Airmasters Universal Butt Hook
- 2 Comments
- Last updated: 16/12/2016
Shooting is a sport where accessories can really make a big difference to performance. Production guns are so often a compromise, where features and fittings are concerned, with components made to an average spec, in a bid to ‘fit all’. Yet where blandness reigns supreme, the fitting of specialist ‘add-ons’ can often transform a rifle.
Butt Hooks are a case in point, and their popularity in top level FT shooting, and indoor target disciplines, is testament to the benefits they bring. The idea in general is that they literally hook under the arm, rather than just sit against the shoulder, like a standard pad. This means the rifle is effectively locked into position, bringing extra confidence to a variety of shooting positions. Where they normally fall down though, is in the visuals department. Visible nuts, bolts, and adjustable tabs of metal and the like, do nothing for aesthetics, which has always put me off the concept, despite the advantages.
Airmasters have a reputation for top class precision engineering, and recently announced a brand new after-market product - a Universal Butt Hook, and it really is a stunner. Fashioned from solid aluminium, this ultra stylish design features a graceful sweeping profile, treated with a super ‘grippy’ material for added security in the aim. The kit supplied comprises of a plastic pre-drilled backing sheet, central rod, the Hook, wooden dowels, fixing screws and an instructions sheet. Airmasters can supply it in silver or black anodized with the option of a high polish finish in either type. Having seen them all in the flesh, I reckon it’s a mouth watering prospect whichever route is taken.
A BIT OF DIY
Fitting is a fairly simple process, requiring just basic tools. Ideally, hold the stock firmly in a vice, then remove the existing butt pad. Most guns have two screws, countersunk under the surface of the rubber. Feel inside the hole with either a cross head or straight blade screwdriver as necessary.
Draw a centreline line between the two existing holes. Now hold the bar/rod in place and draw around the holes. An existing hole may be usable; otherwise, use one or both of the small wooden dowels provided, to blank them off. This builds a solid base into which new holes can be drilled.
Take a dot punch and make indentations to guide the drill. Use a 3.3mm (1/8”) drill bit, and drill the two holes to the depth of the screws supplied. Form the thread with the screws by hand initially. Place the pre-drilled backing sheet onto the rifle’s upturned butt, and place the bar on top. Screw into place and tighten.
Hold the stock with the butt downwards and carefully scribe around the backing with a craft knife. Remove the bar and backing, and carefully cut out the marked shape with scissors. -Use 320grade wet & dry paper and clean to a fine finish. Refit finished backing and bar, and finally screw into place.
All the preparation is now complete and the Universal Butt Hook can be slid into place. Clever design allows for the Hook to be rotated about its axis, which means that the shooter can off-set it as required. In my experience, many given the choice, prefer the butt assembly to come in to the shoulder at an angle, and this Hook gives all the versatility required in this area. In addition, it can be raised or lowered as required, so the gun can be made to truly fit the shooter, and not vice versa. Once happy with the settings, gently tighten the grub screw to the rear, and you’re ready for action.
FUNCTION & BEAUTY
In short, this product comes highly recommended, being extremely well thought out, and superbly executed. It’s a beautiful piece of original design work, guaranteed to enhance both handling and looks of any rifle. What more could you ask for?
Full fitting instructions, as mentioned, are supplied, but for any shooter not feeling confident, any gunsmith should be able to help. Failing that, Airmasters can offer a fitting service too.
FOR - A useful accessory for more precision-style shooting
AGAINST - Not a lot
VERDICT - Well made and something that could improve your game