Stock Design for Recoil: Drop, Cast Off, Pitch, etc

John P.

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I will be designing a couple of stocks for Mausers in the next weeks. Iron sighted rifles. So if you have had experience with the items above, visit and offer suggestions.

My stock dimensions for iron sights:

5/8" drop at front of comb. 1-5/8" drop at heel. 14-1/4" pull length. 3/8" to 1/2" cast off, depends on the cartridge. More cast off for the big bores.

Another thread:

https://www.africahunting.com/threads/best-stock-style-to-mitigate-recoil.37527/

Some info here on making the stocks:

https://www.africahunting.com/threads/setting-up-the-north-star-gunstock-duplicator.28310/
 

Von Gruff

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John P.

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I have followed your work in the past: You have a good eye for a proper stock!

Thanks for the link, I will take a look.

Things I am considering: Omit the check piece. Extra wood around the magazine for the heavy kickers. I have a 450 Rigby and a 450 Ackley in work, the stock for each needs some attention. Others in work include a 9.3x62, a 300 H&H and a 400 H&H.
 

Von Gruff

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The cheekpiece is really only a way for the stockmaker to show his capabilities and in general serves no real purpose in alligning cheekweld. A properly designed plain combline will do all that is needed to bring the sights in line, and cast will have a very positive effect in this area.
For the heavy rifles I believe that keeping the thickness through the mag well is really important but equally important are the stockbolts to support the integrity of the shortgrain from splitting at the front and rear of the box. Of course the grain layout is of the utmost importance and a densly grained board sawn blank is the best place to start from.
Relief at the rear of the tang is again another of the anti splitting factors that you will be aware of.
 

John P.

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Yep, good points that I practice. I also place a reinforcing rod through the wrist of the stock. And a recoil lug on the barrel.

One gent says: "A Cheek Piece is Proud Flesh". Useless in function but sometimes nice to look at.
 

Von Gruff

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Pitch is something that gets very litte attention and seems to be a generic square to the bore where I think it plays a real part in felt recoil mitigation.
We all have different chest dimensions and way of standing to the shot. For myself I have eough chest that if I was to stand perfectly upright would require nearly -15 degrees of pitch to have a complete butt to shoulder pocket bonding. Having said that when I take my shooting stance into account I need to reduce the pitch to -2degrees. A friend who is very similar in build leans a lot more into his rifle and I make his stocks with + 2 degrees of pitch.
I feel it really makes a difference in how the full length of the butt contacts the shoulder pocket and spreads the recoil over the greatest distance available which reduces the felt recoil
 

John P.

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Yes pitch. Mostly ignored by rifle builders. 458 Lott below. Drop at comb & heel, pitch, 3/8" cast off.




Compare it to the two rifles behind: Typical American Gun Builder stocks.

Center rifle is a 458 Win mag. Rear rifle is a 416 Rem.

 

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John P.

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My oh my! Look at the stock dimensions for the early M70 Winchesters!

 

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Von Gruff

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What I am seeing in the Winchester rifle adds is that the pitch is set at about minus 8-10* and that would be okay if the shooter was standing with no lean into the shot. Too much negative pitch will cause the butt to contact only the upper portion of the shoulder pocket and possibly ride up in recoil. On the other hand too much positive pitch will cause the toe to dig in and accentuate the felt recoil. Getting it right will mitigate much of the discomfort of heavy recoil in conjunction with other measurements of course.
 

shooter50

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Why so much of a negative pitch in almost all of Holland and Holland big bore rifles? One usually leans forward while firing a big bore.
 

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