What custom action for a new SB Silhoutte Rifle?

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atomicbrh
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Re: What custom action for a new SB Silhoutte Rifle?

Post by atomicbrh »

The weight of the custom actions is more than the Anschutz, CZ and other typical silhouette actions. That is a factor that should be considered.
I would like to see all the maximum weights increased by 1/2 pound.
First reason is people are bigger and taller than they used to be and a bigger rifle that fits the tall people naturally weighs more and is more difficult to make weight with.
The second reason is the custom actions are heavier and more difficult to make the weight and sometimes make short and/or fluted barrels necessary.
The third reason is if you use a custom action and/or need a bigger rifle, it is almost impossible to use the weaver t series, the old steel El Paso weavers, or any of the modern scopes with a 30 mm. tube.
The fourth reason is to make weight with any of the above scenarios, your only choice in scopes is a Leupold scope with a 1 inch tube. Has there ever been a custom action at the matches with anything but a 1 inch tube Leupold? No.
The fifth reason is more expensive custom rings must be used in any of the above scenarios because custom rings will be the lightest available. When trying to make every ounce count, the more common, cheaper rings like BKL, Burris and Leupold cannot be used.
The sixth reason is balance. It is nice to come in under weight enough that weight can be added in the right places to achieve the correct balance instead of a rifle that is very muzzle heavy. Many people do not shoot well with a rifle that has forward weight.
I am sure some beuracrat "know it all" here with no real technical knowledge of the silhouette rifle and who has never mounted their own scope will chime in that I am wrong.
Technical factors and equipment availability change with the times and the weight rules have not kept up with the times.
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Re: What custom action for a new SB Silhoutte Rifle?

Post by Emietenkorte »

atomicbrh wrote: Sun Feb 14, 2021 8:18 am
First reason is people are bigger and taller than they used to be and a bigger rifle that fits the tall people naturally weighs more and is more difficult to make weight with.
Did we go through some sort of rapid human evolution where we changed as a species and got bigger and taller in the last 100 years?

The second reason is the custom actions are heavier and more difficult to make the weight and sometimes make short and/or fluted barrels necessary.
You state fluted barrels may be necessary to make weight and then list your sixth reason below that many people do not shoot well with a rifle that has forward weight... So wouldn't a fluted barrel be a good thing?

The third reason is if you use a custom action and/or need a bigger rifle, it is almost impossible to use the weaver t series, the old steel El Paso weavers, or any of the modern scopes with a 30 mm. tube.
The fourth reason is to make weight with any of the above scenarios, your only choice in scopes is a Leupold scope with a 1 inch tube. Has there ever been a custom action at the matches with anything but a 1 inch tube Leupold? No.
What's wrong with 1 inch tube Leupold scopes?
The fifth reason is more expensive custom rings must be used in any of the above scenarios because custom rings will be the lightest available. When trying to make every ounce count, the more common, cheaper rings like BKL, Burris and Leupold cannot be used.
If you're spending the money to build a custom rifle are "custom" rings really that big of a deal? Talley rings are very light weight and cost around $50, Morr Accuracy rings are around $80. In the grand scheme of a custom rifle do we really need to get hung up on the least expensive part of the whole build?
The sixth reason is balance. It is nice to come in under weight enough that weight can be added in the right places to achieve the correct balance instead of a rifle that is very muzzle heavy. Many people do not shoot well with a rifle that has forward weight.
See question above with regards to fluted barrels, I still had weight to spare so I added some lead to the stock of my rifle, see picture and description below

I am sure some beuracrat "know it all" here with no real technical knowledge of the silhouette rifle and who has never mounted their own scope will chime in that I am wrong.
Not saying you're wrong in any of this so I'm not trying to be that bureaucrat "know it all" I guess I'm a little confused by this post, so I thought I would ask a few questions... Also, I did mount my own scope.

To answer the OP... I went with the Holeshot Arms Trident Action (Stiller), Benchmark 2 groove contour #6 barrel with flutes. Finished at 24.25", Leupold FX-3 25x with Talley Rings. Shoots like a laser! Which also means I don't have any excuse other than myself when I miss =))

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Re: What custom action for a new SB Silhoutte Rifle?

Post by Doodaddy »

acorneau wrote: Sat Feb 13, 2021 8:12 pm
Doodaddy wrote: Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:42 pm Significantly easier in my opinion.

As a right handed shooter, I'm always on the left side of the rifle so loading on that side makes sense rather than trying to reach around and do it from the right side. So I'm loading from the side I'm on and can easily see. There's no wrong way to do it; I just prefer this one.
I don't have a custom action, just a lowly 1710, but I, too, prefer to single-load with my left hand after opening the bolt with my right. The 1700 action isn't a left-port action but is open enough to facilitate lefthand loading. (High scope rings also helps with the process.)

:ymcowboy:
That's the ticket!!!
atomicbrh wrote: Sun Feb 14, 2021 8:18 amThe second reason is the custom actions are heavier and more difficult to make the weight and sometimes make short and/or fluted barrels necessary.

The fourth reason is to make weight with any of the above scenarios, your only choice in scopes is a Leupold scope with a 1 inch tube. Has there ever been a custom action at the matches with anything but a 1 inch tube Leupold? No.
The fifth reason is more expensive custom rings must be used in any of the above scenarios because custom rings will be the lightest available. When trying to make every ounce count, the more common, cheaper rings like BKL, Burris and Leupold cannot be used.
The sixth reason is balance. It is nice to come in under weight enough that weight can be added in the right places to achieve the correct balance instead of a rifle that is very muzzle heavy. Many people do not shoot well with a rifle that has forward weight.
I am sure some beuracrat "know it all" here with no real technical knowledge of the silhouette rifle and who has never mounted their own scope will chime in that I am wrong.
Technical factors and equipment availability change with the times and the weight rules have not kept up with the times.
The receiver, bolt, and trigger hanger for my 2500X is 33oz, the picatinny rail and Burris Signature Zee rings are 5.5oz, my CG trigger is 4oz, my non fluted Benchmark barrel 0.828"-775" over 23" is 47.65oz, and the stock and trigger guard are 28oz. That left me 17.85oz for optics and the Sightron Silhouette 63037 6-24 scope (17.6oz) I used for a while made weight with a sun shade. Granted I was 1/4oz under with the turret caps off. I eventually went to a Leupold FX3 25X scope because I wanted a slightly bigger dot on the reticle and slightly more magnification. I did lose 3 oz in the process and shifted my balance point ever so slightly forward, but this allows me a bit more cushion if a range's scale is a bit heavier than the previous ones I had been on, though I could have taken the scope's sun shade off and definitely had no issues. I just like the look that way.

I have zero weight added anywhere in the stock and my balance point is about 3/4" in front of the receiver face. You've shot my rifle before and know how it balances. In fact I recall you trying to buy it more than once and it having no balancing weight was a contributing factor!

All that being said, I don't disagree with you in a general sense because I know most shooters have not and will not put the effort, time, and math that I put into my build to make sure I was under weight, balanced properly, and had the aesthetics I wanted (no fluting, no dovetail rings, no skinny or short barrel) because it would have been much simpler to have done the build with lightweight dovetail rings, a fluted barrel, and/or a skinnier barrel. I expected to have to do just that until I selected my first choices in components and started looking to see where I could save weight. Building my spreadsheet that could calculate finished barrel weight was really what was the enabler because a lot of weight can be saved or moved around balance wise manipulating barrel taper rate along with diameter. It's not a coincidence I have such odd diameters on that barrel lol.

I post this simply to say, it can and has been done and it works very well.
Emietenkorte wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 12:43 am
To answer the OP... I went with the Holeshot Arms Trident Action (Stiller), Benchmark 2 groove contour #6 barrel with flutes. Finished at 24.25", Leupold FX-3 25x with Talley Rings. Shoots like a laser! Which also means I don't have any excuse other than myself when I miss =))

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How do you like the shorter bolt throw of that three lug? Is it stiffer than you'd like? That was one of the items I was bouncing around with back when I was selecting my action.

Also I didn't realize you weren't shooting the Sako anymore. I was always kind of envious of that rifle, because that was exactly what I wanted to do until I decided it was easier to build off a custom action rather than try and find a Sako platform to go of off lol.
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Re: What custom action for a new SB Silhoutte Rifle?

Post by atomicbrh »

Emietenkorte,(not doing all the complicated quote stuff)
Yes, people in the Continental United States have increased in average height and average weight in the past 100 years. In fact Americans have on average increased in height, weight and external dimensions since the 1940's World War 2 era. My other points are just as valid.
To explain my reply again: It is not a good thing to limit competitors to a very narrow range of components to put a silhouette rifle together just because of a tight weight restriction. It is a good thing for silhouette to have rules that allow the competitors to select from a wide range of optics, actions, stocks, barrels, triggers, rings, and other components. When a sport is limited to a very narrow, weird, odd range of components, it makes participation more difficult for people.
A 1/2 pound will help all that a lot.
Last edited by atomicbrh on Mon Feb 15, 2021 10:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What custom action for a new SB Silhoutte Rifle?

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Back to acornea's build.
Has acorneau shot doodaddy's rifle?
If I remember correctly, doodaddy's stock seemed to have a vertical grip feel that might be similar to acornea's air rifle grip?
I prefer right bolt, right port because I hold the rifle with my left hand while loading.
Taking weight off my right hand helps me more than taking weight off my left hand.
Some ranges do not have a good place to rest the barrel to take some weight off the right hand for left port, left hand loading.
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Re: What custom action for a new SB Silhoutte Rifle?

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atomicbrh wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:53 am When a sport is limited to a very narrow, weird, odd range of components, the numbers of participants will dwindle and the sport will eventually cease to exist.
A 1/2 pound will help all that a lot.
I think this is a very critical point and I've said it many times. Even not taking weight into consideration, there is no production scope that is suited for silhouette and not everyone wants to send a scope off to have the reticle swapped and the warranty voided. If a new shooter with no close relationships to an existing shooter asked me about building a rifle and we got to the topic of scope, the answer would be "watch this list of forums and hope you find a used one". That isn't conducive to growing a sport.

Sure most established shooters either have spares or know someone who does that might be willing to sell them one that they weren't intending to, but that's a hard spot to get in.
atomicbrh wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 10:09 am Back to acornea's build.
Has acorneau shot doodaddy's rifle?
If I remember correctly, doodaddy's stock seemed to have a vertical grip feel that might be similar to acornea's air rifle grip?
I prefer right bolt, right port because I hold the rifle with my left hand while loading.
Taking weight off my right hand helps me more than taking weight off my left hand.
Some ranges do not have a good place to rest the barrel to take some weight off the right hand for left port, left hand loading.
I think so? I'm not entirely sure. I know the most likely time would have been that first match I had it at when you shot it down in Beaumont in 2017 I think.

You're right; many don't. In those cases I hold the buttstock in my arm pit, and support the remainder of the rifle with my right hand while holding the bolt back, then load with my left. Less ideal, but doable. My preferred method is I carry a mouse pad with me to each station in my vest. I place that on whatever flat surface I have at the station and rest the barrel on it.
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Re: What custom action for a new SB Silhoutte Rifle?

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My loading holding method resulted from old age and arthritis.
I would load and hold like you young guys if I was my younger self.
That P51 Mustang Rifle is a beautiful thing even down to the rivets.
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Re: What custom action for a new SB Silhoutte Rifle?

Post by Emietenkorte »

Doodaddy wrote: Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:42 pmHow do you like the shorter bolt throw of that three lug? Is it stiffer than you'd like? That was one of the items I was bouncing around with back when I was selecting my action.

Also I didn't realize you weren't shooting the Sako anymore. I was always kind of envious of that rifle, because that was exactly what I wanted to do until I decided it was easier to build off a custom action rather than try and find a Sako platform to go of off lol.
I really like the short bolt throw, it is very reminiscent of the Sako so that's why I went with it. It's not stiff at all, sure it's not the same as the 2-lug but I wouldn't say it's much different than the Sako. I still have the Sako as my back up gun, or for when I need a repeater. I just wanted to build something that was more suited for the amount of rounds I was putting through it. The Sako is a great rifle but was designed as a hunting gun, it wasn't designed for the tens of thousands of rounds I was putting through it and I didn't want to break any more firing pins... I only have 1 extra.
Doodaddy wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 10:15 amI think this is a very critical point and I've said it many times. Even not taking weight into consideration, there is no production scope that is suited for silhouette and not everyone wants to send a scope off to have the reticle swapped and the warranty voided. If a new shooter with no close relationships to an existing shooter asked me about building a rifle and we got to the topic of scope, the answer would be "watch this list of forums and hope you find a used one". That isn't conducive to growing a sport.
Is the Leupold 6.5-20x40 not considered suited for silhouette anymore? The new VX-3HD looks like a great option for silhouette and I know a lot of shooters shoot that scope in the older VX-3i, or VX-III. https://www.leupold.com/vx-3hd-6-5-20x4 ... ine-duplex Yes, I understand that it doesn't have a target dot (which seems to be where a lot of people get hung up) but you can still shoot silhouette without a target dot. No, rule states you must shoot with one. I started with the Vortex Crossfire II 6-18x and it was a great scope to get started in the sport. It tracked really well and was clear enough for the distances of smallbore silhouette, plus it was less expensive than a lot of other options. By the end of my first year of shooting silhouette I shot into master class with that scope. That's the one I tell new shooters to get, or the 6-24 Crossfire II (yes it is a little heavier but normally people starting out in the sport have a light rifle like a CZ or Tikka and have plenty of weight to spare) I've been talking with a Leupold Rep and they are working on a 8.5-25x40 scope with a one inch tube that will cover many disciplines including silhouette, they're just working on getting the weight down. I feel like we should have a sticky thread that lists equipment for shooters getting into the sport, I'll talk to the Steelchickens Admin about doing that.
atomicbrh wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:53 amTo explain my reply again: It is not a good thing to limit competitors to a very narrow range of components to put a silhouette rifle together just because of a tight weight restriction. It is a good thing for silhouette to have rules that allow the competitors to select from a wide range of optics, actions, stocks, barrels, triggers, rings, and other components. When a sport is limited to a very narrow, weird, odd range of components, it makes participation more difficult for people.
A 1/2 pound will help all that a lot.
Again, not saying you're wrong, my experience was just different. I had a lot of fun picking out my components for my build, I didn't feel limited at all. Sure I had to watch my barrel weight but that was part of the fun, calculating out barrel diameters and weights to get that perfect balance! I have exactly the parts I wanted in a rifle that shoots really well and feels great!
atomicbrh wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 11:43 amThat P51 Mustang Rifle is a beautiful thing even down to the rivets.
Thanks! I really do love it! Though it is my P40 Warhawk, this is my P51 rifle...
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Re: What custom action for a new SB Silhoutte Rifle?

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So that is a Sako you built as the P51?
You had a super idea when you came up with the WW2 themed rifles!
I never see a P51 or P40 without thinking about Earthquake McGovern and the 23rd Fighter group.
When he flew for CAT, legend has it that he was too big to fit in the Fairchild seat and replaced it with a bamboo chair off the hotel porch.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_B._ ... er%20pilot).%20Prisoner%20of%20Chinese%20Communists
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Re: What custom action for a new SB Silhoutte Rifle?

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Emietenkorte wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 11:54 am
I really like the short bolt throw, it is very reminiscent of the Sako so that's why I went with it. It's not stiff at all, sure it's not the same as the 2-lug but I wouldn't say it's much different than the Sako. I still have the Sako as my back up gun, or for when I need a repeater. I just wanted to build something that was more suited for the amount of rounds I was putting through it. The Sako is a great rifle but was designed as a hunting gun, it wasn't designed for the tens of thousands of rounds I was putting through it and I didn't want to break any more firing pins... I only have 1 extra.
I figured with how Jerry melonites his actions the stiffness would be less of an issue, but I knew that there were many benchrest shooters speaking on the stiffness of the 3 lug actions upsetting the rifles in the rest. That was the 10X variant and not Jerry's, but it was something that I thought about regardless.
Emietenkorte wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 11:54 amIs the Leupold 6.5-20x40 not considered suited for silhouette anymore? The new VX-3HD looks like a great option for silhouette and I know a lot of shooters shoot that scope in the older VX-3i, or VX-III. https://www.leupold.com/vx-3hd-6-5-20x4 ... ine-duplex Yes, I understand that it doesn't have a target dot (which seems to be where a lot of people get hung up) but you can still shoot silhouette without a target dot. No, rule states you must shoot with one. I started with the Vortex Crossfire II 6-18x and it was a great scope to get started in the sport. It tracked really well and was clear enough for the distances of smallbore silhouette, plus it was less expensive than a lot of other options. By the end of my first year of shooting silhouette I shot into master class with that scope. That's the one I tell new shooters to get, or the 6-24 Crossfire II (yes it is a little heavier but normally people starting out in the sport have a light rifle like a CZ or Tikka and have plenty of weight to spare) I've been talking with a Leupold Rep and they are working on a 8.5-25x40 scope with a one inch tube that will cover many disciplines including silhouette, they're just working on getting the weight down. I feel like we should have a sticky thread that lists equipment for shooters getting into the sport, I'll talk to the Steelchickens Admin about doing that.
Personally, I don't think so though maybe I should have said "ideal" rather than "suited". Any scope you can see through and will track consistently can be used. Anyway, I think the magnification is a bit low for my taste and as you mentioned, the reticle. Sure you can shoot silhouette without the 1/2MOA dot most use, but I'm not interested in paying for an item I'm compromising on. I wouldn't have built a custom rifle if that were the case lol. Starting out, absolutely shoot what you have, but I think the trend of the majority of the "better" shooters using a dot over duplex says something about what is ideal.

If they can keep the scope under 22oz (like the old Bushnell 8-32 4200 Elite scopes), I think they could have something viable IMO.
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Re: What custom action for a new SB Silhoutte Rifle?

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Emietenkorte, that is a breathtaking beautiful rifle that you put together! I happen to feel that the weight limit should be increased and here is my experience. I have a stock Anschutz 1712, I use a Leupold FX-3 25x40 scope and if I am not careful in my scope ring selection I can run up against the weight limit. I used to use a set on Warne vertically split rings with a Weaver base. I need to use the 20 moa Weaver base so I have enough elevation to reach out to the rams.
When set up with steel rings and my Leupold scope and I had less than 1 ounce before hitting the max weight. If the scale was off a bit I would have been screwed and that is with the scope caps removed. If I had to use a variable power scope such as a Leupold VX3i 6.5-20x40 scope I would be screwed.

I can get by with aluminum scope rings that give me another ounce or two buffer but if someone buys a rifle with a wood stock that is heavier than mine or they need to use a variable powered scope then what do they do? Do they need to spend the money for a synthetic stock just to make weight?

I really think that the weight limit should go up for Hunter rifle and maybe even have the rules loosened for standard rifle.

That is just my experience with a stock 1712, scope rings, rifle scope and the maximum weight limit.
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Re: What custom action for a new SB Silhoutte Rifle?

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atomicbrh wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 1:26 pm So that is a Sako you built as the P51?
You had a super idea when you came up with the WW2 themed rifles!
I never see a P51 or P40 without thinking about Earthquake McGovern and the 23rd Fighter group.
When he flew for CAT, legend has it that he was too big to fit in the Fairchild seat and replaced it with a bamboo chair off the hotel porch.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_B._ ... er%20pilot).%20Prisoner%20of%20Chinese%20Communists
Thank you sir! Also, thanks for the good read! I really enjoy reading about WWII history.
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Re: What custom action for a new SB Silhoutte Rifle?

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DavidABQ,
Back in the old days before the introduction of the lightweight synthetic stocks, competitors with wood stocked 1712's and 1710's removed the recoil pad drilled a large hole in the meaty part of the stock and replaced the recoil pad. Some drilled one big hole. Others drilled multiple smaller holes. I do not know if I could bring myself to drill holes in a nice stock. It does have the potential to ruin the stock.
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Re: What custom action for a new SB Silhoutte Rifle?

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Doodaddy wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 1:33 pm Personally, I don't think so though maybe I should have said "ideal" rather than "suited". Any scope you can see through and will track consistently can be used. Anyway, I think the magnification is a bit low for my taste and as you mentioned, the reticle. Sure you can shoot silhouette without the 1/2MOA dot most use, but I'm not interested in paying for an item I'm compromising on. I wouldn't have built a custom rifle if that were the case lol. Starting out, absolutely shoot what you have, but I think the trend of the majority of the "better" shooters using a dot over duplex says something about what is ideal.

If they can keep the scope under 22oz (like the old Bushnell 8-32 4200 Elite scopes), I think they could have something viable IMO.
I totally know what you mean in regards to magnification, I do appreciate my Leupold 25x scopes. I guess I was just speaking to people getting started in silhouette. As shooters progress in their abilities they normally upgrade their equipment and you're right, there aren't the scopes and reticles out there that there once was... even in the six years that I've been shooting silhouette I've seen things disappear. I think it's important to let companies know what their customers want. They are going to produce scopes that sell and if they don't know there is a need, they won't make something for people they don't know exist. I've been in contact with Leupold and I've been pushing for options that will work for us. I've been told that adding a SKU to the new 6.5-20 HD that includes a 1/2" target dot might be an option and also the development of an 8.5-25x40 with 1 inch tube is in the works. They're working on reducing weight to get it closer to the fixed 25x 14oz mark. COVID has slowed development however it is still moving forward. I know a lot of people have voiced their displeasure about the lack of optical equipment here on Steelchickens and Facebook, however I hope interfacing with the company will prove more effective.
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Re: What custom action for a new SB Silhoutte Rifle?

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atomicbrh wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 5:40 pm DavidABQ,
Back in the old days before the introduction of the lightweight synthetic stocks, competitors with wood stocked 1712's and 1710's removed the recoil pad drilled a large hole in the meaty part of the stock and replaced the recoil pad. Some drilled one big hole. Others drilled multiple smaller holes. I do not know if I could bring myself to drill holes in a nice stock. It does have the potential to ruin the stock.
I don’t think I could drill holes in my stock either.
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