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Adjustable Comb Help

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Jollytrapshooter, Jan 16, 2009.

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  1. Jollytrapshooter

    Jollytrapshooter Member

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    I have a BT-99 right now with the original adjustable comb. It is the newer one with the screw through the back. I personally do not like how the comb works, and find it to be a bit cheap feeling. So, now that I have the ability to machine my own adjustable comb, I am looking to do so. I have all the drawings done, I basically plan on making traditional style comb hardware, just making it so it will fit exactly into same space where the original one was. Since I haven't gotten any chance to look at examples of what a normal adjustable comb looks like in person, I figured I would ask on here. From pictures, do the posts just screw into a nut underneath that allows it to slide back and forth in the slot? Then I am curious as to why everyone makes everything out of brass, I would think something like stainless would work better for the posts as it would hold up better to having a set screw tightened on it. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks, Josh.
     
  2. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    Josh, you're on the right track. Bases can be one or two-piece and the area under where the posts attach is mortised out so there is clearance for the nuts attached to the screws that run down through the posts so the posts can be moved left and right. The post screws are commonly of the Allen head variety. Some guys glue the base(s) down, some attach them with wood screws - I suppose it depends upon how much wood there is under the comb cut.

    The two local gentlemen who do this work both use aluminum but there's no reason why brass or stainless wouldn't work, but they would obviously be harder to work with. Toughness of the metal isn't a concern, as you're not torquing those screws very much.

    Some put jackscrews in the comb that can be turned down to set the comb height but most shooters prefer using washers. It's much more repeatable and using different color or shaped washers allows one to tell at a glance if his/her comb is set for singles or handicap.

    Good luck!

    Ed
     
  3. jimrich60

    jimrich60 Member

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    Josh:

    I used the Browning style adjustable comb for several years with no real problems. That being said, I would agree with you as I personally prefer the Graco style comb hardware. Most of what I see is made of aluminum. I think is due mainly to ease of machining, but also to save weight so that adding an adjustable comb does not add too much weight to the stock and thus changing the balance too much. Brass is used sometime, again probably due to ease of machining. No reason why stainless steel would not work, just harder to machine and work with and might be a little heavier. Also, the forces involved really don't require that sort of strength.

    Jim R
     
  4. Jollytrapshooter

    Jollytrapshooter Member

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    From the pictures I've always seen, they appeared to be made out of brass. Maybe I just couldn't tell between the silver of aluminum and the gold of brass in the pictures that I was looking at. The stainless would just be for the posts. My plan was brass on the bases above and below, then stainless posts. But maybe now I'll switch to aluminum for the bases, as I have heard that brass can be a little irritating to machine on a mill. Thanks for the help, Josh.
     
  5. Jollytrapshooter

    Jollytrapshooter Member

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    Thanks for the picture Paul. That was just what I needed. I got a PM from another member of TS.com who I am doing a little project for, and he offered to send me a set of the Graco style hardware to help me better understand how they work. Thanks for the help, Josh.
     
  6. Jollytrapshooter

    Jollytrapshooter Member

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    Well, thanks to all the help, I got the base and posts of my adjustable comb done. The base ended up being made out of brass and the posts out of 304 stainless. I'll post pictures tomorrow when I find the camera. I'd have no problem making someone an extra or longer set of posts if they needed them. Thanks, Josh.
     
  7. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Josh- I suggest you take a different approach. Study the existing adjustable combs and figure out a way to improve the designs. Simplicity can be an improvement along with ease of adjustment, ease of installation and a greater range of adjustment. One problem with many current adjustable combs it that the non adjustable part of the stock limits the amount of cast off possible without the shooter tilting his head. We expect young thinkers like you to give us new things.

    You may even want to look at a Precision Fit Stock and redesign that very good device for us.

    Pat Ireland
     
  8. rennerize

    rennerize Active Member

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    Josh, I make and have made hundreds of these adjustable combs. I have found that the posts that I made from SS did not work as well as the brass ones. The reason being it took more torgue to make them BITE and with the brass it took less to acheive this BITE. Aluminum is ok but I found that it does not last as long as brass. Currently I make everthing using brass and only use aluminum if the customer wants it. I use all stainless steel bolts and nuts. Hope this helps.
    Don
     
  9. KENENT1

    KENENT1 Active Member

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    one of the things to look out for is the fact that brass and alumn. used together can cause a galvanic(sp) reaction....usually one of these materials has to be plated.


    tony
     
  10. Jollytrapshooter

    Jollytrapshooter Member

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    Right now this design is to replace my Browning factory hardware. I have a Chinese made over/under that I used when I first started shooting that I plan on using as the test subject for my never ending list of ideas. I've considered building something like the PFS, but I only have a slight idea of how they work, and I don't know how I would make a grip. Otherwise, I have ideas for add on ribs, adjustable butt plates and a couple of other little odds and ends. I appreciate all of the help. Thanks, Josh.
     
  11. Jollytrapshooter

    Jollytrapshooter Member

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    Well here are the pictures (finally found the camera). The first picture is the original hardware on the left, a set of Graco hardware in the back, and my new brass hardware on the right. The second picture is my hardware up close. Tell me what you think.<br><br>
    [​IMG]<br><br>
    [​IMG]<br><br>
    Thanks, Josh.
     
  12. Jollytrapshooter

    Jollytrapshooter Member

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    Thanks. Bill, we haven't really been making shot, and I haven't checked local prices for a while. So I'm not real sure...you're the second person today to ask me that question. LOL, maybe that means I need to get to making shot again. Are you going to be shooting in the Winter Iowa Games next weekend?

    Josh
     
  13. Jollytrapshooter

    Jollytrapshooter Member

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    One more quick question. I am a left handed shooter, should I put the holes for the set screws on the left hand or right hand side of the stock? I considered this and thought about resale if I ever decide to sell the gun. I would think putting them on the right side would be better (considering most shooters are right handed), but I don't know if it would be comfortable or if I would notice them on my cheek. Any suggestions? Thanks, Josh.
     
  14. JLW

    JLW TS Member

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    I've made a kit or two and prefer a hard post to avoid the gouging found on soft posts. Posts are quite easly made using 4140, quenched and polished. I have had one set crack,probably from being too hard and overtightened. I do not draw or conduct hardness tests on the posts.

    I like a step design bushing; larger at the base to allow for a longer tapped set screw hole, although, I've never had a stripped hole.-Jerald
     
  15. Jollytrapshooter

    Jollytrapshooter Member

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    Thanks for the help. I figure I'll make my replacement hardware and test it this year to see how it works. Thanks, Josh.
     
  16. Jollytrapshooter

    Jollytrapshooter Member

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    Well, I figured I'd post another picture to show how it's coming. All that's left to do is ream the post holes a little bigger, drill and tap the set screw holes, and drill the holes for the 4 screws that you use to attach it to the stock. Hope to have it done by this weekend and possibly installed by next. <br><br>
    [​IMG]<br><br>
    Thanks, Josh.
     
  17. Jollytrapshooter

    Jollytrapshooter Member

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    Well everything is going together quicker than I thought. The picture below shows the lower base installed in my stock. All that's left now is to inlet the comb a little bit on the mill, and find new screws to fit. I hope to be shooting my gun this weekend in the Iowa Games to take the new comb for a test run.<br><br>
    [​IMG]<br><br>
    Thanks, Josh.
     
  18. country gentleman

    country gentleman Member

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    Nice job. If you will use a 3/16 hole for your set screw and tap it 1/4x20 with a cup face, It will not slip or strip. Todd
     
  19. Jollytrapshooter

    Jollytrapshooter Member

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    Thanks. I considered 1/4x20, but I don't know if it will leave enough material to hold. The upper piece is .300" thick, so drilling the 3/16" hole will only leave .056" around it. I am not familiar with the stress properties of brass, and if the .056" is enough to hold up to the forces involved. Maybe someone can help out? As of right now, I'm leaning towards 10-24 threads for the set screw. Thanks, Josh.
     
  20. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Josh- One comment, certainly not meant to be critical. If you are designing the comb hardware for others, keep in mind that some of us prefer to inlet the material by hand and not with a mill. The curved corners on your design make this more difficult. I might be just too old fashioned, but I have inleted many guns with scrapers and small chisels. A small 2 oz hammer with a 10 inch Bamboo handle can be a precision tool. You might next consider making some wood carving tools.

    Pat Ireland
     
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