Gary Chilling­worth shares some use­ful in­for­ma­tion that came from you, the reader

Air Gunner - - Contents -

Gary Chilling­worth ex­pands on cast­ing a weight - with used pel­lets

Over the last few months, I have been hav­ing a go at mod­i­fy­ing my stan­dard TX200 stock. I have made a ham­ster and a cheek piece formed from mov­able Ky­dex, and even forged a weight – with­out burn­ing my house down – to help with the gun’s bal­ance, but even though these items have been func­tional, they have not been what you would call ‘aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing’. Some peo­ple have even said that they were a lit­tle bit rub­bish.

Now, I have had some great feed­back from some of our read­ers, but oth­ers have emailed me to say that I should be ashamed of what I have done. I have dis­graced the name of the handyman, and I should hang my head in shame. It is true that I am more Reg Prescott – and if you know who that is, you are of­fi­cially old – than Tommy Walsh when it comes to wield­ing a ham­mer, but luck­ily, some of you have writ­ten to me and shown me how it should be done prop­erly and that is what this month’s ar­ti­cle is about. There is no doubt that I learned a huge amount from mess­ing about with Ky­dex and smelt­ing lead, but it would be re­miss of me if I didn’t pass on in­for­ma­tion shared, so for this month, I’m let­ting read­ers show how it should be done, and pass­ing on their ideas and a few tips and tricks.

One of the first read­ers to email me was Richard Nash who is very well known in the shoot­ing world, and one of the top gun­smiths around. If you need a spring ri­fle tuned or a PCP fixed, then Richard is your man and you can con­tact him at www. dvschester­


Richard liked my idea of mak­ing a ham­ster, but he has come up with a fan­tas­tic idea for re­plac­ing the car­bon-fi­bre posts used to hide the se­cur­ing bolts. Richard’s idea is to use spent bul­let cas­ings in­stead of the car­bon, and they look stun­ning. De­pend­ing on how deep you want your ham­ster, you can use any­thing from a .308 Win to a 45ACP and if you are an FT shooter, and if you could source them, I’m sure you could even use a .50 BMG or a .338 La­pua.

The bul­let cas­ings have the primer, pro­pel­lant and the pro­jec­tile re­moved, usu­ally by fir­ing the gun, and the area where the primer sits is then ex­panded to al­low the threaded bolt to fit through. Not only do they look stun­ning, but they also give a firm grip, and Richard is look­ing into sup­ply kits for shoot­ers with the brass pol­ished up and all the fix­ings to at­tach it to your ri­fle. So, if you fancy one, drop him a line. Mine is cur­rently be­ing at­tached to my HW100.


The sec­ond email I had was from a shooter who was a lit­tle bit miffed that I had drilled

“Richard’s idea is to use spent bul­let cas­ings in­stead of the car­bon, and they look stun­ning”

holes into the stock of my beau­ti­ful HW100. He was in­censed that I had de­stroyed its flow­ing lines to fit a cheek piece made from Ky­dex, and at the end of the email he stated that I should walk through the streets of Brain­tree ring­ing a bell and shout­ing the word ‘shame’. Luck­ily, he didn’t sug­gest that I should do this naked, but he did make a very good point that not ev­ery­one wants to start drilling holes into a ri­fle, and this got me think­ing. Is there a sim­ple way to at­tach some­thing that will work as a cheek piece, but not cause any dam­age to the ri­fle? You can go on­line and pur­chase a leather or Neo­prene cheek piece that will at­tach to the stock, but the prob­lem with these is cost, and you can­not buy one that is be­spoke to your gun. So, as I am the king of the penny pinch­ers, I asked around and was told that one of the best things to use is pipe lag­ging.


If you go to any ma­jor DIY store (Wickes, B& Q, Home­base etc.) you can pick up a 1m length of pipe lag­ging with a 28mm in­ter­nal core for about £1. All you need to do is cut a 6” length and place it over the comb of your stock. You can fix it in place with dou­ble- sided tape or Vel­cro, and ei­ther leave it as is, or cover it with 1mm thick neo­prene, duct tape or any form of sticky-backed plas­tic that you have. I used car­bon wrap that I pur­chased from eBay for about £ 3. In hind­sight, I would prob­a­bly have gone for the neo­prene be­cause it’s less slip­pery and at­taches re­ally eas­ily. You can also paint this type of foam, but you have to use wa­ter-, acrylic- or la­tex-based paints be­cause oil- or sol­vent-based paints will melt the foam. Ob­vi­ously, make sure that any paint you use is wa­ter­proof, or the first time you shoot in the rain, you will have a very bad day as you watch the paint from your cheek piece start to run all over your ri­fle.

For my HW100, I needed a bit more height than the stan­dard in­su­la­tion would give me, so I just cut an­other slice of foam and us­ing some con­tact ad­he­sive (Evo­stick), I at­tached it on top of the main piece. The other thing to re­mem­ber, is that when you at­tach the foam to the stock with the dou­ble-sided tape or sticky Vel­cro, the ad­he­sive could leave a mark if you have a var­nished stock. So, it would be a good idea to place some of the tape on a piece of wood var­nished with the same type that you have on your gun, to see if there is any dam­age when you re­move it.


I hate to ad­mit it, but I ac­tu­ally pre­fer this cheek riser to the one I made with the Ky­dex be­cause it’s very com­fort­able and fits my fat face well. Also, it cost less than £ 5 and I can make three or four of them from a sin­gle length of lag­ging.

“as I am the king of the penny pinch­ers, I asked around and was told that one of the best things to use is pipe lag­ging”

The next item that I was con­tacted about was the lead weight that I cast. A few read­ers have asked if there is a dif­fer­ent way to add lead to the in­te­rior of a stock, with­out hav­ing to de­stroy one of the wife’s best saucepans by melt­ing lead in it.

Again, for this one, I have had some great in­for­ma­tion from our read­ers and some help from Richard Nash. As you may re­mem­ber, I used a tube to cre­ate a pos­i­tive to cast my lead weight. It was the sort used to hold vi­ta­min C tablets, but any form of tube is fine. The weight that I cast weighed in at just un­der 600grams but you could get a mild steel bar about the same length and this would weigh about 400grams. You could also take the tube and fill it with com­pacted sand or ce­ment dust, and that would weigh about 300 grams, but the best idea came from Mr Nash – and this was a real ‘ Homer Simp­son mo­ment’ be­cause when Richard sug­gested it, I slapped my­self on the head and shouted, ‘ D’oh’.


Richard told me that he gets his lead from his pel­let trap in the gar­den. When a pel­let hits a steel plate at speed, it par­tially flat­tens and is per­fect for us­ing in weights. I went to my trap and – lo and be­hold – there was over a kilo of lead in the base. I laid the pel­lets out and with a big thumper I flat­tened the pel­lets as much as I could, and filled the Vi­ta­min C tube; it came in at 500grams. I then emp­tied the tube, mixed up a large amount of epoxy resin, mixed this with the flat­tened pel­lets and com­pacted it into the tube. I left it overnight and the next day cut the tube away. I now had a solid core of lead mixed with rock-hard epoxy and no cast­ing. I would still say cast­ing the weight is the best way to do it, but the pel­let and epoxy is cer­tainly a close sec­ond.

I usu­ally say; please con­tact me at garychilling­[email protected] and let me know what you want me to look at or give me any ad­vice you have, but what I don’t al­ways say is how much I ap­pre­ci­ate you tak­ing the time to write. I am learn­ing all the time, and I cer­tainly don’t know ev­ery­thing or even 5% of ev­ery­thing. I look on fo­rums and at peo­ple like Jim Tyler and I am amazed at the knowl­edge that is out there and it’s fair to say that with­out your help, most months I would not have any­thing to write about.

So, if there is some­thing you want me to try and do or some­thing that would just be fun to look at, please drop me a line and I will see what I can do.

If you have any ideas, or if there is any­thing you want me to look at, please drop me a line at garychilling­[email protected]

These. 308 posts are the per­fect height for me

When it’s cov­ered in car­bon wrap, it looks the part

The M6 bolt fits per­fectly through the neck of the .308 case

The rough form of the lag­ging looks poor

These. 308 case posts are the per­fect height for me

All you need is a tube, old pel­lets and epoxy

I made this bil­let from old un­com­pressed pel­lets be­cause I wanted a lighter bar

Place it in the tube and tamp it down

Com­bine the two parts of the epoxy and mix it into the pel­lets - use gloves!

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