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understood that the thrust of the blunt, round end of the tang against the wood has little if any tendency to split the grip. The reason a grip splits under recoil is usually due to incorrect fitting of the tapered portion of the tang; unless there is reasonable clearance underneath, the tang acts as a wedge, and being unsupported at its rear, it comes right on back. At its upper edge the tang may he fitted quite close to the wood—the clearance should be down inside where it doesn't show. With the wedging effect thus eliminated, the tang supported against rear thrust at the end, and also at the points "a," "b," and "c," in Figure 77, there can be no movement of the action in the stock to start a split. It's the same principle as driving a nail in a board. Try to press the nail in with the hammer, using all your weight and strength, and you will make no headway; but when you swing the hammer on it, it is quickly driven in with moderately light blows.

The amount of wood routed out on the inside of a machine made stock necessitates the use of stock screws to give added strength. In a hand made stock of normal dimensions these arc never needed, except for magnum cartridges having very heavy recoil—assuming of course that the stock is of sound, hard wood.

Look again at the point "d" in A, Figure 77, against which the recoil lug bears. The recess for this lug is a trifle wider than the front end of the magazine mortice, consequent^, at its extreme outer edges this lug is well supported by solid wood extending clear back along the sides. Certainly the wood is not going to give way at these points. But in the center of this shoulder, there is solid wood for only about an inch, reaching to the magazine mortice.

Evidently, then, heavy pressure against the recoil lug recess in the center will break out this wood. So, if we fit the lug into perfect contact clear across its surface, then relieve the center by taking ofi a light cut, the back thrust is taken up by the solid wood at the sides, and there is no pressure in the center to cause a break. Thus we can well eliminate the unsightly stock screw at this point, and it is not even necessary to insert a piece of metal on the inside. More often than not the cutting required to fit such a recoil plate actually weakens the stock, while giving the owner false security in the belief that it has strengthened it. Recoil plates and stock screws cannot take the place of perfect hand fitting, with the removal of as little wood as possible.

Note the point "f," at the rear end of the recess which accommodates the projection on right side of receiver. Here is a point often overlooked which may easily develop into a "splitter.'' It may be fitted quite close on the side, but where it curves in at the rear, there must be a little clearance. Not much is needed—the thickness of a sheet of paper is sufficient, but pressure here must be relieved.

Now take your service stock and turn it over, studying the magazine and guard mortices from the under side. The magazine, being

Fig. 73

"Inside facte«" on action mortices in stocks. Upper 13 \ Krac stock split lengthwise to «bow shape of cuts. Center shows Inside of machine In letted Springfield service stock Lower ahowa inside of a hand inlottod stock for Springfield action. Not? the several points whire extra wood Is lift In htinU made stock, resulting In a much stronger stock. vrith action supported at practically every point absorbing much of the vibration of firing ar.d tending to Improve accuracy of the gur>. Lover Is hand inletted stock

Fig. 73

"Inside facte«" on action mortices in stocks. Upper 13 \ Krac stock split lengthwise to «bow shape of cuts. Center shows Inside of machine In letted Springfield service stock Lower ahowa inside of a hand inlottod stock for Springfield action. Not? the several points whire extra wood Is lift In htinU made stock, resulting In a much stronger stock. vrith action supported at practically every point absorbing much of the vibration of firing ar.d tending to Improve accuracy of the gur>. Lover Is hand inletted stock

wider at its rear end has no tendency to split the stock under recoil, so the fitting may be quite close at the sides. But, the rounded corncrs of the rear of magazine, and the inner enrnrr* where the guard joins it, ("a" and "b," Figure 79) can develop decided splitting tendencies unless tlie wuud is relieved al these points. .

We have dwelt at some length on this analysis of the Springfield stock mortices, to show the reader how to study the requirements of an action, the danger points, and where stock relief must occur. A similar analysis of other stocks will not be neccssary; study your action carefully and locate every point to be supported and every point to be relieved. They will be self evident once the principles are understood.

LAYING OUT: Now we are ready to start actual work. To provide an accurate outline df the magazine and guard you will require a templet, which is made as follows: Take the original stock and rub a mixture of lampblack and oil around the edges of the mortice; then press a sheet of stiff white paper firmly over it and rub the paper down smoothly with the fingers. Remove it and you will have a fairly clear outline of the cuts. Carefully trim this out and paste the paper templet on a strip of brass or tin, then file it to shape. Locate the center of the guard screw holes at each and drill a very small hole at these points—just large enough so that a small brad can be inserted. Now try this templet in the original stock, note the inaccuracics, and carefully file where necessary until it will enter the morrice easily. Then go round the edges and carefully file templet about 1/64 inch smaller all round.

Clamp the stock blank upside down in the vise, and with the marking gauge mark a center line along its entire lower edge, then carry this line round both ends and continue along the entire top edge. The top edge should of course have been previously planed to a straight line, and if the blank happens to be warped, it should be straightened in planer or jointer, otherwise the center line will not be straight. If you expcct to provide the stock with a cheek piece, the line may be run off center to the right, to allow the maximum thickness of wood for cheek piece. It should not, however, be less than 1 inch from right side.

Now, with the stock held as in Figure 80, place your magazine templet in position, so that the center line of stock shows through the small hole in each end of templet. Fasten in place with a brad driven through each hole, and mark carefully round templet with a sharp awl or scriber. Before removing templet, retrace the scribed line with a sharp pointed pencil to show it more clearly. The rear end of templet should be located in relation to the pistol grip so that grip is about 1/4 inch forward of where you want it in the finished stock—this to give you a little working leeway.

Remove the templet, and hang it up until the next job. With a try square mark a line across the stock at each of the brad holes.

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