarding against nicks and scratches. Gammon’s STOKBOOT fits over the rifle stock during cleaning of the barrel. The quilt on the outside soaks up the solvent before it reaches the stock and holds it until it evaporates. A twin layer of vinyl on the inside stops any solvents from getting through, but Gammon cautions that you should not leave the STOKBOOT on overnight, because solvents could soak through. The basic colors are Red, Wine, Black, Blue, and Green. Typical retail price is about $17.00.

Gammon Stokboot

Gammon explains how he came up with the STOKBOOT: “My wife Barbara and I started this business in 1992 as a means to support a very expensive sport, namely Bench Rest. My wife had been in the sewing business for many years. Her experience included sewing, layout, cutting, and management, so it was only logical that the next step was opening our own business. I had complained about having to use a rag over my stock to prevent solvents that I was using from ruining the paint job on the stock, and also seeping into the bedding area and softening up the bedding. So between her expertise in the sewing world and my practical knowledge, we came up with our first STOKBOOT.”

Gammon Stokboot

Gammon sells wholesale only. His STOKBOOTs are available through popular retail vendors including: Accuracy Arms, Borden Rifles, Bruno Shooters Supply, Russ Haydon’s Shooters’ Supply, Sinclair International. European dealers are: Reloading Solutions (UK), and Heinz Henke (Germany).

Permalink Gear Review No Comments »
June 15th, 2012

Modular Low-Profile Competition Stocks from Wayne Young

Texas stock-maker Wayne Young has created an innovative modular stock. The fore-end side-plates bolt on to an aluminum sub-chassis so you can alter the width, or run an offset on either side of center. You can transform the stock from 3″ wide to 5″ wide in a couple minutes. Or, if you want to experiment with offset (i.e. having more fore-end width on one side of the barrel than the other side), you can simply remove a few bolts, and stack up the sideplates on one side.

Wayne's Gun Stocks

Wayne's Gun Stocks

The ability to quickly (and inexpensively) transform a stock from 3″ wide to 5″ wide is a definite plus for shooters who want to use the same rig in both F-Class and benchrest. You can run your rifle at max-legal 3″ width for F-Class, then bolt on additional fore-end “wings” to run at 5″ for bench competition. The 5″-wide stocks are now legal for 600-yard and 1000-yard benchrest, at both IBS and NBRSA registered matches. Those folks who have tried out 5″-wide stocks on Light Guns have been impressed with the results. The extra width stabilizes the rifle on the bags, reducing perceived twist (torquing) and hop. There is less “Rocking and Rolling”. With the gun torquing less, the tracking during recoil normally shows an improvement as well. (But we should say that, even with the standard 3″ width, these stocks track great.)

Wayne's Gun Stocks

Video Demonstrates Superior Tracking
How does a Wayne Young stock track? Straight and true — with virtually no hop. You can see for yourself. In the video below, Wayne shoots a test rifle chambered in .284 Winchester, a popular F-Class cartridge. The load is a 175gr Berger XLD bullet pushed at 3010 fps by Reloder 17 powder. That’s a stout, fast load — the recoil force easily meets or exceeds a typical F-Open match load. To better demonstrate the gun’s handling characteristics, Wayne deliberately shoots the gun free-recoil style — without gripping hard or shouldering the stock*. As you can see, the gun recoils straight back. The forearm and buttstock also slide perfectly in the bags, without “grabbing”. (Note: In the video, the rifle’s front bag-rider section is aluminum without polymer “wings”. This particular gun was built with a wider aluminum channel to fit a large-diameter, straight-contour barrel).

Stock Specifications and Design Features
Finished stocks weigh approximately 7 pounds, 4 ounces. If needed, stocks can be lightened to just under 7 pounds. Overall length is 36″. Length of pull is adjustable from 13 to 13.75 inches with standard two-way adjustable butt pad. The main chassis is machined from billet 6061-T6 (Tee Six) aluminum, while the fore-end chassis section is 6063-T5 (Tee Five). The black side sections, fore-end plates, and buttstock lowers are CNC-machined from high-grade HDPE, a rugged, chemically-resistant polymer.

The chassis for round actions features a “V-Block” seating area. There is a flat configuration for Panda and Stiller flat-bottom actions. With either the round- or flat-bottom configuration, actions can be mounted directly on the 1.25″-square aluminum chassis, using supplied action bolts. (Skim bedding is optional.) No inletting, pillar-installation, or stock finishing (painting) is required. Just bolt your barreled action into the chassis and head to the range.

Wayne’s stocks come with two-way adjustable butt-plate, adjustable cheekpiece, trigger guard, and all fasteners. If you consider all that standard equipment and the fact that Wayne’s gunstocks require no inletting and no finishing, these stocks are attractively priced. Wayne’s F-Open/Benchrest Stock, with 3″ fore-end, costs $499.00 plus $25.00 S/H. There is also a $499.00 F-TR version with a fore-end set up for bipod attachment. (Wayne produces an integral, adjustable and removable F-TR bipod for $75.00.) Add $100.00 extra if you want the aluminum components hard-anodized. With long actions or Savage actions, there is an extra charge to configure the central chassis to fit. For more information visit WaynesGunstocks.com or call (210) 288-3063 from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday.

* If Wayne was shooting a .284 Win in an F-Class match, he would grip the gun and put some shoulder into it. But for demonstration purposes in the video, Wayne free-recoiled the rig so you can see how well it tracks with no holding or steering by the shooter.
Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, New Product No Comments »
June 1st, 2012

Show off your "Pride and Joy" Rifle in our Forum

In our Shooters’ Forum you’ll find a thread in which readers can post photos of their “pride and joy” — their favorite rifle. You’ll find a wide range of guns, from “big boomers” to .17-caliber varminters. Here are some of our favorite entries in the “Pride and Joy” Gallery.

Brad’s 6CM Long-Range Match Rifle

Chad Dixon Surgeon 6CM Paint

Chambered in the 6mm Competition match cartridge, this handsome rig features a Surgeon RSR Action, Bartlein Barrel, and LRB stock. Barrel work was done by Chad Dixon at LongRifles, Inc. and paint by AT Custom Painting. Brad says: “If you need a custom paint job, Adam is your man. His work is amazing and prices can’t be beat.”

The Bear’s Barbed-Wire Barnard

BarryO, aka ‘the Blue-eyed Bear’, posted his beautiful 6mm Dasher, with its unique barbed wire 3D finish. (There’s a story behind that design.) This rifle was smithed by John King in Montana, with stock bedding work by Leo Anderson. The gun features a Barnard ‘P’ action (with trigger), and 28″ Broughton 5C fluted barrel with VAIS muzzle brake. The Barnard sits in a Tom Manners carbon fiber BR stock decorated with amazing graphics by Mad Shadow Custom Paint.

Sebastian’s Radical Swallowtail 6PPC

Sebastian Lambang is the designer and builder of SEB Coaxial Rests. He’s a smart, creative guy, so you knew when he designed a short-range benchrest stock it would be something special. It needed to be lightweight, yet very rigid. Using “out of the box” thinking, Seb employs a truss-style structure to provide great strength with minimal weight. The rear section is equally radical. There are two splayed “keels” in the rear, forming what this Editor calls a “swallowtail” rear design. Others have called it a “catamaran buttstock.” Below is a side-view of the prototype SEB stock before painting.

Flaming PPC from Oz

ChrisT, a diesel fitter from Australia, submitted this image of his stunning flame-painted PPC. Whoever did those flames is a true artist — the gun really looks like it’s on fire. This rifle features a Stiller Viper action, Speedy (Robertson) BRX stock, and Maddco (Australian) 14-twist barrel chambered in 6PPC.

And here are a couple more cool BR rifles posted on the Forum. First, from Walter in Belguim, is the “Lion of Flanders”, an Anschutz BR 250, with Kelbly’s stock and matching SEB front rest. Walter did the paintwork himself:

Anschutz BR rifle

And here is Mark Walker’s amazing Zebra-skin BR rifle. Now that will turn heads on any bench:

Anschutz BR rifle

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