i've gotten a adjustable comb installed but still need to get another 8th inch or so more offset and guess bending the stock is my only option left, any info is welcome.also if bending is the answer are there any BENDERS in north eastern pennsylvania..
Yes. Glen Baker at Woodcock Hill AKA Thomas Bland & Sons. They are at Bolton, PA, and offer complete fitting service(s)to include stock bending. Here's Glen's website. I've personally used them several times, and sent others and gotten good reports back. http://www.woodcockhill.com/ Best luck,, mike
In my case(s) a Browning 525 sporting 5/8" cast off, and a Browning Citori Superlight Feather 5/8" cast off. Glen bent both two years ago and they still hold the same. Also, Mark Duprex bent my friend's 525 last year at the PA state shoot, and it's just fine. In no case was the finish on any of the guns marked.
Just a word of caution, though; if you have wonderfully figured high dollar wood on your trap gun, they may turn you down in fear that it could break, or just don't want to take the chance with high dollar guns. If it does, you need to understand that the expense of re-stocking the gun will be on you.
Although you didn't ask for advice, you might want to start thinking about contacting a custom stock maker. They do wonderful work, and starting from square one, selecting your blank, is a terrific adventure, and the result is pure joy. .....mike
Stocks can be bent by placing them in a heavy box equipped with several clamps. The clamps are used to put steady pressure on the area of the stock that is to be bent. You must have a controlled bend restricted to the grip area of the stock. I used a heat lamp and kept the stock flooded with oil to protect the finish. The oil was poured on the stock every five minutes or so. I kept the sides of the wood box sprayed with water. Apply a little pressure and wait 30 minutes before applying a little more. The process took me three days. The stocks I bent lost about 50% of the bend after one year. Others on this site have had much more experience and success than I have had.
Some stockmakers are able to get a sixteenth or even an eightth of cast by shaving a little wood from strategic areas where the stock meets the receiver.This is less risky than bending and is permanent...ie it will not have any tendency to move back to its original position. I require a lot of cast off and this has been done successfully for me on several shotguns.
Pete Giddings- Canada
Most stock benders re-drill and insert a long bushing in the bolt hole after the stock is bent. This keeps the stock from returning. Sometimes this makes it a bit difficult to start the stock bolt in the receiver threads.
I put the Beretta in the picture above just to show how it is positioned in the fixture. Guns with a stock bolt, I cast with a slight alteration of the inletting. I was shown the procedural steps at the Grand 20 yrs ago by a couple of the Krieghoff gunmiths. Glass-bedding afterwards ensures the strength and integrity of the wood.
Some will argue that steam cannot be used, based on the fact, "that's not how they did it in the "Old World". That's not much of an arguement. I watch the "Antigue Road Show" also. Your telling me that a piece of furniture, bent in the 1700's, and selling for hundreds of thousands, cannot exist, beacause it should have fallen apart? NOT!!
The fixture above is now only used for those guns without a stock bolt..mostly S/S's. It is used in conjunction with wet steam. The exact procedure all fine furniture and boat builders use. The use of all steam will damage the wood, whereas the wet steam will soften the polymers that hold the grain together, allowing the fibers to move freely against each other. After it cools and dries, the fibers are "glued" back together.
Using oil is fine, but if the stock also needs refinishing, especially with a polyuretane or clear-coat, hell's to pay getting the oil out of the wood. The wet steam allows me to bend with any finish applied.
The picture below shows how I direct the flow to the smallest area of the stock. This is generally the grip area. Because the checkering very seldom has any finish in it, it allows the heat to tranfer through the wood rather quickly. In 20 minutes, I can be pushing on the stock.
I've been able to bump a stock over almost 1/2". The over bend was well over 1". Just this year I've done three Purdys and several Arriettas. Two of the Purdys belong to the same shooter. He also need one comb raised and the other lowerd.
Doug- Two questions. What is wet steam? Steam plus a water mist? Secondly, polymers holding the gun grain together? I thought they were simple carbon bonds that would not be affected at all by a little heat and water.
I refer to wet steam as there is no pressure involved other than the small amount coming through the lines. When I run my system, the flexible jointed nozzles drip with water. If I were heating the water and releasing it under pressure (watching my mom can veggies), the vabor or steam just seemed to disappeared as it was released.
There are absolutely no websites describing stock bending with steam, but there are alot of articles...from universities and experts, going into the science of steam bending wood of all species.
The one below is an interesting read.....
Polymer may not be the right term. I may have to go back to reading to see exactly what it's really called.
PS--If some of you decide to give it a shot, spread paste wax over the entire surface of the stock and receiver (the handle for fixturing). The hot water could cause a slight spot on the finish. It's easily removed though (learn from experience). Also waxing the metal, especially the joints where wood touches, keeps water out of the action. Seeing the project will stay in the fixture for at least 1/2 day, nothing on the inside will get rust forming.
Here's the problem and I also bend stocks no H&H yet just Bossis and Fabri's. I was taught Gunfitting by Holland's Head shooting master Rex Gage. Through bolt guns have a straight hole through the stock and to properly change the angle of the stock you must have a way to recut the shoulder of the major hole to change the angle of the washer which pulls the stock up tight. Krieghoff although I have great respect for their products I have a box of cracked K 80 stocks from other people bending.
There is one exception to the rule. If you can accomplish the bend behind the through bolt or rotate the toe it is OK I will bend many stocks to allow a bit of toe out.
Most of the people who have posted seem to have only a rudimentary understanding of stockmaking or gunfit.
Bent stocks are not going to allow a proper fit on a target gun since cast is contrary to proper fit. Offset is what you want to do with a comb and bending will not accomplish this.
Purchasing a target gun from off the rack is akin to shopping for a nice suit from JC Pennys. Will it be a perfect fit....probably not. Can you shoot your gun or wear the suit as is...probably.
Now look at it this way, do you want to shoot this gun with the best ability that you have, or have your suit fit and look like a million bucks? Then a little bit of tweaking or tailoring will be needed.
Every shooter is built differently, and each target gun will need a modification to achieve that perfect fit. Some need the stock longer, some shorter. Some need more drop at the comb others will need a much higher one. Same holds true for cast and off-set.
Cast and off-set will allow a shooter's eye better alignment with the center of the rib or in the case of a plain (no rib) gun, allow the eye to align with the center of the bore. Remember, the eye is the rear sight on a shotgun.
Off-set would be the better option, but not many manufacturers produce one. I believe Kolar was the first to offer an off-set comb. Fred Wenig now offers one call the All-American. With the off-set comb the centerline of the comb stays parallal with the bore. Most shooters would do well with 1/8"-1/4" of off-set. In my opinion, moving the comb centerline anymore than 3/8", and the feel of the stock when mounted begins to feel like a plank against your face, instead of a stock tucked up under your cheek.
Cast off is an angling of the entire buttstock, from the grip to the butt. Most manufacturers offer some form of cast, either to the right for a right-hander or to the left for a lefty. Cast will help also with the alignment of the eye over the centerline of the rib. Cast also has it's limits. As the cast angle increases, the higher likelyhood you will feel more recoil in the face. 1/4"-3/8" of cast at the heel, is generally manageable.
Now for the question on why does it need to be bent...again, everyone is built differently. A gun with a small amount of cast or off-set may not be enough to comfortably place the eye over the center. By bending the stock a little more can help achieve this, without the need of an adjustable comb or the cost of a custom stock.
Also, as is the case with a few I get in my shop, some shooters need to have the comb raised or lowered. Sure, this can be done by shaving some wood or installing an adjustable comb, as you would see on many target guns, but when these guns are fine European S/S's, an adjustable stock would look a little out of place. But bending it up or down does not change the appearance, nor will it affect the intgrity of the wood.
To sum it up, bending is just another technique that can be used in the fitting of a shotgun to the shooter.
As for the picture above of the high combed stock....Joe mentioned the shooter purchased a much higher ribbed Kolar bbl. Higher ribs = Higher combs.