Stocky's Gunstock Blog

America's Gunstock Specialists!

  • Part Two: Match v. Hunting Bullets

    Now that we understand the basics of how we got here and how the features of a bullet can affect the performance, we can dig right into the basic categories of pills on the market. As far as high-powered rifles are concerned for us, there's only two categories we need concern ourselves with, Match / Target and Hunting...

    • Match Bullets - Of course any bullet can be a target bullet (left), but to be included in this category the primary concern must be match performance. Literally nothing else matters. Because the types of matches vary there are a huge variety of pills in the appropriate caliber, weight and shape for your intended use - but they all have one thing in common: The manufacturer doesn't care about terminal performance. They are, after all, designed to punch a hole in a piece of paper and bury themselves in the dirt, in that order. The only thing engineers are concerned with is the consistency of what happens before that.Their core and jacket designers need pay no heed to any master but one - winning a match. The meplat of the match bullet is typically tiny and cores often sit well to the rear of the bullet for balance (#1). If a concentric jacket is easier to draw on their machine when it is of a certain, uniform thickness or alloy (#2), they can use it. If they feel a pure lead or high-antimony core gives them an advantage somehow, they can use it (#3). If an extended boattail design achieves the desired aerodynamics, he can use it because he doesn't care that it makes it harder to retain the core for penetration. Internal and external ballistics right up to the point-of-impact, is all that matters to the match bullet scientist. That's why they are so darn good. Cores are never bonded as the bonding process itself is just another variable to screw things up. There's nothing about a match bullet that lends itself to hunting save for two little things - accuracy and ballistic coefficient - precisely the same two reasons so many hunters are tempted to use them. Don't be fooled, it is a siren-song.

     

    • Hunting Bullets - The important difference between target and hunting bullets is the controlled terminal performance required of a hunting bullet (right). Today's hunters are a tough crowd to play. We not only expect match-grade ballistics and accuracy these days, but these pills must perform in an infinitely repeatable, controlled-expansion manner when they strike flesh and bone. In order to accomplish that the entire design of the bullet, literally every feature, is designed to the goal of holding that little package together long enough at a specific range of impact velocities to do what it needs to do. Sometimes, as is the case with varmint hunting bullets, that's about a nanosecond. In others like deer, its maybe a foot or so, for larger game the goal is a full three-feet of penetration.

     

    In Part Three we'll continue with a discussion of the various methods currently in use to achieve the outstanding controlled expanding bullets in use today.

  • Part One: Bullet Basics

    As I've been spending more time in the forums I have become somewhat curious about the bullet choices people are making out there. This series is intended as a primer to get people up to speed on what they're seeing in the marketplace, a brief history on where these innovations came from and what purposes they serve, if any, in the field. More importantly, it just may help you cut through all the hype and hyperbole and make the right choice(s) the first time.

    I don't want to bore you, so this bit of background will be brief. Feel free to skip this section if you're already studied in it, if not it will help you to understand how we got to where we are at and what to look for / expect going forward. To this, I'll just gloss over some fundamental concepts and historical data and focus only on the concepts required for a working understanding of where the modern bullet originated and how it developed into those sleek, flat-flying projectiles commonly launched today.

    Not long after you started walking, you probably discovered for yourself that the very best throwing rocks were the smooth, round ones. They don’t have as many irregularities for the air to to ‘catch’ and influence their flight, they fly straight and true. Not long after that, many of us experimented with the slingshot, metal bearings are usually the ammo-of-choice here due to their density. As it turns out, the heaviest common metal is lead, so once we started using chemistry (gunpowder) to throw rocks (balls), lead got the nod.

    Sometime before the American Revolutionary War, bright young gunmakers discovered that spinning the lead balls in flight made them fly straighter, so they fashioned spiral grooves into the bore called "rifling." The next major breakthrough came as a French army officer Claude-Etienne Minié invented the bullet that would bear his name in 1849. The Minié bullet, a cylindrical lead bullet with a hollow base that expanded when fired, worked with even more devastating effect for two primary reasons - the expanding base sealed the bore tightly and evenly, plus its more streamlined cylindrical shape cut through the air better so it travels farther, faster and more accurately.

    The next breakthrough we are concerned with here is the jacketed bullet. Simply stated, once velocities hit a certain point (e.g. the advent of smokeless power) it was soon discovered that the soft lead stripped past the rifling, so a wrapper, or guilding metal, was required around the lead to retain a bite on the grooves and keep the lead core more stable on impact.

    Fun Fact  - Gilding metal is a copper alloy, a brass, comprising 95% copper and 5% zinc. British Army Dress Regulations define gilding metal as '8 parts copper to 1 of zinc'.

    It was with all this newfound velocity that things got tricky. When lead started crashing into stuff at a few-thousand f.p.s., it of course tended to shatter because it was so soft and a bullet that shatters will no longer penetrate. So jackets got thicker and thicker, and bullets got heavier (for caliber) and heavier so they'd perform adequately. (Some even got the full metal jacket treatment, when no expansion was desired.)

    Fun Fact  - Round-nose bullets stabilize at a lower r.p.m. than sharp bullets of the same weight and diameter, the twist rates can be slower. That's why many heavy-for-caliber pills are round-nosed - so they stabilize in the standard twist barrels. In fact the .30/40 Krag, as well as the immediate predecessor of the .30 Govt. 1906, the .30-03, fired 220 grain round-nosed pills. The key 1906 upgrade was the improvement to the lighter, pointed, 150 grain spitzer bullets common today.

    Many other important observations were made during this progression, as you'd expect, but that's essentially the short version of how we got here. Literally all of the improvements since that .30 caliber, 1906 round have been performance enhancements of the same fundamental features found on bullets to this day. To better understand them, lets take a quick look at what a modern bullet looks like.Sectioned Modern Bullets

    1. Point (Tip)
    2. Meplat
    3. Ogive
    4. Cannelure
    5. Shank (Bearing surface)
    6. Heel
    7. Base (Flat)
    8. Boattail Base
    9. Core (Lead alloy)
    10. Jacket

    Why is all of this vital to know? Because changing the size, shape, position or material composition of each of these critical features not only changes how your bullet flies, but also how it reacts terminally when striking our anticipated target. If you don't know how each of these features of a bullet can affect your day you will be relying on little more than trial and error to achieve your desired results, as you will see in Part Two.

    Here's a brief synopsis of how each feature can effect performance.

    1. Point - We are all aware that pointed bullets shoot "flatter" but did you know the size and composition of the tip can also effect expansion?
    2. Meplat - One of the more important features if you are concerned with terminal performance (expansion), the wider the meplat the faster it will expand, all else being equal.
    3. Ogive - The curved portion from the shank that terminates at the point. This is where a great deal of the research is being done to improve long-range ballistics. Longer, more gentile ogives are more streamlined and retain velocity better, but are inherently less-stable than shorter pills and therefore require a faster spin.
    4. Cannelure - The rolled, serrated ring around the middle of the bullet has but one useful purpose - to crimp the mouth of the case into to hold the bullet. It does nothing else of consequence and should be avoided unless necessary.
    5. Shank - That parallel portion of the bullet that engages the rifling. The length of said engagement is called the bearing surface. Longer bearing surfaces raise internal pressures due to friction - short bearing surfaces may not orient or stabilize the bullet well, so a balance must be struck.
    6. Heel - The concentricity and uniformity of this corner at the base of the bullet is critical to accuracy. Irregularities, nicks or dents, even leaving case mouth burrs when bullet seating, may allow hot powder gas to escape differently on one point than another at the instant of release from the muzzle, causing a flyer. In a coattail bullet, this critical function is moved forward to the shoulder of the 'tail and the shank where it is more protected and easier to control during manufacture - this could explain at least part of the reason they have a reputation for accuracy.
    7. Base - The south end of a north-bound bullet.
    8. Boattail - tapered portion at the rear of the bullet, usually thought to improve long-range aerodynamic performance as well as consistency (see "heel").
    9. Core - The dense internal section of a bullet, usually made of an alloy of lead and antimony. (Pure lead is usually too soft). The hardness of the alloy is critical to terminal performance - too soft it blows-up, too hard it shatters.
    10. Jacket - The guilding metal (copper-zinc) envelope that encloses the core. Jackets are often tapered and / or scored (drawn thinner at the front) to at first encourage, then thicken at the base to slow the expansion rate of the bullet. Cores are sometimes bonded to jackets, and jackets with solid base, partitions and other internal structures are often used with varying affect on terminal performance as well (more later).

    There, we've gone from The Origin Of Man to the late-20th century in just a few paragraphs! Relatively painless, was it not? Now that we're all on the same page, we can go on to the really fun stuff and keep it all straight...

  • WTH Are Hawke Optics?

    HK-logo

    Want a scope that can set-up for your 6.5 Creedmoor handload at 2718 fps with a Berger 140 Hybrid and a G7 B.C. of 0.3110?

    Click here for the FREE SOFTWARE DOWNLOADS for these scopes! Simply input the ballistic profile of your load into the Hawke Ballistic Reticle Calculator software (Mac, PC, Android and IPhone) or the even more flexible Hawke X-Act (PC, Mac) software and all the aim points are calculated. The reticles have such useful features as hollow posts that don't obscure targets, range finding brackets, illuminated central aim points and hold over aim points with windage bars and dots. There's a reticle for everyone!


    Every so often it is said a blind squirrel finds a really nice nut. Even a Stocky one.

    Riflescope_SidewinderIt will come as no surprise to those with whom I shoot that I'm a serial scope switcher. I've just always had a thing for them.

    Maybe they already know, but dammit, I'm finally admitting it. But while I'm at it I'd also like to confess that, at least up to this point in my 50-plus year shooting career I have been a scope snob. (I believe the two may go hand-in-hand but I can't be sure.)

    Now, a serial scope-switcher you can most likely understand if not identify with. I mean there's a number of uses for various rifles, especially the ones we call "pets." We put them to use at one point hunting pigs from a stand in the Carolinas, then turn right around and haul them to Wyoming for a 685 yard poke at a prairie goat. Which such varied usage it's rare to find one set of telescopic optics that'll find a permanent home on such a rig.Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 5.26.54 PM

    Anyway, back when I was a more normal person - it was also a time so long ago that there wasn't nearly as much selection available, and rarely enough money, so the usual operating procedure was to pick one of the new variable power riflescopes in one of four basic power ranges; 1-4X; 2-7X; 3-9X or 4-12X. If we were really feeling intrepid or owned a 22-250 or Swift, there might even be a 6-18X with an adjustable objective in our collection at some point.

    My how times have changed.

    17hmrblogAs one might expect of one being a gun-nut for so long, I've accumulated a lot of really nice (and some not-so-nice) glass over the years. We're talking Swarovski, Zeiss, Nightforce, Leupold VX-3's and 6's, 30mm tubes and one-inchers, including  lots of Bushnell's, Tasco's, Weaver's, and on and on and on.

    That's where my snobbery erupts for all to view. When all those Chinese scopes began hitting the market 20 or so years ago I wanted no part of them. I would have nothing to do with a Tasco after I had one on a 10/22 fail miserably, so I lumped everything together and roundly dismissed the whole mess of them.

    In the later years rarely could I be seen with anything other than one of the commonly-accepted optical brands, up until a year ago that is. That's when I found myself staring right down the tube of a Hawke, wondering why it was such a well-kept secret.

    To say I was impressed would be an understatement. When I found myself reading their reviews online, I knew I had either lost the marbles altogether, or just maybe I was on to something... inspiration!

    Hawke_Binocular_Sapphire_43mm_GreenI've hunted with a Hawke or two for 13 months now, and taken everything from whitetail, through African game (including a cape buffalo) while peering through a Hawke. Yeah, the glass is bright and clear, the adjustments repeatable and reliable (I keep using them when I switch loads) but the real source of my glee is in the form of the aiming point, more precisely the series of aiming points we call a ballistic reticle. .17 M2 / HMR, .22 LR / SUBSONIC or Magnum, .308 / .223 (and any cartridge for that matter) reticles, you name it.

    Hawke's are among the best, no-brain, easy to use I've ever found. Especially when you plug your loads into their X-Act or BRC software, both free downloads.

    They have reticles for everything from crossbows, air rifles and rimfires, all the way through programmable 1000 yard reticles for the most demanding hunter or target shooter. Sure, if you can afford one of the scopes on the market for literally 5 or 10 times the price of the comparable Hawke or more, go for it! But if you want a solid value in optics suitable for the most demanding conditions, give Hawke a go.

    We now have them in stock. All of them. In the unlikely event we happened to sell out of the exact one you want, it only takes us a week at most to get you another one.  All at prices that won't put a serial scope switcher or any other kind of gun nut into the poorhouse...

  • New Remington 700 Stocks

    M40CAD Coming soon : New M40 model will be available with a high or x-high (shown) cheekrest.

    By now you all know we've been busy in SolidWorks® designing new stocks as well as selecting our OEM partners to produce these outstanding new Remington 700 sporting, varmint, target and tactical gun stocks. These completely new, computer-engineered-from-scratch models fall into the four most popular categories of gunstocks in the aftermarket today, our plan is to bring them online in both our $199 base-price glass-filled-nylon (GFN) AccuBlock® stocks as well as in our new $499 base-price pure carbon fiber hand layup (CF) construction platforms.

    Our new M40 mold is nearly complete and ready to lay up CF stocks!

    It should be noted that we have no plans to change our offerings in the $300 base-price category as we feel these are superbly crafted and represented in our community by our partners at Bell & Carlson ($275) and H-S Precision ($350).

    Injection Molding Division
    Our 2016 S.H.O.T. Show introductions centered around two new technological advancements - 1) reengineering our Bobby Hart Accu.Block® aluminum bedding block for overmolding into a; 2) completely new 40% GFN, vertical grip design stock(s) with patented interchangeable barrel channel inserts.

    1. $199 Vertical Grip Long Range Sporter
      Stocky's Hart Accu.Block® perfectly overmolded into the GFN Vertical Grip Composite Stock.

      The vertical grip class of stocks have been taking the target /tactical world by storm - this new introduction brings the hunting / sporting world the benefits of VG comfort and controllability at an extremely budget-conscious price.

    2. $199 M40 / Monte Carlo Style Sporting Tactical w/ interchangeable cheekrest
      June 2016 will see this new GFN Accu.Block® rolling out of production and into our warehouses. It made quite a splash at S.H.O.T. with literally every shooter handling the 3D printed Rapid Prototype insisting we not change a thing.
    3. $TBD Fully Adjustable Target / Tactical
      Currently in R&D and scheduled for release early this summer
    4. $199 Classic Sporter
      We anticipate launching the injection molded GFN version of the classic sporters this summer.

     

    Carbon Fiber Division
    The biggest problem we have had with carbon fiber stocks is getting them into our warehouse! Literally none of our existing suppliers have been able to meet demand, with lead times extending out four to six months and longer!

    Stocky’s first Carbon Fiber Vertical Grip fresh out of the mold and ready to CNC machine the inlet and barrel channel.

    Not anymore. We are doing the R&D and distribution and have partnered with our friends and neighbors at AG Composites to hand lay-up and machine inlet them into what promises to be one of the finest stocks to hit the market in over a decade.

    All four models will be offered in sporter, varmint and M24 / Proof Research barrel channels out-of-the-box, with the Classic Sporter also available in the Rem Mountain Rifle channel.

    Carbon Fiber Remington 700 stock Stocky / AG Composite's Classic Sporter 26 oz carbon fiber stock
    1. $499 Classic Sporter (26 oz.)
      The only classic sporter in the aftermarket for heavier barrels (as well as our Proof Research lightweight Sender barrels), these are available right now on our website.
    2. $499 Vertical Grip Long Range Sporter (30 oz)
      The vertical grip class of stocks have been taking the target /tactical world by storm - this new introduction brings the hunting / sporting world the benefits of VG comfort and controllability at super competitive, ships-today pricing.
    3. $499 M40 / Monte Carlo Style Sporting Tactical (28 oz)
      The new M40 CF will be rolling out of production and into our warehouses later this month (March 2016). It made quite a splash at S.H.O.T. with literally every shooter handling the 3D printed Rapid Prototype insisting we not change a thing.
    4. $TBD Fully Adjustable Target / Tactical
      Currently in R&D and scheduled for release early this summer.
  • Proof Research Barrel Weights

    Series

    Length

    Finished Weights By Bore (Nominal)

    0.204

    0.224

    0.243

    0.264

    0.277

    0.284

    0.308

    1.200" Sendero

    16.5

    2.00lbs-9.28oz

    2.00lbs-8.80oz

    2.00lbs-8.16oz

    2.00lbs-7.52oz

    2.00lbs-7.20oz

    2.00lbs-6.88oz

    2.00lbs-6.08oz

    18

    2.00lbs-11.52oz

    2.00lbs-11.04oz

    2.00lbs-10.40oz

    2.00lbs-9.76oz

    2.00lbs-9.28oz

    2.00lbs-8.96oz

    2.00lbs-8.16oz

    20

    2.00lbs-14.72oz

    2.00lbs-14.08oz

    2.00lbs-13.44oz

    2.00lbs-12.64oz

    2.00lbs-12.16oz

    2.00lbs-11.84oz

    2.00lbs-10.88oz

    22

    3.00lbs-1.76oz

    3.00lbs-0.96oz

    3.00lbs-0.32oz

    2.00lbs-15.52oz

    2.00lbs-14.88oz

    2.00lbs-14.56oz

    2.00lbs-13.44oz

    24

    3.00lbs-4.80oz

    3.00lbs-4.00oz

    3.00lbs-3.20oz

    3.00lbs-2.24oz

    3.00lbs-1.60oz

    3.00lbs-1.28oz

    3.00lbs-0.16oz

    26

    3.00lbs-7.68oz

    3.00lbs-6.88oz

    3.00lbs-6.08oz

    3.00lbs-5.12oz

    3.00lbs-4.32oz

    3.00lbs-4.00oz

    3.00lbs-2.72oz

    28

    3.00lbs-10.56oz

    3.00lbs-9.76oz

    3.00lbs-8.80oz

    3.00lbs-7.84oz

    3.00lbs-7.04oz

    3.00lbs-6.72oz

    3.00lbs-5.28oz

    1.200" Sendero Light

    16.5

    2.00lbs-7.36oz

    2.00lbs-6.72oz

    2.00lbs-6.24oz

    2.00lbs-5.60oz

    2.00lbs-5.12oz

    2.00lbs-4.96oz

    2.00lbs-4.16oz

    18

    2.00lbs-9.28oz

    2.00lbs-8.80oz

    2.00lbs-8.16oz

    2.00lbs-7.52oz

    2.00lbs-7.04oz

    2.00lbs-6.72oz

    2.00lbs-5.92oz

    20

    2.00lbs-12.16oz

    2.00lbs-11.52oz

    2.00lbs-10.88oz

    2.00lbs-10.08oz

    2.00lbs-9.60oz

    2.00lbs-9.28oz

    2.00lbs-8.16oz

    22

    2.00lbs-14.88oz

    2.00lbs-14.24oz

    2.00lbs-13.44oz

    2.00lbs-12.64oz

    2.00lbs-12.00oz

    2.00lbs-11.84oz

    2.00lbs-10.56oz

    24

    3.00lbs-1.60oz

    3.00lbs-0.80oz

    3.00lbs-0.00oz

    2.00lbs-15.20oz

    2.00lbs-14.56oz

    2.00lbs-14.24oz

    2.00lbs-12.96oz

    26

    3.00lbs-4.32oz

    3.00lbs-3.36oz

    3.00lbs-2.56oz

    3.00lbs-1.60oz

    3.00lbs-0.96oz

    3.00lbs-0.48oz

    2.00lbs-15.20oz

    1.200" Bull

    16.5

    2.00lbs-14.72oz

    2.00lbs-14.24oz

    2.00lbs-13.44oz

    2.00lbs-13.12oz

    2.00lbs-12.64oz

    2.00lbs-12.32oz

    2.00lbs-11.52oz

    18

    3.00lbs-1.76oz

    3.00lbs-1.12oz

    3.00lbs-0.64oz

    2.00lbs-15.84oz

    2.00lbs-15.36oz

    2.00lbs-15.20oz

    2.00lbs-14.24oz

    20

    3.00lbs-5.76oz

    3.00lbs-5.12oz

    3.00lbs-4.48oz

    3.00lbs-3.68oz

    3.00lbs-3.20oz

    3.00lbs-2.88oz

    3.00lbs-1.76oz

    22

    3.00lbs-9.60oz

    3.00lbs-8.96oz

    3.00lbs-8.32oz

    3.00lbs-7.36oz

    3.00lbs-6.88oz

    3.00lbs-6.56oz

    3.00lbs-5.44oz

    24

    3.00lbs-13.60oz

    3.00lbs-12.96oz

    3.00lbs-12.16oz

    3.00lbs-11.20oz

    3.00lbs-10.56oz

    3.00lbs-10.24oz

    3.00lbs-8.96oz

    26

    4.00lbs-1.60oz

    4.00lbs-0.80oz

    4.00lbs-0.00oz

    3.00lbs-15.04oz

    3.00lbs-14.24oz

    3.00lbs-13.92oz

    3.00lbs-12.64oz

    Take-Off Barrels From Factory 700’s

    Factory 700 - 24” Sporter (.308)

    24

    2 lb 8 oz

    Factory 700 - 26” Sendero
    (fluted) (.308)

    26

    3 lb 12 oz

    Factory 700 - 26” Varmint (.224)

    26

    4 lb 10 oz

  • Suggested Bolt Action Cartridge Conversions With A New Barrel

    Your .270 and .30-06 (left) rifles are excellent for rebarreling to .280 Ackley and .35 Whelen to improve performance. Any .270 or .30-06 (left) rifle is an excellent choice for rebarreling to .280 Ackley or .35 Whelen (right) if you want to see a nice improvement in field performance. The .280 AI is a 7mm Mag ballistically, the .35 Whelen approaches a .338. They also burn less powder than their belted twins, work well with 22" - 24" barrels and hold one more in the magazine. Feeding issues are nonexistent as they use the same .30-06 based cartridge cases and are good for non-handloaders as outstanding factory loads are available.

    By rebarreling your rifle with a premium barrel rather than simply buying a new rifle with a standard factory barrel you are right to expect a significantly better result in not only enhanced ballistic performance, but also a big improvement in accuracy, appearance and pride of ownership. On top of it all, you'll enjoy this level of performance tailor-made to your specific requirements, are able to convert an old hunting rifle to a more modern tactical or target rifle, a heavy rifle to a featherweight sporter, etc..

    Because of this we are getting several questions daily about possible cartridge options when rebarreling so I've prepared some guidelines below. The reasons for doing this are numerous, but as a serial barrel-switcher I've learned from my own mistakes that some conversions are far easier to pull off than others.

    Here are a few options for improving your rifle's accuracy and ballistic performance:

    The (l-r) .222, .223, .204 Ruger, 6mm-204 and 6.5 Grendel were all designed to work well in the same receivers and magazines. The 6.5 Grendel will require some bolt-face work however because the case is of larger diameter. The (l-r) .222, .223, .204 Ruger, 6mm-204 and 6.5 Grendel were all designed to work well in the same receivers and magazines. The 6mm-204 will get about all there is out of a case this size - 2800 fps with a Sierra 85 gr. Gameking bullet. The 6.5 Grendel will require a new bolt face on your bolt action or MSR because the case is of larger diameter, but it takes your rifle solidly into the 200 lb. game class and significantly improves down-range performance with its streamlined 123 grain bullet (A-Max or SST) @ 2580 fps..

    Short Sction - Small
    ".17 Rem, .204 Ruger, .222 Rem, .223 Rem, .223 Ackley Imp, 222 Rem Mag Ackley Imp, .223 Wylde, 5.56 NATO, 6mm-.204 Ruger, 6x45, 6x47, .300 Whisper"

    Short Action - Standard
    ".224 WBY, .22 BR, .22-250 Ackley, .220 Swift, 6mm BR, .243 Win, 6mm Rem, .250 Savage, .257 Ackley Imp, .260 Rem, 6.5-08, 6.5 Creedmoor, 7mm-08 Rem, .284 Win, .308 Win, .338 Federal"

    Short Action - Magnum
    ".223 WSSM, .243 WSSM, 6mm WSM, .257 WSM, 6.5 WSM, 6.5 Rem Mag, .270 WSM, 7mm SAUM, 7mm WSM, .300 SAUM, .300 WSM, .300 RCM, .325 WSM, .350 Rem Mag"

    22-250-243-308-7SAUM-300WSM The (l-r) popular .22-250, .243 and .308 all use the same (.473") bolt face and are excellent choices for a new barrel. The 7mm Rem SAUM and the .300 Win Short Magnum are in the (slightly larger .535") short mag family. Converting your .308 to a short mag will require some bolt-face work (or a bolt-swap) and is best accomplished with new magazine parts or a DM kit to be assured of reliable feeding.

    Long Action - Standard
    ".240 WBY, 6mm-06, .25-06, 6.5-284 Norma, 6.5-06, 6.5x55, 6.5x57, .270 Win, .280 Ackley Imp, .30-06, .338-06, .35 Whelen, .375 Whelen"

    Long Action Magnum
    ".257 WBY, .257 Ultra, .264 Win Mag, .26 Nosler, .270 WBY, 7mm Rem Mag, 7mm STW, 7mm RUM, .300 Win Mag, .300 WBY, .300 H&H Mag, .308 Norma, .30-338, .300 RUM, 8mm Rem Mag, .338 Win Mag, .340 WBY, .338 RUM, .375 Ruger, .375 RUM, .416 Rem Mag, .416 Ruger"

    (l-r) .264 Win Mag, (l-r) .264 Win Mag, .300 Weatherby, 300 Rem Ultra Mag, .375 Ruger, .375 Rem Ultra Mag, .375 H&H Mag. Since they all have the same .532" - .535" rims, rebarreling is all that's usually required on a 700. The author notes from personal experience, considering the .375 (and .416) Ruger's more modern case design and shorter length, it is a better choice for converting standard belted magnum rifles (like the .264 Win, 7mm Rem and .300 Win magnums) to take serious big-and-dangerous game bullets than the H&H.

    Long Action Magnum XL
    ".30-.378 WBY, .338 Lapua, .378 WBY, .416 Rigby, .460 WBY"

    The next thing to consider (assuming your cartridge will fit into the receiver) is to keep the smoothest, most reliable possible cartridge feeding. While it's true you can easily swap bolts out to make your .30-06 into a .300 Mag, the next question you have to ask yourself is whether or not your conversion will feed well. There's an easy way to accomplish this and a hard way.

    The easy way to be sure your new cartridge will feed like greased-lightning is to treat your rifle to a new detachable magazine upgrade for the appropriate round if it's available. Literally all of the DM's we carry (M4, M5 and H-S) feed the next round from the center of the magazine, eliminating the various internal mag boxes, springs and followers that came with the rifle. Additionally, by bypassing the receiver's feed rails and ramp you are assured that it will feed perfectly, especially if, for example, you are upgrading from a .30-06 to a .300 Mag (or a belted magnum to an Ultra, a .223 to a .243, etc.) by having the bolt altered or replaced.

    The 6.5 Creedmoor is an excellent choice for rebarreling your short-action rifle. The 6.5 Creedmoor is an excellent choice for rebarreling your .243 or .308 Win rifle.

    That said, some of the easiest ways to get improved performance and keep your standard factory bottom metal is by simply having the new barrel chambered for a cartridge that's based on the same cartridge family. For example, one of the flattest-shooting, most accurate cartridges in the .243 / .308 Winchester family is the exciting new 6.5 Creedmoor. Similarly, nearly any old .25-06, .270 or .30-06 can be easily rebarreled to the long-range powerhouse .280 Rem Ackley Improved and some very fine 140 and 160 grain factory loads had for it directly from Nosler that feed perfectly in unaltered receivers.

    With its ideal case shape and dimensions, the new 26 Nosler is another new round that is an excellent candidate for rebarreling factory belted magnum (or ultra magnum)  rifles. With the ideal case shape and dimensions (.534" x 3.340") for most of today's long action rifles, the 26 Nosler is an excellent candidate for rebarreling factory belted magnum (or ultra magnum) rifles. We're hearing a lot about it since SHOT!

    This of course is a partial list however I think you'll find the vast majority of factory rounds as well as wildcats well-represented - just compare the dimensions within each category to your proposed cartridge.

    Any gunsmith that specializes in rebarreling will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have, as will we by phone, email or chat. Just remember, as a rule of thumb, the closer your new round is to the important dimensions of case rim diameter and cartridge overall length as the original round, the easier your conversion will be.

     

  • Vertical Grip Sporter Riflestocks

    dikdik_hs_precision_pss134 Ideal circumstances for a long-range, vertical-grip tack driver. This new class of rifle builds are very fast handling in close cover, light enough to carry all day and deadly accurate for 500+ yard shooting. Shown is the new H-S Precision PSS-134 in custom Shadow Grass paint.

    In a previous post we touched on a brief history of the vertical grip tactical gunstock, its roots in John Browning's 1911 pistols as well as its nearly universal acceptance in the military and police market.  This trend is now expanding to include our latest sporting rifles from ultralight hunting stocks to mid-weight varmint / senderos.

    Here's our most popular offerings:

    NEW! Stocky's Long Range Carbon Fiber VG2

    LRVG-97 Blog Stocky has teamed-up with AG Composites to offer a lineup of Stocky CAD designed, premium lightweight carbon fiber stocks for under $500!

    NEW! Bell and Carlson 2095 Competition

    bell-carlson-2095 The ultimate aluminum bedded varmint / tactical stock for heavy barreled short action 700's and Howa's. Perfect for the M700 PSS, Sendaro and Varmint.

    Stocky's Eliminator

    Stocky's popular 700 Eliminator is one of the most comfortable stocks ever. Stocky's popular 700 Eliminator is one of the most comfortable stocks ever.

    H-S Precision Vertical Grip Sporter

    H-S_Precision_PSS-134 H-S Precision's new Vertical Grip Sporter with their aluminum bedding block is one of the best choices for the long-range hunter worldwide.

    Stocky's New Long Range Composite Accu.Block®

    These are constructed from the stiffest, most durable 40% glass filled nylon, much like your Glock frame, with our famous aluminum Accublock® molded right into the stock from the start.

    Stocky's Long Range AccuBlock® Laminated Sporter

    Stocky's Long Range AccuBlock® Vertical Grip is a slimmer, updated sibling of the Long Range Target Tactical stock. It is identical to our ground-breaking Long Range AccuBlock® Composite stocks, with the warmth and beauty of wood.

    Manner's Elite Hunter EH-1

    Manner's EH-1 is perched right at the top of the vertical-grip sporter category with its all-carbon-fiber construction for unparalleled weight reduction. Manner's never catches-up on their EH-1 with its all-carbon-fiber construction. Get ready to pay-up for this one - if it's not in-stock you'll be waiting months, not weeks.

    All of these rifle stocks offer a previously unheard of combination of ergonomic shoot-ability, long-range accuracy and convenient carry-ability. Skeptical?

    I too was a skeptic until I took one to the range, and have been hunting almost exclusively with one of the above stocks for over two years and more than 20 head of big game in the bag with one as I write this. If you haven't tried them, there's no time like the present. I find it very, very hard to believe you'll be disappointed...

  • Vertical Grip Tactical Gunstocks

    verticalgripstocks The origins of the current crop of vertical grip riflestocks can be traced past the AR-15 all the way back to John Browning's .45 Auto.


    John Browning designed 1911 .45 ACP so that the grip would naturally be at the angle from the barrel that most American soldiers would use to throw a punch. This was an evolutionary development from the earliest handguns that were assembled with stocks with far more rearward rake. The same may be said of American long arms, early black powder rifles had little or no pistol grip, indeed a straight hand gripping area that required some rather interesting contortions of the wrist for a modern gunner to even shoot.

    Over the course of the past 100 years this has evolved. No longer must the shooter contort his structure to the rifle, the rifle has been sometimes radically redesigned to fit the shooter. Although some shooters required more convincing than others, nowhere has this become more evident than in the design of the modern AR-15 rifle as well as long range sniper rifles developed following the Vietnam war. As with many new firearm developments, the US Military has led the way, eventually with the rest of the country's hunters and shooters in tow.

    This trend in vertical grip bolt action rifle stocks is now gaining momentum. Nearly every stock designer is incorporating a more vertical grip into their designs, for good reason. Not only is the vertical gripped rifle more comfortable to shoot, but it also comes to the shoulder more naturally, settles on to the target more quickly, offers greater trigger control and faster recovery from recoil for follow-up shots. Even though it sometimes takes an older shooter a little time to "get used to" it is time well spent, lets take a few moments to look at what you may have been missing...

    Tactical Stocks

    As mentioned above, American military as well as police are often leading the world in the use of new and improved firearm designs. Here's a few examples, all available at Stocky's webstore:

    Bell & Carlson 2092 Series

    Bell_Carlson_Vertical_Grip_2092 The Vertical Grip Varmint / Tactical stock (fits Savage 10, Howa 1500, Remington 700) was the first model introduced by Bell & Carlson to address the need for a reasonably-priced stock of this design. It remains one of the best selling models in today's market.

    Bell & Carlson 2094 Series

    Bell_Carlson_Vertical_Grip_2094 For those requiring the full-adjustment of the comb and butt, Remington introduced this best-selling version of the vertical grip stock on their M700 Target / Tactical as well as Weatherby on their Mark V Tactical. It is also available as a drop-in stock from Stockys.

     

    Bell & Carlson 2956 Series

    Bell_Carlson_Tactical_2956 For those desiring a more traditional appearing rifle stock on their 700 with the bells and whistles of a long-range tactical, the 2956 is an excellent choice. This is also the lightest stock in the bunch.

     

    H-S Precision M24 Series Fixed

    H-S_Precision_M24_035 The H-S Precision M24 Series is available in both adjustable (below) as well as standard versions for Remington 700 and Winchester 70 actions. Experience proves it to be one of the easiest to shoot, most inherently accurate stocks on the planet if you like the proprietary palm swell.

     

    H-S Precision M24 Series Adjustable

    H-S_Precision_Fully-Adjustable_M24 Available for the Savage 110, Winchester 70 as well as Remington 700 bolt rifles, the H-S Precision M24 Adjustable is possibly the single most popular stock for law enforcement agencies worldwide.

     

    Manner's T2 / T4 Series

    Manners Tactical Stocks Manners offers both fixed and adjustable versions of their vertical grip tactical stocks. They are also available with or without an aluminum bedding chassis.

     

    Coming Soon: Vertical Grip Varminters & Sporters

  • Horseback Hunting In Namibia

    I was faced with a pressing problem - there was a tiny little prehistoric-looking animal called a dik-dik required by Safari Club International to qualify for my African 29 Grand Slam, a long-held dream of completing. Now there six different species of these diminutive little creatures recognized by SCI but they all seemed to require lengthy and rather expensive jaunts into the plains, deserts and/or jungles of the Dark Continent to acquire. Enter the Damara variety...

    IMG_0335 Damara Dik Dik

    Named after the peoples that inhabited most of central Namibia prior to the mid-19th century, this little creature could be hunted a short flight from Johannesburg, South Africa,  so my outfitter Jacques Senekal / Africa Maximum Safari made arrangements for Johnny Schickering, owner of Namibian-based Agarob Safaris to meet us in Windhoek where we'd spend a week chasing them about the thornbush.

    IMG_1641I've been on many hunts that Jacques arranged so my (his) PH Walla and I met Johnny at the Windhoek airport and lit out on a three-or-so hour drive to a farm where they were reported to scurry about in great numbers. What I failed to plan on was nearly breaking my big toe right out of the chute, however. Stubbing my barefoot rather briskly on the one small step-up to my room almost immediately after arrival let me know right away it was bound to be an interesting hunt.

    As usual, Jacques (and, as it turned out Johnny) had done their homework very well - we had the little bugger sorted out within a couple hours on the first morning out - so Johnny suggested we light-out after lunch to his farm (cattle ranch) and see what other kind of table fare we could bring to bag from the back of his horses.

    335 yards from the tip of the muzzle is a zebra that doesn't know it's retiring in Florida soon.

    We were greeted at the Agarob Safari lodge and homestead by Johnny's lovely wife Mariana. As we discovered this operation is very much a family affair with Johnny doing the guiding and Mariana the hostessing and cooking. And the entertaining. And the bags of frozen veggies for ice packs on sore toes. Man, those sure did help! Good thing we were hunting on horses...

    The SOP at Agarob is to have Johnny's wranglers head out into the hills with the horses well before dawn while we enjoy a leisurely java or two with breakfast. Grab the rifles and hop into the Land Cruiser for a hour's worth of 4X4'ing to the horses, then mount-up for the day's hunt somewhere on Johnny & Mariana's 37,000 acre mountain haven. By taking the truck the hunters save a few hours of riding and can get right down to business when they get there, bit of logistical genius if you ask me. Great opportunity to catch a bit of the Zzzzzz's too.

    If you want a monster gemsbok, this is the place to be.

    The hunt itself went great, collecting a couple of Hartmann's mountain zebra, pretty much an exclusive to Namibia, and a nice bull gemsbok. In case you didn't know, by the way, for some reason the plains game in this area are real monsters, like South African game on steroids. On top of that they are all free-ranging, no high-fences or game feeders.

    Kudu, Steenbok, Klipspringer, Warthog, Black and Blue Wildebeest, Hartebeest, Blesbok, and Springbok, are also roaming free on the ranch so it's be pretty easy to make a very fruitful week or two out of the whole experience. One particular moment I recall was sitting on horseback hunting in the Namibian mountains, and actually pinching myself to be sure it wasn't a dream.

    IMG_1737 Note the unique tan coloring on the Hartmann's zebra.

     

    But one thing I'm absolutely sure of, it certainly was, and is, a dream come true.

  • The Africa 29 Bucket List

     

    IMG_1819 Stocky on horseback in Namibia

    I recently returned from a 28 day trek into some the wilder portions southern Africa in pursuit of not only Namibian, free-ranging plains game, but also into Zimbabwe for a shot at the elusive leopard as well as an elephant to complete not only the Big Five but also the SCI African 29 Grand Slam. But first a little back-story...

    I have been focusing my hunting Africa for two years now following my return to health after a fairly bad motorcycle accident that left me essentially unable to walk more than a 100 yards on my right knee for about 5 years (2007-2012). I had some ground to make up so I made a promise to myself that if and when I recovered I'd go on two major hunts annually for the five years, making up for the years I was hobbled. It'd also be a great opportunity to put our goods to the test.

    When the exchange rates started falling Africa got the nod - with completing the Africa 29 (taking representative animals from 29 different categories including the Big Five) became the goal, something no one to my knowledge has ever accomplished in under two years, and with certain reasonable exceptions due to trophy prices and availability, the goal was to have every animal score well enough to make it into the Safari Club International Record Book.

    On April 14th, 2015 the quest the 29 was completed in 1 year, 11 months and 10 days (710 days) with a grand total of exactly 40 animals "making the book." Of these nine have been officially ranked by method in the SCI Top Ten including the largest lion taken in Africa in over five years. Well over 90% of them have been one-shot kills, while on the flip side just one animal was wounded and lost.

    IMG_1615 Damara Dik-Dik / PSS-134 Stock

    Suffice it to say that it has been not only an adventure but perhaps even more importantly quite a number of lessons have been learned from both successes and failures. I'm finding the knowledge gained from harvesting about 40 animals with a rifle and a dozen or so with a crossbow, animals ranging in size from the tiny Damara dik-dik to the biggest game on the planet at distances ranging from 10 yards to over 500 yards, is invaluable - much has been learned using our industry's more current firearm innovations to boot! This is certain to influence not only our product line-ups but also the advice that we will be passing along to our valued clientele in the blog posts to come as well as on the phone and in response to your emails. It also encompassed the development and refinement of two specialized rifles for the variety of tasks at hand, all using upgrades that can of course be purchased right on this site and with the exception of the barrels, installed on your kitchen table.

    (If you'd like to chat with me directly with any specific questions just ask for Stocky and reference this post.)

    In the upcoming post I'll take you along with on the Namibian horseback hunt for  Hartmann Mountain Zebra and some huge gemsbok; following that into Zimbabwe to accomplish the "impossible" - leopard and elephant on the same two-week excursion. Along the way we'll discuss the reasoning behind my choices of rifles and cartridges as well as the stocks, bottom metals and optics chosen specifically based upon the weaknesses uncovered in the previous four safaris, do please do stay tuned...

    Warm Regards,

    - Stocky

    P.S. Here's a mock video trailer of the leopard hunt my PH Walla Albertse actually composed in the Zimbabwe bush on his IPhone... (IMG_2020_420)

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