appeal to the eye quite as much as to the hands that hold it—else why do we spend our money for fine finish and decoration?

Evidently, then, wc must effect a happy compromise so that our stock, while following to a degree the conventional lines we have come to accept as standard, yet is so dimensioned as to provide maximum quickness of aim, and comfort in holding.

Fig. 45

Figure 45 shows a stock illustrated a year or so ago in the American Rifleman—the work of a man trying to attain his ideal cf practicability. I have no doubt this stock was far more comforcable and more easily held than any of our old stand-bys; yet, without knowing the owner, I'd fce willing to bet my shir: he has before now discarded the idea in favor of a more conservative design. For deeply rooted in the heart of every shooter there is a secret admiration, a real affection, for a gun that looks like a gun ; the familiar lines of old favorites that have been our companions in field and forest will not easily be supplanted by new and unfamiliar shapes, albeit they might prove thoroughly practical.

And, happy to relate, it is wholly possible to design our stock along conventional lines, yet modify dimensions in a marner to improve the handling and the beauty of the arm many fold. It is surprising what a difference little things rr.ake. An eighth of an inch in thickness or height of comb—a bit of castcff at the butt— a slight change in pitch—a different curve in the grip—these are some of the points that make or mar a stock. One may have two stocks that to all appearances are identical in size and shape; yet slight differences not readily discernible will cause one to handle perfectly while the other feels slow and clumsy.

STOCK NOMENCLATURE: Before going further into a discussion of these points, study Figure 46 if not already familiar with the nomenclature of a modern sporting stock. "A" is the forend, or forestock; "FT" is the forend tip; "G" is the grip, or as the English stockers call it, the "hand;" "FG" is the pistol grip; "CO" is the comb—and the low upper surface of grip just ahead cf comb is sometimes spoken cf as the "hand hole;" "C" is the check piece; "B" is the butt ; "H" is the heel, and "T" the toe of butt.

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