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Fitting a Stock Yourself - Phase 3

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by joe kuhn, Apr 4, 2010.

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  1. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Gun is a Rem 3200 O/U purchased here on ts.com. Paid $1250 for a Trap Special, Full/Full, but the bottom Full is darn near an IM. I'd call it a Light Full.

    Phase 1 - Outlined steps to take and posted them here for feedback. Took some of the feedback and rejected others including some of my own ideas in my outline.

    Phase 2 - Went to the pattern board to be sure my barrels hit close enough to the same spot to justify continuing. They did. Since I can modify the overall poi with comb changes, I moved on.

    Phase 3 - Began modifications.

    While patterning I noticed the butt pad was coming loose so my first step was to deal with that. The top hole for the butt pad screw had been stripped and a longer screw had been used. The longer screw popped the stock up there at the top. That effected my decision to use the current stock rather than buy a junk stock for this project.

    First attempt to fix the butt pad problem was to drill out the holes and put in brass inserts. The brass insert at the top just spread the split in the stock even further. So I took the brass insert out and glued in a wood plug. A new smaller hole at the bottom of the wood plug is working fine.

    Next I replaced the butt pad with a thinner pad and an adjustable assembly which you can see in the pictures. The adj assembly needed fitting (it was rectangular) so I bought a dressor for my grinder, marked the edges with a pencil and ground it down enough to get it shootable.

    Butt pad plates were slipping with shooting, so I used a non skid stick 'um patch for your front steps. Sticky on one side, sand paper on the other. Cut it just big enough to cover the overlap in the two plates. Works great.

    Next is the bondo for the grip. Used cardboard from a cereal box to make a form to hold the bondo. Masking tape held the form in place. Plastic from a school binder lined the cardboard for easy removal when dry. This was done in phases. Fill in main area and add definition later. Took finish off wood with a file. Bondo in paper cups cut down for access. Popsicle stick to mix hardener with bondo and apply to mold. Newspapers, paper towels, plastic spoons made for easy clean up.

    I want my grip to come straight down so I can pull straight back on the gun bringing it directly into the shoulder. I also want a straight pull on the trigger. That has been achieved. Notch that looks like a nose holds the hand in the right spot. Finger grooves on leading edge help too.

    On the left side of the grip I filed a large vertical groove so the ends of my fingers can come around a little more and grasp the whole thing tightly. It's hard to see in the pictures, but it is effective. Did a separate pour on the right side with bondo to fill in a full palm swell. I just lumped a pile on the side, covered it with plastic and held on until it started to dry. Nothing like your actual hand used as a mold. Filed off the rough edges.

    Next was the thumb groove. Decided against cutting a hole in the stock for my thumb because that's right where the stock bolt comes back. I'd have to shorten that stock bolt and rework the inside with a lip for the washer on that bolt. Beyond my tool set at the moment. So I went with a thumb over design but cut a nice groove that's not too deep. Grasping the grip firmly with control is easy.

    When I 'make believe shoulder a gun' my hand forms a shape that fits this grip with very little changes in my hand. 'scool.

    Forgot to mention the comb. In the middle of the pad work I started taking the left side of the comb off with a rasp. Stock is a straight stock so the beads did NOT line up at all. Couldn't seem to correct it until I put the adj pad assembly on and tipped the pad to fit my sholder pocket. That brought the beads into alignment darn near perfectly. Asked for help in checking cast and tweaked that by tipping the pad a little one way or the other.

    Lucky I stopped on the comb with the rasp and dealt with the cast via the butt pad. Didn't really know the beads were connected to the cast correction which was connected to the tipping of the butt pad. Also learned to use gloves while rasping!

    To do: comb falls away from bbls towards trigger which you can see in the end view. Will have to deal with that and the large drop in the butt pad.

    First time out with the new stock I broke a 49/50 with the bottom bbl. Oh yeah, noticed the top firing pin doesn't retract all the way when closing the gun and shouldering at home (but does when dry firing which is weird). The yoke wasn't pulling the pin back into the hole all the way. A little oil for skate board bearings fixed it. Called Pat Laib and he said to shoot it for now.

    Stock has two holes in it, one just below the butt pad screw for weight and the other for the bolt. I filled both with lead to bring up the weight & soak up the recoil. Will leave the LOP where it is for now. It puts my right hand right where it is when I 'make believe shoulder my gun'.

    The Kuhner II is born.

    Joe
     
  2. Don Rackley

    Don Rackley Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

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    Joe,

    Very similar to what I did. The real tests are your scores and lack of felt recoil.



    Don
     
  3. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Don, you are so right. Thanks for the reminder.

    Now for some finer points. I did the exercise where you shoulder your gun in front of a mirror with your eyes closed. Opened my eyes and noticed the gun is still canted slightly. Tweaked the butt pad cant (anti-cant device) until the exercise proved I had it right, or mostly right.

    As a result of the closed eyes mount, I also noticed that the beads weren't lining up either. Mid bead was slightly to the right.

    When mounting with eyes open I've been automatically adjusting my face against the comb to get the beads into alignment. I've been doing this by turning my face into the gun and coming down with my nose just a little. The comb needs to be moved to the right so that my look to the field is straight out, or naturally straight out as when mounting with eyes closed. If not, I may correct my view of the field and come off my gun to get a better straight on look at the target and we all know that coming off the gun to get a better looks means missed targets.

    So the problem now is how do I shave that comb to bring my face to the right and get those beads lined up? I have a file but I know how hard that is to work with. Wood isn't consistently dense (it has knots and swirls) which tends to leave me with hills and valleys. If I lived near Dennis I'd ask for some help as I remember his technician going back and forth from Dennis' fitting room to the shop and taking care of this. Dennis would give him a number and Tracey would disappear for a few minutes, return and we'd repeat the mounting exercise, until the beads moved right over into alignment. It was all done very precisely with a small difference noticed each time, until perfect.

    Time for some rumination on my problem...

    And I may have to tweak the butt pad again after the beads are aligned. I'm reminded of just how complicated this is. I can have more than one problem at the same time and if I hadn't seen it done once by an expert, I'd surely be lost in the wood(s).

    Later, Joe
     
  4. dverna

    dverna Active Member

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    Joe,

    Do not get too anal about the gun having a slight cant. If your POI is your POA canting has no affect.

    Getting the beads line up can be challenging - I know. Still struggling with my set up.

    Don Verna
     
  5. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Hey Don. Just hit the comb with my rasp and the beads are there. Went coarse to fine with three different files ending up with sand paper and I'm ready to hit the range.

    My Point of Aim is definitely not my Point of Impact. That would be a flat shooting gun and this gun shoots as high as my Mach One.

    Time to try it out.

    Joe
     
  6. jhh

    jhh Member

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    One of the best tools to cut on a comb is the Shino Saw Rasp, the 11" one is what I use the most. They look like they are made out of hack saw blades, fine teeth on one side and coarse teeth on the other. Cut across the grain at an oblique angle from the front of the comb to the rear, like draw filing. Google japan woodworker store, they are about $25.00 and last for years. (Lots of other very good woodworking tools at this store.) Finish with a block of hardwood about 3" wide and a foot long with sandpaper glued to it. Hope this is helpful. Regards, John Hancock
     
  7. PerazziBigBore

    PerazziBigBore TS Member

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    A sharp spoke shaver takes paper thin shavings if properly adjusted.. and the finish is smooth.. Just a soft backed sanding pad makes the final finish.. but I don't think it works on bondo..only wood..
     
  8. JTEA

    JTEA Member

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    Been there, done that - worth the work if you're having trouble fitting your gun.

    I believe Ray Stafford was setting up his guns this way 15 years ago. He pops some small nails in the comb, adds Bondo, alters to fit, then gets a high end auto paint finish.

    JT
     
  9. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Things were better at the range. Settling into some smoke.

    What's happening here is I'm converting a straight stock into a stock for a right hander. Surely there are right handed stocks out there for 3200s, but this ain't one of them.

    I have a little more to go to get the beads perfect. I find if I set the gun down for a while and later go through the eyes closed / eyes open shouldering exercise, I get a truer picture of where it's at. While shooting I just can't pay attention to this. I get on that gun and go.

    Wood grain in front of lip was a little rough. Will take that area down too.

    I'm going through the usual relearning process after a Winter off. Remembering to hold to the right on 3 to make slight left handers more left handed. That's me. Trap 4 at Elburn has more trees in the background so I have to slow down a little to see it better in order to get smoke. Also need to get back into shooting shape physically. Even caught myself riding forward on the comb to get into it more which changes the poi some since the comb slopes forward. That's in line to be fixed too.

    Also learned that the bottom choke has NOT been opened up. Fellow shooter measured the bores and both are the same. Both bores are .727, choke areas are .689 for a difference of .038. Full and Full as advertised. Don't know why the FFL's cheapo choke guage led me astray.

    Good references for tools. Thanks! Too bad Ray doesn't post some pictures here.

    Joe
     
  10. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Hit the comb one more time and it's there. There's definitely a relationship between the angle of the adj butt pad and the way the beads line up. I think I've finally got it. Steps are smaller and smaller. Like how it shoots. Doesn't look much different. Cut all the finger grooves a little deeper. Time to focus on targets.

    Joe
     
  11. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Scores are coming up like they normally do in the Spring. Shot a 24 in a slider, a straight, but also had a couple of off rounds. Had trouble with slight angles but I talked myself out of them. Made sure I saw the target and they became smoke just like any other target. It's not the gun, it's me, which is an important discrimination.

    The gun is getting there; it's 'melding' to my body in a way that is comfortable and favored. I do a little swing up to close it and go right at that target, seeing it real good. Fit is feeling right.

    Last week I tried it without the butt pad and I do like the tighter right arm. Helps me turret turn into the targets and avoid arm swinging. Getting ready to shorten the LOP. Buying wood fasteners so I can attach the butt pad with machine screws instead of wood screws. Need to level up the comb before doing this as my face will move forward and change the poi since the comb slopes down towards trigger. I love the high poi where it is and do not want that altered.

    Considering a bondo free-form flange over top of right hand. This will be just a little flange about 3/8 of an inch or so. It will ease in raising the gun, but I'm not sure I'm going to do it. When raising the gun a nice firm grip between the thumb in it's groove and the second finger coming up under the 'nose' (see picture) has been sufficient. The thumb and second finger are apposable which leaves the trigger finger free to do it's job. Third finger and pinky help appose the thumb. Different from a standard stock in that the fingers are oriented vertically rather than sloped horizontally. This design gives me a pinchers right hand grasp rather than the standard horizontal grasp.

    Three parts are unique to the Kuhner II: The deep thumb groove, the vertical finger-tip groove and the 'nose' to keep the hand from riding up.

    Looking at a film dip for a final finish, but that'll be next winter. Thinking of Wood 295 at above Website Address. Close to a ringtail, but in wood. Wood 140 is pretty too.

    Joe
     
  12. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Shot some steel loads at my home club in Naperville and my buddy said I was coming off the gun. So I made sure I stayed on and my upper lip took a pretty good beating. Nothing a little filing won't take care of. Look forward to trying it again tomorrow.

    Checked my powder weight when I got home and I was 1 grain over what I like to shoot because of a new bottle of Longshot. Still safe pressures, but over 1300 fps. Will go back down to around 1250 fps.

    Funny how your brain knows what to do to avoid pain. But staying in the gun made a big difference in scores and what I was seeing as I was breaking targets. Much better round after the correction. This was an 'accidental' test of fast loads, but it's a reminder to test a full range of variables when fitting my gun. I should do some doubles soon too. And wobble, and 1-1/8 lead loads and those 1325 fps rockets they sell at the counter in Naperville. Hey, what about those Ljutic cork wads Don gave me...I'm going to try some. Does it get any more fun than this?

    Freedom Grafix says their process is ink so it doesn't add much of a layer in terms of thickness. And they have gloss and matte finishes depending upon the pattern. Inquired about a couple of the wood patterns I like. I'm thinking the gloss finish will be better so the gun slides past my face easily.
     
  13. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Having trouble with left handers. I believe the problem is trying to fit a right handed shooter with a straight stock. I just can't get it to bend enough by shaving off the left side. Top of comb is razor sharp. I shoot it a while and think I'm there, but then realize I'm wrestling with it to try to bend it each time I go to shoot. Not good.

    It's too easy to mis-align the beads when I mount it at home. Must be correcting by turning my face into the stock, hence left angle issue.

    Picked up another stock. See above. Bought it last week, should be here soon.

    Phase 4. Start over.
     
  14. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    New stock has been here but still shooting the bondo one. Wrist was hurting so I filed the palm swell down. Also hit the thumb groove some and the little finger groove to ease up on the pressure. Solved.

    Bondo is cracking where it's flush up against old grip cap. Starting over anyway.

    Installed the new stock last night and moved the comb over 1/4" from flush. Need to turn face into stock to get on beads is gone. Butt pad brass fittings need to be moved down to get pad in same spot. Key for drill is gone. Holga!

    Hardware store then back to the range...
     
  15. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Range proved the 1/4" move of the comb to the right is needed. This stock smokes targets hard at any angle. There are some problems, however:

    1. Weight. There's only 1 hole in the stock for lead weights making this gun the lightest gun I've shot in a long time. Noticed this right away and had to hold it tight to the shoulder to counter act. Makes me want to get away from the gun so I end up coming off it later in the shooting session.

    2. The grip is like shooting a baseball bat and tends to let the gun roll especially when I come out of it. Bad and bad. Missed 4 from station 1 at yardage. (Was shooting at dusk too, so the bad light made the targets look like peas.)

    3. Elbow is way higher because of the orientation of the standard grip. Will change grip with bondo.

    3. Grip is longer so I'm constantly finding the right position to give me the feel I want on the trigger.

    Off to the auto parts store for some bondo.
     
  16. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Maybe it's kicking your teeth out, Joe, because it has way, way too much drop at the heel. OK. I know it's "to keep your head up" and all that, but it's a heck of a price to pay when all you have to do to cure it is chuck your theory and drop your nose a bit.

    Neil
     
  17. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    I could but then I'd have three things I don't want to do: drop my nose a bit, squinch up my shoulders and shoot closer to the tops of my eye glasses. The tipping of the nose and shoulder raise are hard for me to repeat exactly the same every time. I want to be able to go up there and shoot without change (as much as possible), because that's easy to repeat - just be me. I'd rather put the weight back in and have a cleaner mount. The slight vision change - no, I'm unwilling to compromise.

    I put my teeth back in. Lets go shooting with the bondo stock and even more offset. Nothing like a good rasp.
     
  18. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    I've shouldered the stock in the pics without the pad and it feels great. I have shot a shorter LOP well, so I went for it. Main concern was a change in POI which I don't want. I slid my face along the comb from back to front and checked out the distance between the beads. To my amazement, that didn't change so i figure the poi won't change. Took 3/4" off the butt with a saw. Main benefit is a nice tight right arm to enforce swinging at the waist rather than arm swinging.

    Now it's bumping me in the lip. Dealt with that before. Put my teeth back in when I got home as well as my pitch wedge. It's thicker at the top than the bottom. This correction has fixed the problem in the past, so should fix it now. We'll see. Everything is related to everything else. See Rollin's book. Here's something Rollin missed: Your LOP is related to whether or not your teeth get knocked out and the phatness of your wip.

    Next up is some major bondo work along the bottom to support that low pad assembly.
     
  19. Harv Shell

    Harv Shell TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    It's like a car accident Joe, but I can't stop looking. Someone save me from this madness!!!
     
  20. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    It does look rough. Nothing a little paint won't cure from FreedomGraphix. Considering Wood 295 for it's ringtail appeal. Fitting for the Kuhner II, wouldn't you say?

    About the madness. Yes, we're all a bit mad, don't you know?
     
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