Pistol Stocks
Pistol Stocks

Recently I took out my Winchester.315 Self loading rifle from its case. I assembled the dismantled gun pieces and was witness to a beautiful weapon. What caught my eye was the stock of walnut wood. It looked wonderful and added to the aura of the guns beauty. This is in effect one of the uses of the stock on your gun.

The gun as is well known follows Newton’s third law of motion, which states that to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Thus when you fire the rifle or gun the bullet that leaves the barrel at a certain speed has a recoil effect and the gun exerts a pressure on the shoulder. As the gun or rifle nestles between the hollow of the shoulder the recoil is greatly lessened if the gun is held firmly. The stock or the butt of the rifle helps in cushioning the recoil effect. Thus in addition to the looks the stock has the primary purpose of cushioning the recoil or kick back. It must be noted that the heavier the gun greater the recoil.

Stocks for rifles and guns earlier were only made of wood. Those were the golden times and the stocks were generally all hand crafted and invariably made of teak, walnut or sheesham. Many types of wood were used and the price of the stock accordingly varied with the quality of wood used. Some stocks also were engraved with designs and these added a personal touch to the weapon. If required there were stock manufactures that would for a price make a stock as per your specifications and engrave any design you wanted.

But with the passage of time and with greater commercial exploitation and mass scale manufacture the individual stock seems to be going out of fashion. In addition new materials like carbon and Bakelite are showing up as stock material. These have their advantage that they are much lighter than wooden stocks but the individual stamp is difficult to maintain.

The modern synthetic stocks do not appeal to a lot many shooters. Perhaps these are now in abundance because of the high price and scarcity of good wood but the fact is that most fire arms in the United Sates are offered with synthetic stocks.

Things are a little better in India where the private gun manufacturers in Jammu and Bihar still use good wood like walnut for the stocks. The Jammu gunsmiths will also engrave any particular design or motif you want on your stock. But bear in mind that they only manufacture shot guns.

There is no doubt that a stock made of man made material can be produced a lot cheaper than a product made of wood. But again a lot many gun owners will still prefer the good old wooden stock for their guns and rifles. Let us hope they do not fade away.