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ACTION SIDES: Beginning at a point slightly back of the tang, the stock of a bolt action rifle commences to swell to accommodate the action mortices. Many leading stockers apparently try how thin and flimsy they can make the stock at this point. True, a rifle is more easily carried if not too thick where the hand naturally grasps it, at the point of balance. But strength is even more in-portant, and right here where rhe magazine and receiver are let in is the thinnest point on the stodc. If rhe grain happens to take a slight side turn about this point, you can expect the stock to split or break almost certainly, sooner or later. I ara convinced ;hat fhc stock should be at least 1 7/8 inches through at the thickest point, which as I shape them, comes I/'2 inch ahead of rear end of magazine— my own arc 2 inches at this point, and oval in cross section, not slab sided. This applies to all bolt actions in big game calibcrs. A stock by x famous maker which is now on hand far dnpliration measures but 1 5/8 inch at this point, and the sides are flat as the proverbial pancake. An additional 1/8 inch of wood at ccnter would have made a more pleasing stock, with far greater strength, and the increase in weight would have been trifling.

There is another big advantage in having a stock exrra full over the action; its lines can be carried forward in a straight taper, or very nearly straight, to tip of forend, and the forend thus formed will be a comfortable handful instead of the ridiculous sliver found on so many rifles.

FORENDS: I am a staunch believer in the cumparatively full forend; yet 1 do not want it at the expense of handsome lines in the balance of rhe stock, nor is it necessary to gain it in this way. The stock above mentioned which is 2 inches thick over the magazine, tapers ro 1 1/4 inrh at forend tip, and thickness at point where hand grasps forfrd 11/16 inrh Thic is jusr I/lf> under the 1 3/4

Fig. 63

inch endorsed by Captain Crossman and this extra sixteenth of an inch could be added without appreciably changing rhe contour of the stock, which, as will be noted from Figure 63, is not extreme at any point, unless it is in the length of the forend.

I like long forends. I like them longer by an inch or 60 than most stockers recommend, the usual length being nine ro ten inches

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