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Thread: Synthetic Rifle Stocks

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    653

    Synthetic Rifle Stocks

    Gents,

    I'm going to be building a couple of rifles here in the near future and will be needing stocks for same. Both rifles will be varmint/tactical types. Most of my personal guns have McMillans on them and they have worked well. But it's been eons since I bought a stock, and I know there are quite a few more synthetic stock makers out there that I have no experience with.

    So...is there another brand out there that I should be looking at? Please opine.

    Thanks,
    Justin

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    washington.........STATE that is.
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    This may not be useful for Justin, but for all you'se guys reading......IMO, as regards ACCURACY the most bang for your buck in var/tac environment is the HS Precision with AL bedding block. Bed it carefully and conventionally as if it were a McMillan. It's heavy though.

    Another wikkid cheap option is the Hogue Over-molded rubber stock with the AL bedding block, bed same way. These two stocks are designed such that the mechanics are in place via the aluminum block, then the companies surround the platform with a composite or molded rubber handling surface.

    These two entrants are THE ONLY TWO other than the Savage AccuStock which fulfill my accuracy criteria. They do shoot, really shoot, but they're heavy.

    All other brands containing aluminum "Accu-Blocks" are a complete waste of money because the "Accu-Block" does nothing. You might as well be shooting a pillar bedded laminate.

    I have built one rifle on Stocky's new M50 "proprietary high fiber blended composite" (particle board) platform and it meets all my criteria as far as stiffness, feedback and consistency.... it too SHOOTS correctly..... but the stock alone weighs as much as some mountain rifles. (I'm exaggerating, but it is heavy)

    As far as McMillan contenders????? IMO only Manners of the currently available stuff is comparable. I've done some magazin'ed and chassis'ed repeaters using their over-built, extra-layered, reinforced sideplates build and they shoot like a singleshot. Thy fatten the sides enough to compensate for the hinge-point generated by the massive magazine cutout......Feedback from the bipod or forend position very repeatable. I dare say their overbuilds combined with a glued in AL AI chassis is as stiff as a solid bottomed stock. Downside of course is them dangling pendulous scrotum magazines...... if you don't mind carrying the gun by the scope and are shooting squeerrells off a 'pod, they do shoot.


    so them's my opinions...... hopefully at least get an argument started

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    Idaho
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    Bang for the buck, I like the Rem long range takeoff stocks and the m50 from stockys. Not for lightweight packing but Iíve found great accuracy with both. What calibers? Short or long? Best of luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    California...unfortunately
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    Al,

    I'm LMAO at you championing the Hogue Overmolded stock! Wherethehell were you last week when I was fighting with getting the bedding right on one of those suckers? First off, the barrel channel was crooked which annoyed hell outta me. Second...despite cussing, chanting, drinking, and an animal sacrifice, I could not get the bedding right! There is a high spot in the action inletting caused by the rubber overmolding that resisted all my attempts to do away with. I've never had to remove rubber during a bedding project, so I was a bit flummoxed. I took it out and shot it and got the typical bedding issue 3 and 2 groups. In a rare display of forward thinking, I had also brought along an H&S Precision PSS take-off stock I had laying around and bolted it up. Despite this arrangement showing about .008 whilst doing the indicator bedding check, the rifle shot well and the 3 and 2's were gone.

    Rifles...

    I'd like to hear how you bed and deal with relieving the rubber on the Hogues. I do like the feel of the stock, and Hogue is about 15 minutes from my house, so they are readily available. My thought was to take a Dremel tool with a sandpaper wheel and use that to open up the inletting. The old sandpaper wrapped around the socket method wasn't cutting it. Literally. My other thought was to raise the action a bit via some tape and re-bed. Lighting the stock on fire was another thought...

    I agree with both you and Mram about the H&S stocks. I've always had good luck with them bedding over the aluminum bedding block. And I'm glad you guys were happy with your Stocky's, as they were one of the brands I was looking at but had no experience with.

    The rifles I will be building are SA 700's in .308 with Krieger 4-grooves.

    Thanks for the replies.

    Justin

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    washington.........STATE that is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zebra13 View Post
    Al,

    I'm LMAO at you championing the Hogue Overmolded stock! Wherethehell were you last week when I was fighting with getting the bedding right on one of those suckers? First off, the barrel channel was crooked which annoyed hell outta me. Second...despite cussing, chanting, drinking, and an animal sacrifice, I could not get the bedding right! There is a high spot in the action inletting caused by the rubber overmolding that resisted all my attempts to do away with. I've never had to remove rubber during a bedding project, so I was a bit flummoxed. I took it out and shot it and got the typical bedding issue 3 and 2 groups. In a rare display of forward thinking, I had also brought along an H&S Precision PSS take-off stock I had laying around and bolted it up. Despite this arrangement showing about .008 whilst doing the indicator bedding check, the rifle shot well and the 3 and 2's were gone.

    Rifles...

    I'd like to hear how you bed and deal with relieving the rubber on the Hogues. I do like the feel of the stock, and Hogue is about 15 minutes from my house, so they are readily available. My thought was to take a Dremel tool with a sandpaper wheel and use that to open up the inletting. The old sandpaper wrapped around the socket method wasn't cutting it. Literally. My other thought was to raise the action a bit via some tape and re-bed. Lighting the stock on fire was another thought...

    I agree with both you and Mram about the H&S stocks. I've always had good luck with them bedding over the aluminum bedding block. And I'm glad you guys were happy with your Stocky's, as they were one of the brands I was looking at but had no experience with.

    The rifles I will be building are SA 700's in .308 with Krieger 4-grooves.

    Thanks for the replies.

    Justin



    brand new 80 grit and MOAR RPM's......!

    I have a mill......also I have piles of Harbor Freight shaft-drive "Foredom" type tools and buckets of carbide bits, die grinders air and 'lectric, weirdly shaped sanding setups etc......perty much if there's a hand tool I've got one. Or three. The trick is to use new, rough paper and high speed on the rubber part. The plastic and of course the AL are cake. I hog them out righteously leaving a roughened up skeleton.

    And YES they are crooked..... (like perty much every other stock in the world.)

    You can laff all's you want but my first packable .338 McCallum (a blown out and "improved" 338 Lapua Mag) was A Stiller TAC338 (1.450 OD) on a Hogue overmolded chassis and olde schoole HS Precision bottom metal....... before the engineering team scrotalized it......... I hadda mill the whole thing to fit the fat action. I made it as an experiment for myself and it was so freakin' quarter-minnit I sold it. Easy one-holer's off a Harris bipod (if you know how to use a Harris 'pod off a bench! A whole NUTHER subject.... )


    Speaking of "how to use it"...... obviously an 8lb 338 pushing 300 grains at near 3000fps needs a brake. The brake is not an "option." And shooting this rubber setup off a bench requires some preparation and foresight.

    #1, the harder you wrap up into a braked gun, the harder she bites in back and,
    #2, that th'ar Hogue tacky rubber will take the hide off a billygoat and,
    #3, you cain't just set the feeties on thee bench now....can ya?


    But the Aluminum chassis'd Hogue over-molded stock WILL shoot a bipod

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    NY and PA
    Posts
    39
    Justin,
    First, it's great to see you out and about! Did you pull the plug? Second, i was pleased to shoot several of Fredo's rifles over the past few years. he was on AS often, and did a great thread on the 220 Redline. I am pretty sure he was using a "hunter tactical MCM" of some sort. I loved it. Too rich for my pocket, but having friends with nice stuff helps!

    I assume you will be barreling the Superior soon? Or selling it to me?

    Best,

    P

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lower Dakota Territory
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zebra13 View Post
    Gents, I'm going to be building a couple of rifles here in the near future and will be needing stocks for same. Both rifles will be varmint/tactical types. Most of my personal guns have McMillans on them and they have worked well. But it's been eons since I bought a stock, and I know there are quite a few more synthetic stock makers out there that I have no experience with.
    The H-S stocks are pretty decent, though heavy. The stock material is often not aligned correctly around the bedding block which can result in alignment issues with the barreled action. Once that's corrected...or if it's in good alignment to start with...conventional bedding makes them into a pretty decent piece. Enlarging the bedding block to end up with a good thickness of bedding compound is important.

    The above comments also go for the B&C version with the aluminum bedding block. Overall, I've found the B&C to be just as good as the H-S stocks.

    Both of the above need a quality bedding job. The urban legend about the alum. block eliminating the need for bedding is just that. If you pull one of these apart that's been together for a while, the amount of contact with the receiver is obvious. And it's darn little.

    A properly bedded McMillan is still my go-to for any stock application. Their A3 is a nice all purpose varmint/tactical stock.

    Good shootin'. -Al

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    California...unfortunately
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    653
    Alinwa,

    Got it, and thank you. I'm gonna chuck-up a new 80 grit Dremel drum sander thingy in the mill and take another swing at it. Figger' the mill will let me keep things nice and straight.

    As far as shooting off of Harris bipods on the bench, which I do pretty much exclusively, I found that with calibers I shoot, .308 being the biggest, you have to get ALL OVER THE GUN, because if you get cute with it, or try to shoot a quasi-free recoil, those rubber feet skip and bounce during recoil and this does NOTHING good for your groups. I did a little test on this 100 years ago to show the students at a sniper school I was teaching at. See attached picture. The fat group at the top left was shot with a cute, quasi-free recoil hold.

    Harris bipod trick for your vermin shooting endeavors: Put the bipod feet in an upside down Frisbee. This makes panning about a whole lot easier. We all carried them back in my SWAT days...called them "Tacbees"...and always had them out when we went prone. Never tried it off of a bench, though. May give that a try, just cuz.


    Snert,

    I officially kicked the work habit on 10/05/19, and I don't miss it a bit. People tell me I was a deputy sheriff for 30 years, but I don't remember. I just flicked that switch right off. Easy to do as I never let the job define me. Unfortunately, although I did well post-op, the back is not good right now and I am pretty much confined to the house. Yesterday's high adventure was sitting on a stool and grinding HSS tool bits for my new lathe. Such high impact activities like bass fishing and golf are in limbo for now. Not exactly how I envisioned my retirement starting...

    And I do have plans for my Superior, although you will view it as sacrilege...it's going to become a 20 Tactical, housed in its original Shilen Ray Gun stock. I know, I know...it should be a Deuce or something like that. Please forgive me...


    Al,

    Right you are about the aluminum bedding block. Some folks think they relegated glass bedding to the ash heap. Wrong-o...I've never checked one that passed the indicator bedding check. ALL of them needed some help. Interestingly enough, despite this, the .308 I'm working on now has shot well in two different H&S stocks that exhibited less than perfect bedding. This particular barreled action apparently lives a charmed life...and I didn't mess with it. If it ain't broke...

    You mention the typical lack of contact between the action and the bedding block, and removing an amount of said bedding block prior to glass bedding. I have never done this as, like you say, there isn't a whole lot of contact to begin with. I always figured the no contact areas was where the bedding material would go. So far, so good...no cracked or crumbling bedding, but I'm not one of those who torques action screws with a lug wrench from a Peterbilt (that's a whole separate thread right there). I will say I do drill a bunch of little holes in the block for the bedding to lock-in to, and always relieve the recoil lug mortise so as to get a substantial thickness of
    bedding behind the recoil lug.

    Thank you for your thoughts on the B&C stocks, as I have never messed with one. Good to know.

    Justin
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    washington.........STATE that is.
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    10,407
    I have not had good results with Bell and Carlson..... the last one I did with an AL bedding block turned out to have sliding pillars inside the bedding block. Had to tear it apart, rough up and try get the pillars to bond to the block and re-bed everything. Why anyone would go to the trouble of building a bedding block, then over-size the holes and insert a pillar is beyond me.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lower Dakota Territory
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    1,727
    When ordering a stock from McMillan or Kelbly's, I specify a .250 diameter pilot hole for the action screws and do my own pillars. I don't ever want to wonder if the pillars are in there solidly. I want to know. Plus, my pillars are different than most. The .250 pilot holes simplify things.

    Good shootin'. -Al

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