IN ORDER TO HELP YOU TO INTELLIGENTLY CHOOSE THE SYNTHETIC STOCKS MOST SUITED TO YOUR NEEDS, WE HAVE COLLECTED THE MOST USUAL QUESTIONS ASKED US BY INQUIRIES, AND ANSWERED THEM FOR YOU.

HOW CAN A PERSON TELL A GOOD QUALITY FIBERGLASS STOCK FROM A POOR ONE?
WHAT IS THE "ALUMINUM BEDDING BLOCK" THAT'S BEEN PROMOTED SO MUCH?

Some companies are putting a big slab of aluminum in their stocks to make a so-called "drop-in" stock, and there's been a lot of hype in magazines about them. Because they can be machined fairly closely they sometimes save some fitting. However, there are many disadvantages to this method of manufacturing. The main downfall of these stocks, besides being extremely heavy, is that aluminum has a very high coefficient of expansion and shrinks and expands as the temperature varies. This defeats the whole purpose of a synthetic stock. A good stock is made of inert material and doesn't change with temperature or humidity. Aluminum changes dramatically with temperature and puts varied stresses on the action, which effects accuracy. It is necessary to remove huge amounts of the stock away and replace it with epoxy to stabilize the rifle. Some manufacturers recommend extremely high torque on the action screws in an attempt to remedy this problem. The best stocks are hand laminated of fiberglass or Kevlar and/or graphite which wont change when properly bedded.

WHAT DOES A PERSON LOOK FOR IN A SYNTHETIC STOCK TO
PREVENT BEING FOOLED BY CHEAPLY MADE INFERIOR PRODUCTS?

There are so many synthetic stocks on the market these days that It is very difficult to tell one from the other. On the outside, and at first glance, most fiberglass or synthetic stocks look about the same. Most people don't know what to look for in a stock, and tend to just choose one which appears to be the least work to install, and truthfully, some of the synthetic stocks on the market today are of such poor quality that they give the industry a bad name. This also puts one at a risk of ruining his hunt or outing with a stock which may fall apart.  
Following are some pointers which may help you to pick out a good quality stock that you can count on:

The most important part of the stock is the action area, because it must withstand heavy pounding repeatedly from the action hitting the stock at the recoil lug. Some manufacturers fill this area with soft material, such as foam, to lighten the stock, but therefore lose all the strength in the most vital area. You can test this area by stabbing it with something sharp to see if it is solid. Another good test is to grab the stock firmly and twist it to see how much flex there is in the stock.  It is also very sensible to be wary of the unreasonably cheap stocks, as you can be certain that they are of inferior material and quality.

FIND OUT WHAT THE STOCK IS MADE OUT OF

There are a lot of different materials that stocks can be made with. Besides fiberglass, there is a lot of hype about stuff like kevlar, graphite, epoxies, and plastic. Some companies just make up a name, like "carbo-foam", which just confuses the point, and usually is just some kind of foam or plastic material. Kevlar and graphite add strength to the stock and can lighten them up considerably. They are more expensive and a little harder to work with. The plastic stocks break down and are hard to bed to, but have the advantage of low price because they can be injection molded with about two dollars worth of material. Stocks that you see with checkering on them usually have been injection molded with some plastic material because cutting checkering into fiberglass would weaken it severely in vital areas. So we settled on fiberglass as the best material.

Our stocks are made with a fiberglass shell, with a gel-coat finish to fill in the pinholes, and a solid action area of fiberglass and epoxy composite. The fore end and butt are filled with a high density foam to reduce weight in these non-vital areas.  The foam filling also deadens noise that some hollow stocks make.

MPI Stocks have many options not available in most stocks such as, extra length to accommodate any length of pull, and a barrel channel which will easily adapt to any barrel contour. Also, our Super-Mag stock was the only synthetic to survive A-Square's test with a 50 caliber action.

WHY DO SOME STOCKS REQUIRE GLASS BEDDING, WHILE OTHERS DON'T?

The purpose of glass bedding is to obtain the most perfect fit you can get, with full contact between stock and action. The better the fit the better the accuracy. So, any stock will perform better if it is glass bedded. In fact, the full advantages of a synthetic stock are not obtained without glass bedding. Therefore, it depends on the individual whether he considers the stock just a handle to hold his barreled action for aiming, or if he believes it to be a vital part of his gun, molded together with the barreled action as an integral unit. Actually, nearly any stock can be fitted and bolted onto the rifle, but glass bedding, properly done, always enhances the stability and accuracy of any rifle.

WHAT IS A "DROP-IN" STOCK?

There is much confusion as to what the term "drop-in" means in reference to a synthetic stock. Most people figure that if they buy a "drop-in" stock, they can just bolt their action into the stock and go shoot it. Because every barreled action is slightly different, it is impossible to make a stock which will fit every action with no fitting at all. So, the reality is, that you will need to do some fitting to get the action into the stock, and should do some final glass bedding to get a proper fit.  At MPI Stocks we handle this confusion by offering stocks in any degree of completeness. We sell a "blank" stock which has all the inletting, but needs the bolt notch cut, holes drilled, and the barrel channel relieved to fit the barrel contour. Or, We will "pre-fit" the stock so the barreled action will fit into the stock, completely ready to glass bed. We also will completely custom fit, glass bed, install the recoil pad to your length of pull, install the studs, and paint it with our special epoxy paint, at a very competitive price.  We also offer "pre-bedded" stocks which are bedded to a similar rifle as yours and 99% done. It usually requires minimal fitting and some bedding.

WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF RECOIL WHEN CHANGING TO A LIGHTWEIGHT STOCK?

Some think that if they change to a lighter stock, especially with a big magnum, they will be beat to death from recoil. Actually, because fiberglass is more flexible than wood, the stock "flexes" somewhat, and the recoil is not felt so strongly. This advantage is not so prevalent in kevlar and graphite stocks, as these materials are much stiffer than fiberglass, although a bit lighter. Those that have tried fiberglass stocks are amazed that they don't kick as much as wood. Here's wishing you luck in picking a stock, and if you decide to try an MPI Stock we guarantee you'll be pleased.

Thanks and Good Hunting,
MPI STOCKS

Mailing: PO BOX 83266     Portland, Oregon     97283-0266
Shipping: 5655 NW St Helens Rd     Portland, OR 97210-1141
E-Mail: MPIStocks@comcast.net           Phone: 503.226-1215
Fax 503.226.2661     Orders: 800.714.1215

 
 
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