WHEN IS ACIS STOCK NOT AN ACIS STOCK?
WHEN ITS BE BREATHED ON BY HOE.
The Accuracy International lines of rifles were originally designed by Malcolm Cooper have been around since 1978 and in 1989 the ACIS aftermarket stock kit was launched for those with Remington rifles as an aftermarket re-stock option and add some magazine capacity.
To be honest ive never been a big fan of the AI stock, some say it does look to pretty personally when it comes to stocks I dont give a dam what it looks like.. for me there just not comfortable to use, it just doesnt seam to fit the human form well!.. I have a pet theory that when Malcolm Cooper finished his designs for the rifle he took his plans to his work force and said we are going to build the finest sniper rifle in the world and heres the plans.. now go fourth and build it after a short silence some smart Alic at the back of the room said what about the stock? Realising the slight oversight he grabbed up the nearest fag packet and scribbled a quick sketch of a stock and said there you go ok well maybe it wasnt exactly like that but that seams to me to be the amount of thought that has gone into the fit of the AI stock
BITCH, BITCH, BITCH.
ok so if this stock is on one of the worlds most popular military sniper rifle`s what my problem with it..
first of its hollow, that is a metal internal frame and an external shell or skin, this combination can makes all stocks give off a distinctive noise or ring on firing that can be heard by the shooter this is because the metal to metal mating transmits a harmonic tone and the plastic shell acts like a guitar sound bored (the old Blaser 93 Tactical suffered really badly with this problem)
Second the whole stock is very square in its section the grip, fore and cheekpiece not very user friendly to the hand or the cheek.
third the grip position, in relation to the trigger places the trigger finger on the trigger blade on nearly the second finger joint, terrible for trigger control and release.
Forth the bolt has a long rear stroke on the AI action and to accommodate this the cheek rest is a long way back consequently front taper of the cheekpeice has the shooters head falling of the front of it rather than being supported by it, this can be got around by increasing the LOP by adding butt spacers but this then means moving the scope back too (pic 4).
Given that the normal prone shooting positions means the human contact with the rifle is at three points the shoulder, the cheek, and the grip/trigger finger, its at these points where we the shooter can impart movement to the rifle via heart beats, breathing, flinching or just a bad or uncomfortable shooting position. This last one can be brought on by a badly designed or poorly fitting stock. One of the biggest things that we at Hunters Of England are involved with is trying assist in the fit of the rifle to the shooter via our Sniper Cheeckpeice an anatomically contoured neoprene lace on pad which provides a comb raiser and improved spot-weld for the shooter, in a prone position our Back Bag makes a rock solid support for the heel of the rifle, which only leaves the grip.. Arguable the most important of the three as this involves the trigger finger; this is a very tricky area if the fit is not perfect there are no aftermarket accessories to aid the fit between man and machine. (see our add on this web site for further details of the "Snipers Cheekpeice"
The success of my 6.5x47 rifle in last years tactical competitions has spawned a lot of similar looking rifles which is very flattering so I wasnt surprised when a friend asked me to build him a similar rifle but his choice was the A.I. ASICS stock.. as the customer is always right I rang up Graeme Clark of Sporting Supplies (Accuracy International importer) to place the order, which landed on my doorstep two days later, as it happened I also need a stock for a new project 260 Imp comp rifle for next year I took the opportunity to take a good hard look at what I could do to improve and customise the fit to suit me.
The external parts or skins of the stock are moulded polypropylene and can be easily removed via 6 bolts, the internal framework of the stock are a very well designed piece of engineering with an internal aluminium framework running the full length of the stock this also incorporates a mag well, sling attachment points and in the case of this model a very strong hinge for the folding stock.
FIX, FIX, FIX,
After a lot of looking at and head scratching I came up with the following fixes for what I think are the major flaws with this stock.
The skins of the stock are approximately 5mm thick at this bottom underside corner of the forpeice and can stand to have the sharper corners taken of them without compromising the strength of the forepeice skin making it a bit more user friendly when carrying or off hand shooting. (pic 5)
The height adjustable cheekpeice on this stock does go some way to address the fit for the shooter but its still squareish is profile and made from the same hard plastic as the rest of the stock, as this area is our specialist subject, I re-shaped the original cheekpice taking of the sharper corner then shaped some very high density foam and attached it to the cheekpiece, then I shaped of the foam to compliment the angle of the jaw to cheek found on the human face, this is the ideal set up and when positioned correctly for the individual shooter makes for a very comfortable place to rest the face on, if this done correctly it also prevents canting of the head whilst on the rifle, then to stop the foam absorbing water we covered it with a fabric tape, this tape will allow the finished job to take on the final paint job.
THE LENGTH OF PULL
This is an area that lots of people overlook or just take what your given by the manufacture, DONT.. if the stock gives you the ability to adjust the LOP to fit you then you should take full advantage of it, try this experiment, mount the gun with your eyes closed when your heads in a comfortable, natural position (i.e. not craned forward or pulled back or rocked over to the side) open your shooting eye, if you then have to alter your position in order to see through the scope then you may have a cheekpeice or LOP issue. By adding AI spacers I increased the LOP on my stock by a full 1 inch to make it perfect for me.
This is the trickiest areas to deal with as theres two aspects to this job, first make the grip fit the hand, secondly alter the position of the grip to accommodate the correction for the trigger finger.
As this operation required us to cut into the grip I needed to internally strengthen the area, so I filled the compartments in the grip with a liquid plastic once this had set. I made a wrist shelf to help support the hand then drilled and tapped this into the base of the grip allowing enough of a gap to fill with more mouldable plastic and finally using more of the plastic I added a palm swell, finger grips and adding a thumb shelf, basically this was a complete re-work of the entire grip.
The trigger I had planed for this project was a Jewel which also helps as the trigger shoe is in a more forward position than the standard AI, the aftermarket replacement trigger supplied by Peter Jackson of Jackson Rifles has a full adjustable setup that would also be an excellent choice for this project.
Once everything had cured off and additions had been double checked we re-assembled to check our alterations hadnt impacted on any other areas of the rifle, the action, mag well, feeding and the folding stock all worked as they should. To give the finished job a uniform texture, I sanded back all of the stock skins to give a flatter matt appearance finally all that was left was to give the job a quick coat of temporary paint whilst we turned our attentions to the barrel and action,
Visually we havent altered the stock that much, but by putting some work these three areas the fit and handling has improved 100%.. ok its still not any prettier than it was but as I said dont care what a stock looks like as long as it works, and this one now works.. in fact fits me like a savile row suit!!!
You can catch up on how the re-worked ACIS stock performs with my new project rifle build, 260 imp tactical rifle
Thanks to Andy Hunter at AJH Engineering for there help with this project
For all AI products contact Graeme at www.sportingservices.com