There are concepts in this instructable that go beyond their application to gun stocks - including general woodoworking, sculpting, and finishing - so even if gun stocks aren't your "thing" you may still find something useful here.Introduction:
I recently picked up a Russian-made Izhmash "Biathlon Basic" in .22 WMR and although I was extremely impressed with the accuracy of the rifle "out of the box", the stock was another story. I was definitely underwhelmed. The original stock wasn't very comfortable for me, and was more appropriate for hunting than the target shooting that I typically do, so I decided to build a new one.Goals for this design:
1) As light as possible
2) Somewhat adjustable
3) Symmetrical to accomodate weak-hand shooting
4) As simply constructed as possible
5) Keep costs down while keeping quality/function reasonaly high
There are a lot of target stock designs out there with more adjustments than I would know what to do with - but that "adjustability" adds complexity, cost, and weight to the stock. I also knew that once I had the stock set up for me, I probably wouldn't need to adjust it again, so I decided to sacrifice speed of adjustment for simplicity. I also chose a rather... uh ... "unique" way of building this stock - namely, I took the original bedded stock, cut away all the parts I didn't want, and built the new stock around the skeleton of the old one. Why? Because "inletting" (machining the stock so that it holds the action of the rifle) is one of the more complex and time-consuming parts of building a stock and I knew I'd probably just throw the original stock in a closet and forget it forever (and be annoyed every time I had to move it out of the way) ........ aaaand I was feeling lazy.... but mostly because I was feeling lazy. I don't think I'd use this technique on a higher-powered center-fire rifle, but in this case I wasn't worried about the small compromise in structural integrity between this method and machining the stock from a solid piece.
This is the first "from scratch" rifle stock I've built (besides the inletting) so I planned on painting it from the outset - thus making the building process a *little* less stressful since mistakes can be corrected (filled) without it being as obvious as it would be on a natural wood stock.Materials:
- Rifle stock blank (laminated blank from Boyd's - boydsgunstocks.com) - $40
- Fillers (Epoxy-Sculpt and Bondo) - $10 if you don't already have some
- Primer (Epoxy-based catalyzed primer in a can) - about $22
- Paint (Duracoat paint and overcoat) - about $43
- T-Trak aluminum rail (in leiu of a "genuine" Anchutz Rail) - $20
- Threaded insert (1/4-28 threads) - $.50
- Knock-Down pins (used as alignment pins on the adjustable comb) - $3
- QD Sling Mounts (mfg by Uncle Mike's - 2 sets) - $32
- Small piece of Brass for the butt-plate slider
- Allen-head Cap Screws - 1/4-28 x 1" and 1/4-28 x 2 1/4" - $2
- Various #8 screws, epoxy, urethane glue, sandpaper, etc.
- Pachmayer recoil pad - grind to fit - $20
- Total: ~ $195
Total time: ~50 hours over 5 weeks.