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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A long time ago (>30 years) I tried to have a stock bent. Net result was a lighter wallet, a stock that didn't fit me any better than before, and the checkering was pretty much ruined.

Ever an optimist, (and now a little wiser) I want to try again. I am onto a gun with superb wood (maybe the nicest wood I have ever seen) but the stock is cast off, and I am left-handed.

Since my earlier experience, I have learned that a stock can be successfully bent using very hot oil, and that if it's done right, the stock will stay bent. (I don't have to worry about checkering because this stock isn't checkered.)


Here's the question - does anyone know someone who is really good at this stock bending business?
 

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I had a stock bent about 35-40 years ago, by a master gunsmith who did his apprenticeship, prewar, in a Czech custom shop. He cast it off a little more, and raised the comb, as well. He then altered the pitch of the butt, lengthened it 3/4", put on a Pachmayr XXX pad, and turned me loose. Unfortunately, he has since passed on.

You can't tell there were ever any alterations made to the stock. The checkering is as it was from the factory, the finish is as it was from the factory (with years of hunting dings!), and it has held the changes all these years, without losing any bending. This gun is a field gun, fixed full and improved modified, which I only use every few years, in great grouse years. I pick it up, load it, and start to shoot grouse! I never seem to have any difficulty remembering where it shoots, it just shoots exactly where I'm looking.

This is all a longwinded way of saying - Yes, you can get it bent successfully, but take your time choosing the bender, and ask for references from his past customers. Just because someone takes on the job, doesn't mean they know what they are doing, or that you will be happy. You have started the process right by asking here, so take your time, ask lots of people lots of questions, and be picky. It's your money, your gun, and you deserve to have it done properly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
One of the comments here reminded me that the gun whose stock I bent long ago was a sidelock, with no stock bolt. But the new gun is a boxlock with a stock bolt. I would think that the presence of a bolt down the center of the stock makes it impossible to bend the stock.

Right?
 

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'07 Kolar Max TA 3bbl set, Jeff Mainland fitted
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There are many competent shops that can bend a stock, but since you've said it's a great piece of wood, will they? Depending upon grain structure, it may be wise to consider an adjustable comb and butplate.
 

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Ktieghoff K-80 super sport one plantation, one gold super scrol
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I agree on adj. comb and butt plate worked for me!!!
 

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I had a stock bent about 35-40 years ago, by a master gunsmith who did his apprenticeship, prewar, in a Czech custom shop. He cast it off a little more, and raised the comb, as well. He then altered the pitch of the butt, lengthened it 3/4", put on a Pachmayr XXX pad, and turned me loose. Unfortunately, he has since passed on.

You can't tell there were ever any alterations made to the stock. The checkering is as it was from the factory, the finish is as it was from the factory (with years of hunting dings!), and it has held the changes all these years, without losing any bending. This gun is a field gun, fixed full and improved modified, which I only use every few years, in great grouse years. I pick it up, load it, and start to shoot grouse! I never seem to have any difficulty remembering where it shoots, it just shoots exactly where I'm looking.

This is all a longwinded way of saying - Yes, you can get it bent successfully, but take your time choosing the bender, and ask for references from his past customers. Just because someone takes on the job, doesn't mean they know what they are doing, or that you will be happy. You have started the process right by asking here, so take your time, ask lots of people lots of questions, and be picky. It's your money, your gun, and you deserve to have it done properly.
had a buddy tried to bend his own stock, you guessed it had to buy a new stock. I had to laugh at him for that.

jack mc
 

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Wood grain has a lot to do with how much if at all a stock can be bent. I had my Beretta 687's EELL stock bent by Allem's using the hot oil method and it worked great. No damage at all even to my 30LPI checkering and it only relaxed 1/8" after cooling which resulted in a net gain of 3/16" of cast. The photo below isn't a good one but if you follow the angle of the rib and the comb, you can see the cast. The stock started out with the factory 1/8" of offset and no cast.



Here's a slightly blurry photo of their German bending machine. As you can see, the wood at the receiver is clamped the right fixture and the fixture on the left exerts pressure against the butt. The thermometer at the bottom left indicates the oil temperature. Nothing ever touches the checkered area of the wood.



Now that I've lost 73 pounds, I no longer need that much cast and offset but it's nice to know it's there if it ever becomes necessary for me or another owner.

Ed
 

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Here is the name of an old acquaintance of mine, Jim Greenwood. His website I believe is www.greenwood custom stocks.com. You'll have a wait as he's that good thus that busy. If website is incorrect, do a web search by name in Augusta, KS.
 

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Save your money - send it to Jim Greenwood. He has bent three for me. All good.
 

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I heard good things about a fellow named Mike Orlen and decided to give him a try. Was pleased with all aspects of his work from price to turnaround time. I thought I would see evidence of the bending on the finish but all looked good. Orlen is associated with a shooting website which I cannot recall at the moment. I have his number as 413-256-1630.
 

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A long time ago (>30 years) I tried to have a stock bent. Net result was a lighter wallet, a stock that didn't fit me any better than before, and the checkering was pretty much ruined.

Ever an optimist, (and now a little wiser) I want to try again. I am onto a gun with superb wood (maybe the nicest wood I have ever seen) but the stock is cast off, and I am left-handed.

Since my earlier experience, I have learned that a stock can be successfully bent using very hot oil, and that if it's done right, the stock will stay bent. (I don't have to worry about checkering because this stock isn't checkered.)


Here's the question - does anyone know someone who is really good at this stock bending business?
Any stock can be bent with a steam box and clamps, anyway you want it. Takes a little time, but homemade boat builders do it all the time. Steam add pressure, steam add pressure. You can turn any piece of wood into a pretzel if you desire.
 
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