McMillan A3 & Thumbhole Stocks
- By Pete Moore
- 0 Comments
- Last updated: 15/12/2016
A phone call from Jackson Rifles asked if I would like to look at the new McMillan, thumbhole stock they had commissioned for the Tikka T3 rifle. I rate the gun and it handles well enough in the issue furniture, but it could doubtless be improved with a better design and what better than this prestigious name in the business?
I also like thumbholes and what turned up was the classic, Lazzeroni layout. The chequered forend is slightly flared and will accept up to a #7 barrel contour. The pistol grip is chequered and is more angled with a small palm swell and right hand tilt. It has a roll-over cheekpiece with a small Monte Carlo and also some slight cast. It comes with QD sling studs and decelerator recoil pad.
The thumbhole aperture is just as I like it with a medium sized hole and long shallow scallop behind, which allows the hand to fit in and take a natural angle. The forend though not huge is hand filling with none of that skinny sporter feel some offer. Most noticeable was the short length of pull (LOP) but it’s possible to get ½”
spacers to take up the difference. Build is rigid and the colour in this case was a green/grey marble effect though other choices are available. Being a T3 the recoil lug is part of the stock and not on the action, so I was pleased to see a well set steel lug with the rifle’s action dropping in with no room to spare. Likewise the trigger guard/magazine well housing clipped in and showed minimum tolerances. Feed, function and mag changes were fine and what is on offer is an excellent T/H design that can only improve shootability. Sadly for southpaws this one is only made for right handers; no problem for me then! It will accept a variety of actions, including Remington, Winchester, Sako, Tikka, Savage, McMillan and others.
Also included in the package was the A-3 Sporter stock, which I have mixed views on! The look will be familiar to many as it’s essentially a lighter, modified version of McMillan’s A-series tactical furniture, which is highly popular on sniper/ precision-type rifles. Essentially a prone shooting design with a highly distinctive pistol grip layout the Sporter seeks to maintain that look and feel yet in a lighter and handier package more suited to general use and hunting. The drop-at-heel is lowered from 3/8” to 1” for better shoulder position for offhand and sitting use.
The forearm has been curved in at the top to a semi-beavertail configuration for a more positive grip when shooting unsupported. The pistol grip is the same shape as the original A-3 though with less stippling area and ambidextrous as is the butt with its mid-height comb.
Textured For Grip
There’s no chequering, instead the grip is heavily textured along with two long, slim panels on either side of the swell at the base of the beavertail. Three QD sling studs are fitted with two in the forend and one at the rear. The stock can be inletted for most Remington 700 and Savage type actions. The barrel channel will accept sporting contours up to a Remington Varmint or #5 Douglastype. McMillan says: “It is an excellent stock for general hunting and field varmint use with the famous A-series type pistol grip.”
LOP is fine and includes a decelerator recoil pad and as expected the inlet is 100%, along with a stable yet surprisingly light build. The pistol grip will be a matter of taste and a definite case of try before you buy. For me it was too upright and bulky and I found I could not find a place to rest my thumb properly. Yes I could shoot it, but my hand did not fall naturally on it. Unlike the T/H Sporter, which felt like a glove… The colour on this one was a reddy brown with black web effect, doubtless to try and make it look like wood.
Regardless of my views on the A3’s pistol grip, there’s one fact you can’t deny – McMillan know how to make a stock in terms of build quality and rigidity. Check out their website as they offer a lot of different models and colour and finish options. But for me it’s the T/H Sporter that shines out of these two.
T/H Sporter is an absolute peach!
Did not like the A3 pistol grip
Build quality and ability shines out and the sub-£500 price is pleasing
Thumbhole Sporter for Sako and Tikka T3 £464
A3 Sporter £464
Contact: Jackson Rifles, 01644 470223
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