Form Rifle Stocks
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- Last updated: 23/03/2018
For many, part of the enjoyment of shooting is making alterations and modifications to our treasured rifle; and the options are fairly limitless. Adding a silencer or muzzle brake system can be all that’s required, or at the other end, a different type of butt pad, or butt hook assembly, for example. It’s all about changing the feel or characteristics to suit, and whilst personal taste and requirements dictate which direction we take, the most radical modification of all has to be the fitting of a completely different custom made stock.
Several options now exist for the serious airgun enthusiast, and one name that has recently thrown their hat in the ring, is Form Riflestocks, based down in Devon. Form have already made quite a name for themselves in firearms shooting circles, and have gradually built up a range of stocks with varying styles, tailored to F Class and other disciplines. But with the airgun market proving ever buoyant, it was obvious that Form would be tempted to get involved. Indeed, conversations held at various shooting shows around the country revealed as much, and the Ranger stock is now the result, and a fine looking specimen it is too!
Form’s stocks are manufactured in Britain, using finest hard wood laminate, sourced from Finland. 1.5mm birch veneers are individually pressure treated with natural wood dyes. They are then layered and pressed together with hot resin, to create the base material. For those unfamiliar, laminate remains the most stable form of wood, and all importantly resistant to warping in extreme changes of temperature. Unsurprisingly, laminate has now become very popular as a gunstock medium no matter what sort of rifle you shoot, ideally suited to our needs.
Form stocks are created on precise CNC machinery, via CAD (computer aided design) software. But for those of us who appreciate the human touch, there is an element of hand finishing with the sanding process that each stock undergoes, before state of the art timber finishes are used at the final production stage.
There’s currently a choice of six laminate colours- Red & Black, Ebony Classic, Camouflage, Royal Jacaranda, Arctic Blue & Black, and Walnut Classic, and a browse through their specifications reveals that the Camouflage option is actually a subtle mix of green, brown and grey, whilst Jacaranda is a warm mix of red, orangey brown and grey. My stock for review came supplied in Ebony Classic, and this is a smart businesslike option, with plenty of ‘grain pattern’ on show. Finish is a satisfying matt, which I always prefer to a high gloss, and it feels especially well sealed against the elements.
The Ranger stock is currently made to fit the Air Arms S400 pre-charged pneumatic, and all the derivatives, which means the multi-shot S410 and S510. Even the HFT500 would fit, if you just fancy a change of style, and the beauty of the design is that it keeps things simple. Fitting the stock couldn’t be easier, and just requires the single chunky stock screw to be unscrewed and removed from the underside of your rifle’s existing furniture, taking care not to lose the accompanying washer.
Gently pull the woodwork clear of the rifle’s action, and safely put to one side. Now take the Form stock and gently slide the trigger guard of the action first through its slot in the new stock. Ease the action gently and snugly into place, making sure all looks even and symmetrical, and then screw the stock bolt back into place from the underside. I would always advise just holding the short end of the Allen key, as this is an easy way of avoiding over-tightening the bolt. If you want to be super safe, or consider yourself a bit heavy handed, just use a torque wrench. As PCPs have little to no recoil, it’s just not necessary to be too hard on the bolt; so, a quick nip up should be quite sufficient. I fitted the Ranger stock to my S400 for this review, and it should be noted that my gun has undergone a trigger modification which involved cutting away part of the guard to save any confusion when viewing the photos).
With any custom furniture, function is equally as important as looks, and whilst the Ranger is immensely pleasing to the eye, once shouldered, it handles really well too. It’s an attractive thumbhole configuration complete with finger groves across the pistol grip, and a stylish extended forend. An ultra high cheek piece is another great feature, meaning eye scope alignment is enhanced and all importantly, repeatable. ‘Limbsaver’recoil pads are fitted as standard, and if you’ve not encountered the name, think ultra grippy and soft to the touch. Just the job then and the perfect complement to high class woodwork. Sling swivel mounting points also come as standard, which will appeal to many enthusiasts who favour a sling, but don’t want the hassle of trying to fit them; or running the risk of splitting the stock in the process! It’s all slickly done, and finish overall is hard to fault.
As mentioned, Form Ranger stocks are currently available to fit the Air Arms S400/ S410/ S510/ HFT500, as these rifles are extremely popular. But a greater choice of styles and options are planned for the future as I understand, and these will also be available for other makes in the not too distant future.
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