I don't believe that this is the same as Roys, but I just sent a stock back to be replaced because it was curved starting at the receiver back to the Buttplate/ recoil pad. Basically the stock was not a straight line or completely inline with the bore.
[ 11-09-2004: Message edited by: PracTac ]
Experience the best, Judge the rest!!
Roy in Idaho,
The angle of the recoil pad in relationship to the bore will affect how you feel the recoil more than anything. Most LR shooters will probably find that they will shoot best with a proper length of pull, strieght stock ( no cast ), flat comb ( no drop at the heel ) and the recoil pad angle being 90 degrees to the bore. If you are talking about a bag riding gun the angle of the bottom of the stock where it rides the bag is more important than the rest. If we are talking about a true LR hunting rifle then make it strieght, the right length and it will make you happy.
The angle, drop, or length of any buttstock depends on what the rifle will be used for (offhand, prone, benchrest) and what the sighting equipment is (scope,irons). Most factory stocks are a compromise.
Stock fit is critical to how well you can shoot and handle the recoil of a rifle.
Because of my build, I like a hunting stock with a lot of drop. Most 'monte carlo' stocks work well. This gets the recoil pad into my shoulder and the checkrest high enough so I don't have to scrunch down to look through the scope.
Many straight comb stocks with low drop only have the heel of the recoil pad in my shoulder. I find that very uncomfortable.
The Monte Carlo set up is accused of being brutal for recoil because the boreline is above the recoil pad center and that the rifle can rotate up during recoil. Not so.
All rifles will recoil up when fired. The feeling of recoil is actually check slap - go shoot an 870 or a Win/marlin lever action in a big bore cartridge to understand what that is all about. The comb is slanted up towards the receiver so slams into your face as the rifle moves back.
All you have to do is to have the top of the comb slant forward. have a look at the Lazz and Weatherby stocks to see what I mean. Now when the rifle recoils back and up, the comb is further away and less likely to hammer you.
I recently tried a 'new' style straight comb stock. It fit great because dimensionally, it was identical to the monte carlo stock. All they did was just continued the comb line to the recoil pad to form a straight comb.
you need to try different shapes of stocks to find out what fits you and the ways that you will shoot. If shooting prone mostly, that stock shape will not be ideal for offhand shooting, and vice versa.
Hunting stocks are a compromise in shape. I lean towards shapes that help me most in the offhand and sitting/kneeling positions because that is what I am most likely to use in the field. I can always adjust a bit if I have the time to set up a rest and shoot prone.
As to the position of the recoil pad, again it depends on your shape and build. I want as much of the pad in the soft pocket in my shoulder. How you get there is all about proper stock fit. Just look at how stocks are fit for shotgunners to understand all the ins and outs - cast off, angles, widths, thickness, etc.
Rifle shooters spend an enormous about of time and money on making their rifles mechanically accurate and almost no time and effort on making it accurate in the hands of the shooter. Stock fit is simply forgotten.
If we spent more time fitting stocks as the shotgunners do, ALL rifles and riflemen/women would shoot better in the field.