fitted, if one Is used. We speak of the circumference oi grip in-advtVdly, since in the well shaped stock it cannot be the same circumference at all points. The specified diameter should he given it about 1/2 inch back of tang, (on the line a-a, Figure 57), while the circumference just forward of the comb will be slightly greater, (line b-b). The circumference at bottom end where cap is fitted

Fiar. 58

should be about the same as at a-a. The sides of grip should be about parallel along the line c-c, except that a slight swell on the right side to fill the hollow of the palm is quite permissible, and often desirable. This was a feature of Ludwig Wundhammer's stocks which pleased many shooters so much. This swell is quite noticeable on the Springfield sporter stock of which a bottom view is shown in Figure 58.

Now we come to rhe length of the pistol grip, i. e., the distance from center of trigger to nearest point of grip cap. Recent decisions from headquarters are to the effect tfiat this distance should be from 3 1/4- to 3 5/8 inches—4 inches being the extreme for the largest hands. Now I'll probably raise a storm of protest with a statement that this dimension doesn't mean a blamed thing—and I'm going to try to prove my assertion with Figure 59. Here arc shown a number of different grips drawn to exact scale, and each one measuring exactly 3 1/2 inches from center of trigger. Test it on the cut with a pair of dividers. The curve of the grip, whether an arc or a parabola, and the vertical distance of the point V below the center of trigger, in its relation with the distance from trigger, is what determines the grip's efficiency or lack of it. In Figure 59, "G" is the grip of the D. C. M. Sporter stock as issued; while "H" is the same grip slightly altered, but with the distance from trigger not increased. The curve was originally an arc of a circle; it is cut back in "H" to a parabola* i. c., the curvc in creasing toward the end. Tn theory the "as issued" grip looks better, and seems like a closer grip; but handling the rwo shows that the one at "H" gives the firmer hold—the sharper curve at lower end giving a "hook*' effect, while there is a slight but decidedly noticeable tendency for the hand to slip down and back on the other.

The best grip I know of is one having a slight parabolical curve toward rhe rear, with plenty of finger room just back of guard; the length from center of trigger to edge of grip-cap to be anything desired from 3 1/4 to 4 inches; and the vertical distance from edge of grip cap to center of trigger, about 1 1/2 inches.

I am not in sympathy with extreme grips like some of those in Figure 59 projecting straight downward, which form a projection from the stock at their rear edge. The most graceful grip is the one whose bottom edge just meets and forms an angle with the bottom line of 6tock. If a grip cap is used it will project something like 1/4 inch, which is sufficient for appearance's sake.

An important point is Hie angle of bottom of grip and its forward edge. When these surfaces form an acute angle like "a". Figure 60, the grip looks like something had been forgotten ; and a widely obtuse angle like 'V is equally undesirable, indicating either a grip carried too far back, or a stock that is too shallow from top of comb to a point behind the grip. A right angle, as at "c' gives a properly shaped grip of splendid appearance, and permits a full sized grip-cap, and about the right depth at comb.

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nrj rhis depth, or vertical distance from comb to point just back of grip, is another point where many stockrrakers fall down. Too shallow a stock at this point always results in a grip set far back and virtually useless; and such a stock, if not actually lacking in strength, at least gives the impression of flimsincss. Again, too great a depth at this point ruins the lines and makes any stock look like a boat uar. The attempts of some of the factories to design a stock with pistol grip well forward has [«suited in just this effect-it is particularly no:iceab]e in the old Model 20 Savage ?t«->rk, which I honestly believe to be one of the homeliest ever produced' The new Model 20 is much better in this respect.

There is no set rule for thickness of the grip, but experience lias



shown that it should be from 4 3/4 to 5 1/4 inches in circumference. My preference is 5 inches in American walnut, and 4 7/8 inches in high grade European which usually is a little stronger and harder. In cross section I favor a, grip of very full oval—not round, but much more nearly round than many atockcrs make them. The oval outline, Figure 61, is 5 1/2 inches in circumference, and an oval in these proportions seems to be about right. The grip can be roughed out to this outline, then reduced in finishing to the desired diameter without changing the proportions.

RUTTSTOC-IC! The stock inmw»dii»»*ly back of the grip should be the same thickness as the grip. A grip bulging cut from sides of stock looks like the devil—oi woise. The bottom edge just back of grip should be full and rounded to about a half circle, and narrowing in a straight taper toward the toe to conform to shape of butt-plate. This is just the reverse of the upper edge of stock, which is thick and full rounded at butt end, narrowing in a straight taper toward the comb. The thickness and shape of butt is controlled by the shape of the buttplate, the shape and dimensions shown in Figure 62 being about ideal. If your buttplate does not conform to your ideas of what you want, it should be filed to shape before fitting, then the stock worked down to it. The top and bottom lines of stock should be absolutely straight. There is no excuse in rhyme nor reason for the shadbelly curve often seen on old stocks, but now, thank the Lord, disappearing. A very slight fullness may be permissible on the sides when it is desired to gain weight, but the side surfaces should run as nearly straight as possible from buttplate to grip. I may add also that thick, bulging sides on a stock do not add enough weight to materially reduce recoil. If a buttplate of

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