Form Cheiftan Airrifle stock
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- Last updated: 29/03/2021
One of the aspects of shooting remains the way that we can all enjoy it at our own pace. Many are content to keep things simple, whilst others research every detail, with the sole aim to improve along the way.
For those in the latter camp that fancy taking their sport to the next level, there are several avenues to explore, and fitting a custom stock is a great place to start. If you’re in possession of a reliably accurate action, but just feel the handling, support and comfort could be improved, then custom woodwork is the way forward.
Form Riflestocks, based down in Devon in the UK, has made quite a name for themselves, producing British made stocks on CNC machinery, using the finest hardwood laminate, sourced from Finland. Pressure tested birch veneer is used, along with natural wood dyes, and these are layered and pressed together with hot resin, to create the blank. Laminate remains the most stable form of wood, and being resistant to warping, it should come as no surprise that it has been so widely adopted throughout the shooting world.
On test here is the HFT version of the Chieftain, the brand new airgun stock design from Form, and this comes in Ebony Laminate as standard, with a choice of cheek piece coloured Red, Blue, Green, or Ebony Laminate. The main stock can be specified in custom colours for around £100 extra. My test stock came with an adjustable cheek riser, but there is also the option to fit an adjustable length of pull (LOP) mechanism. This can alter the length by 3.5”, but if you have special requirements regarding dimensions, it’s worth discussing the custom options, which will obviously be priced accordingly.
Back to my stock, and this came ready to fit any Air Arms in the S400/410/ S500 range. Fitting is easy since all you have to do is remove a single bolt on the underside of the stock using an Allen key. Drop the action into the Chieftain, replace and gently nip up the bolt, and it’s job done! Stocks are available for BSA and Weihrauch models too (see tech spec).
The dark grey-black of the Ebony stock looks smart, and with laser cut fish scale-style chequering applied to both the pistol grip and forend, handling is enhanced as well as the visuals. I have large hands and wrapping one around the grip felt like a perfect match. A combination of the finger grooves and that generous palm shelf keeps the trigger hand perfectly supported and feels spoton. I’m always going to miss a rear thumb shelf, but putting that slight obsession aside, it’s difficult to fault the ergonomics on offer here. They have fitted a ‘Limbsaver’ butt pad, which is a nice soft comforting addition. Forget the wispy rubber finish in the photos, handle it and you soon get the point.
Look to the front, and I like that angular tip. There’s a neat recessed UIT style accessory rail, and that will take all manner of the usual add-ons. If you fancy a bipod then there’s also a Spartan adaptor point fitted as standard. For those unfamiliar, Spartan are a high-end UK based manufacturer of bipods of varying styles, and their unique design utilizes a strong magnet for an instant plug and connect approach. Here, you just pull out the plug and insert the bipod (not supplied).
At a time when locally sourced products have never made more sense, Form tick all the right boxes. They wanted this stock to offer instant accurate adjustment and decided to manufacture their own components to achieve this. Looking at my test sample, the result is an exquisite piece of engineering. Just press and hold the large triangular button on the right side of the stock, and at the same time move the cheek piece up or down to the desired height. Release and it’s set. It feels precise, and it functions perfectly.
Unsurprisingly, given this stock is specified as the HFT version, there is a hamster/ palm rest available from Form, sold as an optional extra. Again, the aluminium fitting components are extremely well made, and the unit comes with an adaptor bracket and twin rods. Here, it’s best to loosen off the supports and slide the bracket free. Now slacken the internal plate, to allow for the adaptor to be slid into the rail. Slide along the rail and gently nip up at the desired position. Insert the Hamster support rods into the adaptor and re-tighten at the desired height, and you’ve now gained considerable height over standard.
With or without the Hamster addition, handling and looks of your rifle will be literally transformed by switching to one of these Chieftain stocks, and that snazzy cheek piece will guarantee admiring looks on the range.
Not the flamboyant type? No problem. For those who fancy a slightly less garish look, a new Hunter version will shortly be available, in a choice of two colours, Forest Laminate or Walnut Laminate. In this case, the cheek piece and stock are the same colour. This version will come without the accessory rail, but will instead have sling swivels fitted, alongside the Spartan adaptor point.
CAD (computer aided design) software may be utilized to produce these marvels, but old school hand-finishing also plays a part, and the end result is a gun stock to be truly proud of. The Chieftain is a thing of beauty for sure, but the technical credentials are such that a rapid improvement in shooter performance is all but inevitable.