AC­CU­RACY MAT­TERS

Mark Camoc­cio looks at how to make a sim­ple stock raiser/ham­ster to en­hance per­for­mance

Air Gunner - - Contents -

Fancy mak­ing your own stock raiser? Mark Camoc­cio shows you how it’s done

Last month, we started to look at the ben­e­fits of a deep stock and the use of a stock raiser/ ham­ster where ap­pro­pri­ate. Spe­cial­ist tar­get mod­els such as the Air Arms FTP900 of­fer all man­ner of add- ons as stan­dard, in­clud­ing an elab­o­rate raiser block at the front. Other ded­i­cated guns have emerged, aimed at the sport of HFT, with per­haps the BSA Gold­star SE and the Air Arms HFT 500 the most no­table play­ers; both of­fer­ing fully adjustable wood­work for the dis­cern­ing en­thu­si­ast. Yet for now, it has to be a cause for cel­e­bra­tion that HFT still at­tracts a good mix of more ba­sic mod­els, and whilst many match ri­fles are in use, there are far more slim-line sport­ing guns on the course, than in FT, for ex­am­ple. I’ve en­joyed a good few years competing with my S400, and whilst this still has

the fac­tory wal­nut stock in place, the ad­di­tion of a stock raiser or ‘ham­ster’ has well and truly trans­formed the han­dling for com­pe­ti­tion.

DIY TIME

Not ev­ery­one wants to use cum­ber­some, heavy match fare, and the ad­di­tion of a ham­ster al­lows for a more slim- line ri­fle con­fig­u­ra­tion to be used, with just an en­hanced deeper sec­tion where we need it. Which­ever route is taken, whether a full cus­tom stock, or just an add- on ac­ces­sory, there are rules that gov­ern the depth of the gun’s fore end in HFT, which say this mea­sure­ment should not ex­ceed 150mm. So, it goes with­out say­ing that any DIY project needs to con­form to this spec­i­fi­ca­tion, in or­der to be le­gal for a com­pe­ti­tion.

This month, we are go­ing to look at what’s in­volved in mak­ing our own stock raiser, so if the idea of rais­ing a drill to your prized stock in­duces tears, then look away now, as they say.

PREPA­RA­TION

Firstly, I would rec­om­mend mak­ing up a tem­po­rary block, whether of com­pressed foam or poly­styrene, just to strap in place on the gun and give a feel for whether the

“a stock raiser or ‘ ham­ster’ has has well and truly trans­formed the han­dling for com­pe­ti­tion”

di­men­sions are favourable. Vary the height of the raiser un­til mount­ing the ri­fle feels as stress free and as nat­u­ral as pos­si­ble, and when all han­dles cor­rectly, make a note of the rough di­men­sions, and use this as a tem­plate for the piece of wood to be used. The height is also rel­e­vant be­cause this dic­tates the depth of the raiser block it­self, and also how long those spac­ers will have to be.

Now we need to source the small piece of wood for the job. The lo­cal tim­ber yard will al­most cer­tainly have suit­able off- cuts. I used a fairly thin sheet of some form of ma­hogany for my own ri­fle, which is quite tough wood, and the friend who do­nated his ri­fle for this ar­ti­cle, used a thicker slab of the same wood. Most hard­wood off- cuts will be fine for the job, though. Next, we need small tubes, ei­ther plas­tic or metal, to act as spac­ers for the bolts that sit be­tween the stock and the ham­ster, and then fi­nally, two small screw in­serts that can be sourced cheaply enough from the likes of Screw­fix.

Stage 1

First job is to drill two holes care­fully in the un­der­side of the stock, to the cor­rect depth, and get­ting these straight and true is the key – I had a friend drill these with a plumb line hang­ing, whilst I shouted cor­rec­tions to his drilling an­gle. Then gen­tly push the screw in­serts into the holes so they are snugly re­cessed, hav­ing first ap­plied a small amount of glue

in the holes to hold ev­ery­thing in place. This will need time to dry fully. Now mea­sure the dis­tance be­tween the holes, then drill two holes through the ham­ster block, the same dis­tance apart. Use a drill bit that can coun­ter­sink the lip of the holes, and this de­tail will avoid the head of the bolt be­ing felt when the gun is shoul­dered.

Stage 2

Spacer tubes of ei­ther plas­tic or metal need to be sourced, as men­tioned, and these are held in a vice and cut to the de­sired height length.

Stage 3

Al­low enough time for the glue in the holes to harden, and now the com­po­nents can be as­sem­bled. Ob­vi­ously, the bolts need to be just the right length so that they feed through the raiser block, through the spacer tube, and then into the re­cessed threaded in­sert – tight­en­ing up at the end of their travel. If they fail to tighten, the bolts will need to be cut down in length with a hack­saw, or al­ter­na­tive bolts found. Use bolts with hex heads, and then tight­en­ing the whole as­sem­bly is kept civilised with the ap­pro­pri­ate Allen key.

SAT­IS­FAC­TION

With ev­ery­thing tight­ened in place, the re­sult is hard to fault. As can be seen, the ad­di­tion of a stock raiser can be a rel­a­tively sim­ple task, ef­fec­tively up­grad­ing a ri­fle’s per­for­mance, trans­form­ing han­dling, yet cost­ing peanuts. Pro­fes­sion­ally made ac­ces­sories are avail­able, of course, but for those pre­pared to put in a small amount of ef­fort, the sat­is­fac­tion of a home-made mod­i­fi­ca­tion such as we see here, can be im­mensely sat­is­fy­ing.

Care­ful with those tools, and the best of luck.

My own sporter­stocked S400 han­dles su­perbly

Use a plumb line and a friend’s guid­ance for the drilling

Ei­ther of these will do as stock in­serts

Mea­sure be­tween the holes and repli­cate the mea­sure­ment

All you need is a wooden block, two spac­ers, two bolts, and two stock in­serts

Fac­tory stocks can be trans­formed rel­a­tively eas­ily

The ex­cit­ing bit is fi­nal as­sem­bly

The bolts thread into the stock in­serts

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