November 07, 2011
By Joseph von Benedikt
Precision Stock Works, a new company in the industry, has just brought out a proprietary design dubbed the Rifleman. The stock is currently being built of hand-laid fiberglass for PSW by McMillan: As any serious shooter worth his salt knows, that puts a stamp of quality on the stock that is equaled by few and exceeded by none.
The company attributes its inspiration to the surge in quality rangefinders and ballistic reticles, which has accuracy-minded hunters building field rifles on heavy, bulky tactical stocks. Precision Stock Works recognized a need for a stock that supports fine shooting in the field but handles like a good hunting stock.
Shooting Times' own Greg Rodriguez collaborated with Precision Stock Works in the design of the new stock, which is purpose-built for prone shooting, though it feels good from any position. The comb is high, providing excellent eye-to-scope alignment and a solid cheek weld. The grip is ergonomically designed for right-handed shooters, featuring a subtle palm swell and ample relief at the nose of the comb to allow the base of the thumb to sit naturally, making for a comfortable grip that reduces muscle tension. Unfortunate for left-hand shooters, yes, but it does not compromise. We can hope for a lefty version in the future.
The barrel channel is optimized for what I'd term "heavy sporter" barrels — such as a #4 or #5 contour — in keeping with the stock's mission in precision field riflery. It's available with a pebbled finish and several color options including spiderwebbing if desired.
The first stocks off the line are mortised for Remington Model 700 actions, and will accept any action with a similar footprint such as a Stiller or Nesika Bay action. Other action types are expected to be supported in the future.
Hill Country Rifles is already offering custom guns built on the stock. The test sample supplied to Shooting Times is a 6.5x284 Norma built on an HCR-marked Stiller action, a Schneider barrel, and Timney trigger. I've shot it fairly extensively from 25 yards to 700, and not only is the stock inherently very comfortable, the rifle is very accurate. Most importantly, it is easy to shoot accurately in the field, courtesy of those ergonomics. To date my best achievements with it are a 0.46-inch group shot at 200 meters and a nice pronghorn antelope taken at 416 yards.
Watch for an in-depth feature article in an upcoming issue of Shooting Times.