Part 1 An Awesome Stock and Preparations
Well one of my goals over the last few months has been to build a left handed Mosin Nagant Target Rifle, being a lefty shooter there are little if any ready made solutions available, the reality of that desire came one step closer today when my custom left handed stock arrived from Aaron Henderson of Lowell’s Guitars. Yes you read correctly, guitars. Aaron like myself is a musician with a passion for firearms as well as music. A Luthier is an expert at wood working and finishing of stringed instruments, so who better to have make a custom gun stock, especially one who owns the same firearm your working on. My particular stock is fashioned from a solid piece of Hardrock Maple, but Aaron has made some really stunning stocks out of Walnut, Tiger Oak and Cherry just to name a few.
Here are a few pictures Aaron sent me of finished projects
Aaron’s design looks to be based loosely around the Finnish M28/76′s stock, one of the more interesting versions of the Mosin Nagant. Arron however has taken his design up another level with the addition of side venting for additional cooling and a thumb hole. Also using a bent bolt with this stock is not an issue with Aaron’s design the stock accommodates a standard bent sniper bolt quite nicely.
I first saw Aaron’s stock design for sale on of all places but ebay! Not a bad move for someone trying to find a huge, ready made customer base who is looking for something other than the typical Mosin Nagant offerings. The pictures of the stock that were posted were very intriguing. The first one I saw for sale was right handed model made from black walnut with a maple laminate down the center line. I started watching Arron’s feedback very closely for purchases of these stocks, and I was very glad to see that buyers were heaping high praise on the design and workmanship. But what really got my attention was when Aaron offered a left handed “Cherry wood ” stock. I missed that auction by 30 minutes, so I contacted Aaron to see IF I could get another left handed model. The rest is as they say history.
I must admit, at first I was a bit pensive about putting the cash out for a custom stock. But after talking with Aaron for quite a while on the phone I decided this is something I had to try.
That was a several weeks ago. Well Friday when I got home from work my waiting was rewarded when the nice man in the big brown truck dropped a box off at my front door. I must admit I was like a kid at Christmas opening a present, but as it emerged from it’s cardboard box it was evident that even great care was taken in it’s packing and shipping, The added bonus being I got to read all the news from Aaron’s local paper! I carefully removed the stock from it’s newsprint wrappings, and as I did what emerged was a beautiful custom stock made from a solid piece of Hardrock Maple! ( BTW The scientific name for Hard Rock or Sugar Maple is Acer Saccharum ) This stock is even more exquisite in person than in the photos I’ve taken, they just don’t do it justice.
As I put my hand through the thumb hole and brought the stock to my shoulder it just felt right, granted this was minus the weight of the Mosin Nagant action, but it feels so good, and drops in the shoulder quite nicely. The design features a very large forearm, that’s a nice feature and seems to scream I need a bi-pod, which is exactly what this one will be getting. There is plenty of room for a rail under there so I have plenty of options for mounting a bi-pod and other goodies. This stock would make a great foundation for an awesome bench gun as well, that’s why I’m ordering a second one soon for another project gun. I can’t wait to drop my Mosin Nagant action into this thing to get the balance and feel for the gun. Looks like I might be in the market for another common M91/30 to do a cut down barrel and scope on. Oh well one can never have to many Mosin Nagants.
The one thing you’ll notice stock is not short, it’s total length from butt to tip of forearm is around 37 inches, this is about the same length as a typical M38 stock. But it also means that if you don’t want to cut down the barrel you don’t have too. The gun still looks in proportion to the stock unlike some of the smaller stocks out on the market.
Well next is deciding what gun will be the donor action, I have a 34 Izzy Hex Receiver on it’s way, and that might be the action that get’s placed in this beauty.
Well stay tuned for part II