The Hobby Gunsmith

The Scattergun-

Bounty Hunter II rebuild Part IV

Last month we showed how to lengthen the forcing cone to reduce recoil and improve the shot pattern.  This was done in an effort to reduce felt recoil.

   We lengthened the taper of the forcing cone on only one barrel and allowed several people to shoot the gun and guess which barrel had the longer tapered cone.  Nobody could tell the difference between the original forcing cone and the cone with the lengthened taper.  Since we had used an Interstate Arms Model 99 shotgun instead of the Baikal, we can state that lengthening the taper of an IA 99 (formerly Norinco) does not result in any noticeable change in felt recoil.

   The IA 99 seems to have approximately the same taper as the Baikal, so I am deducing that the changing of the forcing cone length will not have any effect of the felt recoil of our project gun.

   Our new hammer spring had not arrived in time for this installment and the project was further delayed by the reorganization of the workshop.  We apologize that little progress was made, but we should get it back on track next month.

   This month we started the process of replacing the stock.  We won't be using a precut blank on this one, but creating a completely new stock from a plank.  The original Baikal stock appears to be made from a softwood with an unattractive grain pattern so we will upgrade the wood to American Walnut.

Figure 1.  The original stock.

   During the project, we will be making a few adjustments to the dimensions of the original stock to fit more comfortably while shooting.  We will be attempting to further reduce the recoil of this gun by installing a Hirams Beartrap mercury recoil reducer to better tame this gun.  We will also install a Pachmayr decelerator recoil pad on the new wood.

   We started with a trip to the hardwood store for some walnut plank.  The wood we picked up was only an inch an a half thick.  This is too thin for the width of the receiver and will need some additional wood laminated to the area behind the receiver to make it the appropriate width.

   There are a lot of things to consider when making a new stock for a shotgun.  the stock helps to position the eye relative to the barrel and there are no rear sights to use for alignment.  This makes the stock comb one of the most important aspects of the stock. 

   The way the face fits the comb is essentially what creates the rear sight.  It is also the part of the shotgun that controls much of the recoil an how much recoil is transferred to the face.  This is known as the drop at comb.

   Although I did some research of the literature before starting the process of making a new stock, the best research was to go to a friendly gun store with a pencil and some paper to try a few shotguns to see how their stocks fit.

   When I found a gun that seemed to fit well for me, I would lay it on the paper and trace it so I would have a record of the stocks that fit well.  I found three and traced each of them.  I also noted the distance, or pull, from the recoil pad to the triggers.

   It became clear that my shoulder likes a stock that is shorter than average and a little thinner in the hand grip.  A better way to try several guns without bothering the gun store owner is to try some shotguns at a match and trace the ones that fit well.  You might also be able to shoot them if you take a few shells with you.

Figure 2.  Original stock traced on the plank.

   After taking a series of notes about the fit of the various shotguns, I realized that the Baikal stock was close to a good fit but the comb needs to be slightly higher for a better fit.  I laid the original stock on the walnut plank and traced it with a brush pen.

Figure 3.  Traced stock with trigger locations identified.

   The traced stock established where I will need to cut.  Something not shown in the photos is that I also assembled the gun and marked where the ends of the barrels will be.  This helps to determine the drop and pitch of the gun.

   After tracing the original stock as a reference, I noted the differences between my tracings and the lines on the plank.  I made a few adjustments to the tracings and always left more wood than would be needed.  This allows me to adjust the gun to the correct dimensions by removing a little wood with the rasp and files instead of having to make a new stock.

Figure 4.  Tracing the Decelerator pad.

  The next step was to lay the decelerator pad onto the plank so I have a reference line where the stock must be cut to accommodate the pad.  This will be one of the last cuts to be made since we will still want to make careful cuts and work our way to the final cut.

Figure 5.  The recoil reducer.

  I laid the recoil reducer into place on the plank to establish where it will be located in the stock.  The mercury recoil reducer needs to be completely imbedded in the wood with a plug holding it in place. 

   Next month we will cut the stock and fit it to the receiver of the Baikal.  This will take some intricate work, but must be done before we can start carving the stock to the desired shape.