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Old June 3, 2021, 08:02 AM   #1
stagpanther
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best type of precision stocks?

I'm not a competitive shooter myself (though I might try it one day if I figure out how not to choke and pull flyers LOL) but I have a question that concerns what kinds of stocks are the "best" for overall performance in precision shooting (and why). I use synthetic, wood, and metal chassis stocks for a wide variety of cartridges. While they all have plusses and minuses--I've yet to achieve clearly superior results using the same receiver on stocks other than a well-made bedded, pillared wood stock.

What sayeth the collective?
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Old June 3, 2021, 08:11 AM   #2
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A Carbon Fiber stock chassis with aluminum v-blocks is probably the pinnacle. I have found that a metal chassis, or mini-chassis will, over the extremes, be better at maintaining consistency over wood and polymer. I have let my rifles settle to ambient and shot cold bore to check POI differences and the wood stocks tend to be the worst, then the polymers, metal and Carbon Fiber. Fiberglass seems to be on a par with the metal.

I do think torque levels on the action matters some here too though.
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Old June 3, 2021, 08:56 AM   #3
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Thanks for that Mark. I know lots of different factors come in--adjustability, balance, contact support of bedding etc. If wood is the worst--then I must be doing something REALLY wrong since that's what I generally get my best results with once I work the stock over.
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Old June 3, 2021, 10:56 AM   #4
MarkCO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stagpanther View Post
If wood is the worst--then I must be doing something REALLY wrong since that's what I generally get my best results with once I work the stock over.
I'd not say that at all. IF your wood stock has fairly consistent grain, moisture content, is bedded correctly and you shoot within a 30 degree temp window, wood won't lag behind the others. But still not "best" considering the extremes.

I have shot precision matches at a temp of 108F down to 15F. Humidity from 10% to 100% (Pouring rain). That is a much wider window than my hunting rifles that see about 20% humidity and temps from 10F to 40F normally.
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Old June 3, 2021, 11:01 AM   #5
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Any of them, properly installed will be equally accurate. But accuracy isn't the same as consistency. A wood stock can be just as accurate, but even the best of them will have the POI change as environmental conditions and altitude change. The rifle will usually still shoot the same group size, but that group could well be impacting somewhere else on the target.

If you stay in the same geographic area where you don't see huge swings in temperature and humidity you may never notice. The dry desert air in the SW for example.

Laminated wood is tougher and resists breakage better than solid wood. It is also more stable and less likely to change POI. It is also one of the least expensive options. But it's downside is excessive weight. Not a good choice on a hunting rifle where weight is a concern.

The synthetic stocks with aluminum chassis molded into them are very stable, and relative inexpensive to make. But having the aluminum molded in them adds to the weight and usually results in a chunky, thick stock through the grip and forend. I actually like these for a target/tactical/range gun. They are a bit more than I want to deal with in a hunting rifle.

The high end synthetics are made by laminating layers of fiberglass or kevlar cloth to make the part of the stock between the grip toward the end of the stock past the recoil lug. The action area is then milled out just like a wood stock vs just pouring plastic into a mold.

That makes for a very rigid, stable stock that is also very lightweight, especially those made with kevlar. The buttstock and forend in front of the recoil lug is made with a couple of layers of fiberglass or kevlar cloth on the outside. They are hollow in the middle and filled with foam to keep noise down.

You get a very tough, stable stock that is also very light. They are also the most expensive. Expect to pay at least $600 for one. And they can go a lot more than that.

The cheap "tupperware" stocks that come on factory rifles get a bad rap. But I've found that they've come a long way compared to when they were 1st introduced. Manufacturers such as Ruger have developed unique bedding systems that don't really need a stiff stock to be accurate. And the synthetics made by companies like Tikka are actually pretty good. The average shooter probably can't shoot well enough to take advantage of the more expensive stocks.
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Old June 3, 2021, 11:50 AM   #6
Bart B.
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Stock material dosen't matter.

Pillar bedding is not mandatory.

Most important is the barrel is totally free floating.

Then torquing the stock screws to the right amounts.

Last edited by Bart B.; June 3, 2021 at 12:13 PM.
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Old June 3, 2021, 11:54 AM   #7
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IF you might get into competition you do want to look at the rules. Different types of competition may have limits on weight or other dimensions. And practicality if used for other use. A full blown bench rest competition rifle in some classes could weight much more than you want to carry for hunting or not meet limits for position type shooting.
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Old June 4, 2021, 09:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
A full blown bench rest competition rifle in some classes could weight much more than you want to carry for hunting or not meet limits for position type shooting.
I'm aware of that--most of my builds--even using heavy barrels--weigh 12 lbs or less, though I get the logic of "bolt on" extra weight.
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Old June 10, 2021, 09:25 PM   #9
old roper
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Most short yardage BR actions are glued in.

http://benchrest.com/showthread.php?...n-in-the-stock
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Old Yesterday, 09:01 AM   #10
stagpanther
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So when the barrel is shot out they toss the whole rifle?
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Old Yesterday, 12:15 PM   #11
Bart B.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stagpanther View Post
So when the barrel is shot out they toss the whole rifle?
No, just replace the barrel.
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Old Yesterday, 02:03 PM   #12
stagpanther
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How is that done when the action is glued into the stock? (I'm totally unfamiliar with the concept).
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Old Yesterday, 04:33 PM   #13
Bart B.
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A "bolt way" wrench replaces the regular bolt and the barrel is clamped in a barrel vise.
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Old Yesterday, 06:10 PM   #14
stagpanther
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I'll have to look that up and see if I can find an example of that.thanks
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Old Yesterday, 08:59 PM   #15
Bart B.
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They are typically custom made by the gunsmith.
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Old Today, 12:41 AM   #16
stagpanther
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Like this?
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Old Today, 10:11 AM   #17
Bart B.
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All I see is the rifle's regular bolt.
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Old Today, 10:32 AM   #18
stagpanther
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I think it says in the specs it's a "glue-in"--though I'm not positive that means the action itself is glued to the stock.
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Old Today, 10:34 AM   #19
Bart B.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkCO View Post
A Carbon Fiber stock chassis with aluminum v-blocks is probably the pinnacle.
That doesn't work for flat bottom/side box magazine actions that are over twice as stiff as round ones.
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Old Today, 12:51 PM   #20
MarkCO
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Take a look at the SIG Cross and the Fix by Q. Those are the first two into the switch barrel (at home) with some ques from the AR15 pattern to be ultralight and incredibly accurate.

As shooters and loads are getting better and the software is getting better, things are changing. 21 and 22 inch barrels are being seen more and more on lighter precision rigs. The 2# KRG Bravo at $350ish provides a more stable action connection than most of the stocks that were considered "premium" 20 years ago. I'd say most anything designed more than 5 years ago in the precision rifle space was either ahead of its time, or is now outdated.
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